Transportation, class choice discussed at coffee with superintendent on March 14, 2019

About ten parents/guardians enjoyed coffee and Q&A with Superintendent David Fleishman and School Committee (SC) members Margaret Albright and Anping Shen on March 14, 2019. The session was shared through Facebook Live thanks to Agi Sardi and Ted Vahey. 

Thank you to the visitors and to all who took time to attend—and who patiently evacuated mid-coffee due to a fire alarm! Here are the topics the group discussed.

  • Three-D art installation exemplifying NNHS mission statement has become an engaging learning experience for students, requiring problem solving, extensive research, design and technology, fundraising, and more. 
  • AP and honors courses: NNHS fills as many requests as possible but asks students to be thoughful about their workload.
  • School Committee: Responsibilities include evaluating superintendent, overseeing school budget, setting policy, and managing school district initiatives. 
  • Facilities: Newton Public Schools (NPS) continues upgrading elementary school buildings. 
  • Traffic: SC members are trying to help ease traffic around school buildings, but this is a complex problem with most elements not controlled by NPS. Help is required from city departments like Public Works, Planning, and Police. Students are encouraged to walk, ride bikes, or use buses. Parents/guardians who must drive are asked to drop students several blocks from school buildings. The MBTA website provides route planning information.
  • Full-day kindergarten will begin in September. 
  • Enrollment and capacity: Although there will be several blips, enrollment is projected to be fairly stable. At North, all but two blocks are full, meaning all classrooms are in use. The new building opened with 1,800 students; it now holds 2,015 students. 
  • House deans, administrators: Given their large caseload of 500+ students apiece, deans will not be scheduled for classroom teaching next year. Special Education administrators will also be allowed more time for their administrative duties.
  • Latin: Latin is offered to 9ththough 12thgraders. Enrollment is up given outreach to 8thgraders by current students.

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Next virtual office hour: March 24