The district's working definition of equity, proposed by our Superintendent as a starting point for our work, is the basis for the development of curriculum and assessments, the design of learning activities, the purchase of books and materials, hiring staff, the facilitation of meetings, and just generally going about the business of school. Equity is in the forefront, and staff take action based on its intent and meaning as we continue to make progress toward this district priority. (See Superintendent's Blog Back to School: It's All About Equity and for the student perspective on equity, see Needham School Spotlight video featuring leaders of Students Advocating for Equity (SAFE).

  Equity Poster

Equity:  Fair and just access, inclusion, and participation; the practice of nurturing a learning environment in which all children are empowered to grow, create, and achieve; freedom from bias and discrimination; an understanding that each child possesses personal gifts and attributes and brings these to the classroom which strengthen learning for all; a process by which we promote justice, engender respect, and inspire hope.

There is no place for bigotry, racism, homophobia, or hate in the classrooms of the Needham Public Schools. All students and staff, regardless of race, color, sex, homeless status, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, or immigration status, have dignity and are valued and contributing members of our learning community.

It's time we make a coordinated and thoughtful plan to address equity in the Needham Public Schools. It's time we move the needle on performance for those students who have historically not achieved at levels commensurate with many of their peers. It's time to ensure our instruction is engaging and our schools safe for each child and free of bias, bullying, and hurtful acts that demean and diminish. With energy, hope, and a deep belief in the promise and possibility of each one of our young people, the district administrators are committed to working with the School Committee, staff, parents, community members, and especially students, to build on our assets and tackle the challenges of ensuring equity for all. Our work is led by the REAL Coalition (Race, Equity, Access, Leadership) whose members are shown on the right-hand column of this page.

Daniel E. Gutekanst
Superintendent of Schools


Mary Lammi
Assistant Superintendent for
   Student Support Services
781-455-0400 x11213

Alex McNeil
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Keith Ford
High School Assistant Principal

Tamatha Bibbo
Pollard Principal

Greg Bayse
Mitchell Principal

Steve Plasko
High School History & Social
   Sciences Department Chair

Andrea Vargas
Newman Assistant Principal

Jamie Singelais
ELL Coordinator

George Goneconto
Hillside Teacher

Joanne Allen-Willoughby
METCO Director

Leslie Smart
Middle School METCO Coordinator

Tom Denton
Guidance Director

Diane Simmons
Director, Strategic Planning
and Community Engagement

Jen Shroeder
Parent/Human Rights Committee

Maria Gapotchenko

Valine Valbrun-Paul

Susan Neckes
School Committee Member

Lia Santiago
Middle School Student

Sebastian Davis
High School Student
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