October 26, 2022
Interim Superintendent Message
Dear NPS Families,
As you may be aware, Mayor Fuller has proposed an increase to the tax levy of $14,975,000 by way of an operating override and two debt-exclusion overrides. The proposal includes a $4.5 million increase to the operating budget of the Newton Public Schools, as well as $5.8 million toward building construction projects. Details of the entire override proposal can be found on the city website: City of Newton Override Proposal.
The district has been working closely with the mayor’s office to share information about the needs of our schools and our strategic priorities. We have worked to summarize and synthesize for the community our priorities as a district. They are:
Maintain a strong and engaging academic program of study in which students have access to challenging classes and coursework.
Create inclusive school communities that meet the needs of all learners and ensure that all students feel welcome and supported.
Maintain our commitment to providing robust and meaningful mental health support for all students in all schools.
Continue the use of modern, innovative, and readily accessible technology in our schools and classrooms to enhance the academic experiences of our students.
Reimagine and remake school buildings to match 21st century learning (Countryside, Franklin, and Horace Mann will be addressed in this override)
For more detailed information on the override, please visit this website:
Over the next several months, there will be in-person and virtual meetings, forums, and discussions to share more information. There is a meeting tonight at Franklin Elementary School (125 Derby St.) at 7:00 p.m. (tours at 6:30 p.m.) If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch it on Vimeo here or on your local NewTV channel. You can also email questions to email@example.com.
I hope you will join us at these meetings and look forward to sharing more information
Kathleen Smith, J.D.
Superintendent Search Update
The superintendent search is now underway. Please note, based upon feedback from the community, the search committee will be expanded to ensure meaningful representation from all stakeholder groups. Updated information on members of the committee will be shared once finalized.
The first meeting of the search committee was held last week. Meeting minutes can be found on this page: Superintendent Search Committee Meetings.
Please watch your email for upcoming opportunities to provide feedback via surveys and focus groups in the coming weeks. As always, detailed information can be found on the search committee webpage on the district website.
TONIGHT! (Wed. Oct. 26th at 7:00 P.M.) - First Phone Forum
Join Dr. Catherine Pearlman, licensed social worker and parenting and family coach and as she discusses her book, First Phone, a practical guide for children and parents on how to navigate the challenges of owning their first phone. Dr. Pearlman will take on issues from setting boundaries and expectations to privacy and kindness as children navigate a virtual world.
Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: This is a virtual event. Join the presentation by using the links below:
TONIGHT (Wed. Oct. 26th at 7:00 P.M.) - Override Information Meeting
Learn more about the override Mayor Fuller has proposed for the City of Newton. Meeting details are as follows:
Where: Franklin Elementary School (125 Derby St.)
When: 7:00 p.m. (tours at 6:30 p.m.)
More information on the proposed override can be found here:
Jingshan Friend of the Exchange Award Presented
Newton Beijing Jingshan Exchange Program, the nation's first US-China exchange program between secondary schools, hosted its annual "Friend of the Exchange" Award Ceremony at Newton North.
Jim Marini, former NNHS principal, won the award this year for his over 30 years of support of the program.
The ceremony also commemorated Claire and Richard Kanter, who initiated the exchange program in 1979. They passed away in 2021. At the end of the ceremony, Ben Youngman, music teacher at Newton South, led the participants sing "A Small World" in both English and Chinese.
Creative Arts & Sciences Concert Series is Back!
Newton Public Schools' Creative Arts & Sciences welcomes Boston-based Ball in the House to all K-8 students as part of the annual CAS Concert Series. This 5 member a cappella group has shared the stage with Gladys Knight, The Beach Boys, Patti Labelle, and the Jonas Brothers.
Concerts will take place in schools over the next several months. Then, in April, Ball in the House will perform along with NPS student a cappella groups. Through a generous grant from the Newton Schools Foundation, Ball in the House is able to offer workshops to select middle school groups in preparation for the April 1 performance.
This program is being brought to Newton students due in large part to the generous contributions from elementary and middle school PTOs. Thank you PTOs!
Access to Internet Service at Reduced Rates
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission Program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service. Benefits for eligible households include:
A discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.
Learn more about the benefit by visiting www.fcc.gov/ACP, or by calling 877-384-2575.
At Zervas, students are planting bulbs in garden beds and around the school. This is part of the Zervas Green Team initiatives, led by staff members Beth Bernier and Kate Gacicia and the PTO. Partial funding for this project was provided by a grant from the Massachusetts Agricultural Society.
North has so much good MUSIC news to share! First, sophomore Henry Lee will be representing North / Newton as a first violinist in the National Association for Music Education's National Orchestra this coming November in Maryland. Next, NNHS Jazz showcased its first performance of the year as part of the Newtonville Village Day (Jazz Ensemble and Tiger Bebop performing) Finally, North Music presents their department-wide "Harvestfest Concert" on November 17th in the Lasker Performing Arts Center.
Newton North Athletics has created a “Captain’s Council” for each athletic season to help develop the leadership skills of team captains and to offer a forum for student team leaders to be heard. Weekly discussions focus on improving the department, teams, and individual leaders and participants. A recent topic of discussion was gender equity and how the department can continue to grow in this area.
The Council has also held equipment drives and is currently planning a postseason pep rally for teams who qualify for Fall Postseason state tournaments.
With a bit of theatrical STEAM design, Newton South juniors Anna Wright-Lee and Leah Vashevko created an impressive scenic element for the upcoming South Stage production of The Visit. The giant gear moves up and down, rotates around a vertical pole, and spins using a small motor controlled remotely from the lighting console. The piece is part of a scenic design inspired by the steampunk aesthetic. Thanks to Newton South Tech Director Ryan Spruck for his instruction and support.
South Stage's production of The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt runs November 17-19 at 7:30 PM in the Newton South Seasholes Auditorium. Directed by Paige Perkinson. Tickets at SouthStage.org.
Celebrate South was a great success! Our students showed their school spirit all week long, supporting our teams and engaging in the activities offered through the week. The Booster Club and Newton South PTSO worked hand on hand with our school to provide a fun experience to all. We are very grateful to all parents, teachers, coaches and fans that made this week memorable.
Newton North Math Substitute
Newton North has an immediate need of a substitute in the Math Department. Length of need is unknown. A full time teacher in the department is responsible for 4 courses. Anyone able to teach 1 or up to 4 classes is needed. Content is Math 1 and Math 2 (Algebra and Geometry topics) Please contact Jen Letourneau (firstname.lastname@example.org) with interest or for more detailed information about schedule. Thank you for your assistance.
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:
A Smashing Good Time
Bring your pumpkins to Newton’s annual Pumpkin Smash at City Hall on Nov. 5, the Saturday after Halloween, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Why put your pumpkin in with your yard waste when it’s much more fun to smash it?
This family friendly event takes our orange pumpkins and turns them “green.” All our smashed pumpkins will be composted by Black Earth Compost (our curbside composting partner), thus reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions and creating a valuable amendment for our soils.
You can fling, toss and smash your pumpkin in all sorts of ways, including with smashing machines made by the Newton LigerBots, the high school robotics team.
Pre-registration is encouraged but onsite registration will be available for the Pumpkin Smash which will be held rain or shine.
All the information above is available at www.newtonma.gov/recycling