149 Pleasant Street
Newton Centre, MA. 02459
617-559-9570
Late Arrival/Absence
Voicemail
617-559-9580

FAQs

FAQs

School Schedule

What time does school start?

All grades – Kindergarten through Grade 5 – Doors open at 8:20am. You may enter through the front doors or the back door near the playground.  All students and parents must wait outside until the first bell rings at 8:20am. Parents may drop their kids off at the door at 8:20am or may escort their child to their classroom and say a quick goodbye at the door. Children are expected to do morning work between 8:20-8:30am. All children must be in their classrooms by 8:30 when the late bell rings. If your child arrives after 8:30am, he/she must check in with the Safe Arrival volunteer in the front lobby.

When does my Kindergarten child start school?

Only Group A children start school on the first official day of school. They do not attend on the second day of school. Group B children start on the second day of school—they do not attend the first official day of school. This allows for smaller groups of kindergarteners to familiarize themselves with their new school, classrooms, teachers and classmates. All kindergarten children attend on the third day of school.

What is the schedule for Kindergarten?

ALL kindergarten children will be released at 12:30pm every day during the month of September.

From October to June, kindergarteners stay until 3:00pm on their two long days.

  • Group A students are released at 3:00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and are released at 12:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Group B students are released at 12:30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and are released at 3:00pm on Thursdays and Fridays.

What is the release time for children in Grades 1-5?

All children in these grades are released at 3:00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Every Tuesday throughout the year is an 12:30pm release for all elementary students. In addition, there are approximately 6 special early release days on Thursdays at 12:30pm. Refer to the MR calendar for these days.

Getting To & From School

How should my child get to and from school?

We strongly encourage walking at Mason-Rice.  Mason-Rice is lucky to be a very walkable neighborhood.  85% of children live within a mile of the school. There are 5 crossing guards to make certain that the major crossings are safe.  The sidewalks from these crossing guards all the way to school are shoveled by the city to make certain they are passable year round.

Other options:

  • Children may be dropped off and picked up by car. Read more on parking around Mason-Rice as well as The Blue Zone below.
  • Children who live further than a mile or in a safety zone can ride the bus for FREE.

When and where does my child catch the bus? Is there a charge for the bus?

The Transportation page on the Newton Public Schools website has extensive information about the bus system and any applicable fees. Click here for more information.  The Mason-Rice bus schedule can be found here.  Children who take the bus too school are kept on the bus until the bell rings at 8:20am.

Children who take the bus home from school report to the Centre after school and are then escorted to the bus by a teacher.

What is the Blue Zone?

The Blue Zone is the blue curbed areas directly in front of the school on both sides of Pleasant St. These are areas for a QUICK drop-off or QUICK pick-up of your child.  THERE IS NO PARKING. Drivers should turn off their cars when waiting at pick-up but not get out of the car. Children need to be able to independently enter and exit the cars from the sidewalk. If you child needs a hand-off from a teacher or needs help getting in, you should not use the Blue Zone. For a full overview of the Blue Zone rules, check out the Blue Zone page.

Where can I park?

We are lucky that Mason-Rice is surrounded by many places to park all within a few blocks of school.  We encourage you to review the Parking Map to see the many options.

There is NO PARKING in the school parking lot during school hours. It is for staff only.   There is also no parking in the Blue Zone.  See more details about the Blue Zone here.

Where do I pick up my child?

Kindergarten and 1st grade children will be released from the octagon doors. Parents must wait outside these doors for their children. All other classes are dismissed from the main doors or the modular ones.

If you are picking up from the main doors, parents and caregivers are asked to stand on the grass across the driveway from the main door to leave room for children to exit.

School Details:  What to Bring, Lunches, Food Policy and After School Activities

What should my child bring to school?

A full-size backpack is needed by most children, including Kindergarten. A backpack is helpful to carry books, a lunch box, folders, and winter clothing. Every child should bring a snack, and a lunch if he/she is staying until 3:00pm and is not getting a lunch from the school lunch program.

Does my child bring snack to school?

Yes, your child should have a snack every day.

 

How does the school lunch program and payment work?

Go to the Newton Food Services website for all the information on school lunches, including information on menus, ordering information, nutrition, and reduced-price lunches.

School lunch payment is handled through MySchoolBucks. Click here to create an account. https://www.myschoolbucks.com/ver2/login/getmain?requestAction=home

What is Mason-Rice's Food Policy?

Many children at Mason-Rice have severe nut allergies. As a result, we are a nut-free school. Please do not pack products with nuts in your child’s lunch. Please read the Mason-Rice Parent Allergy Letter.

In addition, Mason-Rice school maintains a “no sharing/no trading food’”policy, including eating utensils. Except in certain limited situations related to the class curriculum, food is not allowed for class celebrations including birthdays, holidays and the last day of school.  When used as part of curriculum instruction and holiday celebrations, food is used judiciously. Parents are to be advised of any school activity that requires the use of food well in advance of the project or activity.

Is there an after school program for my child?

Please contact the MRASP (Mason-Rice After School Program) Office for more information — http://www.mrasp.com. After School programs are offered for all grades Kindergarten to Grade 5. Contact MRASP at 617-244-7260 or contact Wendy Protheroe at Wendy_Protheroe@newton.k12.ma.us

Does Mason-Rice have any after school enrichment classes?

Newton Community Education, part of the Newton Public Schools, hosts many classes at Mason-Rice and many other Newton elementary schools.  Check out the NCE website at http://www.newtoncommunityed.org/.

Late Arrivals, Illness, Emergencies & Cancellations

What if my child will be absent or late?

If your child will be absent or late, call the Late Arrivals/Absence number at 617-559-9580 before 8:30am. If your child is not in school and you have not called or contacted your teacher, the front office will contact you to confirm your child’s absence.
If you have a planned absence, please notify your child’s teacher in advance. You may call also leave a message on the Late Arrivals/Absence voicemail before the date of the absence.

What if I need to pick my child up early from school?

Tell your teacher in advance that your child will be picked up early and work with the teacher to determine a time that would work best for pick-up.  When picking up your child, sign him/her out in the Sign-Out Log. The front office will call your child’s classroom to tell them you have arrived.

What happens if my child becomes ill during the school day?

Becky Brooker is Mason-Rice’s nurse. If your child becomes ill at school, he or she will go to the nurse’s office. If Becky determines that your child is too ill to stay at school, you will be called and asked to pick up your child.

If case of emergency during the school day, will the school contact me?

Yes, using the information in the Skyward Family & Student Information System.  Please make sure your home, office and mobile numbers are up to date.

How can I find out if school is cancelled?

Cancellations are made by 6:00am by the Superintendent, although there may be times when decisions can be made the previous evening.
Newton utilizes a telephone and email communication system to notify parents of cancellations, delays or other issues. In case of a school closing or a delayed opening due to the weather, the district will call the number(s) designated by you in Skyward and send a message to you via email as well. Cancellations or delays will also be posted on the district website — www.newton.k12.ma.us — as well as major TV and radio stations for their lists of cancellations.

Parent-Related Questions

How can I volunteer at school?

We love parent volunteers at Mason-Rice.  Before volunteering in any capacity, all volunteers must have a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. Please drop by the front office to fill out a CORI form and provide them with a copy of your driver’s license.  A CORI is good for 3 years.

 

On the day you are volunteering, sign in at the front office and fill out a name tag before heading to the classroom, library or other activity.

How do I get my information in the directory?

If you are new to the school, we encourage you to do two things to get your information into the directory:

  1. Complete your directory information.  Mason-Rice PTO stores parent information in a encrypted directory online at www.myschoolanywhere.com.  To enter your information, follow the steps listed below.
  2. Email masonricedirectory@gmail.com to ensure that your email address(es) are added to our email list so you will receive the Mason-Rice Notes and other important updates.

 

To start the process, go to join.myschoolanywhere.com  Enter the school code: masonrice2016

In Step 1, enter your child’s name, grade and teacher.
 Add additional children at Mason-Rice if applicable.

 

In Step 2, please include all relevant contact information including cell phone numbers. Email addresses are particularly important since our email list is pulled directly from the directory information.
 


If you have a nanny/au pair/sitter who is the primary contact for your child(ren) during the week, 
you can add his/her name and phone number in the “Additional Information to display” field in Step 2.  (For example:  Our nanny, Mary Poppins, is the primary after-school contact. Phone is 123-456-7890.)

 

If you are a two household family, you may enter all of the information for the second household into the system in Step 2.

 

Once you have entered your information and it is confirmed, we will provide you with access to the online directory. A hard copy directory will also be given to each family in the fall.

How do I get updates on Mason-Rice happenings?

One of the primary ways the PTO communicates are through the home page of its website, including events on the calendar.  We encourage you to check masonrice.org and its calendar listings regularly.

The second way that the PTO communicates is through its weekly newsletter, The Mason-Rice Notes, and other email blasts.  All parents in the directory are automatically added to the newsletter distribution list. If you are not receiving any emails, please email masonricedirectory@gmail.com. We strongly encourage you to read all emails from the PTO so that you can stay informed.

 

Where do I see my child’s Progress Reports?

Progress Reports are posted in the Skyward system two times per year. You will receive a notification when your child’s Progress Report is available.

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MAKE A DIFFERENCE - VOLUNTEER!

We need parents to fill some key positions. All are suitable for stay-at-home or working parents. The PTO Board & School Council involve occasional weekday meetings so some schedule flexibility is needed. We know the right people are out there.

Immediate Upcoming Volunteer Need: Holiday Helper

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