COVID 19 Response Update: Recover & Thrive Update/ESSER Funds Planning, Dr. Kenneth N. Salim, Superintendent of Schools7c. CPS District Plan:
WHEREAS: On June 15, 2021, Governor Baker’s executive order authorizing municipalities to conduct public meetings virtually and allow residents to give public comment remotely will expire; and
WHEREAS: Remote participation enhances flexibility, enabling more residents to weigh in on important community issues and participate in civic engagement, while balancing their other responsibilities; and
WHEREAS: The School Committee Rule Section 4.2 on Public Comment does not currently allow for residents to participate remotely in addition to participating in public comment in-person; now therefore be it
ORDERED: That the Cambridge School Committee will make the following changes to Section 4.2 Public Comment of the School Committee Rules:
Section 4.2. Public Comment. Public comment will be limited to three (3) minutes per individual and will be limited to those matters on the Agenda. Members of the public wishing to speak must register their intent prior to the meeting on a form provided for said purpose by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee or on the School Committee website. In addition to being able to provide public comment in-person, members of the public may provide public comment by participating remotely on Zoom. Members of the public wishing to participate remotely must register their intent prior to the meeting on the form for said purpose on the School Committee website. Members participating in-person will be heard first, followed by members participating remotely. The Chair may limit comment to two (2) minutes based on the number of individuals signed up to speak. The Chair will announce the time limit prior to the public comment period at every regular meeting. The public will also be encouraged to submit their comments in writing either by e-mail to SchoolCom@cpsd.usor by faxing or mailing them to the Executive Secretary to the School Committee. The public also may submit comments, in writing, to the School Committee on matters not on the Agenda by email to SchoolCom@cpsd.us or by faxing or mailing them to the Executive Secretary to the School Committee. Public comment shall not take place at roundtable meetings or at public retreats of the School Committee, where no matter being discussed may be finally considered, in that no votes may be taken. Written comments will be accepted and made part of the record of the meeting. The opportunity for the public to comment on items discussed at roundtable meetings or at public retreats shall be at the regular or special meeting at which the item may be considered for action by the School Committee.
Whereas the Cambridge Election Commission has presented a request to use two of the four additional schools in 2021 that were used in the 2020 election. This is on top of the four schools that they have been using in recent years;
Whereas the Cambridge Election Commission has also provided a safety plan in conjunction with the Cambridge Police Department and is ready to implement additional safety measures;
Whereas the schools were closed to in-person teaching during the November election of 2020 and they are expected to be open in the November 2021 election, with no room in the calendar for changes;
Whereas the members of the health & safety working group have advised against mixing of students and staff with electors due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic for the autumn.
Whereas the Cambridge Election Commission is aware of the challenges faced by schools that are used as polling places when they are in session. It has therefore made efforts over the years to find alternative polling places and is requesting for 2021 only two of the four additional schools used in 2020;
Whereas the school district has assessed which of the following schools requested as polling places for 2021 can be used without mixing students and staff with electors: Martin Luther King School, Morse School, CRLS School; Maria Baldwin School, Graham and Parks School, Peabody School;
Therefore be it resolved that School Committee approve the use of the schools listed where the logistics allow for students and staff not to mix with the electors;
Be it further resolved that the Election Commission will make every effort possible that the polling places in schools follow the same health & safety guidelines in place at our schools at the time of the election;
Be it further resolved that the School Committee request the Election Commission to hold joint conversations with the district, the City of Cambridge and the private sector on how best to accommodate polling places across the city in future elections.
Report of the May 25, 2021 School Climate Sub-Committee Meeting
Report of the June 7, 2021 Buildings and Grounds Sub-Committee Meeting
Whereas Elizabeth “Betty” Smith Mackenzie is a Special Educator at the Morse Elementary School; and
Whereas Betty started her call as a special education teacher on September 1, 1966, almost ten years prior to the passing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975; and
Whereas over the course of her 55 years, Betty worked at the Martin Luther King, Jr. School, the Kennedy School, the Amigos School, and the Morse; and
Whereas Betty is a tireless and dedicated educator who went above and beyond to serve her students like planning excursions to provide additional opportunities for her students to experience learning in a range of environments; and
Whereas Betty has made an impact on so many learners, families, and staff. While we are deeply saddened to see her go, we know that she will continue to make a difference wherever she may go; therefore be it
Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee and Superintendent go on record recognizing the devoted, wonderful work that Elizabeth “Betty” Smith Mackenzie provided to the community of Cambridge; and be it further
Resolved that a formal engrossed copy of this Resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee and forwarded directly to Elizabeth “Betty” Smith Mackenzie.
Whereas the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s Class of 2021 was on track to be the second senior class to miss prom due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas RSTA Career Advisor Sara Reese and CRLS Senior Class Advisor Jacqui Cesario worked with the Central Square Business Improvement District to create their own event at Starlight Square, called “Seniors Under the Stars”, to make sure the Class of 2021 could have a free and spectacular prom experience; and
Whereas 480 CRLS seniors were invited to come together on the last day of class for “Seniors Under the Stars”, to walk down a red carpet for a night of tarot card readings, caricature artists, photo booths, henna body art, student DJs, dancing, and a surprise visit fromCongresswoman Ayanna Pressley; and
Whereas the CRLS Senior Class of 2021 would not have been able to enjoy a prom without the hard work and determination of Sara Reese and Jacqui Cesario or their partnership with the Central Square BID; now therefore be it
Resolved that the School Committee go on record extending its gratitude for Sara Reese, Jacqui Cesario, and the Central Square BID for their service to the scholars of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s Senior Class of 2021; and be it further
Resolved that formal copies of this Resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee and delivered to Sara Reese, Jacqui Cesario, and the Central Square BID.
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At the conclusion of the Regular meeting, the School Committee will entertain a motion to enter into executive session for the purpose of discussing strategy for contract negotiations for (Interim Superintendent), as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the strategy and negotiation positions of the School Committee.