New Parent Tips

Welcome to King Open!

Note: There is still a lot of uncertainty around logistics for the 2020-2021 school year. Please check back here throughout the year as we will update information as we learn it.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to any member of the FOKO board. You may also contact our King Open Family Liaison, Neusa DaCosta, at 857-270-3347 or

When do we find out about classroom assignments?
Classroom assignments for the 2020-2021 school year have been emailed out to all families. If you didn’t get an assignment, please contact Brenda in the main office.

When does school start?
The first day of school is Wednesday, September 16th. ALL students will be remote. In-person learning for eligible students begins on October 13th. In-person learning will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will have remote learning for all students. Your child’s teacher should be in touch shortly before school starts.

Will my child have the opportunity to meet any of his/her classmates before school starts?
Every year, parents organize playdates in a playground near King Open on a couple of different dates over the summer for JK and Kindergarten families to meet.  Please contact Caroline Lowenthal with any questions.

Most summers, a big group of families have weekly potluck picnics at the park behind King Open. These are on hold for 2020.

What should we bring on the first day of school?
Children should bring a mask, water bottle, lunch (if they don’t want school lunch) and a snack.

During a typical school year, 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 and lunch are FREE for all children every day through December 31, 2020. The food and nutrition services department has information on their site with current food calendars for both in-person learning and remote learning.

Please note, the city of Cambridge will still be providing meals for those families participating in remote learning. More info is available about the CPS Remote Learning Distribution Meals Program.

All children are required to bring their own snacks.

What are the school hours?
School hours are 8:55AM – 2:55PM.  Classrooms open at 8:40AM. On early release days, school closes at 12:00pm.

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?
This year, there won’t be any childcare at King Open before school.

In a typical school year, 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 will not be running this school year.

In a typical school year, 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. 

How/when do we sign up for Community School or other classes?
The King Open Community school class catalog is usually 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. Virtual programming will be offered for the 2020-2021 school year.

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.  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 monthly. 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, are curious about ways to get involved, or have any questions.

Again, welcome!