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.


  • 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 ( 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