Message from Superintendent Greer: October 25, 2021

Message from Superintendent Greer: October 25, 2021
Posted on 10/25/2021

Greetings CPS community!

I hope this communication finds you well and in good spirits. It is hard to believe that this is the last week of October and we will soon enter into one of my favorite months, November.

As is the case in schools across the country, many of our students and educators are still readjusting to a return to in-person learning. For some, this transition has been smooth and for others, it has been extremely difficult. Our educators and school leaders are committed to approaching each challenge with patience and in a supportive manner. CPS is committed to leveraging our many resources to ensure the success of each and every one of our students. I continue to engage with stakeholders and reflect on our current district and school practices. We are Cambridge; we will recover and thrive but it will take time.

It is always nice to expand our team to deliver the highest quality of services to our students and families. Please join me in welcoming two of our newest members to the CPS team. Sujata Wycoff, Communications Director, is a former teacher and accomplished journalist who most recently served as Communications Director in Waterbury Public Schools, CT. We are also joined by Michael O’Shea, Early College Coordinator, who has previously worked with First Nation scholars matriculating to college and with Philadelphia youth will support our efforts to ensure that our students are well prepared and ready for their college and/or career experiences after highschool.

I hope that you will join me this Wednesday, October 27, for my monthly Walk and Talk Wednesday. This month I will take a walk around Fresh Pond. Whether it is raining or not, I will be walking and hope you will too.

Last, I want to highlight this week’s COVID Information Sessions (Tuesday and Thursday, from 6 - 7 PM) where I will be joined by public health officials and medical experts to answer CPS family questions about the student vaccination requirements and other COVID-related needs. Register now for the Zoom link.

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer
Interim Superintendent
Cambridge Public Schools

COVID Questions of the Week
See the full FAQ about student vaccinations here.

How do families provide information about student vaccinations and requests for exemptions? Beginning November 8, families will share vaccination information and submit exemption requests through the Family Portal. In the meantime, please do not share this information via email with school staff.

What exemptions are permissible? For exemption requests, families will upload the following standard, written evidence for a medical or religious exemption.

  • Religious Exemption: Explanation in writing from a parent/guardian that a vaccine conflicts with their sincerely held religious belief (in alignment with state law).
  • Medical Exemption: Clear documentation from a doctor or health care provider of a medical condition that makes vaccination risky or unsafe.
  • Students with special needs: Clear documentation from a doctor or health care provider of an issue that would serve as a barrier to vaccination.

What is the deadline for children who turn 12 after November 22 to be fully vaccinated? CPS students have two months from their 12th birthday to comply with the vaccination requirement.

What is the tentative timeline for children under 12 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? We encourage families to make plans to participate in CPHD scheduled vaccination clinics and other opportunities for vaccination, but we have not established a timeline for school requirements for students under age 12 at this time. We will share additional information on the timeline as we learn more.

Does the vaccination requirement apply to after school opportunities run by city or community programs that take place on CPS grounds? No. The requirement only applies to CPS-sponsored after school activities.

Caught Doing Good

Kudos to Principal Ryan Souliotis and the team at the High School Extension Program (HSEP), who are continuously innovating their practices to support our high school students. We have seen our students thrive even more this year by maintaining a 90% attendance rate and 65% of students qualifying for the honor roll.

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

Athletics Reel

On October 21, the Falcons played their first ever Unified Basketball Game. Unified Sports programs are a collaboration with Special Olympics Massachusetts to create teams of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities for training and competition, providing meaningful involvement for both athletes and partners together on one team with one goal.

The Falcons started strong and took a commanding 14 point lead, Waltham fought back and the game ended in a 36-24 Falcon loss. It was a great event, with amazing sportsmanship from both sides! Congrats to the Falcons for this historic event and special thanks to Coaches Eric Chase and Hunter Brochu. Upcoming games for the Falcons: 10/27 @ Malden High School, 11/3 @ Newton South, and 11/9 vs. Watertown High School @CRLS.

Featured Events
COVID Information Sessions
Join Superintendent Greer and featured guests this week for a discussion to answer your questions about COVID-19.

Tuesday | 6 - 7PM: Featured Guests: Dr. Lisa Dobberteen, Chief Medical Officer, Cambridge Public Health Department; Dr. Alisa Khan, Pediatric Hospitalist, Boston Children’s Hospital & CPS Parent; Sarah Swettberg, Nurse Practitioner at CRLS Teen Health Center Tracy-Rose Tynes, Associate Chief, Clinical Practice, Cambridge Public Health Department

Thursday | 6 - 7PM: Featured Guests: Dr. Lisa Dobberteen, Chief Medical Officer, Cambridge Public Health Department; Dr. Alisa Khan, Pediatric Hospitalist, Boston Children’s Hospital & CPS Parent; Sarah Swettberg, Nurse Practitioner at CRLS Teen Health Center.

Register here >>

Families and Children: Team up and Learn Together
Team up to explore new skills while we stretch our brains and talk about self-care.
Six, 1-hour workshops for adults and children (ages 3 and up). Register >>

Building Community with CPS Spanish-Speaking Families
Wednesday, October 27 | 4:30–6PM, Donnelly Field, East Cambridge
We invite CPS Spanish speaking parents and caregivers along with their children to join us for an afternoon of community building. Register >>

Calendar
Tuesday, October 26 | 6 - 7PM COVID Information Session (Register for link)
Wednesday, October | 4:30 - 6:30PM, Building Community with Spanish Speaking Families
Wednesday, October 27 | 5PM, Walk and Talk Wednesday with Superintendent Greer (Fresh Pond)
Thursday, October 28 | 6 - 7PM COVID Information Session (Register for link)
Thursday, November 4 | Diwali Begins
Thursday, November 11 | Schools Closed, Veterans Day
Wednesday, November 24 | Early Release Day, All Schools
Thursday-Friday, November 25 - 26 | Schools Closed, Thanksgiving

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