Greer Gazette | March 4, 2024

Greer Gazette | March 4, 2024
Posted on 03/04/2024
Greetings CPS Community!

Greetings CPS Community…happy March! I hope you are looking forward to spring and the warmer weather as much as I am. 

At tomorrow’s School Committee meeting, our Director of English Language Arts and Literacy and our Director of Multi-tiered Systems of Support will share an update on the elementary and upper school ELA curriculums and interventions. 

As we continue to work through the budget for the next school year, we are releasing a three-part video series beginning this week, highlighting some of the key investments in the proposed budget. Today’s video, which was shared this morning and can be found below, highlights our wonderful Educator Pathway Program, which offers current CPS teachers and paraprofessionals the opportunity to be awarded a full scholarship to pursue secondary education in either Special Education or English as a Second Language. I hope you take 90 seconds to watch the video. I look forward to presenting the proposed budget for 2024-2025 to the School Committee next Tuesday, March 12

I want to again extend our gratitude to everyone who completed our District and School Climate Survey. We had record participation with over 68 percent of our families sharing their feedback! We shared some of the highlights of the data as well as opportunities for growth in a communication last week. We will also host a town hall on Monday, March 18 to go over the findings, share next steps, and answer questions. More details about the time and location will be shared soon. 

As we continue to strive for the highest standards in all forms of communication, later this month we will launch a survey for your feedback on ParentSquare and our website. Your input will inform decisions and contribute to the continued improvement of our communication strategies and platforms, both of which are integral to objective 4 of our District Plan…Building Welcoming Schools. The survey will open in two weeks, on Monday, March 18th. 

A reminder that schools are closed tomorrow, March 5, for staff professional development. 

Thank you for your continued support. 

Make it Great!


National School Social Work Week (March 3-9) is sponsored by the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) and celebrates school social workers across the nation for their work in helping students achieve academic success. This year’s theme “Pearls of Wisdom” is focused on highlighting the pearls of wisdom that school social workers bring to their school campus and community. 

In CPS, our school social workers focus on enhancing the well-being and success of our students by supporting their social, emotional, and behavioral needs, providing counseling services, connecting families to community resources, and serving as a clinical voice by advocating for our students. A huge thank you to our CPS school social workers, whose support, dedication, and role is integral to student success! 

National Nutrition Month 
March is National Nutrition Month, a time to celebrate all things food! This year we are focusing on not just the food that goes into our bodies, but the food system as a whole! Food & Nutrition Services contributes to improving our food system by sourcing and purchasing local produce from our friends at Boston Food Hub, halal poultry from Mayflower poultry, and fresh caught fish from Red's Best located right on Boston Harbor. Students help improve the health of their local food system everyday in the cafeteria by reducing food waste, using Share Tables, and composting food scraps. The composted food scraps from our kitchens and cafeterias are collected by the Cambridge Department of Public Works and turned into a form of clean energy called biogas. 

We can all play a part in continuing to create a more sustainable food system! Families can join the celebration by checking out FNS’ monthly menus for fun facts and by following them on X (formally known as Twitter) and Instagram or more fun surprises! 

Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month was proclaimed by Congress and many governors and legislatures as a month to celebrate the rich and inspiring heritage of women’s contributions to the United States, such as Jeannette Rankin who on March 4, 1917 became the first female member of Congress. She was elected four years before the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote. 

We also celebrate Shirley Chisholm who in 1968 became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress. We celebrate these women who served in public office and who paved the way for other women who are currently serving, including local trail blazers U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, and Massachusetts State Representative Majorie Decker. 

The National Womens’ History Alliance has set a theme Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The theme recognized women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions.


Budget Priorities for 2024-2025: Educator Pathway Program

As we continue to work through the budget for the next school year, we are excited to highlight some of the key investments in the 2024-2025 proposed budget, beginning with the Educator Pathway Program or EPP.

EPP gives current CPS teachers and paraprofessionals the opportunity to be awarded a full scholarship to pursue secondary education in either Special Education at Cambridge College or English as a Second Language at Lesley University. Led by Human Resources, EPP represents the district’s deep commitment to retaining our educators and offering pathways for growth as represented in objective 3 of our District Plan, Implement Effective Staff Learning and Support. We hope you will take 90 seconds to watch the video and learn more about this impactful program.

Tips for Understanding the Budget:

March Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour

We are excited for tomorrow’s Family/Caregiver Virtual Dinner Hour from 6:30-7:30PM. Please note that we will begin organizing the meetings by triad. March’s meeting will be for Cambridgeport, Cambridge Street Upper, Fletcher Maynard Academy, and King Open. 

This is an opportunity to engage with families and caregivers to learn about your experiences with our schools, have meaningful conversations about our schools and school district, and answer any questions that you may have. Please register at the link below. By registering, you will also be able to share topics of interest which will help us plan.

Monthly on Wednesdays from 6:30 - 7:30PM 

Register Here!

March 20 

April 24 

May 15

Subscribe to the DHSP’s Newsletter

Are you interested in learning about programs, opportunities, and events for Cambridge kids, teens, and families offered by the City of Cambridge? Subscribe to the Department of Human Service Programs’ (DHSP) new monthly newsletter! “DHSP News for Kids, Teens, and Families” will share updates from across DHSP’s child and youth-serving divisions. Subscribe here!

March Communication and Content Survey

As Cambridge Public Schools continues to strive for the highest standards in all forms of communication across schools and district offices, we are eager to hear from you!

We are excited to share that our school community will have the opportunity to tell us how our communication measures up in our Communication and Content (ParentSquare and Website) survey. Your feedback will inform decisions and contribute to the continued improvement of our communication strategies and platforms as both of which are integral to objective 4 of our District Plan: Building Welcoming Schools.

The survey will be open from Monday, March 18 - Friday, April 5.

We have again partnered with Panorama Education for the survey. Panorama safeguards your privacy, keeping your responses confidential.

DESE Report Cards

Every year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) publishes district and school report cards, which are designed to demonstrate how a school or district is performing. Report cards highlight a school or district's strengths, as well as the challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that the needs of all students are being met.

  • Click here to view the CPS District Report Card & your child’s school report card. (It is also available on each school’s website)

5 Quick Facts about the school report cards. (ArabicCape VerdeanChineseHaitian CreoleKhmerPortugueseRussianSpanishVietnamese)

Scholarship Opportunities

ScholarshipCity of Cambridge Scholarship Application Closes Tonight!

For 32 years, the Scholarship Fund has provided financial assistance to college-bound high school seniors and other Cambridge residents who wish to pursue post-secondary education. As the cost of higher education increases, these scholarships offer financial relief for many.

Interested residents apply online and obtain appropriate signatures before submitting it for consideration. Questions and requests for paper applications via mail can be directed to the Finance Department at 617.349.4220 or [email protected].

Access additional information, including eligibility requirements and FAQs here.

Spring Sports Registration Closes Next Thursday!

Spring Sports

Registration for Spring Athletics is open now through next Thursday, March 14 at 11PM.

  • Register today for the spring season!

Featured Events & Opportunities

Diversity Hiring Fair

We're excited to host our first Diversity Hiring Fair next Saturday! Don't Miss out on this wonderful opportunity to connect with hiring managers and learn more about CPS! Selected candidates will have on-site interviews. Childcare will be provided. 
  • When: Saturday, March 9 | 10AM - 2PM 

  • Where: King Open School (located at 830 Cambridge Street) 

  • Register here for the event! Access the flyer here.

March Free 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.

  • Tuesday, March 12 | 1:30 - 3:30PM (Graham & Parks Elementary School)

  • Thursday, March 21 | 3:15 - 5:15 PM (Peabody/ Rindge Avenue Upper School)

  • Tuesday, March 26 | 3 - 4:30 PM (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School/Putnam Ave Upper School)

  • Wednesday, March 27 | 1:45 - 3:45PM (Fletcher Maynard Academy)

  • Wednesday, March 27 | 2 - 4PM (Kennedy-Longfellow School/Vassal Lane Upper School)

  • See the full list of free food markets for the 2023-2024 school year.

Egg-citing Win for CRLS at the State ProStart Invitational!

Last week Chef Rick and the CRLS ProStart Culinary team competed in the 16th Annual Massachusetts ProStart Invitational (MAPSI) at Gillette Stadium. 11 high schools from throughout the state competed in both a management and culinary portion of the competition. CRLS took on the culinary competition in a race against the clock to prepare a starter dish, entrée and dessert. CRLS placed 1st in culinary, they now qualify to compete at Nationals ProStart Invitational in Baltimore April of this year. Congratulations to Chef Rick and the CRLS ProStart team on their win! 

A High Note for the World Jazz Ensemble!

Congratulations to the World Jazz Ensemble (WJE) students that traveled to Panama last month to perform at the 2024 Panama Jazz Festival. The students played at a concert at La Plaza, Ciudad del Saber. While on their trip, the WJE students had the opportunity to teach a Master Class on Rehearsal Technique and Improvisation for an audience of about 100 participants! 

Our educators didn’t miss out on the fun,Mr. Guillermo Nojechowicz taught a Master Class on Drumming and played at a concert with his own quartet at the Teatro Ateneo. Meanwhile, Dr. Mila Thigpen taught a Salsa Master Class on Salsa. We’re proud to have been represented by the WJE and our talented faculty!

Key Resources

Tuesday, March 5 | Staff Professional Development Day (No School)
Wednesday, March 13 | Early Release (Grades JK-8)
Friday, March 29 | Good Friday (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Wednesday, April 10 | Eid al-Fitr (No School & CPS Offices Closed)
Monday, April 15 - Friday, April 19 | April Break (No School & CPS Offices Closed on Monday, April 15)
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