Update from the Superintendent: March 15, 2020

Dear CPS community:

I am writing with key updates, reminders, and answers to questions we have been receiving throughout the weekend about COVID-19/Coronavirus and school closures. We continue to coordinate with city officials, state and local education and health agencies while meeting the specific information needs of our community.

CPS Schools Closed until April 7:

  • Sunday evening, Governor Baker announced school closures state-wide. This news means that the CPS school closure will be extended through Monday, April 6.
  • All school and administrative buildings will be closed to the general public starting on Tuesday, March 17. District personnel are in the process of moving key operations online.

CPS to Provide Weekday Breakfast & Lunch Beginning Monday March 16:

  • CPS will be packing and distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches to locations throughout the city.
  • Any family facing food challenges is welcome to pick up one bag per child, regardless of Free/Reduced Price Lunch status.
  • Tables with bags containing 1 breakfast and 1 lunch will be set at the following locations:
    • Haggerty School - Cushing Street main entrance
    • Peabody School - Rindge Avenue main entrance
    • King Open School - Cambridge Street main entrance
    • Morse School - Granite Street main entrance
    • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School - Magee Street Entrance
    • Fletcher Maynard Academy - Harvard Avenue
    • Near 35 Cambridge Park Drive - look for a parked yellow school bus
  • See more details for specific pick-up times here.

Social Distancing:
We have received a number of questions about what social distancing means for you and your family. Social distancing generally means avoiding group settings and large gatherings, and maintaining physical distance from others. This applies to all settings including playgrounds. 

At tonight’s press conference, Governor Baker urged families to take social distance seriously, suggesting that families limit playdates and other gatherings. As state education commissioner Jeff Riley said, “During this period, it is critical that students and their families, as well as school staff, stay home as much as possible. If you leave your home, it is essential to strictly follow social distancing guidelines by avoiding crowds, canceling social gatherings, and maintaining a safe separation of at least 6 feet from others. Restricting access to school buildings will have little impact on public health if these best practices are not followed in good faith."

CPS continues to work in a coordinated fashion with local and state officials to support greater adoption of distance work, learning, and meeting procedures.

Chromebooks & Internet Access:

  • For students in grades 3 - 8 that did not bring home Chromebooks on Friday, families can pick them up on Monday. Your school sent information about pickup times.
  • If you have a home computer that you feel provides your child with adequate and safe access to online school work, you do not need to pick up a CPS-issued Chromebook.
  • Families without internet access should contact their schools. CPS is waiting on a delayed delivery of internet hotspots that we will distribute to families needing access. We are also monitoring the availability of potential free internet through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program.

Learning from home: We are in the process of developing resources to support children and families with enriching learning opportunities during the emergency closure. Families and students will receive more information early this week.

Information for CPS Staff: Staff will receive follow-up messages tomorrow with more information about staff expectations and procedures.

We are doing our best to keep up with the many questions and emails we are receiving each day. As always, thank you for your support for each other and our community as we navigate this challenging period.

Sincerely,

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.
Superintendent

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