Community Update: April 13, 2020

Community Update: April 13, 2020
Posted on 04/13/2020

Dear CPS Community,

As we enter another week of school closure, I hope this message finds your family healthy and safe. Like you, my own family also continues to navigate how to balance child care, home learning, and professional responsibilities as part of this new normal. Below are a few important updates: 

  • General expectations for participating in distance learning: As a followup to the Distance Learning & Support Plan shared last week, please see the linked expectations for appropriate behavior and conduct as well as information related to student privacy during this remote/distance learning environment. While we are participating in a new way of engagement and learning, school rules remain in effect for students as they engage in large group, small group or individual virtual settings. 

  • State Cancels Spring MCAS Testing: The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has announced it is canceling this spring’s regular administration of grade-level MCAS tests for students in grades 3-10. We are also waiting on updated state guidance on the impact of this decision on requirements for high school graduation.

  • CPS School Meals Program to Continue During April Break: We have arranged with a third party contractor to provide free meal distribution at the 8 meal distribution sites during school vacation week.

  • Apply to Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: The Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund is established to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing extreme financial hardship due to the current COVID-19 crisis. The funds will primarily be allocated for rent or mortgage payments and/or utility payments, but may also be allocated for essential household needs. A maximum payment per household will apply­­­—no household is eligible for an overall payment exceeding $4000 at this time.

    To be eligible, applicants must­:

    • Be Cambridge residents: Tenants or homeowners who are supported by the City’s Homebuyer Resources
    • Have had income at or below 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) prior to the COVID-19 crisis
    • Demonstrate a significant loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
For more information about funding caps and proof-of-eligibility documents, please visit the online application page.

Applications opened today on Monday, April 13, and residents may apply online or over the phone with a staff person by calling 617.349.9797. Language support will be available in Amharic, Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish.
  • Reminder - Complete the Census: Don’t forget to fill out the Census to make sure Cambridge is represented in the US Congress and in the Massachusetts Legislature. It directly affects the allocation of over $880 billion per year in federal assistance, which for Cambridge is estimated to more than $2,000 in federal funding per resident. Learn more >>

As always, thank you for your support and partnership.


Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.

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