Updated Return to Learn Plan - August 26, 2020
On August 25th, the Newton Public Schools provided a revised recommendation to the School Committee for the educational models in which we will begin the year. The recommendation was approved on Wednesday, August 26th. The comprehensive Return to Learn plan has been updated with this new information. You can review it by following this link.
This change to the original recommendation was necessitated by survey feedback from both families and staff. Here is a link to the presentation given at the School Committee meetings on August 25 and 26. Recordings of the School Committee meeting and the community question and answer session are below:
The survey revealed the following:
- Selection of distance learning model more prevalent at elementary level
- Significant staffing challenges, particularly at the secondary level
- Equity and feasibility concerns for implementing both hybrid and distance learning models at the high school level
- Significant childcare needs at elementary level and among staff
Below are the proposed key shifts in educational models:
- Elementary - K-5 remains in the hybrid model. However, the in-person learning will be phased in.
- Middle School - Middle school would begin the year in the distance learning model. At the start of the second marking period (November), students would transition to the hybrid model.
- High School - High school would start the school year in the distance learning model and will remain in this model for the foreseeable future. In-person connection through extracurricular activities will be provided.
Below are key dates for the start of the school year:
- Week of Sept. 7th - Cohort assignments are shared with elementary families.
- Sept. 16th - first day of school. Elementary level begins with orientation meetings at school (schools will share specific schedules by classroom teacher and grade level.) Middle and high schools begin full distance learning schedule. Elementary students who have selected distance learning start.
- Sept. 21st - K-2 starts in-person hybrid model. Grades 3-5 remain in distance learning.
- Sept. 29th - Grades 3-5 join K-2 for in-person hybrid model.
- November - Elementary begins full school days on in-person days in hybrid model. Middle school shifts to hybrid model.
The full school calendar can be downloaded by following this link.
Return to Learn Plan - August 10, 2020
On Monday, August 10th, the Newton Public Schools shared the Return to Learn plan for the start of school in Fall 2020. The plan provides information on:
- Health and safety protocols
- Building modifications, processes, and protocols
- Food service and transportation
- Sample schedules for hybrid and distance learning models
- Student services, including special education
- Professional development
The plan provides NPS families with proposed schedules for both a hybrid and a distance learning model. Given the anticipated need to move between hybrid and distance in the course of the year, it is important for the community to understand how we propose to move quickly and seamlessly between the two models. The proposed schedules are contingent upon working collaboratively with our faculty and staff to create plans that address the health, safety, and educational components of these models.
The current recommendation, as of August 10th, is to begin the year in a split hybrid model. This recommendation is based upon the fact that the current transmission rate in Massachusetts is low and it is even lower in Newton. We believe that it is advantageous to give students the opportunity to meet their teacher(s) at the start of the year.
The School Committee approved this recommendation at their Friday, August 14, 2020 meeting.
The Return to Learn Plan be found here by following this link.