Budget Workshop Minutes, April 28, 2020
COVID-19 Response Update…………Superintendent Salim7c. CPS District Plan:
Whereas the CPS Distance Learning Plan identifies schools' expectations regarding how CPS will support student learning in partnership with families while school buildings are closed; and
Whereas the foundation of the CPS Distance Learning Plan includes learning experiences that can be scheduled for half the length of the school day (approximately 3 hours per day); opportunities that are facilitated by teachers, student self-directed, or offered in partnership with parents/caregivers; and options for distance learning that take place offline or in real life; and
Whereas the implementation of the CPS Distance Learning Plan has varied based on the school community; therefore
Be it resolved that the Superintendent provide the School Committee an end-of-year Distance Learning Plan summary for each school that gives an overview of how each CPS school operationalized Distance Learning Plans;
Be it further resolved that each school gives specific data on the number of pre-recorded vs. real-time lessons provided during the school closures.
Whereas the Cambridge school district is committed to encouraging civic engagement in students; and
Whereas voter registration is necessary for voting in local and national elections and census data determines congressional representation, informs billions of dollars in federal funding, and has broad impacts on our communities; and
Whereas census awareness efforts and door-to-door visits are no longer possible and the annual opportunities for voter registration drives are canceled due to Covid-19 related social distancing guidelines; therefore
Be it resolved, the School Committee asks the Superintendent to work with the Principal of CRLS and the City Manager to send voter registration and census forms to every CRLS student ages 18 and up, and if possible, include those forms with the student's diploma.
Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools prioritize the health and safety of scholars, staff and school communities, and;
Whereas CPSD is committed to ensuring that our young people learn about and exercise their voting rights as part of instilling lifelong habits of civic engagement, and;
Whereas public health guidelines dictate that safely responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires limiting the number of people in close proximity, particularly indoors, and;
Whereas individuals including CPSD students, staff, and their close contacts have different levels of vulnerability to COVID-19, and CPSD school buildings have been long utilized as polling places for elections, now therefore be it;
Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee encourages all who are eligible to vote to register and vote, and eligible voters to register to vote by mail, and be it further;
Resolved that, while respecting student privacy with regard to citizenship status and other personal information, the Superintendent will work with Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and relevant elections agencies to ensure that all students who are 16 years of age or older are provided with voter pre-registration or registration forms far enough in advance to participate in all upcoming elections, and all students who will be eligible to vote in the next election are provided with materials to request voting by mail far enough in advance to participate, and be it further; Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee joins the City Council in supporting H. 4737, "An Act ensuring safe and participatory 2020 state elections in response to COVID-19," and will send a copy of this motion to the State Legislature and Governor Baker, and be it further;
Resolved that the School Committee requests a recommendation from the Cambridge Election Commission, Cambridge Public Health Department and Superintendent Salim by June 30, 2020 in regards to closing school buildings to scholars and staff on election days in 2020 and 2021 and any other viable options in order to ensure that voters who choose to exercise their right to vote in person are able to physically distance from school communities.
Resolved that, the School Committee requests a recommendation from the Buildings and Grounds Sub Committee by June 30, 2020 in regards to closing school buildings to scholars and staff on election days in 2020 and 2021 and any other viable options in order to ensure that voters who choose to exercise their right to vote in person are able to physically distance from school communities.
Whereas the Cambridge Public School District closed its school buildings to scholars and educators to slow the spread of COVID-19 on March 13th, and;
Whereas the Superintendent reviewed recommendations from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education about grading for quarters three and four and determined that Q3 grades will remain A-F Q4 grades will be administered on a Credit or No Credit basis, and;
Whereas many high school seniors (and other scholars) are challenged by working as essential employees, caring for younger siblings and family members with disabilities, dealing with mental health, and;
Whereas the transition to remote schooling and diminished time for in-person structured classes may have resulted in a reduction in learning and assignment completion, now therefore be it;
Resolved that the Superintendent will report to the School Committee on how many senior scholars will not be graduating from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and the High School Extension Program this month as compared to the Class of 2019 and Class of 2018, and will further disaggregate the data by race, socio-economic, disability and English learner statuses, and be it further;
Resolved that, by June 26th, the Superintendent will provide the School Committee and CRLS families with detailed credit recovery options for senior scholars to earn their diplomas by the end of summer 2020
Whereas the Cambridge Public School District has provided Chromebooks and 400 Wi-Fi hotspots for students since schools closed on March 13th, and;
Whereas the digital divide, which affects low-income residents and has existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, has now been further exacerbated, and;
Whereas internet service has become a basic need to access information, finish school assignments, and order food and supplies, and;
Whereas our neighboring city of Somerville entered into a contract with Comcast last week to provide six months of free home internet service for the 450 families that their school district identified as not having internet at home, and;
Whereas in addition, the Somerville Public School District gave Verizon Jetpacks to families who were not eligible for the Comcast service, and;
Whereas short term options may exist, such as, providing Comcast Internet Essentials for the next year, now therefore be it;
Resolved that the Superintendent and Chief of Information Services work with the City Manager to explore the feasibility of providing internet to families, and be it further;
Resolved that, by June 26th, the Superintendent will provide the School Committee with an update.
MEMBER ROJAS ADDED AS CO-SPONSOR
Whereas, that the School Committee hereby goes on record in expressing its deep condolences to Ms. Allison Wade and her family for the loss of her brother; and
Whereas, that the Cambridge Public Schools community recognizes Ms. Wade for consistently supporting scholars and colleagues in their times of need and in this time of physical distancing hopes a written correspondence brings some small measure of comfort, and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Executive Secretary be and hereby is requested to forward a suitable letter of condolence to Ms. Wade's family on behalf of the entire School Committee.
Whereas, that the School Committee hereby goes on record in expressing its deep condolences to Ms. Latrice Bates and her family for the loss of her aunt; and
Whereas, that the Cambridge Public Schools community recognizes Ms. Bates for being a thoughtful educator and consistently supporting scholars, we hope a written correspondence brings some small measure of comfort, and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Executive Secretary be and hereby is requested to forward a suitable letter of condolence to Ms. Bates' family on behalf of the entire School Committee.
Whereas, Claire Rodley passed away on May 21, 2020 at 87 years young.
Whereas, Claire Rodley was a lifelong resident of Inman Square Cambridge, and beloved wife of sixty years to the late James J. Rodley; and
Whereas, Claire Rodley was the proud mother of: Carol Rodley and her husband, David, Susana, James and his wife, Laura, John and his wife, Heather Clark, and Edward and his wife, Jennifer Hogue; and
Whereas, Claire Rodley was the equally proud grandmother and great grandmother to 13 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren:
Whereas, Claire Rodley was a Graduate of St. Mary's High School and the University of Massachusetts; and
Whereas, Claire Rodley brought respect, honor, and integrity to the City of Cambridge and the Office of the School Committee by leading through example, exhibiting the highest level of ethics and maintaining a superior moral character; and
Whereas, Claire Rodley's institutional knowledge and intelligence were boundless. As was her dedication and commitment to the School Committee Office and it's members; and
Whereas, Claire was the Executive Secretary to the School Committee who served the Committee with dignity and grace for thirty six years; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT
Resolved that the School Committee does hereby honor Claire Rodley for her legacy of dedication, enthusiasm and outstanding public service given as the retired Executive Secretary of the Cambridge School Committee.
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Whereas, racism and police brutality continue to terrorize and take innocent Black people's lives amid this COVID-19 crisis that disproportionately hurts the Black community, and;
Whereas, the district has committed to actively combating racism at every level, and;
Whereas, the nation is overwhelmed with anger and sadness and generational pain, and;
Whereas, Black youth must, now more than ever, be embraced, supported, and validated by their community that Black Lives Matter, and;
Whereas, the CRLS Black Student Union is requesting that a Black Lives Matter banner be displayed outside their school building as soon as possible, and;
Whereas, the School Committee pledges to elevate the voices and ensure the safety of Black youth, now therefore be it;
RESOLVED that a Black Lives Matter flag is raised outside the CRLS building before the end of S19-20 and to remain raised for the entire SY20-21, as an act of solidarity.13. Communications and Reports from City Officers: None