District Update

March 24, 2021

Video Recap of March 24 Newsletter

March 24 Newtletter Recap

Board of Education Recap Article

This is not a full recap of all issues discussed at the Board of Education meeting. These are not official minutes. For more information on the Board of Education meeting, click here.

The board of education continued its conversation about Summit Learning and adopted an action plan for the program. You can download the PDF of that plan here. To summarize, the district is coming up with a plan of improvement for the remainder of the school year and a more detailed plan for next year. The first plan includes detailed parameters for Chisholm and Santa Fe. Between now and the end of this year, the buildings and district will use data for workshops to meet student needs and for mentoring, collect feedback from parents, create family engagement and education on the platform for parents, and a variety of other measures to improve the learning platform and adapt it to Newton. Refer to the link above for more detailed information.

There will be a review of everything done in July, and, from there, a more extensive plan carried out at the beginning of the 21-22 school year. In December 2021, there will be another review and a decision on whether or not the program will be continued and/or how it will be continued.

The board also received some information on the district’s plan to start engaging the community on what they’d like to see out of a Newton High School graduate as well as what community members think the district is doing well and what it can improve on.

Full Board Meeting:

- YouTube
- YouTube

Facebook Live Q&A

Will we be making any changes to masks in schools?

At this point, no. We will continue to enforce our mask policy.

When does enrollment open?
It will open April 1. That is also the day for Kindergarten Round-Up.

Full Q&A:

- YouTube

Superintendent's Corner

The numbers this week taken from logs maintained locally are:

● Students quarantined: 55 on 3/11/21 (67 on 3/4/21)

● Staff quarantined: 4 on 3/10/2021 (6 on 3/4/2021)

● Active cases: 7 active cases on 3/12/2021, including 3 student and 4 staff (9 active cases on 3/5/2021, including 6 student and 3 staff)

School Social Worker Week

Before break, we had School Social Worker Week. Please take a few moments to reflect upon the contributions these folks have made in our schools in recent years. Having these positions in Newton, especially on the general education side is somewhat of a rarity. I greatly appreciate the services provided by all of our USD 373 social workers!

Principal’s Council

I had such a great time with the NHS Principal’s Council before break. Students worked in groups and individually discussed what success looks like to them.

I have their individual responses that I plan to go through. There were some very positive responses from our students. The things we can do better are also things we know about or can fix. I will have at least one more leadership group to meet with this year for additional input. I will report back on that input as well.


Can you believe this school year is almost over? We have a few important pieces of information for you as this school year winds down.

First of all, click here for next year’s calendar.

Secondly, enrollment will open on April 1. The tentative deadline for returning families to submit their 2021-22 application is May 7, 2021. You will just be getting students enrolled at this time and payment isn’t expected or able to be made until July 1. More on that below.

All families should enroll their kindergarten through twelfth-grade students using the 'Online Registration' link available through their parent portal account. If you are a parent of a returning student and need to enroll a new student for any grade level, you can follow the instructions available in the online application process to add their new student properly.

Families who are new to the district may access the online application through the 'New Family Registration' link on the USD 373 website under Enrollment Information. Again, you will not be able to enroll until April 1 either. We know you’re excited. It’s almost time.

Payments for 2021-22 fees cannot be submitted or paid before July 1, 2021. Free and reduced meal applications for 2021-22 will be available AFTER July 1, 2021.

If you need help with your parent portal please contact your student's school office.

Important Reminders

Virtual Events

We’ve got a few awesome opportunities for you to get your questions answered in the next week.

On Monday, March 29 at 12 p.m., we’ll be hosting a Kindergarten Round-Up Q&A with Kindergarten Teacher Alyce Bartel to go over what to expect at Kindergarten Round-Up and answer any questions you may have.

Then on Tuesday, March 30 at 4:30 p.m. we will be hosting an enrollment Q&A for incoming Chisholm students. This will be an opportunity for you to ask any enrollment questions you may have!

Please bring your Kindergarten Round-Up or enrollment questions to either event.


It's about time for our student-directed one acts! We have six total, so we'll be splitting them into two separate performances. Our first round is coming up on March 25 and 26 and the second round will be March 27 and 28.

Purchase your tickets ahead of time here: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/48198

NOTE: If you can, please do reserve online so we can get an estimate for how many we'll have and can plan for social distancing. Thank you so much for supporting our students!

New Covid Reporting Forms

Below are two new forms for reporting a positive COVID case or that your student is a close contact. You may use these instead of calling into the building if your child has tested positive or has COVID symptoms or is a close contact. If you would still like to call, that is acceptable as well. We hope these forms will allow us to keep our students and staff safe through speedy contact tracing.

Tested Positive/Symptoms: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScj701IpDPoqpCn8hB4Yxgez1G9g9niMKQFhUYV81QrAFmQ_A/viewform

Close Contact: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQPoH5ioUK2coVCuAWX-W0ZgLLv8M60cAqUo6iOdT742wsyA/viewform

Kindergarten Round-Up

Mark your calendars for Kindergarten Round-Up on April 1. This year, Kindergarten Round-Up will be at the elementary buildings by appointment (either on-site or virtual).

Precautions for COVID-19 will be taken.

We do ask that families bring immunization records, health assessments or birth certificates if available (not required for Kindergarten Round-Up).

If you do not have an incoming kindergartener but know of any families with incoming kindergarteners, make sure you let them know about this event and information.

Please note, this means kindergarten students will not have school that day.

Latchkey For Monday

Just a reminder, on Monday, March 29, we will not have school. However, if you need help with childcare, we will be having Latchkey for USD 373 ages kindergarten through sixth grade.

To be able to participate in this, we ask that you sign up by March 26 at 6 p.m.

If your child is currently participating in Latchkey, please email haleigh.willis@usd373.org to let her know that your child plans on attending or sign up with your site supervisor before March 12 . If your child does not currently attend Latchkey, fill out an application form and turn it in to Haleigh Willis. You may scan and send your applications in to Haleigh Willis or drop them off or send them to Sunset Elementary School (619 Boyd Ave, Newton, KS 67114).

Either way, Latchkey will need to know your child is participating by March 26 to make sure they have the correct staffing.

We also have United Way scholarships available. To apply, fill out this form. Again, you can scan and send the applications or get them to Sunset.

For more information on Latchkey, visit the Latchkey website.

Question and Feedback Form

Question and Feedback Form

On all of our district and school websites, you will see a Questions & Feedback button on the home screen. This will lead you to a new form that you can use to get your questions answered more quickly and make sure your feedback goes to the correct person. Please use this form for any emails or questions. You’ll notice a few dropdown menus. If you choose general district, a dropdown menu with a variety of topics will appear for you to choose from. If you select school specific, a dropdown menu will appear with a list of schools for you to choose from.

Railer Recognition

This is to recognize the accomplishments of USD 373 staff or students. If you know of a student or staff that should be recognized, please email info@usd373.org.

Militairy Signing Day

Newton High School had its first military signing day for students entering into the armed forces. They celebrated six different students--Selena Aguilar, Samuel Claassen, Avery Dutcher, Keaton Benedick, Kylie Schwind and Isaac Hernandez.


The Railer Business Professionals of America Team did a fantastic job at regionals with some qualifying for Nationals!

Here are the students who placed!

Anthony Wedel:

BPA Scholarship Winner

Kansas Merit Award

6th Presentation Management Individual

7th Place Fundamental Accounting

Ann Pomeroy

2nd Graphic Design

3rd Interview Skills

Eli Reddington

1st Extemporaneous Speech

5th Advanced Interview Skills

Top Ten Parliamentary Procedure Concepts

Alfred Montano

2nd Prepared Speech

4th Advanced Interview Skills

Anahi and Natalie Sanchez

3rd Place Website Design

Anahi Sanchez

Kansas Merit Award

NHS Graduates in the NCAA Tournament

We had two USD 373 graduates who wrestled in the NCAA Division 1 Championships over last weekend—Logan Treaster 2017, and Wyatt Hendrickson 2019.

Treaster (125 weight class) wrestled for the US Naval Academy and Hendrickson (285 weight class) wrestled for the United States Air Force Academy. To qualify, Treaster placed second in the EIWA Tournament and Hendrickson placed third in the Big 12 Tournament.

Pennies for Patients

Newton High School raised $259.15 in their recent Pennies for Patients service project to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Congratulations to Brian Kennell's seminar and Nan Bergen'sseminar for surpassing $50 in donations. They will receive ice cream treats for their efforts. Thank you to HOSA members and to all those who contributed to this worthwhile cause.


Congratulations to the FFA Poultry Judging Team for placing 3rd in the South Central District Contest.

Jazz Band

Congratulations to NHS Jazz Ensemble 1 and Jazz Combo: both groups earned Division 1 "Outstanding" ratings at the Pittsburg State University Jazz Festival. Several students received individual "Outstanding Musicianship" awards: Jonah Schloneger, John Mark Koontz, Kaden Anderson, and Josh Bergman.

NHS Student of the Week

Staff Shout Outs

Have a staff member go above and beyond for your student? Did a coworker go the extra mile to make a difference? Let us know and they'll be featured here! Please email info@usd373.org with the information. Please note, these are a little shorter than normal due to the break.

Joey Menninga: Thank you to the world's best principal for working late nights, defending teachers, and always being positive no matter what is thrown your way.

Chad Nulik: Thank you for always checking on staff members to make sure we are doing ok. You bring great new ideas.

Shout out to Walton Food Service Manager Blake Ervin for a perfect inspection!

Shout out to OA Food Service Manager Shannon Garton for a perfect inspection!

Shoutout to Molly Schauf for taking time out of her Spring Break to come up to the high school to fix embroidery machines. She wanted them ready for when students returned. That's dedication to our students!

I want to take a moment to thank Dalton Scott and all of his help with Infinite Campus! I appreciate his willingness to answer any question, no matter how trivial it may be.

Shout out to Samantha Anderson for her outstanding communication skills and willingness to cover every single thing she can. She does a wonderful job highlighting the incredible things happening in our district.