School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 2/10/2020 Newton School Committee meeting:

Superintendent Update

  • School teams used the early release on Thursday, February 6th for Professional Development in the following areas:
    • Elementary worked on Social Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive Classrooms.
    • Middle worked on departmental frameworks and content.
    • Newton North worked on Race and Achievement.
    • Newton South worked on Social Emotional Learning.
  • On Wednesday, February 12th at 7 PM the NNHS Chinese Program and the Jingshan Exchange Program will co-host a fundraiser to benefit Jingshan School and to buy medical supplies for Wuhan University Hospital to help battle against the outbreak of Coronavirus.  Newton North alum, comedian Jesse Appell, will perform a comedy show followed by a NNHS student performance. Purchase tickets and make donations here:


  • Information Technology and Library Department Goals – Director of IT, Steven Rittendi, presented an update that included information on the 1:1 Chromebook Initiative, Data Analytics planning and Infrastructure.
  • Mid-Year Superintendent Goals and Systemwide Goals Update – This update included a look at three specific areas of work:
    • Administrative Council: working towards projects aligned with existing district goals.
    • District Data Team: Using data to improve instruction.
    • Middle School Content Teams: Teams within all 5 major content areas working on professional development and data-driven student learning and performance focused inquiry cycles.
  • Fiscal/Operations – Chief Financial Officer, Liam Hurley, presented our second Fiscal and Operations Update of the school year. The district has spent 50% of the annual budget and our financial outlook was described as a “good news story” at this time.
  • Facilities Report – Chief Financial Officer, Liam Hurley, reviewed several projects currently underway including:
    • Cabot – Completed and will be coming off Facilities report.
    • Lincoln-Eliot/NECP – School Building Project – Bidding to start in May and estimated to be completed by 9/2021.
    • Horace Mann – Improvements including modular classrooms and a new playground.
    • Phase 3 Solar Panel Updates.
    • Oak Hill – construction of 3 additional permanent classrooms.
  • Discussion: Policy Update FA (Facilities Goals) and Policy Update ADF (Wellness) – Added language that reflects our transportation and sustainability initiatives.

Consent Agenda

Next Meeting

  • On Monday, March 16th at 7:00 PM the School Committee will have a Special School Committee meeting.  We review the budget in the instructional areas of Elementary, Secondary and Teaching & Learning.

We hope you found this summary useful. You can access all SC meeting documents via the NPS website ( Additionally, if you are interested in watching a School Committee meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via We also offer “Virtual Office Hours” once a month using Facebook Live to provide the community with an opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts with members of the School Committee. Videos of past “Virtual Office Hours” are archived on the district Facebook page.

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