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School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 6/10/2019 Newton School Committee meeting:

Superintendent Update:

  • Both NNHS and NSHS hosted successful graduation ceremonies. Good luck to the Class of 2019!

Agenda Items:

  • Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, and Josh Morse, Newton’s Public Buildings Commissioner. presented a facilities update focused on the Newton Early Childhood Program building. Initial cost estimates are over budget so they are exploring options to reduce costs. One key cost is the two classrooms planned to be constructed by infilling the gym. An exterior addition will now be considered. It was noted that none of these changes will affect the plan to have air conditioning, a separate van drop-off loop, and an appropriate playground.
  • Toby Romer, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, presented a School Start Time, Schedule and Transportation Update. Three options were presented for possible shifts to the start time with a goal set of implementing a new start time by Fall of 2020. Steps to get there include community input and negotiating a successful contract with the NTA. The start time presentationoutlines the three options. For a deeper dive, please see the full transportation report.
  • Newton Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) co-chairs Christine Carey and Rajeev Parlikar, presented an End of Year Report.  They also referenced a more detailed report which covered broad  themes, success and areas of improvement.
  • The NPS administrative team gathered to share several year-end reports including Superintendent’s Goals and Systemwide Goals. The School Committee will discuss these in greater detail at the next scheduled meeting.

Consent Agenda

  • The School Committee voted unanimously to re-elect Diana Fisher Gomberg as the EDCO Board Member.
  • The School Committee voted unanimously to approve several grants.
  • The School Committee voted unanimously to approve the 5/13/2019 minutes.

Next Meeting

On Monday June 17 at 7:00pm, we will hear a Fiscal and Operational Update, a Facilities Update, an Equity Committee Update and an Equity Working Group Update. We will also be discussing the Superintendent’s Assessment.

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 Facebook 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

School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 4/24/2019 Newton School Committee meeting:

Superintendent Update:

  • Recently, students from Day Middle School had the chance to speak with U.S. Senator Martha McSally from Arizona.
  • Last Friday, students from NNHS had the chance to hear from U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy.
  • Last Tuesday, Newton hosted a state board meeting for the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE.)
  • Announcement that Newton North senior Maya Matthews has been serving as the student representative to the DESE Board. Additionally, former School Committee member Matt Hills was recently appointed to the DESE Board.

New Business

  • Members of the Newton Youth Commission reviewed data from a year-long endeavor to study student stress: Youth Commission Presentation.
  • Members of the STSG presented information on policy work and new initiatives to improve transportation: School Transportation Steering Group Update
  • The Food Service Evaluation team provided an update on the vendor selection process. Within the updated Food Service Contract it was announced that Whitsons Culinary Group has been recommended as the new vendor for NPS. The School Committee will vote on the recommendation at our next meeting (May 13.)
  • A new Recycling Policy was introduced and discussed.

Old Business

  • CFO Liam Hurley and Director of Business and Planning, Julie Kirrane, presented the FY19 Fiscal and Operational Update, as well as an Updated Facilities Report, which included several summer projects.
  • The Equity Working Group provided an Initial Update about outreach and work towards the idea of a centralized fund for certain Parent Teacher Organization funds.

Consent Agenda

Next Meeting

On Monday, May 13 at 7:00pm, we will review Long and Short Term Space Needs, summer maintenance projects, and Capital Improvement Projects for 2019-2020.  We will also get an update on the Arts program and plans for Full Day Kindergarten, as well as vote on the Food Services Contract.

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 3/25/2019 Newton School Committee meeting:

Superintendent Update: Khita Pottinger-Johnson was introduced as Newton Public School’s new Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education. She most recently served as the executive director for social emotional learning instruction and support services for the Boston Public Schools, and previously served as a principal. She will begin with NPS on July 1, 2019.

New Business

Consent Agenda

Old Business

Next Meeting

On Monday, April 8 at 7:00pm, we will discuss and vote on the FY20 Budget Proposal. In addition to the budget proposal, School Committee will also vote on the equity guidelines revisions, the last day of school, approved field trips, and minutes. We will also receive an update on high school start time, transportation planning, and EDCO.

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.

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

Letter from School Committee regarding Equity Policy and Guidelines Information


Dear Elementary School Families:

Recently, several questions and concerns have been raised about the revised equity policy and guidelines scheduled for implementation in July 2019. The School Committee would like to clarify the purpose of the policy and guidelines, review the process by which the revised policy was determined, and identify the opportunities for public feedback in the coming weeks.

Equity is a core value of the Newton Public Schools. The School Committee is steadfast in our commitment to elementary students receiving a similar educational experience no matter which school they attend and despite any demographic differences among our school communities. In 1988 when it became clear that a large and increasing disparity in PTO fundraising and provisioning of schools threatened the level playing field, the School Committee instituted equity guidelines and limitations. Continue reading

SC Special Update – Budget Hearings

Dear Friends,

This update is a special edition that covers the upcoming meetings regarding the proposed 2019-20 NPS Budget.

March 13, 2019 (Completed) – Superintendent’s Budget Presentation (Not a School Committee Meeting)

March 18, 2019 @ 7PM – (Special School Committee Meeting – No Public Comment)

  • Budget Review: Instructional Areas: Elementary and Secondary, Teaching and Learning

March 21, 2019 @7PM – (Special School Committee Meeting – No Public Comment)

  • Budget Review: Non-Instructional Areas, Student Services and Special Education

March 25, 2019 @7PM – Regular School Committee Meeting

  • Public Comment
  • Discussion: 2019 – 2020 School Budget
  • Race and Achievement Update
  • Straw Vote: 2019 – 2020 School Budget
  • Equity Committee Update
  • Possible Vote: Bus Loop @225 Nevada Street
  • Vote: Crowd Funding Policy

April 1, 2019 @6:30pm Public Hearing on 2019 – 2020 School Budget

April 1, 2019 @7pm Regular School Committee Meeting

  • Discussion and Vote on 2019 – 2020 School Budget

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.

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