August 17, 2022
1:1 Technology Program - ATTN: 6-12 Families
Every student in grades 6-12 in the Newton Public Schools is issued a Chromebook. The Chromebook is for use both in school and at home. Entering 6th graders are provided with a Chromebook they will use for the length of time they are in middle school. Entering 9th graders are provided with a Chromebook they will use for the length of time they are in high school. Devices are kept by the student over the summer.
Chromebooks are issued in September. To issue your student a Chromebook, and for those who have not yet completed the form, please do the following:
Sign the Chromebook Loan Agreement - please read and agree to the Chromebook Loan Agreement available in our Aspen Portal. Printable and translated copies are also available. We will not issue devices to students in grades 6 and 9 until the loan agreement is signed. Please also review with your child.
Consider Opting-In to the NPS Chromebook Repair Fund - We encourage you to sign up for our Optional Chromebook Repair Fund. 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.
In addition, we encourage you to examine some of the resources on Online Safety and Digital Citizenship posted on our website, and engage your children in conversations on these topics on a regular basis.
More information about the 1:1 Device program can be found on the NPS 1:1 Technology Overview Page.
Annual Student Information Update - Please Complete!
Every year, you are required to update student information in Aspen, our student information system. It is very important that families update addresses, emergency contacts, health records, and permissions so that schools have the most accurate and up to date information for students.
This system is also used to determine what student information can be released. Please note that we do have new Opt Out Permissions for the 2022-2023 school year that need your review and preference selections.
Families must update their students’ records by Friday, September 30th. Please use these instructions to access the information and forms in Aspen: Student Information Update Instructions.
Meals at NPS this School Year
Once again this year, Massachusetts will provide free meals in schools. However, the program this year is different from the last two years. Please read to understand the differences and actions you must take.
What is free?
FIRST meals are free for all students. However, SECOND meals and A LA CARTE ITEMS (at middle/high school) must be paid for with cash or or through the MySchool Bucks account.
What is the cost of a SECOND meal?
The student charge for second meals is $5.25 for elementary students and $5.50 for middle and high school students.
What do you mean by "all meals must be validated" by student?"
This means that all student meals will be served from the cafeteria and each student must have their meal scanned at the Point of Sale register - even though the first meals are free. Student ID barcode cards will be provided for all K-5 students on the first day of school. The cards will remain at school, and each school will determine how the students will access their cards each day.
How can I pay for SECOND meals and A LA CARTE items?
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).
Financial Assistance - Food Service and Student Activities
Families who are determined eligible for free or reduced-price meal support through Direct Certification will receive a letter from NPS stating their benefit eligibility. Notification letters were sent via email to the main household contact/s on file in Aspen for each eligible student on Monday, 8/15 and then as new eligibility may be identified. Please check the Food Services tab on the NPS website to see how Free and Reduced-Price Eligibility is determined through Direct Certification.
NOTE - Students who do have free or reduced-price status are still obligated to pay the full price for second lunches or for all a la carte items this year. These charges are the family's responsibility.
Financial Assistance - Waiver Request
Families who are notified of free or reduced-price eligibility through Direct Certification should also visit the NPS website to apply for district-level financial assistance, which can be accessed by submitting a financial assistance and waiver request. Applying for the district fee waiver is a separate and necessary step to receive this additional financial assistance.
The Department of Transitional Assistance is providing summer P-EBT for children who are identified as free or reduced-price eligible through 8/31/22. If you believe you may qualify and have not received confirmation of Direct Certification, please access the online application or the printable application on the NPS website to apply for eligibility determination by the 8/31/22 deadline. A notification letter will be sent confirming eligibility within one week of submitting an application.
Eligibility determinations are for the current school year only. Previous eligibility determinations will expire as of 10/21/22. If you do not receive a letter of your free or reduced-price eligibility through Direct Certification and believe that your income would make you eligible for benefits, please apply for benefits through the online application or the printable application. Please choose the information sharing options provided in the application, which will allow Newton to extend financial assistance/fee waivers if allowed by the applicant. A notification letter will be sent confirming eligibility within one week of submitting an application.
If the state offers other P-EBT benefits during the year, this 2022-23 eligibility will determine if your family receives these benefits.
National School Lunch Program (NSLP) FAQ
Please review the National School Lunch Program FAQ found on the Free and Reduced Price Documents tab on the NPS Food Services website for more information about free and reduced-price eligibility.
Questions or Support
If you have questions or require support, please contact Amy Mistrot, Director of Business Operations at 617-559-9038 or email@example.com.
Test Kit Expiration Date Extension
On Jul 8, 2022, the FDA granted another three-month shelf-life extension for the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, which extended the shelf-life of all iHealth tests from 6 months to 12 months.
To check the expiration date for a test kit you may have at home, visit this page: iHealth Expiration Date Check. Please note, you will need to enter the Lot Number, which is printed on the box itself.
Helpsy Bin Updates
Newton Public Schools (NPS) recently signed an agreement with Helpsy (https://www.helpsy.co/), a for-profit B Corp committed to changing the way people think about clothing donation. Helpsy collects unwanted textiles, including shoes, for reuse and recycling.
To make donations easy and convenient for Newton residents, Helpsy textile collection bins have been placed at several school buildings throughout the city. To find a bin location, visit this page: NPS Helpsy Bin Locations.
NPS will be reviewing bin locations over the summer. Bin locations at school have been selected to ensure they are easy to access, service, and clear, but do not interfere with school operations or block visibility for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. If you have questions or concerns, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helpsy will empty the bins regularly and remove the donated materials. To view a list of acceptable items that may be placed in the bins, please visit this link: Acceptable textiles for Helpsy bins.
For more information on the Helpsy textile recycling program, please visit the NPS Recycling Webpage.
Newton South Mock Trial Team - Volunteer Attorney/Coach Needed!
Newton South High School is seeking a new “attorney” coach for its Mock Trial Team for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Mock Trial is a program of the Massachusetts Bar Association and high schools teams participate in this tournament that can lead to Nationals!.
If you are a lawyer, a judge – practicing or retired – the attorney coach is a rewarding, fun and exciting way to work with motivated high school students.
What is the role of the attorney coach?
Provide legal expertise and familiarity with mock trial rules and processes
Assist team to develop case strategy and arguments
Explain basic trial procedures - opening statements and closing arguments, direct and cross-examination, calling witnesses, objections
Provide feedback on preparation of the case with the law and burden of proof required
If you are interested in participating as an attorney coach, please contact:
Newton Home Energy Assessments
The City of Newton has selected Endless Energy as our vetted Home Performance Contractor. Endless Energy provides no-cost Mass Save energy assessments, heavily discounted insulation and air sealing work, as well as guidance on other home energy projects such as heat pumps, solar panels, and electric vehicle charging as part of our “4 Our Future” home energy campaign. You can learn more on their website. Looking to keep up-to-date on the latest from the Newton Climate team? Sign up for Newton Climate News, covering updates, events and action opportunities, and more.