Tips for Parents

Dover-Sherborn High School: Guidance Tips for Parents                                                 

A major component of Dover-Sherborn's High School philosophy is helping adolescents achieve independence and maturity. Parents are urged to encourage and to guide their children in the process of problem solving and decision-making around personal, social and academic issues. The classroom teacher is the primary resource for providing academic help and direction. High school students are encouraged to approach their teachers for such support. The school counselor is also an important resource in helping students deal with personal and social adjustment issues. We suggest that parents encourage their sons/daughters to first seek out appropriate supports within the school before contacting the school for a conference.

When and how should parents set up a conference?

You may discuss your son's/daughter's progress in a particular course by scheduling a meeting with an individual teacher. The most efficient means to connect with a teacher is by emailing the teacher directly. Address your email to: last name, first ( You may also wish to call or email your child's school counselor to discuss general concerns or if your child is having difficulties in more than one subject area.

When and whom to telephone?

  • Email/call your child's counselor as soon as possible if something particularly upsetting has occurred that the teachers should know, i.e., a death or serious illness.

  • Email/call the classroom teacher if you have questions or concerns regarding a specific course.

  • Email/call the counselor if you don't know exactly what's happening, but have some concerns that something might be wrong.

  • Email/call the school nurse for any medical issue.

How can parents decide if a conference is necessary?

Contact the counselor and ask for a conference if:

  • There seems to be a drastic change in grades or in attitude about school.

  • There seem to be frequent disciplinary problems in school or at home.

  • When contacts with individual teachers are not enough.

What is considered bullying and how does my child report an incident?

Bullying, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: 

  • causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property; 

  • places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself or of damage to his or her property;

  • creates a hostile environment at school for the target; 

  • infringes on the rights of the target at school; or 

  • materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.


Cyber bullying, is bullying through the use of technology or electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, and the Internet. It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messages, text messages, and Internet postings. See M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O for the legal definition of cyber bullying.

There are a variety of reporting resources available to the school community and to students to report bullying incidents. Students can speak with a school counselor, a teacher or staff member, or an administrator. Incident Report Forms are available on the school’s website at:

When should you ask to confer with the Principal?

Ask for a conference with the Principal when:

  • You need policy clarification.

  •  If your conferences or discussions at any other level have been less than satisfying.

Where do we get current information about what is going on at the high school?

  • A weekly informational email is sent from the high school to the email account that you list with the school. 

  • Check the “daily announcements” on the school’s website.

  • A High School Open House is held at the beginning of each school year and is an excellent opportunity for parents to visit classes and meet teachers

How does the high school telephone system work?

  • Call the main office number (785-1730) and if you know your party's extension, dial to connect to voice mail. There is a list of phone numbers and extensions in the Student-Parent Telephone Directory and on the DSHS website.

How does a student/parent arrange dismissal?

  • Parent/guardian must submit a signed and dated note request and the parent must meet the student at the front office prior to the dismissal.

  • Please refer to Student-Parent Handbook for details.

What if a student is absent or tardy?

  • Call the Health Office at 785-1730, ext. 8621 before 8:30 a.m. and state reason. Please follow up the absence with a note.

  • See Student-Parent Handbook for details.

  • Mrs. Janet Chandler is our school nurse.

Where do parents go for questions related to athletics?

  • Contact the Athletic Department’s Assistant, Ms. Connelly, at 785-1730, ext. 8636.
  • DSHS School Website

What are the parent organizations?

  • The organizations include the HS Parents’ Organization - PTO, Guidance Advisory Council,  Boosters Organization (sports),  Friends of the Performing Arts (FOPA) and Substance Prevention and Awareness Network (SPAN).

Who are the guidance counselors? When and how are 9th graders assigned guidance counselors?

  • The guidance counselors are Beth Hecker, Rob Williamson, Carol Spezzano and Timothy O'Mara. Students are assigned by alphabetical division. Parents/guardians may call or email the child's counselor anytime to seek information or express concerns.     

What if parents/guardians have a question about their child's progress in a particular class?

  • Always contact the specific teacher.

  • Any general concerns, contact the guidance office.

How much homework is expected of 9th grade students?

  • Homework will vary according to level and course, but the faculty has agreed to the following as a standard: students should expect, on average, to spend 30-45 minutes each night doing homework for each CP or Honors level class, and 45-60 minutes for each AP class.

  • Generally speaking, freshmen may anticipate at least 2 - 3 hours per night, excluding long term projects and papers.

  • Homework will not count for more than twenty (20) percent of a term grade.

What is extra help?

  • Teachers are generally available to the students between 2:40 p.m. and 3:10 p.m.

  • Students are to check with their teachers as to which days the teacher is available.

  • There is a late bus for students who remain after school, Monday through Thursday.

Can backpacks be carried in the high school?

  • Yes. Please advise your children to either keep their backpack with them or to lock it in their locker. A student locker is available to each student. If your child would like a locker, please have him/her make a request at the front office.
  • Any valuables (money, etc.) should be left at the front office or at home

The Dover Sherborn Public Schools do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex/gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.

  • Dover-Sherborn High School
  • 9 Junction Street, Dover, MA 02030
  • Phone (508) 785-1730
  • Fax (508) 785-8141
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