NPS District News
July 28, 2021
Message from the Superintendent
Dear NPS Families,
I hope you are having a restful and enjoyable summer. Here in the district offices, we are very busy planning for our full, in-person return to school in September. We are excited for a more typical school year and to fully resume our rich academic and extracurricular programs.
While we are energized around our full return to school, we recognize that we will need to address the impact of a pandemic that is still with us. Our curriculum leaders are planning to address unfinished learning from last year, and our school leaders, counselors and mental health professionals are preparing to support students as they return to the classroom, some for the first time in more than a year. Our health partners are guiding us on the safety measures that will need to be in place in our schools this coming year and we continue to follow data and information from state and federal agencies. In addition, our building maintenance teams are working hard to ensure our buildings are ready to go in September with checks on ventilation systems and adjustments to classrooms and furniture.
The work of district and school leaders this summer is fully focused on recovery from the trauma of COVID and repair from the physical and social-emotional toll the pandemic has taken on all of us. We hope that you are finding these summer months to be part of that recovery and repair. Please know that our entire faculty and staff will be ready to continue that work with your students this fall.
Health and Safety
With the full in-person return of students to our school buildings this fall, we continue to monitor the latest health information to inform the safety protocols for the coming school year. This health data will not impact the full, in-person return to school, but may impact the health and safety measures that are in place during the school day.
We are aware that over the past few weeks, there has been significant reporting on the COVID Delta variant, as well as a documented uptick in COVID cases both in Newton and throughout the state. With new guidance issued yesterday from the CDC related to masking, the situation is clearly changing quickly.
On Thursday, July 22, we met with our Medical Advisory Group to discuss the most recent health data, masking, and surveillance testing, as well as any possible guidance from the state. Discussion focused on health and safety protocols for students and staff, as well as how best to prevent disruption to students’ education next year.
Decisions on health and safety protocols will be made in consultation with the Medical Advisory Group and the Newton Health and Human Services Department. We will also wait to see how Governor Baker and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will address the new federal guidance on masking at the state level.
Given the changing landscape, our medical advisors believe the district should make final decisions closer to the start of the school year. We meet again with the advisory group the week of August 2 and expect to have more firm information for you in mid-August.
Please Get Your COVID Vaccine!
As Mayor Fuller shared in her most recent newsletter, vaccinations are the most effective tool against COVID-19 and against the spread of the virus, including the development and spread of new variants. Vaccination against COVID-19 is highly effective against infection from all the known variants and even more effective at preventing severe disease.
Mayor Fuller provided a list of places where you can get your COVID vaccine in Newton. The state provides in-home vaccinations for anyone 12 and older who is unable to get to a vaccine location. Call 833-983-0485 Mon-Fri, 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. to register.
Vaccines and appointments are widely available in Newton, and some accept walk-ins. Here are the locations:
As you remember, last fall the City and the Newton Public Schools undertook a major project to repair, upgrade, and improve the ventilation systems in all school buildings. You can revisit that project here on this webpage: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/3804
This summer, we are continuing our preventive maintenance program for all HVAC systems in our buildings. This includes, but is not limited to, replacement of older unit ventilators, checking HVAC functionality, replacement of filters, and cleaning of systems. In addition, NPS is engaged in its usual summer deep clean of all buildings. Maintenance staff and contractors are hard at work to ensure our buildings are ready for the return to full, in-person school come September.
Register for the bus by this Saturday, July 31!
Registration for bus transportation for the 2021-22 school year is now open. Bus registration takes place using the MySchoolBucks portal. Please login into or create an account in MySchoolBucks to register. Here is the link: www.myschoolbucks.com.
Please note the following:
You MUST register by this 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
2021-22 School Year Calendar and Hours
Just a reminder that the school hours for the 2021-22 school year have shifted. You can find the new hours here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/810.
You can download the school year calendar, with holiday observances and vacation weeks, here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/2#calendar1/20210727/month