January 21: School Budget Public Hearing
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Happy New Year!


January is budget month in the Needham Public Schools. As budget details for FY 2015 are negotiated between School and Town officials, we encourage you to learn about the proposed school budget and voice your thoughts to School Committee members.  


This year, in addition to the regular operating budget, Superintendent Gutekanst is proposing a supplemental budget request that would add significant programming in the Needham Public Schools. Read on for a summary of this request. More information about the FY 2015 budget request, including the supplemental request, is available on the NPS website


Your voice matters! Please attend the Public Budget Hearing on Tuesday, January 21st at 7:00 p.m. in the Broadmeadow Performance Center. This is the community's opportunity to weigh in on the budget. Any citizen can speak at this forum and we encourage you to voice your thoughts to School Committee. If you're unable to attend, you can email your comments to the School Committee at 

1/17/14: In This Issue
Supplemental Budget Request
Know Your Needham Schools
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Supplemental Budget Request 

Superintendent Gutekanst's budget proposal for next year includes a Supplemental Budget Request that would provide significant program enhancements at all levels of our schools.  He presented an updated version of this request to School Committee on January 14th.  This request is separate from the annual operating budget request prepared each year and may require the support of the Needham community through a tax override to move forward.


As discussed with School Committee, the components of this request have been something Superintendent Gutekanst, teachers, administrators and School Committee members have been discussing for the last several years. Importantly, most of the specific items in this request were identified as programmatic or instructional needs in NPS curriculum reviews.  For example, 

  • The World Language Program Review (Nov. 2012) recommended that Needham explore the feasibility of incorporating world languages into the elementary program.
  • The Fine & Performing Arts Program Review (Nov. 2009) recommended that music be reinstated into the kindergarten curriculum and that a theatre arts course be added at Needham High School.  
  • Several program reviews over the last seven years (High School Math, K-8 Science, English/Language Arts, World Language and Wellness) identified a need for increased teacher planning time to improve collaboration, integration and the sharing of best practices.
Some of the key components of the supplemental budget request are:
  • Introduction of Spanish (grades 1-5), STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, grades 1-3) and music instruction (kindergarten), and the expansion of Physical Education and Wellness (grades 1-5).
  • Additional programming in the arts, technology and club sports at Needham High School.
  • Addition of 75 instructional hours (3 weeks) in the elementary schools and 30 instructional hours in the middle schools.
  • Increased teacher planning time across all Needham schools (K-12) for greater collaboration and innovation.
The estimated cost of this proposal is $1.86 million. 
Know Your Needham Schools Jan. 29th

On January 29, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Broadmeadow Performance Center, Superintendent Gutekanst will host his annual "Know Your Needham Schools" night for parents. This evening is designed for parents of rising kindergarteners and preschoolers who will soon be entering the Needham Public Schools. We encourage preschool parents to attend this event to learn more about Needham's schools and meet Dr. Gutekanst in person.   

A flyer detailing this event is available here. 

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