From the Superintendent: December 2018
Published on Dec 14, 2018 22:30

from the superintendent header - people at table
Dear CPS Community,

Time is not a strategy, it is a resource. Like any other resource, we must use it wisely if we hope to realize the promise of educational equity through rigorous, joyful, and culturally responsive experiences for all learners.

Last year, a joint group of educators and administrators, co-chaired by Cambridge Education Association (CEA) President Dan Monahan and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Anda Adams, recommended that we lengthen the standard day for students and staff at all levels. After extensive analysis and feedback from Cambridge educators, families, and partners, I have similarly concluded our K-8 schools need to both improve how we use current time and lengthen the day for students and staff.

Our standard JK-8 schedule is among the shortest in the state and unfairly forces educators to choose between equally important competing priorities. Our schedules leave too little time and flexibility to deliver the full curriculum, provide all students with personalized support, address students’ developmental and social-emotional needs, and collaborate around instruction and services.

In early January we will release a proposal recommending a moderate increase to the 6-hour school day that will include guidelines for more effectively meeting educational, developmental, and social-emotional needs of students through improved school schedules.

On our website, we recently posted some questions and answers about the forthcoming proposal. The six hour day is not fair to educators and it’s not fair to our students. We are continuing to analyze data and feedback and although we have not yet finalized our thinking on the best model for increasing time in school schedules, a new FAQ posted online shares our current position as a result of this process.

More feedback sessions are planned for early January to gather your feedback on our draft proposal These conversations will be challenging as we strive towards greater educational equity while balancing the competing priorities of diverse stakeholder groups. I believe we are up to the task, and can address this challenge by working together.

Learn more >>

Black Student Union

Black Student Union & Microaggressions Working Group
On November 27, Cambridge School Committee held a roundtable to discuss ongoing efforts to increase equity and eliminate experiences of racism in Cambridge Public Schools.

The meeting had several goals. First, the roundtable sought to highlight the the contributions and accomplishments the BSU achieved through their commitment to dialogue, education, and empowering social events. Second, the session provided an overview of work, findings, and draft proposed recommendations of the CRLS Micro-aggressions Working Group.

Finally, CPS leaders shared District, CRLS and School Committee work on equity, access and cultural proficiency.

View the Roundtable video >>
Read the presentation >>

Food Heroes

Wellness, Food & Nutrition Staff Named “Food Heroes”
Each year since 2012, the City of Cambridge has celebrated National Food Day by “recognizing the work of Cambridge individuals and organizations that have made a lasting and significant commitment to promoting a fair, healthy, accessible, and sustainable food culture in the city.” On October 15, two staff members were recognized for their contributions to supporting the health, wellness, and nutritional needs of students in Cambridge Public Schools.

Lead Teacher for Health Education Kim DeAndrade was honored for thirty-five years of educator leadership promoting healthy eating and ensuring that nutrition and wellness are prioritized within Cambridge Public Schools. And Karen Jean Williams, who was a beloved member of the food and nutrition services team at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS), was honored posthumously, having passed away earlier this year.

Read more about our food heroes >>


Pillars of Past, Present & Future
Earlier this month, The Community Arts Center in collaboration with DivcoWest unveiled a new installation at Cambridge Crossing called Pillars of Past, Present, & Future. The project features artwork designed by students in the digital design program at the CAC, many of whom are students from CRLS. Read on >>


Highly Effective Teaching in CPS
As in any profession, it is important to provide teachers with ongoing opportunities to build new skills and strengthen their practice. Educators in CPS participate in standalone workshops and trainings, bolstered by embedded coaches, known as Instructional Support Educators, within each school community. Learn more about professional learning in CPS >>

Nellie Mae

Report from the Building Equity Bridges Project

On December 4, an update on our school district’s grant to investigate the root causes of inequity our school district was presented by Deputy Superintendent Dr. Carolyn L Turk, Agenda for Children Co-Director Khari Milner, Cambridge Education Association President Dan Monahan and Building Equity Bridges Grant Coordinator Tessa Bridge. The Building Equity Bridges project is approaching its final month of self-study and analysis, and will present findings to the Cambridge Community in early 2019.

Watch the School Committee video >>
Read the Report Presentation >>


Upper School Orienteering Championships

Congratulations to the team of Ben Davis and Paul Magalhaes of Cambridge Street Upper School for winning the 2018 CPS Fall Orienteering Championships. Kudos as well to Martin Pascul of Amigos School and Kate Wheatley from Vassal Lane Upper School for winning first place in the two individual Orienteering course events.

The teams and individual competitors prepared for this district-wide competition through practice sessions that took place throughout the fall, with coaching by the non-profit Navigation Games. Read more about this exciting athletic competition on our website >>


Free Breakfast for Everyone!

Thanks to the City of Cambridge, students can access a healthy, delicious and nutritious breakfast absolutely free of charge. Stop by the cafeteria before school and see what’s cooking! Learn more >>

boy reading

Rigorous, Joyful, 
and Culturally 
Responsive Learning 
+ Personalized Support Builds Postsecondary Success and Engaged Community Members
CPS District Plan >>
Data Dashboard >>

Quality Learning & Professional Time

Wednesday, January 2
Proposal will be released with a feedback survey

January 2 - 16th
Meetings with School Communities & Community Engagement Team Outreach

Thursday, January 10
6 - 8PM
Kennedy-Longfellow School
Public Forum on the Proposal

Saturday, January 12
10AM - 12Noon
Graham & Parks School
Public Forum on the Proposal

Winter Vacation: No School
Monday, December 24 to Tuesday, January 1
Classes resume on Wednesday, January 2.

Addressing Problems with K-8 School Schedules
Proposal to be released
January 7, 2019

View full calendar >>

Thursday, January 10
6 - 8PM

Kennedy-Longfellow School
Pizza and childcare will be provided

Saturday, January 12
10AM - 12Noon
Graham & Parks School
Coffee and childcare will be provided

School-Based Meetings:
Amigos: Wednesday, January 9 | 7PM

Baldwin: Monday, January 14 | 8AM

Cambridgeport: Tuesday, January 8 | 6PM

CRLS: Tuesday, December 18 | 6PM

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & PAUS: Wednesday, January 16 | 8AM

Fletcher Maynard: Friday, January 4 or 11 (TBD) | 8AM

Graham & Parks: Thursday, January 9 | 5:30PM

Haggerty: Tuesday, January 8 | 8AM

Kennedy-Longfellow & CSUS: Monday, January 7 | 8AM

King Open: Wednesday, January 9 | 6PM

Morse: Monday, January 14 | 6PM

Peabody & RAUC: Thursday, January 10 | 7:30AM

Tobin & VLUS: Friday, January 11 | 8AM

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