Published August 29, 2019
By MAUREEN DOHERTY
NORTH READING — Hey kids, it’s time to hit books and find your school bus routes and other back-to-school tips in today’s Transcript. As summer vacation becomes a mere memory we hope you all took advantage of the fantastic weather this summer by spending lots of time enjoying outdoor adventures and also remembered to finish your summer reading.
Now, in less than a week, all of the town’s students in grades 1-12 will return to a full day of classes on Wednesday, September 4. All kindergarteners and pre-K students will attend their orientation sessions on the first two days of school, September 4 and 5, followed by their first official day of school on Friday, September 6.
In keeping with tradition, this week’s edition of the Transcript includes complete back-to-school information regarding bus routes and bus pass rules as well as a welcome back message from Superintendent of Schools Jon Bernard and a message on public safety from Police Chief Michael Murphy.
Hood, Little: “Early schools”
This is the second year of the two-year rotation for school start times at the elementary level for grades K-5. The Hood and Little Schools are the “early” elementary schools, with classes starting at 8:30 a.m. and dismissed at 2:45 p.m. The Batchelder School will be the “late” elementary school, with classes running from 8:55 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
The staggered start times are necessary to accommodate the bus runs at the elementary level. The start / dismissal times are rotated to promote fairness throughout the district.
Elementary school students are graded on a trimester basis. The marking trimesters end on Nov. 27, March 6 and June 24.
Half-day kindergarten start times for the morning sessions and dismissal times for the afternoon sessions align with the schedule in use at their respective schools. Kindergarteners attending the morning session at the Hood and Little Schools will be in class from 8:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. while the afternoon sessions will run from 12:05 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Kindergarteners attending the morning session at the Batchelder School will be in class from 8:55 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. while the afternoon session will run from 12:30 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. The mid-year kindergarten morning/afternoon switch date at all three schools is Monday, January 27. Kindergarteners are never dropped off at a school bus stop without a responsible adult present; instead, the child is returned to school or the district’s Central Office.
Pre-K students attend classes from 8:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. during morning sessions and noon to 3 p.m. for afternoon sessions. Students enrolled in full-day pre-K attend classes from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Middle, High School times
Students attend classes at the Middle School from 7:55 a.m. to 2:21 p.m. while High School classes run from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Secondary school students are graded on a quarterly basis. The marking quarters end on November 8, January 24, April 3 and June 24 (or the last day of school, depending on the number of snow days needed).
Early release dismissals
On early release days the following schedule applies: High School – 11 a.m.; Middle School – 11:21 a.m.; Hood and Little – 11:45 a.m.; Batchelder – 12:10 p.m. No pre-K sessions are held on early release days regardless of whether the students attend the half-day or full-day programs.
Mark you calendars
Parents’ Night at all three elementary schools will be held on Thursday, September 12. Back-to-School Night at the High School will be held on Thursday, September 19; Back-to-School Night at Middle School will be held on Thursday, September 26.
Later this year a date will be selected for the third annual Parent University, a popular event for parents to give them a crash course in school-related topics of interest to them.
High School graduation is Friday, June 5. The last day of school is Wednesday, June 24, but that includes five built-in snow days.
Enjoy the Labor Day holiday and this last gasp of summer. For those students who ride a school bus, don’t forget your school bus pass. Your bus number is printed on the back and you must show the pass to your driver upon boarding. Don’t loose it because replacement passes cost $15. School officials recommend arriving at your bus stop at least 10 minutes early, especially during the first few weeks of school, until a clear daily pattern is established.
Motorists are reminded to be on the lookout for children walking to school, crossing the road or gathered at bus stops. Remember, it is illegal to pass a school bus with its flashers on and stop sign extended. Motorists must stop on both sides of the road when the school bus stops in case children need to cross the road.