Greer Gazette: March 28, 2023

Greer Gazette: March 28, 2023
Posted on 03/28/2023

Good evening CPS Community:

I want to thank all of our school community members who provided feedback on the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget at last week’s public hearing. We value each and every one of your thoughts, ideas, and concerns and have appreciated your engagement over the last few months.

As we have shared throughout the development process, the budget was thoughtfully designed to align with our District Plan objectives, initiatives, and outcomes. The investments we are proposing demonstrate our intentionality in narrowing the achievement and opportunity gaps through delivering high-quality instruction, supporting our educators in their professional learning, and centering equity in all of our work.

I would like to address a few areas that have raised some concerns within the community. The district continues to fund a math and literacy interventionist at every elementary school through the general fund budget. The additional interventionists that were placed on the ESSER grant were intended to support students' return to full-time, in-person learning, in anticipation of the educational impact that COVID-related disruptions had on students. They were not intended to be permanent, which those in the positions were made aware of.

The additional paraprofessional position at every elementary school was also added as a temporary position during the pandemic to support the five paraprofessional positions that are already embedded at each school, in addition to those that serve our JK-K classrooms, Sheltered English Immersion Program, and the Office of Student Services.

The adjustments being made in the proposed budget will allow us to make substantial investments in preschool education, curriculum redesign, strategic tutoring, and college and career pathway readiness.

Tonight, there will be another virtual budget workshop as we continue to collaborate with the School Committee to finalize the budget. The School Committee will vote on the proposed budget next Tuesday, April 4.

Thank you for your continued support.

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


Menstrual Health: Products Available At All Schools

We are committed to supporting the menstrual health needs of all of our students, staff, and visitors and ensuring that individuals of all backgrounds, ages, and identities have access to free menstrual products in all of our schools.

  • Menstrual products are available for free in all of our school buildings.

    • Restroom dispensers are refilled as part of regular custodial duties.

    • Products are also available in the school nurse’s office and Health and Wellness classrooms. At the high school, the Teen Health Center is also a resource for products.

  • We are currently piloting free Egal pads-on-a-roll dispensers in our administrative building. We hope to expand this option to restroom stalls at our schools soon.

    • Learn more about the pads-on-a-roll and hear from our COO, David Murphy, in this news story or click on the image below.

To ensure that menstrual products are readily available and easily accessible, we will:

  • Continue to provide free menstrual products in a gender-inclusive manner;

  • Clearly communicate the locations of the products; and

  • Label dispensers with contact information so that staff can be alerted about restocking or repairs.

MCAS Testing This Spring

Every spring, students across the state in grades 3-8 participate in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which are tests that measure the degree to which students are learning the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks relative to the expectations for each grade level.

We strive each year to make MCAS as minimally disruptive to students and teachers and continue to prioritize a consistent, rigorous, and equitable learning experience for all students.We know families may have a lot of questions about MCAS.

  • Please review this letter that was recently shared with parents, guardians, and caregivers of students in grades 3-8.

You can also review our Frequently Asked Questions.

Free Mental Health and Substance Treatment

Massachusetts recently launched a new Behavioral Health Help Line and established 25 Community Behavioral Health Centers, including one in Cambridge, as part of its Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform. These resources are designed to increase access to mental health and substance treatment and offer behavioral health crisis services to anyone in need.

The Behavioral Health Help Line is available24/7, including holidays, and connects individuals and families directly to a full range of treatment services.

  • It offers real-time interpretation in more than 200 languages.

  • It’s free and confidential.

  • No health insurance required.

  • Call or text 833.773.2445, or start a chat here.

The Community Behavioral Health Center is through the Cambridge Health Alliance.

  • Where: Cambridge Hospital (located at 1493 Cambridge Street)

  • Crisis services are open 24/7, including holidays.

  • Outpatient Service sare open:

    • Monday - Friday | 8AM - 8PM

    • Saturday and Sunday | 9AM - 5PM

  • No appointment required.

The state Department of Mental Health also has a Behavioral Health Roadmap Toolkit with information, such as the attached flyer, to help spread the word about the Help Line and Community Behavioral Health Centers.

Youth Equity Summit

Save the Date for this year’s Youth Equity Summit on Thursday, April 13! This is a partnership between the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (OEIB) and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. High school students are currently working hard to plan an amazing day of workshops and events around the theme, “How do equity issues intersect in Cambridge?”

  • If you have an idea for a workshop or any questions about the event, please contact OEIB Youth Advocacy Specialist Sam Musher at[email protected].

Featured Events

Cambridge Community Iftar

The City of Cambridge invites families to attend the Cambridge Community Iftar tomorrow night. Iftar is the evening meal where Muslims break their fast after sunset during the Holy month of Ramadan.

Free Halal food will be served and space will be provided for evening prayer. Guests will learn more about Iftar from guest speakers and our students.

  • Wednesday, March 29 | 6PM

  • Cambridge Street Upper School (located at 850 Cambridge Street)

  • Registration is recommended but not required.

  • To view the full flyer, click here.

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.

Happening this week:

Lace Up Your Sneakers to Support Student-Athletes

The Friends of Cambridge Athletics (FOCA) invites families to participate in the 35th Annual Cambridge CityRun/Walk 5K! Proceeds will fund CRLS athletic teams and scholarships for college-bound student-athletes.

  • Sunday, April 2 | 9AM

  • Fresh Pond Reservation(located at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway)

For more information and to register, click here.

Mark Your Calendar

Friday, April 7 
| Good Friday (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

Monday, April 17 - Friday, April 21 April Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed on Monday, April 17)

Wednesday, May 17 Early Release Day (JK-8 only)

Monday, May 29 | Memorial Day (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

Wednesday, June 7 | Early Release (JK-5 only)

Thursday, June 8 | CRLS Graduation

Monday, June 19 | Juneteenth (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

Thursday, June 22 | Last Day of School and Early Release for All Grades

Key Resources
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