+ SCHOOL COMMUNICATION
All School Calendar: To access the All School Calendar, which includes athletic events, field trips, vacation dates, and more, select Calendar on the home page or under Quick Links after logging in at the Parents page. From gus.org, parents can also access the grade specific event calendars and get homework assignments and supplemental resources for grades five through eight.
The Major Events Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year is available here.
Calling in About an Absent Child: Please call the school receptionist at 978-927-1064 before 8:30 a.m. if your child will not be in school due to illness or another reason. The receptionist will inform the nurse and your child’s teachers. Teachers also appreciate an email.
School Cancellations and Notifications: If school is closed due to inclement weather or for any other reason, or if there is an urgent message from GUS, parents will receive notification via an automated phone call. Notifications will also be posted on the gus.org home page, social media and Boston news closure sites.
Family Access Module (FAM) + School Forms Online (SFO): FAM is the online database that contains contact information for GUS families. During the summer, new families receive an email with a login and password to access FAM and School Forms Online (SFO) via gus.org. Parents are asked to use FAM and SFO to complete required information and forms for school. Families can access and update their information at any time throughout the year at the Parents page on gus.org.
GUS "Week Ahead" Bulletin: The GUS Bulletin is our weekly email, sent to the GUS community every Sunday evening (or Mondays if a holiday or professional day). It includes announcements, a calendar for the upcoming week, and relevant information to make your planning easier.
GUS Updates Monthly Newsletter:Each month a GUS newsletter will be sent to families. It includes a message from Head of School, event reminders, and links to articles and photos about school life here at GUS.
+ DROP OFF, PICK UP, EXTENDED CARE
When does the school day begin? All students should be in their classrooms, prepared to begin their day at 8:15 a.m.
Where do I drop off my child?
Preschool: We strongly recommend that Pre-K drop-off take place in the Pre-K classroom in the Lower School building. If you would like to make alternate arrangements for carpool drop-off, please speak to the Preschool Director. If you are dropping off between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m. please park in the Upper School lot, off Greenwood Avenue. If you are coming at a different time, parking is available in both the Lower School (off Hart Street) and Upper School (off Greenwood Avenue) lots.
Lower School: Join the line of cars using the Hart Street entrance. Staff members will open your right side door, greet your child, and assist your child in exiting with his or her belongings. If you would like to go into school, please park in the back lot in front of Braemar, or along the right side of the driveway in front of the bus sign. Please do not park in the visitor parking spaces or along the woods; these spots are reserved for faculty. The GUS school bus drops children in the front lot at the head of the circle. DO NOT PASS THE BUS while it is unloading. Also, please do not cross between cars or allow your child to cross between cars.
Upper School: Join the line of cars entering the back parking lot. Staff members will welcome your child into the upper school building. The line begins at the double doors. Cars proceed left toward Braemar and exit out the back driveway. To respect our neighbors driving to and from the North Shore Nursery School, please drive slowly and come to a complete stop before turning left out of our parking lot.
May I drop my child off early? Yes. Children can attend before care (for a fee) with Mr. Emerson in the gym any time after 7:30 a.m. and before 8:00 a.m.
What time does school end? School ends for Pre-K through 5th grade at 3:00 p.m. and for 6th through 8th graders at 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, unless otherwise noted on the All School calendar.
Where do I pick up my child?
Preschool: We strongly recommend that Pre-K pick-up take place in the Pre-K classroom in the Lower School building. If you would like to make alternate arrangements for carpool pick-up please speak to the Preschool Director. If you are picking up at 3:00 p.m., please park in the Upper School lot, off Greenwood Avenue. If you are coming at a different time, parking is available in both the Lower School (off Hart Street) and Upper School (off Greenwood Avenue) lots.
Lower School: Join the line of cars using the Hart Street entrance. Pull up to the “Dismissal line begins here” sign or directly behind the car in front of you. Do not leave spaces between cars. Children exit school with their teachers and wait with their classmates to be ushered into cars by teachers. Children are not allowed to walk to a car alone. Move your car forward slowly or exit the line once your child is safely buckled in. If you want to go into school, park only in the back parking lot. Please do not park in visitor parking spaces to pick your child up. Also, please do not cross between cars or allow your child to cross between cars.
Upper School: Join the line of cars entering the back parking lot. Teachers dismiss children to their cars on the sidewalk in front of the upper school.
Before and After Care: Glen Urquhart offers an after care program five days a week, from 3:00 PM until 5:30 PM. To sign up, fill out the extended care program enrollment form. To reach the After School Care Program after 4:00 p.m. (Monday through Thursday) and after 3:00 p.m. on Friday, call 978-816-6533. During school day hours, please contact Nancy Hartmann, Director of Auxiliary Programs, at 978-927-1064 x131.
Before School Care: The Before School Care Program runs from 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. each school day, supervised by Bruce Emerson, Athletic Director. The Before School Care Program meets in the gym in Braemar. There is no fee for Before School Care.
After School Care: The After School Care Program runs from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After Care meets in the lower school Spanish classroom. We offer a variety of activities, depending on the interests of the children. After Care is available on a regular basis; the fee structure varies.
For occasional "drop-in" care for students who are not enrolled in the Before or After Care Program, please notify the classroom teachers and Nancy Hartmann, Director of Auxiliary Programs, prior to the 2:30 p.m. dismissal.
Drop-in rates (payment is due on a monthly basis). 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. = $15.00 3:00 – 4:40 p.m. = $17.50 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. = $17.50 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. = $25.00
Early Release and P/T Conference Days: After Care is available on early release days, except for Grand Friends Day, Winter Solstice, and the last day of school. On those days, school is dismissed at noon and no After Care is available. On other noon dismissal days, we offer drop-in care at a rate of $15/hour. Please arrange after care on early release days with the Director of Auxiliary Programs. On parent/teacher conference days, we provide free child care during your conference time.
After school enrichment programs: Each semester GUS offers after school programs, EXPLORE@GUS (formerly GUS+) for different age groups. These may include LEGO robotics, sewing, chess, art workshops, and SSAT prep classes. Watch for emails and forms with course descriptions and instructions for signing up.
Does GUS offer transportation? GUS provides routes across the North Shore to provide families with morning and afternoon transportation options. Please visit the Bus Registration page for more information and to sign up.
+ CLASS SCHEDULE
Upper school classes have an A week and B week. Assemblies are scheduled on Wednesdays or Fridays and can be either an upper school or lower school assembly, a combined assembly, or an activity organized for partners.
Lower school operates on a regular Monday through Friday schedule.
+ LUNCH OPTIONS
Students may bring a packed lunch from home, can participate in Wednesday's Pizza Day, or utilize the Schoolhouse Fare delivery option below.
Nut Policy: In order to provide a low-risk environment for our students and community members who have serious nut allergies, peanuts, tree nuts, and foods containing nut products are not allowed on the GUS campus. Examples of foods with nut products, in addition to nuts themselves, include granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter cups, muffins containing nuts, and any other food made with peanuts, tree nuts, nut milks, nut oils and/or nut butters.
Foods brought to school and intended to be shared on special event days, such as birthdays, Bread Day, or Advisory lunch must include a list of ingredients and be approved by the parent/guardian of the child with the allergen and/or the school nurse before consumption. Food will not be served if the ingredient list is not provided.
If the label states “made in a facility that processes nuts”, it can be served, but students with nut allergies will not eat the food due to the risk of cross contamination. If a food label states “processed on the same equipment as nuts” or “may contain traces of nuts”, the food will not be served as may be unsafe and may contain the allergen.
While every reasonable accommodation will be made to reduce the risk of exposure to nuts in the school setting, the School cannot guarantee a completely risk-free environment.
Wednesday Pizza Day: Children who want to order pizza from Harry’s Pizza of Beverly Farms can bring in $1.50 per slice. Classroom teachers collect the money. The pizza arrives at noon.
Ordering Lunch: Schoolhouse Fare provides local delivery of prepared lunches to GUS students. A different restaurant every day, a variety of freshly made options, and easy online ordering... check out Schoolhouse Fare today and visit their website to register.
Upper school students participate in sports at different times. The 6th grade sports period is from 1:40 to 2:40 p.m. The 7th and 8th grade sports period is from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (except Fridays). In fall, 5th and 6th graders play soccer and 7th and 8th graders choose between soccer and cross-country. In winter, 6th graders play basketball and 7th and 8th graders choose between basketball and personal fitness. In spring, 5th and 6th graders play lacrosse and 7th and 8th graders choose between lacrosse, track and field, and intramurals. Upper school students can choose from a multitude of clubs, both academic and social, during a club period each week.
Gym sneakers All children need to keep a pair of sneakers at school for gym class. They do not have to be new sneakers, but they do need a clean tread. This allows us to preserve the gym floor and maintain a welcome surface for morning meetings and sports competitions.
+ GUS SCHOOL STORE
The GUS school store has an inventory of school logo items, such as shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. Items are sold at select school events and at monthly Parents Association (PA) meetings.
+ SPECIAL EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS
Parents Association Events for Students and Families: A few times a year, the Parents Association (PA) hosts a family event for GUS students and families. These events are a great way to get to know other members of the GUS community and are fun for all!
In the fall, class parents organize potluck dinners, hosted by GUS families. These events offer a nice opportunity for returning parents, new parents, classroom teachers, and the head of school to meet and celebrate the start of the school year.
Twice a year, on the half-days of the lower school parent/teacher conferences, the PA hosts off-campus parties that might involve swimming, skating, or other activities. The PA hosts other informational and fundraising events throughout the year such as family Bingo Night and monthly PA meetings with guest faculty and outside speakers. All parent are welcome and encouraged to attend the PA meetings each month as they are one of the best ways to learn more about what is happening at GUS.
Preschool, Lower School and Upper School Back to School Nights These evenings are scheduled in the early fall for parents to explore their child’s classroom, meet specialist teachers, and hear from classroom teachers about plans for the academic year.
Holiday Book Fair: The library hosts a holiday Book Fair fundraiser in the Nance Assembly Room each year, which is open to the GUS community. Permission slips are sent home for parents to indicate either a dollar amount or the number of books a child can purchase.
Annual Meeting: Each spring, the Head of School and the Board of Trustees invite all parents to attend a “state of the school” dinner.
Wild Boar Classic Golf Tournament: In the fall, a golf tournament is hosted at a local country club. Funds raised support teacher-directed projects and financial aid. Learn more.
+ GUS TRADITIONS / EVENTS
Bread Day On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the GUS community comes together to celebrate bread as a symbol of world unity and ethnic diversity. Families in odd-numbered grades (1, 3, 5, and 7) are asked to bake nut-free breads from their heritage or family tradition to share.
Winter Solstice Assembly On the last day of school before winter break, the children perform songs and dances and play music from different regions in celebration of winter and the significance of light in all cultures. Friends and family are encouraged to attend.
Grand Friends Day On this half-day in the fall, grandparents and special friends are invited to visit their child host’s classroom, meet faculty and friends, learn about what goes on in school, and enjoy an assembly of music and songs performed by the students.
May Day On May 1st or as close to that date as the school calendar allows, students, faculty, and staff come together to celebrate spring, beginning with a breakfast of strawberries and baked goods. Student partners write poems together, decorate May flower baskets, and deliver the poems and baskets to doorsteps in the surrounding neighborhood. Families in even-numbered grades (K, 2, 4, 6, and 8) are asked to bake nut-free tea breads, muffins, and favorite breakfast goodies. The celebration culminates in the 8th grade’s performance of the Maypole Dance. Families are encouraged to attend both the procession and Maypole Dance.
Boar Cup Conceived of and organized by Bruce Emerson, the Boar Cup is a series of competitions between the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades held on the Monday through Thursday before spring break. Activities include sports competitions, a teacher look-alike contest, lip sync performances, a mural contest, and an academic trivia game show. Families are welcome to attend.
Evening with the Graduates Evening with the Graduates occurs the night before graduation. Each eighth grader delivers an original speech about something they have come to believe in deeply. At the end of the evening, the Urquhart tartan and the leadership it symbolizes are passed from the outgoing graduates to the incoming eighth grade in a traditional candlelit ceremony.
All School Meeting Every Friday morning at 8:15 a.m. students, teachers, staff, and the head of school gather in Braemar to review the week’s happenings, look forward to coming events, and celebrate birthdays. Parents are always welcome.
+ PARTNER PROGRAM
Younger and older students are paired—for example, 4th graders pair with 7th graders—and throughout the year they come together to do simple activities, such as on May Day. These partnerships enhance our community, letting the younger students feel part of the older students’ lives and giving the older students opportunities to nurture and mentor.