NPS District News
June 2, 2021
Message from the Superintendent
Dear NPS Families,
During the months of May and June, students and staff typically prepare for transitions - to the next grade, the next school, or beyond the Newton Public Schools. Planning for these transitions this year has required a tremendous amount of flexibility given the changing nature of the pandemic. We are so grateful that with good news on vaccination rates and consistently improving health metrics, we are now able to hold some of our traditional end of year celebrations and events.
On June 16th, we will have in person “Step Up” days for all students transitioning to new schools. In addition, over the course of the next week, our elementary schools will offer in person visiting opportunities for all students who have been enrolled in the Distance Learning Academy (DLA) this year. And finally, our graduation ceremonies will be held in person for both high schools next week.
What a hopeful time! We thank our NPS families for their flexibility and partnership as together we celebrate these important milestones for our students.
Vaccination Clinic Thank You!
Thank you to all families who attended our vaccination clinic last weekend. More than 400 Newton community members were vaccinated. This is a huge step forward as we continue our return to regular events and activities. A special thank you to those who volunteered their time at the clinic, as well as to the Holtzman Medical Group for partnering with us once again.
COVID-19 Student Testing - Final Weeks
Thank you to all families who have participated in our weekly COVID-19 pooled testing in our schools. The testing program has played an important role in keeping our school communities healthy, especially as we returned more students to our buildings in April.
Newton, as a community, has been very successful in achieving high vaccination rates and the incidence rate has continued to drop to very low levels over the past several weeks. Given this good news, and with the end of the year approaching, we are planning to wind down our testing program:
The final week of testing for our high school students will be the week of June 7, including students who participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
The final week of testing for our Pre-K, elementary and middle school students will be the week of June 14. There is nothing you need to do as we end the program for this school year.
We will be back in touch before the start of the next school year with information about testing for the fall, following guidance from the state and in consultation with Newton Health and Human Services and our Medical Advisory Group.
Bus Transportation for the 2021-22 School Year
Registration for bus transportation for the 2021-22 school year will open the week of June 14. You will receive a separate email when the registration portal officially opens. Please note the following:
You MUST register by Saturday, July 31.
On July 31, 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
Every year, the Newton Public Schools partner with the Newton Free Library to develop book lists for summer reading. These are books NPS librarians and staff, together with our City librarians, believe would be age-appropriate, meaningful, and enjoyable books for students to read over the summer. There is no “required” reading for the next school year - just a summer full of time to enjoy reading for pleasure! Here are the booklists linked below:
Newton South Receives Special Olympics National Banner Recognition
Newton South recently achieved National Banner Recognition from Special Olympics Massachusetts. National Banner Recognition is awarded to schools that have already achieved Unified Champion status and then meet or exceed 10 national standards of excellence in the areas of Unified sports, whole school engagement and inclusive youth leadership. Congratulations to the entire team at Newton South for making this program possible! Check out this amazing video put together by Special Olympics Massachusetts to recognize this achievement: https://youtu.be/F5ZnJFLsoT8
Brown Middle School - Making Outdoor Learning Work
Students and teachers at Brown have made the most of the COVID requirements to spend time outside during certain activities. Band rehearsals and lunch have been real high points for students as they have had the chance to spend more time outside during the school day. See a few pics below of students in action. And, see a pic of the recently renamed auditorium in honor of long time principal John Jordan!
Burr Elementary Students Community Service
As part of Burr School’s ongoing commitment to give back to the community, Fifth Grade Student Council members organized a collection of personal hygiene items for the Centre Food Pantry in Newton. More than 200 bags of soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and shampoo were collected and delivered to the food pantry.
Crossing Guard/Van/Bus Driver Appreciation Day!
On Friday, June 11, celebrate Newton's bus/van drivers and crossing guards, who have demonstrated flexibility and resilience as school times and bus routes have changed throughout the year. On June 11, volunteers will organize celebrations with pre-packaged snacks and drinks and Safety Superhero buttons at both the van yard and the bus yard. PTOs will distribute flowers and buttons to the 56 crossing guards spread across the City. To find out how you and your student can say thank you and support this event, visit the Newton Safe Routes website.
Walking/Biking Traffic Congestion
With the amazing good weather, many students are walking and biking to school - hooray! We ask families to please do the following:
Take extreme care when dropping off or picking students up at school
Be sure to follow posted traffic patterns and use designated drop off areas.
Find out more about walking and biking to school on our website: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/3320