December 21, 2022
Interim Superintendent Message
Dear NPS Families,
The winter break is upon us and I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon this school year. I am so grateful that our students, staff, and school communities have been able to gather together in person for so many wonderful events this fall. Fall festivals, sporting events, fine arts performances, assemblies, open houses, and field trips have returned to play a special and memorable role in our collective school experience. Thank you to all our NPS staff and family volunteers who make these events possible.
As I have traveled to the different schools and attended citywide community meetings, it is clear to me that Newton is a community that cares deeply about its young people and their future. It is because of this dedication that I can say with confidence that Newton truly is a premier school district committed to excellence in education. I have no doubt that despite the challenges we face, this community will continue to provide students with meaningful academic opportunities and social-emotional supports during their time in this district.
Thank you to all of those who provide this support to our students. Our educators continue to work tirelessly to support our students. Mayor Fuller and her team continue to provide opportunities for us to share the good work of our district. I am also grateful to our School Committee members who volunteer their time to guide the district and ensure the voice of the community is heard. Finally, thank you to all the NPS families who support their students at home and volunteer their time to enhance our school communities.
I hope that you will have the opportunity this holiday season to gather with friends and family and to take some time to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate. I wish you a joyful, healthy, and happy new year!
Kathleen Smith, J.D.
Superintendent Search Update
The superintendent search process continues to move forward as planned.
The superintendent job posting, which includes the final versions of the Desired Characteristics and Leadership Profile, is now accepting applications.
Below is the search process timeline:
Applications will be accepted through January 13, 2023
All applicants will be reviewed to ensure they meet the basic requirements for the role (experience, licensure, etc.)
Applicants who meet the basic requirements for the role will be interviewed for an initial screening
Additional background verification (education, prior roles, etc.) will be conducted for applicants who pass the initial screening
The search consultants will identify the top 8-10 candidates for interviews by the Superintendent Search Committee
The Superintendent Search Committee will review and interview the top 8-10 candidates and will recommend 2-3 finalists to the Newton School Committee
The finalists will be interviewed in Newton. The interviews will include meetings with the Newton School Committee, NPS administrators, and the community
The Newton School Committee will vote on the finalists and select the new superintendent, contingent on background checks and agreement on compensation and benefits
Please contact the Newton School Committee with any additional questions or comments. As always, detailed information can be found on the search committee webpage on the district website.
News from Newton Health & Human Services
Newton Health & Human Services reports that there is a high rate of respiratory illnesses including flu, RSV, and COVID-19 circulating in Newton and across the Commonwealth.
It is very important that children who are sick not come to school. If someone in your family is not feeling well it can be difficult to figure out whether it is flu, COVID-19, RSV, or a cold. If you have symptoms, Newton HHS recommends you get tested for flu and COVID-19 and talk with your healthcare provider about treatment options.
To help keep our school community healthy, there are many steps we can take to prevent the
unnecessary spread of respiratory illness.
Hand hygiene remains the best tool to prevent all kinds of illness because not all respiratory viruses spread in the same way. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or if a tissue is not available, cover them with an elbow, not a hand.
Cleaning high-touch surfaces - RSV is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your face. RSV can survive many hours on hard surfaces which means that disinfecting high-touch surfaces like doorknobs is crucial to prevent illness.
Wearing a face covering protects against respiratory droplets and is effective in preventing COVID-19.
Avoiding exposure to people who are sick is one of the best ways to protect your family from illness.
Thank you for your efforts in making our school safe, healthy, and ready to learn!
Inclement Weather Notification Reminder
As we approach winter weather, we want to share information related to school closings. As a reminder, the decision to close or delay school is made by the superintendent, in consultation with the Police Department and the Department of Public Works. Safety is our number one priority as we consider the weather forecast, as well as street, sidewalk, and school parking lot conditions. We are very sensitive to the childcare challenges that you face when schools are closed and only do so if our analysis indicates we should.
You will be notified of school closing via email, text, phone, website, television news, and social media. Please make sure your contact information is updated in Aspen so that we are able to reach you in a timely manner (Aspen Login Link) If you do not remember your Aspen login information, please email: email@example.com
Please visit this webpage for additional details:
Thank You Newton Schools Foundation!
On Monday, December 19, 2021, the Newton Schools Foundation (NSF) presented a check for $250,000 to the Newton Public Schools. NSF supports excellence and equity in the Newton Public Schools by funding grants in three focus areas:
New Approaches in the Classroom
Professional Development for Teachers
Programs that Promote Equity for All Students
To learn more about the impact of NSF grants, please visit the NSF website at:
Newton Schools Foundation Website - Grants Information and Impact
Thank you to NSF for their ongoing support of our students and our school community.
Newton Schools Foundation Annual Appeal
Every year we are grateful for the support of the Newton Schools Foundation. It is an organization that supports meaningful programs in our schools and provides many outstanding opportunities for our students and staff.
Linked below, please find a message of thanks from the Newton Schools Foundation and information on their annual appeal campaign.
The City of Newton continues to host meetings, presentations, and discussions on the proposed override. All past presentations and meeting recordings can be found on this page:
Newton Override Meeting Presentations and Recordings
Some meetings are formal presentations and some are more informal discussions where residents can ask specific questions about department services.
A calendar of meetings is here: Override Meeting Calendar
Welcome Home NECP!
During December break, the Newton Early Childhood Program (NECP) will move into its newly renovated home at 687 Watertown Street . Staff will pack up their classrooms this Thursday and Friday and unpack on Tuesday and Wednesday (January 3 and 4th.) Classes will resume for students in-person in the brand new space on Thursday, January 5th.
This move comes after moving from the Education Center and Lincoln-Eliot in September 2016 to the 150 Jackson Road building, which at the time had just been acquired.
We want to thank our Public Buildings Department and numerous contractors, NPS Facilities, Planning, and Information Technology teams, Kathleen Browning and all of the NECP staff for their dedication and work to make this mid-year move possible.
Kindergarten for 2023-24
Calling all kindergarteners for the 2023-24 school year! If you or someone you know has a student who meets the age requirement to enter kindergarten in the fall of 2023, please complete this survey.
In the survey, let us know you are coming and to tell us a little bit about your student. This helps us to plan staffing and programming for next year. So, if your student turns 5 prior to September 1, 2023, please join us!
Mathematical Modeling Teams Advance!
All 4 NNHS Math Modeling Teams were named National Semi-Finalists in the Actuarial Foundation Modeling the Future Challenge. (5 teams from MA advanced......4 of which are from NNHS!) Learn more here: https://www.mtfchallenge.org/ Congratulations to their advisor, Ms. Widener, all of the students and the Math Department that is supporting this innovative work!
Newton South E-Sports
On Saturday, December 10th, the Newton South League of Legends eSports team went to the Ma. State Championship at Helix eSports at Patriot Place in Foxborough. They played valiantly but ultimately lost to the Shrewsbury "Gatekeepers", who are now the 5 time undefeated League of Legends champions. Although they took second place overall, during the season they crushed all of the other competitors in Massachusetts this year to get to the championship. Please congratulate Isaac Chan, Russell Lee, Tom Shimoni, David Lee, Edward Park and Alexander Li. And, thank you to NPS IT staff member Aaron Tam for coaching the team this year!
Educators Professional Development - Lincoln-Eliot, Underwood, and Ward
On a December early release day, educators at Lincoln-Eliot, Underwood, and Ward participated in a learning workshop on Culturally Responsive Teaching. Culturally responsive teaching is a research-based approach to teaching that connects students’ cultures, languages, and life experiences with what they learn in school. These connections help students access rigorous curriculum and develop higher-level academic skills.
Newton North Faculty Award
Newton North is thrilled to announce this year's Charles Dana Meserve Faculty Award Recipient, Meghan Burns. Ms. Burns is a History and Social Sciences Teacher at North.
Student Helen Xiao ('21) described Ms. Burns with this message:
"Ms. Burns’ enthusiasm for history and endless willingness to help students helped me learn to dive into the complexities of history rather than simply constructing claims about and learning/brushing through more surface-level historical material. As a result, my experience in her class helped me mature not only as a history student but as a student in general for my future education."
The Meserve Faculty Award is one of three 'teacher of the year' awards at Newton North. The Meserve Scholarship is Newton High/Newton North High School's oldest award, dating back to 1923. The scholarship is given to students who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership in the school. Since 1968, scholarship recipients nominate teachers who inspired them. Based on those nominations, the Meserve board selects the students and faculty recipients.
Elementary/Middle/High School Positions Open!
Would you like to work for the Newton Public Schools? We are hiring! NPS has open positions for the following:
Special education aides, Behavior Therapists,
Part time early literacy aides
Part time math intervention aides
Instructional Support Staff (substitutes)
Following this link to apply: