Greer Gazette: October 23, 2023

Greer Gazette: October 23, 2023
Posted on 10/23/2023

Greetings CPS Community…

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and had an opportunity to soak in the fall colors.

We have several projects and initiatives underway, including the launch of our Attendance Matters campaign next month. Did you know that in Massachusetts if your child misses 18 days or more of school, they are considered chronically absent? Chronic absenteeism is one of our district targets. Daily attendance plays a vital role in your child’s educational journey. Attending school regularly is a critical aspect of academic success and social, emotional, and personal development. Please keep an eye out for more information in November!

We are excited to share that the Office of Academics and Schools has been leading and doing our first school learning walks over the past several weeks. At an upcoming School Committee meeting, the team will share an update on the visits and how the data will inform our collective work in ensuring each of our students is experiencing a high quality education through consistency in practice.

A reminder that this Wednesday is an early release day for JK-8.

Make it Great!

Dr. Victoria L. Greer


Kindergarten Lottery Information Sessions Next Month


The Kindergarten Lottery for the 2024-2025 school year will open on January 2 and close on January 31. All registrations must be fully completed, including all language testing to determine eligibility for Program Language Bonus points. To learn more, visit our website.

Information Sessions:

Cambridge Preschool Program Applications Opens December 1


The application window for the Cambridge Preschool Program (CPP), or Universal Preschool, will open on Friday, December 1, 2023 and remain open through Monday, January 15, 2024. As we have shared, CPP will begin next school year, providing free preschool to the families of all 4-year-olds and some 3-year-olds.

What does CPP mean for CPS?

Free Webinar: Raising Healthy Kids in a Digital World

CartwheelOur mental health partner, Cartwheel, is offering another free live webinar to share some strategies to create a family plan around texting, gaming, social media, and more.

Join guest speaker Lori Getz to learn strategies and specific language you can use that will help break down walls and get everyone in your family having meaningful conversations about the role technology plays in emotional, mental, physical, and relational health and wellness.

City of Cambridge Halloween Events

PumpkinThe City of Cambridge has a variety of fun Halloween events for children, youth, and families across the city. Various city departments will be sponsoring events from October 24 - 31. Visit the city’s website for a list of events.

General Halloween Safety Tips:

  • Kids are reminded to wear reflective colors, carry a flashlight when it gets dark, and use extra caution crossing streets.
  • Young children should be accompanied by an adult or a responsible older kid.
  • When wearing a costume, watch for trip hazards, especially on stairs. Allow plenty of clearance if passing a heat source or open flame. Open flames should never be used as Halloween decorations or costumes.
  • Any treats given to kids should be checked out by an adult.

Planning for Lockdown Drills

Our Safety & Security team is currently planning for the first lockdown drills of the school year. These lockdown drills will take place from mid-October to mid-November.

As a reminder, you can find more details about school procedures like this one, in our Information for Families in the Event of a School Emergency. (አማርኛ | عربي | বাংলা | Kreyòl ayisyen | Español)

STEAM IT UP! K-8 Family STEAM Night

Steam It Up

Have you ever wanted to investigate the connection between rocket shape and launch distance? Does observing coastal critters excite you? Come join local STEAM providers for a fun, educational evening and pizza!

Thursday, October 26 | 6 - 8PM (Cambridge Street Upper School Gym located at 850 Cambridge Street)

Apply for an Equity Collaborative Grant

Do you have a great idea for a project or event to make CPS more inclusive this year? Apply to be part of the Equity Collaborative!

Health Updates
Upcoming COVID & Flu Vaccine Clinics

COVID Flu Clinics

During the month of October, the Cambridge Public Health Department is offering COVID-19 and flu vaccines to adults and children who live in Cambridge. Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older get flu and COVID-19 vaccines this fall.

  • *Wednesday, October 25 | 4 - 7PM
    Reservoir Church (170 Rindge Ave.)
    *Please note that this is a Vaxabilities Clinic for people with special needs.
  • Thursday, October 26 | 4 - 7PM
    Pisani Center (131 Washington St.)
  • Friday, October 27 | 1 - 4PM
    Cambridge Community Center (5 Callender St.)
  • Appointments are encouraged. Bring your insurance card if you have one. (COVID vaccines are covered by most Massachusetts health insurance plans.)

Free COVID Tests Available to All Households
The US government is offering four free at-home COVID tests to all households again. Tests will be mailed to your home by the US Postal Service after you place your order online.

Wash HandsCPS Policies & Procedures
In addition to our current COVID-19 policies and procedures, which align with the end of the COVID-19 Federal Emergency on May 11, 2023, we ask that all students, families, and staff remain vigilant. Please continue to monitor for symptoms, use COVID tests as necessary, and stay home when you are not feeling well. Masking and hand washing are also great ways to protect yourself and others against illnesses.

Take the Community Health Equity Survey
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is conducting a survey to collect information from people and communities whose voices have not been adequately represented in the past. The Community Health Equity Survey will help the state learn about community health needs so it can plan resources and support near you.

Free Food Markets

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.

Upcoming markets:

  • Tuesday, October 31
    3 - 4:30PM (MLK School & Putnam Ave Upper School)
  • See the full list of free food markets for the 2023-2024 school year.
Watch Our Amigos 6th Graders Hit the Charles River!

Charles River

Last week, Amigos students picked up their oars and enjoyed a morning rowing as a part of our partnership with Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI) and Cambridge Boat Club (CBC). The partnership expands our Physical Education curriculum and gives all of our 6th graders the opportunity to participate in indoor rowing classes and on-water field trips. Read more about the partnership here.

Pemberton Street Mural

MuralEarlier this month, the new, community-inspired mural along Pemberton Street was unveiled! Some of our students contributed to the beautiful addition on the retaining wall at Rindge Field between Haskell Street and Yerxa Road.

The Pemberton Street Mural was designed by Cambridge artist Whitney Van Praagh in collaboration with Alex Adamo and Kit Collins, with additional artistic contributions from many local residents and Cambridge youth. The mural was funded through the City of Cambridge Participatory Budgeting Process and supported by Cambridge Arts.

Mark Your Calendar

Wednesday, October 25 | Early Release (Grades JK-8)
Tuesday, November 7 | Staff Professional Learning Day (No School)
Friday, November 10 | Veterans Day (observed) (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Wednesday, November 15 | Early Release (Grades JK-8)
Wednesday, November 22 | Early Release (All Grades)
Thursday, November 23-Friday, November 24 | Thanksgiving Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed)

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