In an effort to balance our obligation to hold public meetings with the equally imperative duty to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19, the School Committee has implemented new Public Comment procedures with guidance from the Health and Human Services Department. Normally, the month of March is a busy time during which the Committee reviews, vigorously examines and welcomes numerous Public Comments regarding next year’s budget. Given yesterday’s decision to close schools, the risk of community spread posed by COVID-19 and the need to protect our most vulnerable residents, we simply cannot observe the normal process.
We hope that you understand and assist us to mitigate the risk as we refrain from large gatherings and maintain social distancing. This is not possible in the Ed Center’s School Committee chamber, which is small and easily overcrowded. Therefore, we urge members of the public not to attend in person and instead opt to watch the live broadcast on NewTV. For meetings with scheduled Public Comment, we ask members of the public to submit written Public Comment by 6:00 PM. Questions will be collated and read aloud during the Committee’s live broadcast at 7:00 PM on NewTV. Each Public Comment is limited to three minutes and must include your name and address. Please submit Public Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Monday, March 16 at 7:00 PM, Special SC Meeting FY21 Budget. The Committee will review changes to the budget affecting Elementary and Secondary education. No Public Comment Scheduled.
- Thursday, March 19 at 7:00 PM, Special SC Meeting. Public Comment Observed, up to 45 minutes. Submit written comments to the SC via email.
- Monday, March 23 at 7:00 PM, SC Meeting. Public Comment Observed, up to 30 minutes. Submit written comments to the School Committee via email.
- Monday, March 30 at 7:00 PM, SC Public Hearing FY21 Budget. Public Comment Observed, No Time Limit. Submit written comments to the School Committee via email.
We hope you found this guide useful. You can access all SC meeting documents via the NPS website (www.newton.k12.ma.us/schoolcommittee). Additionally, we offer “Virtual Office Hours” once a month using Facebook Live to provide the community with an opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts with members of the School Committee. Videos of past “Virtual Office Hours” are archived on the district Facebook page.
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