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Needham Public Schools

Dr. Alexandra Montes McNeil
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
1330 Highland Ave.
Needham, MA  02492
781-455-0400 ext. 11208
781-455-0426 (fax)

Student Enrollment: 5,721
No. of Staff: 1100
Approximate No. of Teachers Hired Each Year: 30
Approximate No. of Paras/Aides Hired Each Year: 50

Dr. Alexandra Montes McNeil, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

With energy, hope, and a deep belief in the promise and possibility of each one of our young people, the district administrators are committed to working with the School Committee, staff, parents, community members, and especially students, to build on our assets and tackle the challenges of ensuring equity for all.

The district’s working definition of equity, proposed by our Superintendent as a starting point for our work, is the basis for the development of curriculum and assessment, the design of learning activities, the purchase of books and materials, hiring staff, the facilitation of meetings, and just generally going about the business of school. Equity is in the forefront, and staff take action based on its intent and meaning as we continue to make progress toward this district priority.

There is no place for bigotry, racism, homophobia, or hate in the classrooms of the Needham Public Schools. All students and staff, regardless of race, color, sex, homeless status, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, or immigration status, have dignity and are valued and contributing members of our learning community.

Needham Public Schools is committed to supporting and increasing the number of diverse staff in our district. This year we created a MALANA’s group. This group is intended to be both for social opportunities and professional growth of our team.

Q: What’s Needham like to work and/or live in?
Each day, children with wide-ranging abilities from a variety of family structures, backgrounds, faith communities and neighborhoods stream into the Needham Public Schools to learn and grow together. For our faculty and staff, it is an incredible challenge – and an important responsibility – to support a school culture that respects the uniqueness of each child and also nurtures a safe, tolerant and courteous learning environment for all students. We are fortunate to have exceptional staff and many strong programs, and we believe our existing initiatives and planning have been thoughtful and focused on meeting students’ academic and social-emotional needs. We intend to continue learning, improving and growing; and the entire Needham community is our partner in this important work.

Q: What type of support do you offer new teachers?
New teachers work with a mentor teacher during their first year of service in the Needham Public Schools. Additionally, they are part of a team of new teachers that meet monthly with school leaders to support and answer questions regarding individual school needs and teacher needs.

Q: What general attributes does Needham seek in teachers?
Needham Public School is seeking to diversify its staff to better match the growingly diverse student population and to allow for the growth and learning of all students and staff that comes from having differing experience, backgrounds, and languages.

Q: How does your district demonstrate that it is committed to teacher diversity?
As a result of an equity audit that was completed in 2018, Needham Public Schools established the Race, Equity, Access and Leadership (REAL) Coalition. The REAL Coalition provides leadership and guidance on eliminating barriers to racial equity and supporting the advancement of all learners in the Needham Public Schools. The REAL Coalition is committed to engaging the staff, students, families, and community members in conversations and actions that promote equitable practices for all in our community. The REAL Coalition created a Hiring & Employment Practices Sub Committee. The goals of the sub committee are:

  • All students regardless of race, economic status, English language proficiency will have equitable access to diverse high-quality educators and school leaders
  • Leverage the teacher evaluation system to clarify expectations and evaluate teacher competence with culturally proficient and culturally responsive teaching practices

Q: Is your district accessible by public transportation or commuter rail?
Conveniently located just 10 miles west of Boston, Needham is a town of approximately 30,000 residents in Eastern Massachusetts. Multiple highway exits off of I-95, four commuter rail stops, MBTA bus access, a vibrant town center and plenty of public green space make Needham an ideal community to visit, live, work, and play.