From the Superintendent: June 2018
Published on Jun 21, 2018 14:53

from the superintendent header - people at table

End of Year Message

Dear CPS Community, 

I recently told the 2018 Graduating Class of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School that I am grateful to their generation for holding the rest of us accountable when it comes to issues of social justice. I said:

During a time in history which is filled with uncertainty and ambiguity about how the future will unfold, you have led walkouts and organized voter registration drives.

You have catalyzed difficult community conversations about racism, sexual harassment, and gun violence. You have championed tolerance and fought against the painful impacts of Islamophobia, anti-semitism and xenophobia.

You – and I mean you, the graduating class of 2018 – have lifted your voices to create positive change here in Cambridge, nationally and within our global community.

This year’s graduates have challenged us to keep learning, innovating, and changing things for the better. The school year may be ending, but  our commitment to this work continues.

Over the summer, CPS leadership will proceed with the work laid out for us in our District Plan. To bring greater transparency and clarity to the outcomes we are seeking to achieve, we recently launched a new Data Dashboard. The Dashboard provides a public display of how all students and well as specific student groups are performing on key measures. Here is just a sample:

Educators of Color Dashboard

Please take a look at this new section of our website and let us know what you think. 

I wish everyone a healthy, rejuvenating, and inspiring a restful, rejuvenating and healthy summer. Let’s continue together to bring positive change to Cambridge Public Schools and our greater community.

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D. 

Robin Harris

Mind Matters

Fletcher Maynard Academy Principal Robin Harris (above) was recently interviewed by the Harvard Gazette about the "Mind Matters" program, developed at Harvard and offered throughout Cambridge Public Schools this past year. Read the interview >>

Mind Matters teaches families about child development and the learning process while offering practical and enjoyable activities that families can use to build skills that will contribute to student learning.

The program was also featured in the Cambridge Chronicle in April. Interviews with CPS Family Liaisons including Marguerite Hicks-Gyewu (above) and parent/guardian/care-giver participants show this program has been a big success. Read the Chronicle Story >>

B3 Logo

New Resources for Birth to 3rd Grade

Quality early childhood programs lay the groundwork on which children's futures can be built. Cambridge's Birth to 3rd Grade Partnership provides an organizing hub for quality improvement and access initiatives in Cambridge.

The Vision of the Birth to 3rd Grade Partnership is an easily accessed, aligned and coherent system of affordable high quality education and care that begins with prenatal care and extends through third grade. 

Learn how the Partnership works to improve and expand access to quality programs in Cambridge on the new Birth to 3rd Grade website >>

Ed Talks

Joyful Learning through Design Thinking

The Cambridge Educators Design Lab (or dLab for short) is an important initiative named in the CPS District Plan as a catalyst for driving system improvement. 

Over the past year, the dLab has grown from an exciting idea into an influential model within CPS and beyond. The dLab is not a place--it is a method for prototyping to address challenges identified by teachers, students, and community members. An updated list of Outcomes can be viewed on the dLab website. It includes design challenges by educators, high schoolers, community partners, and even Kindergarteners. 

Recently, the Design Lab was selected for the Boston Foundation's prestigious "Boston EdTalks." With the provocative name, Design Thinking in Education: Reclaiming Our Mojo in the Era of Evaluation, the presentation shares the story of how the Design Lab has ignited student curiosity and teacher passion.

View the EdTalk >>

Super Seniors

2018 Super Seniors Share their Stories

Reading about talented graduates of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School provides ample inspiration for families and students of all ages.

Every new graduate has a story to share. Here are a few, some of whom were recognized on the merits of their academic standing and others who were honored for embodying the school motto of Opportunity, Diversity, and Respect. 

View the CRLS Class of 2018 Super Seniors website >>

Teacher Leaders

Teacher Leaders Work for Equity

This work doesn’t always look pretty, it doesn’t always feel good. But, as you heard from our students, this work NEEDS to get done.  Let’s go do it - together!

This was the message of CPS’s newly-trained “Teacher Leaders for Equity” on June 13. Presenting the history, goals, and next steps for an educator-driven approach to cultural proficiency, the group challenged CPS and school-based leaders to center the voices of students and support the efforts of teachers to build more equitable and socially-just schools and school system. 

A total of 34 CPS teachers have participated in a cultural proficiency train-the-trainer program that was designed by CPS educators and facilitated by faculty from Wheelock’s Aspire Institute. This training empowers cultural proficiency leaders within every CPS school, who will work with Principals to shape cultural proficiency activities within every school's School Improvement Plan. 

This unique and innovative program included completion of case studies, self-reflection, curriculum analysis and reflections on cultural diversity. In one exercise, participants were asked to study a student they find “difficult” to reach. The assignment challenged educators to “identify how school culture and your own repertoire of practice may influence the student’s learning & achievement” and “write a course of action to impact the student’s achievement.”

View the full story on our website >>


Upper School Orienteering

CPS Upper Schools recently added a new sport to the menu of options: Orienteering! According to OrienteeringUSA, "Orienteering is the sport of navigation—often held in unfamiliar terrain—using a map and compass. It's easy to learn and a fun way to exercise your body and mind as you enjoy the outdoors."



CPS Website User Survey

CPS is starting a rebranding project this summer and we need your help! Your feedback can help us to improve the CPS and school websites.

We want to make sure the websites meet your expectations and more. By filling out the following short survey, we will be able to understand the experience families have when visiting CPS websites and how it can be improved. We also will examine communication efforts collectively at CPS. Thank you in advance for your participation. 

Take the Survey >>

Karen Engels

Karen Engels Wins Capron Award

The Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies honored Graham and Parks Teacher Karen Engels with the Barbara Capron Award for Excellence in Teaching Elementary Social Studies. Her acceptance speech described the critical work of elementary teachers. She wrote: 

As social studies teachers, we have an awesome responsibility. Because the way we teach children about our shared history will determine if they view the world as it is with resignation, or whether they see themselves with agency to make our society better.

It's our responsibility to help children understand the complex, messy and painful truths of this history. They are capable of more sophisticated understanding than we often give them credit for. But, it is equally incumbent on us to endow children with hope.

To do this, we need to provide each and every child with ample mirrors of strength, courage, and triumph against adversity. They need to read Frederick Douglass’ Fourth of July Speech. They need to visit the Lowell Mills where young women organized the first campaign for a 10-hour day. They need to meet local indigenous activists like Wampemequin Wampatuck. They need to sing the words of Woody Guthrie. They need to feel that change is possible. And this is what we do every day! And it's incredibly joyful!

district plan icons


Rigorous, Joyful, 
and Culturally 
Responsive Learning 
+ Personalized Support Builds Postsecondary Success and Engaged Community Members

Read our District Plan >>

In the Spotlight...


The CPS History & Social Sciences Department recently celebrated three outstanding high school faculty members whose work has caught the attention of a wider audience. 

Kevin Dua

Kevin Dua spoke with Callie Crossley about his experience as a teacher of color, for her KPBS program Basic Black.

Marlin Kann

Marlin Kann was profiled by the Harvard Schlesinger Library for his use of primary source materials from their collection to bring more diverse and representative voices into his History classroom.

Rachel Otty

Rachel Otty can be heard on the What Teachers Need to Know podcast, discussing diversity in Islam.  

Alice in Wonderland


Cambridgeport School Family Liaison Kristen Emack was recently featured in the esteemed journal of children's literature, The Horn Book. 

In her piece, Emack shares the story behind her photography series that capture her daughter as the protagonist in classic fairy tales. Emack writes that when her daughter was in Kindergarten, she asked, "Why are most of the people in my fairy tales white?”

Emack continues, "My daughter is biracial and identifies as Black.... We decided that day that we had the power to change what we did not like."

View excerpts from the photo series and read her reflections in The Horn Book >>

Stories Rock

Summer Learning

There's plenty of time for fun, sun, AND learning this summer! See the links below to find the summer learning expectations - organized by grade.

Reading: K-8 >>

Math: K-8 >>

CRLS: Reading, Math & AP Packets >>

Book Bike

Cambridge Summer 
Food Program
July 2 - August 17
10:30AM - 12:30PM

Free food, fun activities, and visits from the Book Bike! Learn more >>



Incoming Kindergarteners, Junior K's and friends are warmly invited to join the fun at school play dates! Typically organized by parent volunteers, these events are a great way to start the transition into Kindergarten. 

If your school's dates are missing from our list, please contact us at

View currently scheduled
playdates >>

school committee

School Committee Highlights

The Cambridge School Committee governs the work of Cambridge Public Schools. Composed of six elected School Committee members and the Mayor, the committee determines overall School Department policy and budget.

If you are interested in learning more about the School Committee, please check out the Meeting Archives. Recent presentations that may be of interest are spotlighted below.


School Climate Surveys Presentation >> 

Time for Learning

Report on Instructional & Professional Time >>


Roundtable on CRLS Athletics >> 

girls walking



Starting July 1, school registration and other activities of the Family Resource Center will take place under a new name, "Student Registration Center." More Info >> 

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