NPS District News

March 17, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear NPS Families,


We continue to plan intensively for additional in-person learning for the spring. Our Distance Learning Academy (DLA) Team continues to improve and refine their model.


At the same time, we are beginning to plan for the fall, where we will be full in-person for all students. In the next couple of weeks, we will share important information regarding fall planning.


I know the changing of models and school hours is an incredible challenge, not only for our dedicated educators, but also for our families. I am grateful for your understanding and support.


Sincerely,

David Fleishman


I hope you are finding this newsletter to be a helpful tool. Please share any feedback on content or format at community@newton.k12.ma.us

Elementary Return to Full In-Person School

The Newton Public Schools will return elementary students to full in-person school on April 5th. Students who wish to remain in the Distance Learning Academy (DLA) may do so. School hours for elementary (in-person and DLA) will be:


8:25 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

8:25 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Wednesday


Detailed information for families requesting a transfer from DLA to in-person will be available next week.


April 5th and April 8th are elementary conference days. Early dismissal at 12:30 p.m.


All information from the planning teams can be found on this webpage.

Middle School In Person Learning

Middle School will return to full in-person learning on Wednesday, April 28th. School hours will remain relatively the same as current hours. Students who wish to remain in full distance learning may do so.


We are planning intensively, in collaboration with the NTA, over the next few weeks and will be certain to keep the community well informed as we proceed. Middle school families will soon be surveyed in order to determine the number of students who want to be in the building full-time. Families will have the option of continuing in the distance-only model as well.

High School In Person Learning

Plans for additional in-person learning for high school students will be shared by the end of March. We plan to survey families to find out the number of students that want to be in the building full-time. We do not anticipate any changes to the current hyflex teaching model.

COVID-19 Testing in the Newton Public Schools

Free, weekly COVID testing for high school students began the week of March 8th. From March 1 - March 16, nearly 2000 tests were conducted for staff and students at North and South, as well as our high school programs at the Education Center. More than 700 tests have been conducted for faculty and staff in grades preK-8.


Testing for in person pre-k/elementary and middle school students will coincide with the full return to school. For in-person pre-k/elementary students, testing will begin the week of April 5. For in-person middle school students, testing will begin the last week in April.


SAVE THE DATE - Elementary Webinar on Testing will be held on March 30 to answer questions about the process and operations.


This testing program is VOLUNTARY and you must provide your consent in order to participate. You may opt-in at any time (see FAQ for details.) The consent form can be found in the Aspen Student/Family Portal. Please follow these instructions to sign the consent form. The testing program serves students attending school in-person in school buildings.


NPS staff continue to be tested weekly and are in the process of transitioning to building-based testing (rather than a central location) as the testing rolls out at each school level.

Calendar Update and School Year 2021-22 Availability

Juneteenth - There will be no school on Friday, June 18th. This day off from school is to observe June 19th and its importance in our collective history. The last day of school for students is Tuesday, June 22nd.


The 2021-22 school year calendar has been approved. You can download it here.

School Committee News

The School Committee will meet on Monday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. Topics to be discussed include: updates on social emotional learning, spring/fall planning, and an update from the Newton Schools Foundation. Login information can be found here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/108. Meeting materials can be found here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/3725.


To join the School Committee email distribution list, follow this link: https://mailchi.mp/newton.k12.ma.us/newton-school-committee

Event Spotlight: Black Culture Experience 2021 - Newton South

On March 10th, the Black Student Union at south hosted Black Culture Experience 2021, a series of webinars for South students to learn more about the experiences and triumphs of Black Americans. The seminars included Black Women in Politics, Medical Disparities: Black Women & Childbirth, and Black Culture: Appropriation vs. Appreciation. Seminars were hosted via Zoom and were very well-attended. Congratulations to our students for putting together such an important and informational experience for their peers.

S.P.A.C.E. Camp registration is now open!

S.P.A.C.E. Camp (Summer Program for Academic and Creative Endeavors) will be held July 6th - July 29th. Full and half day options are available. Camp will be held at F.A. Day Middle School, 21 Minot Place, Newtonville.


S.P.A.C.E. is a four week enrichment program run through the Newton Public Schools specifically designed to enable campers to explore, learn, and connect with their peers under the guidance of highly qualified educators. Two programs are offered - an upper school program (campers entering grades 5- 9) and a lower school program (campers entering kindergarten-grade 4). Campers will be engaged in music, arts, STEM, performing arts, project based learning, sports, language arts and more!


Please visit the website to learn more: https://sites.google.com/abschools.org/space-camp/home Email with questions: SPACE@newton.k12.ma.us

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Youth Art Month - Call for Submissions

March is Youth Art Month! To celebrate, we are asking elementary students to submit works of art to be featured in a virtual art exhibit on the district website. Please submit your works of art (as JPG files) using this Google form.
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Creative Arts & Sciences

Our Creative Arts & Sciences program is going strong this year with virtual visits K-8. From origami, to the history of hip-hop, to author visits, NPS students have enjoyed visits from special guests here and across the country. Below are a few pictures. All of these visits are made possible by the generous support of school PTOs.