Greer Gazette: October 30, 2023

Greer Gazette: October 30, 2023
Posted on 10/30/2023

Greetings CPS Community!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed Saturday’s summer temperatures!

The Kindergarten Lottery for the 2024-2025 school year will open on January 2 and close on January 31. To learn more about the process, including language testing, please attend the virtual information session this Wednesday evening from 6 to 7PM. You can find more details below.

A reminder that one month from today, on December 1, the application window will open for the Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP), or Universal Preschool. The application window will remain open through Monday, January 15, 2024. Please see below for more information, including a link to the informational session that was held on October 12.

Beginning next month and through May, I will have a monthly Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour from 6:30-7:30PM on Wednesdays. This is an opportunity to engage with families and caregivers to learn about your experiences with our schools, engage in meaningful conversations about our schools and school district and answer any questions that you may have. Please register to attend by completing the form at the link below. By registering, you will also be able to share topics of interest which will help us plan to make these dinner hours meaningful.

ClockDon’t forget that Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, November 5. This means the days will get shorter as we move our clocks back one hour. On Sunday night, the sun will set at 5.45PM! Thank you for your continued support.

Make it Great!


Dr. Victoria L. Greer
Congratulations to Dr. Carolyn Turk on her Retirement!


Tomorrow is Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Carolyn Turk’s, last day. Dr. Turk will be retiring after a remarkable 46 years of service to the district. She has left an indelible impression on countless students and colleagues. Dr. Turk has led with her heart and her love for the Cambridge community. Her caring and gentle demeanor has made very challenging times easier to navigate. She has stepped up and stepped in when others couldn’t. Dr. Turk has done great work and generations will benefit from her service and sacrifice to this community. She will be greatly missed. We wish Dr. Turk the very best in retirement!


Kindergarten Lottery Information Sessions Next Month


The Kindergarten Lottery for the 2024-2025 school year will open on January 2 and close on January 31. All registrations must be fully completed, including all language testing to determine eligibility for Program Language Bonus points. To learn more, visit our website.

Information Sessions:

Attendance Matters Campaign

Attendance Matters

Our Attendance Matters campaign will launch next month! Did you know that in Massachusetts if your child misses 18 days or more of school, they are considered chronically absent? Chronic absenteeism is one of our district targets. Daily attendance plays a vital role in your child’s educational journey. Attending school regularly is a critical aspect of academic success and social, emotional, and personal development.

Cambridge Preschool Program Applications Opens December 1


The application window for the Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP), or Universal Preschool, will open on Friday, December 1, 2023 and remain open through Monday, January 15, 2024. As we have shared, CPP will begin next school year, providing free preschool to the families of all 4-year-olds and some 3-year-olds.

What does CPP mean for CPS?

Free Webinar: Raising Healthy Kids in a Digital World

CartwheelOur mental health partner, Cartwheel, is offering another free live webinar to share some strategies to create a family plan around texting, gaming, social media, and more.

Join guest speaker Lori Getz to learn strategies and specific language you can use that will help break down walls and get everyone in your family having meaningful conversations about the role technology plays in emotional, mental, physical, and relational health and wellness.

City of Cambridge Halloween Events

PumpkinThe City of Cambridge has a variety of fun Halloween events for children, youth, and families across the city. Various city departments will be sponsoring events from October 24 - 31. Visit the city’s website for a list of events.

General Halloween Safety Tips:

  • Kids are reminded to wear reflective colors, carry a flashlight when it gets dark, and use extra caution crossing streets.
  • Young children should be accompanied by an adult or a responsible older kid.
  • When wearing a costume, watch for trip hazards, especially on stairs. Allow plenty of clearance if passing a heat source or open flame. Open flames should never be used as Halloween decorations or costumes.
  • Any treats given to kids should be checked out by an adult.
Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour

Virtual Dinner

Monthly on Wednesdays form 6:30 - 7:30PM
Register Here for November 15!

November 15
December 20
January 17
February 28
March 20
April 24
May 15

What We’re Celebrating This Month
National Native American Heritage Month

Native Heritage Month

The United States is a vast land of many cultures dating back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the land, Native Americans. For example, Cambridge is home to the Massa-adchu-es-et (Massachusett), Pawtucket, and Naumkeag Peoples.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under a variety of names (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994. During National Native American Heritage Month, we explore the heritage, culture, and experiences of Indigenous peoples both historically and in American life today.

National Career Development Month

Career Development

National Career Development Month is dedicated to highlighting the importance of career development and planning and celebrating a nationwide initiative that encourages lifelong learning, skill development, and career exploration to promote personal and professional growth. Embedded in our District Plan is a commitment to provide accessible College and Career Pathways that support student success.

Through the month of November, dedicated educators will meet to plan, develop, and advise on Career Connected Learning activities and lessons that will be embedded in the preschool curriculum through 12th grade.
Apply for an Equity Collaborative Grant... Deadline this Wednesday

Do you have a great idea for a project or event to make CPS more inclusive this year? Apply to be part of the Equity Collaborative!

Health Updates

Free COVID Tests Available to All Households
The US government is offering four free at-home COVID tests to all households again. Tests will be mailed to your home by the US Postal Service after you place your order online.

Wash HandsCPS Policies & Procedures
In addition to our current COVID-19 policies and procedures, which align with the end of the COVID-19 Federal Emergency on May 11, 2023, we ask that all students, families, and staff remain vigilant. Please continue to monitor for symptoms, use COVID tests as necessary, and stay home when you are not feeling well. Masking and hand washing are also great ways to protect yourself and others against illnesses.

Take the Community Health Equity Survey
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is conducting a survey to collect information from people and communities whose voices have not been adequately represented in the past. The Community Health Equity Survey will help the state learn about community health needs so it can plan resources and support near you.

Free Food Markets

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.

Upcoming markets:

  • Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 31
    3 - 4:30PM (MLK School & Putnam Ave Upper School)
  • See the full list of free food markets for the 2023-2024 school year.
Grammy Award Winning Musician Visits Amigos!

Grammy Winning

Amigos students recently had the pleasure of enjoying an afternoon with Grammy Award winning musician Eduardo Betancourt, who participated in the school’s Hispanic/Latino Heritage Spirit Day! Eduardo played his Camac harp and interacted with students, inspiring them to love traditional Venezuelan music.

We are so appreciative of his visit and our music teachers Ms. Hamel, Mr. Hernández, and Mr. Reyes, who made this event possible.

Harvard-Smithsonian Science Research Mentoring Program


Earlier this month, some of our high school students, who participate in the Harvard-Smithsonian Science Research Mentoring Program, a yearlong after school program at the Center of Astrophysics, celebrated women in STEM at the university’s Celebrating Women Astrophysicists and the History of Cosmic Discovery event. It was a fantastic evening, which was also attended by Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll!

Mark Your Calendar

Tuesday, November 7 | Staff Professional Learning Day (No School)
Friday, November 10 | Veterans Day (observed) (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Wednesday, November 15 | Early Release (Grades JK-8)
Wednesday, November 22 | Early Release (All Grades)
Thursday, November 23-Friday, November 24 | Thanksgiving Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Monday, December 25 - Tuesday, January 2 | Winter Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed on December 25 & 29 & January 1)
Tuesday, January 2 | Staff Professional Learning Day (No School)
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