COVID Updates, Flu Vaccines, City Updates

COVID updates, Flu Vaccines, City Updates
Posted on 11/10/2020
Translated Versions of Message: Amharic | Spanish

Dear CPS Community,

I hope this weekly update finds your family healthy during this unseasonably warm week.

As a reminder, there is no school - remote or in-person - on Wednesday, November 11, in honor of Veterans Day. We want to express our sincere gratitude to all CPS staff and community members on active military duty as well as those who have served our country in the past. With school closed for the day, we encourage everyone to consider ways to honor our veterans for the sacrifices they and their families have made.

We encourage all members of the Cambridge community to do your part in helping keep our community healthy and safe. We are fortunate that the City of Cambridge is able to offer expanded seven-day a week COVID-19 testing. The City is also launching a free, drive-through flu vaccination clinic on November 14 - See details below to make an appointment.

In this message:

  1. COVID-19 Updates: Expanded Testing & Thanksgiving Reminders
  2. Revisions to COVID-19 Metrics
  3. Flu Vaccination Required/New Free Clinic Nov 14
  4. Special Education Updates & Shout Out: OSS Team
  5. Mayor’s Update: Eviction Moratorium & Housing Stabilization Program
  6. Upcoming Events
  7. School Committee Updates

Sincerely,

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.
Superintendent


UPDATES

1. COVID-19 Updates: Expanded Testing & Thanksgiving Reminders
Expanded City Testing: The City of Cambridge has started offering COVID-19 testing for residents, seven days a week, at expanded locations, led by the newly established Cambridge Pandemic Collaborative (CPC). More information and appointment booking is available here.

Reminders for Thanksgiving and travel: As we look ahead to the Thanksgiving holiday and break, it is important to follow state and CDC guidelines for social distancing and limitations on gatherings. We also remind all members of the CPS community that students and employees must stay home or meet the 72 hour testing rule if they have traveled to areas affected by the Massachusetts Travel Ban within the past 14 days - additional information is described on the state’s website, in accordance with the approved CPS Safety & Health manual. Students and employees are encouraged to take advantage of testing made available by the City of Cambridge and CPS during this time.

2. Revisions to COVID-19 Metrics
As you know, CPS currently monitors three COVID-19 metrics, developed in consultation with our scientific advisors this summer, to determine when to open and close in-person learning: 1) daily new cases; 2) test positivity rates, and 3) COVID-19 presence in sewage wastewater. In a special meeting last Thursday (Nov. 5), the School Committee discussed updates to these metrics proposed by CPS’s scientific advisors based on a planned review of new scientific evidence and CPS’s implementation of safety precautions. The proposed updates include a shift from regional data to Cambridge data and details on when CPS would reopen after a closure. For more details, see the scientific advisor’s full letter and their presentation (slides and video). Additional discussions and consideration of this proposal will continue at a Special School Committee Meeting on Thursday, November 12, at 7pm.

3. Flu Vaccination Required, Drive Through Flu Clinic on 11/14
Massachusetts requires all students attending school (in-person or remotely) to receive a FLU VACCINE by December 31, 2020. The only exceptions are for documented medical or religious exemptions.

Upcoming Drive-Through Free Flu Clinic - Saturday November 14, 2020, 9AM - 7PM

  • CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, Level 2 1/2 (enter at First and Spring St.)
  • Drive-through only: no bicycles or on foot
  • Appointment Required! Schedule appointments online or by calling 617-349-9788. Only one appointment is required per car.

More information and appointment information can be found at www.cambridgepublichealth.org or 617.349.9788.

4. Special Education Updates and Shout Out: OSS Team
We want to take a moment to recognize the CPS Office of Student Services (OSS) team, which includes special education teachers and specialists, related services providers, school psychologists, social workers, and adjustment counselors for their continued efforts to support the unique learning needs of in-person and remote learners with disabilities. We thank them for their work to ensure that students are able to access the general curriculum, develop into independent learners, and experience academic growth at rates that align with their non-disabled peers.

OSS leadership has also worked hard to support proactive and responsive communications with families and staff, including through listening sessions and increased communications about special education services. In response to recent requests from OSS families to streamline communications, this weekly email will now include the OSS regular update.

Please note: Nov. 17 Virtual Town Hall on Compensatory Services - The purpose of this Town Hall is to help families understand how CPS intends to identify and address the impact of the interruptions caused by the unexpected suspension of in-person education due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the unique needs of students with IEPs. Please join us on Tuesday, November 17th from 3:30-4:30pm via Zoom.

5. Mayor’s Update: Eviction Moratorium & Housing Stabilization Program

  • The Citywide Eviction Moratorium is still in effect. Stay up-to-date on your rights and the resources available to you as a tenant. This information is available in English, Bangla, Chinese, Amharic, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabic.
  • The City of Cambridge COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Program serves to provide short term financial assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing housing instability due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program represents the City of Cambridge’s second phase of COVID-19 related resource disbursement for housing assistance. (PDF flier about program)

6. Upcoming Events
November 10: CRLS financial aid workshop
November 11: Schools Closed in Observance of Veteran’s Day
November 12, 7PM: Special School Committee Meeting
November 14, 8AM - 4PM: Citywide Drive-thru FREE Flu Clinic (walk ups not permitted) at the Cambridge Galleria Parking Garage across from First Street
November 14: 10AM - 12PM: Family Resource Fair - final fair of the season! (Pisani Center)
November 17, 3:30 - 4:30PM: Office of Student Services Virtual Town Hall on Compensatory Services for students with disabilities.
November 17, 6PM: School Committee - Regular Meeting
November 18, 6PM: School Committee - Special Education & Students Supports Sub-Committee Meeting
December 31: State deadline for all students to receive Flu Vaccine

7. Helpful Resources

  • Check out the Innovative Learning Spaces Collaborative website, which includes resources and activities “to learn everywhere” and to create innovative learning experiences that foster curiosity, creativity, and connection.
  • Remote learning support and afterschool opportunities resources sheets: Elementary School Opportunities 2020, Middle School Opportunities 2020, and Tutoring Opportunities 2020.
  • Looking for activities and resources for you and your family? Use Find It Cambridge to search for afterschool, food support, adult education, and more! Contact the Find It Cambridge team for assistance by phone or text (617.686.2998) or email us. To learn about events and activities happening in Cambridge, follow and like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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