Hemenway Tips & Tricks

  •  The information found on this page was copied from the 2022 Hemenway Tips & Tricks Guide prepared by the PTO. Pasting the text here allows for the FPS Website translate the information provided. You can always consult the original document for the most up-to-date version.



    Welcome to Hemenway! We know there is a lot of new information out there and wanted to create a user-friendly guide for all new families. This document includes information you might need to know - and what may not be found anywhere else! Please reach out to us with any questions. 

    Warm regards, The Hemenway Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)





    TIME PERIOD – School begins at 9:15 AM 

    • 8:50 – 9:15 AM: General drop-off period 
    • 8:50 – 9 AM: School doors open at 8:50. Students must wait in the main lobby until they are allowed down the hallways and into their classrooms at 9 am.  
    • 9 – 9:15 AM: Students wait in their classrooms until the homeroom bell rings at 9:15 AM. Students who enter the building after 9:15 must report to the office for a late pass. 


    Traffic pattern 
    Entrance and exits are one-way. Enter on the WEST side of the school. When entering during drop-off, stay right to allow buses and authorized cars to pass on the left and go around the building.   

    Valet or Rolling Drop-Off
    When dropping your child off to school in the morning, we ask all adults to remain in their vehicle. Please enter the school lot and follow the ONE-WAY traffic pattern. Please drive to the front of the school and remain on the left lane by the curb. Pull all the way forward. Adults remain in their vehicle and school staff will open your car door and escort students onto the sidewalk and into the building. For safety reasons during this high volume of traffic, parking is restricted for caretakers that have a scheduled meeting. 

    Older children, with parent permission, are allowed to ride bicycles to/from school. Bicycles need to be secured in the bike rack in the front of the school.  At the end of the day, children riding a bike will be dismissed with “walkers” and they will walk their bike across the crosswalk escorted by the crossing guard. Parents must contact the Principal or Assistant Principal and request a meeting to review these rules before a student begins riding his/her bike to school.

    Always use the crosswalks when walking to and from Hemenway. There is a crossing guard stationed at the Water St. crosswalk east of Hemenway (car exit). Visibility can be very limited at the crosswalk by Heritage during busy school times. The safest crosswalk is the one on the East side with the crossing guard. 


    TIME PERIOD – Dismissal is 3:30 PM 
    The front building doors will be locked until the bell rings and students are brought to the cafeteria for pick up. The doors are unlocked shortly after dismissal.  


    Caregiver Pick-upStudents will walk out and line up according to grade level. We ask that caregivers stand in front of the grade level cone. Staff will escort children outside in an organized line. As children identify that their caregiver is present, they will signal to the Hemenway staff member and once they shake the hand of the staff member they will be released to their caregiver. Children who are picked up by the same caregiver will exit the building with the youngest grade 

    Front Path – Student pick up located outside in the front of the building 
    Students who are designated Front Path will be escorted by staff across the bus lane via the sidewalk on the east side of the building and walk on the sidewalk to the crossing guard. Note: A Kindergartener cannot be dismissed as Front Path unless an older sibling accompanies him/her.

    Back Path – Student pick up at the end of the back path at the rear of the school 
    Students who are designated Back Path will be escorted by staff across the bus lane at the rear of the building and down the path behind the school that leads to Donovan Drive. 

    Family Pets
    Staff ask that you refrain from bringing family pets on school grounds. This is to ensure that all children, especially those with allergies or fears, may walk about the school grounds freely. If you must bring a family pet with you, the Pet Friendly Zone is by the flag pole. Staff ask that caregivers that have a pet stay in this area. A Hemenway staff member will escort your child across the crosswalk to meet you. 

    Tiger Zone
    We love when caretakers get to know one another and children get to play. In order to make this possible, we will have a designated TIGER ZONE. This will be the grassy area in front of the cafeteria in the front of the building. Adults may stand on the sidewalk while the children engage in play. We ask that children remain in this area and keep clear of the buses exiting and the children that are in the caregiver pickup lines. 


    School Parking Lot 
    Parking is limited in the school parking lot, and it’s best to avoid it during the morning and afternoon rush, except for scheduled meetings. The only parking spaces available for parents are in front of the school; it is staff only parking on the sides of the building. NOTE: You may not pull into the school lot from 3–3:30 PM. 

    On-Street Parking 
    Parking on Water Street is prohibited. Parking is permitted on nearby side streets: Bacon, Hemenway, and Donovan. Parking is only allowed on one side of the street. Families must follow the town’s odd year/odd side OR even year/even side regulations. For example, in 2022 (an EVEN year), parking is allowed on the EVEN side of the street ONLY. You will get ticketed for parking on the wrong side of the street. 

    Nobscot Shopping Center Parking Lot 
    At this time, this is your best bet for parking near the school. During school events, this lot can fill up.  Make sure you arrive early to assure a spot. 

    McAuliffe Library 
    There is NO parking for Hemenway families during McAuliffe library hours. 


    CORI forms are good for 3 years.  They are required if you are going to be working or volunteering in the school or on a field trip.  See the office staff or the PTO website for necessary forms.  Please check in with the office to confirm your CORI hasn’t expired before signing up for an event this year. An online CORI form can be found here: https://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/Page/3045  


    Helping with events 
    The PTO is excited to host fun activities and events each year. Information about these events is posted on the lobby bulletin board and in our weekly PTO newsletter. There is always a need for volunteers and chaperones for events and field trips – we cannot do it without your help!  Please be sure that all CORI paperwork is updated prior to volunteering.  More info on events can be found here: http://hemenwaypto.com/events

    Room Parents & Grade Level Representatives 

    Room Parents: Grades Kindergarten – 1 

    Grade Level Representatives: Grades 2 - 5 

    One parent volunteer per classroom or grade level. Duties may include volunteering in the classroom or on field trip(s) and/or assisting with specific teacher requests. Responsibilities are based on specific teacher/grade level needs. Volunteers should attend monthly PTO meetings for information regarding school-wide activities and news. More information about volunteering to be a room parent or grade level representative will be provided by classroom teachers.

    Mystery reader 

    Kindergarten Only 
    Teachers may ask for various “mystery readers” during the course of the year to read books to the class. The “mystery” is that the students don’t know who is coming to read, and your arrival will surprise and delight all! Please note that you must complete a CORI form to participate. 


    There may be opportunities for Hemenway students to join before school clubs. Information about these clubs will be provided at a later date.


    Parent Teacher Conferences 
    Teachers hold parent teacher conferences twice a year. These are usually held during school hours on early release days; however, there are two parent conference evenings – one in the fall and one in the spring – for parents who cannot attend during the day. Teachers will communicate directly with parents for date/time slots.  The fall conference is a progress report. The spring conference is a summary of the year and an assessment of your child’s progress. 

    Report Cards 
    The city has moved to a standards-based report card system. Report cards are shared twice a year. For more information, follow this link: http://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/Page/2527 

    Curriculum Nights 
    In the early fall, Hemenway hosts Curriculum Nights over two evenings. The first evening is Grades K-2, and the second evening is Grades 3-5. Teachers and administration will discuss the general curriculum for the year and the expectations in each grade.  Parents will also see classrooms and have time to ask questions to the staff and teachers. It is recommended that children do not attend.

    Pride Night 
    Hemenway Pride Night takes place in the spring. This is an opportunity for students to showcase projects and classrooms. Teachers may be present, but this is typically a night set aside for students and families. Children are not only invited, but they act as tour guides. It’s a night for them to shine!



    Reporting an Absence or Tardy 

    • Absence line: 508-626-9149  
    • Call between 4:00 P. M. and 8:30 A.M. if your child is to be absent OR tardy.  
    • Late students must report directly to the office upon arrival.

    Dismissing a Student Early 
    A written request from a parent is necessary for ANY dismissal changes. Requests should be emailed or brought into the school office before the start of the school day. No requests will be taken after 2:30pm unless it is an emergency. No student will be dismissed based on a telephone request. 

    School Contact Links

    Staff Directory: https://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/Page/373

    PTO website: http://www.hemenwaypto.com/      

    PTO email: hem@hemenwaypto.com 


    Hemenway Happenings
    Hemenway Happenings is the school’s weekly newsletter. It is sent to parents via email and includes messages and important school announcements from the principal and staff. It is an informative resource for parents and a great way to stay connected.

    PTO Newsletter 
    The PTO newsletter is emailed weekly. It includes PTO meeting and event info, fundraising news, volunteer opportunities, and school news highlights. See sign up instructions or go to https://hemenwaypto.membershiptoolkit.com/login-form to start receiving this newsletter. 

    Hemenway Class Facebook Pages
    The Hemenway Class pages are parent run and will keep you informed of school sponsored activities and Hemenway news. They can also be great resources to communicate with Hemenway parents/guardians and to seek answers to questions among the Hem community. 

    FIND YOUR PAGE: Log into your Facebook account. Type “Hemenway Class of (child’s high school graduating year)” into the search engine. Ask to join the appropriate group and a group administrator will add you.

    Hemenway Directory 
    The PTO uses Membership Toolkit to communicate with Hemenway families. We will provide signup information at the beginning of the school year (https://hemenwaypto.membershiptoolkit.com/login-form). This is a great resource for families and includes a voluntary directory for families wishing to connect with others outside of school. 




    Buying Lunch   
    There are details in the student handbook, but lunch menus are available online at https://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/menu. Monthly menus are also sent home in backpacks. Parents can register for online payments at: https://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/Page/2534

    There is also an app available to track balances and add more funds. 

    Children can bring in a snack for themselves in addition to lunch. This is part of the K-3 school day and optional for 4th and 5th grade. Since snacks are consumed in the classroom, they must be nut free.  

    Food Allergies 
    Children with allergies can sit at a nut free table during lunch and be joined by a friend. The friend must purchase school lunch to prevent any possible contamination. 

    Due to allergy concerns, the school does not allow home baked goods in the classrooms or birthday celebration foods. All classrooms are nut free, but the lunchroom and the school itself are NOT nut free.  If you have allergy concerns, you must discuss them with the school nurse. Do not assume that the school is a nut free environment. 


    Hemenway has both school-sponsored and PTO run events throughout the school year. While this list can change from year to year, here are some of the events that have become staples at our school.

    School Pictures 
    School pictures are taken in the fall. You will receive notice prior to picture day that will include dates, order information, cost, etc. Class photos are provided for free; however, optional sibling group photos are a separate purchase. Volunteers are always needed to help with picture day as it is a fun – albeit busy – day for Hemenway students and staff.   

    5th Grade Play 
    Each year the 5th grade puts on a musical play for the enjoyment of parents and other students.  The students usually see an abridged performance during school hours. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis for the evening performances. This event typically sells out so be sure to buy tickets early if interested. 

    Winter Concert 
    The winter concert features singing and an orchestra performance by each grade during the day.  It is held in the Hemenway cafeteria and seating is limited so please pay attention to the announcements and to the time your child(ren) will perform. The performance is ongoing but pauses between grades to allow parents to enter and leave.  Please be courteous to those around you if you plan on recording your child’s performance as it gets quite crowded.  

    Staff Appreciation 
    The PTO takes time throughout the year to show appreciation to all Hemenway teachers and staff members. Tokens of appreciation may include PTO organized in-school activities and events that include food and beverage. The PTO will publicize all Staff Appreciation activities and always welcomes new ideas and parental input. 

    Book Fair
    The Scholastic book Fair will take place at least once during the year.  Students are given time to shop during the school day. Volunteers are always needed to help with the book fair with plentiful time slots available.

    Hemenway PTO Events
    As stated before, the Hemenway PTO hosts various events throughout the year. Some events serve as creative fundraisers while others are simply held to promote school spirit, build a sense of community, and engage students and families. These events can change from year to year and new ideas are always welcome. A list of upcoming events can be found on our website: http://hemenwaypto.com/events. There are many ways to help, including working at home “behind the scenes” to prepare for an event, volunteering at the event for one or two hours, or simply donating to support an event.  

    Some Past Event Descriptions . . . 

    Ultimate Tiger Challenge
    The Ultimate Tiger Challenge is one of our largest fundraisers. Students collect donations and complete an obstacle course with fellow classmates during the school day on the Hemenway field. Pledges come from family, friends, neighbors, and/or businesses to support their efforts.  Every student participates in the UTC, even if they choose not to register or get pledges. This is a favorite class building activity and schoolwide event.

    Picture Day
    Picture day takes place in the Fall (with a retake later on). While work on this event does require availability during the school day to assist teachers and students, slots are broken up into morning and afternoon shifts. Volunteers can assist in shifts or for the entire day.

    This event is held near Halloween and celebrates all things spooky and fall! Students are invited to dress up in costume, participate in fun fall-themed activities, dance to Halloween music, and participate in trunk-or-treat! There are many ways to help out at this event, so keep your eyes peeled for Spooktacular news in October.

    BINGO Night 
    Meet & play BINGO with fellow Hemenway students and families. This is a great chance to get to know children and parents from each grade level. This event is free and prizes are awarded to all!                                                           

    VIP Dance
    Students choose a VIP (Very Important Person, adult 18+) of their choice for a fun Valentine-themed party. Dress up, dance the night away, and enjoy a special evening together.  

    Around the World Fair 
    This cultural event showcases the backgrounds of students at Hemenway. Booths are set up by volunteer families to showcase foods, cultural traditions, pictures, etc. of a chosen country. Students are invited to walk “around the world” and learn about the many countries represented at Hemenway. This is an amazing event to celebrate the diversity of Hemenway families. Just look up at the flags in the cafeteria! 

    Science Night
    Science Night is a fun way for students to learn a bit more about science! Volunteers set up booths to showcase different science experiments, etc. This hands-on event is sure to amaze, entertain, and intrigue budding scientists! 

    Variety Show
    All Hemenway students are invited to share their talents in the school-wide variety show that takes place each spring. This event is run entirely by the PTO and parent volunteers and includes athletic, musical, and comedic performances by students, teachers, and parents alike! This is a rewarding volunteer opportunity and a fantastic evening to celebrate the many talents at Hemenway.

    Spring Fair
    This spring event is incredibly fun and a favorite for students and families. Hemenway is transformed into a carnival of sorts with food, games, artistic booths, and prizes. 


    Lost and Found 
    The lost and found is located in the lobby to the left of the main entrance door (outside the cafeteria). Items not claimed (after a certain period of time and with notification) are donated to goodwill.

    Winter Clothes 
    When there is snow on the ground, the students can have outdoor recess provided they have snow pants and boots and the temperature is not deemed too cold. Your child must have a winter jacket and gloves/mittens and these items can be left at the school. Without these items, the child will have indoor recess. 

    Spirit Wear 
    Who's got the spirit? Order ornaments, stickers, & magnets from Hemenway PTO using My School Anywhere. We have partnered with SQUAD Locker for Hemenway themed spirit clothing. Our online clothing store is always open! 

    Move Up Day 
    At the end of the school year, students participate in Move Up Day. On this day, students will “move up” to the next grade level and meet the teachers they will have for the following school year. This is also an opportunity for students to see their future classrooms and meet future classmates.  

    Teacher Gifts  
    The state has set a limit on the total value of gifts a teacher may accept.  At this time, the limit is $150 total combined value for the entire year. Please be aware this is a cumulative total of all gifts received.  This includes gift cards, presents, and anything else that could be considered a personal gift. If a teacher receives more than the $150, the excess funds are turned over to the PTO for use as general school funds. Parents may contribute freely to classroom gifts without limit. This would include school supplies or items for the entire class. Additional information on the gift policy can be found in the Hemenway Parent and Student Handbook. 

    Donations & “Free” Money
    While fundraising events help us raise funds for school resources and activities, the following programs also provide ways to donate to the Hemenway PTO:  

    • Box tops
    • Stop & Shop
    • Amazon Smile
    • Direct tax-deductible donations

    Details for the above-listed programs can be found here: http://hemenwaypto.com/donate-%26-free-money


    THE PTO  

    PTO stands for Parent Teacher Organization. The mission of the Hemenway PTO is to enhance and support our students’ educational experiences at Hemenway; to develop a closer connection between school and home by encouraging parent involvement; and to improve the community environment at Hemenway through volunteer & financial support. 

    All parents of Hemenway students make up the PTO. The success of the PTO is dependent on involvement and volunteerism. Parents can support the PTO in the following ways:

    • attend monthly PTO meetings – come to one or all – we’d love to see you!
    • volunteer at PTO fundraising and community building events 
    • become a board member 

    The PTO meets monthly to build community, plan events, and work together with Hemenway administration and teachers to make our school a positive, enriching, and fun environment for all Hemenway families. We encourage parents to attend meetings and love seeing new faces. The PTO is a great way to meet fellow Hemenway parents and get directly involved with your child’s school. 

    PTO Events
    The Hemenway PTO hosts many events throughout the year. Some events serve as creative fundraisers while others are simply held to promote school spirit and strengthen our school community. PTO events vary from year to year and new ideas are always welcome. A list of upcoming events can be found on our website.

    PTO Board
    The PTO is led by volunteer board members including a president, vice-president(s), treasurer, and secretary. All roles are two-year commitments. Anyone can volunteer to be a board member.

    PTO Website: http://www.hemenwaypto.com/