• Special Meeting, Budget Workshop, March 12, 2019
• Regular Meeting, March 19, 2019
That: Whereas the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School administration has been engaged in a two-year process, supported by a School Committee Ad-Hoc Sub-Committee, to revise the high school Attendance Violation (AV) Policy toward greater equity; and
Whereas the School Committee values data-informed policy-making and comprehensive communication of policies; The AV Ad-Hoc Sub-Committee, chaired by Member Dexter with members Member Kelly and Member Nolan, requests that a draft of the new policy, to be implemented beginning in September, 2019, be presented, as a First Reading, to the School Committee no later than May 21, 2019, along with a communication plan to ensure that all students, faculty, and administrators are aware of the new policy and that there is faculty "buy-in"; and The Committee requests data from the Fall, 2018, semester showing the following attendance data in the aggregate and disaggregated by: lunch status, race/ethnicity, gender, disability status, and ELL status: 1) number of students absent and tardy; 2) number of students absent and tardy without an excuse (Earned AV); 3) number of students "buying out" their Earned AV's; and 4) number of students whose grades were reduced due to an Assigned AV. These data are requested by May 7, 2019.
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 Whereas the School Committee has scheduled a Roundtable on disproportionality in Special Education for Tuesday, May 28, 2019; and
Whereas this topic is of interest to members of the public who may not be able to attend the Roundtable in person; That the School Committee televise and livestream the Roundtable and archive a video of the Roundtable on the School Committee website.
That Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools currently offer three language immersion programs and several elementary school world language programs; and Where there is increasing demand for these programs as well as enrollment challenges related to socioeconomic and language balance; and
Whereas the School Committee has not comprehensively discussed issues related to its elementary world language and immersion programs in many years; The School Committee will hold a Roundtable discussion on CPS Elementary Immersion and World Language Programs, which will include but not be limited to the following topics: 1) Language and SES balance in immersion schools and the related lottery formulas; 2) Data from recent years on enrollment and lottery choices in the CPS elementary schools that offer immersion or world language education; 3) Capacity and number of seats and classrooms in the current immersion programs; 4) Equitable access to elementary world language and immersion programs across the 12 elementary schools; 5) JK-12 language pathways for students beginning their language instruction in elementary school and middle school. 6) Language assessment and language proficiency levels attained in CPS immersion and elementary world language programs. This Roundtable will be televised, livestreamed, and video-archived on the School Committee webpage.
Given that the Cambridge Police Department is creating a Cadet Program beginning at age 18 primarily to support Cambridge youth to become Police Officers; That the School Department evaluate what it would take to open a Ch. 74 Criminal Justice Program that would serve to compliment the Cadet Program.
That the AV Ad-Hoc Sub-Committee will reconvene with Member Dexter as Chair, Member Kelly and Member Nolan as members on Tuesday, April 2. 2019. The AV Ad-Hoc Sub-Committee will share its recommendations with the full School Committee on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
That the School Committee requests that the Superintendent undertake an educational programmatic review of the January 10, 2019 panel discussion that occurred at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and that this review be conducted by outside legal services and that it seek to address the issues detailed in the attached scope of services; and
Further, that the Superintendent bring forward to the School Committee any recommended revisions to relevant policies that he believes are warranted as a result of this programmatic review, including but not limited to, the following policies: School Departments Non-Discrimination Policy and Prohibition Against Sexual Harassment, Teaching About Controversial Issues/Controversial Speakers, and Community Resource Persons; and Further, that the School Committee be provided with a copy of the completed report for its review and consideration of whether to take any actions with respect to the findings, including making any revisions to either School Committee policies and/or School Committee rules; and Further, that this motion supersedes and replaces paragraphs five through seven of School Committee Order C19-033.
Scope of Services Overview The Cambridge Public Schools is seeking the services of an attorney to conduct a prompt and objective fact-finding review of a matter which occurred in a class at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) on January 10, 2019 which involved the use of language (the n-word) during a panel discussion, and which was reported to have made a number of students uncomfortable, and has been a subject of internal and community discussion and debate as well as the subject of local press coverage. The scope of services sought include:
Conduct individual and/or group fact-finding interviews with parties involved, including but not limited to, students in the class, the teacher of the class; panelists; members of the Black Student Union (BSU) and student government; the Dean overseeing History classes at CRLS and others participating or attending the panel discussion in question.
Engage in a comprehensive review of the conduct of the classroom panel discussion, including but not limited to:
Prepare and submit a written report to the Cambridge Public Schools of the fact-finding review, its findings, and recommendations by no later than June 2019. Please submit your hourly rate together with a budget to perform the above scope of services not to exceed $9,500.00 to: Legal Counsel Cambridge Public Schools Office of Legal Counsel 159 Thorndike Street Cambridge, MA 02141
Substitute Order: That the Superintendent look at end of the year balances to determine if there is additional funding for our Community Partners who are not receiving a funding allocation in the FY 2020 budget.
That as part of the budget for SY 2019-20, the Administration is directed to add a second Kindergarten to the OLA Program, to ensure that educationally and fiscally the Program can be more fully enrolled, per discussions on having a sustainable program long term.
That Whereas the budget includes an increase in aides as a way to address educational needs of students; and
Whereas the bilingual immersion school model has an educational rationale for an aide allocation that has served it well over time, that in next year's budget no school has a decrease in aide allocations.
That Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools currently offer three language immersion programs and several elementary school world language programs; and
Whereas world language study in early grades is educationally beneficial; and
Whereas bilingual immersion programs have demonstrated effectiveness is closing gaps; and
Whereas there is increasing demand for these programs as well as enrollment challenges; The School Committee will hold a Roundtable discussion before the end of this school year on CPS Elementary Immersion and World Language Programs, which will seek to explore expanding such programs with a goal of equitable access to elementary world language and immersion programs across the city; Further that JK-12 language pathways for students beginning their language instruction in elementary school and middle school will be discussed.
Whereas the 1-1 Chromebook implementation technology program is designed to create more equality and access for CRLS students; and
Whereas some students have challenges accessing or replacing a Chromebook if the device is lost or broken because of the replacement fee associated with the 1:1 Chromebook implementation policy; and
Whereas creating a 1:1 Chromebook program to create equity and access is a vital component of the Cambridge Public School District Plan,
Therefore, be it resolved that the Superintendent works with the ICTS Department and CRLS leadership to ensure the current 1:1 Chromebook policy is providing proper access for all CRLS students.
That the School Committee congratulates the Register Forum on receiving first prize for "Excellence in Editorial Writing" in the Greater Boston High School Newspaper Competition, sponsored by Suffolk University, a competition judged by professional journalists. Further, that both the faculty advisor and students receive congratulations on behalf of the school district and School Committee.
That the School Committee hereby goes on record in expressing its deep condolences to the family of Officer Edward Burke for their loss and that the Executive Secretary be and hereby is requested to forward a suitable letter of condolence to the family of Officer Edward Burke on behalf of the entire School Committee.
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 purpose of discussing strategy for collective bargaining for (units A and B and Unit E) as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Cambridge School Committee.