Greer Gazette: November 13, 2023

Greer Gazette: November 13, 2023
Posted on 11/13/2023

Greetings CPS Community!

I hope you had a restful weekend. It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the end of 2023.

I am excited for the first Family-Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour this Wednesday evening at 6:30PM. I look forward to chatting with you about our schools and listening to your input and feedback. Please register through the link below.

Outcomes DashboardOur interactive District Outcomes Dashboard is now available! The dashboard allows us to share the progress being made for each of our student outcomes at the school and district level. It is important for me to ensure that we communicate the progress that is being made in the district. As we work to continuously improve our district, a primary goal is that there is high quality instruction happening everyday in all of our classrooms. I encourage you to explore the dashboard and become familiar with it.

Lastly, I am excited to announce that we will be launching the first School and District Climate Survey since 2020. Your feedback will inform decisions, support our goal to create a more responsive, welcoming, and inclusive school community as well as contribute to the ongoing implementation of our District Plan. Stay tuned for more information this week!

Make it Great!


Dr. Victoria L. Greer

Interim Chief Financial Officer Appointed

Ivy Washington

We are pleased to share that Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Claire Spinner has been appointed the next Deputy City Manager of Finance for the City of Cambridge. This is a wonderful opportunity for CFO Spinner. She will be with us until December 31. Please join me in celebrating Claire and wishing her well in her new position.

Assistant Director of Budget and Financial Operations, Ms. Ivy Washington, will serve as interim CFO until a search and interview process is completed and a replacement is found.

Ms. Washington has served as our Assistant Director of Budget and Financial Operations since 2018. She has been instrumental in implementing our online budget book and the improvements that we have made in our community engagement and outreach efforts for our annual budget process.We are currently in the process of developing the recruiting and interview timeline which will be shared next week. There will be a comprehensive recruiting, search, and interview process and this information will be shared in an upcoming Gazette.


Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour This Wednesday

Virtual Dinner

Monthly on Wednesdays from 6:30 - 7:30PM
Register here for this Wednesday, November 15!

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

Cambridge Preschool Program Application Opens in less than 3 weeks, on 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.

Cambridge Preschool Program Partners

What does CPP mean for CPS?

Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness

Trans Awareness Week leads up to what has traditionally been known as Trans Day of Remembrance, a day to remember trans people who died in the previous year due to anti-trans violence. Trans people, especially trans women of color, continue to be at a high risk of violence due to widespread and increasing transphobia and anti-trans hate. More recently, the day has been reframed as Trans Day of Resilience, to put the focus on people's lives rather than deaths.

Our goal in Cambridge Public Schools is that every child thrive as their full self. We know that when young people are supported in exploring and expressing who they are, they are happier and healthier in all aspects of their lives. In honor of Trans Awareness Week, you may want to read some of the stories of these inspiring young trans activists who are fighting for kids like themselves to have that support.

Nearly every school in Cambridge has a thriving club or group for LGBTQ+ students, the children of LGBTQ+ caregivers, and their allies.

Kindergarten Lottery Information Sessions


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:

SnowflakesNeed Help with Heating Bills? Apply for Fuel Assistance

The Cambridge Fuel Assistance Program is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 season. The program helps residents pay their winter heating bills between November 1 and April 30. Learn more about how to qualify and fill out the application here.

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.

Check out our flyer with tips on what you can do at home!

Register for Winter Sports

Winter Sports

Registration for Winter Athletics is open through next Tuesday, November 21.

Health Updates

Schools Will Distribute COVID Tests to Students
Next week, COVID test kits will be distributed to every student ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. We encourage every student and staff member to take a rapid test before returning to school on Monday, November 27.

  • If negative and do not have symptoms, we will see you at school.
  • If positive or negative but have symptoms, please stay home and notify the school as you would for any other excused absence.

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.

November 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.

  • *Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 14 | 1:30 - 3:30PM (Graham & Parks School)
    *This Thursday, November 16 | 3:15 - 5:15PM (Peabody School/Rindge Avenue Upper Campus)
  • Tuesday, November 28 | 3 - 4:30PM (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School/Putnam Ave Upper School)
  • Wednesday, November 29 | 1:45 - 3:45PM (Fletcher Maynard Academy)
  • Wednesday, November 29 | 2 - 4PM (Kennedy-Longfellow School/Vassal Lane Upper School)
  • See the full list of free food markets for the 2023-2024 school year.
Cambridge “Bike Bus” trip to Peabody School Featured in the Globe

Cambridge’s “bike bus” caught the attention of the Boston Globe, which recently featured the weekly ritual! The “bike bus” to Peabody School allows students to ride their bikes with their community while raising awareness about bike safety! Great job!

King Open Occupational Therapist Honored


King Open School’s Brij Maliya was recently awarded the Herbert Hall Award for Outstanding Service in the Occupational Therapy Profession at the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapy Conference in Norwood!

Colleague, Ms. Fay Burgess Backert, who said “when there is a related service question, Brij is our go to person. Brij is a powerful resource based on his passion for the OT profession, years of experience, and willingness to continue to learn and grow in the field of Occupational Therapy.” Congratulations Mr. Maliya…we are proud of you!

Morse Librarian Recognized as State Super Librarian

Sarah Pennell

More Elementary School librarian Sarah Pennell has been awarded the 2023 Massachusetts Super Librarian Award! This award recognizes exemplary school librarians who have been working in the field for six or more years and who have distinguished themselves through library programs that enhance student learning. Ms. Pennell will be celebrated at the Massachusetts School Library Association Annual Conference in March. Congratulations Ms. Pennell…we are proud of you!

Mark Your Calendar

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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