Newton Public Schools Update

Two items from Mayor Fuller’s email newsletter…

The Newton School Committee finished a meeting a short time ago. We had voted a little over a week ago to give parents and caregivers of all students the option of either some in class learning (a.k.a., the hybrid model) or fully distanced learning.

Since then, the Newton Public Schools received information from parents on their preferences and from teachers on their ability to teach in-person.

As a result of this matching of students and teachers, class by class and building by building, NPS made some important adjustments to the plan.

School will start for all students, whether they chose the hybrid model or distance learning, on Wednesday, September 16.

For those elementary students (Kindergarten – Grade 5) who chose in-person learning, the hybrid model will be phased in starting September 16 with students spending two mornings a week in-person and eventually expanding to two days a week in the classroom on November 1.

The Middle Schools (Grades 6-8) will begin the year with all students working online. The plan calls for students who chose the hybrid model to transition into some in-person classes at the start of the second marking period on November 16.

All students in the High Schools will be learning exclusively online for the foreseeable future. Opportunities will be available for high schoolers to connect in-person with adults and fellow students at the school buildings ̶ to have orientation activities, to create community and connections, to connect with councilors and to participate in extracurricular activities (theatre, sports, music, clubs, etc.), with health and safety protocols in place.

Students (elementary, middle and high school) identified as high need will have in-person opportunities for learning, if they prefer, four or five days a week.

NPS will send out more detailed information to the school community tomorrow. In the meantime, here is the PowerPoint presentation from the School Committee meeting earlier today which includes more about the reasons behind the plan.
Tentative Agreement with the School Nurses

I’m so pleased to share that last week we reached a tentative agreement with the Newton Public Health Nurses Professional Unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association which represents the nurses working in Newton’s twenty-three school buildings.

Our school nurses are vital in making our schools places where our students are safe and healthy. In this complicated time with a global pandemic, the work our nurses do is particularly critical. They are experienced, professional and compassionate, and have my deep respect and gratitude.

The City and the Nurses’ union has been working to finalize the fine print, and the Nurses are scheduled to vote on the agreement tomorrow.

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