Hello Hamp!

Northampton High School Newsletter

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September 20, 2021

Tuesday, September 21⋅

  • Flex- 10th graders meet with counselors
  • 2:15 – 3:15pm Registered Students meet in the auditorium with Superintendent Provost
  • Late bus starts Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30
    6:30-8:00- Virtual Open House

Wednesday Sept. 22

  • Flex- 10th graders meet with counselors
Thursday Sept. 23
  • Flex- 10th graders meet with counselors

Friday, 9/24

  • Picture Day All students must have their picture taken to use for student IDs. Those interested in ordering photos may pic up an order sheet in the main office.

Virtual Open House

Dear Caregivers,

This year NHS will be hosting a virtual open house. Teachers will be emailing links to their Open House sessions by the end of the day on Monday. If you do not get an email from your student's teacher, please email the teacher and let them know. If you do not get a response, email a member of the administrative team.

The subject line of the email will include the class period, the course name, and the teacher name (Ex: "Period 2, English 9, Ms. Darcy"). In the body of the email will be a Zoom link to the open house classroom session.

You can use this template to keep track of the links as they come in. In this template you will also find open drop-in sessions available between 6:20-8:00. Drop-in sessions are available with:

  • Tech Q & A

  • Intern Coordinator

  • Clerical Support- Zoom links, Schedules, ASPEN Support

Open House Class Schedule:

Welcome 6:20- 6:40 p.m.

PERIOD 1 6:45- 7:00 p.m.

PERIOD 2 7:05- 7:20 p.m

PERIOD 3 7:25- 7:40 p.m

PERIOD 4 7:45- 8:00 p.m

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School Counseling Department

What is the difference between an Adjustment Counselor an a School Counselor?

  • All Northampton High school students have school counselors (formerly known as guidance counselors) that are assigned alphabetically by the first letter of their last name. The one exception to this is that Ms. Castro is the counselor for all ELL students, regardless of last name. These counselors remain with students for their 4 years here. Counselors are available to provide a wide range of support to students and if students have a need or concern, they should reach out to their counselor. If students have questions about how to reach their counselor, the link to the NHS guidance department is: http://www.northamptonschools.org/project/nhs-guidance/

  • As another student support, we have a General Education School Adjustment Counselor, Ms. Goodwin-Boyd, who is available to students who need assistance beyond their assigned counselor. Ms. Goodwin-Boyd usually meets with students on a short term basis and her office is in the guidance suite. Students often refer themselves to Ms. Goodwin-Boyd. Additionally, other counselors, teachers, and Administration will also refer students who they feel may need occasional extra support. There are 3 Special Education School Adjustment Counselors who are assigned to see special education students who have counseling on their IEPs. They are Ms. Leydon, Mr. Stone and Ms. Teed.

10th Grade Meetings during Flex

  • 10th graders will be meeting with their school counselors during flex block September 21, 22 and 23. Students will be able to see their assigned date and location in enriching students on Mentor Monday during flex block. Students must attend on their assigned day with their own counselor. We will discuss Aspen, Naviance, Four Year Planning and more!
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Join fellow NHS students and the greater community to celebrate art, music, dance, film, poetry, music and community at Florence Night Out on Saturday, September 25 beginning at 4 PM! NHS Ceramic and Sculpture students will have sculptures on display at the fountain at the triangle park near Florence Civic Center, you can make your own chalk art near Friendlyś (hosted by NHS student Georgia Greene!) and the band Misconception (NHS students) will be performing! www.florencenightout.org

Flex Block Updates

Students must sign up for a Flex block everyday. T-F.

  • This includes students with an internship/work study/dual enrollment/Smith class
  • The only students excused from flex are those who have a conflicting Smith class on their schedule or who do not have a 2nd period class whatsoever. Ms. Jopson has pre-assigned these student and sent a confirmation email to the student.

All students must report to the flex block they have been assigned.

How to register for Flex if you are absent on Monday:

  • your teacher will sign you up for your Flex block classes.
  • Student may self-schedule on Mondays between 11:40am-5pm.
  • If Students do not self-schedule, your teacher will register you for Flex block T-F

New Flex Course Offerings

  • Arts Open Studio on Fridays with Louise Martindell

  • Open Gym on Wed & Fri with Salem Derby

  • Weight Lifting on Tue & Thur with Lee Mollison

Dear NPS Staff and Caregivers:

I would like to update you on our COVID-19 testing program. We are working with our vendor, CIC Health, to establish a schedule for routine covid safety checks (formerly called pooled testing). We hope to resume this form of testing on September 30, 2021.

Routine covid safety checks will occur weekly on Thursdays at NHS, JFK and Leeds and on Fridays at BSS, JSS and RKFRR. This testing mode involves a double swab method: one swab is put into a pool of tests, if the pool results are positive, the lab has individual swabs on hand to complete a PCR test right away, which will provide more accurate results and allow for contact tracing to begin sooner. If you receive a call from CIC Health, our contact tracers, or our school nurses, it is imperative for you to answer your phone or return the phone call as soon as you receive the message.

The district will continue to conduct symptomatic testing with the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test. This testing will be administered to staff or students presenting with potential COVID symptoms during the school day. Given the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant, our current practice is to refer to all individuals presenting with potential COVID symptoms to their primary care providers and follow-up PCR testing.

Consent forms were sent home at the beginning of school, noting that consent is for all three (3) methods of testing (i.e. routine safety checks, symptomatic testing, and test and stay, which has currently been suspended in our district). Thank you to those who have filled out and returned paper copies. I would direct those who have not signed up with the paper consent to this link:

Consent Link: Click Here

In these ever changing times, thank you for your continued collaboration in helping to keep our school community healthy and safe.


Lisa Safron BSN,RN, NSCN

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An Invitation to Students from Superintendent Provost

Dear Students,

I hope the new school year is going well for you. I am so happy to have you all back in person. The American Rescue Plan Act, which President Biden signed into law last spring, will provide the Northampton Public Schools $3.4 million to spend on COVID recovery. I have to apply for those funds in early October. I am spending time this month with various members of our school community to get their ideas on how we should use these funds. As part of that process, I’d like to get your ideas.

I will be meeting with NHS students on Tuesday, September 21⋅2:15 – 3:15pm in the auditorium. This is an optional meeting. If you choose to attend, please complete the form below and bring your chromebook or other device as there will be an electronic survey.

I hope you can make it. I’d love to hear your ideas.


John A. Provost, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Link to Sign Up Sheet: https://forms.gle/2a1moh5L1YPcWTKk6

Town Hall: American Rescue Plan Act

Dear caregivers:

Thank you for your continued support as we move into the 2021-2022 school year. Having our students fully in-person again has been worth the effort it has taken to achieve. The American Rescue Plan Act, which President Biden signed into law last spring, will provide the Northampton Public Schools $3.4 million to spend on COVID recovery. I have to apply for those funds in early October. I am spending time this month with various members of our school community including students, administrators, parents of preschoolers, the Special Education and English Learner parent advisory councils, the school councils, Racial Equity and Learning in the Northampton Schools (REAL), and the Northampton Association of School Employees (NASE) to get their ideas on how we should use these funds. As part of that process, I'd like to get your ideas.

  • I have scheduled a virtual town hall meeting for caregivers on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via ZOOM.
  • A Spanish Interpreter will be available.
  • Time: Sep 22, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • Join Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/i/82953034873
  • Meeting ID: 829 5303 4873
  • Passcode: 123
  • One tap mobile +16468769923,82953034873#...*123# US (New York)
  • Dial by your location +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

I hope you can make it. I'd love to hear your ideas.


John A. Proyost, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

Estimados cuidadores:

Gracias por su continuo apoyo a medida que avanzamos hacia el año escolar 2021-2022. Al tener a nuestros estudiantes completamente en persona nuevamente ha valdido la pena el esfuerzo que se ha tomado para lograrlo. La Ley del Plan de Rescate Estadounidense, que el presidente Biden promulgó la primavera pasada, proporcionará a las Escuelas Públicas de Northampton $3.4 millones para los gastos en la recuperación de COVID. Tengo que solicitar esos fondos a principios de octubre. Estoy pasando tiempo este mes con varios miembros de nuestra comunidad escolar, incluyendo estudiantes, administradores, padres de niños en edad preescolar, los consejos asesores de padres de Educación Especial y Aprendizaje de Inglés, los consejos escolares, Equidad Racial y Aprendizaje en las Escuelas de Northampton (REAL) y la Asociación de Empleados Escolares de Northampton (NASE) para obtener sus ideas sobre cómo debemos usar estos fondos. Como parte de ese proceso, me gustaría conocer sus ideas

  • He programado una reunión pública virtual para los cuidadores el miércoles 22 de septiembre de 2021 de 6:30-7:30 p.m, a través de ZOOM.
  • Habrá un intérprete de español disponible.
  • Hora: 22 de septiembre de 2021 a las 06:30 p.m., hora del este (EE.UU. y Canadá)
  • Unirse a la reunión de Zoom https://us06web.zoom.us/i/82953034873
  • ID de reunión: 829 5303 4873 Código de acceso:
  • 123 Móvil con un toque
  • +16468769923,,82953034873#....*123# US (Nueva York)
  • Marcar por su ubicación+1 646 876 9923 Estados Unidos (Nueva York)

Espero que puedan asistir. Me encantaría escuchar sus ideas.


John A. Provost, Ed.D. Superintendente de Escuelas

REAL (Racial Equity and Learning) Invitations/Announcements

Annual REAL Meeting for Members

Every fall we hold an open meeting for REAL members new and old to connect and learn more about the group. This year's will be Wednesday, October 27, from 7:30 to 8:30. We hope you can make it! Save the date, spread the word, and stay tuned for the zoom link.

Note that we're also happy to connect with anyone individually by phone about REAL's mission/goals/work. Just email Jenny Bender to set something up.

REAL Story Sharing Exhibit Subcommittee

The Story Sharing Exhibit Subcommittee is behind a digital exhibit, REAL Talk, that launched in spring 2021 and is continuing into the fall. We're also working toward an eventual in-person exhibit (2021/22) of stories shared by people in the district about their experiences with race, racism, and whiteness in Northampton public schools. The intention: to help guide school community conversations on these crucial topics.

Efforts in the year ahead will also involve collaborating with teachers (including art teachers!) and students districtwide to expand reach. **The work of this group will be a major focus of REAL's in the first half of the year, and we would love to welcome YOU to the effort!** Contact Deborah Keisch with any questions or with interest in joining.

REAL Restorative Practices (RP) Subcommittee

REAL’s Restorative Practices Subcommittee emphasizes building relationships and moving away from punitive school culture based on “power over” and toward a model based on “power with.” The group's main goals are to support the district in moving toward its expressed commitment to restorative practices and holding leadership accountable to this commitment.

The group was recently awarded a small grant from the Collaborative Resolutions Group to design and lead a two-part Intro to RP in Schools training this October 3 & 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for REAL members, including families, students, and NPS employees. Contact Kara McLaughlin with questions/interest in joining the subcommittee or the October training.

REAL Digital Subcommittee

We're on Facebook and Instagram, where we recently shared Gazette columnist Tolley Jones piece "Exhausted from doing the heavy lifting for white people," REAL's statement on the issue of equitable after-school care at our elementary schools, and a repost on coded language in education. Coming up, we'll be posting responses to race-equity-related questions we emailed all individuals running in our town's mayoral, City Council, and School Committee races.

Contact Kristen Elde about joining REAL's Digital Subcommittee and helping with social media and/or the website (the calendar and resource pages in particular). We could really use this support!

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September 13, 2021

This and That

  • Breakfast is served in the cafeteria daily from 8:35-8:55. Students may enter the cafe for breakfast. Students may not enter other parts of the building until 8:45.

  • Student Parking is in the lower lot or in the stadium. Students are not to park in the upper lot as these spaces are reserved for teachers.

  • Here is a video walking students through how to use Enriching Students to sign themselves up for Flex Block.

  • Students are required to participate in a physical education experience each school year. This experience can be a gym class, a wellness class, a sport, or a variety of aerobic enrichment opportunities (walking, yoga class, dance, marching band, hiking, etc). If students are completing this requirement by doing an activity other than taking a PE or wellness class they are required to complete this PE FORM. Questions can be directed to Ms. Harrison mharrison@northampton-k12.us


During the Fall, the counseling community area is reserved as a space for students who have registered for College Rep Visits to log on and attend the virtual visit. All students must bring their Chromebook and a pair of headphones!

College Rep visits will start on Monday, September 13th and are open to Juniors and Seniors only. Students must register through their Naviance account and must sign in when they arrive in Guidance.

You can find which colleges are visiting and the registration links under the What's New section at the bottom of your Home page in Naviance, or by clicking on Colleges at the top, and then College Visits under the Research Colleges header.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Sullivan

The library is open as a quiet study for those needing a place to work independently.

Join the School Council

Nominations are now being accepted for caregiver representatives to serve on the NHS School Council. If you would like to serve on the council, or nominate someone, please email the NHS PTO a brief note of nomination, or explaining your interest in serving, no later than Thursday, September 23.

The School Council meets monthly, with a schedule to be determined by Principal Vaillancourt and council members. School Council meetings are open to all.

The NHS PTO will be conducting the School Council election the final week of September. The election will be online this year to encourage and allow maximum caregiver participation.

The School Council is a representative, building-based committee composed of the principal, parents/guardians, teachers, community members and students, required to be established by each school pursuant to M.G.L., Chapter 71, Section 59c. The function of the School Council is to assist the principal in adopting educational goals for the school, identifying the educational needs of students attending the school, reviewing the annual school budget and formulating a School Improvement Plan. In addition, the principal, in consultation with the school council, reviews the student handbook each year to consider changes in disciplinary policy.

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September 8, 2021

MCAS Testing Requirements by Year of Graduation

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September 6, 2021

Delayed Start due to Mold

Students will start school on September 3rd. Below is the message sent via Robocall from Dr. Provost.

"Hello. This is a message from John Provost, Superintendent of Schools. Earlier today, you received a communication about mold that was discovered in some classrooms on the ground floor and first floor of the high school. Our maintenance staff and a union representative inspected the building after it was closed finding that the issue was limited to these two floors. Later in the day, Green Environmental Consulting inspected the school and confirmed the presence of mold. This was not caused by any leaks. Rather it was caused by condensation from humid air brought into the building as part of our efforts to increase air exchanges. The district has arranged for Quality Cleaning and Restoration to conduct cleaning and remediation operations tomorrow. For this reason Northampton High School will be closed to all staff and visitors tomorrow. Once this work is completed, Green Environmental Consulting will retest the air quality to confirm the effectiveness of the cleaning. The affected rooms will be closed until a satisfactory quality result is returned.

In order to provide high school staff with an opportunity to set up their classrooms, the first day of school for the high school only will be moved to September 3rd, unless we run into unforeseen problems with the cleanup. An additional day will be added to the end of the school year to meet state structured learning time requirements."

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The Student dashboard is a resource to help students and caregivers easily navigate and access information, tools and forms. The dashboard is a one stop shop linking you to all you need to know. Here you will find the FY22 District Calendar, The Code of Conduct, Student Guidebook, counseling department resources, information regarding Flex Block and much more. I will update the dashboard as information is made available.

The DASHBOARD LINK IS HERE and linked below

This an That

Is your schedule missing a locker number or combination or homeroom number?

SBG Resources:

School Meals FREE for all students for the entire school year!

This menu can be found on our website: http://www.northamptonschools.org/project/food-services/

September Lunch Menu

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Flex Block

NHS is fully launching Flex Block this year.

Read THIS FLEX BLOCK GUIDEBOOK for detailed information.

Flex Block is designed to offer all students extra support within the school day. Flex may be used for the following:
  • extra help and reinforcement on content
  • reassess on a standard
  • to work on a project or homework with teacher help
  • Upperclass students may also report to a quiet or collaborative study hall.

Monday-Friday 11:44-12:20

  • Monday- All students report to home base to sign up for classes for the week. Home room location Is on your class schedule.
  • Tuesday-Friday- Report to scheduled flex block classes.

NHS Late Bus

This year Northampton High School students will be offered a late bus.

Start Date- Sept 20th, 2021

Days- Tuesday and Thursday

Route Stops:

students will need to inform the driver of their stop. The full route is 60 minutes depending on the number of stops

  • JFK Middle school
  • Meadowbrook Apartments on Bridge Rd
  • Crosswalk in front of Jackson St School
  • River Run Apartments
  • Bridge St at the Post Office
  • South St and Monroe St
  • Prince St at Village Hill
  • Rocky Hill and Ice Pond Dr.
  • Florence Rd at Black Birch Trail
  • Florence Heights
  • RKF Ryan RD School
  • Leeds School

Covid Health and Safety Policies

Lunch Protocols

  • Outdoor dining is available behind the cafeteria through October.
  • Seniors students may sign out at the main office for lunch block. Seniors may NOT dismiss themselves out the cafeteria doors. It is expected that seniors are prompt to their 3rd period class. A violation of this policy may result in revoking off campus lunch privileges.
  • When eating in the cafe, students are expected to wear masks as soon as they have finished eating.
  • To support contact tracing protocols, students are expected to sign in to a lunch table. A QR code has been placed on each dinning table. Directions are below:
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NPS Masking Policy

The Northampton Public School District is committed to providing a safe environment as schools reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to public health experts, one of the best ways to stop the spread of coronavirus and to keep members of our school community safe is the use of face masks or face coverings. Therefore, in accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the following requirements are in place until further notice.

A face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be worn by all individuals in school buildings, on school grounds and on school transportation, even when social distancing is observed.Individuals may be excused from the requirement for the following list of reasons, per CDC guidance:

The individual:

● has trouble breathing;

● is unconscious;

● in incapacitated;

● cannot remove the mask or face covering without assistance.

In addition, masks or face coverings will not be required for anyone who has a medical, behavioral or other challenge making it unsafe to wear a face mask or face covering. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the building principal in consultation with the school nurse or local Board of Health. Faceshields that wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend below the chin, hooded face shields or physical barriers may provide an alternative in some instances. Additionally, face masks or face coverings will not be required when appropriate social distancing is enforced:

● during mask breaks;

● while eating or drinking;

● while outside.

All students in grades pre-k through 12th will be required to wear a mask which is to be provided by the student’s family. Staff members are responsible for providing their own face coverings. However, the district will supply disposable face covering for individuals who arrive at a building, or board school transportation, without one. The following types of masks/face coverings are acceptable to wear at school:

  • Disposable surgical masks (must be replaced daily; cannot be reused or washed).
  • Fabric masks (preferably at least two layers).
  • Face shields along with a surgical or fabric mask

The following types of masks/face coverings are not acceptable to wear at school as data is currently inconclusive as to their efficacy:

  • -Masks with vents
  • -Neck gaiters
  • - Bandanas
  • -Plastic face shields alone without a fabric or surgical mask (unless granted an exception by the building principal in consultation with the school nurse or local Board of Health

If students are in violation of this policy, the building principal will consult with the parent/guardians to determine whether an exception is appropriate, or the student may be removed from the school building for in-person learning until such time as they can comply with the requirement or the requirement is lifted. Violations of this policy by staff will be handled in the same manner as other violations of School Committee policy. Visitors in violation of this policy will be denied entry to the school/district facility. This policy will remain in place until rescinded by the School Committee.

LEGAL REF.: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, COVID-19 Order No. 31 -


REFS.: Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Considerations for Wearing Masks - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-fa ce-cover-guidance.html Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Reopening Guidelines - http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/ Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Mask Up MA! – https://www.mass.gov/news/mask-up-ma

SOURCE: MASC – August 2020

APPROVED: September 1, 2020

Other Covid Safety Updates

  • Students will be required to "sign in" to a lunch table. This is to support contract tracing
  • Outdoor seating will be provided through October.

Outdoor Class/Tents

  • Available for outdoor classes until the end of October.
  • If you teach outside, please put a sign on your door with your location and sign out in the main office.
  • Students may pass in the hall in any direction.
  • Food and drinks can not be consumed in the classroom. Students may snack outside on a mask break.


Member Leadership

Liz Horn - President

Megan Paik - Vice President

Sharon Kubin - Treasurer

Michaela O’Brien - Secretary

Ride Share/Carpool

If your NHS student is not eligible to ride the school bus (lives less than 1.5 miles from school) but is still in need of a ride to/from school OR if you have space in your car to drive other NHS students to/from school, please email Kristin Pisano at kpisano@gmail.com. If there is enough interest, we'll try to organize a carpool!

PTO Meeting Dates

Meetings will take place on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm (location/virtual


Tuesday, Sept. 14 (hopefully outside under a tent at NHS)

Tuesday, Oct. 12

Tuesday, Nov. 9

Tuesday, Dec. 14

Tuesday, Jan. 11

Tuesday, Feb. 8

Tuesday, Mar. 8

Tuesday, Apr.12

Tuesday, May 10

Tuesday, June 14

Smith College Vaccination Policy

Smith Program Update: All NHS students taking Smith courses will need to abide by Smith’s COVID vaccine requirements: all undergraduate and graduate students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester. As with other required vaccinations requests for medical and religious exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please see Smith President Kathleen McCartney’s letter to the community here.