CNS News | April 2020
It is a strange and challenging time for Needham families! We know you have already received a lot of information regarding school and town closures, but we thought it would be helpful to provide a brief summary of recent news below, including links to relevant web pages, documents, and videos.

Also, be sure to mark your calendars — School Committee is hosting a Virtual Open House on Saturday, April 18, for parents and community members to speak informally with SC members.

Would you like to help CNS keep the Needham community informed and engaged in discussions about our schools? Consider joining the CNS Board — you can start by  emailing us, or fill out our  online application.

Hilary Bruel & Liz Lee
Co-Chairs, Citizens for Needham Schools
District News

Saturday, April 18, 9:00 – 10:30am

This Saturday, parents and community members are invited to join School Committee members for an informal conversation in a Zoom Webinar , or to watch live on The Needham Channel website .

School Committee encourages people to email questions in advance. Attendees may also use the Q&A capability of Zoom to ask questions during the webinar. School Committee members will answer as many of the questions as possible during the event.  Please note: registration is required to join the Zoom Webinar.  

Remote Learning Plan
Following the announcement of extended school closures until May 4, the district has implemented a Remote Learning Plan for students which is designed to help restore a sense of structure and routine to students. At the April 7 School Committee Meeting, a detailed overview of the plan was presented that addressed curriculum, technology, student support services, and implementation at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. While different from traditional classroom instruction, the core of the remote learning plan maintains the district’s commitment to academics, social and emotional learning, and equity.


Amended School Calendar
The School Committee voted to amend the 2019-20 School Calendar with the following changes:
  • Cancel April vacation (four days: April 21–24)
  • Last day of school will be June 19 
  • No school on Good Friday, Patriot’s Day, or Memorial Day 
  • Keep two early release days for staff (May 20 and June 3)

Free Meal Service for Children and Teens
On April 3, Needham Public Schools began distributing free “grab and go” bags containing breakfast and lunch for any child or teen in need in Needham (recipients DO NOT need to be qualified for free or reduced lunch). The meals are available in a drive-through format on Tuesdays and Fridays 11:00 – 1:00 at High Rock School. Additional details can be found on the NPS website.
Town News
Needham Town Election — Rescheduled to May 26
Needham's Town Election will be held on Tuesday, May 26. As an alternative to voting in person, residents may also vote by mail, but must apply for mail-in ballots by Friday, May 22. Additional information for mail-in voting for can be found on both the Town of Needham and League of Women Voters websites. Some races are competitive, so be sure to do your research before you vote:

School Committee
The race for school committee is uncontested, with incumbents Michael Greis and Matt Spengler running for two spots.

Other Town Boards
The only competitive race is for the Needham Housing Authority, between Ross Donald and Eleanor Evans.

Town Meeting Members
Among the 10 precincts, there is a mix of competitive and uncontested races. Some precincts even have open spots, allowing for write-in candidates to be elected:
• Competitive Races: A, D, G
• Open Spots: H, I

Needham Town Meeting — Rescheduled to June 8
The Annual Town meeting, which typically begins the first Monday of May, has been postponed until June 8.

CNS News
Apply to Be a CNS Board Member
CNS is seeking board members who are politically and civically engaged with an interest in issues related to education and the Needham 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 SC 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.

Resources at Your Fingertips
The CNS website is filled with information and resources related Needham Public Schools, so if there's some information you are trying to find, start at the CNS website... we may be able to help you!

Calendar - You can now find both the school calendar and the dates for this year's school committee meetings.
Helpful Links - The NPS website is vast, to say the least. We've collected some of links we think are most useful all in one place.
SC Meeting Highlights - We have brief summaries of each SC meeting, with links to detailed information and the Needham Channel recording.
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