An Important Milestone, Nurse Appreciation, COVID Updates

An Important Milestone, Nurse Appreciation, COVID Updates
Posted on 05/11/2021
Dear CPS community,

welcome backToday Cambridge Public Schools reached an important milestone. For the first time since March 2020, every school welcomed students for full-time, in-person learning! With more than 800 CRLS students returning to classrooms this morning, nearly 4,100 students (61%) of CPS students are learning in-person.

It has been a long, challenging 15 months and we could not be more proud of the resiliency, patience, and hard work shown by our students, families, and educators to support successful in-person and remote learning this year.

nursesIn celebration of National School Nurse Appreciation Day (Wednesday, May 12), we must acknowledge the incredible work CPS nurses and health aides have done this year to keep students, staff families safe throughout the pandemic. The partnership between the Cambridge Public Health Department and school nurses has supported CPS’s first class COVID testing and contact tracing program.

We also want to share some important updates about quarantine policies (see below) and reminders about CPS COVID-19 policies that are particularly important this time of the year: Food and refreshments are not permitted at CPS events, including end-of-year celebrations, and students and staff must wear masks at all times, including outdoors and during recess.

A quick reminder that all elementary and upper schools have a planned early release day this Wednesday. which means schools will dismiss two hours early.

See details below for:
  1. COVID-19 Reminders & Updates
  2. Updated Remote Meal Service on Early Release Days
  3. Community Shout-out: MA Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist Karen Engels
  4. CPS Community Fairs
  5. City of Cambridge Opens Preschool Application
  6. Getting your COVID-19 Vaccine: Easier than Ever!
  7. Apply for Mayor's Youth Employment Program
  8. Participate in Caregiver Advocacy Program
  9. Upcoming Meetings & Events

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.

1. COVID-19 Reminders and Updates
CPS has updated two important COVID-19 policies:
  • Elementary level quarantines will not be automatic: In alignment with updated state guidance, CPS elementary school classrooms will not automatically close and quarantine in situations with a confirmed case. Instead, only those individuals within 3 feet of distance of the positive individual for a total of 15+ minutes during a 24-hour period will be directed to quarantine.
  • Quarantine period reduced from 10 days to 7 days: In alignment with quarantine protocols provided by private medical providers, and Cambridge Public Health Department protocols, and the CDC, CPS quarantine periods will now last for seven days. Individuals may leave quarantine after 7 days with a negative test on day 5 or later, and return to school on day 8 as long as the quarantined individual remains symptom free.
2. Updated Remote Meal Service on Early Release Days
Remote meal service will be consolidated to a few central locations -- Baldwin, Cambridgeport, Fletcher Maynard, Kennedy-Longfellow, and the King Open -- throughout the district on the following early release Wednesdays: May 12, May 19, May 26, June 9. Families are also welcome to pick up two days’ worth of meals the day before each early release day at any meal pick up site.

3. Community Shout-out: MA Teacher of the Year Semifinalist Karen Engels
A shout-out to Graham and Parks Elementary School teacher Karen Engels, who is a 2022 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year semi-finalist. The Teacher of the Year (TOY) program recognizes an exemplary teacher who will serve as a liaison to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and as an ambassador to other teachers in the state.

Karen began teaching in Boston Public Schools in 1999 and has taught third and fourth grade at the Graham and Parks School since 2010. This year she has also served as a co-leader of the Grade 4 Collaborative. She is a proud CPSD parent whose three children have attended Cambridgeport, Graham and Parks, Cambridge Street Upper School, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin. Way to go, Karen!

4. CPS Community Fairs launch Pisani Center, June 5, 10AM - 12PM
Save the date for the 2021 CPS Community Fairs, hosted by CPS and the Office of Mayor Siddiqui.

5. City of Cambridge Opens Preschool Application
The City of Cambridge’s Department of Human Service Programs is accepting applications for the 2021-22 Preschool Lottery! It is very important to sign-up for the lottery during the month of May. The lottery is open to all Cambridge children who will be between the ages of 2 years 9 months and 4 years 5 months as of September 1, 2021. Apply here. If you need help accessing or completing the registration, Center for Families is here to help! Contact us at 617.349.6385 or [email protected].

6. Getting your COVID-19 Vaccine: Easier than Ever!
If you or your teen (age 16+) haven't gotten your COVID-19 shot yet, now is the perfect time! More local sites are opening up, and more doctors' offices are receiving vaccines for their patients. All mass vaccination sites and CVS pharmacies now accept walk-ins.
  • Individuals age 18 and older can get any vaccine, but teens age 16 or 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine. Mass vaccination sites in Boston offer the Pfizer vaccine, as well as the Somerville, Medford, and Everett vaccination sites operated by the Metro North COVID-19 Vaccination Partnership.
  • Students under 18 need parental consent to receive the vaccine.
Where you can get vaccinated:
  • Cambridge pharmacies: Cambridge CVS, Walgreens, Star Market, and Inman Pharmacy.
  • Mass Vaccination Sites in Boston: Hynes Convention Center and Reggie Lewis Center (Roxbury Community College).
  • Sign up for Somerville (CHA Vaccine Center), Medford (Tufts University), and Everett (Encore Boston Harbor) vaccine sites here. These sites are operated by Cambridge Health Alliance, as part of the Metro North COVID-19 Vaccination Partnership.
  • Go to to see all Massachusetts vaccine locations.
  • Call 2-1-1, the Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line, for help by phone.
  • NO insurance, ID, or social security number needed. You may be asked for ID at some sites, but it is not required or mandatory.
  • Getting a vaccine will NOT affect a public charge determination or immigration status.
7. Apply for Mayor's Youth Employment Program by May 14
The Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP) will offer virtual, in-person, and hybrid summer work experiences in 2021.MSYEP is a six-week summer jobs program for Cambridge residents, starting at age 14 (teens must be 14 by July 6, 2021) through the summer after teens complete high school. MSYEP runs July 6 through August 13, 2021. Apply to MSYEP online by May 14, 2021. Questions? Contact [email protected].

8. Participate in Caregiver Advocacy Program
The Cambridge Families of Color Coalition (CFCC) is a group of families of color working to uplift, empower, celebrate, and nurture our students and each other, whose work is rooted in racial, social, and economic equity. The CFCC is launching a Caregiver Advocate program to help families access district services and support.

Caregivers of color across the district will be able to rely on Caregiver Advocates to attend meetings alongside them with direct family advocacy training and experience. CFCC is seeking caregivers of color interested in receiving advocacy training, which will take place May 15, 16, 22, and 23 from 10AM - 12PM. Compensation for attending the full training is $250. Anyone interested: click here.

9. Upcoming Meetings & Events
May 12 | Early Release Day: Grades JK-8
May 19 | Early Release Day: Grades JK-5 & Amigos
May 19 | 10AM - 2PM: Together We RISE, A Virtual Conference for Allston, Brighton, and Cambridge High School Sophomores & Juniors, sponsored by the Harvard Ed Portal and the Harvard Public School Partnerships team. CRLS alum, Mohammed Uddin, CRLS ‘15, UMass Boston BA ‘19, MPA ‘20, will be a featured guest speaker.
May 26 | Early Release Day: Grades JK-5 & Amigos
June 5 | CPS Community Fair
June 9 | Early Release Day: Grades JK-5
June 23 | Early Release Day: All Grades
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