September 13, 2023
A Message from Dr. Anna Nolin
Dear NPS Families,
It has been a great, but hot, start to the school year! I have been making the rounds on my promised “day in residency” at each school. It has been terrific to experience the rhythms of each school, but the best part has been seeing all the students and witnessing the joy in being back together with friends and peers. I’ll be on the road in our schools for the next 20 days and hope to see some of you during my visits.
Speaking of the heat, our operations team is actively working to mitigate its impact in our hottest buildings. However, the age and electrical infrastructure do pose some pretty substantial challenges. We will keep working at it and in the meantime, thank you to all families who have volunteered to help us “beat the heat” and make our students a bit more comfortable.
And speaking of volunteers, I had a great kick-off meeting with the PTO Council and learned more about the terrific support they provide to our schools. Thank you and I look forward to working with all PTOs this year. I also completed my 34th and final meet and greet of my “summer BBQ” tour. This “tour” has really helped me to get to know the community, find out what your hopes and dreams are for the school system, and how we can improve the student experience in Newton. Thanks for hosting me!
I continue to meet with staff and have met 165 and counting. These meetings help me understand what makes Newton a great place to work and how we can continue to attract and retain high quality educators. These meetings will continue throughout the school year.
STAY TUNED! You have probably heard me talk about developing a Portrait of a Graduate here in Newton. So, what is it? Portrait of a Graduate is a collective vision that articulates our aspirations for every student in Newton Public Schools. Our Portrait of a Graduate will serve as North Star for our schools, bringing our community together with a shared vision.
We will start the work by bringing together a “design team” who will serve as leaders in bringing this Portrait to fruition. Volunteers will be needed for the team, but input from all NPS families and the larger community will be necessary. Key questions we will ask are:
What are the hopes, dreams, and aspirations that our community has for our young people?
What are the skills and mindsets that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world?
What are the implications for the design of the learning experiences—and equitable access to those experiences—we provide in our school systems?
Be sure to watch your email, our NPS website, and social media for information on how to get involved. I look forward to working with you!
I hope your student(s) are off to a great start this year and I look forward to meeting more of you soon.
On June 28, 2023, Muslims in our community and around the world celebrated Eid al-Adha. For those who may not know, Eid al-Adha —often referred to as “Big Eid” or “the Greater Eid”—is an Islamic holiday that honors Ibrahim’s (Abraham) devotion and obedience to Allah. The holiday specifically commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) when Allah commanded him to. However, before Ibrahim could do so, Allah provided him with a ram to sacrifice in Ismail’s place. In Arabic, “Eid al-Adha” translates to “Festival of Sacrifice.”
The date of Eid al-Adha is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar, so it varies each year. Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah—the last month of the Islamic calendar—and lasts for four days. It can be difficult to know exactly when Eid will be, as the dates shift about 11 days earlier each year in the international (Gregorian) calendar.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
In the coming weeks, community members of the Jewish faith tradition will observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated beginning at sundown on Friday, September 15 - Sunday, September 17. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday. Shanah Tovah to all our community members who celebrate!
Yom Kippur 2023 begins on the evening of Sunday, September 24 and ends on the evening of Monday, September 25. School is not in session on Monday 9/25. Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement—is considered the most important holiday in the Jewish faith. It is observed with fasting and prayer on the 10th day of Tishri. To our community members who observe this day, we wish you an easy fast.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, click HERE
For families who may have missed the summer deadlines for bus registration, the registration portal has now reopened. You may register your student(s) for the bus.
Please wait until you receive a confirmation email that your registration has been processed and your student has been issued a bus pass before taking the bus. Please DO NOT have your student attempt to board the bus without a pass.
You MUST wait until you can print and/or download your bus pass from Aspen before you can board the bus. Instructions for downloading a bus pass can be found on the bus registration webpage.
If you have any questions about bus passes or new registrations, please contact the NPS transportation department at: 617-559-9051
K-12 Attendance Guidelines
Some of you may have noticed updates to our K-12 student attendance and absence procedures. Please know that these updates are NOT changes. They are clarifications to ensure alignment across levels and compliance with school committee and state guidance.
Please review the document linked below for clarification on absences that are considered excused and unexcused. We have also included an FAQ to answer common questions we have received. Find it here:
Complete Your Annual Student Information Update
Please login now to Aspen to update your student’s contact information and permissions. This review must be done every year so that the district has accurate and up-to-date information on addresses, emergency contacts, health records, and permissions. Please update all records and permissions by Friday, September 29th. See below for directions.
Sign Your Chromebook Loan Agreement (Students in Grades 6 and 9)
Consider Opting-In to the NPS Chromebook Repair Fund - Families are responsible for the cost of damages to Chromebook devices. For $25 per year, all accidental damage to the device, including screen cracks, liquid spills, damages from dropping, etc. will be covered. Sign-up and payment for the Chromebook Repair Fund is done through the MySchoolBucks Portal.
Food Service and Meals
Massachusetts will again provide universally-free meals for students in the 2023-24 school year. The FIRST breakfast and lunch are free each day.
Paid Meal Pricing for Second Meals
The student charge for second meals is $5.25 for elementary students and $5.50 for middle and high school students.
How to use MySchoolBucks
Please create or check your family MySchoolBucks lunch account to ensure there are funds available if your child purchases a second meal or a la carte items (middle and high school only).
Middle School Activity Fees
The middle school activity fee covers all school-sponsored, extracurricular and enrichment activities. The annual one-time fee allows students to participate in an unlimited number of extracurricular and enrichment activities. It does not include athletics, for which there is a separate fee.
The fees are as follows:
- $100 per student per year, no drama
- $150 per student per year, with drama
Mail the application and check to: Business & Finance, Newton Public Schools, 100 Walnut Street, Newtonville, MA 02460
If you wish to apply for a financial waiver, please complete the application in Aspen. For more information on financial assistance, visit https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/1072
If payment or financial waiver is not received at time of registration, an invoice will be issued to your student’s MySchoolBucks account.
Contact email@example.com or 617-559-9025 for assistance
Financial Assistance Waiver Request
If you believe you may qualify for financial assistance, or if any of the fees present a financial hardship, please visit our financial assistance webpage. You may apply for financial assistance using our Aspen student information system portal.
More information regarding fees can also be found on the NPS fee website. For help with MSB or questions regarding fees, please contact the business office at 617-559-9025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creative Arts & Sciences Welcomes the 2023-24 School Year
CAS is gearing up for the 2023-24 school year. Last year, CAS brought over 240 programs to elementary and middle school students across the district. For 63 years, students have benefitted from enrichment that directly supports teachers in their classrooms.This is made possible by parent donations to their school's PTO, the hard work of parent volunteers who help plan and implement these programs, and teachers, who provide guidance with program selection and prepare students for upcoming visits. Learn more about CAS here and check out the photos from presentations in 2022-23.
Along with curriculum-aligned programs, CAS supports the annual Performance Series. This year we're excited for the return of Crocodile River Music, who last visited schools in 2015! This energetic ensemble consisting of musicians and dancers will begin their tour in mid-October. Check with your PTO to see when the tour is coming to your school. This program is made possible by contributions to the PTO and by a generous grant from the Harmony Foundation.
Thank you to Rebooked Derby Farm, Marion B. at A Taste of France for their support of CAS at Rebooked's Pop-Up Sale this past weekend. A portion of proceeds from the event will used to support select author visits during the upcoming school year. The event was support by All Over Newton
Plan Ahead for Back to School Nights
Full and Part-Time Educators
Become an NPS Substitute!
NPS is in need of substitutes. Apply online at: Precision Substitute Services (our substitute staffing agency.) You can also call: Sandra Andrade at 617-245-8575. Your application will require a CORI check, which can be done through NPS in our Human Resources Department.
School Nurses Needed
We need School Nurses! Join the City of Newton Health and Human Services Team as a School Nurse to support the health and well-being of Newton Public School (NPS) students. The City is hiring full-time and part-time Nurses. School Nurses work during the school year, have summers off, and follow the NPS school year calendar. Substitute School Nurses (part-time) work as needed, with a minimum commitment of ten (10) hours per week.
Community Flu Clinics
Newton’s Health and Human Services staff are hosting four (4) community flu clinics at Newton City Hall War Memorial Auditorium (1000 Commonwealth Avenue on the second floor; follow the signs to the War Memorial Auditorium). Appointments are preferred, but we welcome walk-ins. Insurance information is requested, but not required. For more information on the flu vaccine click here. If you have any questions contact Newton Health and Human Services Department at 617-796-1420. Interpreter services available.
Community Flu Clinic
This clinic is open to anyone over 6 months. Regular and high-dose (65+) vaccines will be available.
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 23. 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Senior Flu Clinic
This clinic is intended for seniors but is open to anyone over 18. Regular and high-dose (65+) vaccines will be available.
Friday, Oct. 6, 10:00 a.m. to noon.
Friday, Oct. 13, 10:00 a.m. to noon