August 4, 2020
Dear NPS Families,
We are moving forward with our Return to Learn plan for the fall, even as we continue to receive new and updated guidance from the state. We know many of you are anxious to know the details of the plan so that you may arrange your schedules and prepare your students.
While we do not yet have our models finalized and have not determined how we will start the school year, here are details and information we can share with you right now:
- The first day of school will be NO EARLIER than September 14. Last week, the state released guidance lowering the required days of school to 170 (from 180) to allow sufficient training and preparation time for faculty and staff. Follow this link to read the announcement.
- The Newton School Committee will meet on Monday, August 10 to review and discuss the educational models (hybrid and remote) for beginning the school year. On Wednesday, August 12, they will meet to vote on the model in which we will begin the year. For meeting materials and login information, visit this webpage. The vote will be taken with the knowledge that much can change in the next several weeks and we may need to pivot to a different model than the one voted.
- While we are still actively developing our hybrid and distance learning models, we will share our latest thinking with you next week. Right now, the hybrid model would include two days in-person and two days distance learning (Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday). The structure for Wednesday in hybrid is still under development. Students will be divided alphabetically to ensure siblings are on the same schedule. The remote learning model would include a structured schedule with live, synchronous teaching with specific expectations for attendance, assessments, and grading.
- Should the district decide to begin the school year with a hybrid model, students and families will be able to choose distance learning if desired.
- Next week following the School Committee meetings, I will send a survey to ask your intentions related to sending your student to school this fall. The survey is intended to give us a general sense of the numbers of families who will choose the hybrid model, the remote learning model, bussing needs, food service, etc. Opinions expressed in the survey will not be binding.
- Members of the School Committee will host virtual office hours on Thursday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. and Friday, August 14 at 8:00 a.m. This is similar to the office hours that were held via Facebook Live during the school year. The meeting will be held via Zoom and login information will be sent out next week.
We know how difficult it is to plan with so much uncertainty. Our planning teams are working as quickly as possible to develop the appropriate models for the fall. We also continue to work closely with our teachers and staff to address their needs and concerns. Finally, we continue to closely monitor the public health data and are in regular communication with Newton HHS to ensure our educational models match the health and safety parameters they have laid out for us.
We will be back in touch next week.
Superintendent of Schools
The translated versions below are provided through Google Translate and may contain awkward phrasing and structure.
High School Video Presentation - July 23, 2020 (link here.)
Middle School Video Presentation - July 23, 2020 (link here.)
Elementary School Video Presentation - July 24, 2020 (link here.)