Regular Meeting Meeting | Agenda

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Held in and broadcast from the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, Cambridge Rindge, and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Cambridge. To sign up to call in using the ZOOM app on your computer or mobile device: visit www.cpsd.us/school_committee/virtual

Regular Meetings will be live-streamed at www.cpsd.us and broadcast on Cambridge Educational Access TV (CEATV) Channel 98/99, as usual. Motions shown below are updated live as they progress.

From the Office of the Executive Secretary to the School Committee

September 17, 2019 | 06:00 pm

1. Public Comment (3 Minutes):

2. Student School Committee Report:

3. Presentation of the Records for Approval:

• Special Meeting, Superintendent Evaluation, August 22, 2019
• Regular Meeting, September 3, 2019

4. Reconsiderations:

5. Unfinished Business/Calendar:
#19-201 Joint Motion by Member Nolan, Member Kimbrough

Whereas the School Committee passed an order related to reviewing school building namesakes relation to the slave trade; and

Whereas the School Committee also wishes to understand if any school buildings are named for people who sought to oppress women; Now therefore the School Committee ask that the historical review of ties to slavery include a review of ties of namesakes to the oppression of women.

6. Awaiting Reports:
#19-205 Joint Motion by Member Nolan, Vice Chair Kelly and Member FantiniThat whereas the district has a commitment to all learners; and
Whereas the position of lead teacher for advanced learners has not had stable leadership for some time; and
Whereas the district has been reviewing protocols to address advanced learners needs; and
Whereas at times circumstances are such that students’ needs cannot be met in a classroom;
That the School Committee request, before the next school year begins, a report on recruitment efforts for the position, on supports for learners, including existing statistics on existing plans, and future updates to procedures, policies and protocols, including changing the existing system of relying on parents and guardians to identify students, which is inherently inequitable, and to ensure transparency and clarity, and under what circumstances a student may advance a grade.
#C19-064 Joint Motion by Member Nolan, Member Kimbrough

That the following be amended and referred to the Superintendent:

Whereas the School Committee worked to raise the level of instruction for all students through the Level Up initiative at CRLS; and

Whereas a recent Globe project on valedictorians documented a sobering and critically important question of whether high schools are preparing students for success: and

Whereas the recent report The Opportunity Myth by The New Teachers Project found that despite 71% of students in a national representative sample of audited classes met classroom expectations and succeeded on assignments, only 17% of those assignments were on grade level when evaluated; and Whereas both the Valedictorian Project and The New Teachers Project identified the need for high expectations and intentional focus on rigorous curriculum, instruction and assignments as key to delivering on the promise of success in college and life; and

Whereas there were gaps by racial subgroups in performance on common assessment; and

Whereas nearly 1 in 3 CRLS students indicated that teachers do not have very high expectations of them; Therefore, the School Committee directs the Administration to evaluate the Level Up ELA classes, to ensure that the initiative is as successful as possible. The School Committee requests the Superintendent submits a report no later than the August 6, 2019 Regular Summer Meeting.

#C19-181 Motion by

That the following be adopted as amended:

That whereas bottled water is environmentally devastating, and

Whereas bottled water costs approximately 50 times more than city water, and Whereas Cambridge's water routinely exceeds health and safety standards, and Whereas the school district and the city have sought to reduce waste and encourage city water consumption over bottled water, and

Whereas the City Council passed an order recognizing this issue on January 28, 2019, be it ordered

That the district establish a policy that no district funds, unless necessary, may be used to purchase bottled water, and

That this policy be referred to the Superintendent for a report by the summer meeting, and

That this policy be communicated to all schools.

#C19-210 Motion by

That the following be adopted as amended:

Due to legislation passed by the State Legislature that requests early screenings of students to identify if they have dyslexia,
That the Superintendent take appropriate steps to ensure that students are screened and that students who are identified receive appropriate and timely supports and that training and support for teachers is in place. Superintendent will report back on how the district will comply with the present law by the Regular meeting in November.

7. Superintendent’s Agenda:

7a. Superintendent's Update:
7b. Presentations:

Dynamic Diversity Development…….....
Barbara Allen, Executive Director of Human Resources
Ramon DeJesus, Program Manager for Diversity Development

7c. CPS District Plan:

7d. Consent Agenda:
#19-22 Recommendation: Gifts/Miscellaneous Receipts
#19-225 Recommendation: Day & Residential Services not Available from the Cambridge School Department
#19-226 Recommendation: Contract Award: Everfi, Inc.: Professional Development
#19-227 Recommendation: Contract Award: Tutoring Plus of Cambridge Inc.: Educational Services
#19-228 Recommendation: Contract Award: Cambridge Housing Authority: Educational Services
#19-229 Recommendation: Contract Award: Somerville Live Poultry Inc. DBA Mayflower Poultry Co.: Supply & Delivery of Fresh Meat
#19-230 Recommendation: Contract Award: Teaching & Learning Alliance: Professional Development
#19-231 Recommendation: Contract Award: Van Pool Transportation: Student Transportation Services
#19-232 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: FY20 Title III: English Language Acquisition for Limited English (LEP) Students (SC20737)
#19-233 Recommendation: Grant Award: Emergency Impact Aid for Homeless Students (SC20155)
#19-234 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY20 McKinney Vento Homeless Students (SC20707)

8. Non-Consent Agenda:

9. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):
#19-235 Joint Motion by Member Nolan, Vice Chair Kelly, Member Dexter

Whereas current research and evidence related to vaping has documented the serious harmful health effects, including the possibility of lung blockage and death; and

Whereas increasing numbers of adolescents and young adults are using vaping products, which are readily available in our community; That the School Committee requests the District Leadership add a health unit on the effects of vaping to the 9th grade health curriculum that explains the highly addictive effects of nicotine and lung damage caused by oils in vaping products. Additionally, the District Leadership will create an action plan that outlines the important public health measures that will be taken to protect our families, students, and staff.

#19-236 Motion by Member DexterThat
Whereas the School Committee has expressed concern about the Cambridge Public Schools practice of suspending students in grades PreK-2, a practice abolished in some other districts, the Committee requests data from the Administration from the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years on the total number of PreK-2nd grade students who were suspended one or more times in either or both of these years, with, if possible, specification of the number of these suspended PreK-2nd grade students across all demographic subgroups, as well as data on informal suspensions, if available. This data is requested by October 15, 2019.

#19-237 Motion by Member DexterThat
Whereas the School Committee has expressed ongoing concern about the CRLS practices of reducing grades for high school students who are frequently absent or tardy without accepted excuses (Attendance Violations), the School Committee requests data from the Administration from the first and second semesters of 2018-2019 on the total number of students whose grades were reduced due to Attendance Violations, as well as these grade reduction frequencies disaggregated by gender, race, income, ELL status, and disability status. This data is requested before October 15, 2019. The School Committee further requests that, going forward, this data be provided to the School Committee after each semester of the 2019-2020 school year, in order for the School Committee to evaluate the effect of the new Attendance Violation policy.
#19-238 Motion by Member Kimbrough

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools has created the strategic objective of creating stronger relationships with community partners and creating a more culturally competent workforce; Be it resolved that the Cambridge Public Schools will work with DHSP and other non-profit organizations that the district gives financial assistance to create a policy where participation can lead to earning high school credit; and Further, that the high school will look to create an after-school focus group around race and equity in which CRLS students and teachers can earn credit towards graduation and professional development points (PDP's) with the desire to begin both opportunities beginning in the 20-21 school year.

#19-239 Motion by Member Nolan

Whereas the School Committee has focused on providing support for schools in need; and

Whereas Putnam Avenue Upper School (PAUS) has graduated a total of only 22 students in the last seven years who successfully completed Algebra in 8th grade, compared to an average of 132 students from the other Upper Schools - five times as many -who met that standard; That the district explore implementing an intensive tutoring program at PAUS this school year in math.

#19-240 Motion by Member Nolan

Whereas there are sometimes circumstances that lead students to not be in school; and

Whereas students across the country are organizing a strike on September 20, 2019 to ask for action on the climate crisis; That the School Committee go on record supporting students who choose to participate.

10. Resolutions:

11. Announcements:

12. Late Orders:

13. Communications and Reports from City Officers: None
Updated on 05/04/2021