NPS District News
August 18, 2021
Message from the Superintendent
Dear NPS Families,
The COVID landscape has changed in the past few weeks and comes just as we prepare to launch the 2021-22 school year. Fortunately, we have been working intensely all summer to update our health and safety protocols. Our primary goal is to ensure that our health and safety protocols allow students to remain in full, in-person school focused on academic learning, while connecting to their teachers and peers.
Over the course of the summer, we met with our Medical Advisory Group to discuss our school re-opening plan. They have provided clear direction on the risk mitigation strategies that should be in place in our schools. In addition, we have developed district health and safety protocols and school operations plans for the start of the 2021-22 school year. You will find both the recommendation and the plan linked below.
Please be assured that we will update our health and safety protocols as the health situation changes and evolves over the course of the year.
As we get closer to September 9, I imagine you will have additional questions related to health and safety measures. To share information and respond to frequently asked questions, we will host an information session for parents/caregivers on Wednesday August 25 at 7:30 p.m. Our panelists will include members of the Medical Advisory Group, our director of school health services and district administrators.
I know that families will also have school-specific questions. In the coming days, principals will share information both through email newsletters and live virtual events.
Our partnership with you is critical to our success and we intend to share updates in a timely and consistent manner throughout the school year.
Superintendent of Schools
Medical Advisory Group Recommendation
On Monday, August 16, the Medical Advisory Group shared its recommendations at the School Committee meeting. The recommendations are found here: Medical Advisory Group Recommendations. Key points from the recommendation include:
Vaccination: All eligible faculty, staff and students should be vaccinated.
Universal Masking: All school personnel, visitors and students, regardless of age or vaccination status, should wear masks covering their nose and mouth at all times while indoors and when riding on school buses.
Routine COVID Screening Testing: Weekly testing should be offered to asymptomatic unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.
You can view the entire School Committee presentation here: School Committee Presentation on Medical Advisory Group Recommendations.
For additional information, you may also wish to view the COVID-19 protocols issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 in Schools.
Below is the COVID vaccine data for NPS students as of August 12, 2021.
Back to School Plan for 2021-22 School Year
Utilizing health and safety protocols to ensure students can stay in school learning and connected with others is critical this year. With the appropriate health and safety measures in place, we can successfully address unfinished learning and provide appropriate social and emotional support to students as they recover from a very challenging school year.
Our Back to School Plan for the 2021-22 School Year is guided by the following principles:
Maintain safe and healthy learning environments in school buildings
Minimize disruptions to learning through the use of health protocols
Collaborate and partner with students, staff, NTA, families, and community
Abide by an unwavering commitment to the academic, social, and emotional well-being of students
Please review the plan here: 2021-22 Back to School Health and Safety Plan
Family Information Session - Wednesday, August 25th
To provide parents and caregivers with the opportunity to ask questions and address concerns on the Back to School Plan, we will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, August 25. Details are below:
Webinar ID: 894 9060 8033
Or One tap mobile: US: +13126266799,,89490608033# or +16465588656,,89490608033#
Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782
International numbers available: https://newton-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/u/kdKa5AJvUz
We will be collecting questions in advance to be answered during the webinar. Please complete this form to ask your question. Please feel free to identify an area of concern for you and your family. Use this form to submit your questions and topic areas of concern: Google Form to Submit Questions and Topic Areas of Concern.
Free and Reduced Meal Program
While all students in the Newton Public Schools will continue to receive school meals free of charge for the 2021-22 school year, it is still important for qualified families to complete the Free and Reduced Meal Application. By completing the application, your student and family may be eligible to receive additional benefits beyond the free and reduced meal program.
A few important notes:
If you have had a change in job status or income, you may now be eligible for the free and reduced meal program. We encourage you to complete the application by September 5.
If your student was enrolled in the Newton Public Schools last year and you are now eligible for the free and reduced meals program (but have not yet completed the application), you can receive a summer P-EBT card. To receive the card, you must complete the application. A P-EBT card is a debit card with funds already loaded onto it that can be used to purchase food items at your local grocery store.
To receive the P-EBT card benefit, you MUST complete the free and reduced meal application by September 5.
If you are already enrolled in the free and reduced meal program and received a P-EBT card last year, you do NOT need to reapply. You will remain enrolled in the free and reduced meal program this year.
Register for Bus Transportation by August 22!
Registration for bus transportation for the 2021-22 school year is now open. Bus registration takes place using the MySchoolBucks portal. Please login into or create an account in MySchoolBucks to register. Here is the link: www.myschoolbucks.com.
Please note the following:
You MUST register by Sunday, August 22.
On August 22, the portal will close to allow adequate time for NPS staff to review bus registrations and make seat assignments.
Registration details, as well as additional transportation information, can be found on this webpage: www.newton.k12.ma.us/transportation
Program Fees and Financial Assistance
For information on approved program fees for the 2021-22 school year and payment portal, please visit this webpage: Fees and Payment Processing Webpage.
The Newton Public Schools stands firm in its commitment that no student be denied participation in school-sponsored activities and bus transportation due to inability to pay. Financial assistance and waivers for school services, athletics, music programs, and extracurricular activities are granted based upon income and family size, as well as special circumstances such as unforeseen medical problems, change in family status, change in employment status, other emergencies, or other temporary hardships. All waiver applications are confidential.
For information on financial waivers and access to the financial assistance application, please visit this webpage: Financial Assistance and Waivers Webpage
2021-22 School Year Calendar and Hours
Just a reminder that the school hours for the 2021-22 school year have shifted. You can find the new hours here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/810.
You can download the school year calendar, with holiday observances and vacation weeks, here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/2#calendar1/20210727/month