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  • Writer's pictureMike Zilles

NTA EBulletin, May 2, 2021

Spring Planning/MOA

Spring Expansion of High School in Person Learning Time. DESE announced that high schools must return to full, in person learning five days a week beginning May 17th. NTA will bargain with the NPS the impact of the change from four days to five days a week in person learning. Spring Expansion of Elementary and Middle School Learning Time. The NTA and NPS have finished bargaining on the impact of the expansion of elementary and middle school to five days per week. Unfortunately, the School Committee would not agree to provide a stipend (approximately the equivalent of a workshop day--$270) as an honorarium in recognition and gratitude for the enormous amount of work that went into planning for and implementing yet again another transition. Thank you to everyone who wrote an email to the School Committee, Mayor, and Superintendent in support of our proposal. We will share the MOA with members shortly.

Fall Planning

New High School Schedule and Late Start Time For more details on the proposed changes to the high school schedule and the changes to start times, as well as the process NTA and NPS is following to implements these changes, please see the April 11 EBulletin.

High School Joint Oversight Committee (HSJOC) The HSJOC met on April 14 and April 28. In the April 28th meeting, the Committee workshopped four areas before voting whether to adopt the new schedule:

  • Uses of flex block

  • Minor tweaks to schedule

  • Career and Tech Ed needs

  • Assessing change through an anti-racist lens

At the end of the day on the 28th, the NTA and NPS representatives on the committee caucused separately, after which we convened and voted on whether to adopt the new schedule. The Committee voted unanimously for adoption. We left one item undecided: Whether faculty meeting time would be in the afternoon after classes or in the morning before classes, as we would like faculty input before making this decision. We also agreed that the schedule may need minor modifications to ensure that CTE programs will be in compliance with DESE regulations. Here is the schedule, with faculty meeting times in the afternoon. If meetings were in the morning, they would run from 8:00 to 9:05 on Tuesday, with A block class beginning at 9:20. For a closer look, click on the schedule to see an excel file of it.

Elementary Contractual Start Time In order to implement any start time changes, we will need an MOA changing elementary start time to 8:10. This MOA will be presented to membership in a GMM for ratification. Again, for an overview of all of the proposed changes to start and end times for next year, please see the April 11 EBulletin.

Stop Gun Stores In Newton

As many of you are aware, there are plans underway to open a gun store on Washington Street, near many Newton Public Schools.

If you would like to join other Newton residents, mostly parents of NPS students, in fighting this outrageous plan, please go to this link, where you can sign a petition, request a lawn sign, or donate. Many of our members attended the Zoning and Planning Committee last Monday night. You view a recording of the meeting here. The opposition to this store is growing fast. On Thursday, April 15, the parents who are leading this effort ordered 250 lawn signs; they have received now requests for nearly 500. The next day after their initial order, they had to order 500 more signs! Even if you don't live in Newton and can't put up a sign, you can help by distributing them. Email Jane Frantz at to volunteer Jane would really appreciate help distributing these signs.

MTA Open Enrollment for Disability Insurance Ends May 7th

NTA strongly encourages members to participate in the MTA group UNUM long-term disability plan. We do not advise that you purchase short term disability insurance, as our contract provides the protections you will need if you are disabled for the period short term disability insurance would cover unless you are doing so for the purposes of extending a planned maternity leave. UNUM representatives can inform you how the short term disability policy makes that financially more possible.

Click on the image above to learn more.

"Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." Please take care and stay well. Mike



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