NPS Pandemic Support 

[Last updated 11/19/20]

Here you’ll find a directory of local resources—school schedules; technology, food, childcare, housing, cash, and other support; and contact information for your school’s leadership—that we hope can help meet your needs during COVID-19 and beyond. Please contact us with any feedback, including corrections and additions to the list. To translate this page and the rest of the website, click the “…” to select your preferred language.

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About the Inclusion of a Hybrid Schooling Option
The Full-Day Hybrid Model for Pre-K to 5 page of this district website includes a sample schedule and a few questions/answers about the two options available to NPS families: (1) two days a week of fully in-person learning + three days remote and (2) fully remote learning five days a week.

Start dates for the new model:
Pre-K and grades K & 1: Monday, November 30
Grades 2 & 3: Monday, December 14
Grades 4 & 5: Tuesday, January 5

Technology Support
The district website offers tech support of all kinds, from guidance for requesting WiFi/internet access, to accessing online platforms like Clever and Lexia, to getting a Chromebook repaired, and so much more. Some support is also available in Spanish, and you are encouraged to reach out to your school’s principal (scroll down for contact info), teachers, or counselors for help filling out online forms and getting answers to technology questions not addressed in the resources currently on the site.

Through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, low-income families may be able to receive two free months of internet service if they apply and are approved by December 31, 2020. Households with past-due Comcast bills may also be eligible. Learn more on the website or call 1-855-846-8376.

The Center for New Americans offers ESL classes that enhance computer literacy and are free for participants. Connect through their online form or by phone at 413-587-0084.

Food Support
As detailed on the NPS Community Meals for Children page of the district website, beginning Wednesday, December 2, meals for students will be distributed at the sites and times below on Wednesdays only, rather than two days a week as before. Seven days of meals will be provided going forward.

Hampshire Heights, Florence Heights, Meadowbrook, and 236 Pleasant Street: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Northampton High School roundabout: 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The federal Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program was created in spring 2020 to help families buy food while schools were closed due to COVID-19. Most recently, P-EBT benefits were issued in September at a rate of $5.86 per student per day. Read more on the website, and if you think your student qualifies but you have not received a card or a letter in the mail, call 877-382-2363. Note that you may qualify for retroactive payment.

Grow Food Northampton, the Northampton Survival Center, and the Northampton Housing Authority are working together to safely bring Northampton residents food during the pandemic. Effective November 1, they deliver to the doors of residents of Hampshire Heights, Florence Heights, and Meadowbrook between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, and to Walter Salvo, Cahill, McDonald, Forsander, and Tobin between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on Thursdays. Food pick-up on-site at the Northampton Survival Center (265 Prospect Street) is available to anyone who needs it every Monday from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday/Friday from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Read more if you’d like, and contact Sarah Pease at 413-586-6564 to start receiving your free weekly bag of shelf-stable pantry items plus fresh produce from local farms.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help families cover food costs. To qualify for SNAP, you must be low-income and a U.S. citizen or legal noncitizen. Learn more and apply on the website, or call 877-382-2363 for assistance.

Childcare Support
Classroom Connections Plus is the Hampshire Regional YMCA’s new in-person program, held at the YMCA on Prospect Street in Northampton, that blends students’ remote learning with safe social interaction. The program is open to YMCA members and non-members, and vouchers are accepted and financial assistance available to qualified families. Registration is ongoing. Learn more on the website or contact Kim Allore (413-584-7086 ext. 112, kim.allore@hrymca.org) or Mackenzie Sullivan (413-584-7086 ext. 107, mackenzie.sullivan@hrymca.org).

Community Action Pioneer Valley is continuing to offer Head Start and early learning programs for kids ages 0–5 from lower-income families. Their five full-day, full-year sites are open for on-site services with a shortened day and comprehensive screening and other health/safety precautions, and their home-visiting programming currently takes place virtually. Learn more on the website or contact the enrollment office at 413-475-1420.

The New England Farm Workers’ Council helps families locate high-quality, affordable childcare that works for them, through its database of over 1,200 licensed childcare providers throughout western Massachusetts, many of them bilingual. While responsibility for selection remains with the parents, counselors help assess needs, review available options, and provide childcare referrals, at no cost. Instructions for beginning your search are on the website; you can also call Sue Hamlett at 413-272-2207.

Housing Support
Way Finders offers financial assistance through programs such as Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA), available to renters and homeowners of all household sizes. Support can help with overdue rent, mortgages, utilities, moving costs, and more, and a single application determines eligibility for all programs. Complete the application online or by calling 413-233-1600.

Mental Health Support
The Gándara Center provides mental health, substance abuse, and preventive services for children, adults, and families in the Pioneer Valley. Learn more on the website and request support through their online form.

Clinical & Support Options emphasizes open-access, trauma-informed care. Even if you aren’t sure what specific support services you or your family might need, you can get in touch and they’ll help you figure it out. Learn more on the website or call 413-773-1314.

ServiceNet works with people who are living with mental illness, developmental disability or autism, brain injury, substance use or addiction issues, or homelessness. Learn more on the website or call 413-584-6855.

Cash Support
The six Northampton public school PTOs, in partnership with REAL, have launched #WeAreCommunity, an online fundraiser to support Northampton students, families, and staff during the pandemic. Need money to help cover your family’s Comcast bill, kids’ learning supplies, or basic needs? Reach out to your school’s PTO or principal (see contact info below) or a teacher or counselor to request help. Confidentiality will be honored, and all requests will be considered based on funds available and with fairness and equity in mind. While it may not be possible to fulfill all requests, the team is eager to help and will do their best.

Want to contribute to the fundraiser? Donations of all amounts are helpful and appreciated!

Community Action Pioneer Valley has a COVID-19 emergency fund that can help families with rent, utilities, and other needs. Call a community resource advocate at 413-774-2318 to learn more and get support.

Other Support
Community Action Pioneer Valley offers community members a broad range of support, including guidance for accessing financial assistance, heating system repairs and replacements, assistance with WIC, and youth and workforce development programs. The Community Action hotline (413-774-2318) is staffed by folks who have the latest information on available resources, eligibility requirements, and more.

Look4Help, a program of Community Action Pioneer Valley, is a free online directory of ~1,000 agencies, programs, and services in the area. Look4Help lists the offerings of nonprofits, government agencies, health and human services, medical and mental health providers, and more.

The Pioneer Valley Workers Center offers direct support to community members experiencing workplace abuse, raids and threats of deportation, and hate crimes. Legal support, know-your-rights trainings, and court accompaniment are also available. Reach out via their online form or by calling 413-570-3060.

Through Western Massachusetts Community Mutual Aid, community members offer one another all kinds of support with no financial obligation. As the organizers state on their homepage, “In these uncertain times, it’s important that we show up for each other and remember we are not alone.” Current support categories include art/music/writing, business/finance advice, childcare, transportation, food/supply drop-off, food prep, gardening, grocery/general errands, handyperson, healthcare advice, housing, mental health counseling, pet care, social services, advice, storage, technical support, and translation. If you would like to take a person up on their offer of support, reach out to them directly at the phone number or email address provided in the spreadsheet. Note that at this time the team is not able to accept/list additional offers of support.

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You can always reach out to your school’s principal, teachers, counselors, and PTO with questions about available support. If they don’t have answers, they can direct you to someone who does.

Bridge Street School
Principal Beth Choquette: 413-587-1460, bchoquette@northampton-k12.us
PTO lead: president@bsspto.org

Jackson Street School
Principal Lauren Brown: 413-587-1510, lbrown@northampton-k12.us
PTO lead: jacksonstreetpto@gmail.com

Leeds Elementary School
Principal Chris Wenz: 413-587-1532, cwenz@northampton-k12.us
PTO lead: info@leedspto.org

RK Finn Ryan Road School
Principal Sarah Madden: 413-587-1561, smadden@northampton-k12.us
PTO lead: ryanroadpto@gmail.com

JFK Middle School
Principal Desmond Caldwell: 413-587-1489, dcaldwell@northampton-k12.us
PTO lead: jfkmspto@gmail.com

Northampton High School
Principal Lori Vaillancourt: 413-587-1348, lorivaillancourt@northampton-k12.us
PTO lead: nohopto@gmail.com