Dear Needham Public Schools Families:


On August 11th, the School Committee voted to approve the district’s Plan for Reopening Schools with a Hybrid Learning Model for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. District staff, public health officials, parents, students, and School Committee members guided the planning process and provided feedback. We kept our dedication to the health and safety of our students and staff at the heart of the process. Our focus has been – and will remain – the health, safety, and wellbeing of all students and staff.  


We believe our hybrid model, which involves both in person and remote learning, best meets students’ educational needs and can be implemented safely for students and staff for the following reasons:


- All students, grades PreK to 12, benefit from the interactions, socialization, collaborative and hands on learning, communication, and personal relationships that are nurtured and supported by in-person teaching and learning.


- Students can be grouped into smaller cohorts to allow for social distancing and other health protocols that would not be feasible with a full return to school.


- The classroom design can be more flexible and responsive to teacher and student needs with fewer students per room; students can be separated up to 6 feet.


- This hybrid model allows us to build on the remote experience should we need to pivot to a full remote model due to health concerns.


- The weekly hybrid model allows for continuity of instruction across the week in person, with remote follow up the following week.


- The weekly hybrid model allows staff and families to be assured that health issues can be tracked and traced more effectively.


We understand that there is some level of risk involved in returning to school at this time and we understand that families and staff are justifiably concerned about their health and wellness. There are some staff and students we will need to support outside of the schoolhouse and in a remote environment to protect their health and the health of their loved ones, and we will do that. However, we believe there is an even greater risk to our students if we keep schools closed for an undetermined period of time when it is possible, with the appropriate levels of health and safety measures in place and guided by trusted and local public health professionals, to reopen schools in a hybrid model.


There is a lot more information that will be shared with families over the coming month. We will post online the comprehensive plan we must submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by August 14th. We will hold additional Open Houses for families hosted by the School Committee and we will continue to post regular updates to our district website, including an online list of Frequently Asked Questions. We look forward to answering your questions and engaging with you as we work through the many challenges and prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.




Dan Gutekanst

Superintendent of Schools

Welcome to the website of the Needham Public Schools! I hope you will find the information you need to learn about the people, programs, and activities that make our school system a dynamic learning experience for all students.

​The Needham Public Schools has developed a framework for educational excellence, innovation, and equity - a Portrait of A Needham Graduate - that will inform the district's work going forward. Needham Public Schools will support all our students in becoming creative thinkers and problem solvers, communicators and collaborators, socially and culturally responsive contributors, responsible and resilient individuals, and empowered learners. Our students' collective and individual success depends on developing these Portrait competencies in preparation for the future that awaits them. I encourage you to review the Needham Public Schools 2019 Performance Report for examples of current teaching practices aligned with this Portrait vision, along with ideas and challenges for boosting student learning around each of the district priorities.

​Through this website, the Needham Public Schools commits itself to share timely information with students, parents, staff, and community members who depend on updated and helpful information and assistance. I invite you to join the superintendent’s listserve to receive periodic emails about various school programs and events. Please join now!

​Additionally, the Needham School Committee wishes to hear from members of the community about issues and concerns critical to the schools and its many programs. You may contact them at and ask a question or make a comment.

​We are proud of our school district and are happy to share information about the Needham Public Schools with you.


Daniel E. Gutekanst, Ed.D.
Needham Public Schools
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