Update from the School Committee

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 3/16/2020 and 3/19/2020 Newton School Committee meetings.  We have combined these two meetings into one newsletter as they were both regarding the proposed 2020-2021 Annual Budget.


  • Our projected enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is 12,596 students, a projected decline of 15 students.
  • The FY21 Superintendent’s Proposed Budget is $244,645,343, and includes an $8.3 million increase.
  • The proposed budget aligns with the current goals including Academic Excellence, Educational Equity, Social and Emotional Wellbeing, School Facilities, Technology Infrastructure, Transportation, Diversity of Faculty, Staff and Leadership and Community Goals.

Instructional Areas:

  • Elementary Education:
    • A reduction of 7.0 FTEs in elementary classroom teachers.
    • A reduction of 1.7 FTEs in specialist teachers in proportion to the adjustment in enrollment.
  • Middle School Education:
    • Multi-team teachers are increased at Day by 0.5 FTE, 1.25 FTEs at Brown, and 1.22 FTEs at Oak Hill.
    • Reduction of 1.2 FTEs in middle school literacy.
    • Reduction of 1.4 FTEs in middle school special education teachers.
  • High School Education:
    • The projected enrollment for FY21 is two students less than projected enrollment for FY20 and therefore matches current general education staffing levels.
    • Starting in FY22, high school enrollment is projected to grow each year through FY25.
  • Teaching and Learning:
    • Review current curriculum materials and instructional strategies to ensure cultural responsiveness.
    • Continue the process of revising curriculum in History, Science and Tech/Engineering, Digital Literacy and Computer Science, and the arts.
    • Continue implementation of Illustrative Mathematics.
    • Continue to support system-wide professional development for administrators on factors that contribute to narrowing achievement/opportunity gap.
    • Begin the implementation of new elementary reading programs.
    • Continue core training in the Responsive Classroom approach.
    • Continue the focus on interdisciplinary literacy in middle schools through diagnostic assessment and intervention, and use of common language.
    • Expand our analysis and use of data using the power of Google Data Studio.
  • English Language Learning:
    • A 0.5 FTE English Language Learning teacher position is decreased in the operating budget due to continued decreases in ELL enrollment.
  • Information Technology and Library Media Services:
    • Continue funding for critical major capital technology and equipment including replacing aged network equipment, servers and switches, and improvements to our cybersecurity and recovery capacity.
    • Continue funding for conversion of our telephone systems to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
    • Continue funding for the High School One Student: One Device initiative.
    • Elimination of stipends added in FY20.
    • Reduction of 0.4 FTE from Instructional Technology Specialist staffing and 0.4 FTE from Assistant Technology Coordinator staffing.
  • Student Services (including Special Education):
    • Shift of 1.0 FTE special education teacher from the Lincoln-Eliot and Franklin Elementary Schools to Angier and Peirce Elementary.
    • Shift of 1.0 special education teacher from FA Day to Oak Hill Middle School.
    • Reduction of 1.4 FTEs elementary psychologist staffing.
    • Reduction of 1.4 FTEs middle school special education teachers.
    • Reduction in high school special education staffing (TBD) due to a decrease in the number of IEPs.
    • Increase of 0.5 FTE Social and Emotional staffing to the end of grant funding.
  • Out-of-District Tuition:
    • Increase of $280,810 due to a projected rate increase of 3% for day and residential placements.
    • Increase of $350,000 due to a reduction in Circuit Breaker carry forward funds for FY21.
    • Decrease of $345,367 due to a projected increase in State Circuit Breaker funding for FY21.
  • Per Pupil Allocation:
    • The FY21 budget for per pupil allocation is $1,275,019 and is level-funded for all schools.

Non-Instructional Areas

  • Facilities: 96K added for maintenance.
  • Sustainability: New position created for Director of Planning and Sustainability.
  • Food Service: Overall participation up 2% across district.

Consent Agenda

Next Meeting
On Monday, March 23th at 7:00PM the School Committee will have a VIRTUAL School Committee meeting.

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.

The Newton School Committee