Policies & Procedures

In order to provide appropriate supervision, children should arrive at Somerville School no earlier than 8:35 a.m. Students are considered on time if they are in their classrooms by 8:45 AM.  Parents should refrain from remaining in the rooms after class begins in order to allow for maximum use of instructional time. Communication with teachers in the morning is best done in writing. We request that everyone cooperate with these guidelines that are designed to safeguard the children as well as to maintain the integrity of our instructional program.


Children leaving school during school hours for any reason, including to go home for lunch, must be signed out in the school office. The responsible adult should report to the main office and complete the data in the sign-out book. For reasons of safety, students will be discharged directly from the office.

Because of the potential for interruption of the instructional program, the office does not call students out of the class for lunches, instruments, homework, library books, etc. Teachers will send students who are missing these items down to the office at times that do not interrupt instruction. Please reinforce with your children that if they realize they are missing any of the above items, they should check with the office to see if they have been delivered. For this policy to be effective, please do not request the office staff to call your child from class or ask them to deliver any items. In addition, please refrain from pulling students from one classroom to attend a special event somewhere else in the school.

Please make after school arrangements prior to the start of the school day. Teachers are not able to check email throughout the day to receive "change in plans" notifications as they are involved in instruction or planning. Additionally, the office does not want to interrupt instruction to deliver messages unnecessarily. Please keep requests for midday message delivery to a minimum and for emergencies only.

Students in grades1-5 will be permitted to have a snack at a time in the morning designated by the classroom teacher. At teacher discretion, schoolwork may continue while the students are consuming their snacks. It is important to keep snacks simple, healthy and mess-free. Some suggestions are: raw vegetables, fruit, crackers with spreads, cheese cubes, pretzels, rice cakes and popcorn. Specifically not permitted are peanuts (and all nut products), candy, desserts and drinks of any kind except water.


Soda and glass bottles are not permitted. Students in Grades 2 through 5 may bring peanut and nut products for lunch, as long as they sit on the “Nut Friendly” side of the lunchroom. Please note, however, that no peanut or nut products are permitted in the classrooms.

The Kindergarten playground is not available for use from 8 am - 3 pm everyday that school is in session.

Class parties, when kept to a reasonable number and duration, are legitimate school activities.

At Somerville School parties are limited to a maximum of 45 minutes and may be held for children in grades K-5 in celebration of the following occasions:

December Recess Party
Valentine’s Day
Publishing or other Academic Celebrations

At grade level discretion, children in grades K-4 may have an end-of-year party. A picnic during lunch hour on school grounds is a permissible alternative. Fifth grade classes are allowed the traditional picnic at Graydon Pool. In addition, no parties shall take place during school time at a private residence.

Teachers may choose to give special recognition to children who leave during the course of the school year. Such recognition should be brief – 10 to 20 minutes, preferably at day’s end. Refreshments are not allowed. Cards, letters, remembrances and other heart-felt expressions of students’ good wishes toward and for the departing child are encouraged. Teachers choosing to recognize one child who is moving must be prepared to recognize each and every child who leaves during the year. 

The principal must approve parties for occasions other than those outlined above in advance. 

Prior to any party, teachers should meet with party coordinators to discuss appropriate activities and refreshments. Refreshments can include but cannot exceed 1 serving of a sweet or high fat content food per student as well as healthy options. All drinks should be 100% fruit juice or water. No candy is permitted. Any foods to be distributed must be accompanied by a list of ingredients.
A typical party may look like:
1 cupcake per student (with a list of ingredients), Fruit Salad, Apple Juice, Pretzels

In an effort to make birthday celebrations here healthier, active and fun, we will follow the guidelines listed below:
• Every student will have his/her birthday announced on the loudspeaker on or around the special day.
• Every student will receive a birthday treat from Dr. Oates-Santos after the announcement.
• Food will no longer be part of birthday celebrations.
• The teacher will plan a special, 15-minute birthday activity for the class that can include many different activities, such as outside recess time, a walk around the building, a visit to the ecology center, a book to be shared with the class outside or inside, an “inside” game such as 7-up or Duck-Duck-Goose or a new class tradition!