Greer Gazette | February 5, 2024

Greer Gazette | February 5, 2024
Posted on 02/05/2024

Greetings CPS Community!

Thank you to those of you who were able to participate in last week’s community budget meeting. I am grateful to those who collaborated with us to ensure that this was an engaging experience for caregivers. Your insight and feedback throughout this process ensures that we will develop a budget that supports the needs of our students and addresses the striking achievement gaps.

I encourage you to engage with your School Councils to learn about the work happening in your schools and how you can contribute to supporting our educators and making improvements alongside school leaders. I am very excited to share an update with the School Committee tomorrow evening about the progress we are making in addressing Chronic Absenteeism as well as engaging in further discussion with the School Committee in developing the Fiscal Year 2025 draft budget proposal.

In preparation for implementing additional learning time in schools this fall, we will launch a series of community discussions and information sessions this month. The meetings will be organized by triads, where the group of elementary schools and upper school communities will meet together. The dates and times for those meetings will be shared soon.

As we say hello to February, we are placing special emphasis on the contributions of the African American community. In CPS, we believe that black history should not only be taught and recognized during February, but throughout the year.

Thank you for your continued support.

Make it Great!

2024-2025 Budget
Register for Next Week’s Community Budget Meeting with MBK

MBKMy Brothers Keeper (MBK) Cambridge will facilitate a community budget process discussion. The Cambridge Public Schools community is welcome to join this hybrid (in-person and virtual) engagement/ information session. Students are welcome to participate as well!

When: Tuesday, February 13 | 6 - 8PM (Dinner will be served at 5:30PM)
Where: My Brothers Keeper Cambridge (310 Massachusetts Ave.)

  • To register to attend in-person or virtually, click here. Please note that we have created two events in the portal. One is to sign up for the in-person option and the other is to sign up for the virtual option.
  • Childcare will be provided.

The 2024-2025 budget aims to align resources to objectives and initiatives outlined in the CPS District Plan. Your feedback is needed to fully inform budget priorities for the upcoming school year. Together, we will briefly review budget basics and the District Plan; attendees will share their thoughts on budget priorities with Administration.

Tips for Understanding the Budget:

  • School Council meetings offer insight into what your school has strategically outlined as a fiscal priority to support learning in their classroom communities. Access upcoming School Council meetings here.
  • Review last Tuesday’s School Committee 2024-2025 Budget Process presentation here.
  • Review Dr. Greer’s Proposed 2024-2025 Budget when it is available Tuesday, March 12.
  • Attend the School Committee Budget Workshop on Thursday, March 14.

What We’re Celebrating in February!

The history of Black History Month dates back to 1915 when Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland organized to research and promote achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent. What is known today is that in 1926, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored a national Negro History week during the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In the 1960s, this evolved into Black History Month. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month.

In Cambridge Public Schools, Black history is taught throughout the year. We not only focus on stories of oppression but also agency and joy. In addition to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, our educators teach about lesser-known figures like Bayard Rustin, Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terell, Daisy Bates, and Fannie Lou Hamer.

The Cambridge Public Library is hosting musical performances, poetry readings, cooking programs and more throughout the month honoring Black history! See program details here.

Celebrate and learn more about local icons in Black history by exploring the Cambridge Black Trailblazers digital library here.

Black History Month

"Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it."
–Marian Wright Edelman, Activist for Civil Rights & Children's Rights

CTECareer and Technical Education Month celebrates the value of Career and Technical Education (CTE). CTE Programs prepare students to graduate with skills and credentials that will help them make informed decisions about future careers.

Rindge School of Technical Arts (RSTA) offers 13 CTE Pathways. Students in grade 8 who are preparing to select courses for grade 9 should consider the Grade 9 Exploratory course, which gives students the opportunity to experience all the programs that RSTA has to offer in their first semester. Students are then able to engage in RSTA programs of study through sequential offerings throughout their high school career. This programming provides students with the ability to earn industry-recognized credentials, certifications and licenses, career exploration opportunities, such as cooperative learning during their senior year, and college credits during their high school experience.

Learn more about the career pathways available to RSTA students here. Hear from students about their experiences with RSTA by watching the video below!

RSTA Video

Lunar New YearThe Lunar New Year begins this Saturday, February 10, and is one of the most important celebrations for people of East and Southeast Asian descent. It is usually celebrated for 15 days from the first new moon of the lunar calendar until the full moon arrives. China’s Lunar New Year is known as the Spring Festival. Koreans call it Seollal, and Vietnamese refer to it as Tết Nguyên Đán. The holiday began as a time for feasting and to honor household and heavenly deities, as well as ancestors. It is a time to put the past behind and look forward to a fresh start. Happy Year of the Dragon!

Celebrate with Chinese American Association of Cambridge
The 5th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration is an event that will feature traditional demonstrations and performances such as Peking Opera, Chinese paper cutting, Asian ballet, Kung Fu and more!

 National School Counseling Week (February 5-9) is sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and aims to highlight the tremendous impact that school counselors have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. In CPS, our school counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their strengths, abilities, interests, and talents to enhance their academic, career, and social emotional development. A huge thank you to each and every one of you for your commitment to working towards building an educational experience where students can realize their potential and set optimistic aspirations for themselves.. Your dedication, and role is integral to student success!

MBTA Red Line Closure February 5 – 14: Community ‘Need to Knows’

Beginning today through next Wednesday, February 14, there will be no service on the Red Line from Alewife to Harvard Square from start of service to 8:45PM. The closures will extend to Park Street from 8:45PM to close of service.

  • From start of service to 8:45PM, shuttle buses will replace Red Line service between Alewife and Harvard Square.
  • From 8:45PM to close of service, shuttles will replace Red Line service between Alewife and Park Street.

Free shuttle buses will be available and ADA accessible. The route will remain the same. Check out the City of Cambridge flyer here to learn more.

What does this mean for you?
We encourage you to plan for longer than average commute times, whether you are driving, taking a shuttle, or riding the bus. The closures will likely cause increased road traffic as well as reduced street parking in some areas along the shuttle route.

For additional information, visit the MBTA website.

Scholarship Opportunities

ScholarshipCambridge Rindge and Latin Scholarship
The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Scholarship application is open to CRLS 24’ students now through March 1!

By submitting your application using this portal, you will have the option to also apply to the City of Cambridge Scholarship below.

City of Cambridge Scholarship Application Open Through March 4

For 32 years, the Scholarship Fund has provided financial assistance to college-bound high school seniors and other Cambridge residents who wish to pursue post-secondary education.

With the increasing cost of higher education, these scholarships help ease the financial burden for many Cambridge individuals and families.

Listed below are the Scholarship application eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a resident of Cambridge; (All ages may apply);
  • Must attend, received admittance to, or have an application pending at an accredited education institution beyond high school level prior to award date of May 2024;
    Scholarship is paid directly to an educational institution and must be used during 2024-2025 academic year; and
  • Prior recipients are NOT eligible as the City Scholarship Award is one-time only.
  • Interested residents may apply online and obtain appropriate signatures before submitting it for consideration. Questions and requests for paper applications via mail can be directed to the Finance Department at 617.349.4220 or [email protected].
Safety & Security Playbook

As we begin another semester and new families enroll in the district, we wanted to share information about our safety and security resources. We encourage you to review our Safety & Security Playbook, which is a comprehensive resource that outlines both the caregiver and district roles for preventative safety measures.

In the event of a school or district emergency, we will communicate with you often and CPD will also use their channels to share the latest information. Please understand that in emergency situations, which are continuously changing, accurate information is critical and may take time to gather.

Featured Events & Opportunities

Family Foundry Festival

Foundry Festival

Looking for free, family-centered fun over February vacation? The Foundry Consortium invites families to join the second annual Family Festival!

  • When: February 17 - 24
  • Where: The Foundry (101 Rogers Street, Cambridge)

Embracing this year’s theme of “Change Making”, attendees can experience art, design and STEM programs that drive social change. All ages and skill levels are welcome to participate in as many activities as they wish! Explore programming here.

Free Science Club for Girls…Apply Today!

Science Club for Girls' mission is to foster excitement, confidence, and literacy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for girls and gender-expansive youth from underrepresented communities by providing free, experiential programs and by maximizing meaningful interactions with women-in-STEM mentors.

  • Clubs will begin the week of February 26 and run for 8 weeks. Programs will be held virtually via zoom or in-person; to offer flexibility and convenience, participants are able to choose one of six weekly meeting times. 
    • Mondays | 4 - 5PM (virtual)
    • Tuesdays | 4:30 - 5:30PM  (virtual)
    • Thursdays | 4 - 5PM (virtual)
    • Fridays | 3 - 4:15PM (Amigos School located at 15 Upton Street)
    • Saturdays | 10:30 - 11:30AM  (virtual)
    • Saturdays | 10:30 - 11:30AM  (Prospect Hill Academy located at 50 Essex Street)
    • Saturdays | 10:30 - 11:30AM  (University Park located at 65 Franklin Street)
  • Space is limited…apply today! **Registering is not a guarantee of acceptance. You will be notified as soon as possible regarding an available space for your child.**

Participants in our virtual programs will use Zoom via a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone with internet access. All other materials will be provided free of charge and distributed at a convenient location prior to the first week of clubs.

Upcoming 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, February 13 | 1:30 - 3:30PM (Grahams and Parks School)
  • Thursday, February 15 | 3:15 - 5:15PM (Peabody School/Rindge Avenue Upper School)
  • Tuesday, February 27 | 3 - 4:30PM (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School/Putnam Ave Upper School)
  • Wednesday, February 28 | 1:45 - 3:45PM (Fletcher Maynard Academy)
  • Wednesday, February 28 | 2 - 4PM (Kennedy-Longfellow School/Vassal Lane Upper School)
  • See the full list of free food markets for the 2023-2024 school year.

Gatorade Athlete of the Year

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Junior Aoife Shovlin has been selected Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year for Massachusetts! The award, which celebrates the nation’s top high school athletes for excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in the community, distinguishes Shovlin as Massachusetts’ best high school girls cross country player. Aoife is a 2-time Cross Country State Champion. She took 10th at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional, becoming the only Massachusetts runner to qualify for Nationals, where she finished 32nd. Aoife also finished ninth in the featured Eastern States Championship race at the Manhattan Invitational—clocking a personal best of 14 minutes and 59 seconds for 2.5 miles—the largest meet on the East Coast. Congratulations Aoife!

Equity and Empathy in Action at CRLS Youth Equity Summit

We are incredibly proud of the work our Office of Equity, Inclusion & Belonging are continuously doing to build school communities where students feel uplifted and can be their true selves. In January, high school students planned a day of workshops and activities centered around the theme, “How can I take action for equity and empathy in my community?” Students led workshops about the equity topics that are most important to them. They also had the opportunity to sign up for volunteer opportunities with community organizations, learn from a panel of young activists, and cheered for their peers participating in Unified Basketball.

Youth Summitt

Key Resources

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, February 19 - Friday, February 23
  |  February Break  (No School & CPS Offices Closed on Monday, February 19)
Tuesday, March 5  |  Staff Professional Development Day  (No School)
Wednesday, March 13 |  Early Release  (Grades JK-8)
Friday, March 29 |  Good Friday  (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

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