“Newton Public Schools allows a group gift to an individual staff member only if the gift is identified as being from the entire class, the identity of the givers and the individual amounts are not disclosed to the recipient, and the gift does not exceed $150 per school year. This differs from a gift for the classroom (*)…

...*Please see the Equity Policy for information on classroom gifts or donations.”

-Newton Public Schools “Staff Gift and Solicitations Policy” (2015)

Each year, the PTO and Room Parents are asked questions based upon the information provided by NPS regarding the district-wide gifting policy. We want to make sure that information is understood in a clearer, more applicable way for teachers at NECP. (Please note: this gifting policy applies only to the teachers/staff at NECP)

There are 3 types of gifts allowed at NECP:

1)     Individual Gifts: $150/school year for each individual (teacher, therapists, assistants) as long as it is from the whole group (no families identified/does not single out those who donated vs. those who didn’t). Many times, gifts are given during the holidays and at the end of the school year, so it would be thought of as $75/75 for each gift per staff member (personal gift not classroom related)

2)     Classroom Gift: $150 per school year to the individual classroom as long as it is from the whole group (no families identified/does not single out those who donated vs. those who didn’t). This can include a gift certificate to a book store or educational store, puzzles or games the teacher wants for their classroom ( these items can found on the teacher’s Wishlist)

3)     If the parent/child want to give individual gifts, it should only be sentimental items (picture drawn, thank you letter, etc.) *minimal monetary value*

There are also Teacher/Staff gift ideas that don’t cost much and involve the kids!

  • Create a Memory Scrapbook. Have each child complete a page (draw a picture, talk about what they liked best throughout the year, something they enjoyed doing with the teacher. You can include pictures of the kids too, as long as there is parent approval)

  • Personalized Tote Bag. Include the teacher’s name. Scan a class picture onto a bag or shirt. Or have individualized pictures created by the kids or self portraits printed onto the bag)

  • Give a Book Basket. Have each child contribute a favorite book to add to the gift basket

  • Give a Flower Bouquet. Have each child contribute one flower to make a large bouquet

  • Give a Personalized Flower Pot. Using waterproof markers, have the kids sign their names or draw a small design on the flowerpot. Then add the plant.

  • Give Personalized Ceramics. Have kids sign their names or draw a small design on a piece of unfinished pottery-like bowl or cookie jar from a ceramic store (Clay Pot or Plaster Fun Time are examples). Then bring the item in to be fired and glazed. The ceramic places will usually let you borrow the paints.

Work with your classroom parents and co-Room Parents to come up with ideas! The Teacher Favorites questionnaire that was filled out will also be helpful to come up with some of the places/items your teacher loves the most! Classroom Wishlist items are items targeted for Classroom gifts only. These wishlist’s can be found on the NECP PTO website. Just remember, each year our teachers are extremely grateful for sentimental and personalized thank you letters and small projects from their students.

**NECP and NPS encourage parents to nominate their teacher for SPEDPAC Awards and the Newton Schools Foundation “Honor Thy Teacher”

“Every day your child benefits from the exceptional Newton teachers and staff who motivate, educate and inspire them to be the best they can be. The 2018 Honor Thy Teacher campaign raised over $45,000. Nearly 800 teachers were honored in Pre-K through Grade 12 in all 22 schools thanks to the many generous donors in the community.  Funds raised from the Honor Thy Teacher Campaign will go directly to support educational programs and professional development throughout the entire district with an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math); K-5 Literacy, Music, Environment/Sustainability, Closing the Achievement Gap, Global Learning and Social/Emotional Development.”

The suggested donation is $25 per teacher/staff member.

-Newton Schools Foundation website (2018)

To find out more information about “Honor Thy Teacher”, please visit

 Any additional questions can be directed towards the Room Parent Coordinator or Director Kathleen Browning.