Message from Superintendent Greer: April 4, 2022

Message from Superintendent Greer: April 4, 2022
Posted on 04/04/2022

Greetings CPS Community!

Spring is definitely in the air and I am looking forward to warmer and brighter days.

We have spent the past several months focused on listening and learning so that we could develop a comprehensive draft FY23 budget that responds to the data and needs of our school community. I am happy to share that after multiple community engagement opportunities and public hearings, the School Committee will vote on the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023 tomorrow evening. I am grateful to everyone who shared their thoughts and questions over the last several months.

The district planning process officially kicks off this Wednesday with centering the voices of our students who are leading the first phase of the process by developing our mission, vision and core values. I am excited to partner with our students to build the foundation of our multi-year district plan. I look forward to engaging you in this process and sharing more with you soon!

We are gearing up for the April vacation week by giving out a take home rapid test to every student and staff member. It is expected that the test will be taken on Sunday, April 24, the day before school reopens. If your child tests positive, please notify the school.

Thank you for your engagement and continued support.

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


Student-Led District Plan Design

The Superintendent’s Student Design Group, which is made up of 20 students in grades 5-12 from across the district, will lead the design of the district’s mission, vision and core values. They will meet for their first brainstorming workshop this Wednesday. We can’t wait to share what they come up with! Keep an eye for pictures from this week’s session in next Monday’s newsletter!

What We’re Celebrating This Month

World Autism Month

April is World Autism Month. This year marks 15 years since the official designation!
Throughout the month, we will focus on sharing stories with and providing opportunities for our students to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism.

School Library Month

School Library Month is a time to celebrate the essential role that school librarians and strong school library programs, including our wonderful Cambridge Public Schools Library Team, play in transforming learning. Visit American Association of School Librarians to learn more about School Library Month


MCAS Testing Begins in Grades 3-8

Every spring, students across the state 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 understand that you may have questions about MCAS. As we begin MCAS testing in grades 3 through 8, here are some key facts:

  • Federal and state law require that all students in grades 3 through 8 take the MCAS in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Students in grades 5 and 8 must also take it in Science, Technology & Engineering (STE).
  • There will be no negative impact to students based on their MCAS results or a family’s refusal to participate.
  • The state uses MCAS participation rates and results in its accountability system to identify schools and/or districts in need of support.
  • CPS uses a range of assessment tools to understand student progress and areas of need.
  • This year, our 5th and 8th grade students are part of an exciting opportunity to pilot a new science assessment, which includes activities featuring interactive science simulations. These simulations allow students to conduct investigations, create and explore models and solve science or engineering problems using scenarios featuring real-life problems. The goal of the pilot is to gather initial information and feedback that will help create an engaging, equitable and innovative test in future years. There are no scores attached to participation in the pilot. Your child will receive a score report only from the session with MCAS questions.
For more information, check out this FAQ.

April Vacation Upper School Math Programs

April Math Immersion Program (Grades 6 - 8)

The April Math Immersion Program is a four-day in-person math experience at Putnam Avenue Upper School where grade 6 through8 students engage in activities that will enhance their math competencies connected to the common core standards. Teachers will partner with Young People's Project Math Literacy Workers to engage students in math games each day. This program is free and includes lunch. Student transportation is not provided.

  • Tuesday, April 19 - Thursday, April 21; 10:30AM - 2:30PM
  • Friday, April 22; 10:30AM - 12:30PM
  • Register here

VIRTUAL Grade 8 CORE Math Program (Grade 8 only)

The Grade 8 Math CORE Program will engage students in activities that help them continue to develop their mathematical skills through online asynchronous modules and synchronous sessions as determined by a facilitating teacher. The modules review content and skills related to the first four units of the general Grade 8 curriculum.

  • Tuesday, April 19 - Thursday, April 21
Register here

Watch Encanto, Receive a $25 Gift Cardand Get Vaccinated!

Meet the character Mirabel from the movie Encanto and get vaccinated against COVID! Children, ages 5 to 17, who get vaccinated will receive a $25 gift card.


Both events are from 9AM - 12PM. Walk-ins welcome or register here.

  • This Saturday, April 9 at the Malden Care Center located at 195 Canal Street in Malden
  • Saturday, April 30 at Somerville Pediatrics located at 236 Highland Avenue in Somerville

Caught Doing Good

CRLS Students Advance to Finals in National Chinese Speech Contest


Congratulations to Masato Hall, Mehelet Asnake and Farai Sundai who recently competed in the semi-finals of the National Chinese Speech Contest. They all advanced to the finals along with Amy Zhou, who will advance to the finals in the Heritage group. The virtual finals are this Saturday. We are so proud of you and best of luck!








38 Upper School Students Sworn in as Peer Mediators

Congratulations to our 38 newest peer mediators from Putnam Avenue and Vassal Lane Upper Schools!

Last week, they took the Oath of Confidentiality with the Cambridge Police Department and will now assist in peer mediation at their schools.

Way to go!

Rollin’ and Summer Resources

Our Rollin’ and Summer Resources event held last Saturday was a big success! Thank you to all of the families who participated and the team who put on this wonderful event!


Are you proud of something happening in your school, classroom or program? Share your “Caught Doing Good” story with [email protected].

Featured Events

Cambridge Community Iftar



Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui’s Office, the Cambridge Public Schools’ Muslim Affinity Committee, the City’s Employees’ Committee on Diversity and the Islamic Society of Boston will

host a community iftar. The event will take place at the Cambridge Street Upper School located at 850 Cambridge Street.


The iftar is the evening meal where Muslims break their fast after sunset during the Holy month of Ramadan. Stop by for a community meal, mingling and to learn more about this custom from our students and guest speakers. In addition, there will be a prayer area for the evening prayer (Magrib).


Wednesday, April 13 | 6:15PM


This event is free and all are welcome.

After Nearly 3 Years, CRLS Art Exhibition Returns to MCAC!

Through this Friday, April 8, grades 9-12 will be showcasing their artwork at the Multicultural Arts Center (MCAC). The show is in-person!


If you missed the JK-8 art exhibition, catch the virtual galleryhere!

School Calendar

CPS 2021-22 School calendar


All Schools and Admin Offices Closed:

  • Friday April 15 | Good Friday
  • Monday, April 18 - Friday, April 22 | April Break (**Admin Offices Only Closed on Monday, April 18 for Patriot’s Day**)
  • Monday, May 30 | Memorial Day
  • Monday, June 20 | Juneteenth (Observed)

In Case You Missed It: Key Resources

2022-23 JK/K Lottery: Closed for the 2022-23 school year; If you are interested in registering your child, visit our registration webpage for more information.

April Lunch Menu: Week 1 (April 4 - April 8)

COVID-19 Testing/At-Home Weekly Testing Forms: Log in to the Family Portal

COVID-19 Testing & Quarantine Protocols

CPS Quarantine Instructional Guidelines for SY2021-22

Free Internet for Qualifying Families: Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program

Pictures of the Week

Student Design Celebrates World Autism Month


Thank you to postgraduate student Santiago Pineda for designing this meaningful and thoughtful graphic in recognition of World Autism Month!

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