Happy Summer: June 2014

June 2014

Dear CPS Community,

In many respects, the last days of the school year are the most hectic time of year. There is a mad scramble to tie up loose ends, collect books, attend to administrative details, and bring closure to relationships that have grown over the past ten months. I have often related these days to what it must be like to land one of those military airplanes on the huge ships stationed in the middle of the sea. How DO those aircraft fly along wherever their journey has taken them and then suddenly and safely stop on a dime?

Now in the season of landing, we add to the mix the multiple culminating activities that we arrange for our students so that they can mark the symbolic passage of one ending serving as a harbinger of another beginning they (and we) will experience just a few months down the road. The final exams, the concerts, the class trips, the celebrations, the leave-takings--all of these are the trappings of the curious yet beautiful rhythm that the school year calendar brings to all of us who live and work in the education profession. There is inevitably one last thing we want to do with this student or that one, yet at some point the clock expires, and we realize that we have done all we were meant to do this year; we will pick up again in September.

Chief among these rituals, of course, are the graduations and moving-on ceremonies.  I go to a lot of these. I love seeing the kids all dressed up and doing the same march that generations did before them. I love the music and all the pomp and circumstance. Cambridge kids look you in the eye and say thank you when you hand them a diploma.

Being with our students in this way makes me proud to be here. Like you, I know the many different paths they have taken to reach their big day. Thanks to all of our CPS educators and support staff, as well as our families and community partners, they have been well cared for this year. They made the safe landing. And they are ready for the next take-off.

Let me acknowledge once again the myriad challenges of being an educator these days. We live in an extraordinary time, with increased demands being placed on teachers, administrators and support staff all across the country. I hope that all CPS educators, and all of our colleagues in Massachusetts and beyond, can take some time in the months ahead to catch their breath and reflect upon the fact that they make a real difference in the lives of young people. May all Cambridge families also cherish the extra time you get to spend with your daughters and sons in July and August.

With respect and gratitude for all you have done this year, and with all my best wishes for a peaceful and enjoyable summer...

Jeffrey M. Young
Superintendent of Schools

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