As you may know, we have learned more about the Underwood-Ward Task Force in the last few weeks. Of primary concern is that changes may be proposed that will impact current Underwood students. While no recommendation has been made, the Task Force said that “all options are on the table” – including redistricting Underwood students as soon as Fall of 2024. This page is a resource to learn about the Task Force, get involved in the process, and learn about updated and events.
- Maintaining the status quo with the associated ongoing challenges
- Identifying and implementing administrative shifts to address class sizes and total number of classrooms (to increase enrollment at Ward and/or Underwood), such as faculty student assignments and buffer zone placements.
- Consolidating Underwood and Ward students at one of the existing schools (either Ward or Underwood).
- Redistricting Ward and/or Underwood Elementary School students to other elementary schools in the district.
- Housing grades K-2 at one school and 3-5 at the other to create a larger cohort at each grade level.
Task Force Home Page – Maintained by NPS, has meeting details, upcoming events, and other information.
Mission and Guiding Principles (draft) of the working group
Scope of services of the contracted consultant, Perkins Eastman
Facility Study by Perkins Eastman – June 13, 2023
Enrollment Analysis Report – January 2023
Task Force Enrollment Study – 5.9.23 – Underwood & Ward Facility & Enrollment Study – May 9, 2023
Phase 1 – Spring 2023
Existing conditions assessment – buildings, sites and space use
Historic and projected enrollment review for both schools, individually and within the context of the district
Understand facility needs to support the educational program Identify issues and opportunities
Phase 2 – Summer 2023
Identify/develop strategies and options for consideration
Research and data collection for various options
Phase 3 – Fall 2023
Opportunities for Community input on findings
Refine Options and complete Criteria Evaluation Matrix
Present options to Superintendent and School Committee
Task Force Members & Emails
- Ayesha Farag, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education – email@example.com
- Stephanie Gilman, NPS Dir. of Planning, Project Management & Sustainability – Gilmans@newton.k12.ma.us
- Katy Hogue, NPS Director of Data Analysis & Enrollment Planning – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Liam Hurley, NPS Assist. Superintendent/Chief Financial & Administrative Officer – email@example.com
- Sean Mannion, NPS Director of Finance – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Suzie Talukdar, Underwood Principal – email@example.com
- Rebecca Brogadir, Ward Principal – Brogadirr@newton.k12.ma.us
- Andy Gluck, Underwood Building Aide – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rachel Ritchie, Ward Teacher – email@example.com
Underwood and Ward Families
- Kathleen Colantonio, Underwood Parent – Email withheld
- Bob Altshuler, Ward Parent – firstname.lastname@example.org
School Committee Members
City of Newton Administrators
- Joshua Morse, Newton Public Buildings Commissioner – Email unavailable – can be contacted here: https://www.newtonma.gov/Home/Components/StaffDirectory/StaffDirectory/254/612
- Alex Valcarce, Newton Public Buildings Deputy Commissioner – Email unavailable – can be connected here: https://www.newtonma.gov/Home/Components/StaffDirectory/StaffDirectory/253/612
- Jonathan Yeo, Newton Chief Operating Officer – email@example.com
- Allison Leary, Ward 1 City Councilor – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rebecca Grossman, Ward 7 City Councilor email@example.com
Other Relevant Community Members:
- Emily Norton, City Councilor – firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Oliver, Councilor-at-Large – email@example.com
- Maria Scibelli Greenberg, Ward Councilor – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor Fuller – email@example.com
- Hattie Kerwin Derrick, Director of Community Engagement & Inclusion – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ellen Ishkanian, Director of Community Communications – email@example.com
Underwood and Ward Study Update – June 21, 2023 – Includes FAQs, details on options, challenges, and considerations.
Letter from City Councilors to the Task Force – Six Newton City Councilors send this message to the Task Force on 6/12/23
Email the Task-Force and relevant community members:
Make sure your voice is heard. We’ve complied all the emails in once place, and drafted a template you can use when starting your message. Both can be found here.
Attend Upcoming Public Task Force Meetings:
All meetings are public and anyone can join.
- Tuesday, July 11, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. – Education Center Room 210 (100 Walnut St.):
- Tuesday, August 8, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. – Education Center Room 210 (100 Walnut St.):
- Tuesday, September 12, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. – Education Center Room 210 (100 Walnut St.):
- Tuesday, October 10, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. – Education Center Room 210 (100 Walnut St.):
- Tuesday, November 14, 2023 – 3:00 p.m. – Education Center Room 210 (100 Walnut St.):
- Tuesday, December 12, 2023 (if needed) – 3:00 p.m. – Education Center Room 210 (100 Walnut St.):