Fall 2021 School Opening Plan

Following the most recent Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines, the Needham Public Schools will provide all students with learning in-person, five days per week, and according to the School Committee approved 2021-22 school calendar. We are opening our schools, programs, activities, and schools to full participation and inclusion for all students, staff, and families.


We are anticipating a new year of uninterrupted learning, taking with us valuable experiences and lessons learned from last school year that will forever shape us, our perspective, our leadership, and how we prepare our students for their future.


Superintendent Gutekanst is proposing a Fall 2021 School Opening Plan that outlines how the district will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of our students, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Our fall plan maintains the district’s focus on the health, safety, and wellbeing of all students and staff, and on equity and our Portrait of A Needham Graduate Strategic Plan.


Through the links provided here, you can access the following important information:


Fall 2021 Opening Plan for the Needham Public Schools


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Plan Overview presentation

Recording of the August 23, 2021 Family Meeting held via Zoom with approximately 600 participants.

The preliminary Fall 2021 Opening Plan was provided to the School Committee on June 15, 2021 and the Superintendent held an Open House for Families with a presentation on June 16th to answer questions and invite comments. Dr. Gutekanst explained how the plan is partially funded by the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSERIII) federal grant in the amount of $681,671 (revised allocation 7-13-21).



Please note that the Fall 2021 Opening Plan can be adjusted at any time based on guidance from DESE, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, or due to factors related to the health emergency.

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