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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.

In the event of an unanticipated absence, please have a parent or guardian call the front office before 9:15AM. Every absence must be explained in a written note that is signed and dated by a parent or guardian and returned to the student’s advisor upon the student’s return to school. If a parent or guardian has not called when a student is absent, an automatic call will be made informing families of their child’s absence.

Putnam Avenue Upper School follows a five day schedule during which students take required classes and individually-identified electives. Individual schedules and homeroom assignments will be provided to students before their first day of school, and students will receive reminders of the schedule cycle to keep them on track. As they adjust to the five day cycle, homeroom will provide opportunities for reminders and announcements, as well as a familiar anchor at the start of each day.

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. Trimesters also create additional opportunities to explore elective courses. Each trimester consists of approximately 13 weeks, including a 2-3 week “project period.”

Project periods allow time for students to continue studying topics in greater depth or to engage in interdisciplinary units designed for them by teachers at their campus. Project periods are held at the end of each trimester in order to provide opportunities for teacher collaboration between schools such as citywide performances.

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.

If a student must leave before the end of the school day, a parent or guardian 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 explaining why and when the student is being dismissed. Additionally, a parent or guardian must call the front office (617.349.7780) as early as possible to inform staff of the early dismissal.

When the final bell rings at 2:55PM, students are expected to gather their belongings and return to their advisories. Students are not allowed to leave their advisories until they are called. Buses will be called one at a time and students are expected to quietly and calmly walk down the far stairwell and exit out the side door.