Category Archives: Community Notes

Newton STEM resources

Provided by Newton STEM. Sign up for the Newton STEM newsletter HERE

Food for Newton Families

Food for Families: You can find the free bags of non-perishable food at new locations:

  • Fire Station 2: 1750 Commonwealth Ave., Auburndale
  • Fire Station 4: 195 Crafts St., Nonantum
  • Fire Station 7: 144 Elliot St., Newton
  • Fire Station 10: 755 Dedham St. Newton
  • American Legion Nonantum Post 440: 295 California St., Newton

These food supplies are for families experiencing hardship to have extra food for the children in their homes. Please remember to maintain proper social distancing when picking up a bag (allow a person who is in the POD to exit before entering).

Please limit 2 bags per family to allow for more families to access bags. For more information on other resources for families related to COVID-19 please visit the website at

Bidding for the NECP Online Auction is ALMOST OVER!

First off, THANK YOU for everyone who has supported the auction so far! The NECP is thankful to our Newton community and the support it has shown for our city’s youngest learners.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT! The auction ends this coming weekend – April 4th at 9:00 pm. So don’t wait until the last minute (unless that’s part of your strategy)!


Don’t miss out on the hundreds of prizes still available, including spas, gyms, summer camps, restaurants, and so much more. Thank you again for your strong showing of support, and good luck!

Experienced Math Tutor

Experienced Math Tutor available for Spring and Summer months. Engineer currently exploring new ways to connect to Middle and High School students via Zoom and Video conferencing. Samuel Alpert graduated from Newton North and has about 5 years experience tutoring high school age students.

Please contact him at for more information and let him know how he can be of help. References available upon request.

Update from the School Committee

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 3/16/2020 and 3/19/2020 Newton School Committee meetings.  We have combined these two meetings into one newsletter as they were both regarding the proposed 2020-2021 Annual Budget.


  • Our projected enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is 12,596 students, a projected decline of 15 students.
  • The FY21 Superintendent’s Proposed Budget is $244,645,343, and includes an $8.3 million increase.
  • The proposed budget aligns with the current goals including Academic Excellence, Educational Equity, Social and Emotional Wellbeing, School Facilities, Technology Infrastructure, Transportation, Diversity of Faculty, Staff and Leadership and Community Goals.

Instructional Areas:

  • Elementary Education:
    • A reduction of 7.0 FTEs in elementary classroom teachers.
    • A reduction of 1.7 FTEs in specialist teachers in proportion to the adjustment in enrollment.
  • Middle School Education:
    • Multi-team teachers are increased at Day by 0.5 FTE, 1.25 FTEs at Brown, and 1.22 FTEs at Oak Hill.
    • Reduction of 1.2 FTEs in middle school literacy.
    • Reduction of 1.4 FTEs in middle school special education teachers.
  • High School Education:
    • The projected enrollment for FY21 is two students less than projected enrollment for FY20 and therefore matches current general education staffing levels.
    • Starting in FY22, high school enrollment is projected to grow each year through FY25.
  • Teaching and Learning:
    • Review current curriculum materials and instructional strategies to ensure cultural responsiveness.
    • Continue the process of revising curriculum in History, Science and Tech/Engineering, Digital Literacy and Computer Science, and the arts.
    • Continue implementation of Illustrative Mathematics.
    • Continue to support system-wide professional development for administrators on factors that contribute to narrowing achievement/opportunity gap.
    • Begin the implementation of new elementary reading programs.
    • Continue core training in the Responsive Classroom approach.
    • Continue the focus on interdisciplinary literacy in middle schools through diagnostic assessment and intervention, and use of common language.
    • Expand our analysis and use of data using the power of Google Data Studio.
  • English Language Learning:
    • A 0.5 FTE English Language Learning teacher position is decreased in the operating budget due to continued decreases in ELL enrollment.
  • Information Technology and Library Media Services:
    • Continue funding for critical major capital technology and equipment including replacing aged network equipment, servers and switches, and improvements to our cybersecurity and recovery capacity.
    • Continue funding for conversion of our telephone systems to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
    • Continue funding for the High School One Student: One Device initiative.
    • Elimination of stipends added in FY20.
    • Reduction of 0.4 FTE from Instructional Technology Specialist staffing and 0.4 FTE from Assistant Technology Coordinator staffing.
  • Student Services (including Special Education):
    • Shift of 1.0 FTE special education teacher from the Lincoln-Eliot and Franklin Elementary Schools to Angier and Peirce Elementary.
    • Shift of 1.0 special education teacher from FA Day to Oak Hill Middle School.
    • Reduction of 1.4 FTEs elementary psychologist staffing.
    • Reduction of 1.4 FTEs middle school special education teachers.
    • Reduction in high school special education staffing (TBD) due to a decrease in the number of IEPs.
    • Increase of 0.5 FTE Social and Emotional staffing to the end of grant funding.
  • Out-of-District Tuition:
    • Increase of $280,810 due to a projected rate increase of 3% for day and residential placements.
    • Increase of $350,000 due to a reduction in Circuit Breaker carry forward funds for FY21.
    • Decrease of $345,367 due to a projected increase in State Circuit Breaker funding for FY21.
  • Per Pupil Allocation:
    • The FY21 budget for per pupil allocation is $1,275,019 and is level-funded for all schools.

Non-Instructional Areas

  • Facilities: 96K added for maintenance.
  • Sustainability: New position created for Director of Planning and Sustainability.
  • Food Service: Overall participation up 2% across district.

Consent Agenda

Next Meeting
On Monday, March 23th at 7:00PM the School Committee will have a VIRTUAL School Committee meeting.

We hope you found this summary useful. You can access all School Committee meeting documents via the NPS website ( Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via the district Facebook page, you can find videos of past “Virtual Office Hours,” which are held once a month and provide the community with the opportunity to ask questions through the FB Live format.

As always, we are very happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us via the email address below.

The Newton School Committee

STEM Offerings Moving Rapidly to Online, In-Home Learning

Provided by Newton STEM. Sign up for the Newton STEM newsletter HERE

Providers of STEM education and enrichment have moved rapidly to create online versions of their in-person programs for use during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The Innovation Institute has moved all of its spring-term courses online. Classes are starting just now, and some spaces are still available. An initial review from a parent of Grades K and 2 said her kids’ first classes were “a smashing success.” Additional courses will be added soon for Grades 8-12.
  • Mad Science offers its Loop Lab mail-order science curriculum (with a free lab coat if you use code LABCOAT19). It’s also offering daily 60-minute live online classroom sessions, available for single sessions or by the week.
  • Code Ninjas has created (and will be updating) a list of at-home STEM activity resources and is offering an at-home Hack-a-thon, tutorial videos, and daily LIVE YouTube videos. Details here.
  • Empow Studios is offering live, virtual online classes in coding, robotics, film and animation, Minecraft, and engineering.
  • The John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club has moved its Curiosity Club, Keystone Club, and Torch club meetings online and will host coding and other STEM activities for elementary and middle school kids via
  • Within the next week, the Russian School of Math will have temporarily moved all of its in-person classes online, simulating in-person classes as much as possible and drawing on its seven years of experience in online learning.
  • CSRecitations has moved all of its in-person classes online, including a new summer online course in Java for Grades 8+. Class sizes are limited to five students.

Newton COVID-19 Care Fund

Newton COVID-19 Care Fund
The Mayor’s Office just announced the launch of the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund. Its focus is on basic needs and critical services, but we recognize that this crisis is evolving quickly. The priorities of this fund may change as the needs of the Newton community evolve. The funds will help pay for rent, food, utilities, internet connectivity for families with school-aged children, childcare, medications and other basic needs.


You can give to the fund by clicking the GIVE button at or visiting All gifts are tax-deductible and 100% of the proceeds (net credit card fees) will go to individuals seeking assistance. You may also give via your Donor Advised Fund by including “The United Way Newton COVID-19 Care Fund” in your recommendation details. The fund’s tax ID number is 04-2382233.

You can also send a check to United Way of Massachusetts Bay, PO Box 51381, Boston, MA 02205-1381. Please include “Newton Covid-19 Care Fund” in the memo of your check.

All donations will be collected by United Way and distributed by an established Newton nonprofit organization with a track record of administering assistance funds. These funds will pay for rent, food, utilities, internet connectivity for families with school-aged children, childcare, medications and other basic needs. City of Newton First Responders who incur new childcare expenses or other expenses as a result of the crisis will also be eligible.


The Newton COVID-19 Care Fund is a coalition of Newton-based care providers coming together to serve those who are in need in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. In the coming days, visit the United Way web page for more detailed information on fund eligibility requirements and information about how to submit your application. Until next week, if you need immediate help, please contact United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline which will provide immediate guidance.

Ready? Set? BID!

The Newton Early Childhood Program (NECP), Newton’s public preschool, is hosting its largest school/PTO fundraiser of the year starting March 26th. They won’t let COVID-19 stop their efforts.

Supporting NECP helps to support your own school’s future students. Why? Because NECP is the only school within NPS whose children will grow up to become the students of all 15 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 2 high schools in Newton.

So get ready to bid for great deals on restaurants, summer camps, birthday parties, gym memberships, and more! Over 200 amazing items from across Newton and the Boston area. Auction proceeds will fund education enrichment programs, community-building events, and classroom materials for our city’s youngest learners.


Bidding will end April 4th at 9pm. Good luck!

ActiveMinds Tutoring is Adaptable

ActiveMinds Tutoring is adaptable and ready to assist your transition. Their tutoring team is equipped with the resources to accommodate the limitations of online schooling and the needs of your child during this difficult time. Through tutoring, mentorship, and coaching, they are prepared to offer meaningful learning experiences through online support.

Contact ActiveMinds to learn more about their experienced tutors. Call 617-227-2225, email, or visit

Discovery After School Club for Children Grades K-4

Register now for the Discovery After School Club 2020-2021 school year. This warm, enriching after school program, conveniently located at the Leventhal-Sidman Center in Newton, offers a variety of workshop choices with integrated Jewish content. Experience service projects, Jewish holiday celebrations and more in this vibrant community!

Engaging, expert-led workshops include art, basketball, chess, coding, cooking, dance, drama, farming, floor hockey, Hebrew, music, nature exploration, robotics, STEM, tennis and yoga. For children in grades K-4. Early bird special available until May 1st.

For more information, including pricing and registration, visit or contact or 617-558-6483. Early release day options available. Open to the entire community.