Student Vax Clarifications & Food Services Update

Student Vax Clarifications & Food Services Update
Posted on 10/13/2021
Greetings CPS community!

I hope you and your family enjoyed the long weekend and took some time to acknowledge Indigenous People’s Day. Cambridge sits on the ancestral lands of the Massachusett and Pawtucket people. We honor and pay respect to these communities and the elders of these nations - past, present, and future - whose practices and spiritualities are tied to the land. I also want to acknowledge the many community members who participated in the 125th Boston Marathon. It was nice to get back to some level of normalcy by watching the marathon from home this year.

Last week, the School Committee approved the recommendation to require vaccinations for all age eligible students. Staff and student vaccinations are an important part of our comprehensive approach to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19. See below for more details.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Barbara Mullen, who was confirmed as Interim Assistant Superintendent for Student Services last week.

There is one very important calendar reminder. Next Wednesday, October 20 is an Early Release Day for Grades JK-8.

Make it great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer
Interim Superintendent
Cambridge Public Schools

COVID Question of the Week: What is the student vaccination requirement timeline?

As you know, CPS recently announced that all age-eligible students are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. For more details on the student vaccination requirements see this FAQ. More details to come later this week.

--By November 22, 2021: All age-eligible students (currently ages 12+) must be fully vaccinated (fully vaccinated means 14 days beyond the second dose). Failure to obtain a vaccination will not result in exclusion from school. In order to meet this deadline, age-eligible students must receive their first dose no later than October 18 and their second dose no later than November 8.
--By November 29, 2021: Age-eligible students (currently ages 12+) must be fully vaccinated in order to participate in CPS after school extracurricular activities, including athletics, club and intramural sports, student government, after school visual and performing arts, all school clubs that meet outside of the school day, and school sponsored social events. In order to meet this deadline, students must receive their first dose no later than October 25 and their second dose no later than November 15.
--We strongly encourage you to make plans for your child to receive their vaccination as soon as possible.
Students under 12 years old do not have access to vaccines yet. If and when vaccinations are approved for this age group, CPS will determine and communicate an appropriate timeline for the requirement.
--More details will be shared about how to provide the proof of vaccination.
--Families may request medical and religious exemptions. You will receive more details soon about that process.
--Need a vaccine for your child? See the City of Cambridge's list of local vaccine opportunities or contact your primary care provider.

See the state website for more information about vaccinations.

Nutrition Corner: Supply Shortages May Impact Menu Changes

fns staffIt is important for families to understand that due to national shortages of food and packaging materials, labor shortage and vendor delivery delays and cancellations, CPS breakfast and lunch menus are subject to change based on availability. Please know that the Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) team is working hard to provide meals every day, adjust on the fly, and provide updates about menu changes as soon as possible. We may need to make quick menu substitutions based upon what we have on hand, but we are trying our best to make comparable changes wherever possible.

The Food & Nutrition Services team is strong, motivated and committed to providing healthy, nutritious, and appetizing meals for your children. We love serving our students and appreciate your support and patience as we continue to offer meals at no charge for all students.

Thank you for your continued support and patience during these challenging times. For any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Food and Nutrition Services office at 617.349.6858.

If you see a member of the FNS team, please share your thanks for their tireless efforts on behalf of our students.

Monthly CPS Lunch Menu: October 2021

Partnership Highlight: Children Savings Account (CSA)

csaTo help children begin investing for their future, the City of Cambridge and Cambridge Public Schools have partnered with East Cambridge Savings Bank (ECSB), a local bank in Cambridge, to launch the Children Savings Account (CSA) program. Through this program, ECSB will open savings accounts for kindergarten students and deposit $50.00 on their behalf, to help students begin their savings journey early. I am grateful for the work of Dr. Turk in collaboration with Assistant City Manager for Fiscal Affairs, David Kale and for the partnership with Mayor Siddiqui to make this possible for our students.

Caught Doing Good

laundryKudos to the Graham & Parks School, who hosted Dr. Greer and Dr. Madera last week. The team demonstrated a clear focus on providing effective and positive learning experiences as part of the Sheltered English Immersion program.

Congrats to CRLS family liaison Greta Hardina and principal Damon Smith for the launch of the Falcon's Market Laundromat, which was funded through the City of Cambridge’s participatory budget process. Not having clean clothes to wear to school can be a barrier to student attendance. Family liaisons can connect students and families who may benefit from this resource. Kudos to the School-to-Work/ Life Skills teachers Jenna Callahan, Sasha Featherspoons and their team who have designed a curriculum around the laundromat with their students.

Featured Resource: Menstrual Hygiene Products

Menstrual Hygiene Products are now available at no cost at every school for students and their families. Students can pick up a care package from their Family Liaison when needed. Cambridge Public Schools recognizes that access to menstrual products is an equity issue, and that they are a necessity, not a luxury.

Upcoming Events

STEAM It Up! Cambridgewide K-8 Family STEAM Night
Thursday, October 21 | 6 - 8PM
Pemberton Tennis courts
Are you curious about all the science, technology, engineering, art and math that exists in the world around you? Have you ever wanted to observe and learn from real insect specimens? Maybe you'd like to engineer a terrifically tall tower? Come join local STEAM providers for a fun filled evening.
More Information

Cambridge Public Health Department Flu & COVID Vaccination Clinics
--Friday, October 15 | 10AM - 4PM
Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue (Central Square)
--Saturday, October 16 | 11AM - 6PM
King Open School, 850 Cambridge Street (Wellington-Harrington)
--Friday, October 22 | 2 - 8PM
Reservoir Church, 170 Rindge Avenue (North Cambridge)
--Saturday, October 23 | 12 - 6PM
Pisani Center, 131 Washington Street (The Port)

Wednesday, October 20 | Early Release Day, Grades JK-8 (Schools dismiss 2 hours early)
November 4 | Diwali begins
November 11 | Schools Closed, Veterans Day
November 24 | Early Release Day, All Schools
November 25 - 26 | Schools Closed, Thanksgiving

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