NPS District News

April 15, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear NPS Families,


As we prepare for our traditional April vacation, I hope that you will have the opportunity to take a small break before the final stretch of this really tough year. With all the scheduling changes we are experiencing right now, we know this has been a stressful and exhausting time for our families and our staff.


I am particularly cognizant that this has been a very painful period for our families, students and staff of color. We are very aware of the special responsibility our schools hold to be caring and safe spaces when there is so much understandable fear among members of our community. This week, our schools provided the opportunity for our students, particularly our older students, to process the deadly shooting that occurred in Minnesota. We will continue to support our students, not only by providing space, but by standing up against racism through our teaching and our practice.


The school year is quickly drawing to a close and as you know, we are planning for next year. Below you will find details on health and safety for the remainder of this year, as well as informational materials on our plans for next year.


Hope you have a restful break and I will be back in touch upon our return.


Sincerely,

David Fleishman

April Break Travel Guidelines

As we approach the April school break, Newton Heath and Human Services (HHS) urges Newton Public Schools families to do their part to help decrease the spread of COVID-19. Everyone should continue to follow the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), CDC and NPS guidelines related to travel and return to school. Please visit this webpage for details on the Massachusetts travel advisory and Newton HHS expectations.

COVID-19 Testing - Everybody in the Pool!

“Pool” testing is just another name for the type of COVID testing we are doing in our schools. It means that samples are “pooled” together for testing. It’s faster and more efficient! Check out the Public Service Announcement done by students at North.


We NEED YOU to participate to make this work. The more students who participate, the better data we have on infection rates in our community. This means we can:


  • Quickly identify infection

  • Reduce the risk of in school transmission

  • Limit quarantines

  • Keep our schools, athletics and other important activities open for the rest of the year


Here’s how to enroll and a few details on the testing:


  • Complete the opt-in in Aspen (here’s the link!)

  • High school students then create an account at JCM (do it here!) for access to a QR code they use to check in their sample. (Pre-K - 8th grade students will receive their QR code from school staff.)

  • This is NOT the “touch your brain” swab! This is a sample taken from the front of your nose with a Q-tip like swab. It’s super-fast and painless.

  • Testing is FREE to all families!

Start and End Times for 2021-22 School Year

This week, the School Committee heard a proposal for changing the start and end times for all schools in the 2021-22 school year and the district held a webinar for families on Tuesday, April 13 to share more details.


Newton South Jazz Wins Top Honors

Congratulations to the Newton South Jazz Ensemble for earning top jazz education honors through their selection as finalists in the national jazz competition, Essentially Ellington. South Jazz was selected as one of fifteen finalists out of hundreds of entries from top music programs. Take a listen to their submission here.

Walk, Roll, Bike or Take the Bus on #FreshAirFridays!

Do something good for yourself and the environment. Join Newton in celebrating #FreshAirFridays by walking, rolling, biking or taking the bus to school on Fridays this spring. Live too far to walk? Consider driving halfway and walking the rest. Visit www.NewtonSafeRoutes.org for some tips.

Bike Rodeo for Grades K-6 at Newton South High School

Join Newton Parks and Recreation and instructors from MA Safe Routes to Schools to practice bike riding skills on Sunday April 25th. Volunteers will help teach fun stations including knowing signs, hand signals and more. Requirements for participation include:


  • The child should be able to ride a bike independently.

  • Participants must bring their own bike and helmet.

  • An adult must be present for the duration of the program.


Registration for this program opens on April 15th at 6:00 pm. through this link: https://newtonma.myrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=30165