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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

GELF Dinner A Success

The 8th Annual Jennifer Price Global Education Leadership Fund Dinner Raised $58,600

Thanks to all who came to the eighth annual GELF benefit dinner on April 2nd, 2016! Through the generosity of our donors, the night was a huge success, well surpassing its fundraising goal of $50,000 for a grand total of more than $58,600!

Vote for NSF as part of Boston Globe GRANT Program

Please give your Boston Globe GRANT to Newton Schools Foundation online or by mail

If you are a Boston Globe print or digital subscriber, you are eligible to show your support for NSF through their 2016 GRANT program: Globe Readers And Non-profits Together. All subscribers will receive a gift check worth up to $100 dollars that can be designated to a non-profit of your choice for free advertising.


NSF Funds New Elementary Music Program

NSF is funding a pilot program in elementary music modeled after El Sistema, established in Venezuela, to introduce low-income children to instrumental music. Read more

Elementary School

NSF Donates to NPS


At the February 25 School Committee Meeting, Newton Schools Foundation presented Dr. David Fleishman, superintendent of the Newton Public Schools, with a check for $105,000 for 2015-16. This donation represents NSF's yearly contribution to fund innovative educational programs that are difficult to address in the school department’s operating budget.

Honor Thy Teacher 2015

NSF's 2015 Honor Thy Teacher Campaign was a great success!

Buy Tickets for the Jennifer Price Global Education Leadership Dinner

Get Your Tickets for the April 2, 2016 Jennifer Price Global Leadership Education Fund (GELF)  dinner. Last year's event raised $50,000.

Since its inception, GELF has funded more than 160 students for international travel and given away more than $170,000 in scholarships. This year alone GELF has funded:

  • over $42,000 in grants to
  • 26 students for
  • 9 different international trips to countries that include the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Nicaragua, France, Mexico, Cuba and Italy.

Last year's

NSF Now Managing Jordan Bennett Weiss Fund

Newton Schools Foundation has taken over the management of the Jordan Bennett Weiss Fund from the City of Newton.  Former Newton Public Schools music teacher Sara Weiss established the fund in memory of her late son Jordan, who passed away at age 9 in 2003 from complications related to undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.  He was a fourth grader at Mason-Rice elementary school.

NSF Receives Largest Gift Ever: Florence P. Pearl Charitable Remainder Unitrust

The estate of the late Florence (Kessler) Pearl of Chestnut Hill has announced a planned gift of $2 million dollars to Newton Schools Foundation. The gift is NSF’s first planned gift and its largest gift ever. Mrs. Pearl, who was a public school teacher and real estate professional, moved her family to Newton because of its public school system, according to her daughter.

NSF Gives $100,000 to Newton Public Schools for Innovative Programming

NSF presented a check for $100,000 to the Newton School Superintendent David Fleishman at the October 14 School Committee Meeting. as part of NSF's Investing in Innovation campaign.


AP United States History Summer Academy

This summer program engaged 12 rising juniors of color with structured academic support to enable them to succeed in AP US History. Emphasizing skills in advanced-level reading and note-taking, writing, test-taking and the general content of the AP course, the program prepared students for this challenging college-level course.  During the academic year students will be clustered together in a section taught by the summer lead teacher and meet bi-weekly for ongoing support.

High School