Banner with the NPS logo and "Natick Public Schools" written with a blue bar above and red bar below.
DISTRICT NEWS
Superintendent's Welcome Back Message
Picture of Natick PS administrative leaders.
Dear Natick School Community:

Welcome Back from the Natick Schools Leadership Team! The below picture is from our administrator council retreat last week. 

We have all been meeting to coordinate, collaborate, train and energize the school system in anticipation of receiving your children on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 28, 2019. While summer affords us time to reflect, read and revise--there is no substitute for the energy of having our teachers and students here with us. I met in retreat with the school committee all summer to reflect on our achievements and areas for growth--set new plans in motion and discuss ways to unify the district.
Collaboration is the Heart of our Work: Relationships Matter
While we pride ourselves on strong collaboration and communication as a cornerstone of NPS work, we will strengthen our focus on collaboration across the district in the following areas: 
  • Teaching collaboration skills to our students (priority focus area 1 within the Natick Profile of a Graduate) and
  • With our parent community in support of our students as part of our strategic plan. We seek to redefine school/parent collaboration for the modern parent. 

We hope you will join our coffee hours, focus groups and committee discussions on this topic. While all areas of the Profile of a Natick Graduate are a part of our program and strategic plan, a focus on collaboration across the system will increase engagement with students and families. 

As part of the commitment to collaboration, we hope, in the coming weeks, to share key communication documents with you so you can get to know us, how we operate and understand important parts of our school routines, values and community. Click here to see an overview of the school district and the Natick Profile of a Graduate.
Upcoming Communications
  • Core Values in Athletics: How our Athletics Department Contributes to the Profile of a Natick Graduate
  • School Safety: What NPS Does to Ensure a Physically Safe School Environment
  • School Safety: What NPS Does to Ensure Psychological Safety—from Bullying to Social Justice to Trusted Adults
  • Teaching Civic Dispositions: Our New Civics Curriculum and Teaching in the Election Year
  • Diversity in the Natick Schools: Hiring and Adapting to an Increasingly Diverse World, Region and Town 
  • Fall Mailing: Return on Investment—Update on District Strategic Plan and Key District Initiatives
  • Natick Parent University: Learn More and Develop Your Parenting Skills!

We also want to update you on a few key areas on our website that will allow you to know our work and our school system better. 

Check out our Transparency Page to explore the following areas:

We also want you to explore our ClearGov transparency center that allows you to learn, in a graphic representation, about how our school system compares to others and to deep dive into key aspects of the school system’s demographics and spending.
Facilities and Kennedy Project Updates
Image of "Visitors Check-in Here" sign at Kennedy Middle School
It was the busiest summer on record for the schools with major renovations at Johnson and Brown, a parking lot overhaul at Ben Hem, exterior fence/gardening finally complete at Lilja, interior renovations at Wilson, parking additions and solar canopies added at Natick High, and, of course, our ongoing building project at the Kennedy School and Brown Elementary sites. 

All of this, in addition to the regular upgrades, maintenance, cleaning and care of our 9 schools and the East campus. 

We are ready! 
Navigating the Brown-Kennedy Campus
  • Plan to add 20 minutes to morning routines until you become familiar with the new layout of the campus.
  • Walking paths will be open.
  • Please see the reader accessible PDF or image of the site map for pedestrian access points and navigation.
  • Drivers MUST FOLLOW DIRECTIONS from adults directing traffic on campus.
  • Read ALL signs.
  • Maintain LOW SPEEDS at all times.
  • Please do not use drop off time to check out the campus.
  • If possible, avoid driving to campus to avoid the anticipated congestion.

Construction is contained within fences, and vehicles enter/exit prior to and after the start of the school days. 

Below are video instructions for those accessing Brown and Kennedy on foot (all paths) and by car.
Walking to Campus Instructional Video
Driving on Campus Instructional Video
Please know that we sped up the time-lapse video (we are not speeding on campus) and while there were construction vehicles on campus during filming you will NOT see them driving on campus. 


Watching these videos is one thing, but once on campus, we have and will continue to deploy additional adults to the scene to direct traffic and ensure safety. 

Please comply with all adult directions and signage. Patience will be required as 1200 students and their families adapt to this new campus layout and its traffic patterns.
Moving Between the Brown and KMS Campuses
Brown modulars pictured with "KMS" sign for natvigating the campus during construction in foreground.
Students walking from the Brown to Kennedy MUST walk through the Brown School Playground for safety reasons. 

I wanted to share this in case any siblings need to walk from Brown to KMS.

Adults will be on-site to ensure clear routes and safety as we all get to know the new campus and driving/walking routes.
Instrumental Music Program
Image of musical notes.
Please note that we have changed our vendor for rental and repair.

We have entered into an agreement with David French Music of Westborough. Our representative there is Joe Brogan, and can be reached at joe@davidfrenchmusic.com for anything instrument-related. We are excited about our new partnership!

Continuing students and their families should decide for themselves whether they wish to continue on their previous contract, or would like to consider working with our new vendor. If you are interested in more information, please contact Joe at his email provided above.

If you still have a musical instrument contract with our former vendor, or other vendors, they should provide the service noted in your contract with them.  Please note, school staff cannot facilitate services between any vendor and families except for David French.

That said, the same level of service you had from prior contracts should be honored within their contract with you. You should contact them directly for service and questions in the same way you did previously.

If you have any other questions about vendors, please feel free to contact your music teacher, or Craig Chisholm, Director of Music, cchisholm@natickps.org .

For grade specific information and registration, please select on the appropriate grade from the list below.


*Note: To guarantee enrollment,
all forms and fees are due by September 4, 2019.*
Annual Forms in EZSchool Enroll
Many of you have been updating your online forms through EZ School enroll. 

At this time OVER 50% of forms have been completed across the district. Thank you! 

We know that at times the system is sluggish and to address that we will be moving to a new student information system NEXT year (so next summer should feel different!) IPASS is no longer up-keeping this product and we will switch to a company called PowerSchool. This switch will occur gradually over the next year--but for now, continue to use iPASS and all of its features. Like you, we look forward to improved user experience with this new product. 
Emergency Test Message
A Blackboard email test message should have reached you this week via your school principal. 

If it didn’t, it means that your EZschool Forms/Contact Info may need to be updated. Please ensure your preferred phone numbers and email addresses are updated. 

The most important piece of data for this tool is your email address, the text message is setup as a redundancy and is not as reliable as the email communication.  Email is our primary emergency communication tool.
Final Sentiments
Building Strong Relationships at the top, with an image of two hands of different races clasped. #RelatioinshipsMatter hashtag and Natick logo.
I know it is a hectic time getting ready for school! I am readying my 13 and 16-year-olds for grades 8 and 11 respectively, while we finish AP bio, summer reading, juggle the final 3 driving lessons, football double sessions, fall soccer and shopping for school supplies (whew!) I feel the bittersweetness of the moment--weren’t they just in kindergarten?

And, even though I am the parent of older children, I still feel nervous for their transition. It’s normal to feel worried, teary and excited all at the same time! Our staff and principals, many of whom are launching their own children in transitions, also understand this on personal and professional levels. Reach out if you want to talk, need a tissue or have questions. We are here for you.

In some ways the rest achieved in summer seems a blur--but I feel as I did as a kid--excited for school, excited to see teaching back in action, excited for our new hires and the strength of our returning staff, and excited to continue to deepen our partnership with you as we support and teach the next generation of Natick community members. See you on campus!

Anna
Anna P. Nolin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates 

Natick Public Schools
Twitter: @annapnolin

508-647-6500, ext 0
13 E. Central Street
Natick, MA 01760
NPS Logo
Natick Public Schools  is a community dedicated to all students achieving high standards in a safe, trusting, respectful environment where learning is exciting, dynamic, and engaging. 

Our mission  is to educate all students to high levels through high-quality instruction. 
NATICK PUBLIC SCHOOLS
13 East Central Street, Natick MA 01760
ph: 508-647-6500 fax: 508-647-6506