Category Archives: Community Notes

Fall Planning Update 7-27-20

You should have received an update from David Fleishman with the links to last week’s family information session. Here is the informations again just in case.  If you were unable to attend the presentations, you can follow the links below to access both the Google slides and a recording of the presentation.

Google Slides Presentation – Middle School Level

Link to middle school video presentation

Several questions were addressed within the presentations, but for those that were not, NPS is developing a frequently asked questions document. When it is published, you will find it on the Return to Learn webpage at All other documents and information related to fall planning will also be posted there. This webpage can be accessed by clicking on the megaphone image button at the top of the district homepage.

As you know, the public health situation, as well as guidance for opening schools in the fall, continues to evolve. NPS will continue to keep the community updated as plans come into focus  Please email with questions.

“Stamped” Book Club for Teens and Tweens

Hi all, we’re excited to announced that, thanks to FORJ enthusiasm, we have put together a 4-session book club on Stamped.  Here are the details:

  • It’s for tweens and teens, we have youth from 5th to 12th grades participating.
  • Young people from all locations are invited — Florida, Maine, Kentucky, Tortola, Newton…
  • Each of the 4 sessions will happen on Wednesdays from 5pm-6:30pm (EST), starting Aug 5th.  It’s totally fine if you need to miss a session (or two); we know August is vacation for some and start of school for others.
  • It’s designed to be fun and interesting — Akim Jocelyn is our lead facilitator.  He is a rising senior at Newton South HS and has recruited a diverse group of his classmates to facilitate small groups via Zoom.  Everyone will be in a group of 4-5 peers of similar ages and will have plenty of time to ask questions and share perspectives.
  • There is a sliding scale for payment from $10-100.  We want to pay each of our facilitators and the more money we raise, the more they get.
  • The reading load is manageable.  The book is about 250 pages and so each session will cover 60-70 pages.  My son Becket, who’s 10.5, and I have been listening to the audiobook read by co-author Jason Reynolds and are learning a LOT — so far about the role of the Portuguese, William Lloyd Garrison, the Haitian Revolution, and Jefferson.  It’s so engaging that he gets into the car and asks to put on Stamped.  We have the hard copy too, which we’ll read through before each session.
  • Signup and more information here: Workshops and Events — Conditioning Leaders

Please me know if you have any questions.  The sign up is on Madeline McNeely’s website (she’s a Bigelow FORJ mom and is hosting it for free) — pass on to your friends and relatives too!

Workshops and Events — Conditioning Leaders

Thank you and have a great day,

Kate Carpenter Bernier

FORJ Meeting on  “How To Talk About Race With Your Children”

“How To Talk About Race With Your Children”
with Mike Feldstein and Daniel Arroyo
Wednesday, July 29th from 7 – 8: 15 pm, with optional meeting time to further connect from 8:15-8:30pm 

Discussing race with our children is critical.  But how do we do this in a constructive, age-appropriate way? How do we answer their questions when we aren’t sure what to say?  How do we talk about racist incidents in Newton, the news, and the METCO program?

Mike Feldstein, beloved 5th grade teacher at Horace Mann and 25-year veteran of talking about race, and Daniel Arroyo, incredible METCO counselor at Oak Hill, Bowen, Memorial-Spaulding, and Zervas will lead us in an engaging and interactive session. They will provide insights, guidance, and opportunities to discuss specific situations. This session will be relevant for adults dealing with kids of all ages.  Please come to learn and commune with other folks in the same position.

Mike and Daniel would love to hear your questions in advance.  Maybe you’ve had a situation you weren’t sure how to handle?  Or a question from your child that you didn’t know how to address?  Please submit your question on the RSVP form.

From buses to bike routes, Newton reexamines how kids will get to school this fall

Original post from The Boston Globe. By Rhian Lowndes Boston University journalist, Updated June 26, 2020, 1:48 p.m.

Newton Schools are preparing for the fall, but the way students will arrive is going to look a lot different than before the pandemic.

While he waits for state guidance, Liam Hurley, the assistant superintendent and chief financial and administrative officer for Newton Public Schools, said in an interview he doesn’t want to guess how school buses might proceed. Continue reading…

Free buddy program with high school students teaching K-8

Dear NPS Elementary/Middle School Teachers and Principals,

We are Greater Boston Against Corona – a group of high school students coming together to help our community.

Recently we have established a free buddy program over the summer with high school students teaching kids in grades K-8 virtually in subjects such as math, reading, writing, French and Spanish (beginner), and fine arts. We match a high school volunteer with a child to practice skills. We create a personal 1:1 relationship to ensure the child has a productive summer.

To sign up for tutoring there is a link on our website You can contact or 781-369-5321 for more information.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this email to your families to spread the word.


The Greater Boston Against Corona Team

Open Houses for Highlands After School Program

The Highlands After-School Program, just for middle school children, is hosting Zoom Open Houses for interested families weekly in July. Here’s the link for information on how to join: This is a terrific opportunity for parents to learn more … Continue reading