March 11, 2020
Dear NPS Community,
In an effort to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all evening and community events in our facilities effective immediately and until further notice. All field trips will also be cancelled immediately. We have made this decision in consultation with the Newton Department of Health and Human Services. This decision is consistent with the state’s latest guidance for meetings and events which was announced yesterday. The City of Newton is also cancelling large public gatherings and many programs.
I know our decision to restrict access to our facilities will raise lots of questions. Here are some examples of events that will be cancelled beginning tonight:
- Community events and meetings
- Student performances
- PTO meetings and other parent events
- Adult education classes
- Use of buildings by non-school groups
We will continue to offer before school and after school care at our elementary schools, as well as after school programs and classes run by Newton Community Education. After school activities at the secondary level will continue including athletics, rehearsals, and clubs, although we will not have outside spectators at indoor events. The Newton School Committee meetings will take place as scheduled.
In addition, the use of school buildings by non-school groups will be discontinued until further notice. We know this has a real impact on our residents and community organizations who provide valuable programs and activities.
We are fully aware that these decisions have significant ramifications and are difficult for our students, staff, families and community members. The cancellation of many meaningful activities will be a great disappointment to those who have worked very hard. However, we believe these steps are necessary given the guidance from the state and the current status of the COVID-19 situation. We want to do our part to limit the spread of the virus and to reduce the risk of infection for our community.
I recognize that the information in this message will raise a lot of questions regarding specific events and activities. We are in the process of developing an FAQ which should answer many of your questions.
Thank you for your understanding and support during this rapidly changing and unsettling time.
Superintendent of Schools