• Message from PTSA President

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021

    Hello Tiger Families!


    I want to take a moment to reflect on the first half of this unique school year before looking forward to the next stage of pandemic learning.


    It has only been about a year since we realized that covid-19 was headed to America. I don’t think any of us knew how dramatically it would change how we live. The impact on schools was transformational. There is nothing about teaching or learning that is the same as it was twelve months ago.


    To start, I want to share my awe for the resilience our students have shown. Theyre doing things no other students have ever done before. Success looks different than its ever looked before. This is hard, and confusing, and unpredictable, and terrifying. For them to persevere in spite of everything going on around them is a testament to how amazing they are. They should all be proud of themselves.


    In the next few weeks, we can expect changes to the learning program. The Board of Education affirmed last week that they intend to begin a return to school buildings on March 15, health metrics permitting. At the last PTSA meeting, Ms. Tsonis shared that she and her team have been working on Newport Mills plan for hybrid learning. The December survey that asked parents to commit to hybrid or virtual learning is the basis for those plans and each school is developing a system to meet the needs of their own students.


    While that work is ongoing, Ms. Tsonis shared the outline of what in-person learning will be like at Newport. The key points are these:


    • Approximately 50% of Newport Mill students intend to return to the building this year.
    • Some staff will return to the building but those arrangements are not finalized.
    • Students will have the same teachers as they have now.
    • Classroom capacity with be strictly limited to maintain adequate distance between students.
    • Students will likely rely on Chromebooks to receive instruction, even if the are in the building. This is because some teachers will working remotely. Other teachers will be in the building but students in a single class may be spread into multiple rooms.
    • There will be staff to monitor and assist students who are in classrooms without teachers.


    I understand that many of you have more questions than I have answered here. Believe me when I say I have all the same questions. For example, my son plays saxophone in band and Im curious how that will work going forward! However, I’m trying to be patient.. The Board says that school will start communicating plans for hybrid learning on February 9. Well all know more at that time.


    Meanwhile, I want to extend my deep and abiding gratitude to the whole staff of Newport Mill for their constant work on behalf of our students. Like a lot if you, I wake up every day unsure what challenges I am about to face. But I never have any doubt that the teachers, counselors  and administration at Newport are doing their best to make this new type of education work.


    Rebekah Kuschmider

    NNMS PTSA President


    NOTE: If you know families who are not on the PTSA email list, please share this message with them! We want to keep the whole school community as up to date as we can. If they would like to join the PTSA, they can do so by clicking this link: https://nmms.new.memberhub.store/

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