Category Archives: From the Principal

Principal’s Update

Greetings Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope your summer is going nicely and this email finds you well! I have had a fairly quiet summer thus far with a few small trips around the New England area.

You may be thinking (worrying) about the upcoming school year and wondering what it will look like for students. I have been feeling the same thing – and wondering the same too. As you may know, each school district in Massachusetts has been asked to submit three plans to the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Those plans are due by the end of this month. I am told that we will hear which plan the district will be starting with sometime around August 1st. I know NPS Central Office administrators have been keeping a close watch on the evolving situation with COVID and they are prioritizing health and safety for all. I look forward to hearing a final decision so that we can start the work of planning for the Memorial-Spaulding community.

I would like to remind you of the upcoming Superintendent’s Update on Fall Planning forum for parents which will happen this Friday morning (July 24th) at 9am. HERE is the invitation from Superintendent Fleishman that includes details and links. I encourage you to attend if you can.

Once the district has made a decision I will be back in touch with specifics for Memorial-Spaulding. Until then, I wish you continued health and wellness.


Tom Morris, Principal

Principal’s Update

Hello Families,

A few items for the last Principal’s Update of the school year.

Infinity March in Newton! Tomorrow (Friday) at 1pm. This event is being billed as “family friendly”. For more information click HERE.

Newton Public Schools has created Elementary Summer Learning Resources for students and families. You can access the information HERE.

The PTO needs you! There are many opportunities to get involved. One particular position (Treasurer) needs to be filled ASAP. Should you be interested in the treasurer position, you may email the outgoing treasurer to indicate your interest and/or ask questions about the position: Click HERE to view the complete list of all PTO volunteer opportunities.

Should you need to access food resources during the summer months, you can find a complete listing of Newton food banks HERE.

Newton North/South High Schools Robotics Program is offering an online summer experience for elementary students. Click HERE for more information.

Results from the NPS Distance Learning Survey are complete and the district is taking parent feedback into consideration as they begin to work on plans for the fall. You can access the survey results HERE

As the details of schooling in the fall become more clear, I will be sure to update you with any information that becomes available to me. I wish you a relaxing and healthy summer!

Tom Morris, Principal

Principal’s Update

Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the weekend.

I have had several questions about what the fall will look like for us. I can tell you that no final decisions have been made at this point. State officials in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) have been working to create guidelines for school districts. Once the guidelines are complete, Newton will develop a plan and the Superintendent will communicate the plan. At this time I am not privy to any timelines – however I know the state is working to get information out to school districts as soon as possible. I have been told that school administrators will be working during the months of July and August in order to prepare for September (whatever that may bring).

I have also had questions about 5th grade graduation ceremony and what that will look like. We are planning a ceremony via Zoom on Wednesday, June 17th and a “drive through” certificate awards event on June 18th. Even though this year is (obviously) quite different from the past – we are planning to make our event as special as possible. I have been asked if we can record the event on Zoom and share with the community. Unfortunately this is not possible due to privacy concerns. Should you know a 5th grade student who is graduating from M-S, please feel free to send them a congratulatory greeting.

Each teacher is currently offering “check out” conversations with parents. This is a not a typical parent/teacher conference (due to a lack of hard data to report). However, your child’s teacher has some general information about progress – as well as an interest in your experience with “distance learning”.

Have you borrowed a chromebook from the school district? If so, you may keep the device for the summer months unless you are moving or leaving the school district for any reason. Should you need to return it, you can do so on Monday when you come to school to retrieve your child’s belongings.

I understand that some schools in Newton are moving entire classrooms (in tact) to the next grade level. We carefully considered this idea at Memorial-Spaulding, however due to several reasons (Ex: Social-emotional concerns, Special Education service delivery and English Language Learning services, etc.), we simply cannot do this at our school. Therefore we are currently placing students in classrooms for next year. Given the fact that we are decreasing in size (going from 4 classrooms in 2nd grade to 3) we do have teachers moving grade levels. Ms. Cameron, Ms. DeKing and Ms. Ahlberg – who will (for the most part) take their students with them. Click HERE to see the teacher line up for next school year.

Step Up Day is coming on Monday, June 15th! Click HERE to see when your child/ren should log in.

Virtual Color Day is happening on Tuesday, June 16th! Click HERE for more information.

Did you have a chance to check out the Memorial-Spaulding Teacher Parade? If not, you can access it HERE.

Interested in SPACE Camp for the summer? More information available HERE.

Last reminder: Monday is “student item pick up day”. Click HERE for the details.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

Tom Morris

Principal’s Update

Good Afternoon Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope you are safe, healthy and able to enjoy the warm weather we are having at the moment. I have a few brief updates for this week.

Our School Nurse, Ms. Sawyers now has a wesbite. Click HERE to check it out.

Does your family need assistance during this time? If so, click HERE for more information.

We have identified Monday, June 8th as a day for families to come to school to retrieve student belongings (including all this year’s art work). See specifics and details HERE

That’s it for now. I wish you a delightful remainder of the week.

Principal’s Update

K-4 parents, do you have input you would like for us to know about before we move forward with student classroom placement for next year? If so, you may submit your thoughts via this LINK. (*Note – Parent input is due by THIS Friday, May 8th)

Know of an incoming Kindergarten family? If so, please ask if they have already registered for school. If not, they should do so as soon as possible. Students registration is now online! Families with incoming students (of any age) can now register by visiting the NPS website link HERE

Our School Nurse, Ms. Sawyers, now has office hours! She will monitor her email and be available via phone between 9am-11am each Tuesday and Thursday going forward. Email: / Phone: 617-615-9687

Have you shared your thoughts regarding the Distance Learning Plan with the Superintendent’s Office? If not, you may access the survey HERE. (*Note – Survey closes Wednesday, May 6)

Did you know the City of Newton has a COVID-19 Fund? You can learn about the fund and/or donate by clicking HERE.

Have you seen the video called “The Great Realization”? It is powerful, hopeful and inspiring. Check it out HERE.

Did you know this is Teacher Appreciation Week? If you have not done so, please let your child/ren’s teacher know how much you appreciate their dedication and hard work. HERE is a short video that captures a bit about how our teachers are navigating life at the moment. I hope you know how very much our wonderful teachers care about your kids!

Have a wonderful evening. Stay safe and healthy.

Video greeting from Mr. Morris

Click HERE to access

Principal’s Update

Thursday, 2/6 is an Early Release Day (12:30pm) for ALL students

Check out the most recent Coronavirus Information HERE

The International Festival is coming up! For more info click HERE

We were recently visited by a performing group called “Women in World Jazz. They performed for our students on Friday of last week. Thanks to the Creative Arts and Sciences Committee (CASC) and the Memorial-Spaulding PTO for bringing us this, and all, wonderful in-school programming.

MCAS is coming! Find the testing dates for grades 3-5 HERE

Next week is School Sprit Week at Memorial-Spaulding. I encourage all students and staff to participate! Click HERE for more information.

Principal’s Update

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a good transition into 2020. A new century and a new beginning for our school community.

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is coming up in April and May. Our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students will participate in English Language Arts (ELA), Math and Science, Engineering and Technology (STE ~ 5th grade only). I am publishing the dates now so parents can ensure students are present on testing days. You can access the testing schedule HERE.

Do you have an incoming kindergarten student, or know a family who does? 2020-2021 incoming Kindergarten registration and screening is scheduled. Memorial-Spaulding screening dates are: March 3 and March 12. To book an appointment for your child, please call the main office: 617-559-9600. Newton Public Schools Kindergarten Information Night will be held on March 4 at Brown Middle School. For more information click HERE

Physical Education Peek Week is coming up next week. This is an opportunity for you to visit your child’s PE class. Check with your child’s classroom teacher for specific times to come visit!

I wish you a great evening.

Principal Update

News: After many years serving as our Executive Assistant, Francie Sheehan has decided to retire from her position. Her last day with us will be December 20th. I would like to thank Francie for over twenty years of service to the Memorial-Spaulding community and wish her the best of luck as she moves on!

PTO Meeting on Thursday of this week @ 7:00pm in the Teachers Room. All are welcome!

Reminder about Blue Zone Rules: I asked the Newton Police to visit the Blue Zone from time to time to help enforce the rules. Thanks for your cooperation in order to ensure the Zone works for everyone.

Principal’s Update

Parking in the Blue Zone in the morning has become an issue. Please remember parking in the Blue Zone is prohibited from 8:00am to 8:40. This includes those who sit in the car to await the 8:20 bell. I have asked the Newton Police Department to help enforce the rules of the Zone – so it will work for everyone. Should you need clarification on the Blue Zone details click HERE and HERE

Once again this year we are collecting donations of hats, mittens, coats and gloves for those in need. This community service project is facilitated through the Circle of Hope Organization. Donation bins are in the Main Hallway. Please consider donating for those who need help staying warm this winter. For more information click HERE

Our Lost and Found – in the Main Hallway is overflowing with items. ALL items remaining in the Lost and Found will be donated to Circle of Hope on December 20th. You are welcome to check out photos of items HERE – or come into the school to look for items the may belong to your child. Again, all items not claimed buy Friday, December 20th will be donated.

Now that the holiday season is upon us, Newton Public Schools has asked me to remind everyone about the gift giving policy. This policy is set by the Newton School Committee. Click HERE to check it out.

A big thank you to all the parent volunteers who came in do perform STEAM Day demonstration experiments for students. The children are excited about creating their own experiments and sharing their findings during STEAM Day in May. For more information check out the website HERE

REMINDER: Tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec 4th) is a 12:30 release day for all students.

I hope you are enjoying this snowy day. I look forward to seeing your children in the morning!