Greer Gazette: September 18, 2023

Greer Gazette: September 18, 2023
Posted on 09/18/2023

Greetings CPS Community…

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that everyone is back to their school year routine.

We accomplished a great deal last year with four of our District Plan’s strategic initiatives and made significant progress on others that will continue to be implemented this year. As we settle into the new school year, I want to share some of the focused initiatives and projects we are focusing on this year to ensure each of our students and their families have a successful and positive experience in our schools.

Vision and Mission1. Align instructional practices and resources to our teaching and learning framework across content areas and grade bands.

  • We will begin implementing learning walks this school year to observe practices across schools and classrooms to learn from one another and ensure alignment of our teaching practices.

2. Establish robust multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) to support students’ academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs.

  • We are continuing the work to ensure that we support our students in all areas to set them up for success.

3. Implement a system of individualized student success planning and supports that prepare students for effective transitions and post-graduation success.

  • We have partnered with Harvard ReDesign Lab to help us develop and implement processes for individualized student success plans.

4. Embed college & career exploration and experiences across the JK-12 continuum.

  • We will expand Upper School career exploration for middle schoolers, continue to leverage Falcon Block to support high school students, and begin exploring age appropriate career exploration for elementary students.

5. The planning and implementation of the Cambridge Preschool Program, or Universal Preschool, in the 2024-2025 school year.

  • CPP is a publicly-funded program and a joint partnership between us, the City of Cambridge, and the Department of Human Service Programs. It will provide free preschool to the families of all 4-year-olds and some 3-year-olds. You can learn more about eligibility and the application process below.

6. Later this fall, we will share the findings of our Buildings Condition study, which will inform the management and maintenance of our facilities.

Tomorrow, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will release the MCAS and accountability results for the 2022-2023 school year. We look forward to sharing the data with you, specifically identifying areas that we have made gains and improved as well as areas for needed improvement.

Finally, a gentle reminder that this Wednesday is our first Early Release Day for Grades JK-8. Also, there is no school next Monday, September 25 in observance of Yom Kippur. Therefore, the next issue of the Greer Gazette will be shared on Tuesday, September 26.

Make it Great!


Dr. Victoria L. Greer


Find Your Flight Plan Today!

District Plan

We hope that you are settling into the new school year…it’s such an exciting time! For those who are new to our school community and those who have been with us, our collective work is guided by our District Plan…our “north star.”

To learn more about the plan in just 1 minute, check out this cute animated video! The characters represent our wonderfully diverse student body as they learn and grow with us from preschool to high school. Find your flight plan today! To learn more, visit

 After School Resource Guide


Our After School Opportunities for JK-8th Graders Guide outlines all of the after school programs and opportunities available to your child across the City of Cambridge. It includes an overview of each program, timing, location, ages served, and cost.

Back-to-School Events

Back to School Events

Our schools are hosting various back-to-school events, including open houses and other festivities, to help you get acquainted and meet other members of the school community.

  • Find the schedule of events on our website.

What We Are Celebrating
National IT Professionals Day
Tomorrow, September 19, is National IT Professionals Day. Our Information, Communication, Technology & Services (ICTS) Department is an essential part of our operations, providing the technical infrastructure and services necessary to support teaching, learning, and administration. Our students and staff benefit from their support on a daily basis.

We are so appreciative of our ICTS team’s hard work today and every day!

Cambridge Preschool Program Coming in SY24-25

Preschool Program

The Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP)
, also known as Universal Preschool, is a publicly-funded program and a joint partnership between the City of Cambridge, the Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP), and Cambridge Public Schools (CPS).

  • CPP will provide free preschool to the families of all 4-year-olds and some 3-year-olds.
  • A child is eligible for CPP if they live in Cambridge and are:
  • 4 years old by August 31, 2024 for 4-year-old programs; or
  • 3 years old by August 31, 2024 for 3-year-old programs (please note there will be limited seats for 3-year-olds and there may be additional eligibility requirements)
  • The universal online application (paper applications will also be available) will open this winter and be managed by the Office of Early Childhood.
    • When completing the application, families will identify the programs they are interested in.
    • Families will then be matched with a preschool program based on the information they provided and program capacity.
    • Following the matching process, enrollment will be completed by CPS, DHSP, Head Start, or the community-based program.

What does CPP mean for CPS?

  • CPP will replace our 3-year-old lottery, which was held in October, and our Junior Kindergarten lottery, which was held in January.
  • CPS will still hold its Kindergarten lottery in January for children turning 5 years old by Aug 31, 2024.

Learn more:

Join the CPS Team

Cambridge Public Schools is seeking to hire talented education professionals for positions including Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides, and Substitutes for the 2023 - 2024 school year! We look forward to recruiting and hiring excellent educators to join our school communities for the upcoming school year.

Education Job Fair
Anyone who is interested in a career in education is invited to meet with employers and learn about job openings in Cambridge. We are proud to be a featured employer alongside Bright Horizons, the city’s Department of Human Services Programs, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Perkins School for the Blind.

  • When: This Thursday, September 21 | 11 - 1PM
  • Where: 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor
  • Resume and application support is available for Cambridge residents by appointment.
  • Questions? Call 627.349.6259 or email [email protected].

Featured Events

Latinx Heritage Month Celebration
The City of Cambridge is celebrating National Hispanic/Latinx/e Heritage Month by offering a free cooking class. Learn how to make your own arepas at Cambridge Cooks: Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with Tres Latinas!

  • When: Tomorrow, September 19 | 6 - 7PM
  • Where: Cambridge Public Library Main Branch (449 Broadway)

Danehy Park Family Day
The City of Cambridge invites you to Danehy Park Family Day for family-friendly activities, arts & crafts, children’s amusement rides, entertainment, free food, and giveaways!

  • When: This Saturday, September 23 | 11 - 3PM
  • Where: Danehy Park (located at 99 Sherman Street)
  • Free shuttle buses will be running through Cambridge to and from Danehy Park.
  • See the schedule of events.
  • Questions? Contact Matt at [email protected] or Adam at [email protected]

Free Parenting Classes
My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge is offering a free 12-week program to help parents and caregivers identify and create their own style of parenting that reflects their personal vision and values. Hands-on activities and guided discussions will build knowledge and skills that support you as a parent and role model.

COVID-19 Policy and Procedures

Throughout the pandemic, we prioritized safe, in-person learning and made significant investments in a comprehensive plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We worked closely with the Cambridge Public Health Department and our school leaders to monitor the public health situation, gather input from scientific, medical, and educator experts (Health, Safety, and Facilities Working Group), and update our policies and procedures as necessary. 

Below is a summary of our current policies and procedures, which align with the end of the COVID-19 Federal Emergency on May 11, 2023. Please note that we are poised to again respond quickly if conditions change. 

  • Isolation Guidance: Students and staff members who test positive must isolate at home for 5 days. They can return on day 5 if asymptomatic and fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications. A mask must be worn on days 6-10. 
  • Testing Plan: Our four-part plan focuses on targeted at-home testing after school breaks. 
  • Vaccination: Students are no longer required to be fully vaccinated to participate in school-sponsored before and after school activities. 
  • Masking: With the exception of the Nurse’s Office, masks continue to be optional in all school buildings. 
  • Ventilation: Every school has maximized air circulation through a combination of central systems, HEPA filters, windows, and fans. Regular air quality testing is also conducted and outdoor learning is periodically utilized.

Rowing Offered to Upper School Students This Fall


We are delighted to share that we are partnering with Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI) and Cambridge Boat Club (CBC) to expand our Physical Education curriculum and give upper school students the opportunity to participate in indoor rowing classes and on-water field trips.

CRI’s Let’s Row Program aims to break down barriers by introducing students to the historically privileged sport of rowing. Certified coaches and indoor rowing machines will be brought right to our schools as part of curriculum-based programming that meets physical education standards and incorporates games, peer support, and competition in each lesson plan. Students can also take field trips to row on the Charles River and participate at no-cost in the country’s largest indoor youth rowing competition this spring. Read more about the partnership.

Tobin Students Make Their Mark on the New Building


As we have shared, construction is underway on a new state-of-the-art building that will house the Tobin Montessori School, Vassal Lane Upper School, and multiple City of Cambridge Department of Human Services Programs.

Last week, staff and third through fifth grade students at the Tobin Montessori School had the chance to write their names on a steel beam that will be added to the building. Students and staff at Vassal Lane Upper School will also have this opportunity. The 359,100 square foot facility is expected to open to students in Fall 2025.

Key Resources

Mark Your Calendar

Wednesday, September 20 | Early Release (Grades JK-8)
Monday, September 25 | Yom Kippur (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Monday, October 9 | Indigenous Peoples Day (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Wednesday, October 25 |Early Release (Grades JK-8)
Tuesday, November 7 | Staff Professional Learning Day (No School)
Friday, November 10 | Veterans Day (observed) (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

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