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From the Superintendent | December 2018

From the Superintendent | December 2018
Posted on 12/14/2018
studentsTime is not a strategy, it is a resource. Like any other resource, we must use it wisely if we hope to realize the promise of educational equity through rigorous, joyful, and culturally responsive experiences for all learners.

Last year, a joint group of educators and administrators, co-chaired by Cambridge Education Association (CEA) President Dan Monahan and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Anda Adams, recommended that we lengthen the standard day for students and staff at all levels. After extensive analysis and feedback from Cambridge educators, families, and partners, I have similarly concluded our K-8 schools need to both improve how we use current time and lengthen the day for students and staff.

Our standard JK-8 schedule is among the shortest in the state and unfairly forces educators to choose between equally important competing priorities. Our schedules leave too little time and flexibility to deliver the full curriculum, provide all students with personalized support, address students’ developmental and social-emotional needs, and collaborate around instruction and services.

In early January we will release a proposal recommending a moderate increase to the 6-hour school day that will include guidelines for more effectively meeting educational, developmental, and social-emotional needs of students through improved school schedules.

On our website, we recently posted some questions and answers about the forthcoming proposal. The six hour day is not fair to educators and it’s not fair to our students. We are continuing to analyze data and feedback and although we have not yet finalized our thinking on the best model for increasing time in school schedules, a new FAQ posted online shares our current position as a result of this process.

More feedback sessions are planned for early January to gather your feedback on our draft proposal These conversations will be challenging as we strive towards greater educational equity while balancing the competing priorities of diverse stakeholder groups. I believe we are up to the task, and can address this challenge by working together.

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