Category Archives: Other

Newton Food Pantry – School Break

With the upcoming school breaks, The Newton Food Pantry wants to make sure that anyone experiencing food insecurity knows how to get help, even when school is not in session. Two easy options are the Newton Food Pantry and the Newton Community Freedge. The Newton Food Pantry is now serving over 1,800 Newton residents at our renovated City Hall basement location, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue. Clients are able to shop for the items they want and need, selecting from a variety of dry goods, fresh produce, dairy, proteins, personal care items and culturally-relevant foods. Walk-in shopping hours are every Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm. Shoppers at the Newton Food Pantry must be Newton residents (or they can be Newton-based college students or staff), provide proof of residency and complete a New Client Registration Form, found here. The Newton Community Freedge is at 420 Watertown St. The Freedge is a free refrigerator & pantry stocked by community and local businesses in the parking lot of Central Drapery & Dry Cleaner.  It can be accessed 24 hours a day by anyone.  No forms or Newton residency required. Additional information about the Newton Food Pantry and Freedge can be found, translated in 4 languages, on our Get Help  page.

Bike Rodeo event on May 1st

Hello Newton School Families,

Celebrate safe biking in Newton at the Bike Rodeo hosted by Newton Parks and Recreation.  MA Safe Routes to Schools instructors will teach and review bike riding skills.  Volunteers from Bike Newton will help teach fun stations including knowing signs and hand signals, how to care for your bike, and more. 

The Bike Rodeo event will be on Sunday May 1st at Newton South High School and space is currently available for children in grades 2 – 6.  The Bike Rodeo is for children who live in Newton or attend Newton Public Schools, have their own bike, and are comfortable riding independently.  Helmets must be worn and an adult must attend. 

Please check out the registration website at https://newtonma.myrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=30165 for more information and to register. 

For questions, please contact Channon Ames at cames@newtonma.gov
When responding, please be aware that the Massachusetts Secretary of State has determined that most email is public record and therefore cannot be kept confidential.

Social Media and Our Youth: A VIRTUAL Mental Health Forum

On Sunday, May 1st, the Becca Schmill Foundation will present “Social Media and Our Youth: A VIRTUAL Mental Health Forum,” at 2:00 pm EDT. Please join us for this free event which includes two consecutive and informative panels featuring nationally recognized and esteemed researchers, child/adolescent mental health professionals, teachers, and youth advocates. Panelists will discuss the significant evidence linking social media use to the skyrocketing increases in rates of clinical level depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and eating disorder cases among adolescents, the impact screen overuse is having on children’s ability to focus, and what changes are needed to reverse these trends. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A at each session.

This mental health forum follows on the heels of President Biden’s State of the Union statement, in which he acknowledged the harms of social media. Furthermore, in the pre-speech Fact Sheet, the White House states “..[T]here is mounting evidence that social media is harmful to many kids’ and teens’ mental health, well-being, and development. As the Surgeon-General has said, ‘…[T]hese tools can pit us against each other, reinforce negative behaviors like bullying and exclusion, and undermine the safe and supportive environments young people need and deserve.’“

To learn more about the event and to register for free click here. To learn more about the Becca Schmill Foundation, please visit www.Beccaschmillfoundation.org.

Newton Food Pantry – School Break

With the upcoming school breaks, The Newton Food Pantry wants to make sure that anyone experiencing food insecurity knows how to get help, even when school is not in session. Two easy options are the Newton Food Pantry and the Newton Community Freedge.   The Newton Food Pantry is now serving over 1,800 Newton residents at our renovated City Hall basement location, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue. Clients are able to shop for the items they want and need, selecting from a variety of dry goods, fresh produce, dairy, proteins, personal care items and culturally-relevant foods. Walk-in shopping hours are every Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm. Shoppers at the Newton Food Pantry must be Newton residents (or they can be Newton-based college students or staff), provide proof of residency and complete a New Client Registration Form, found  here.  The Newton Community Freedge is at 420 Watertown St. The Freedge is a free refrigerator & pantry stocked by community and local businesses in the parking lot of Central Drapery & Dry Cleaner.  It can be accessed 24 hours a day by anyone.  No forms or Newton residency required.    Additional information about the Newton Food Pantry and Freedge can be found, translated in 4 languages, on our Get Help  page. 

Inclusive Summer Day Camp – Music That Matters – Registration Open

Plugged In’s Music That Matters Summer Day Camp.  Music That Matters includes band class, songwriting, recording a song, music video, workshops, offsite events, and performance opportunities. Each session ends with a benefit concert that raises money for a charitable organization chosen by the students themselves. Students are grouped in bands by age, skill level and musical interest.

Ages: 11-18
Hours: 9:00-3:00 (extended day available)
Session 1:  July 11-22
Session 2: July 25 – August 5

Plugged In is a unique, inclusive nonprofit youth rock band program in Needham where young musicians of all levels and needs are welcome. More information and online registration can be found at www.pluggedinband.org.

School Committee Resolution on FY23 Budget

On Thursday, March 31, 2022, the School Committee passed a resolution expressing our concern that the proposed FY23 budget, including 4 million dollars worth of cuts to balance the budget with the allocation of funding provided by the City, will have a serious negative impact on the students of Newton.  

The text of the resolution is as follows:

“Because this is a critical time in the lives of our Newton students as we are emerging from two pandemic years, the 4 million dollars worth of cuts in the proposed FY23 budget to reach the allocation are too deep and too painful.  We do not believe we can shift 4 million dollars of cuts from other areas of the budget that would make them less painful – shifting cuts would just cause different pain, but deep pain nonetheless.  Therefore, the School Committee resolves that the current budget allocation of $262,070,208 is not enough to run the schools without serious negative impacts on our kids.”

The resolution passed 8-0-1, with Mayor Fuller abstaining.

The School Committee is hosting office hours this Sunday, April 3, 2022 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Please login via Zoom using the following login information:Join Zoom Meeting
https://newton-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/81283294592

Meeting ID: 812 8329 4592
Passcode: 449186

One tap mobile
+13126266799,,81283294592#,,,,*449186# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,81283294592#,,,,*449186# US (New York)

Please note that the entire School Committee will not be present and attending members may be limited in their responses given the constraints of Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.

If you wish to submit a question in advance, please use this form: School Committee Office Hours Registration and Questions Form

Please note that we will hold a Public Hearing on Monday, April 4th and all members of the public wishing to make a statement regarding the budget will be heard.  If you wish to speak at this public hearing, please fill out the form linked below with your name and address.  The form will close at 6:00 pm on April 4, 2022.

Form – Request to Speak at Public Hearing on the FY23 Budget

There will be an opportunity to sign up in “real time” during the meeting by using the “raise your hand” feature on Zoom. Speakers will be called in the order in which they signed up, first come-first speak, followed by those who raise their hand during the meeting, or at the discretion of the Chair.

Newton SEPAC & DECE: Special Education and Civil Rights Review

The Newton SEPAC, in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will be hosting a parent orientation to learn about the upcoming Special Education and Civil Rights Review* happening in our district. 

Join us Tuesday, Feb 15, 7:00PM for this live presentation + Q&A, followed immediately by our Open Board Meeting (Agenda). 
DESE & NPS at 7PM: https://stream.lexikeet.com/newtonNon-English speakers can select a translated language (Chinese, Spanish, or Russian). Ask questions using the chat tool, and they will be answered live. Questions typed in other languages will be translated for the panelists. The session will be recorded in all 4 languages and posted publicly.

Open Board Mtg at 8:15PM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84359553994Then click to join important Newton special ed discussions.

*Read about how parents can be involved in the DESE review process.

Orienteering in Newton

Newton Parks and Recreation is teaming up with New England Orienteering Club to offer an introduction to orienteering training for beginners at Auburndale Park in Newton, MA.  The training will take place on Saturday, March 26th between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and will include 30-45 minute training sessions for small groups.  Participants will then be able to head out on their own or as a small group to try any of the 5 courses that will be set up.     

In addition to the one day training event, we will also be hosting a Bring Your Own Map event for people who already know how to do orienteering.  5 different courses will be set up (including a white-beginner, yellow-advanced beginner, and 3 sprint-intermediate courses all ranging from 1.3 km – 3.7 km) and people will be able to do the courses anytime between March 26th – April 3rd.  

Registration for both events is free for New England Orienteering Club members, or $10.00 per person/family.  Organized groups have a special rate of $20.00 per group + $2.00 per person (so a group of 10 people would be $40.00 total) but must register in advance.  This rate is the same for the introduction training or the Bring Your Own Map event.   

For more information about both the Introduction to Orienteering event on March 26th and the Bring Your Own Map Event running March 26th – April 3rd at Auburndale Park in Newton, please go to the New England Orienteering Club website under the schedule tab https://www.newenglandorienteering.org/events-schedule 

and click on the appropriate link.   

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I look forward to being able to offer more orienteering programs in Newton. 

Channon Ames 

617-796-1529 

Interactive Media Use & Youth Mental Health: Guidance for Parents of Students Across the Developmental Span

Description. The Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is excited to partner with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab to offer a comprehensive presentation on the relationship between children’s and teens’ media use and their mental health. 

The Digital Wellness Lab’s senior content strategist, Kristelle Lavallee Collins, will discuss the most recent research on the relationships between interactive media use and the well-being of children and adolescents. The presentation will also cover the latest science-based strategies parents and caregivers can employ to support children in developing a “healthy” relationship with technology and screen media. 

For questions, contact info@NewtonSEPAC.org. We hope you will join us!

Date/Time. Jan 27, 2022 07:00 PM


Register. https://bostonchildrens.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jYYsTQrKQNq6Voan9rvqwA

Questions. Submit your questions in advance here:
https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6642281/Newton-SEPAC-Digital-Wellness-Lab-Presentation