School Committee Meeting Agenda: January 19, 2021

From the Office of the Executive Secretary to the School Committee

School Committee - Regular Meeting January 19, 2021


1. Public Comment (3 Minutes):

2. Student School Committee Report:

3. Presentation of the Records for Approval:
July 14, 2020 Special Meeting
November 17, 2020 Regular Meeting
January 5, 2021 Regular Meeting

4. Reconsiderations:

5. Unfinished Business/Calendar:

#21-14 Joint Motion by Member Wilson and Member Rachel
Whereas: The Cambridge Public Schools District Plan commits to supporting the whole child; and
Whereas: Children’s’ basic needs must be met if they are to reach their full potential; and
Whereas: The Commonwealth’s data from 2019 reflects that over one quarter of Cambridge Public School scholars are economically disadvantaged and nearly one half have high needs; and
Whereas: The pandemic has resulted in a dramatic increase of families struggling to secure basic needs, and underscored how positive partnerships between schools and families are critical to reimagining the school system post-pandemic; and
Whereas: The CPSD Food and Nutrition Services Department, Food for Free, The Spot, individual family liaisons and teachers, and others are working to support students and families; now therefore be it
Resolved: That at the Regular meeting on March 2, 2021, the Superintendent will report to the School Committee and the public on existing systems for how the district identifies and responds to the needs of scholars and families in the district; and be it further
Resolved: That, at that meeting, the Superintendent’s team will bring to the School Committee recommendations for measurable, actionable strategies the department could take for proactively attending to the needs of scholars and families. (Fantini, 1-5-2021)

6. Awaiting Reports:

#20-308 Joint Motion by Member Fantini and Mayor Siddiqui,
Whereas, the Cambridge Public Schools participate in the Journey into Education and Teaching Program, known as JET, to provide a pathway at little cost for paraprofessionals to get their bachelor’s degrees and Massachusetts teacher licensures; and
Whereas JET supports the goals of building local teacher pipelines and developing an educator workforce that reflects the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our students; and
Whereas JET provides the program structure for recruitment and support such as: advising, guiding in application procedures for college admission and financial aid, participating in cohort groups, providing local educator mentors, and professional and career development opportunities; and
Whereas Cambridge must commit to providing and compensating mentors as part of our commitment to JET Paraprofessionals; and
Whereas JET is an education program of the Massachusetts Foundation for Teaching and Learning; and
Whereas Massachusetts is unique in providing a state education grant that funds the undergraduate education of employed eligible paraprofessionals who commit to becoming teachers; and
Whereas, JET already has demonstrated a record of success; and
Whereas meeting application deadlines is critical; now therefore be it
Resolved that the Superintendent collaborate with JET and report on how the program will operate in Cambridge.

#20-309 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Fantini and Member Wilson,
Whereas equity and access are of highest priority for the Cambridge Public Schools and Cambridge School Committee, including postsecondary success for all of our scholars; and
Whereas extensive research nationally found that Early College is a promising model that narrows educational opportunity gaps, and that existing programs were a powerful foundation from which to build a broader statewide Early College Initiative; and
Whereas the Massachusetts boards of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education jointly launched an initiative in 2018 to establish an Early College designation for districts specifically attempting to recruit underrepresented students, to allow cohort-based models that provide high-need and low-income students with the opportunity to complete college level academic coursework on a clearly articulated pathway while simultaneously gaining exposure to a variety of career opportunities; and
Whereas 37 different high schools and 19 colleges and universities have partnered to offer Early College programs to thousands of students across the commonwealth, with enrollment projected to hit 4,200 students in FY21 and students earning an estimated 25,000 college credits, securing tuition and fee savings at an estimated $5.4 million; and
Whereas the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School offers a Dual Enrollment program in partnership with Bunker Hill Community College but has not received the state’s Early College Designation, which requires very specific advising metrics and a scope and sequence demonstrating that a school can offer at least 12 fully transferable college credits; and
Whereas Dual Enrollment, while often conflated with Early College, serves any students who self-select and therefore are already high-performing; now therefore be it
Resolved that the Superintendent work with the Principal of CRLS to provide a report on the current participation of the Dual Enrollment program by demographic, courses, and number of credits by year since its inception before the next Regular Meeting of the School Committee on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021.

7. Superintendent’s Agenda:

7a. Presentations:
COVID-19 Response Update……….Dr. Kenneth N. Salim, Superintendent of Schools

7b. CPS District Plan:

7c. Consent Agenda:

#21-19 Recommendation: Approval of the Expanded In-Person Learning Plan for
Grades 4-12 Beginning March 1, 2021

#21-20 Recommendation: Day & Residential Program Services not Available From
The Cambridge School Department

#21-21 Recommendation: Contract Award: Navigation Games: Instructional

#21-22 Recommendation: Contract Award: Metropolitan Pipe: Plumbing
Supplies & Equipment

#21-23 Recommendation: Contract Award: Gerry’s Music Shop: Musical
Equipment Maintenance

#21-24 Recommendation: Gifts Miscellaneous Receipts

8. Non-Consent Agenda:

9. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):

#21-25 Motion Joint Motion by Member Rachel, Member Fantini and Member Weinstein
Whereas: The Cambridge Public Schools are committed to preparing every student for post-secondary success; and
Whereas: The School Committee has expressed desire to see enhanced career pathways as well as expanded internship opportunities across our high schools; and
Whereas: The school department had planned to conduct a program review of the Rindge School of Technical Arts this school year, but was delayed due to the pandemic; and
Whereas: The School Committee is eager to follow-up on the conversation with RSTA leaders last spring, which covered preliminary reflections on the achievements and opportunities for strengthening RSTA, including how student enrollment in career and technical education pathways compares with the general CRLS population, how many students are provided with workplace learning experiences, how many Cambridge students are accessing career technical education in other Shared Occupational Learning Vocational Education Division (SOLVED) partnership districts, and how many students graduate with state or industry credentials; and
Whereas: The School Committee wants to explore how students could earn college credits while in high school; now therefore be it
Resolved: That by April 15, 2021, the Curriculum and Achievement Sub-Committee will convene a meeting to continue analysis of data and discuss a full review of the program.

#21-26 Joint Motion by Member Rojas, Member Rachel and Member Weinstein
Whereas: The Cambridge School Committee updated its health & safety framework on the basis of the Schools and Path to Zero report of Dr. Danielle Allen; and
Whereas: The report acknowledges that trust is necessary for the framework to work, and part of trust is clarity and transparency in decision-making; and
Whereas: The report calls for a Situation Room for In-person Learning; now therefore be it
Resolved: That the Superintendent reports at every regular meeting to the School Committee on the decisions of the Situation Room for In-person Learning, and alerts the committee immediately whenever the district disagrees with a recommendation from the Cambridge Public Health Department.

#21-27 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Rojas and Vice Chair Bowman
Whereas: Providing the best education and ensuring the wellbeing of our scholars are the highest priorities of the Cambridge School Committee and CPS Administration; and
Whereas: The data shows extreme negative consequences of school closures on scholars’ mental, physical, and academic wellbeing; and
Whereas There is growing evidence that more students can and must be brought back in-person with urgency; and
Whereas: The School Committee and Administration are committed to adaptability and quickly pivoting plans as necessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas: CPSD must continuously revisit conditions and plan for further expansions; and
Whereas: While the current reopening model recommendation allows families to opt into in-person learning, not all scholars in the district are eligible due to staffing and space constraints; now therefore be it
Resolved: That the Superintendent work with his team to provide a report on what is and is not working with the existing model and the possibilities for subsequent expansions by Friday, April 2, 2021; and be it further
Resolved: That the Superintendent provide an update on the impact of vaccine rollouts on further in-person expansion planning by Friday, April 2, 2021.

#21-28 Joint Motion by Member Weinstein and Member Rachel
Whereas: The health and safety of all Cambridge Public Schools students and staff is the highest priority and most important responsibility of the School Committee; and
Whereas: CPSD is currently offering in-person learning to some students and is working to expand in-person learning opportunities to more students; and
Whereas: CPSD staff, including teachers and support staff, are currently in-person supporting those students and more will need to be in-person for in-person learning to expand; and
Whereas: Surveillance testing is an effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19; now therefore be it
Resolved: That the Cambridge Public Schools will implement weekly mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing for all in-person students at all age levels, following all relevant regulations, beginning as soon as possible for students currently in-person and put in place before additional students are brought in for in-person learning; and be it further
Resolved: That the Cambridge Public Schools will require weekly mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing for all in-person staff, following all relevant regulations, beginning as soon as possible for staff currently in-person and put in place before additional staff are brought in for in-person learning; and be it further
Resolved: That COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered to all in-person staff twice weekly, with a requirement to participate at least once per week; and be it further
Resolved: That this will not change offerings nor protocols for symptomatic or exposure-related COVID-19 testing of students or staff.

#21-29 Motion by Vice Chair Bowman
Whereas: On January 6, 2021, our nation experienced an assault on democracy when the United States Capital was under siege by domestic terrorists that sought to stop the legitimate election of President-Elect Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. and Vice-President Elect Kamala Devi Harris through an insurrection directed by the forty-fifth president of the United States of America; and
Whereas: It has been reported, there were a significant number of individuals from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that participated in the attack on the institution that upholds our democracy; and
Whereas: The events that transpired do not align with the values of the Cambridge Public School District and undermine the CPSD's mission of providing all students with rigorous, joyful, and culturally responsive learning as well as the social, emotional, and academic supports each student needs to achieve their goals and postsecondary success as engaged community members; and
Whereas: Under the guidance of the CPSD SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL OF PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBERS policy, the Superintendent has authority to dismiss any employee in accordance with state law; and
Whereas: The behavior that transpired on this dark day in our nation's history set an unacceptable example for our children and anyone involved in the insurrection on January 6, 2021 should not be a part of CPSD; now therefore be it
Resolved: That if any employee in CPSD was involved in events that transpired on January 6, 2021, the School Committee instructs the Superintendent to suspend and/or dismiss those individuals in accordance with CPSD policy and state law.

#21-30 Report of the August 25, 2020 School Climate Sub-Committee Meeting

#21-31 Report of the September 10, 2020 School Climate Sub-Committee Meeting

#21-32 Report of the December 2, 2020 School Climate Sub-Committee Meeting

10. Resolutions (letters of congratulations, letters of condolence):

11. Announcements:

12. Late Orders:

13. Communications and Reports from City Officers:

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