Message to Families: March 27, 2020

Dear CPS Families,

It is hard to believe that it has been less than two weeks since we closed the doors of Cambridge Public Schools and said in-person good-byes to students. I know that you are all juggling new worries and responsibilities these days, and our hearts go out to you and everyone affected by COVID-19.

With the Governor’s announcement that school closure will extend to May 4, many of you may be wondering what teaching and learning will look like in the weeks ahead. Our focus over the past two weeks has been on maintaining connections and engagement with students while developing a realistic assessment of where students are in terms of their ability to access learning through enrichment learning experiences. These efforts provide an important foundation on which to build a distance learning model that will be sustainable and realistic for the long term.

In this effort, we are doing our best to balance the diverse needs of our community, including students, staff, and families. Like you, teachers and staff have many new worries these days -- and we appreciate your patience and support as they work hard to serve our community under less-than-ideal conditions.

It is possible that school closures will be extended again -- and many of you may be wondering what that will mean. Yesterday, we received revised guidance from Massachusetts education officials about how to implement distance learning programs that are appropriately flexible for current conditions while maintaining a sense of urgency around students’ well-being and continued learning. We will be working to incorporate these state guidelines into our current remote learning model over the coming days.

If we ever needed a growth mindset, it is now. The very difficult challenges we are facing will be overcome through persistence, creativity, and most importantly by working together. As many have remarked, nothing can replace in-person learning experiences, but we are committed to engaging students in meaningful and productive learning opportunities, with the well-being of students, families and staff as our highest priority.

Thank you for your many messages of hope and support over the past two weeks. I wish you health and comfort in the days ahead.

Sincerely,

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
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