Thanksgiving Tips, Planning for Future Scenarios

Thanksgiving Tips, Planning for Future Scenarios
Posted on 11/24/2020

Dear CPS Community,

As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday this week, I want to express my gratitude to the entire Cambridge Public School community as we continue to work together to navigate and support each other during this challenging time. For most of us, celebrating Thanksgiving will look quite different from years’ past, but we hope you are able to enjoy a meaningful holiday.

First, we’re sharing 7 Tips on How to Stay Safe This Holiday Season, along with a video message from Tracy Rose-Tynes, the Health Department’s Interim Associate Chief, Clinical Services and Nurse Manager, School Health Services.

Second, we know that with the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 constantly changing, it can be confusing to know what to expect and how to stay informed and involved. CPS is preparing for multiple scenarios, including a shift to fully remote learning and the potential to expand in-person learning. Below, we provide more details on what to expect if the CPS public health metrics indicate we need to transition to fully remote learning, as well as more details on planning for Spring semester.

Learning Scenarios

In this message:

  • Planning for: Potential Remote Learning for All
  • Planning for: Potential Expansion of In-Person Learning
  • OSS Update: Advanced Learners discussions & Executive Functioning Workshop
  • Upcoming Events
  • Key Resources

We wish you all a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving.


Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.

Planning for: Potential Remote Learning for All
While we do not need to shift to district-wide all-remote learning at this time, we want to share some important information for families if it is necessary to do so in the future. There are two possible scenarios that would require us to move to a temporary, all-remote model district-wide:

Reason for temporary district-wide shift to remote learning for all students
  • Two of the three COVID-19 metrics CPS monitors cross the thresholds recommended by our scientific advisors. If that happens, families will receive at least 2 school days’ notice before the shift takes effect. (See the Dashboard here.)
  • Precautionary approach intended to help contain the virus and prevent further spread
  • Two school days’ notice to allow families and staff to put their contingency plans into action,
  • Shift to all remote learning for at least 1 week, until two or more metrics remain below threshold for 7 consecutive days
  • Governor Charlie Baker mandates a suspension of in-person learning state-wide.
  • Timing and details dependent on Governor’s mandate.

If a temporary district-wide shift to all-remote learning becomes necessary, you can expect:

  • Notification via email and, for in-person learners, by phone
  • Remote learning schedules and login information from your school
  • For parents and caregivers of students with disabilities, phone calls from OSS case managers to discuss plans and support while services cannot be delivered in person
  • A remote meals plan similar to last spring
  • Buildings will remain open for staff and potential supplies pickups

Planning for: Potential Expansion of In-Person Learning
Over the course of the next two months, CPS will engage with students, families, and staff to gather feedback on how to improve the current learning model AND plan for potential future expansions of in-person learning. CPS will be engaging with families, staff, and students through listening sessions, staff conversations, surveys, and other outreach to hear your perspective. The Planning for Second Semester page on our website provides information about the upcoming process and will be regularly updated with more information about the planning process and key takeaways that emerge along the way.

Updates from the Office of Student Services:

  •  Advance Learners: The Office of Student Services is eager to offer support for your learner's unique needs and we need your feedback! Please complete this K-8 Advanced Learning Caregiver November Survey and join us for an upcoming informational session led by Molly Singh, our new Lead Teacher of Advanced Learning and Twice-Exceptional Learners (K-8) by registering here. Also, check out the Advanced Learning Hub to find resources for students (JK-2, 3-5, 6-8) and caregivers.
  • Executive Functioning Workshops: We received an overwhelming number of responses from parents/caregivers to attend the Executive Functioning Workshop in December. Due to popular demand, CPS will hold an overview session on executive functioning for parents/caregivers in elementary grades on December 3, 2020 from 7PM to 8PM. A second overview session will be held for parents/caregivers in upper and high schools on December 17, 2020 from 7 to 8PM. In addition, we have moved the additional sessions to January. Since we are unable to open these sessions to all families, we will prioritize parents/caregivers with children with an IEP or 504.
  • January 3, 2021 | 7 - 8PM | Executive Functioning and and Organizing Your Remote Learning Space
  • January 14, 2021 | 7 - 8PM | Executive Functioning and Time Management and Gmail
  • January 21, 2021 |7 - 8PM | Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation
  • To register, please visit this link. We apologize for the inconvenience, but if you have already registered, you will have to do so again.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

  • November 26 - 27 | Schools Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
  • December 1 | 6PM: School Committee Meeting
  • December 2 | 5PM: School Committee, School Climate Sub-Committee Meeting
  • December 3 | 7PM Executive Functioning Overview Session (Elementary)
  • December 17 | 7PM Executive Functioning Overview Session (Upper and High)
  • December 31 | Deadline for all students to receive the flu vaccination
  • January 7, 7PM | Executive Functioning and Organizing Your Remote Learning Space
  • January 14, 7PM | Executive Functioning and Time Management and Gmail
  • January 21, 7PM | Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation

Key Resources

  • CPS COVID-19 Dashboard has been updated
    The Citywide Eviction Moratorium is still in effect. Click here to 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. You can learn more here.
  • New Innovative Learning Spaces Challenge for first graders: “Hey CPS! Let's Play! Take objects to create a shadow. Post a picture to see if others can guess the materials you used. Innovative Learning Spaces #ILSCPS @cambridge_cpsd.Inspired by @exploratorium.” Families are encouraged to post and add #ILSCPS so other families can see different shadows.
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