• May 14, 2019 Roundtable Meeting on College Success
• May 21, 2019 Regular Meeting
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.
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.
RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO PARTICIPATING IN AN ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT OTHER THAN MCAS for submission to the MASC Delegate Assembly by the Cambridge School Committee
WHEREAS, as flexible and adaptable learning organizations, the membership of the Mass Association of School Committees uphold the important strategic objectives of Equity, Access and Continuous Improvement; and WHEREAS, improvement requires the regular monitoring of progress in multiple ways however, the current format and frequency of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) does not fully align with Mass Association of School Committee districts visions of rigorous, joyful, culturally responsive learning; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently acknowledged that a racially insensitive question appeared on the 2019 10th grade English Language Arts MCAS exam that called for students to take on the perspective of a racist character after reading passage in Colson Whitehead's 'The Underground Railroad;' and
WHEREAS, this highlights the need for inquiry into MCAS test question creation, review, and approval process as well as the developmental and cultural appropriateness of the MCAS as an effective and unbiased assessment measure; now
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees go on record in support of the role that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and their respective Superintendents can play in advocating to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for flexibility from federal assessment regulations in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees request the Commissioner of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) encouraging the state to file an application to the Innovative Assessment Pilot (ESSA Section 1204) for Massachusetts be one of the US States allowed to 'pilot innovative systems of assessments" with a goal of providing continued accountability, and improving authentic and meaningful assessments that more equitably serve our students; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to the extent possible create innovative models of performance based assessments.
RATIONALE: Massachusetts is ready to move forward from a practice of high stakes testing to high quality assessments systems that provide timely critical information that meet the needs of all students.
That: Whereas CPS strives to create equitable, developmentally appropriate learning environments in which all students are included and able to learn; and
Whereas the CPS discipline policy prohibits out-of-school suspensions of PreK-2nd grade students who bring a weapon to school; Therefore the CPS discipline policy will be revised to specify that students in grades PreK-2nd grade will not be suspended out-of-school for any reason; and CPS schools will collect data on the number and demographics of preK-12th grade students excluded from class by being sent to the office or otherwise excluded from class but not formally suspended; and These data will be provided to the School Committee twice per year for each CPS school.
Whereas CPS believes in academic excellence for all students; and
Whereas CPS created a strategic plan for the district with academic outcomes measures for students in the fall of 2017; and
Whereas the district;s outcomes for 8th grade math and 3rd reading are different for separate sub-groups; and
Whereas these different expectations are counter to the district's work on equity, Be it resolved that the School Committee affirms the vision and strategic objectives of the district plan and directs CPS to set equal strategic outcomes for all subgroups with support from families, educators and the CPS administration.
That the Superintendent or designee provide an update on Special Education transportation to the School Committee by Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
That: Whereas the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School has undertaken an extensive process to examine and redesign its Attendance Violation Policy; and
Whereas data can be used for continuous improvement;
Therefore, the Attendance Violation Policy will be amended per the attached document. In addition, the CPS Administration will provide the School Committee with data on attendance violations after the conclusion of each semester, which will include information about numbers and percentages of students who: 1) qualify for an AV, 2) buy-back to retain their course grade, 3) attend a Studentship Workshop, 4) receive an Individual Support Plan, and 5) have their course grade reduced by 10 points. This data will be disaggregated by DESE categories (second reading).
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.
Whereas the school district has consistently been following policies of meeting the highest possible environmental standards in all operations, and
Whereas the district has desired to stay in compliance with LEED standards, the School Committee affirms that the school district maintains sustainable policies and practices and is committed to environmental best practices in all operations.
Whereas Jeffrey (Jeff) Gaglione has been a leader in the district and at CRLS, and
Whereas his work on behalf of opportunity for all with a focus on equity, and
Whereas the program he developed and initiated, the Math Move Up Program, has successfully transitioned many students into honors level math classes, especially students from underrepresented groups, and
Whereas Mr. Gaglione will be leaving the district to be a Principal elsewhere, That the School Committee send a letter of gratitude for his service and contributions to CPS and wish him well in his new position.
At the conclusion of the Regular Meeting, the School Committee will entertain a motion to convene in Executive Session, in the School Committee Conference Room, 459 Broadway, Cambridge, for the purposes of hearing a Level III grievance filed by the CEA Units A&B as part of collective bargaining as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining and litigation positions of the School Committee; and to discuss collective bargaining and litigation strategy with respect to a CEA Units A&B Level III grievance and pending arbitration with the CEA Units A&B as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining and litigation positions of the School Committee.
The School Committee will not reconvene in open session; no votes will be taken in executive session other than the vote to adjourn the executive session.