CNS News | October 2020
We are now three weeks into the new school year and, after an unexpected delay, Needham Public Schools concluded the first week of in-person learning last week for students attending in the hybrid model.

While families are focused on the challenges of this school year, the School Committee is also looking towards the future. On Tuesday, October 6, there will be a Public Hearing to discuss three options for a School Master Plan to address anticipated space and buildings needs in the district.

At CNS, we continue in our mission to provide you with timely information about the Needham Public Schools. We have summaries of recent school committee meetings and NPS information sessions posted on our website, along with links to documents, presentations, and videos.

Please reach out to any CNS board member if you have ideas or questions. And if you are interested in helping us keep the community informed, consider applying to be a board member.

Hilary Bruel, Co-Chair
Alisa Skatrud, Co-Chair
Amy Chan
Peter Cohenno
Melanie Guarrera
Emma Navales

Public Hearing on School Master Plan
Tuesday, October 6, 6:30pm
Streaming on Needham Channel and Zoom

An almost year-long study on the future educational space needs and physical building needs of Needham's K-8 schools has determined that there are educational space needs at High Rock, Pollard and Mitchell, and that Pollard and Mitchell are in need of significant renovation or replacement. The School Committee is considering three scenarios to address these needs, which are described in our recent School Master Plan website post.

In determining which scenario to approve, the SC will consider these questions:
• Should we have grades 6-8 at Pollard
• What size should a new Mitchell School be?
• Should we open a sixth elementary school?

Community members are invited to speak at Tuesday's hearing or email comments and questions to The School Committee will be voting on an option at the end of Tuesday's meeting.

Helpful Links:
Master Plan Presentation (3 options) (9/15/20 SC packet, pages 29–54)
Master Plan Report (9/15/20 SC packet, pages 55–121 )
School Reopening Information
The hybrid model of in-person learning has let each student in the gold and blue cohorts experience two days of in-person learning. Teachers, administrators, students and parents will continue to assess and provide feedback on the many protocols put in place. Meanwhile, the town and district will continue working on space and ventilation solutions to address those that will become impracticable as winter weather sets in. The town remains in the lower risk category, just edging into the yellow zone last week (see map), with 4.9 infected persons per 100,000 as of 9/30/20.

As in-person learning moves forward, families are encouraged to continue providing feedback to their building principals and the school committee. October is traditionally a time when the schools host "Back to School" night, and many of these events are already scheduled, although they will happen remotely.

Helpful Links:
Apply to be a CNS Board Member
CNS is seeking board members who are civically engaged with an interest in issues related to education and the Needham public school system. The board engages in robust conversation and welcomes diverse viewpoints.

CNS board members serve a three-year term and responsibilities include attending 5-6 CNS board meetings, watching and writing summaries of 2-3 school committee meetings, and engaging with and providing NPS-related information to the community on an ongoing basis via social media, school meetings, and your personal network.