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Updates and Information for Week of Sept. 14th

Dear NPS Families,

We are excited to begin welcoming our students back to their classrooms, whether in-person or virtually, next week. Below are additional details and information for you as you plan to start the school year.

Start and End Times - Daily Schedule

As shared earlier this week, we have made some adjustments to the start and end times of our elementary and secondary schools to accommodate our extraordinarily complex transportation system this year. You can find a link to the complete School Committee presentation here. Start and end times are as follows:

  • Elementary* 
    • 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in-school for Cohorts A and B. 
    • Full learning schedule is 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. for all hybrid and Distance Learning Academy students. 
    • On Wednesdays, all elementary classes run from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Middle** - 8:30 a.m. - 3:05 p.m.
  • High** - 9:15 a.m. - 3:55 p.m.

* Please note that elementary students will have orientation beginning September 16 and times/schedules will be different. The times listed above apply to the week of September 21 (K-2 in-person, 3-5 distance until week of September 29).

**For middle and high school, times above apply beginning September 16.

The high schools are working to adapt after school sports and activities to the later end times. You can find the School Committee presentation on athletics here.

The school year calendar has been revised and is being voted on at the Monday, September 14 School Committee Meeting. You can download it from this NPS webpage.

Transportation

Thank you to everyone for their prompt response to our transportation registration inquiries. Our student services team is reaching out to families who are eligible for van service, but have not yet indicated their transportation preference. Next week, students who are utilizing NPS transportation will receive detailed information about bus passes, start dates, and safety protocols. Please read this information carefully as it will be very important to follow the operational guidelines put in place by our transportation department. Important: we cannot accommodate students who have not registered for the bus and do not have a bus pass due to physical distancing and ridership limitations.

Bus transportation for high needs students attending school in-person daily will begin on Monday September 21 and specialized van service for these students will begin on Tuesday, September 29. We are asking the families of high needs students beginning in-person learning prior to these dates to assist with transporting your child to school as we work to complete the highly complex transportation schedule.

Health Manual

On Thursday, Newton Health and Human Services shared a comprehensive health manual to guide health and safety protocols for the opening of school. You can find this document linked here. The manual provides information on preventative measures in place in our schools, as well as protocols and guidelines to mitigate the risk of in-school transmission. It also provides information on public health thresholds for school and/or district transition to full distance learning (for students in hybrid).

Class Lists for Elementary Families

We are not able to provide class list information until all parents/guardians have the opportunity to review their student information data release settings in Aspen to indicate whether or not we have permission to publish their child’s name on class lists. Privacy settings may be updated beginning today. After the start of the year and once privacy settings have been updated and reviewed, we will share class lists if permission has been granted. For more information about Aspen, you can visit this link.

Student Information Data Release Permissions

As noted above, beginning today, you may update your student information release permissions in the Aspen Parent Portal. This is particularly important this year because we cannot release names for elementary class lists and/or cohort information if your permissions are not updated. Please complete these forms by October 9.

Switching Educational Models

Class placements and cohort assignments have been finalized. Because of the complexity of this process, we cannot accept any changes to your student's selected educational model (hybrid or distance-only.) Should your family have a health emergency that requires a change, please contact your student's school immediately to notify them of this change in your health status. After November 1, we will provide you with a process for changing to a different educational model on a space available basis.

Flu Clinics

MDPH is requiring all students to receive a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020. Newton Health and Human Services (HHS) will not be doing the usual school-located flu clinics this year. However, HHS will offer the flu vaccine to students, staff and residents, primarily through a drive-thru model. Planning is underway and details about how this will work will be available at www.newtonma.gov/flu in early fall.

Have a good weekend and I’ll be back in touch next week.

Sincerely,

David Fleishman

Superintendent of Schools


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