Greer Gazette: December 4, 2023

Greer Gazette: December 4, 2023
Posted on 12/04/2023

Greetings CPS Community!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s December!

We are very proud to share that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has nominated Morse Elementary School as a 2023 National ESEA Distinguished School in the category of exceptional student performance and academic growth. Each year, DESE nominates only two schools across the Commonwealth for the national honor. You can read more about the nomination in our press release.

Our Climate Survey is now open! You can find the link below and on our website. Please share your feedback about your experiences in our schools and district. Your insight will help us to learn and improve. The survey is available in Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Haitian Creole & Spanish (use the dropdown menu in the top left corner) and will be open through next Friday, December 15. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful responses!

The Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP) application is also officially open through January 15. As we have shared, CPP will begin next school year, providing free preschool to the families of all 4-year-olds. You can find additional information below. If your family needs support with how to search for or select programs that meet your child and family’s needs, please contact the Office of Early Childhood at [email protected].

We are very excited for our first State of the Schools on Monday, December 18. I will highlight and uplift the meaningful work being done in each of our schools to ensure each of our students is experiencing a high-quality education, the intentional initiatives centering equity, and the richness in skill and dedication of our tremendous staff. I will also elevate opportunities for growth and challenges the district is facing. The event will be livestreamed from 9:30 to 11:30AM in the morning.

Thank you for your continued support.

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


Share Your Feedback…Take the Climate Survey Today
Take the SurveyWe are eager to learn from you on how we are doing as we strive to continue to provide high quality learning experiences that meet the needs of all of our scholars. As we have shared, we have partnered with Panorama Education for the survey. Panorama safeguards your privacy, keeping your responses confidential.

You may complete the survey online through next Friday, December 15. Take the survey here or click the image to the right.

Cambridge Preschool Program Now Accepting Applications

The application period for the Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP) is now open! CPP is a publicly funded program that will provide free preschool to families of all 4-year-olds (and some 3-year-olds) across the city in their choice of a variety of program settings. The application window will remain open through Monday, January 15.

To complete the application, click here.

Additional Resources

If your family needs support with how to search for or select programs that meet your child and family’s needs, please contact the Office of Early Childhood at [email protected].

December Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour

Greer Dinner

The Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour is an opportunity for me and members of my team 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.

Monthly on Wednesdays form 6:30 - 7:30PM
Register Here for Wednesday, December 20!

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

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.

Featured Events

Free Webinar: Five Keys to Parenting Children with ADHD
CartwheelOur mental health partner, Cartwheel, is offering another free live webinar to share some parenting strategies to support children with ADHD and help them thrive. Join guest speaker Dr. Erin Gonzalez to learn helpful concepts and specific techniques, which you can put into practice.

Family Math Pop-Up Social
MathThe Family and Community Engagement Team in collaboration with the Math Department would like to invite you to join us for a Family Math Pop-Up Social! This is a great and fun opportunity for families to come together, connect, play, and explore different math games and activities. As always, come and join the festivities, indulge in some delicious food, and participate in our raffle to win some amazing math games.

What makes this social special? Some games and activities will be led by students! And, we are excited to have our community math partners, Young Peoples’ Project (YPP), and MathTalk join us for the evening.

  • When: Thursday, December 14 | 5:30 - 7:30PM
  • Where: Cambridge Street Upper School located at 840 Cambridge Street
  • Register here

Need 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 through April 30Learn more about how to qualify and fill out the application here.

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.

CPS 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.

December 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.

  • Tuesday, December 12 | 1:30 - 3:30PM (Graham & Parks School)
  • Tuesday, December 19 | 3 - 4:30PM (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School/Putnam Ave Upper School)
  • Wednesday, December 20 | 1:45 - 3:45PM (Fletcher Maynard Academy)
  • Wednesday, December 20 | 2 - 4PM (Kennedy-Longfellow School/Vassal Lane Upper School)
  • Thursday, December 21 | 3:15 - 5:15PM (Peabody School/Rindge Avenue Upper Campus)
  • See the full list of free food markets for the 2023-2024 school year.

Amigos Students Celebrate El Día de los Muerto (Day of the Dead)


Last month, Amigos second graders enjoyed a morning of celebrating El Día de los Muertos with Bilingual Storytellers, Esther & Karina. The students were completely enthralled by the storytellers with their interpretation of Yo recuerdo abuelito (I Remember Grandpa). They also participated in an art activity and sang a song to end the wonderful morning. A big thank you to Ms. Melisa for coordinating this special event!

4th Grade Haggerty Teacher Recognized as Community Art Educator of the Year

J. Burks

The Massachusetts Arts Education Association (MAEA) recently recognized Haggerty School’s Jennessa Burks as Community Art Educator of the Year! Ms. Burks was honored for her work with communities to create colorful, powerful murals in Massachusetts. Alongside community members she designs and fabricates murals that use visual storytelling to represent the group. She also uses her work to emphasize the therapeutic benefits of art, forging community, and the power of public art. Congratulations to Ms. Burks!

To read more about the award and see Ms. Burks’ work, visit the MAEA website.

Key Resources

Mark Your Calendar


  •  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)
  • Monday, January 15 | Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
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