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General Information

School Hours
8:55AM to 2:55PM

Late Policy
It is very important that each student arrive in his/her classroom,ready to begin school, by 8:55AM. We ask that all students be in their classrooms at 8:45AM. A student who arrives after 8:55AM should go to the office to get a late slip before going to the classroom. Students can arrive as early as 8:40AM.

Absences
When a child will be absent, a parent/caregiver is requested to call the school and give the date(s), and anticipated length of absence. Parents may leave a message on the answering machine after or before school hours. If the parent/caregiver fails to call before the absence, the School Department Policy requires that families send a note (or an email) explaining the circumstances of the absence to the teacher upon their child's return to school in order for an absence to be considered an excused absence. Administration has discretion to request medical or other formal documentation for absences to be considered excused.Parents/caregivers will be notified periodically about their child’s attendance record.

Dismissal
A parent or guardian must call the front office at 617.349.6550 as early as possible to inform staff of the early dismissal. If a student must leave before the end of the school day, a parent or guardian (or other authorized adult) must sign the student out at the main office, where the student will be dismissed. If a parent or guardian is not picking up the student, he/she must send in a written, signed, and dated note stating what authorized adult will pick up the student. School personnel will, at the discretion of school administration, accept phone authorization for student pick-up.

Schedule
Vassal Lane Upper School follows a five day schedule during which students take required classes and individually selected electives. Individual schedules and Advisory assignments will be provided to students on their first day of school.

Trimesters
Upper Schools follow a trimester system, which allows students to explore additional electives and provides teachers with opportunities to report on student progress three times per year.

Transportation
Cambridge Public Schools will provide transportation to all 6th-8th grade students who must walk 1.5 miles or more to their assigned schools, and to all students through grade 8 who must cross Fresh Pond Parkway, McGrath Highway, or Alewife Brook Parkway, or who must cross the railroad tracks at Sherman Street. Students who are not eligible for transportation in the morning based on their home address may be eligible to take a school bus to an after school program. Please contact Tina Fisher in the Transportation department for more information.

Charlie Card Information
This is only a discount pass. The card is free but has no initial value stored on the card. Students who obtain this card must go to the MBTA station or ride on MBTA bus to add money using their own funds and they will then be charged half price when they use it. Students ride the T for 50% off the price of standard T fares. The Student Charlie Card pass can be used Sunday through Saturday. If you need a Charlie Card,please see Patricia Tuccinardi, the school clerk.

Field Trips
The Cambridge School Committee recognizes that first-hand experiences provided by field trips and school-sponsored trips are a most effective and worthwhile means of learning; therefore, the Cambridge School Committee encourages that field trips and school-sponsored trips of significant educational value, which are related to the total school program and curriculum, be encouraged under guidelines established by the Superintendent of Schools. A student may be denied participation in a school sponsored trip for legitimate reasons, such as failure to return a signed consent form, or safety concerns.