STEM Week; Dyslexia Awareness Month; Equity Fellows Opportunity

STEM Week; Dyslexia Awareness Month; Equity Fellows Opportunity
Posted on 10/19/2020

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Dear CPS Community,

More than seven months after CPS students last walked through our doors, it was wonderful to welcome some students back into school buildings last week. In the coming weeks, we will examine the lessons learned implementing this phase of our back to school timeline and determine how we might increase in-person learning. Of course, we continue working closely with our public health officials and observing statewide guidance regarding the trajectory of this virus. The health and safety of our students and staff remains our number one priority as we move forward.

With students now engaged in remote and in-person learning, our teachers continue to plan rigorous, joyful and culturally responsive learning experiences. We are also focused on achieving a sense of normalcy by focusing on keeping students connected - fostering both strong peer relationships and student/adult relationships. We believe this element of social and emotional learning gives our students tools to help manage stress and anxiety during this uncertain time.

You may have seen that Cambridge City Hall was lighted up in red last week in recognition of Dyslexia Awareness Month. Dyslexia is a learning difference that challenges children to read accurately and fluently. It is not related to intelligence, and while there is no cure, students can learn strategies with proper educational supports. The Cambridge Special Education Parent Advisory Council is helping raise awareness about dyslexia by sharing resources and success stories, including an interview with Dr. Anthony Byers, Principal at Graham and Parks School and an interview with Nathan Brophy, a CRLS 12th grader.

This week is Massachusetts STEM week! The STEAM initiative has put together a week long virtual celebration with a schedule of 70+ virtual STEAM events and activities. Explore opportunities, organized by age group, through Find It Cambridge. This year’s theme is "see yourself in STEAM".

We also want to draw your attention to an opportunity for Community-Driven Equity Projects. Do you have an idea to address racism or inequity in Cambridge Public Schools? If so, apply to get funding for your project by becoming a 2020-21 Equity Fellow! Fellowships are open to youth, caregivers, educators, and community members. Fellows can receive between $1,000-5,000 to fund their project. See more here.

Thanks to the efforts of our CPS teachers and staff and the support of our families, we are off to a positive start this school year. Through our continued collaboration, I know we will successfully meet the needs of our students safely and effectively during this challenging time.


Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.

Upcoming Events:


  • October 19 - 25: STEM Week!
  • October 19 | 6PM: Cambridge Public Library’s Virtual Family Night with Children's Illustrator Bryan Collier.
  • October 21 | 7PM: SEPAC Virtual Listening Party and discussion of APM's Educate Podcast "What the Words Say: Many kids struggle with reading - and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need." RSVP >>
  • October 24 | 10AM-12PM: Joan Lorentz Park outside the Cambridge Main Library, Broadway at Ellery Street: Cambridge Family Resource Fair, featuring back-to-school information and CPS partners, including, Safe Routes to School, Baby U, Families of Color Coalition, STEAM Initiative; and free books, backpacks, and snacks
  • October 28 | 6 - 7:30PM: Cambridge Youth Council Presidential Election Discussion: 
  • November 2: Initial deadline for Equity Fellows
  • November 3: Election Day! Remote Learning for All Students in All Grades
  • November 11: Schools Closed in Observance of Veteran’s Day

Upcoming School Committee Meetings:

  • October 20 | 6PM: Regular Meeting
  • October 27 | 6PM: School Committee roundtable discussion with elementary principals about the opportunities and challenges of this exceptional year
  • October 28 | 6PM: Special Education and Student Supports SubCommittee meeting to review and discuss the OSS safety manual and OSS school coordination and collaboration

Helpful Resources:

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