February 2, 2024
School Resumes on Monday, February 5, 2024 Welcome Back
Dear NPS Families,
I am pleased to inform you that we have reached a meaningful agreement with our teachers' union. This agreement not only addresses key concerns but also reinforces our unwavering commitment to providing high-quality education in a stable, productive, and welcoming environment.
As our students return to school Monday, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the impact the recent strike has had on our school community. I understand the difficulties this period has presented for your families, and I deeply appreciate your patience and support. The last couple of weeks were the culmination of several challenging years and it is my sincere hope - and a charge I am committed to leading - that we move forward together in a new and stronger chapter for Newton Public Schools.
Highlights of the agreement are:
Significantly increased salaries for all aides –with some increases totaling 50%
Adjustments to salaries for increased cost of living
Additional social workers at the elementary level
Additional staff to reduce class sizes at the high school level
Expanded parental leave
Guaranteed student admittance for non-resident school system staff
Agreed-upon procedures for educators on directed growth plans
Adjustments to funding of insurance benefits and healthcare structure
Moving forward, students are our first priority; we are focused on making up for lost instructional time and addressing any learning gaps or breaks in student routines that may have arisen. We are dedicated to ensuring that every student receives the support they need to thrive. Along with that commitment, we value the hard work and dedication of our teachers and support staff, and we are grateful for their service. As I said before, we will continue to love and support our staff as we work through this time of transition.
I encourage you to maintain open communication with us. Your feedback and engagement are vital as we work together to rebuild trust in our shared commitment to all our students. I consider myself chief among community supporters as we process information and experiences, heal and become a stronger, more cohesive learning community.
School Resumes Monday, February 5, 2024, with a 1 hour late start for all schools and NECP. Buses will run as usual, but students will catch their rides one hour later than a normal day. This will mean no early care for one more day;, I regret the further inconvenience to families.
However, due to the intensity of the strike and the extended period of work to rule that preceded the strike, we must utilize this time to reconnect our staff and principals and provide direction and support for staff in preparation for our students’ return. Our top priorities are welcoming our students, re-establishing classroom and school community, returning to routines and schedules, and resuming grade-level learning. To support the transition back to school, we have put together expectations that support staff to respond briefly and factually to student questions about the strike and focus on resuming our typical routines.
You will hear from your principals tomorrow with more information about the return to school.
We look forward to welcoming our students on Monday!
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Dr. Anna Nolin