CNS News | November 2023

This fall CNS welcomed three new board members — Elizabeth Bresnahan, Jennifer Leonard-Schaffstein and Kara Williams. They have jumped right in to helping us provide our School Committee meeting summaries. We regularly provide the community with short digestible information regarding the Needham Public Schools, and are delighted to have these new volunteers bring their energy and perspectives to our board!

Please reach out to any CNS board member if you have ideas or questions. Or contact us by e-mail at 

Joanie Daly & Abigail Hays, CNS Co-Chairs

Joanie Daly, Co-Chair

Abigail Hays, Co-Chair

Elizabeth Bresnahan

Amy Chan

April Crawford

Karen Hodys

Keith LaFace

Jennifer Leonard-Schaffstein

Frederica Lalonde

Kara Williams

Town Meeting Updates

At the October 2023 Special Town Meeting, 15 articles were voted on and approved by Town Meeting. 

Articles related to the Needham Public Schools included:

  • Articles 12 & 13: Transfer of Surplus Bond Proceeds & Rescind Debt Authorization. These articles allowed a $286,000 budget surplus from the Sunita Williams Elementary School construction project to be reappropriated to the Emery Grover Project.

Another article that may be of particular interest to children and families is:

  • Article 2: Appropriate for Youth Health Initiatives (Children’s Hospital Community Benefit Payment). Needham will receive annual payments from Children’s Hospital in lieu of personal property tax payments for their new outpatient surgical center in Needham. These funds must be spent on youth health initiatives. This article appropriates $400,000 from these payments to support two new full-time staff positions through Needham Youth & Family Services, including an Outreach Clinician and a Community Training Coordinator to expand the town’s Mental Health programming.

More information on the Special Town Meeting can be found here:

Town Meeting Warrant

Watch Town Meeting

Superintendent/School Committee Conversation

Recently, Superintendent Dan Gutekanst sat with down School Committee Chair Andrea Longo Carter and Vice Chair Liz Lee to talk about the major goals and initiatives of the School Committee this school year. In the ten minute conversation, they discuss the Portrait of a Needham Graduate, the school master plan for Pollard and Mitchell renovations, successful contract negotiations with staff, and the ways the School Committee always has Needham students' best interests at heart.

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