Greer Gazette: December 18, 2023

Greer Gazette: December 18, 2023
Posted on 12/18/2023
Greetings CPS Community!

As we go into the final week of school for 2023, I am excited to share that our inaugural State of the Schools, which was held this morning, was a wonderful success. It was a pleasure to highlight and uplift the meaningful work being done in all of our schools to ensure each of our students is experiencing a high-quality education and the intentional initiatives centering equity and celebrate students and staff members. I also elevated opportunities for growth and challenges the district is facing. Thank you to everyone who attended, including the state’s Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley. If you were not able to watch the event live, a full recording and highlight video will be available on the website this week. In the meantime, be sure to check out some photos below. We are excited for 2024 and continuing our work each to support students in achieving their highest potential.

Tomorrow, district leaders will present an update on the Cambridge Preschool Program and Budget Equity Audit to the School Committee. Members will also vote on a motion to rename Vassal Lane Upper School to the Darby Vassall Upper School.

If you haven’t already, please complete the District and School Climate Survey by this Friday. You can find the link below and on our website. Your insight will help us to learn and improve. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful responses!

I will host another Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour this Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. This is another opportunity for me to engage with families and caregivers to learn about your experiences with our schools, have meaningful conversations about our schools and school district, and answer any questions that you may have. Please register at the link below. By registering, you will also be able to share topics of interest which will help us plan.

A reminder that this Friday is an early release day for all students. Please note that this is the final issue of the Greer Gazette for 2023. Our next issue will be on January 8, 2024!

I hope your holiday is filled with joy, laughter, and peace. Thank you for your continued support.

See you next year…make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer

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District/School Climate Survey Closes this Friday

Take the SurveyThank you to all of the families and caregivers who have completed our District/School Climate Survey. We value and appreciate your input 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.

You can complete the survey online through this Friday, December 22. Take the survey here or click the image to the right. **Please note that Panorama does not send a confirmation message after a survey is submitted.**

OEIB Announces Equity Collaborative Grants

The Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (OEIB) received a record 48 applications for our annual Equity Collaborative grant! The Equity Collaborative provides funds for students, educators, and caregivers to advance community-driven work to address racism, inequity, injustice, and oppression in Cambridge Public Schools. We are pleased to announce this year's recipients, who will complete their projects in spring 2024.

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 This Wednesday

Greer Dinner

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

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

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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.

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Featured Events

Toy Drive
Toy Icon
Cambridge Public Schools and the Office of Mayor Siddiqui are hosting a Toy Drive! If you have any unopened toys, please feel free to visit any of the designated drop-off locations to donate through this Wednesday, December 20. Donations will be given out to families through The Spot.

You can also donate through the Amazon Wish List at or by scanning the QR code.

QR Code

Drop Off Locations:

Cambridge City Hall (2nd Floor)
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Monday | 8:30AM - 8PM
Tuesday - Thursday | 8:30AM - 5PM
Friday | 8:30AM -12PM

Cambridge Public Schools Lobby
135 Berkshire Street
Monday - Friday | 8AM - 4PM

Annual MLK Day Math Festival

Math CircleJoin Cambridge Math Circle for a fun morning of math games and puzzles on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! The event is free and for all Kindergarten through 8th graders and their families. There will be prizes for the first 150 participants!

  • When: Monday, January 15 | 10AM - 12PM
  • Where: Fletcher Maynard Academy located at 225 Windsor Street
  • Questions? Email [email protected]

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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.

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Health Updates
Schools Will Distribute COVID Tests to Students

This week, COVID test kits will be distributed to every student ahead of the winter break. We encourage every student and staff member to take a rapid test before returning to school after the break.

  • 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.

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.

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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.

  • **Tomorrow, 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.
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Inaugural State of the Schools

State of Schools

We had a wonderful time celebrating our wonderful staff, educators, and students this morning. Here is a snapshot of our Inaugural State of the Schools.

Morse Elementary Shines in Video for National Accolade

Morse Video

Congratulations again to the Morse Elementary School for their national honor! 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 and be sure to check out the video above too!

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Key Resources

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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)
Monday, February 19 - Friday, February 23 | February Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed on Monday, February 19)
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