Greer Gazette: July 24, 2023

Greer Gazette: July 24, 2023
Posted on 07/24/2023

Greetings CPS Community...

I hope you are finding some time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the summer with your families. 

In preparation for the new school year, we continue to recruit and hire talented and passionate educators to join our CPS community. You can read more about some of our most recent hires and the positions still available below. Please note the upcoming information session for Instructional Aides.

logo blurredI am excited to continue working alongside our families and educators during the 2023-2024 school year! The year will bring continued opportunities for learning and growth as well as overcoming challenges. At the beginning of the new school year, we will unveil our new district motto. It is the result of a thoughtful process and work initially led by students that reflects our school community’s shared commitment to provide our scholars with a high-quality education that prepares them for a successful future.

ps logoIt has been almost a year since we launched and implemented ParentSquare as our main communications tool, elevating our commitment to accessible, accurate, and timely communication with our school community. While there have been challenges, which we will continue to work through, we are proud that 86% of our students have at least one primary contact registered, which means they are actively using ParentSquare to stay connected and informed. If you have not registered, we encourage you to do so. If you need help, you can watch this training video or use our one-page summary on how to get started.

Please note that our school buildings are closed through Monday, September 4. If you have a question over the summer, please see our list of summer contacts. (አማርኛ | عربي | বাংলা | Kreyòl ayisyen | Español). Staff at your child’s school will be available to answer any questions you may have beginning Monday, August 21.

Our next issue of the Greer Gazette will be Monday, August 7. We will then resume our weekly cadence.

Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to seeing you all again in September!

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


Summer Learning Resources


We know that learning happens all summer long in a variety of ways. Visit our website for some additional at-home and in-person resources to help families engage in learning opportunities while enjoying all of the fun and relaxed routines that the warm weather brings.


Connect with Us at a Cambridge Community Fair!


Help is available for families that need assistance filling out Back-to-School forms. These are forms that your child will need to turn in on their first day of school.

  • Wednesday, August 23 | 5 - 7PM

    • Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (459 Broadway Court)

We, along with Mayor Siddiqui's office, are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2023 Community Fairs. The fairs are opportunities for families to meet community partners, learn about community services, and access free supplies, resources, and clothing. This year, Dr. Greer will host an “Ask Dr. Greer” table. We hope you will come out and meet Mayor Siddiqui and Dr. Greer.

  • Saturday, August 26 | 10AM - 12PM

    •  King Open School (850 Cambridge Street)

  • Saturday, September 9 | 10AM - 12PM

    • Peabody School (70 Rindge Avenue)

We’re Still Hiring for the New School Year!

Cambridge Public Schools is seeking to hire talented education professionals for positions including Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides, and Substitutes for the 2023-2024 school year.

Updates from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Join the State’s Racial Imbalance Advisory Council

DESE is looking for new members for the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council (RIAC), which advises the department and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on topics related to racial imbalance in schools and districts across Massachusetts.

  • Members serve without compensation and must adhere to the open meeting law.

  • New members will be appointed to a three-year term beginning in September 2023.

  • The council will meet up to six times during the 2023-24 school year.

  • If interested, complete this survey by next Monday, July 31.

Share Your Feedback on the New Health & Physical Education Framework Draft

DESE is collecting public comment on Governor Healey’s draft of the updated Health and Physical Education Framework, which outlines standards for what a comprehensive K-12 health and physical education program should include. This is the next step in updating guidelines that have been in place since 1989.


  • The public comment period lasts through Monday, August 28.

  • Ways to submit your comments:

    • Take this survey.

    • Email [email protected].

    • Mail to Kristen McKinnon, Assistant Director, Office of Student and Family Support, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148.

Featured Events

Free Summer Food Markets

All families are welcome to stop by our free, school-based food markets. They offer fresh fruits, vegetables, and pantry items. Please bring your own bags.

  • Wednesday, August 9

    • 2 - 4PM (Kennedy-Longfellow School)

  • Tuesday, August 15

    • 2 - 4PM (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School and Putnam Ave Upper School)

  • Thursday, August 17

    • 2 - 4PM (Peabody School and Rindge Avenue Upper School)


Learn How to Navigate Cambridge Resources

As part of our ongoing commitment to empower the community with accessible resources and information, the Office of Family and Community Engagement has partnered with Find It Cambridge and Cambridge Family Policy Council to offer a training session on how to use the Cambridge Cradle to Career Ecosystem Map (see below) and Find It Cambridge.

  • Thursday, July 27 | 9:30 - 11:30AM

    • CSUS Multipurpose Room (840 Cambridge Street)

  • Register today.

Instructional Aide Information Session

Anyone interested in becoming an Instructional Aide is invited to attend an information session to learn about how they support students in the classroom, benefits, opportunities for growth, and other perks.

Congratulations and Welcomes

New Cambridge Street Upper School Assistant Principal


Please join us in congratulating Fatima Sammy, the new Assistant Principal of Cambridge Street Upper School (CSUS). Ms. Sammy joins the CSUS community from Putnam Avenue Upper School, where she worked most recently as the instructional coach. She has a strong background in instruction and school leadership and is passionate about creating learning spaces that center engagement and connections for all scholars. We are proud to welcome her to CSUS!

New Permanent Director of Safety and Security


We are delighted that Alicia Bairos has been named Permanent Director of Safety & Security. Last school year, as the Interim Director of Safety, Ms. Bairos led her department effectively, helping advance the district’s strategic objective around cultivating a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and staff. Please join us in congratulating this CRLS alumnus on her appointment!

  • Read more about Ms. Bairos’ wealth of knowledge, experience, expertise, and her commitment to the Cambridge community.

New Science Coordinator

Please join us in welcoming Deena DePamphilis to our district as the new Science Coordinator. Ms. DePamphilis comes to CPS after spending 13 years in Waltham Public Schools where she served as a Biology teacher and, most recently, the Director of Science. She is a strong advocate for Applied Learning practices in Science and Engineering, viewing them as an opportunity to promote equity and engage more students in STEM.

New Acting History and Social Studies Coordinator

We are pleased to share that Jenny Chung will be stepping into the role of Acting Coordinator of the K-12 History and Social Studies (HSS) Department for SY23-24, effective at the end of August. Most recently, she was the Curriculum and Training Specialist in the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, and before that, Ms. Chung served as Acting Coordinator in the 2020-2021 school year. She has also taught Upper School History and been a K-8 HSS District Coach. Ms. Chung is a talented educator and leader. Please join us in congratulating and thanking her for stepping into this important role!

New Assistant Director of Library Media Services

Congratulations to Sarah Novogrodsky, who will be taking over the role of Assistant Director of Library Media Services on August 21. Ms. Novogrodsky has nearly 30 years of experience in the district as a classroom teacher, a dual immersion Spanish/English teacher, a librarian, and a History and Social Studies Coach. Ms. Novogrodsky’s knowledge of the district, leadership, and coaching experience will allow her to support continued student and teacher growth in the Library Media Department.

Longest-Serving School Committee Member, Fred Fantini, Announces Retirement After 40 Years

Last month, School Committee Member Fred Fantini announced his retirement after an incredible 40 years of service. 

Member Fantini is a lifelong Cambridge resident and attended CPS. Elected in 1981 to the School Committee, he has served alongside 15 mayors and seven Superintendents. During his 40-year tenure, Member Fantini has brought a unique perspective and unparalleled passion in service to CPS and the City of Cambridge. He has been a champion for our youth, and we deeply admire his commitment to ensuring our students have the best possible education.

Member Fantini intends to serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in January with the swearing-in of the new School Committee members.

Cash Assistance Applications Due Next Week

Next Monday, July 31, is the deadline to apply for the City of Cambridge’s $22 million Rise Up Cambridge initiative. It is the only city-wide cash assistance program of its kind in the country and provides $500 per month for 18 months to low-income families with children. So far, nearly 400 eligible households have received $200,000.


To Qualify:

  • Households with at least one child age 21 or younger.

  • Households earning at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

  • To apply, visit the City of Cambridge website. Help is available in 8 languages.

Cambridge Preschool Program Coming in SY24-25

The Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP), also known as Universal Preschool or UPK, is a publicly-funded program and a joint partnership between the City of Cambridge, the Department of Human Service Programs, and Cambridge Public Schools.

  • It will provide free preschool to the families of all 4-year-olds and some 3-year-olds.

  • CPP will replace our current Junior Kindergarten-Kindergarten Lottery for the 2024-2025 School Year.

  • A child is eligible if they live in Cambridge and are:

    • 4 years old by August 31, 2024 for 4-year-old programs; or

    • 3 years old by August 31, 2024 for 3-year-old programs (please note there will be limited seats for 3-year-olds and there may be additional eligibility requirements)

  • The single, centralized online application will open in winter 2023/2024.

    • A paper application will be available.

Learn more:


CRLS Student Speaks at School Leadership Conference on Cape Cod

We are so proud of rising junior Calvin Lewis, who addressed Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, and other school district leaders from across Massachusetts at the Paul J. Andrews Summer Executive Institute in Mashpee earlier this month. The professional development program features keynote speakers, presentations, and meetings to equip school administrators with tools to support student growth.

Calvin is part of Project 351, a statewide youth service and leadership program. Way to go, Calvin!

Educators Are Students, Too!

On Thursday, July 6, elementary school teachers and paraprofessionals who are leading our summer programs participated in a wonderful Social Emotional Learning training session to discuss best practices for supporting students this summer.

They also took home CPS swag, including a water bottle and drawstring bag. Please join me in thanking them for taking time out of their summer to make learning fun and productive for our students!

A National Leader in Excellence

We are pleased to share that our King Open/Cambridge Street Upper School and Community Complex was selected as one of 10 winners of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) 2023 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence. The award recognizes superior development efforts based on factors such as community engagement, planning, technology, amenities, management, and sustainability.

The complex, which was the first Net Zero Emissions school in Massachusetts, was also recognized in the “Low-Carbon Development” category. We are proud of this space’s ability to bring our school community together to learn, grow, and connect families with resources and information that supports their child’s education.

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