5/15/20 Superintendent Update

5/15/20 Superintendent Update
Posted on 05/15/2020
Dear NPS Families,
Happy Friday!

With a couple days of nice weather, I hope you have all been able to enjoy the sunshine.  In these days of closure, we have to celebrate such days that allow us more time and space!  We congratulate our Seniors as they head into their last week of school and our high school students taking the rigorous AP exams.  Mr. Harrigan from NHS has sent out all of the ways we will celebrate seniors--I encourage all to read the NHS bulletin in this memo / blast so you can participate in those activities if you like.  

Warning — Severe Budget Cuts Possible
The next 30 days are critically important to the school budget and our school system's future.  There has never been a more critical time to attend to town business meetings such as :  Monday night's Board of Selectman meeting, Tuesday's school committee meeting (info to the left in this memo) and Wednesday's financial planning committee meeting 5:30pm.  Info for all meetings can be found here: https://www.natickma.gov/1012/Agendas-Minutes

Cuts to the school budget and discussions of the town budget landscape will be explained.  Decisions we make this season could have long-range impacts on the system.

Here is the information I will be discussing with the school committee who must weigh the information given by the town administrator and her board, the Select Board and decide how to proceed with the school budget.  There are many tough decisions to make.  Under Massachusetts General Law, the school committee has the right to develop its own budget based on the district's needs and not to fit into a budget created by town administration.  This ensures that the needs of children are met and not constrained by non-educational professionals.  However, the school committee, as your elected representatives and I (as your superintendent) must work within the town ecosystem while we stay true to our core principles and that meet the needs of your children.  Your voice and participation are critical to decision-making.

Guidance on summer learning, extended school year, summer school, and a curriculum guide / report of progress for parents will be available by June 10.  Our guidance will provide families  1.  parent guides for independent study 2.  use of an online curriculum tool and live teachers available in summer to address needs (voluntary) and what standards will be transitioned to the new school year.  

Relative to fall reopening guidelines, we do not have guidance from governor, DPH or the Commissioner of Education.  The reopening work will not be shared to families until we have far more certainty.  Our target will be July for informing you with any sort of detail.  Thank you for your patience as we juggle many recommendations.  Rest assured, planning for next year is in process now.

A friend saw me at an online meeting this week and said I looked tired (true story!) and wished me a break akin to the Jewish tradition of Sabbath — traditionally kept in Jewish faith on Saturdays or some Christians on Sundays.  She also sent me this poem, which I share with you. (I try to read one poem a day, every day — I was a long-time middle school English and Theater teacher).  May you also have a restful Sabbath of sorts, or be able to turn this time in pandemic mode, to a mental turning to Sabbath.


What if you thought of it

as the Jews consider the Sabbath—

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

on trying to make the world

different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.


And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.


Promise this world your love–

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.


Thank you. Thinking of you all,

Anna P. Nolin, Ed.D.
Superintendent  of Schools
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates 

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