9/3/2023: Back to School Update
Newton South High School
Back to School Update
September 3, 2023
Newton South Students and Families,
Welcome to the first Weekly Update of the 2023-2024 school year! For those of you who are new to South, you will receive these updates every Sunday. You can always view the current Weekly Update here, and you can view any Smore newsletter we have ever sent here.
This update contains the following information:
- Student schedules (available on Aspen)
- Important procedures and protocols for the 2023-2024 school year
- An important message regarding Goodwin House
- A reposting of important schedules and calendars, as well as some new ones
If you have not seen Principal Stras's email from Friday 8/25, you can find it here.
Note that beginning with next week's Weekly Update, I will begin sending newsletters through SchoolMessenger. They will look the same to you, but the backend for mailing is slightly different. If you stop receiving emails from me every week, please reach out to me and let me know so I can check to make sure you have not blocked notifications from SchoolMessenger.
Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!
Jason Williams (he/him)
Newton South High School
Full Schedules Available on Aspen
Full schedule with blocks and teachers are now available on Aspen on the student homepage. Please follow this schedule on the first day of school (we will run A1 - G1 on the first day, then follow a regular schedule on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday). Here is the first day of school schedule. While this PDF version is static, a dynamic version will become viewable directly on Aspen on Tuesday for all schools in the district.
We apologize for the delay in releasing schedules – as mentioned in an email on Saturday morning, we encountered an unexpected glitch before releasing schedules that we had to resolve. This was primarily a technical error that caused a significant number of students to have classes show up on their schedule twice. We cleaned up this error throughout the day on Saturday.
If we were able to resolve any errors you informed us about on the course correction form we sent a couple of weeks ago, they will be reflected on this schedule. In some cases, there may be small changes in courses depending on changes we would not have been able to anticipate when we first sent schedules without blocks and teachers.
Please follow this schedule on the first day of school, and direct any inquiries regarding your schedule to your counselor.
Important Note for Grade 9 Students
Grade 9 students should have a Directed Study in any open block on their schedule. If a grade 9 student finds that they have an open block without one, they should let their counselor know so we can make this change.
You will also notice that on this schedule, Directed Studies will not yet have teachers or classrooms assigned. For Tuesday, September 5 only, all Directed Studies will meet in the Lecture Hall. On Tuesday, we will work to update schedules on Aspen so all these directed studies have rooms starting on Wednesday, September 6. Be sure to check your schedule on Aspen on Tuesday evening to know where you need to go if you have a directed study.
Important Procedures for the 2023-2024 School Year
Last year, the high schools debuted a new attendance standard. We have updated the document for the 2023-2024 school year. There is new information regarding tardies, and we have modified the document to make it easier to read and understand.
Attached are the attendance standard frequently asked questions.
In the August 23 district newsletter, NPS released the linked document above. They have updated and clarified our K-12 student attendance and absence procedures to ensure alignment across levels and compliance with school committee and state guidance. This document includes clarification on absences that are considered excused and unexcused. It also includes an FAQ to answer common questions.
Cell phones should not be seen or heard in class. Three acceptable locations for phones during class are a student's pocket, backpack, or door holder in the classroom. Consequences include a verbal warning, the teacher temporarily taking the phone, etc. If you need to contact your student during school, you should go through the house office, as students will not be able to check their messages during class.
We aware aware and mindful that students may need a cell phone for vital functions such as glucose monitoring. If you have any concerns, please reach out to your house office and work with them to find a solution that works best for both parties.
Please see the following letter from the Newton South Faculty Council regarding cell phone use.
Goodwin House Dean Transition
If you need any assistance in the meantime, please feel free to contact any of the other deans:
Getting to School
See above for the bus schedules. The PTSO put together a great guide on the different ways students can get to school. Please access this here:
Important Schedules & Calendars
First Day of School Schedule
We are excited to welcome students to Newton South on our first day of school, Tuesday, September 5.
- On Tuesdays, school runs from 9:00am - 3:25pm.
- On other days of the week, school runs from 9:00am - 3:45pm.
Grade 9 students will arrive at 9 AM following the regular bus schedule (see below). For students in grades 10 through 12, buses will start their run at 12:00 PM for an arrival to South by 12:30 PM. They will otherwise follow the same stops in the bus schedule detailed in the next section. Note that lunch will only be provided for grade 9 students.
The bus schedule for Boston routes can be found here.
Please follow this schedule for A-G blocks on the first day of school. If you have any questions about your schedule, please see your counselor at the start of school.
See below for the schedule:
Save The Date: Upcoming Events
In anticipation of the beginning of the school year, there are various dates that we wanted to send your way so you can mark your calendars. More details about these events will be forthcoming.
Upcoming Student Events
- Thursday, August 31, 3:30 - 4:30pm: Ice Cream Social for Grade 9 and transfer students
- Weather permitting, we will hold this outside near the Breezeway. In the event of rain, we will move into the Student Center. We will update you if rain is expected.
- Friday, September 8: Student Photo Day in Gym B
Upcoming Family Events:
- Thursday, September 7, 6:30pm: New to South Family Night (virtual)
- Thursday, September 14, 6:30pm: Back to School Night (in person)
- Thursday, September 21, 6:30pm: Senior Family Night (virtual)
Other Important Calendars
- Year at a Glance: Overview of the 2023-2024 school year
- The term 1 calendar is now also available. This calendar has more specific dates and times. One will be released each term.
- Lunch Schedule for Semester 1. Classes are assigned lunches based on what wing of the building they are in.
- Public Calendar of Events: We keep an updated calendar of events on the school website - this is a combination of events from the NPS calendar and our individual school's calendar.
Newton Community Education Prep & Enrichment Classes
Sign up for Newton Community Education college prep and enrichment classes this fall! From arts to academics, NCE programs empower your child to learn, grow, and connect. NCE classes can also inspire their passions and boost confidence. Preview our wide range of classes in the Teens At-a-Glance. Secure your teen's spot now at www.newtoncommunityed.org!
Optional Chromebook Repair Fund
All students in grades 6-12 are issued a Chromebook to use both in school and at home. As part of the Chromebook Loan Agreement, families are responsible for accidental damages to the device.
In lieu of purchasing outside insurance, NPS is offering families the option to participate in a NPS Repair Fund that will fully cover the costs of accidental damages.
In addition, we encourage you to examine some of the resources on Online Safety and Digital Citizenship posted on our website, and engage your children in conversations on these topics on a regular basis.
More information about the 1:1 Device program can be found on the NPS 1:1 Technology Overview Page.
NPS Meals for the 2023-2024 School Year
Note the following regarding school meals:
- Massachusetts will provide free school meals - one breakfast and one lunch daily.
- Second meals and a la carte items must be paid for with cash or through you/your student's MySchoolBucks account.
- Second meals cost $5.50.
- Students who have free or reduced-price lunch still need to pay full price for second lunches or any a la carte items.
- Student meals will still need to be rung up at the register using the student's ID number.