School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 03/26/2018 and 04/02/2018 Newton School Committee meetings, as well as additional information about recent program open houses:

1). At both 3/26 and 4/2 meetings, the main topic was the 2018-2019 proposed budget. The question and answer periods were relatively short as we had covered quite a bit of ground at our previous budget meetings (see previous newsletters). The meeting ended with a unanimous straw vote supporting the budget proposal.

2). At the 3/26 meeting we discussed a draft revision of the policy: Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Use for Students. The impetus for the new draft was the new requirement for SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) screening. SBIRT is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs This is a verbal screening for students in grades 7 and 9. A number of revisions were suggested and a final draft will be proposed at an upcoming meeting.

3). School Committee Members were invited to a open houses at Central High School located at 100 Walnut Street and the Harbor Program on the campus of Newton South High School. The facilities for both programs are in renovated spaces as of September 2018. Directors and faculty of both programs discussed how the renovated spaces have made a positive impact on addressing student needs. Central High School, as described by the NPS website, is a small, highly structured, therapeutic setting with a behavior management system built into the school day. The Harbor Program, previously known as the High School Stabilization Program, is a short term program for students in crisis. This program allows students to continue their courses of study with additional clinical supports.

We hope you have found this summary useful. You can access all School Committee meeting documents via the NPS website (

Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via

As always, we are very happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us via the email address below.


Newton School Committee