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Superintendent's Newsletter 11.16.2023

Posted Date: 11/16/23 (12:11 PM)


Family Newsletter   |  November 16, 2023 

Dr. Jennifer O'Neill

Superintendent’s Message 

Feedback from families is essential to ensuring that our schools are safe, welcoming places where our entire community feels a sense of belonging. In my first few months as Superintendent, I have had the privilege of having many conversations with families and have learned so much from them. Families have shared their hopes and dreams for their children, their concerns about instruction or successes that have happened in our schools. Every conversation is an opportunity for me to listen and learn from you and I appreciate the honesty and candor in these discussions. 

Hearing from you on what we do well and how we need to improve makes us better as a school community. There is no issue too small that doesn’t deserve our attention and we thank you for the respectful way that you share your concerns with our staff. I invite you to provide feedback on our schools and the ways that we engage you as a family. This data will be reviewed along with student and staff data as part of my entry plan and will shape the recommendations I make for moving Norton Public Schools forward. Please take a moment to complete this brief survey so that your voice can be added to the conversation.

Norton High School Honor Society Induction

Last night, I had the opportunity to watch 114 Norton High School students be inducted into a total of ten different academic honor societies. Sixty-three students were inducted into the National Honor Society. These outstanding students have a commitment to hard work and dedication to academic pursuits. I am so proud of the work that they have accomplished as I am sure their families are as well. Congratulations!


Staff Recognition

The Massachusetts School Library Association recently awarded Karen Winsper,  Director of Instructional Technology with the 2023 MSLA Administrator Advocate Award. This award honors those administrators who have made significant contributions to the promotion of effective school library programs and services. You can visit the MSLA Awards page for more information and join in celebrating Karen’s success! Press releases have been sent and the MSLA will celebrate all 2023 Award Winners at the Massachusetts School Library Association Annual Conference in March 2024.

Student Attendance

Norton Public Schools recently signed on with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to reduce chronic absenteeism in our schools. Massachusetts defines chronically absent as missing at least 10 percent of days enrolled (for instance, 18 days absent if enrolled for a typical school year of 180 days), regardless of the reason for the absence. Being chronically absent can have a significant impact on a student's academic progress and their ability to access the variety of academic and non-academic supports that schools provide.

During the 2022-2023 school year, nearly 19% of our students were considered chronically absent. Research shows that families and school collaboration can boost students' attendance significantly. Families can reinforce the importance of regular attendance, set routines, and provide the necessary encouragement. Families can also give their child's school valuable insights into their child's individual needs and challenges, allowing for more tailored support. By working together, families and schools can identify and address attendance issues promptly, promoting a culture where attendance is viewed as a shared responsibility.

Your child’s school will be reaching out to you to alert you to attendance concerns once your child has 5 unexcused absences. If you need support from our staff to help you with attendance, please reach out to your child’s principal and they will guide you to the appropriate staff member. 


  • November 17th - High School Term I Report Cards

  • November 22nd - Districtwide Early Release 

  • November 23rd & 24th - Thanksgiving Break

  • November 30th - High School Conferences

  • December 1st - Elementary Term I Marks Close 

  • December 4th - Middle School Term I Marks Close

  • December 11th - Elementary and Middle School Term I Report Cards

  • December 15th - High School Term II Warning Notices

Virtual Backpack
This week's NPS Virtual Backpack flyers include: 
Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts - Troop #84491
Norton Community Holiday Toy Drive
Ann's Little Treasures Sock Drive
Norton Parks & Rec Letters to Santa Program
Norton Parks & Rec Festival of Lights
Norton Fire Department & The C2 Foundation Toy Drive
Attleboro Arts Museum Classes and Workshops

To submit a flyer to the Virtual Backpack, please contact Pam Anderson at