Return to Headlines

Revised Recommendation for Start of School Year - 8.25.20

August 25, 2020

Dear NPS Families,

Earlier this evening, the district provided a revised recommendation to the School Committee for the educational models in which to begin the school year. 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 meeting. Recordings of the School Committee meeting and the community question and answer session are posted here:

School Committee Meeting Video Link

Community Q&A Session Video Link

 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 would remain in the hybrid model. However, the in-person learning would be phased in. 
  • 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: would start the school year in the distance learning model and would remain in this model for the foreseeable future. In-person connection through extracurricular activities would be provided.

If the School Committee approves this revised recommendation, here are key dates:

  • Aug. 27th - for elementary/middle only, last day to change model selection to start the year. No changes will be accepted after this date. Transitions can be requested after the school year is underway.
  • 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. Middle and high schools begin full distance learning schedule. Elementary students who have selected distance learning will start schedule on Sept. 16th. 
  • 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.

For elementary and middle school families, you will not be able to change your model selection (hybrid or distance) after Thursday, August 27th. Please email the Newton Public Schools at should you wish to change your selection.

The School Committee will meet on Wednesday, August 26th at 7:00 p.m. to vote on the revised recommendation. You can listen to the meeting by following this link.