School Committee Meeting Agenda: February 2, 2021

From the Office of the Executive Secretary to the School Committee

School Committee - Regular Meeting
February 2, 2021


1. Public Comment (3 Minutes):

2. Student School Committee Report:

3. Presentation of the Records for Approval:
November 5, 2020 Special Meeting
November 18, 2020 Special Meeting
December 8, 2020 Special Meeting
January 19, 2021 Regular Meeting

4. Reconsiderations: None

5. Unfinished Business/Calendar:

#21-26, Joint Motion by Member Rojas, Member Rachel and Member Weinstein
Whereas: The Cambridge School Committee updated its health & safety framework on the basis of the Schools and Path to Zero report of Dr. Danielle Allen; and
Whereas: The report acknowledges that trust is necessary for the framework to work, and part of trust is clarity and transparency in decision-making; and
Whereas: The report calls for a Situation Room for In-person Learning; now therefore be it
Resolved: That the Superintendent reports at every regular meeting to the School Committee on the decisions of the Situation Room for In-person Learning, and alerts the committee immediately whenever the district disagrees with a recommendation from the Cambridge Public Health Department.
(Bowman 1-19-2021).

6. Awaiting Reports:
#20-308 Joint Motion by Member Fantini and Mayor Siddiqui
Whereas, the Cambridge Public Schools participate in the Journey into Education and Teaching Program, known as JET, to provide a pathway at little cost for paraprofessionals to get their bachelor’s degrees and Massachusetts teacher licensures; and
Whereas JET supports the goals of building local teacher pipelines and developing an educator workforce that reflects the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our students; and
Whereas JET provides the program structure for recruitment and support such as: advising, guiding in application procedures for college admission and financial aid, participating in cohort groups, providing local educator mentors, and professional and career development opportunities; and
Whereas Cambridge must commit to providing and compensating mentors as part of our commitment to JET Paraprofessionals; and
Whereas JET is an education program of the Massachusetts Foundation for Teaching and Learning; and
Whereas Massachusetts is unique in providing a state education grant that funds the undergraduate education of employed eligible paraprofessionals who commit to becoming teachers; and
Whereas JET already has demonstrated a record of success; and
Whereas meeting application deadlines is critical; now therefore be it
Resolved that the Superintendent collaborate with JET and report on how the program will operate in Cambridge.

#20-309 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Fantini and Member Wilson,
Whereas equity and access are of highest priority for the Cambridge Public Schools and Cambridge School Committee, including postsecondary success for all of our scholars; and
Whereas extensive research nationally found that Early College is a promising model that narrows educational opportunity gaps, and that existing programs were a powerful foundation from which to build a broader statewide Early College Initiative; and
Whereas the Massachusetts boards of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education jointly launched an initiative in 2018 to establish an Early College designation for districts specifically attempting to recruit underrepresented students, to allow cohort-based models that provide high-need and low-income students with the opportunity to complete college level academic coursework on a clearly articulated pathway while simultaneously gaining exposure to a variety of career opportunities; and
Whereas 37 different high schools and 19 colleges and universities have partnered to offer Early College programs to thousands of students across the commonwealth, with enrollment projected to hit 4,200 students in FY21 and students earning an estimated 25,000 college credits, securing tuition and fee savings at an estimated $5.4 million; and
Whereas the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School offers a Dual Enrollment program in partnership with Bunker Hill Community College but has not received the state’s Early College Designation, which requires very specific advising metrics and a scope and sequence demonstrating that a school can offer at least 12 fully transferable college credits; and
Whereas Dual Enrollment, while often conflated with Early College, serves any students who self-select and therefore are already high-performing; now therefore be it
Resolved that the Superintendent work with the Principal of CRLS to provide a report on the current participation of the Dual Enrollment program by demographic, courses, and number of credits by year since its inception before the next Regular Meeting of the School Committee on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021.

#21-27 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Rojas and Vice Chair Bowman
Whereas: Providing the best education and ensuring the wellbeing of our scholars are the highest priorities of the Cambridge School Committee and CPS Administration; and
Whereas: The data shows extreme negative consequences of school closures on scholars’ mental, physical, and academic wellbeing; and
Whereas There is growing evidence that more students can and must be brought back in-person with urgency; and
Whereas: The School Committee and Administration are committed to adaptability and quickly pivoting plans as necessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas: CPSD must continuously revisit conditions and plan for further expansions; and
Whereas: While the current reopening model recommendation allows families to opt into in-person learning, not all scholars in the district are eligible due to staffing and space constraints; now therefore be it
Resolved: That the Superintendent work with his team to provide a report on what is and is not working with the existing model and the possibilities for subsequent expansions by Friday, April 2, 2021; and be it further
Resolved: That the Superintendent provide an update on the impact of vaccine rollouts on further in-person expansion planning by Friday, April 2, 2021.
7. Superintendent’s Agenda:
7a. Presentations:
COVID 19 Response Update:………Dr. Kenneth N. Salim, Superintendent of Schools

7b. CPS District Plan: None:

7c. Consent Agenda:

#21-33 Recommendation: Contract Award: Quadient Inc.: Postage Machine Leases

#21-34 Recommendation: Contract Award: Sunbelt Rentals: Equipment Rental

#21-35 Recommendation: Contract Award: WB Mason: Classroom Furniture

#21-36 Recommendation: Gifts/Miscellaneous Receipts

#21-37 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Influence 100 (SC21167)

#21-38 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Expanded Learning Time (SC21829)
8. Non-Consent Agenda:

9. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):
#21-39 Joint Motion by Member Fantini and Mayor Siddiqui
Whereas: Citizen Schools has received a grant from Biogen to work with Cambridge Public Schools and Somerville Public Schools to bring high quality STEM project based learning to middle school students; and
Whereas: Citizen Schools has a long established practice of developing teacher professional development centered on experiential learning and is a DESE certified PD provider; now therefore be it
Resolved: That the Superintendent work with Citizen Schools on ways to incorporate their programs into the middle school curriculum.

#21-40 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Rachel, and Member Fantini
Whereas: Social emotional learning (SEL) and the mental health success of scholars are top priorities for the School Committee and CPS administration; and
Whereas: CPS is participating in DESE’s SEL & Mental Health Academy to effectively integrate SEL and mental health within a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) framework; and
Whereas: The Educators of Color Coalition (EOCC) Leadership Team has requested a Mental Health Task Force charged with investing in “wraparound services that work within and outside of school communities, and in collaboration with community partners to meet the increased mental health needs of scholars, families, and educators due to the pandemic and racial trauma”; and
Whereas: Transparency is the first step to rebuilding trust within the school community; and
Whereas: The School Committee needs to have an understanding of what does and does not currently exist in order to advocate for supports without being duplicative; and
Whereas: The guiding principle of the FY22 Budget process is to “understand academic and social-emotional/mental health needs following the COVID-19 pandemic and provide students with individualized multi-tiered support to accelerate recovery, progress, and success”; now therefore be it
Resolved: That the Superintendent work with the Academic Recovery Team to provide the School Committee with a report in his Weekly that 1) summarizes the current and planned efforts at the district and school level to support SEL and mental/behavioral supports and 2) clarifies the roles and responsibilities for this scope of work by Tuesday, February 26, 2021.

#21-41 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Weinstein, and Vice-Chair Bowman
Whereas: The Cambridge School Committee's “primary responsibility is to establish those purposes, programs, and procedures that will best produce the educational achievement needed by our students”; and
Whereas: As it is also stated in the Policy Manual that, “The School Committee will hear regular reports on educational programs and on-going curriculum study and revision”; and
Whereas: The School Committee and school administration must work together to ensure that proper structures are in place to implement robust academic and social-emotional / mental health recovery plans for our scholars who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas: A new CPS Academic Recovery Team has been established to address the social emotional and academic disruption of our school communities as a result of COVID-19; now therefore be it
Resolved: That beginning on Friday, February 26, 2021, the Superintendent will present the School Committee with a monthly report in his Weekly, outlining the Academic Recovery Team’s planning efforts, including what questions are on the table and what decisions are being made.

#21-42 Joint Motion by Member Rachel, Member Weinstein and Member Rojas

February 2, 2021

Governor Charles Baker
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street, Room 280
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Governor Baker,

We hope this letter finds you well. Thank you for your ongoing efforts to keep Massachusetts residents safe and healthy during this global pandemic.

When we wrote to you in November, we requested that schools be the last places to close and the first to open as part of a comprehensive statewide pandemic response strategy.

Today, we write to urge you to expedite vaccines for all classroom, food services, custodial, school transportation and school-based staff in the Commonwealth, moving these critical workers to the top of the Commonwealth’s second phase (aligning with CDC phase 1b), which began February 1. The sooner school personnel are vaccinated the sooner we will be able to welcome more students back into our school buildings.

We are concerned about the mental health and the academic growth of our young people. We are also concerned about the health of the dedicated professionals who serve our children, and the families of staff and students. Across our communities, young people are struggling with mental health crises either brought on by the pandemic or exacerbated by it. Many of our students struggle with remote learning, and many need more social interaction with their peers than we are able to provide at a distance. Furthermore, many families (including teachers) struggle to simultaneously care for children who are learning remotely while doing the work they must to support their families and communities.

The Cambridge Public Schools are slated to begin a limited expansion of in-person learning on March 1. Ideally, all in-person educators and staff would have the opportunity to receive both vaccine doses before then. At the very least, we plead with you to ensure that they are invited to obtain their first dose by then.

The Cambridge Public Schools and our partners in the Cambridge Public Health Department stand ready to support the logistics of this effort as soon as vaccines are made available to us.

We thank you for your consideration and welcome any conversation you may wish to have with us.


The Cambridge School Committee

Cc: Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Monica Bharel
Commissioner of Education Mr. Jeffrey Riley
Secretary of Education James Peyser
Legislative Delegation

#21-43 Joint Motion by Member Fantini and Vice Chair Bowman
That the School Committee Schedule FY 22 Budget Meetings be amended as follows:
Community Meeting #2 will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Community Meeting #3 will be held on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

budget meetings

#21-44 Report of the June 5, 2020 Buildings and Grounds Sub-Committee Meeting

#21-45 Report of the July 15, 2020 School Climate Sub-Committee Meeting

#21-46 Report of the January 12, 2021 Curriculum and Achievement Sub-Committee Meeting
10. Resolutions (letters of congratulations, letters of condolence):
#21-47 Motion by Member Fantini
WHEREAS: The School Committee was deeply saddened at learning of the death of CAROL ANN CORREIA on January 13, 2021; and
WHEREAS: CAROL was born in Somerville on September 9, 1946 and was the beloved daughter of the late Francis and Rita; and
WHEREAS: CAROL was a beloved member of the Cambridge School Department for 24 years and was the Executive Assistant to the former Mayor of Cambridge, David Maher; and
WHEREAS: CAROL loved spending time with family, cruising, dinner with friends and most of all: laughing; and
WHEREAS: CAROL will long be remembered for her contagious smile and great sense of humor; and
WHEREAS: CAROL was predeceased by her cherished brother Thomas and dear nephew Jason; and
WHEREAS: CAROL’s passing will leave a void in the lives of all her surviving family; her dear husband Eduardo; her cherished daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Blaine; her dear son and daughter-in-law, Edward and Andrea; her loving grandchildren Connor and Jenna, Matthew, Jason, and Jordan; her beloved sister and brother-in-law Ellen and Kevin; her devoted brother and sister-in-law Michael and Shirley; her beloved sister-in-law Nancy; and many other loving relatives and friends; and
WHEREAS: CAROL will be sorely missed by all she touched and loved; now therefore be it
RESOLVED: That the Cambridge School Committee go on record extending its deepest sympathy to the family of CAROL CORREIA at this time of such personal loss; and be it further
RESOLVED: That the Executive Secretary be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to the family of CAROL ANN CORREIA on behalf of the entire School Committee.
11. Announcements:

12. Late Orders:

13. Communications and Reports from City Officers:

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