Category Archives: From Newton Public Schools

News from Newton Public Schools

School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

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

Special Meeting – SC Members OML Training

  • School Committee Training conducted by members of the City of Newton Law Department on the Open Meeting Law.

Superintendent Update

  • We have reached the halfway point of the school year.
  • NPS students shined at the annual MLK Day Celebration.
  • The Governor just unveiled the state’s budget, which includes 355 million dollars for education.  The newly implemented Student Opportunity Act resulted in approximately 85% of those funds going to 35% of the districts.  State aid to NPS was $787,000.
  • Mayor Fuller pointed out that Newton received less than our anticipated state aid (an approximately $400,000 differential) and that the City of Newton was absorbing the difference.
  • The Massachusetts Senate and House still need to deliberate so there is a chance these numbers will change.

Discussions/Updates

  • Enrollment Planning and Class Size Report:  Presented by Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent/ Chief Financial & Administrative Officer and Katy Hogue, District Student Data Manager.
    • The purpose of this report is to:
      • Support enrollment planning for the upcoming school year.
      • Highlight capacity concerns & opportunities in next 5 years.
      • Guide use of resources in budget process.
      • Guide long-range planning
    • Highlights of the presentation included:
    • Elementary School:
      • Average class size down.
      • Percent of classes with 25 or more students is down (2%).
      • 5-year enrollment projections to decrease by 277 students.
    • Middle School:
      • Large grade cohorts arrive and move on to high school in next 5 years.
        • Projected # of teams increase next year, remain stable and then decrease in FY24 and FY25.
    • High School:
      • Both schools projected over 2,100 students over the next 5 years.
      • Enrollment to stay elevated until larger cohorts start graduating in 2026-27.
  • Literature and Diversity Update: Presented by Mary Eich, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning, Brian Baron, Newton South High School English Department Head, Melissa Dilworth, Newton North High School English Department Head, Eileen Keane, Library Media Coordinator K-12, Deana Lew, Elementary Literacy Coordinator, Joelle Pedersen, Middle School Literacy Coordinator.
    • Goals:
      • Students will have reading experiences that reflect multiple identities and life experiences.
      • Students will read texts that are written by authors of diverse backgrounds and life experiences.
      • Students will have the skills to analyze and critique traditional (canonical) literature from multiple perspectives.
    • Elementary: Work being done to retrofit and upgrade classroom libraries and bookrooms.
    • Middle: Gaps exist in the curriculum related to Asian American experience, Latinx experience, immigration, neurodiversity, LGBTQIA issues, Black experience treated from a largely historical perspective, and a major gap in linguistic diversity.
    • High School: Work being done to add titles that counter dominant narratives, increase financial support for professional development, enhance culturally responsive teaching and recruit diverse teaching staff.

Consent Agenda

Next Meeting
On Wednesday, February 10th at 7:00PM the School Committee will meet in regular session.  We will receive an update on district-wide goals and discuss the 1:1 Chromebook Initiative.

We hope you found this summary useful. You can access all School Committee meeting documents via the NPS website (www.newton.k12.ma.us/schoolcommittee). Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via www.newtv.org.  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.

Sincerely,
The Newton School Committee

News from the Superintendent

In recent weeks, there have been many articles in the media about the passion and commitment that young people bring to the issue of sustainability. Here in the Newton Public Schools, many of our students are at the forefront of this issue, as evidenced by their powerful speeches to our School Committee last week.

While we have had excellent high school elective courses for many years, sustainability concepts are now integrated into core science courses at all levels. When I met with 6th and 8th grade students last spring to discuss their Global Goals and Generation Citizen projects, I was struck by how knowledgeable they were about the science behind the environmental challenges we face. Just last week at an all school assembly, 5th grade students at Angier educated their peers on sustainable practices both at school and at home.

I look forward to strengthening our own sustainable practices as a district while continuing to

Continue reading

2020-2021 NPS calendar

Click to view the 2020-21 Calendar NPS approved by School Committee 12/4/2019.

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

Discussions/Updates
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 (www.newton.k12.ma.us/schoolcommittee). Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via www.newtv.org. 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.

Sincerely,
The Newton School Committee

School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 12/4/2019 Newton School Committee meeting:

Presentation of gift from the Newton Chinese Language School:

  • Members of the Board of Directors from the Newton Chinese Language School presented the School Committee with two decorative vases in celebration and appreciation of their 60th anniversary.  The school has been operating at F.A. Day Middle School on Sundays for 60 years!

Superintendent’s Report

  • Note to parents that weather-related announcements are posted on the NPS site and social media at 5AM prior to any 6AM phone calls.

  • Principal searches are being conducted at Angier, Brown and Underwood.  Dr. Fleishman noted his appreciation for two long-time NPS veterans, John Jordan, Principal of Brown Middle School (31 years) and Loretta Lamberti, Principal of Angier Elementary School (32 years).

Discussions/Updates

  • High School Principals’ Update: Principals Henry Turner (NNHS) and Joel Stembridge (NSHS), joined by Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, Toby Romer, presented a summary of ongoing and new initiatives at our high schools.  They reviewed the mission statements and how they reflect the districtwide goals of academic excellence, educational equity and social and emotional wellness.

  • Highlights of the presentation included:

    • Civic Engagement

    • Technology Integration

    • Multi-Level Courses

    • Ongoing Professional Development.

Consent Agenda

Next Meeting

On Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00PM the School Committee will meet in regular session.  We will receive an update on MCAS, review the Enrollment Analysis Report, and give recognition to our two retiring School Committee members, Diana Fisher Gomberg and Steve Siegel.

We hope you found this summary useful. You can access all School Committee meeting documents via the NPS website (www.newton.k12.ma.us/schoolcommittee). Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via www.newtv.org. 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.

Sincerely,

The Newton School Committee