Greer Gazette: December 12, 2022

Greer Gazette: December 12, 2022
Posted on 12/12/2022
Greetings CPS Community!

I hope you had a restful weekend.

Our District Plan is moving forward. We look forward to sharing more with you throughout December, including the targets we are setting for each of our student outcomes. We will present the proposed targets to the School Committee in a Special Meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. Also, keep an eye out in your mailbox for some information on the plan before winter break.

The 2024 Fiscal Year Budget Process is beginning. We look forward to engaging with you again this year in the process. As shared with you on Friday, three community engagement sessions will be held next month. Please see below to register and learn more about our new digital platform that makes navigating the budget easier.


We are excited that the Office of Student Services will be launching a chat-based tutoring system next month! Paper is for 5th through 12th graders and provides 24/7 access to tutors. Paper supports students in a variety of subject areas and is available in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Haitian Creole. The Office of Student Services will collaborate with schools and district departments, families, educators, and community partners to assist students in accessing Paper. More information on implementation will come at the start of the new year!

After ongoing discussions, the School Council Handbook, which is a fluid document, has been re-published on the website as a draft. We will continue to work with the School Committee to review and revise the handbook to ensure that it aligns with existing district and state policies and district procedures.

Thank you for your continued support.

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


CPS Recognized Among Niche’s 2023 Best School Districts in the State

We are incredibly proud to share that Cambridge Public Schools has earned Niche’s, a leader in K-12 school rankings, “2023 Best Schools” recognition for diversity, places to teach, and one of the best districts in the state. Our overall grade also went from an A to an A+ over the last year.I want to express my appreciation for all of our staff. There is such wonderful work happening across our schools that is anchored in our Vision to deliver inclusive, safe, and high quality learning experiences for each of our learners.


Get Vaccinated for COVID & Receive $75 Debit Card!

The City of Cambridge is offering $75 debit cards to people who get vaccinated for COVID-19. Anyone who lives or works in Cambridge and still needs a first dose, second dose, or booster dose is eligible. No ID or health insurance required.

  • WHEN:Thursday, December 15 | 4 - 8PM

  • WHERE:CambridgeSide Mall (located at 100 Cambridgeside Place)

*Free parking is available in the CambridgeSide parking garage

Please note that walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged. To register, click here.

The Equity Collaborative!

Do you have a great idea for an equity-based project for Spring 2023? Apply to be part of The Equity Collaborative!

Grants from $500 to $5,000 are available to current students, educators, and caregivers. Please click here to make a copy of the application. After you fill it out, share the document with the Office of Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (OEIB) at [email protected]. Applications are due byJanuary 9, 2023.

Questions? Email [email protected].

Welcome Dr. Alves, Special Education Executive Director

The Office of Student Services is delighted to welcome Dr. Frank Alves as our new Executive Director of Special Education. Dr. Alves is a Cape Verdean American, born in the Cape Verde Islands and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Bridgewater State University as well as his Master’s in Special Education and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Education Leadership. Dr. Alves concluded his studies at Northeastern University where he earned his Doctorate in Education with a focus on Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership. His academic and research interests are focused on the implementation of restorative justice, how curriculum and instruction can impact equity and diversity, and how evidence-based practices can be used to improve social emotional learning in education. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Alves to the district!

Fiscal Year 2024 Budget & ESSER Update

ESSER Update

As you may know, the federal government has given millions of dollars to address the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 education. Through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, we have received $12.6 million across three grants, each with unique requirements and timelines. To date, we have budgeted/used the funds for a variety of strategic purposes, with focus in the three required areas: operations academics, and social-emotional learning.

COVID/Operations: tents, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing and medical supplies, health aides, HVAC improvements


  • Supporting the return to in-person learning (Reopening planning stipends; Family listening conferences)

  • Tools and resources to support students’ individual learning needs (Elementary interventionists and paraprofessionals; iReady screeners in math and literacy; PAPER online tutoring, Calculus Project, BAM/WOW, special educators to support honors/AP students; early college program manager, work-based learning support)

  • Expanded summer programming and support

  • District plan initiatives (Universal Pre-K Manager; college and career pathways audit, schedule reviews)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mental Health

  • Dedicated leadership and staffing (Director of SEL, CRLS Social Worker, Elementary health teachers to lead school health teams)

  • DESSA-mini SEL screener

  • Gaggle telehealth services

Beginning with the current year (fiscal year 2023) budget, planning for ESSER funds was included in the annual budget process. We look forward to the upcoming fiscal year budget process, where we will again incorporate ESSER funds into our planning.

For more details on grant requirements, timelines, and budgeted use of funds, visit our website.

Participate in the FY2024 Budget Process

As we celebrate the end of 2023, it is time to begin planning for the 
2024 Fiscal Year Budget. Superintendent Greer and the School Committee are eager to hear your perspective on the development of the budget, which supports the 2023-2024 school year.

We will offer three community engagement sessions next month. The first two will be in-person events and the third will be virtual.

  • Wednesday, January 18 | 6 - 7:45PM (Fresh Pond Apartments located at 366 Rindge Avenue)

  • Saturday, January 21 | 10 - 11:45AM (Location being finalized)

  • Thursday, January 26 | 6 - 7:45PM (Virtual)

  • To register, click here.

New Online Budget Platform

We are excited to share that our budget is now available on a new digital platform, making it easier to navigate! Our Online Budget provides an easy to use, interactive, and engaging version of our annual publication. We hope it will lead to a better understanding of a complex process and a more robust and engaging conversation with our community. To begin browsing budget information for our schools and departments, click here.

COVID Update

Rise in COVID Cases
The Cambridge Public Health Department is reporting an increase in the number of COVID cases after the Thanksgiving holiday. Our school district is collaborating with the Health Department to review our case data weekly. We are also watching closely for clusters. In the event that there are multiple cases in a grade, classroom, or school, please review our updated guidance in the 
COVID Manual.

Test Distribution

Each school will give out a COVID test kit to every student and staff member next week. We ask that every student and staff member take a rapid test before returning to school on Wednesday, January 4.

  • If positive or negative but have symptoms, please stay home and notify the school.

  • If negative and do not have symptoms, we will see you at school.

In addition, we, along with the Health Department,strongly recommend masking at school through Friday, January 6,particularly if an individual travels or attends a large indoor gathering over the winter break.

Travel Guidance When A Person Tests Positive

In the event a student or staff member tests positive for COVID while traveling, the impacted traveler is expected to:

  • Follow currentCOVID-19 testing & isolation protocolsin response to a positive test result; and

  • Adhere to the COVID-19 policies of the host city, state, or country and recognize this may affect return travel plans.

Student Star Power!

We are so excited that CBS Boston invited some of our 3rd graders at the Morse School and me to be in their new winter weather promotional videoLook for us on WBZ channel 4 soon!

Featured Events

Cambridge Families of Asian Descent Community Meeting

Cambridge Families of Asian Descent (CFAD) warmly welcomes families to its next virtual meeting. This is a group of parents/caregivers of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and multi-racial Asian heritage centered on forming social connections and advocating for visibility of Asian Americans in the school curriculum and community. At the meeting, CFAD will share updates on community events and announcements. There will also be a listening session.

  • Wednesday, December 14 | 7:30 - 8:30PM (Every second Wednesday of the month)
  • To learn more about CFAD, click here.

Free Food Markets
Don’t forget to stop by one of our free food markets through December! They offer fresh fruits, vegetables, and pantry items. All are welcome.

  • Wednesday, December 14 | 1:45 - 2:45PM
    (Fletcher Maynard Academy)

  • Thursday, December 15 | 3:15 - 4PM
    (Rindge Avenue Upper Campus/Peabody School)

  • Tuesday, December 20 | 1:30 - 3PM
    (Graham & Parks School)
  • Thursday, December 22 | 3 - 4PM
    (Putnam Ave Upper School/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School)

ParentSquare Training

As Dr. Greer mentioned, we appreciate that so many of our families have registered for ParentSquare! It is a comprehensive tool that continues to support our commitment to accessible, accurate, and equitable communication with all of our families

Did you know that you may 
not be registered, even if you are receiving emails from ParentSquare?

Some of the benefits to registering for ParentSquare include:

  • Access to secure documents, such as report cards and iReady reports

  • Ability to download attachments

If you need help registering, this parent-centered training video will take you through the process step-by-step. You can also use our one-page summary on how to get started.

ParentSquare Kudos!
Congratulations to this week’s top ParentSquare users! We thank you for using ParentSquare to keep our families informed.

  • Emma Doyle, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School History Teacher
  • Karin Kugel, Baldwin School Library Media Teacher
  • Kathleen Smith, Graham & Parks School Principal
  • Daniel Skeritt, Fletcher Maynard Academy Family Liaison
  • Gerald Yung, Dr. MLK Jr. School Principal

Mark Your Calendar


Monday, December 26 - Monday, January 2 | Winter Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed on December 26 & 30 & January 2)

Tuesday, January 3 | Staff Professional Learning Day (No School)

Monday, January 16 | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Monday, February 20 - Friday, February 24| February Break
(No School & CPS Offices Closed on Monday, February 20)

Key Resources

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