May 26, 2016 NewtonPAC Open Board Meeting

Newton PAC Open Board Meeting, May 26, 2016, Room 210 100 Walnut Street


6:45pm   Open meeting

Vote to elect secretary of the PAC

7:00pm   Introductions

Superintendent, Dr. David Fleishman

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Judy Levin-Charns


  1. The relationship between regular and special education programming at NPS
  2. Faculty updates, new hires, departures
  3. Facilities updates, programs moving, new modular placement, construction


The last question will be taken at 8:25pm

8:30pm      Adjourn


PAC Board Attendees

Eileen Sandberg, Chair

Rajeev Parlikar

Alyssa Cohen

Marian Rambelle

Betsy Hewitt

Joan Schulz

Jo-Louise Allen

Other attendees

David Fleishman, Superintendent

Judy Levin-Charns, Assistant Superintendent

Ruth Goldman, School Committee

Christine Carey

Renee Bussell

Rosa Nicolazzo

Lisa DiFelice


NewtonPAC order of business:  Fill vacancy of position of Secretary.  Jo-Louise Allen was unanimously elected.


  1. Introductions
  2. Topics:
  1. The relationship between regular and special education programming at NPS
  2. Faculty updates, new hires, departures
  • Facilities updates, programs on the move, modular placement and construction.


This was the 7th year of co-taught classrooms at the elementary level.  Cohorts change from year to year.   Some schools have such tiny cohorts that they need to go to a citywide co-taught model.


Middle School has more integrated classrooms.

At the High School level, Newton South has increased its co-taught classrooms.  STEP at South is the flow for students from FOCUS at Brown.  RISE at South is the flow for students from SPARK at Brown.  It is harder to find dual certification at the high school, so it can be a content teacher and a special educator.  There could also be smaller class sizes at the high school with other supports.

At Angier elementary school, what was previously called the citywide integrated program, is now called Achieve.  There are 26 co-taughts in elementary within the district this year, next year there will be 21 co-taughts in elementary.

The numbers needed to create a cohort are usually 5 students.


The NPS Program Guide hasn’t been updated since January 2013, and needs serious updating.  Judy is working on completing the new guide before she retires on June 30th.  A suggestion was made that it is too labor intensive to recreate the guide, and it takes too long to be posted for parents to review.  The suggestion was to bring it online, and “insert” new descriptions as necessary.  It would save a lot of trees, and always be available online.



Facilities Update

The Aquinas purchase means that the NECP is moving out of the Education Center.  In the future, Lincoln Eliot will also move to Aquinas.  After all of the new schools are built or renovated, Carr can be used as a school building.

The current “shed” at Newton South, which houses the High School Stabilization Program, will be receiving two former Zervas modulars.  There will be a covered walkway from the new space to the former building which is where the bathroom facilities are housed.

The Information Technology department has moved upstairs to the second floor of 100 Walnut Street, freeing up two spaces on the first floor.  Those have been renovated, and Central High School will be relocating from the modular behind 100 Walnut Street into those two classrooms and eventually take up more of the vacated early childhood space.

The elementary ABA program, currently at Countryside, will be moving into the new Zervas when it is completed.


Hiring Update

Kathleen Browning is the new Preschool Director.  She has been in NPS for 16 years, as a speech/language therapist, and in the last four years, as the Speech and Language Coordinator.

Jennifer Truslow has been hired by the Weston Public Schools to be the Assistant Director of Special Education.  Principal of Brown Middle School, John Jordan, is creating a search committee and is asking two parents of the special education community to join the committee.

Karen Shmukler is beginning on July 1st as the new Assistant Superintendent for Student Services.  Judy Levin-Charns is retiring on June 30th.


Meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.