School Connectedness Survey – a Message from Superintendent Kathleen Smith

November 28, 2022

Dear NPS Families, 

In the Newton Public Schools, we are working to be sure that each school in our district is welcoming, supportive and safe for all students. An important component of students’ success is their sense of belonging in their school.  

To be sure we are well-informed about students’ experience, we conduct a survey each year of all students in grades 3-8 and 10. 

Survey Purpose:
– The purpose of the survey is to gauge students’ feelings about:
– Relationships with adults in school
– Relationships with peers in school
– Engagement with academic learning
– Sense of belonging at school 
– Sense of being able to support peers 
– Sense of empathy with others
– Access to and usefulness of academic support
– Access to and usefulness of emotional and behavioral support
– Participation and sense of belonging in sports, clubs and other school activities (middle school and high school only)  

Survey Administration for the 2022-23 School Year
The survey will be administered between December 5th and January 6th during school hours.  
– The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.  
– Each school will determine when the survey is completed. 

Survey Data and Privacy
– The survey is confidential, but will include student identification numbers to allow us to analyze results by subgroups of students. 
– The management and analysis of the data we collect will be done by the Newton Public Schools data office. 
– Each school will receive a report summarizing the results of the survey in their school and comparing results to previous years. 
– The survey data will not be disclosed outside of NPS, with the exception of Newton city officials focused on youth and education, who may receive district-wide summarized results.   

Consent to Participate
– You may opt your child out of participating in this survey by submitting this Opt Out form — Opt-Out Form — to the main office of your child’s home school by December 5th. 
– Hard copies of the opt-out form can also be found in the main office of your child’s school.  
If you have not turned in the form by December 5th, we will assume consent for your child to participate. 
– Your child may voluntarily opt out or may choose to skip any questions they feel uncomfortable answering.  
– If you wish to see the survey itself, copies to review will be available in each home school’s main office. 

Your child’s participation in this survey will help inform our decisions about the effectiveness of our current programs, and to improve our programming and support as needed. Our goal is to provide each student in the Newton Public Schools with a safe and supportive learning and social environment.  

Newton Public Schools

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This letter serves as parental notification under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). For more information about FERPA, PPRA and student records and privacy, please visit the Family Policy Compliance Office website at,  the U.S. Department of Education website at or contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C.  20202.