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Newton Public Schools
308 East First St.
Newton, KS 67114
(316) 284-6200

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AP 8th Annual Honor Roll Recipient

News and Notices


This morning the Harvey County Drug Task Force in cooperation with USD 373 officials completed a two month investigation into drug activity at Newton High School. The goal of the investigation was to promote a safe and healthy learning environment for students and a safe place for staff to work. Five juveniles and two adults were arrested Wednesday morning as part of the investigation.


One other suspect in the case was already in custody on other charges. Two additional arrest warrants are still outstanding, and police are seeking those individuals.


The individuals, all of whom attend NHS or have recently withdrawn, were arrested on charges of selling marijuana, Xanax, oxycodone and hydrocodone. None of those arrested were USD 373 employees.


The arrests are the culmination of a two-month investigation by the Newton Police Department and Harvey Count Sheriff's Office, in cooperation with USD 373 officials. Five of the arrests were made at NHS and two were made elsewhere in the city.


"Newton High School Administration and Staff are to be commended for their efforts to curtail the presence of drugs in our schools, " said Dr. Deborah Hamm, Superintendent of Newton Schools. "While USD 373 is not unique in having students making these poor choices, I feel that administration and staff, as well as the commitment of the city and county through the Drug Task Force and Drug Coalition, have now officially put our students on notice that they (we) will continue our efforts to keep drugs out of our schools."


We appreciate the efforts of all who work to keep our students and staff safe!


“Our goal is to protect the safe and healthy learning environment for Newton students,” Police Chief Eric Murphy said. “Youth are faced with many challenges at school, and the peer pressure to use drugs should not be one of them.”


During the course of the investigation, police seized 74.5 grams of marijuana and 97 dosage units of prescription drugs. None of the cases involved weapons, and the investigations did not present a danger to students or staff. 


Also as part of Wednesday’s arrests, several K-9 teams from throughout the state assisted in conducting free air sniffs in the parking lot and locker areas. One K-9 drug indication in the parking lot was investigated, but no arrests were made.

Murphy said that re-establishment of the Harvey County Drug Task Force in 2017 was a key factor in the investigation.


“Drugs are certainly not a problem unique to Newton, but we are glad to have a renewed focus on driving these crimes out of Harvey County,” Murphy said.


Take the SurveyThe Board of Education is interested in feedback from the community regarding the November Bond Election. Patron Insight is conducting a telephone survey of USD 373 voters. There will be 400 completed telephone surveys when the community survey is completed. But the Board also wanted to hear from those members of the community that might not get a telephone call. Therefore, the Board is providing an electronic option. The online survey mirrors the telephone survey and will provide the Board of Education with additional input. The link for this very important survey is now available. The survey will be open until Friday, January 19, 2018 at midnight. 


Here is some important information for you to know before you begin the survey:


  • Patron Insight is a company from Kansas City that works with school districts on this kind of research. All the information you provide is confidential. Your response will go directly to Patron Insight, where it will be placed in the data file with all the other responses.


  • The district will receive a written report of findings, but will not see any individual surveys.


  • This is a short survey, but please set aside 10 minutes to complete it before you begin. If you “exit” the survey before you complete it, you will not be allowed to return later.


  • The survey is mobile friendly, and works fine on cell phones and tablets.


  • Only one response per device.



  • The survey is open now and will stay open until midnight, the evening of Friday, January 19.

Here is the link:  www.surveymonkey.com/r/NewtonSDPatronSurvey2018

Thank you for taking time to complete the survey!


Board of Education January 2018

January is School Board Recognition Month, and USD #373 expresses appreciation to these community leaders who volunteer their time to provide leadership for our public schools.


The job of a school board member is tough, the hours are long and the thanks are few and far between.

It is all too easy to put off saying “thank you” to this group of individuals who work tirelessly on behalf of our children and grandchildren.


They spend countless hours preparing to make decisions, participating in meetings and attending school activities and events. The locally elected school board is deeply rooted in U.S. tradition, as is public education. Our state has a proud tradition of support for public education, and in fact in 1966 the people of Kansas amended our state’s constitution to specifically call for local public schools that are ‘maintained, developed and operated by locally elected boards.’


January 2018 is designated as “School Board Recognition Month,” and we encourage you take the time to express appreciation to these seven remarkable individuals.


Board Members serving Newton Public Schools are as follows:

Angela Becker – Beginning her 1st four-year term

Jennifer Budde – Beginning her 1st four-year term

Allen Jantz – Currently serving an unfilled term (previously served 2 terms)

Steve Richards – Currently serving his 1st four-year term

Carol Sue Stayrook Hobbs – Currently serving her 4th four-year term

Matt Treaster – Currently serving his 2nd four-year term

Toby Tyner – Beginning his 1st four-year term





Neal Horizon Award
Connie Neal, 2nd grade teacher at Slate Creek was notified by KS Commissioner of Education, Randy Watson on Monday, January 8, 2018 that she is among the best new teachers in the state! MS. Neal is a recipient of the Kansas Horizon Award.

The Kansas Horizon Award program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. The mission of the program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. 


8th Annual AP District Honor Roll Recipient

Newton Public Schools Placed on the College Board’s 8th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for Significant Gains in Student Access and Success

447 School Districts Across the U.S. and Canada Are Honored


Newton, KS — Newton USD 373 is one of 447 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 8th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.  To be included on the 8th Annual Honor Roll, Newton Public Schools had to, since 2015, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that this district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

National data from 2017 show that among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. USD 373 is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.


“Congratulations to all the educators and administrators in this district who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to participate and succeed in AP,” said Trevor Packer, head of AP and Instruction. “These educators and administrators are fostering a culture in their schools and classrooms that allows students to face new challenges and build the confidence to succeed.”


Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.


In 2017, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2015 to 2017, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium districts, and at least 11% in small districts;
  • Increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2017 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2015 percentage,unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.

When these outcomes have been achieved among an AP student population in which 30% or more are underrepresented minority students (American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander) and/or 30% or more are low-income students (students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch), a symbol has been affixed to the district name to highlight this work.


The complete 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found here:  https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/score-reports-data/awards/honor-roll


Please Take the Survey

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