Enroll in CPS Back-to-School 2020

Enroll in CPS Back-to-School 2020
Posted on 08/14/2020

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Dear CPS Families,

As CPS continues to plan for a safe and healthy return to school in September, I am writing to provide information about next steps for your family.

Please complete the Fall 2020 Enrollment Form by Saturday, August 22nd with your choices for the upcoming school year.

Fall Enrollment Form Links: 
English | Arabic | Amharic | ChineseBengali | Haitian-CreolePortuguese | Spanish

All CPS students will automatically be enrolled in remote (at-home) learning.
Some families are eligible to choose in-person (at school) learning four days per week. There is also a Cambridge citywide effort underway to identify limited potential opportunities for child care or supervised work spaces for students.

Which students are eligible for in-person (at school)?
  • All students in substantially separate special education programs or sheltered
  • English immersion programs (preschool through grade 12)
  • All students in CPS preschool programs (Children’s House, Special Start, Scholar College), Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten, or Grade 1
  • Some students in Grade 2 and 3. There is limited capacity, prioritized for students with disabilities, English language learners, former English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness.

I know that you may have many questions as you think about the right choices for your family. Please view additional details below and online. You can also contact your school or email us at [email protected].

CPS looks forward to welcoming you back, remotely or in-person for the 2020-21 school year.


Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.

Key Questions
Can I change my mind later?
To support our planning, we ask that families make an initial commitment to in-person or remote learning through December 2020. Families can request a change through September 30 for any reason. After September 30, families that experience individual health situations may request a change at any time.

How will students and staff in-person (at school) stay safe and healthy?
CPS has put in place a range of Safety and Health protocols to minimize exposure and transmission of COVID-19. See the draft Safety, Health, and Facilities manual for details. A few highlights:

  • Small student groups to minimize mixing of students
  • Room setups to create at least 6 feet of distance between students
  • All staff and students required to wear masks.
  • Newly Installed hand sanitizer stations, extra sinks, and portable hand washing stations
  • Engineering experts have reviewed air ventilation systems in all schools. For buildings with older systems, we will have repaired windows and have purchased box fans, air scrubbers with HEPA filters, and CO2 meters
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting plans for every school include daily cleaning of all classrooms plus cleaning of high touch areas and equipment throughout the day.
  • Purchased electrostatic sprayers for each building and disinfectant supplies for every classroom
  • The Cambridge Public Health Department will implement a COVID-19 testing plan for CPS, including voluntary testing for all staff. Student testing plans are being developed
  • Designated quarantine room in each building for students who demonstrate symptoms during the day

Which teachers will work with my child?
Once CPS has final information about staff return-to-work plans and families’ choices, schools will develop schedules and classroom assignments.

When does school start?

  • Mid-August: Families receive annual back-to-school forms
  • Week of September 8: Family conferences (more information to come from schools later this month)
  • September 16 - 18: Students begin school with remote learning
  • September 21: Students begin half school days (in-person or remote) four days per week. Most weeks, in-person learning will take place Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday at home.
  • September 28: Students begin full school days (in-person four days). Most weeks, in-person learning will take place Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday at home.
  • Mid-late October: District will reflect on health metrics

What public health information is being used to inform school opening?
CPS is monitoring and using a set of COVID-19 safety metrics developed by its scientific and medical advisors to determine if it is safe to open schools.

What other conditions must be met to support the safe opening of schools?
The CPS School Committee has identified a set of conditions that must be met in order to open schools:

  • A COVID-19 testing plan;
  • Approval of a final Safety and Facilities manual, which describe safety and health protocols;
  • Independent analysis of building spaces;
  • Use of classrooms only if they meet the requirements in the analysis; 
  • Ongoing use of key metrics centered on equity and vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by COVID 19; (See draft safety metrics)
  • Co-created plan for substantially separate classrooms by educators, families, administration, and Taskforce experts;
  • Exploration of childcare options for students engaged in remote learning; and
  • A social-emotional learning, mental and behavioral health plan for students.
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