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Community News January 14th

Some Good News!

We are thrilled to announce the hiring of Megan Rowe to help facilitate small groups at Needham both for advanced students and intervention students. Ms. Megan will be helping with our Gifted and Talented programming and running two reading intervention groups as well. Most recently, Ms. Megan student-taught with Kemper Fitzpatrick in 2nd grade. Prior to that, she worked as an instructional para and a pre-school para at Needham. She is a huge asset to our staff! As a leader, it is always a pleasure for me to hire and cultivate inside talent and I am so thankful to have Megan taking on new roles with us as a licensed teacher.

Hiring! Come Join our Team

Needham Elementary is hiring for an Administrative Assistant to the Principal. The current person holding this role, Tammie Cartwright, has accepted a role in the district finance office. We are so thankful for Tammie’s time at Needham and wish her well in this new opportunity. If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in this position, please direct them to the job posting on the district website. We are hoping to conduct interviews in the near future.

At Home Work Clarification

With the current COVID situation, we have had many students out for a variety of reasons (family members positive, high-risk exposures, positive for COVID, symptomatic, etc). If your child is out with illness, we will follow the board policy regarding make up work. This means students will be given the amount of days they were out in order to make up the work. At times, teachers can provide some at home assignments in real time using platforms such as Google Classroom. This will not always be the case. Because our only model for delivering instruction this year is in-person, teachers will not be able to provide remote instruction, hybrid instruction, or continuous daily work during absences. I am grateful for all of you for wanting to keep your students caught up on work, and would ask you to please be understanding that teachers cannot realistically provide a full day of work, much less multiple days of work, for students at home with so many people out on different timelines. Rest assured that your student will be given the time and opportunity to make up all missed work upon their return as the board policy indicates. If you have any questions about this, please reference Board Policy JH regarding student absences.

The Needham Garden: Can you help?

Needham is so fortunate to have the garden as a central feature on our campus. Even though it’s January, I have already been in discussion with teachers and community partners about how to better utilize and steward this wonderful space. I am a huge believer in hands-on learning, and believe that the garden offers so much potential for this. We have some immediate needs in the garden, and some opportunities coming up this spring. One immediate need is a fence repair. This fall, some large animal took down a section of our garden fence in an attempt to gain entry. We have funds to replace this section of fence, but are wondering if anyone has the time and skill to put in a new post and to put up the chicken wire fencing to cover this gap? Please reach out to me if you would like to volunteer in this capacity. As we look ahead to spring, we will need additional volunteers to help with the garden in a variety of ways. Be on the lookout for opportunities!

Lens on Learning with Bri Dilley, Needham’s Instructional Coach 

The second-grade team is reflective and always working on refining their practice so that they can provide the best education possible.  They collaborate closely together to plan units that are interdisciplinary and engaging for all students.  These units include reading about a topic, then writing about the topic.  The umbrella for these units is typically science or social studies standards.  Nice job being creative at integrating exciting learning for all students!


Have a great weekend!


Riley Alderton, Principal