Dear Needham Public Schools Families:

 

Welcome to the start of the 2020-2021 school year! Even though we are meeting remotely for the first two weeks of school, there is excitement and joy in bringing our students and staff back together. I’m proud that our staff is able to pivot to a fully remote learning model for the short term.

 

I am writing to provide you with important updates regarding the remote start of school on Monday, September 14 for students in Preschool through grade 12 and to explain the plan for reopening our school buildings on Tuesday, September 29. I know that the two-week delay in reopening the school buildings has placed another burden on some of our families, and I thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the uncertainties in the midst of a pandemic.

 

I encourage you to watch this 10-minute video addressing school reopening plans and our commitment to the health, safety, and wellbeing of all our students and staff. I am joined by School Committee Chair Andrea Longo Carter and Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick.

 

Maintenance and Health & Safety  

As I’ve said many times over the past six months, the health and safety of the Needham community is paramount, and we’ve dedicated a section of the district website for important health and safety information and protocols for families to review. To read more about our efforts to ensure safe and healthy school environments, click here:  NPS School Maintenance Information .

 

Revised School Calendar

Our first day of school is Monday, September 14th with all students engaged remotely. Please see the updated school calendar. We made a slight adjustment in the schedule: September 29 and 30 will be full days for the students in the Gold cohort; October 1 and 2 will be full days for students in the Blue cohort. The following weeks will continue with the planned calendar already approved by the School Committee.

 

Schedule for the First Two Weeks

As we begin the school year across the district, we are focused on building relationships and building capacity for learning, particularly in a remote learning environment. Teachers will take the time to get to know students, outline plans for success, and establish norms and expectations - all in an effort to nurture a strong academic experience for each student. Your child’s principal has already or will communicate specific information about learning from home and share details about the first week of school that are important to know for a successful start.  

 

In the Remote Learning Academy, the schedule will proceed as planned. Starting on day 1, the students will be building capacity for learning in a fully remote environment. There will be virtual meet-and-greet sessions, materials will be distributed, smaller live meetings will be held, and asynchronous work will begin.

 

Technology  

The NPS is committed to providing the technology tools necessary to support all students in the upcoming school year.  To learn more about our plans and programs to support all learners, click here: NPS School Technology Information

 

Nutrition Services  

School Nutrition Services staff will be preparing hot and fresh lunches every day for all Needham students beginning Monday, September 14th.  In accordance with a recent USDA waiver, school meals will be free for all children and teens, regardless of family income, for the first few months of this unique school year. Review the Nutrition Services information here to order a lunch to pick up and go; pick up will be at designated times at your child's school.

 

Transportation 

Bus passes have been mailed to our families who are registered for Transportation, including our Boston-resident families. If you have any questions or are interested in transportation, please check out information on the district's website: School Transportation

 

Please also check our FAQs on topics including building safety, health protocols, and the remote start to the school year. 

 

Our faculty and staff have worked together tirelessly and creatively to prepare for the start of school. We are ready to welcome and teach our students! We are knowledgeable of the new safety protocols; we’ve moved forward with the Needham Education Association negotiating team in prioritizing student and staff needs; we’ve hired qualified staff to fill open positions; and we have enough supplies to begin the school year. We can't wait to see our students!

 

On behalf of the dedicated faculty and staff of the Needham Public Schools, thank you for your continued partnership and welcome to the 2020-21 academic year.

 

Respectfully,

 

Dan Gutekanst

Superintendent of Schools

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Welcome to the website of the Needham Public Schools! I hope you will find the information you need to learn about the people, programs, and activities that make our school system a dynamic learning experience for all students.

​The Needham Public Schools has developed a framework for educational excellence, innovation, and equity - a Portrait of A Needham Graduate - that will inform the district's work going forward. Needham Public Schools will support all our students in becoming creative thinkers and problem solvers, communicators and collaborators, socially and culturally responsive contributors, responsible and resilient individuals, and empowered learners. Our students' collective and individual success depends on developing these Portrait competencies in preparation for the future that awaits them. I encourage you to review the Needham Public Schools 2019 Performance Report for examples of current teaching practices aligned with this Portrait vision, along with ideas and challenges for boosting student learning around each of the district priorities.

​Through this website, the Needham Public Schools commits itself to share timely information with students, parents, staff, and community members who depend on updated and helpful information and assistance. I invite you to join the superintendent’s listserve to receive periodic emails about various school programs and events. Please join now!

​Additionally, the Needham School Committee wishes to hear from members of the community about issues and concerns critical to the schools and its many programs. You may contact them at schoolcommittee@needham.k12.ma.us and ask a question or make a comment.

​We are proud of our school district and are happy to share information about the Needham Public Schools with you.

Sincerely,

Daniel E. Gutekanst, Ed.D.
Superintendent 
Needham Public Schools
                   Portrait picture     
PORTRAIT OF A NEEDHAM GRADUATE VIDEO 

VIDEO #2:
STUDENT PERSPECTIVE
 ON PORTRAIT OF A NEEDHAM GRADUATE
   

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