Fall 2021 School Opening Plan

Following the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines, the Needham Public Schools planned to provide all students with learning in-person, five days per week and according to the School Committee approved 2021-22 school calendar. We anticipated a year of uninterrupted learning and are pleased to report the achievement of that goal.


Superintendent Gutekanst proposed the Fall 2021 School Opening Plan by outlining how the district would respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of our students, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Our fall 2021 plan maintained the district’s focus on the health, safety, and wellbeing of all students and staff, and on equity and our Portrait of A Needham Graduate Strategic Plan.


The preliminary Fall 2021 Opening Plan was provided to the School Committee on June 15, 2021 and the Superintendent held an Open House for Families with a presentation on June 16, 2021 to answer questions and invite comments. The plan was revised August 26, 2021based on community feedback. The plan was partially funded by the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSERIII) federal grant in the amount of $681,671 (allocated 7-13-21).

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