The latest announcements from the PTO Council and NPS...
Wishing all of you and your families a happy and safe holiday season.
As reported in the minutes of the School Committee’s October 28th meeting,
Claire Sokoloff appointed Diana Fisher Gomberg , Angela Pitter-Wright and Margie
Ross Decter to the FY15 Budget Guidelines Subcommittee.
School Committee budget discussions are scheduled to be held for the next several meetings. Please open this calendar and scroll down for the dates of meetings highlighted as pertaining to the FY15 Budget.
October 25, 2013
Dear Newton Community,
The past few weeks have been among the most difficult that the Newton Public Schools have experienced in a very long time. Karen Douglas and Katie Stack were terrific young women who were deeply connected to so many students and adults in our system. Their tragic deaths have had a significant impact on many people in our community. The horrific murder of two educators this week, including a dynamic young teacher in Danvers, only exacerbates a very tense time.
While it is hard not to be shaken by our recent events, I have seen courage, compassion and care by members of our community that are truly remarkable. At Monday night’s meeting at Newton South, Karen’s mother spoke powerfully about the importance of doing everything possible to support students with depression and other mental health issues. She expressed heartfelt gratitude to everyone in the Newton Public Schools who did so much to support her daughter during very difficult times.
During the last few weeks, I have observed faculty and staff at both high schools and Springboard, clearly emotional themselves, comforting students visibly shaken by the recent deaths. I also saw many individuals at North and South reaching out immediately after both tragedies to the students and families who are most vulnerable. Last week, I noticed administrators, counselors and psychologists from our other middle schools descend upon Oak Hill to address the needs of both students who knew Katie through her brother (a 7th grader at Oak Hill) and faculty members who worked directly with her.
We continue to rely on the expertise of those in the mental health and suicide prevention field. In the last three weeks, the high schools have focused on vulnerable students and reaching out to families when necessary. By next week, both schools will share plans on how we will provide opportunities to have students join in the conversation about mental health issues, including depression and suicide prevention.
In the coming weeks, we will be examining what we can do as a district to ensure that our strategies to support students with depression and other mental health issues are as effective as possible. It is a privilege to work in a city that has a wealth of resources and expertise to address the needs of our students and staff and I expect we will call on these resources in the coming weeks.
Finally, I want to express my appreciation for the outpouring of good will that our system has received during a very trying time. It gives me great hope that together, we will provide the support, care and kindness necessary to move forward.
Superintendent of Schools
The Newton school community is hosting a forum at 7:00 pm, Monday, October 21st, in the Newton South High School Auditorium in the wake of two recent teen suicides in Newton. The Riverside Trauma Center has been a terrific resource for us during difficult times. Dr. Larry Berkowitz and Joanna Bridger will share important information about how to talk with your child/children about a sudden death and how to support your child/children and yourself following tragic events. The Mayor and other city and school leaders will join David Fleishman, parents, and other care givers at this forum.
As Election Day draws near, we are pleased to pass on links to a few taped debates between the candidates. If you missed them live or just want to see them again, click the links here:
Ward Two Ward Alderman Debate
Ward Five Alderman At Large Debate
Ward One Ward Alderman Debate
School Committee Ward Two Debate