These are my high-level priorities. I feel strongly about the priorities listed below, but I’m also realistic and know that financial constraints may require some creative thinking, and at times, difficult choices.
Support All Learners
- Every student in Newton Public Schools deserves the best education we can provide.
- All learners must be supported – from those who need extra help to those who need extra challenge, and learners in the middle who might fly under the radar.
- The variety and depth of programming is a hallmark of our diverse community. We need to protect our programming, because once programs are cut, they are very difficult to restore.
- Reasonable class sizes are an important part of the student experience so all students can get the individual teacher time they may need in order to succeed.
- Additional supports for ELL programs, special education, social and emotional learning and closing the achievement gap are priorities. We should continue to examine the efficacy of all these programs, and find new ways of delivering services as necessary.
- Reducing student stress, by adding additional mental health supports and implementing a later high school start time.
Hire and Support Highly Qualified Teachers
- Salaries and benefits make up 85% of the school budget – the quality of our teachers is our greatest asset.
- Our entry-level salaries need to be competitive, so that when the best and the brightest teachers are looking for a job, they choose Newton.
- After years of deferred maintenance, we need to continue updating our school buildings for 21st century learning.
- While the Long Range Facilities Plan has a clear blueprint for building updates, if at all possible, we need to consider ways to accelerate the timeline.