New Parent Tips

Welcome to King Open!

You probably have a lot of questions, so read below for some answers. We are:

If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to us. You can also contact the King Open family liaison Neusa DaCosta at 617-349-6540, ext. 101 or


When do we find out about classroom assignments?
Classroom assignments for the 2019-2020 school year have been mailed out. If you are trying to find out your child’s assignment, please contact Sarah Christopher.

When does school start for kindergarteners?
The first day of school for Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten students will be on Thursday, September 5th 2019.  This is 2 days after everyone else starts school on Tuesday, September 3rd Click here for the full school calendar, which includes holidays and Early Release Days.

Will my child have the opportunity to meet any of his/her classmates before school starts?
Yes, every year parents organize playdates in a playground near King Open on a couple of different dates over the summer for kindergarten families to meet each other.  The summer 2019 playdates have already taken place, so check back in the spring for summer 2020 dates.

If you are interested in connecting with other families in your child’s classroom over the summer, please contact Sarah Christopher who will connect you to classmates.

There is a big group of families, mostly from King Open but not exclusively, who have potluck picnics every Wednesday night at the park behind the future King Open at 6pm. All are welcome! This is a great opportunity to meet families in a casual setting. If you want to be added to the distribution list, please contact Sarah Christopher.

Will my child have the opportunity to meet his/her kindergarten teacher before school starts?
Yes, there will be small group orientation sessions with your child’s classroom teacher during the first or second day that the school is open (Tuesday, September 3rd or Wednesday, September 4th).  Families are usually notified the week before school starts as to the assigned time slot with your teacher.

Will we get to see the inside of the school before school starts?
Unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity to walk through the school before it begins, however there will be tours for families on Saturday, September 7th. Please watch for a mailing from Principal Williams in mid to late August with more details.

What should we bring on the first day of school?
Each child is expected to bring a backpack that is large enough to fit a full size folder.  Teachers will send notices home in the backpacks each night and parents/guardians are expected to check them daily.  If your child is planning on bringing their lunch, they will also need a lunchbox.  For kindergartners, you will also want to bring an extra set of clothes to leave in the classroom as well as a small blanket for quiet/rest time.

What are the options for purchasing food in the cafeteria?
Breakfast is FREE for all children every day. Lunch may be purchased in the cafeteria.  The food and nutrition services department has information on their site about the costs for the meals, how to pay, applying for free lunch, as well as current food calendars.

Most classrooms have a shared, community snack and families will be asked to sign up to bring healthy snacks in.

What are the school hours?
School hours are 8:55AM – 2:55PM.  Classrooms open at 8:40AM. On early release days, school closes at 12:55pm.

How do we know where/when to get the school bus?
Children who live more than a mile from the school qualify for the school bus.  Bus information is sent to families the week before school starts.  More information may be found here.

What are the options for before school care?
There isn’t any sort of formal childcare before school but you may drop off your child starting at 8am in the cafeteria. The cafeteria is also where the kids from the buses go once they arrive at school. There are usually options for kids to sign up for before-school recess, library time, technology time, King Open Singers, math club, and chess club.

What are the options for after school care?
King Open Extended Day (KOED) is an afterschool program that is completely integrated into the King Open School and is only open to KO students.  KOED is open for 10 months, from the first day of school in September to the last day of school in June. It is closed on most city and legal holidays. The hours are from 2:55PM to 6PM pm every school day, 12:55PM to 6PM on early release days and 8AM to 5:30PM during school vacations.  KOED fills up very fast so we suggest that you submit an application as soon as possible if you are hoping to send your child for all or some days after school.

How/when do we sign up for Community School or other classes?
The Harrington Community school class catalog will be distributed to students around the second or third week of school and classes will start shortly thereafter.  They end a week or two before school breaks, so they don’t provide full childcare coverage.  Classes take place in the King Open building. Students may register to participate for a fee in a variety of classes.  Children who participate in KOED are also able to take Community School classes and will be brought to/from KOED and their registered class.

Another option may be the Science Club for Girls.  Science Club for Girls is a free, after school Science Club open to all girls. Fall 2019 registration will begin the week of August 26, 2019.

Who do I contact if my child has an allergy or health condition that needs to be discussed?
Ruth Jolicoeur is the school nurse and can be reached at 617.349.6540 x120.  You may also discuss any concerns with your child’s teacher.  For kindergarten families, the small group orientation session may be a good opportunity to do so prior to the beginning of school. You may also contact the Food and Nutrition office for additional accommodations. More information about the School Nursing Services are available here.

How do I learn more?
We recommend joining the Friends of King Open Facebook page and/or the Friends of Ola Facebook page.

There is also a King Open Community email list you can subscribe to. This email list is a forum for parents/guardians of current KO students to discuss issues, ask school-related questions of other parents, make connections, and brainstorm ideas. The list is unmoderated—messages are not screened before they go to the list.

Lastly, you may also visit the school’s website. Please let us know if you have any questions.

How may I get involved?
There are a variety of ways to get involved in the King Open community:  You may serve as a Classroom Connector in your child’s classroom, attend an event, volunteer to help in a classroom, chaperone on field trips, participate on a committee, etc.

The Friends of King Open (FOKO) meets once a month on Wednesday mornings at 8:30am. Please join us and learn about all of the great ways to get involved! Please contact Sarah Christopher if you are interested in joining the FOKO board.

Again, welcome!

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