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Citizens for Needham Schools (CNS) is dedicated to advocating for strong public schools, educating the public on issues pertaining to school department funding and capital projects, and supporting the School Administration and the School Committee in their efforts to provide quality education for Needham’s students.
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Welcome Back to School!

Back to school is an exciting time for children, parents and educators and we hope the new school year is off to a great start for all.

This year the Needham Public Schools has several new programs and initiatives, including extended learning in elementary school and iPads at High Rock, and we look forward to reporting on these topics in future CNS newsletters.

10/22/2014: In This Issue

NPS Performance Report
School Committee Initiatives
10/25 School Committee Open House
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We extend a warm welcome to those receiving the CNS Newsletter for the first time. Please let us know if there are particular topics you'd like to learn more about. 

NPS Performance Report

The Needham Public Schools Performance Report was sent to Needham residents in early September. This annual report is a valuable source of information about the schools and covers topics such as curriculum, school finances and infrastructure. The Performance Report also highlights school programs and initiatives such as the integrated preschool and interdisciplinary learning at Needham High School. In addition, the chart on the last 2 pages compares Needham to 20 neighboring towns in several different categories. We encourage you to take a look!

 School Committee Initiatives

At its September meeting, the School Committee highlighted four key initiatives

for the upcoming year. These initiatives (detailed below) are in addition to the regular business the School Committee addresses each year such as budgeting, program and curriculum reviews, space planning, technology implementation and educator evaluations. CNS will provide updates on these important topics as the year moves ahead. You can watch a video on these initiatives here.

Hillside Project

Needham and the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) are currently conducting a project feasibility study on the renovation/rebuilding of the Hillside Elementary School. The School Committee is committed to achieving a community consensus on a preferred alternative and seeking MSBA approval by the end of the school year. More information about future renovation projects at the Hillside and Mitchell elementary schools is available on the NPS website

Additional Space for Needham High

High enrollment at Needham High School is putting stress on classroom and communal spaces. Working with other Town departments, the School Committee plans to address space concerns at Needham High. The administration has been creatively repurposing and re-allocating existing rooms and offices to provide more instructional space. The next step, partitioning two existing classrooms, is to be accomplished through a Warrant Article at the October Special Town Meeting. A larger proposal to address space needs at the High School over the next decade is expected later this year. 

iPads at High Rock

This year's 6th grade class is participating in a 1:1 iPad initiative wherein all students are using an iPad device at school. Some of the goals of this program are to increase students' organization, provide more opportunities for personalized leaning and collaboration, and provide a device students can use during their three years of middle school. CNS plans to provide additional information on the status of the High Rock iPad implementation in future newsletters.     

Full Day Kindergarten Study

Needham does not currently have full day kindergarten due to space and financial constraints. However, the School Committee is committed to implementing full day kindergarten as soon as possible and has created a standing sub-committee to begin planning for this.

 10/25 School Committee Open House

The School Committee will hold its annual Fall Open House on Saturday, October 25th from 9:00-10:30 am in the Needham High School Library. This is a great opportunity to meet members of the School Committee in an informal setting and ask them any questions you may have about the Needham Public Schools. 

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