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

August 8, 2023 | 05:00 pm

1. Public Comment (3 Minutes):

2. Student School Committee Report:

3. Presentation of the Records for Approval:
  • June 20, 2023, Regular Meeting
  • June 27, 2023 Special Meeting
  • July 11, 2023 Special Meeting

4. Reconsiderations:

5. Unfinished Business/Calendar:

6. Awaiting Reports:

7. Superintendent’s Agenda:

7a. Superintendent's Update:

Universal Pre-K, Student Success Planning, and Elementary Schedules

7b. Presentations:

CPS Math Update

Dr. Lendozia Edwards, Chief of Academics and Schools

Dr. Nicole Gittens, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education

Siobhan Mulligan, Director of Mathematics

7c. CPS District Plan:


7d. Consent Agenda:
#23-167 Recommendation: Approval of Agreeent Between & Among the Cambridge School Committee & the Cambridge Family Liaisons Invested in Families & Education AFSCME/AFL-CIO (LIFE?AFSCME) and the Cambridge Professional Safety Specialist Association
#23-168 Recommendation: Approval of Student Attendance Policy (First Reading)
#23-169 Recommendation: Approval of PHysical Restraint Policy (First Reading)
#23-170 Recommendation: Approval of Inoculation of Students Policy (First Reading)
#23-171 Recommendation: Approval of Teaching About Drugs, Alcohol, & Tabacco & About Family Life/Sex Education Policy (First Reading)
#23-172 Recommendation: Day & Residential Program Services not Available from the Cambridge School Department
#23-173 Recommendation: Contract Award: Agassiz Baldwin Community: Student Tuition
#23-174 Recommendation: Contract Award: Buckingham Brown & Nicols School: Student Tuition
#23-175 Recommendation: Contract Award: Community Art Center: Student Tuition
#23-176 Recommendation: Contract Award: East End House: Student Tuition
#23-177 Recommendation: Contract Award: Lesley University: Professional Development
#23-178 Recommendation: Contract Award: Center for Educational Development (CEL): Professional Development-amended
#23-179 Recommendation: Contract Award: Curriculum Associates LLC: Computer Software
#23-180 Recommendation: Contract Award: Savvas Learning Company: Instructional Materials
#23-181 Recommendation: Contract Award: Breakthrough Greater Boston: Educational Services
#23-182 Recommendation: Contract Award: Cambridge School Volunteers: Student Support Services
#23-183 Recommendation: Contract Award: City Sprouts: Educational Services
#23-184 Recommendation: Contract Award: Tutoring Plus of Cambridge Inc.: Educational Support
#23-185 Recommendation: Contract Award: Boston Behavior Learning: Special Education Services
#23-186 Recommendation: Contract Award: Precision Human Resources: Special Education Staffing Services
#23-187 Recommendation: Contract Award: Interpreters & Translators Inc.: Translation Services
#23-188 Recommendation: Contract Award: Fantini Baking Company: Bread Products
#23-189 Recommendation: Contract Award: Easy Access DBA Nimbello: Computer Software
#23-190 Recommendation: Contract Award: Follett School Solutions: Computer Software
#23-191 Recommendation: Contract Award: Cambridge Community Outreach Tabernacle: Lease of Parking Lot
#23-192 Recommendation: Contract Award: Public Consulting Group: Medicaid Reimbursement Claiming Services
#23-193 Recommendation: Contract Award: Aretex Consulting Group: Professional Services
#23-194 Recommendation: Gifts/Miscellaneous Receipts
#23-195 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY24 Individuals with Disabilities Educatin Act (IDEA) (SC24605)
#23-196 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY24 Food & Nutrition Services Appropriation (SC00402)
#23-197 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY24 Biorgen Foundation STAR Data Grant (SC24159)

8. Non-Consent Agenda:

9. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):
#23-198 Joint Motion by Vice Chair Rachel, Mayor Siddiqui, and Member Wilson

WHEREAS: The Cambridge Public Schools value health and wellness education; and

WHEREAS: The district is committed to providing students with curricula that are inclusive, accurate, and trauma-informed; and

WHEREAS: Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students and educators have worked together to strengthen consent culture and address sexism and gender-based violence at the school; and 

WHEREAS: The School Committee has repeatedly passed policies to address menstrual awareness and access to supplies; and

WHEREAS: The Commonwealth’s proposed Health and Physical Education Framework aligns with Cambridge’s local values and approaches; now, therefore, be it 

RESOLVED: That the School Committee go on record supporting the Healey-Driscoll Administration and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s proposed Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Framework; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Executive Secretary sends formal copies of this motion to Kristen McKinnon at DESE and the state delegation before the August 18, 2023 deadline for public comment.

#23-199 Joint Motion by Member Rojas, Member Hunter and Member Wilson

WHEREAS: The challenges of how Algebra 1 is being taught in the US, with more students now taking AP Calculus in high school than students taking Calculus in college, but more students now taking remedial Algebra 1 in college than taking Algebra 1 in high school; and

WHEREAS: That we should spend more time going deeply into the most important mathematics, which comes earlier not later in secondary school; and

WHEREAS: That moving to heterogeneous math classes in middle school initially increased the number of students placed in geometry instead of algebra 1 in 9th grade in high school; and

WHEREAS: That the need to truncate content in all subjects during the height of the pandemic reversed that trend; and

WHEREAS: That new mathematics standards implemented in 2010 shifted content previously taught in high school to 8th grade, making middle school mathematics less repetitive and more demanding and exciting; and

WHEREAS: That we want students to be challenged in every subject and every grade level; and

WHEREAS: There is more than one option to compress mathematics courses, from the Common Core approach of compressing 7, 8 and 9-grade mathematics into the two years of 7th and 8th grades, to compressing Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus in high school, to provide an optional year-long course like CAM in 8th grade that covers Algebra 1 outside of school hours in parallel with the 8th-grade mathematics course; and

WHEREAS: Different approaches to compressing mathematics courses all allow students the option to take more advanced mathematics in high school, but each of them involves considerable tradeoffs that will affect students’ ability to take advantage of their knowledge of mathematics after high school; and

WHEREAS: This motion does not interfere with the district's ongoing revisions of how we teach mathematics in CPSD, as that is an operational decision that does not involve School Committee policy-making; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED: That School Committee hold a roundtable discussion with community partners focused on mathematics, like the Algebra Project, Math Talk, the Young People’s Project, the Calculus Project, and Cambridge STEAM Initiative, and with CPSD mathematics teachers in primary and secondary schools, and middle school principals, on the cost vs. benefit analysis to the students of the different approaches to compressing mathematics in middle school and high school; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the School Committee use the discussion from that roundtable, along with other information, to make decisions on how it might want to change current policies that affect the teaching of mathematics to better challenge all students across all grades.

#23-200 Joint Motion by Member Weinstein, Vice Chair Rachel and Member Hunter

WHEREAS: The  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics defines algebra as “a way of thinking and a set of concepts and skills that enable students to generalize, model, and analyze mathematical situations” (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 2008).

WHEREAS: Algebra I is an important gatekeeper course for STEM careers, as demonstrated by Bob Moses’ Algebra Project, and Algebra is usually the first domain in school mathematics that encourages students’ abstract reasoning; and

WHEREAS: The opportunity to complete Algebra I prior to 9th grade, with needed supports,  must be available to all CPSD children without requiring individual families to seek out opportunities outside of CPSD; and

WHEREAS: CPSD has a history of successfully offering Algebra I prior to 9th grade at multiple CPS schools at various points; and

WHEREAS: The School Committee is on record with policies calling for CPSD to offer Algebra I instruction in 8th grade in 1992, 1998, 2010, 2012, and 2013; and 

WHEREAS: CPS has recently adopted and is in the process of rolling out the Illustrative Math curriculum in K-12, and the CPS Upper School Mathematics plan, which includes the integration of three Algebra I units into the 8th-grade curriculum; therefore, be it

RESOLVED: That, by 2025, the Cambridge Public Schools will provide equitable in-school, school-year opportunities to all students to complete Algebra 1 before 9th grade. This includes broad outreach to engage families, caregivers, and educators; and be it further 

RESOLVED: That, beginning in fall 2023, the Superintendent will offer a program that supports all students to prepare to enter Algebra I in 8th grade and expands and enriches learning for those who are already performing above grade level in math; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this plan will include an annual review of implementation that will include feedback from representative groups of educators, students, and families/caregivers, specifically including families who represent communities of color and multilingual families; and will include data that captures all student groups on math mastery to determine if all students’ needs are being met, so that we can make adjustments as needed to ensure that there are no unintended inequities in math mastery and in completion of Algebra I before 9th grade; and be it further

RESOLVED: That, from 2023-2026, the Superintendent will prioritize providing math educators with coaching and support for effectively implementing the Illustrative Math curriculum in heterogeneous groups, to guarantee that all math classrooms provide rigorous math instruction that meets the differentiated needs of students; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this plan will not track students in math; and be it further

RESOLVED: That there will be multiple pathways for individual student needs to be met whether they need more time and support to master the content or to advance in the content through means such as differentiated instruction, personalized supports, or targeted intervention; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this plan will be communicated and coordinated with CPSD elementary, upper school, and high school administrators, elementary and math educators, and curriculum leaders.

10. Resolutions:
#23-201 Joint Motion by Member Wilson, Member Hunter, and Member Weinstein

WHEREAS: The School Committee expresses its most profound sorrow upon learning of the passing of former City Councilor and State Representative Saundra M. Graham; and

WHEREAS: Graham was born on September 5th, 1941, in Cambridge, MA, and was raised as one of eleven children by her parents, Charles B. Postell and Roberta (Betts) Postell; and

WHEREAS: Graham's contributions extended beyond her elected roles, as she served as a friend, mentor, teacher, mother, and a source of inspiration to those around her, offering guidance and wisdom in various aspects of life while excelling as a single mother to her five children; and

WHEREAS: Graham pursued her primary and secondary education through Cambridge Public Schools and continued her academic journey at The University of Massachusetts, Boston, and The Harvard Extension School; and

WHEREAS: Graham played a significant role in advocating for the preservation of rent control in the early 1970s; and

WHEREAS: Her public service journey commenced in 1968 with her involvement on the board of directors of the Cambridge Community Center and her subsequent tenure as president of the Riverside Planning Team in 1970; and

WHEREAS: Graham's dedication to public housing resulted in extensive renovation and modernization efforts for a substantial portion of public housing in Cambridge during her tenure as chairwoman of the housing and land use committee from 1972-1983; and

WHEREAS: Graham's leadership was instrumental in the establishment and successful operation of the Riverside Cambridge Community Development Corporation, providing housing options for low-income individuals and families in Cambridge; and

WHEREAS: Graham’s efforts led to the interruption of Harvard University's commencement proceedings in 1970, which led to Harvard's acknowledgment and responsibility in building housing for families and older adults, thus preventing the displacement of long-term Riverside residents; and

WHEREAS: Graham was the first black woman elected to the Cambridge City Council, serving from 1971 until 1989 and serving as Vice Mayor from 1976-1977 and later made history as the first Black woman from Cambridge elected to the State Legislature, representing the 4th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1977 to 1988 and serving as a chair for the Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus and as a member of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, securing substantial federal funding for the revitalization and modernization of public housing in Cambridge; and

WHEREAS: Graham founded the Massachusetts Childcare Coalition in 1979 on the belief that “daycare is not a luxury, it’s essential”; and

WHEREAS Graham was the namesake, along with Rosa Parks, of Cambridge’s Graham & Parks School which in 1981 was named as a tribute to these two remarkable leaders, whose impacts and profound contributions to society continue to inspire and uplift future generations in Cambridge and beyond, and Saundra Graham's legacy serves as a beacon of hope and empowerment for Cambridge students, encouraging them to follow in her footsteps and make a positive difference in the world; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED: The Cambridge School Committee and Superintendent go on record recognizing Saundra M. Graham’s unwavering commitment to the fight for affordable housing has transformed the lives of countless individuals, families, and the city of Cambridge. Graham's compassion, resilience, and leadership made her an exceptional individual who touched the lives of many, leaving a lasting legacy of kindness, strength, and service; and be it further

RESOLVED: That a formal copy of this Resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee and forwarded directly to the Graham Family.

11. Announcements:

12. Late Orders:

13. Communications and Reports from City Officers:


Updated on 08/03/2023