School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 1/13/2020 Newton School Committee meeting:

Special Meeting – SC Training

Newton Schools Foundation Update and Vote

PTO Equity Committee:  Presented by School Committee member Kathy Shields and several representatives from the Equity Committee.

  • Highlights of the presentation included:
    • Fiscal Year 2020 is the first fiscal year in which PTOs must comply with the new equity guidelines.
    • The Equity Committee will continue to examine how schools with smaller student populations are affected by the cost of Creative Arts and Sciences.

Sustainability Update: Presented by Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent/ Chief Financial & Administrative Officer

  • Highlights of the presentation included:
    • 2019 Goals met: School Sustainability Working Group formed and meeting monthly since June 2019, System-Wide Goals approved, sustainability page published on NPS website.
    • 2020 Goals include: Promote recycling and waste management, reduce single-use plastics, food waste reduction, promote sustainable transportation, support sustainable sourcing of energy and participating in a culture shift towards a more sustainable Newton community.

Transportation Update: Presented by Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent/ Chief Financial & Administrative Officer

  • Recommendations included:
    • Enter into a Merchant Agreement with MySchoolBucks for an integrated online registration and fee payment system.
    • Adjust the timeline of the bus application process and develop a tiered bus fee structure to encourage early registration.

Buffer Zone Update: Presented by Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent/Chief Financial & Administrative Officer and Katy Hogue, District School Data Manager

  • Recommendations included:
    • Angier:  Utilize existing Angier buffer zones with Williams and Zervas with the intention of maintaining 3 kindergarten classes.
    • Zervas:  Utilize buffer zone with Mason Rice in order to maintain 4 Zervas kindergarten sections through elementary school.
    • Peirce:  Utilize Cabot Buffer Zone to maintain 2 kindergarten sections.
    • Bigelow: Utilize Buffer Zone with Day Middle School to maintain 2 teams per grade.

Consent Agenda
The School Committee voted unanimously to approve Tamika Olszewski as EDCO RepresentativeHorace Mann PTO 1-day liquor license12-16-2019 minutesFY20 Grants and Steve Siegel as DRC appointee

Next Meeting
On Wednesday, January 27th at 7:00PM the School Committee will meet in regular session. We will discuss the Enrollment Planning and Class Size Report.

We hope you found this summary useful. You can access all School Committee meeting documents via the NPS website ( Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via On the district Facebook page, you can find videos of past “Virtual Office Hours,” which are held once a month and provide the community with the opportunity to ask questions through the FB Live format.

As always, we are very happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us via the email address below.

The Newton School Committee