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Newton Schools Foundation: We All Have a Stake in Our Schools

A new school year has begun. Thousands of backpack-laden students taking to Newton streets by foot, bike and bus remind us why so many families move here: for the schools.  And it’s not just families who benefit. Our highly regarded public schools offer continuing education, athletic facilities, and cultural opportunities for all Newton residents. They make Newton a desirable place to live and bolster property values. In return, community support and engagement help ensure the continued vitality of the Newton Public Schools.

Newton Schools Foundation (NSF) is a key component in that equation.  NSF is the private non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Newton Public Schools and the Newton community to preserve our school system’s commitment to excellence and innovation. Through fundraising, NSF supports exciting new curricula and teacher development to promote continuous improvement in Newton’s public schools.  Through outreach, NSF engages Newton residents in supporting public education in our city. 

Fundraising and More

Funds raised by NSF from Newton residents, businesses, alumni and others, support new and innovative programs and help expand promising ones.  These programs span every grade and all public schools across the district.  NSF funds also support programs targeting students whose vital needs are difficult to address in the school department’s operating budget. These are the types of programs that traditionally suffer when public resources are limited.  In addition, NSF provides financial oversight for global education and STEM programs outside the classroom.

NSF-funded initiatives fall within two broad categories: New curricula and learning opportunities, and professional development.

New curricula and learning opportunities foster high achievement for all students by developing creative thinking, problem solving, communication, and leadership skills for success in our global economy.  Among the exciting new programs NSF funds are:

  • Newton South’s new interdisciplinary Da Vinci Program,combining math,science and art to encourage students to create and innovate
  • The middle school engineering program focused on developing sustainable energy
  • The Calculus Project, providing school-year tutoring and a four-week summer program to low-income and minority students beginning in middles school, to help them succeed in rigorous high school math courses.  
  • A new computer coding initiative

Professional development helps educators identify and pursue new methods of teaching and deepen their knowledge of critical content areas. The elementary writing program, which has students writing earlier, more often and in more dynamic ways and is expanding into sixth grade, and the culturally competent teaching initiative at Newton North High School are just two of the professional development initiatives NSF is currently funding.

Newton Schools Foundation also provides financial oversight and fundraising support for the Jennifer Price Global Education Leadership Fund or GELF, which funds scholarships for Newton high school students to travel overseas; the Beijing Jingshan Exchange Program; and Ligerbots, the combined Newton North/Newton South robotics club; while administering several scholarship funds established by Newton community members to help Newton students pursue higher education.

Community Outreach

In addition to raising and administering funds, NSF cultivates community engagement around education. Our keynote event, “Newton Inspires: An Evening of Ideas and Community,” brings together dozens of Newton’s most interesting and accomplished personalities to share their knowledge, expertise and vision. 

Please join us. Come to Newton Inspires, an annual event held in the fall.  Learn about NSF and the programs we fund.  Take advantage of the resources and programs that the Newton schools offer to kids and adults alike. And invest in our public schools by donating to the Newton Schools Foundation. As Newton residents, we all have a stake in creating and maintaining strong Newton public schools.

It Takes a Village

Spearheading these fundraising and outreach efforts is NSF’s volunteer Board of Directors, comprised of parents of Newton students and graduates, Newton public school alumni, Newton educators, both current and retired, and other passionate Newton residents.  An advisory board of additional community volunteers provides as-needed consultation in their respective areas of expertise. These volunteers, working with the NSF program director, dedicate their time, expertise and resources to help make our schools the best they can be for Newton students…tomorrow’s leaders.

-Marcia Tabenken and Josh Weiss, Co-presidents, Newton Schools Foundation

Recent Happenings

Whole Foods Giving Grill a Great Success

Whole Foods in Newton and Newtonville hosted a Giving Grill on August 11.  More than 200 people showed up for lunch and Whole Foods donated $1800 to NSF.  A highlight of the day were students from Ligerbots who showcased their robot to the crowd. 

20th Honor Thy Teacher Raises Over $40,000

For 20 years Newton Schools Foundation has played an important role in recognizing the invaluable dedication of our City's teachers and school staff. Every day your child benefits from the teachers and staff who motivate, educate and inspire them to be the best they can be.  This year donations made in teacher's names topped $40,000.  Every school was represented and over 900 teachers and staff were honored.  They will be recognized in the Newton Tab in the Fall and each principal and the

Newton South Alum and District Social Worker to run 2018 Boston Marathon for NSF

Marisa Cohen, a 2017 graduate of Newton South High School , and Katie Donnino, a Newton Public Schools social worker, will run this year’s Boston Marathon to raise funds for Newton Schools Foundation (NSF). Their goals are to raise $2500 each to support innovative educational programs across the Newton Public Schools. To donate to Marisa click here. To donate to Katie click  here.


NSF Raises $35,000 in March for Calculus Project

A generous donor once again donated $25,000 to the Calculus Project in the month of March.  The community responded and a total of $35,000 was raised as part of a match challenge. Since the project started in 2013, the Newton Public Schools has seen significant enrollment growth in high-level math among traditionally under-represented student groups:

  • Hispanic student enrollment has increased 70%
  • African-Americas student enrollment hsa tripled
  • Low-income student enrollment has increased

Whole Foods Hosts Giving Grill on August 11

On Friday, August 11 from 11 am - 2pm Whole Foods will host "Giving Grill" at both Newton stores,  946 Walnut Street and 647 Washington Street.  For $5 shoppers can get a burger, chips and a drink and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to NSF. 

Newton North and Newton South Team Up to Run Marathon for NSF

Anna Ford, adminstration at NNHS and Holly Kee, Southside Aide at NSHS have teamed up to run the Boston Marathon for NSF.  Each has committed to raise $2500 that will go to programs that NSF supports in the Newton Public Schools.  Please donate to Holly's Boston Marathon Run for NSF and/or Anna's Boston Marathon Run for NSF

Holly Kee                                                                     Anna Ford



NSF Raises Over $40,000 For Honor Thy Teacher

The 2016 "Honor Thy Teacher"Campaign raised over $40,000 and recognized over 800 teachers at each of Newton's 21 public schools.  Over 400 Newton residents made donations to NSF.

Newton Inspires 2016 Packs The House

Newton Inspires Packs the House.  See details and photos of the event.

NSF Funds Generation Citizen

NSF Funding Helps Middle Schoolers Become Active Citizens

Newton eighth graders are learning to be civic activists through Generation Citizen a hands-on educational initiative that teaches middle and high school students how to affect meaningful change in their communities by taking civic action.Newton Schools Foundation funded the successful pilot in two Day Middle School social studies classes in Spring 2016 and provided additional funding for the program’s roll-out this year to all eighth

Middle School


At the October 24, 2016 School Committee Meeting, Newton Schools Foundation presented Dr. David Fleishman, superintendent of the Newton Public Schools, with a check for $140,000. The funds will be used to seed and roll out new curricula and instruction that enhance academic achievement, improve social/emotional wellness, and help close the achievement gap among students in the Newton Public Schools.