NPS District News
September 15, 2021
Message from the Superintendent
Dear NPS Families,
As I was enjoying a run on a glorious day last weekend, I ran into a Newton South teacher whom I know well. In the course of our conversation, he shared with me that the start of this school year has been the most positive he has experienced in his 28 years of teaching. He went on to say that he has never appreciated being in person more with his students and colleagues and was so excited about the year.
As I visited several other schools over the course of the week, I have seen students that are thrilled to be back in the building and adults who cherish working with them. I observed our teachers building strong connections with their classes in order to ensure that students are prepared to engage in meaningful learning throughout the year.
While we deeply appreciate this opportunity to be back together in our classrooms, I know that this moment comes with some uncertainty. The pandemic is still with us and continues to impact learning. I know that other districts have already experienced quarantines and my own son’s college is entirely remote due to a COVID outbreak.
As a result, it is so important that we continue to uphold our safety pillars and adhere to the mitigation strategies recommended by our Medical Advisory Group .As you may know, Newton was one of the first districts in the state to mandate vaccinations for all employees. In addition, we are set to launch one of the largest and most comprehensive testing programs of any district in the state.
We rely on your partnership to keep our school communities healthy and our school buildings open this school year. Please ensure students who are eligible are vaccinated and please opt into our testing program. Together we can protect the health of our school communities.
I hope your year is off to a terrific start.
Superintendent of Schools
COVID Testing Update
One of the many layers of safety we have put in place in schools this year is COVID testing. We ask you and your family to strongly consider opting into the testing program.
In addition to helping to keep our school community healthy, one of the most important reasons to opt into testing is so that your student can stay in school, EVEN IF they are identified as a close contact. This new program is called Test and Stay. Test and Stay means unvaccinated asymptomatic close contacts exposed at school can participate in a COVID rapid test to stay in school rather than quarantining. Here are more details on this option:
The Test and Stay rapid test is conducted for at least five days following exposure at school.
As long as the test remains negative and the student has no symptoms, the student stays in school and avoids quarantine.
With no remote learning options this year, this Test and Stay program is even more critical to helping us keep students in school learning.
You ARE REQUIRED to provide consent for your student to be tested. Please log into Aspen to sign the consent form. Here is the Aspen Login Link. Please follow these instructions for accessing and signing the consent form.
We are still working to finalize the date for testing implementation with the state contractor, CIC Health. In the meantime, we strongly encourage you to opt in so you are ready to test when the programs launch.
COVID Communication Protocols
Many families have asked how and when they will be notified of COVID infection in schools. Please review the document linked below for information on our communications process for COVID notification: Communications Protocol for COVID Notification
As you may have read in the media, the region is experiencing an extreme shortage of bus drivers. The driver shortage is impacting our yellow bus trips, van transportation and athletic transportation and we expect the situation to continue into the near future. We are working very closely with our bus company to limit disruptions and to develop contingency plans. We ask for your patience as we navigate this very difficult situation.
If you do know of anyone interested in a position as a bus or van driver, please contact the following:
J.S.C Transportation Services, Inc. (van drivers): http://www.mtgemployment.com/
Eastern Bus Transportation (yellow bus drivers): Contact Carmen at: (617) 942-7305
We understand how important transportation is and how frustrating it is when it does not go smoothly. Please know we are working hard to ensure your student is transported to and from school safely.
A few other transportation notes:
Please take a moment to review these safety documents published by the City of Newton:
Bus Registration Closes Tonight! (Sept. 15th at 10:00 p.m.)
Bus registration will close tonight, Wednesday, September 15th at 10:00 p.m. If you need bus transportation, please register prior to the deadline.
Bus registration takes place using the MySchoolBucks portal. Here is the link: www.myschoolbucks.com. Registration details, as well as additional transportation information, can be found on this webpage: www.newton.k12.ma.us/transportation
We have heard concerns from many families about food service this year. Please know that we are listening to you and working closely with our food service partner to address your concerns and questions.
The ongoing impact of the pandemic is being felt acutely by our food service partners this year. Staffing shortages, food supply chain issues, and logistical challenges of serving food in multiple locations in each school building due to distancing efforts, has made food service incredibly complex. We are working to address these challenges as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.
Please review answers to the questions we have received most frequently on this webpage: NPS Food Service Webpage.
We do have a very real need for additional food service workers, employed by Whitsons directly, or lunch monitors, employed by Newton Public Schools. If interested yourself or if you know someone who might be interested, please apply on the district website at https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/domain/62.
Be sure to access your school’s monthly meals menu here: www.fdmealplanner.com. Below is an image of the September menu.
Elementary Job Openings
Our elementary schools have openings for the positions listed below. More information is available on the NPS webpage. You may also contact your school principal for more information.
Full time positions:
Special education aides (30-35 hours/week)
Behavior Therapists (30-35 hours/week)
Part time positions
Elementary Lunch Attendant/Monitor (10-16 hours/week)
Instructional Support Staff (1-3 days/week)
Literacy aides (6-19 hours/week)
Math aides (6-10 hours/week)
Newton Community Education
Newton Community Education, a program of the Newton Public Schools, offers in-person and virtual classes in Art, Music, Languages, Recreation, Technology, Chess, and more. The fall catalog was recently published and classes are starting soon. Visit newtoncommunityed.org for more information and to register.