First Day of School - Important Information

First Day of School - Important Information
Posted on 09/07/2021


I hope that you and your family have had a wonderful summer. I know I speak on behalf of all of CPS’s teachers and staff when I tell you that we are so excited to welcome our students back to school this week.

I also want to provide five quick reminders for the first day of school.

  • Mask Up! All students and staff must wear masks indoors at school. Each school has an ample supply of masks for students and staff that need them.

  • Sign your back-to-school forms: If you haven’t already done so, please sign your annual student forms, including the COVID-19 testing consent form.

  • Be ready for the bus! For students who take the bus, please be at your bus stop 10 minutes before your scheduled pickup time. As always, it takes a few weeks for traffic and bus routes to adjust. Thank you for your patience!

  • Parents are not allowed into buildings on opening day. Appointments are required for meetings in school.

  • Drop-off times: Families should look for communication from their school principals about morning arrival procedures for bus students and arrival times for walkers and family drop-offs. We ask for your cooperation with these procedures to align with COVID protocols and to respect schools' limited capacity to support students “before the bell.”

I look forward to seeing you Thursday, September 9, for the first day of school.

Make it great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer
Interim Superintendent
Cambridge Public Schools

COVID Questions of the Week
Is CPS providing masks for students and staff?
Yes. CPS has provided all schools with an ample supply of masks. These masks were independently lab tested to achieve a high rate: between 90% and 95%. These masks are available for all students and staff who need them. See Masks Keep You Healthy for more information.

Is CPS requiring COVID vaccinations?
On Tuesday, August 31, the School Committee approved Superintendent Greer’s recommendation to require vaccinations for all staff. For all staff that are not part of the union, they will be required to be vaccinated or participate in daily testing. For staff represented by a union, the details and timeline of this requirement are being worked out. Based on recent surveys, most CPS staff are already vaccinated.

What is the plan for lunch?

CPS’s current COVID-19 Safety Manual requires meals to take place outdoors when weather conditions allow. However, as was the case last year, this is not always possible due to limited outdoor spaces and on days with poor weather conditions. In these cases, schools using indoor spaces for meals will follow the CPS protocols: maintain at least 3 feet of distance, students face in the same direction, and ventilation maximized using air filters and open windows.

Additional Resource: COVID Quick Reference: What Should I Do?

Welcome New Members to the CPS Team

Join us in welcoming many new staff to CPS this year, including the new school and district leaders listed below.

District Leaders and Staff  School Leaders
Emily Bryant, Coordinator, English Language Arts

Jenny Chung, Curriculum and Training Specialist, Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Dr. Victoria L. Greer, Interim Superintendent

Rasmiya (Mia) Ferej, Special Assistant, Office of Strategy and Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Manuel J. Fernandez, Interim Chief Equity Officer

Dr. Leslie Jiménez, Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Kini Udovicki, Youth Advocacy Specialist, Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Sujata Wycoff, Director, Communications (beginning in October)
Phanenca Babia-James, Interim Head of School, Putnam Avenue Upper School

Michelle Calioro, Interim Assistant Principal,

Putnam Avenue Upper School

Claudie Jean-Baptiste, Interim Principal, Graham and Parks

Jennifer Lavalle, Interim Assistant Principal, Graham and Parks

Rolanda Prophete, Interim Assistant Principal,


Tiffany Robinson, Interim Assistant Principal, Cambridge Street Upper School

Abdel Sepulveda-Sanchez, Principal, Peabody

Kendal Schwarz, Interim Head of School, Cambridge Street Upper School (through through September))

Christen Sohn, Interim Head of School, Cambridge Street Upper School (beginning October) 

Caught Doing Good
Are you proud of something happening in your classroom or program? Share your stories with us so we can help spread the word.

Thank you to the staff of the Student Registration Center, including Kathy Sampson, for their leadership in supporting families in the registration process.

Thank you to the family engagement team, including our school liaisons, who are helping facilitate the Conversations with Superintendent Greer.

Afterschool Opportunities
Looking at afterschool options for your child? See these regularly updated online guides created by the Agenda for Children.

Pre-K-5th Graders: ESON After School Guide
(Questions: Shawn Proctor Elementary OST Network Coordinator)

6th-8th Graders: MSN After School Guide
(Questions: Annie Leavitt, Middle School Network Coordinator)

Conversations with Superintendent Greer

Join me for a virtual conversation to share your perspective on the future of CPS. Grades 2-5 Families, and Grades 6-8 Families. Learn more >>

School Calendar: Upcoming Dates

  • SY2021-22 School Calendar
  • September 6 - 8 | Rosh Hashanah
  • Thursday, September 9 | First Day of School, Grades 1 - 12
  • Monday, September 13 | First Day of School, Preschool, JK, Kindergarten
  • Thursday, September 16: Yom Kippur: No School and CPS Offices Closed
  • Wednesday, September 22 | Early Release Day, Grades Preschool - Grades 8 (schools dismiss 2 hours early)
  • Monday, October 11: Indigenous Peoples Day: No School and CPS Offices Closed
  • Sunday, October 24 | Diwali begins

Other Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, September 25 | 9AM - 2PM, Youth Equity Leadership Summit
  • Saturday, September 25 | 10AM - 12PM, CPS Community Fair
  • Saturday, October 16 | 10AM - 12PM, CPS Community Fair
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