Message from Superintendent Greer: April 25, 2022

Message from Superintendent Greer: April 25, 2022
Posted on 04/25/2022

victoria greer

Greetings CPS Community!

 

I hope you had a restful and peaceful break.

 

As you may know, we have several school and district level administrative positions that are vacant or are being filled by an interim leader. I am grateful to all of our leaders who have stepped up to ensure that all of our schools and departments continue to run smoothly. I am also excited to share that we are in the midst of the screening, interview and hiring processes for those positions. I anticipate that most all Principal positions will be filled by the end of June. I am looking forward to announcing the new leaders of our schools very soon.

 

Tomorrow, at the School Committee meeting my team will share an update on COVID as well as the implementation plan for the second phase of iReady. Both of these are very important updates and I think there will be information shared that will answer some questions that many people have been asking.

 

Following months of thoughtful planning and extensive stakeholder engagement, we will be launching our new incident reporting system, Speakfully, next week. We believe this system is the right tool as it will allow members of our school community to safely and confidently report situations of concern or any situations that make them feel unsafe. In order to promote the usage of the system, individuals can choose to make anonymous reports that allow for an additional layer of confidentiality.

 

As a reminder, we will be closed next Monday, May 2 in observance of Eid.

 

Thank you for your engagement and continued support.
 
Make it Great!

 

Dr. Victoria L. Greer
 


MCAS Testing Begins in Grades 3-8

Every spring, students across the state participate in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which are tests that measure the degree to which students are learning the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks relative to the expectations for each grade level.

 

We understand that you may have questions about MCAS. As we begin MCAS testing in grades 3 through 8 this week, here are some key facts:

  • Federal and state law require that all students in grades 3 through8 take the MCAS in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Students in grades 5 and 8 must also take it in Science, Technology & Engineering (STE).
  • There will be no negative impact to students based on their MCAS results or a family’s refusal to participate.
  • The state uses MCAS participation rates and results in its accountability system to identify schools and/or districts in need of support.
  • CPS uses a range of assessment tools to understand student progress and areas of need.
  • This year, our 5th and 8th grade students are part of an exciting opportunity to pilot a new science assessment, which includes activities featuring interactive science simulations. These simulations allow students to conduct investigations, create and explore models and solve science or engineering problems using scenarios featuring real-life problems. The goal of the pilot is to gather initial information and feedback that will help create an engaging, equitable and innovative test in future years. There are no scores attached to participation in the pilot. Your child will receive a score report only from the session with MCAS questions.
For more information, check out this FAQ.
 

Looking for Summer Opportunities?

Check out these interactive resources from the Elementary School Network and Middle School Network with a compilation of summer programs and opportunities for students in grades K-5 Summer Programs 2022or 6-8 Middle School Summer Programs 2022.
 


At-Home Testing: You Can Still Opt In!

Students and staff members who opt in can rapid test at home weekly.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF AT-HOME RAPID TESTING PLAN:

  • ANY student or staff member can participate in the new at-home rapid testing program regardless of vaccination status.
  • The testing program is VOLUNTARY. Opt-in through the CPS Family Portal.
  • Individuals will receive a kit every 2 weeks; each kit will contain 2 tests and instructions for using the self-test.

For more information, visit www.cpsd.us/covid19/covidtesting.
 


COVID Updates

Following ongoing discussions with the Cambridge Public Health Department and the Health, Safety, and Facilities Working Group, we continue to review and update our COVID protocols to reflect current conditions. As updates are made, we will notify the CPS community in a timely manner.

**Please note that these updates are subject to further changes as conditions evolve.**


Vaccination Status

CPS and CPHD follow the CDC definitions of “fully vaccinated” and “up-to-date.” See the COVID manual for more details.

Timeline:

  • Beginning Tuesday, May 3, volunteers, guests and parents/caregivers participating in classroom activities must be fully vaccinated and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  • Beginning Tuesday, May 3, all new hires must be fully vaccinated and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  • For the start of the 2022-23 school year, all students must be fully vaccinated and up-to-date OR have received an approved exemption to participate in before or after school activities.

Exemptions: Staff and students may request exemptions from the vaccination requirements as follows:

  • Religious Exemption: Explanation in writing from a parent/guardian that a vaccine conflicts with their sincerely held religious belief (in alignment with state law)
  • Medical Exemption: Clear documentation from a doctor or health care provider of a medical condition that makes vaccination risky or unsafe
  • Students with Special Needs Exemption: Clear documentation from a doctor or health care provider of an issue that would serve as a barrier to vaccination

Food at Events for CPS and External Permits

Food will be permitted at CPS-sponsored events and for external organizations as follows:

  • Optimal ventilation measures are taken, such as HEPA filters are running and windows and doors are open where possible.
  • CPS EVENTS: To safeguard multigenerational households, encourage events that involve eating be held outside
  • EXTERNAL PERMITS: Only cafeterias that can reach 4 air exchanges or greater, without further mitigation, are eligible for use.
Cafeteria Use for External Permits

External organizations may resume applying for a permit to use a CPS cafeteria as follows:

  • Optimal ventilation measures are taken, such as HEPA filters are running and windows and doors are open where possible.

Celebrations, Performances, Concerts

Attendees may participate in events such as celebrations, performances and concerts as follows:

  • Anyone attending should be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. CPS will not require proof of vaccination and will assume the “honor system.”
  • Full capacity in spring of 2022 with masks required regardless of vaccination status
  • Guidance is subject to change depending on public health conditions

Building Access During the School Day

Entry into buildings must continue to be managed.

  • Parents/caregivers may not enter the building without an appointment (e.g. drop-off or pickup), except in situations where the school contacts the parent/caregiver. Vaccinations are recommended but not required.
  • Contactless delivery procedures should remain in place where possible.
  • Volunteers, guests and parents/caregivers participating in classroom activities must have an appointment or be scheduled to enter the building.
    • Individuals must be fully vaccinated and beginning Tuesday, May 3 must be up-to-date, according to CDC definitions. Proof of up-to-date vaccination must be provided upon entry.
    • Individuals will be offered masks upon entry.
    • Masks are required for volunteers, guests and parents/caregivers inspecial settings with more vulnerable populations and those who are not eligible for vaccination: Special Start classroom, substantially separate classrooms, and preschool/JK classrooms.

School Tours and Open Houses may resume as follows:

  • Tours are scheduled and registration is required.
  • Masks are required for all visitors and vaccinations are strongly encouraged due to possible interaction with more vulnerable populations and those who are not eligible for vaccination: Special Start classroom, substantially separate classrooms, and preschool/JK classrooms.
  • Schools should continue to offer a virtual option for tours and open house-related events.

Prom

CPS students, staff and chaperones, are required to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. Attendance capacity would adhere to the venue limit.

 


Water Fountains

Following the flushing of the water system earlier this month, school water fountains have reopened for use.
 


Caught Doing Good


Cambridgeport Family Liaison Awarded Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

 

Earlier this month, Cambridgeport’s Family Liaison, Kristen Emack, was among 180 other scientists, writers, scholars and artists from across the nation awarded with a Guggenheim Fellowship. Honorees are selected based on prior achievements and exceptional future promise. Kristen is one of the 11 honorees from Massachusetts.

 

Her ongoing series Cousins, has received international exposure and captures more than a decade of meaningful moments between her daughter and three nieces, all fully or partially first generation girls of color growing up in Cambridge. Kristen works closely with the Cambridge Community Foundation, supporting their work through her creativity behind the lens.

 

Congratulations Kristen on this amazing achievement!

 

Are you proud of something happening in your school, classroom or program? Share your

“Caught Doing Good” story with [email protected].
 

Featured Events

Watch Encanto, Receive a $25 Gift Card and Get Vaccinated!

 

Meet the character Mirabel from the movie Encanto and get vaccinated against COVID!Children, ages 5

to 17, who get vaccinated will receive a $25 gift card.

WHERE: Somerville Pediatrics located at 236 Highland Avenue in Somerville

 

Saturday, April 30 | 9AM - 12PM

 

Walk-ins welcome or register
 


School Calendar

CPS 2021-22 School calendar

 

All Schools and Admin Offices Closed:

  • Monday, May 2 | Eid al-Fitr
  • Wednesday, May 11 | Early Release Day (JK-8)
  • Monday, May 30 | Memorial Day
  • Monday, June 20 | Juneteenth (Observed)
  • Thursday, June 29 | Last Day of School-Early Release for All Grades

In Case You Missed It: Key Resources

2022-23 JK/K Registration: The lottery is closed for the 2022-23 school year; If you are interested in registering your child, visit our registration webpage for more information.

April Lunch Menu: Week 4 (April 25 - April 29)

COVID-19 Testing/At-Home Weekly Testing Forms: Log in to the Family Portal

COVID-19 Testing & Quarantine Protocols

CPS Quarantine Instructional Guidelines for SY2021-22

Free Internet for Qualifying Families: Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program
 


Picture of the Week

Hmmm…Future Architects?

Check out what these Kennedy-Longfellow JK students created to celebrate their “Focus on K”unit. Over eight weeks, students participated in planning, collaborating and creating structures, drawing inspiration from around the world and one another!

 



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