April 6, 2022
Dear NPS Families,
One of the most important responsibilities in my role is to recruit and hire leaders at both the district and building levels. Over the past 12 years, it has been a true pleasure to hire many outstanding leaders who have inspired the trust and confidence of faculty, staff, students and families by demonstrating passion, dedication and thoughtfulness. I am also acutely aware that leadership jobs in education have never been more taxing, stressful and complex.
Over the past few weeks, we have been intensively involved in the hiring process for the position of Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. This is a critical position in our district that leads all aspects of Special Education, mental health and therapeutic services.
I am delighted to announce that Casey Ngo-Miller, currently Deputy Superintendent for Student Services in Brookline, will be our next Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. Throughout the search process, Casey impressed us with her capacity to build trustful relationships, the clarity of her communication and her ability to solve complex problems. Casey’s references in Brookline spoke of her commitment to listening to diverse perspectives, record of building strong teams and her success at working with multiple stakeholders.
Casey was the unanimous choice of our Selection Advisory Committee, consisting of assistant superintendents, district directors, Student Services administrators from across the district, a principal and SEPAC leaders. I am especially grateful to SEPAC Chair Jessi Champion and board member Eliza Spaulding who worked with us so closely and collaboratively during the entire process. I was struck how the NPS team and the SEPAC leaders had such a similar vision for what they were looking for in this critical position. Casey will officially join NPS on July 1.
Please note below information on the School Committee meeting tonight. The committee continues to review and evaluate the FY23 budget. They are expected to officially vote on the budget next week. Thank you to all of you who have engaged in this process to date.
You can still opt-in to the at-home COVID rapid antigen testing program. Opt-in through your Aspen parent/guardian account: Aspen. Follow these instructions once you are logged in. All testing information can be found on our website here: NPS COVID Testing Webpage.
NPS COVID Data
The Newton HHS webpage shows all positive cases of COVID for students and staff in our schools: COVID Cases in the Newton Public Schools.
On the NPS COVID Data Dashboard, you can review the percentage of students who have opted into rapid antigen testing, as well as positive COVID results reported to the school health department. The data dashboard can be found here: COVID Testing Data Dashboard.
Special School Committee Meeting - Wednesday April 6, 2022
The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. (tonight.) This is a special meeting of the School Committee to continue review the FY23 budget. There is no public comment.
To join the meeting virtual, follow this link:
Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/390017072
Call-in information: 1-646-558-8656
Call-in meeting ID: 390 017 072
The meeting agenda and meeting materials can be found on this page (once posted): School Committee Meeting Materials for the 2021-22 School Year.
Kindergarten Registration - NOW OPEN!
If your child turns 5 years old before September 1, 2022, you are eligible to start kindergarten in the Newton Public Schools next fall! Registration is NOW OPEN! To help us plan for next year, we ask families to register as soon as possible.
To find out more about registration for kindergarten, please visit this webpage on the Newton Public School district website: www.newton.k12.ma.us/kindergarten
On March 3, 2022, NPS held an information session for kindergarten families new to NPS. Here is information from that session:
Newton Early Childhood Program - Open Enrollment!
NECP is now accepting applications for our community peers for the 2022-2023 school year. There are just a few spots left! Find the application here on our website: NECP application.
We will be moving to our new site at 687 Watertown Street during the 2022-2023 school year! With the new location, we may now be closer to your neighborhood and several of our Newton elementary schools. You can learn more about our new building here: NECP Building Project. We would love for you to be a part of this exciting new phase of NECP!
CAS Authorfest - April 12th
Through the Creative Arts and Sciences Program (CAS), authors and illustrators are coming to all Newton Public Schools elementary and middle schools to engage students in the writing and illustrating process!
On April 12, everyone is invited to a meet-and-greet, book sale and signing at Cabot Elementary School between 3:15-5:30 PM. Authors and illustrators will be there to sign books and talk to students and their families.
Newtonville Books will have select books for sale at the event, or you can order ahead of time at https://www.newtonvillebooks.com/npsauthorfest (20% of proceeds will be used for future CAS events.)
CAS AuthorFest 2022 is made possible by a generous grant from the Newton Schools Foundation, with additional support from The Village Bank, the Harmony Foundation, and parent contributions to their PTO.
SPACE Camp for Summer 2022!
S.P.A.C.E. Camp is a four-week summer enrichment program run by the Newton Public Schools from July 5th through 28th. Students entering kindergarten through 9th grade in the Fall of 2022 are eligible to attend. We offer two programs - an upper camp (entering grade 5-entering grade 9 in the Fall of 2022) and a lower camp (entering kindergarten-entering grade 4).
School Calendar for the 2022-23 School Year
Ramadan - April 2 - May 1, 2022
Ramadan is an Islamic holiday that is celebrated on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During the month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims abstain from all food and drink from dawn to sunset. This religious duty of fasting is known as sawm in Arabic. It is one of the “Five Pillars,” or basic acts of worship in Islam. Eid al-Fitr (Celebration of the Fast Breaking) is the celebration that marks the end of this fasting-month of Ramadan by Muslims.
National Library Week - April 3-9, 2022
National Library Week (April 3 - 9, 2022) is a time to celebrate our nation’s libraries, library workers’ contributions and promote library use and support. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special libraries all participate.
This year's theme is "Connect with Your Library", which focuses on all the amazing resources our libraries have to offer. Take some time this month to connect with your school's library teacher and learn more about all that your school library has to offer. The resources available to students and staff are absolutely amazing, along with the expertise of our talented NPS library teachers!
Newton Inspires - Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Newton Public Schools teachers and staff will be the center of attention at the 2022 Newton Inspires event presented by Newton Schools Foundation. On Tuesday, May 3rd from 6-8 pm at Angier Elementary School, emcee former WGBH host Barbara Howard, will lead a live conversation with NPS teachers, who will discuss their work in the classroom and what keeps them inspiring our students to learn and achieve. Tuesday, May 3rd is also Teacher Appreciation Day. To learn more or to purchase tickets to the event, visit this website: Newton Schools Foundation Newton Inspires Event Information.
Unified Basketball Jamboree - Day Middle
On Thursday, March 31st, Day Middle School hosted a Unified Basketball Jamboree. Teams from Natick and Needham attended, as did our own Newton teams at Brown, Day, and Oak Hill.
Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
8th Grade Family Night - Newton South
Several hundred families came to Newton South’s Grade 8 Night on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, our biggest in-person event this school year. At this event, families learned about the transition from middle to high school and all that Newton South has to offer. Thanks to all those who attended, and we look forward to next seeing the Class of 2026 on Step Up Day on Friday, June 10!
Earth Day Celebration - Sunday, April 24th
Celebrate Earth Day with a festival on Sunday, April 24 from 1-4pm outside of City Hall! With electric vehicles and entertaining performances, bike rides and bees, ice cream and info on home energy improvements, we’ll have something for everyone to mark the day.
See a full list of activities at GreenNewton.org/EarthDay.
Event will take place rain or shine. Newton’s Earth Day Festival is hosted by Green Newton, the City’s Climate Team, and Newton’s EV Task Force.
Bike Rodeo - Sunday, May 1st
For Grades K-6 at Newton South High School
1) If you'd like your kids to participate then sign them up ASAP (after 5:00 p.m. when registration opens). Last year registration filled within a few hours! https://newtonma.myrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=30165. Register yourself as a volunteer here to fill out the waiver.
2) Then sign up to volunteer for a shift or two. The shifts are overlapping so you'll learn from the prior shift. The first shift will help set up and the final shift will help clean up.
Volunteer Sign-up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C084EADA623A1FF2-bike3
- ABC Quick Check - best for those comfortable doing minor assessment of bikes, like checking brakes, pumping tires.
- Obstacle Course - the final station and managed fully by volunteers. Kids will practice their skills on an obstacle course. We need volunteers here who are good at engaging with kids.
- Education Stations - this includes some activities like identifying parts of the bike, a trivia wheel, and signs. Older students are welcome to help!
- Skills Course - MA SRTS/MassBike instructors will tell you exactly what you need to do to help them with the skills course. Last year some volunteers acted as stop signs.
- Helmet Fit - We'll help caregivers fit their student's helmets.
Crossing Guards - Now Hiring!
The Newton Police Department is hiring crossing guards for the remainder of this school year. This position is so important and there are several openings right now! If you are interested, please contact Safety Officer Jason Schlegel at 617-796-2178 or the Newton Police Traffic Bureau at 617-796-2106. Applications are on the City of Newton website at www.newtoma.gov.