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From the Principal - May 16, 202

Updated: May 17

Dear Franklin Families,

I hope that all of you enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend! I am deeply appreciative of our Book Fair Team, led by Lisa Madding, and their hard work on Saturday morning to set up for a fun week of book shopping. Please see the schedule below for after school hours when you can visit the fair.

During this year’s Color Day on June 1st (Rain Date of June 8th), we will include a “Fun Run” that will benefit the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC), a local non-profit organization which provides free services to refugees, asylees, and immigrants, including resettlement, counseling, outreach, education, and other social services. RIAC has been assisting many families from Afghanistan to resettle in Massachusetts this year, and they are now focusing on assistance for families from Ukraine. Students will learn more about RIAC and our Fun Run at this week’s All School Meeting, and pledge sheets will come home soon. Many Thanks to Ranjani Paradise, Jackie Savage-Borne, Meghan Scheffler, and Nick Wong for all of their work on Color Day!

With Best Wishes,

Mark Chitty

Book Fair Hours Outside of School:

  • Monday, May 16th: After school until 6 pm

  • Tuesday, May 17th: After school until 4 pm

  • Wednesday, May 18th: 7 am - 3 pm

  • Thursday, May 19th: After school until 6 pm

  • Friday, May 20th: After school until 4 pm

Newton Schools Foundation News: As the end of the school year approaches, you may be wondering how best to thank the special teachers and staff who have taught and nurtured your children since September. Please consider participating in Newton Schools Foundation’s (NSF) Honor Thy Teacher program, which provides a way to simultaneously recognize our faculty and support our schools while complying with the Newton Public Schools Gift Policy.

When you donate to Honor Thy Teacher, NSF will

  • Notify honored teachers and staff of your gift

  • Share honoree names with the Superintendent’s office and individual school principals

  • List all honored teachers and staff on the NPS website

  • Deliver to all honored staff a Certificate of Honor and Honoree commemorative magnet

By donating to NSF, you are not only acknowledging teachers on a personal level but also providing rich professional development opportunities for them, and supplementing the existing enrichment opportunities that the district provides. The funds raised through Honor Thy Teacher fund new approaches in the classroom, teachers’ professional development, and programs addressing inequities, which collectively impact schoolchildren across all grade levels. Read about the programs NSF funds.

You can find out more information about Newton Schools Foundation, the Honor Thy Teacher program, and how you can make a donation today.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to support Newton’s teachers.

Weekly COVID Case Numbers: During the week of 5/9, Franklin School recorded 15 COVID cases. Information on districtwide COVID cases and vaccination rates can be found on the Newton Health and Human Services website here: NPS COVID Case Count and Vaccination Rates.

From NPS District Newsletter:

COVID Health and Safety

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, Middlesex County, along with most of Massachusetts, is now in the “high” community level for COVID-19. You can access current Newton-specific COVID data on the Newton HHS website:

City of Newton COVID Case Data

Newton Public Schools COVID Case Data

Given the increase in cases in our community, the Newton Public Schools STRONGLY recommends students and staff wear a mask. A well-fitting mask is very effective in reducing the transmission of COVID.

For reference, when a community level is “high,” the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings).

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider taking additional precautions.

Newton Public Schools will continue to notify families of COVID cases using our regular frequency of notification (based upon grade levels.) Families should use this data to assess their own level of risk based upon their family’s circumstances.

REMINDERS:

  • If you test positive for COVID, you must isolate for a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset (or a positive test if asymptomatic). Return to school is based on time and symptom resolution. Individuals must wear a well-fitting mask on days 6-10 at all times following a COVID infection, unless eating, drinking, or outside.

  • The CDC and MA DPH state that individuals exposed to a positive COVID case should mask for 10 days following exposure, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS. A rapid antigen or PCR test on Day 5 is recommended.

COVID Testing and Protocols

Parent Coffee/PTO Evening Meeting Dates: This year, we planned a mixture of morning Parent Coffees and evening PTO Meetings through which we hoped to engage all of you in conversation about life and learning in our school community. Please join us for our final event of the year:

June 2nd 7:30 p.m.

Absences: If your child will be absent from school for any reason, please call the Student Absence Line at 617-559-9509 before 7:50. Also, please be sure that teachers have accurate information about dismissal routines for your child.

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