Here are some of the most common questions from parents of Winthrop Wildcats, and our replies!

Have a question you don’t see answered here? Send us an email, we’ll be glad to help.

What are the school hours?

  • The First St and Modular doors open at 7:58am (7:53am on inclement weather days). Students are expected to be in the building and settling into their classrooms by 8:03am.
  • Dismissal is at 2:20pm, from the First St or Modular doors.
  • When we have an Early Release Wednesday, dismissal is at 12:20pm.
  • When we have a Half Day (typically the Friday prior to a weeklong vacation), dismissal is at 12:00pm noon.

What if we are running late in the morning?

If your student is running late in the morning, have them enter via the First St doors (they will need to ring the doorbell to the right of the door for it to unlock). They should check in at the Main Office and then go directly to their classroom.

In the case of a traffic backup on Ashcroft/First Street in the morning, don’t panic – the school administration is understanding and will leave the First St door staffed so that students can enter calmly and safely as they arrive.

Where does my child enter in the morning and come out in the afternoon?

In a nutshell: Grades K, 1 and 5 enter/exit via the Modular Doors (off the paved area of the playground). Grades 2, 3, and 4 enter/exit via the First Street Entrance. (On the first two days of school, Grade 5 will enter/exit via the First St doors so the K students will have a little more room.)

Here is a list of homerooms and their general locations. Teachers will be in the hallways, ready to help everyone find their classrooms on the first few days!

The Winthrop Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures outline more details of morning arrival and afternoon dismissal, including:

  • Where can I park to walk my student to/from the entrance?
  • What door will my student be going into, and coming out from?
  • How does the Drop-Off Zone work in the morning?
  • Can my child bicycle to school?

Can my child come early to school, before 7:58am?

Yes – we have an Early Bird drop-off program, run by Education Stations staff, from 7:00am to 8:00am. Students using Early Bird should arrive at the First Street doors. This program begins on the second day of school (8/31/23), is not available on any delayed-start school days, and is $8.50/per day (billed monthly; this fee is pending School Committee approval). If you sign up, it is expected that you will use the program every day of the school year – this is not an as-needed service. More information about Early Bird is located here.

Will my child have a morning snack?

Each day, your child should bring a snack. As snack may be consumed in the classroom, it must be nut-free. You may be asked by Nurse Zagarella to exclude other ingredients to protect classmates with allergies. Younger students often spend snack time accompanied by outdoor movement on the playground; older students may eat while working in the classroom.

How do lunch and recess work?

  • The recess and lunch schedule can be found here.
  • Each grade has a 20-minute recess on the playground, immediately before lunch.
  • After recess, students go into the All-Purpose Room (APR), and sit at their class’ table(s) to eat.
  • The lunch period is also 20 minutes long.
  • Lunch is allergy-aware, which means that students may bring food containing allergens in their lunches. There is an allergy-aware table where students with allergies may sit, away from allergens.

How does my child pay for lunch?

School lunch is free this year! If your child wishes to purchase milk alone, or any à la carte extras (like an extra slice of pizza), they may pay using MySchoolBucks.

Where is the school lunch menu? What are the ingredients?

You can find the school lunch menu on Nutrislice. When you click on each item, it should bring up a list of ingredients. If you have any questions you can contact Ken Dolce, or if it’s an allergen concern, Nurse Zagarella.

What if I can’t make it to pick up?

Everyone runs late every once in a while! If you are unexpectedly late for pickup of your child in Grades K-2, the teacher will bring the student to the Main Office to wait for your arrival. For children in Grades 3-5, we recommend you make a plan for where your child should wait for you, should you be late.

If you would like for your K-2 child to be dismissed to a different adult (grandparent, babysitter, another parent for a playdate), send a note in that morning to your child’s teacher to let them know.

I’m new to the afterschool program, Education Stations. Can I get more information about how it works?

Here is the Education Stations Welcome letter for this year, which has general information about the program.

When you pick up from EdS at the Winthrop, you will go to the Ashcroft Street doors. There is a doorbell to the far right of the doors that you ring, and an Educations Stations staff member will meet you and bring your child to you.

What do I do if my child is sick?

Call the Absentee Line, 781-979-2282 or the Main School number, 781-979-2280, Option 1 to leave a message as directed. You’ll need to do this each day that your child is absent from school. If you forget, you will get an automated message (to the primary contact phone number in Aspen) to remind you to report their absence.

What do I do if I need to dismiss my child early?

If you know ahead of time about the dismissal, you can send a note in with your child and/or email their teacher.

For all dismissals, preplanned or emergency, ring the bell to the right of the First St doors and go to the Main Office. The Main Office staff (typically Ms. Johns) will call your child’s classroom to have them come down to meet you.

What is Aspen and what do I use it for?

Aspen is the online portal for Students and Families to access their student records. You can log in here. At the elementary level, Aspen is used only a few times a year:

  • Communicating classroom/teacher assignments in late summer
  • Updating MPS Communication preferences (parent contact information, media release permissions, ConnectEd notification preferences) and acknowledging receipt of policies outlined in the Student Handbook, Social Media and Acceptable Use documents.
  • Downloading student report cards as they are released

Here’s a video that will help you to navigate Aspen for these tasks.

Questions regarding Aspen should be emailed to

There’s a health form I need to fill out?

Each year, you need to fill out the Student Health and Emergency Information Sheet, and return it to Nurse Zagarella via your student’s backpack.

How can I help out in my child’s classroom? Can my child’s grandparents help too?

Yes, any community member is welcome to volunteer in the school! All volunteers are recruited, screened, trained and placed through The Bridge.

The PTO works with parents who volunteer as Room Representatives for each classroom, as well as organizing volunteers in conjunction with The Bridge for in-school events. You can volunteer for class-specific activities (library, mystery reader, classroom help) via your child’s Room Representative, or for school-wide events by filling out our Communications Form in the beginning of the school year.

My child lost something. Where can we look for it?

There is a Lost & Found area in the Main Office, below the black mailboxes. Periodically these items are sorted and donated (with advance notification to the school community through social media and email). Please come in and take a look if you think your child lost a garment, water bottle, or other item!

My child wants to learn to play an instrument. How do instrument lessons work at the elementary level?

Weekly instrument lessons are offered to students in Grades 3-5. There are lesson fees (2022-2023 fees were $229) and instrument rental fees (varying dependent upon the instrument. Scholarships are available. Lessons will begin in mid-September.

Students leave their regular classrooms during the school day to participate in lessons, and are expected to make up the classroom work.

New and returning students will receive information on registration for 2023-2024, and for more information about scheduling and refunds if the chosen instrument just isn’t right for your child right now.

How do we find out if school is closed or delayed due to snow or ice?

The District’s inclement weather policy can be found on pages 12-13 of the Elementary Handbook.