Greer Gazette: April 3, 2023

Greer Gazette: April 3, 2023
Posted on 04/03/2023

Greetings CPS Community…

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! With the arrival of April, we are officially nearing the end of the school year, but there is still much work to be done.

The vote on the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget proposal that was scheduled for tomorrow night has been rescheduled to give our school community more time to review the proposal and share their perspectives. The vote will now take place virtually during a Special Meeting next Tuesday, April 11. At tomorrow night’s School Committee meeting, the community will have another opportunity to participate in public comment on the proposal. Ahead of these meetings, I invite you to review our Frequently Asked Questions on the budget proposal below.

In honor of National Assistant Principals Week, I want to acknowledge the essential role that our Assistant Principals play in supporting our schools. They work tirelessly to support staff, motivate students, help their Principal, create positive learning communities, and face the many unpredictable challenges that come up on any given day. We appreciate them and all that they do!

Please be reminded that schools and all administrative offices will be closed this Friday, April 7 in observance of Good Friday.

Thank you for your continued support.

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


Fiscal Year 2024 Proposed Budget: Frequently Asked Questions

As we shared above, the FY24 Budget proposal vote will now happen nextTuesday, April 11. We invite you to review the following documents ahead of the vote:

Direct Messaging Now Available on ParentSquare!

We are excited to share that families can now reply to ParentSquare direct messages from their child’s teacher, coach, or club leader via text and email. This expanded capability further elevates our commitment to accessible, accurate, and timely communication with our school community.

Learn more about these features by clicking on the links below:

  • Direct Message Reply via SMSWith two-way SMS enabled, parents/guardians/caregivers or students can receive and reply to Direct Messages without opening the ParentSquare app. The direct message needs to originate within ParentSquare.

  • Direct Message Reply via EmailAll users can receive and reply to Direct Messages without opening the ParentSquare app. They still have the option to view and reply to the message in ParentSquare. Direct Message must originate from the sender in the ParentSquare app or browser.

April Vacation Week Programs

April vacation is just a few weeks away! This slide deck, which is also attached, has information on fun programs and opportunities for students in grades K-8 to participate in while school is out.

  • Looking for more out-of-school time opportunities? Click here!

April Break COVID Test Kit Distribution

Similar to other breaks, each school will give out a COVID test kit to every student and staff member next week. We ask that you take a rapid test before school on Monday, April 24.

  • 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, will strongly recommend masking at school through Friday, April 28.Please note that this recommendation may be extended as we continue to monitor the data.

What We’re Celebrating

Arab American Heritage Month is an annual observance that celebrates Arab American heritage and culture and honors the contributions of Arab Americans and Arabic-speaking Americans to the wider American community. Many customs and food traditions are influenced by religion. Most people in the Arab world are Muslim, or people who follow Islam. However, in the U.S., around 65-70% of Arab Americans are Christian and about 30-35% are Muslim.

  • This month and throughout the year, we can celebrate Arab Americans by learning more about their contributions, food, and culture.

Autism Acceptance Month celebrates the roughly 1 in 36 children who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism is a complex, lifelong disability. No two autistic individuals present with the same sets of strengths or challenges. Our district has scholars with ASD at all 12 of our elementary schools, all 4 Upper schools, and CRLS. We have students as young as age 3 in our Special Start classrooms up through age 22 in our Post-Graduate program.

April was previously known as Autism Awareness Month, but Cambridge, along with many other stakeholders in the autism community, is committed to ensuring that we move past awareness and accept and embrace our neurodiversity. We strive to build an inclusive community where all members are valued for their gifts, and true inclusiveness cannot exist without acceptance. Let's celebrate all the things that make us unique, which includes our neurological profile!

National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month reaffirms, celebrates, and advocates for educational and social equity for our Multilingual Learners. In CPS, our educators develop their immense talents and potential so that they can contribute to a multilingual and intercultural society in the future.

  • Learn more about our Multilingual Learner Education Department here.

School Library Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the essential role that school librarians and strong school library programs, including our wonderful Cambridge Public Schools Library Teamplay in transforming learning.

  • Listen here to authors Dav Pilkey, Jason Reynolds, Jeff Kinney, Megan McDonald, and others discuss how school libraries and school librarians are critical components of the educational experience for all students.

  • Visit the American Association of School Librarians website to learn more about School Library Month.

MCAS Testing

Every spring, students across the state in grades 3-8 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 strive each year to make MCAS as minimally disruptive to students and teachers and continue to prioritize a consistent, rigorous, and equitable learning experience for all students. We know families may have a lot of questions about MCAS.

Featured Event

Youth Equity Summit

The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) and the district’s Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (OEIB) are excited to partner together for the CRLS/OEIB Youth Equity Summit. Students have worked hard to plan an amazing day of workshops and events around the theme,“How do equity issues intersect in Cambridge?”

  • WHEN: Thursday, April 13 (during the second half of the school day)

  • Students have until April 10 to choose their workshops.

  • Questions? Please contact Sam Musher, OEIB Youth Advocacy Specialist, [email protected]

Latin/Hip Hop Dance Showcase

Please join us for a wonderful night of dancing! Fifth grade students from the Kennedy-Longfellow, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Peabody, Morse, and Amigos Schools will showcase their dancing talents and abilities. There will also be special performances by professional STARS Dance Performers!

  • WHEN: Tuesday, April 25 | 6PM

  • WHERE: CRLS War Memorial Building on Cambridge Street (Upper Level Gymnasium)

Free Food Markets

All families are welcome to stop by our free, school-based food markets. They offer fresh fruits, vegetables, and pantry items. Please bring your own bags.

Markets this week:

  • Thursday, March 30 | 3-4PM (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School & Putnam Ave. Upper School located at 100 Putnam Avenue)

See the full list of free food markets here.

Pi Day Celebration

Students at thePeabody School created a school-wide art installation in honor of Pi Day on March 14. Students in grades Pre-K-5 participated in this collaborative project to honor the universal math symbol, Pi (π).

Parents, guardians, and caregivers were invited to share an activity or read a story to the school community. Students and staff also took home pies at the end of the day! Thank you to Art Teacher Yoselin Rodriguez and Math Coach Michele Lippens for securing a grant through the Friends of Peabody and for planning this fun celebration!

Paraprofessionals Go Above & Beyond

King Open School Paraprofessionals Ridge Salomon and Jalen Hills and Inclusion Specialist May Petrov have been nominated for recognition by Dr. Karyn Grace, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Student Services.

Dr. Grace celebrates the commitment they have shown to the Autism Spectrum Disorder program, calling them “unsung heroes” who provide consistency and meet the invaluable educational/social emotional needs of our scholars. Dr. Grace adds, “I couldn't be more impressed… They are truly amazing teachers who continue to inspire me.” Thank you for all that you do for our school community, Ridge, Jalen, and May!

An Overnight Trip to Nature’s Classroom

Fifth grade students and staff at theHaggerty Schoolrecently did an overnight trip to Nature’s Classroom in Groton, MA. They arrived on Thursday, March 16th and returned Friday March 17th. The trip had to be shortened because of a snow storm, but it was no less fun! Students had a blast!

CRLS Artists Earn National Recognition

Congratulations to the four CRLS students who won2023 National Scholastic Art Awards for their beautiful creations! Anoke Deitg-Blanchard (Grade 9), Adelina Escamilla-Salomon (Grade 12),Ellen Davis (Grade 12), and Winta Gebretensae (Grade 12) will be recognized at a special ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York in June, along with their teachers and families. You can see their work in the photo collage below.

39 CRLS students also won a total of 103 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards at this year’s state competition. Check out all of the award-winning artwork on this slide deck!

Mark Your Calendar

Friday, April 7 | Good Friday (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

Monday, April 17 - Friday, April 21 April Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed on Monday, April 17)

Wednesday, May 17 Early Release Day (JK-8 only)

Monday, May 29 | Memorial Day (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

Wednesday, June 7 | Early Release (JK-5 only)

Thursday, June 8 | CRLS Graduation

Monday, June 19 | Juneteenth (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

Thursday, June 22 | Last Day of School and Early Release for All Grades

Key Resources

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