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

December 1, 2020 | 06:00 pm

1. Public Comment (3 Minutes):

2. Student School Committee Report:

3. Presentation of the Records for Approval:

4. Reconsiderations:

5. Unfinished Business/Calendar:
#20-279 Motion by Member Fantini

That the School Committee provide relief requested by School Principals at a special meeting held on Tuesday, October 27th -called by the School Committee, relative to our system of Weekly Check-In's. Further, until such time the School Climate Subcommittee returns to the entire school committee a revised recommendation to ensure that student check-ins are providing meaningful support to our students with the appropriate systems, procedures, rationale and reporting to support said goal.

All principals have critiqued the current procedures in place and have pointed out several key observations as follows:

  • Not every student may need or benefit from this type of outreach, especially given current degree of student/staff engagement in every student's daily schedule.
  • Family preference
  • Demands on all staff members' time
  • Data entry

#20-280 Motion by Vice Chair Bowman

Whereas the goal of having metrics for school opening/closing are to minimize the risk of a person infected by COVID-19 with an asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic case bringing it into CPSD and spreading it to others; and

Whereas these metrics should reflect the risk across the entire school population, which includes a diversity of people; and

Whereas identifying school opening/closing metrics based on race/ethnicity could create a high risk of discrimination to racial and ethnic children and families disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 that are a part of the CPSD community; and

Whereas people of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and Black Latinx, and Indigenous (LBI) communities have been hit particularly hard as a result of being more likely to have jobs that cannot be done from home and have higher rates of underlying health conditions that increase the risk of severe illness; and

Whereas BLI communities are more likely to live in multi-generational households, and due to systemic racism, BLI communities are less likely to get state of the art care when they encounter the healthcare system; and

Whereas these are critical issues to address and are best managed by a partnership between DPH and the Mayor's office within Cambridge as well as at the state and national levels; Therefore be it resolved that the Mayor initiates discussion through DPH with communities of color to review the City of Cambridge COVID dashboard to ensure data being reported and collected can best support communities of color with outreach, increased access to testing, and support when infected; and

Be it further resolved that DPH will continue to provide updates and guidance to CPSD on the most effective ways to support CPSD students and families disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

6. Awaiting Reports:

7. Superintendent’s Agenda:

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

COVID 19 Response Update: ……...Dr. Kenneth N. Salim, Superintendent of Schools
CRLS Winter Sports Participation Schedule SY20/21….…Mr.Tom Arria, Athletic Director

7c. CPS District Plan:

7d. Consent Agenda:
#20-290 Recommendation: Recommendation: Approval of CRLS Winter Sports Participation Schedule Proposal SY2020-2021
#20-291 Recommendation: Recommendation: The School Committee Retain Law Firm of Morgan Brown & Joy for Labor & Employment Matters
#20-292 Recommendation: Recommendation: Day & Residential Program Services not available from The Cambridge School Department
#20-293 Recommendation: Recommendation: Contract Award: Lesley University: Professional Development
#20-294 Recommendation: Recommendation: Gifts/Miscellaneous Receipts
#20-295 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Popplestone Foundation (SC21695)
#20-296 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Circuit Breaker Allocation (SC21776)

8. Non-Consent Agenda:

9. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):
#20-297 Motion by Governance Sub-Committee

Whereas several of the new School Committee members expressed their interest in incorporating restorative practices into how this body handles conflicts involving its members in the future; and

Whereas the School Committee's current Code of Ethics focuses only on what is expected from committee members, but not on how the School Committee should respond when a school committee member's actions fall short of those expectations; and

Whereas Vice-Chair Manikka Bowman, suggested at a retreat in February that the School Committee via its Governance Subcommittee take a look at the code of ethics of Cape Cod Technical High School as a possible starting point of how the Code of Ethics could frame how the School Committee should respond when it receives a complaint against one of its members; and

Whereas the proposed revisions to the Code of Ethics uses language that more clearly defines expected behavior, it is important to acknowledge that the language in the rest of the document should be further reviewed at a later date to better describe the expectations of school committee members to the community, the administration and to each other; therefore Be it resolved, the School Committee adopts these initial modifications to incorporate Restorative Justice into its Code of Ethics.

Cambridge School Committee – Code of Ethics – PROPOSED CHANGES HIGHLIGHTED IN YELLOW

Current >>
(Massachusetts Association of School Committees Code of Ethics)

The acceptance of a code of ethics implies the understanding of the basic organization of School Committees under the Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The oath of office of a School Committee member binds the individual member to adherence to those state laws which apply to school committees, since school committees are agencies of the state.

This code of ethics delineates three areas of responsibility of School Committee members in addition to that implied above: (1) community responsibility; (2) responsibility to school administration; and (3) relationships to fellow School Committee members. Should the actions of a school committee member come into question, as being out of alignment with the requirements and expectations of their role, a Restorative Process will be offered to support the members in defining next steps.

A School Committee member in their relations with their community should:

  1. Realize that their primary responsibility is to the children
  2. Recognize that their basic function is to be policy making and not administrative
  3. Remember that they are one of a team and must abide by, and carry out, all School Committee decisions once they are made
  4. Be well informed concerning the duties of a School Committee member on both a local and state level
  5. Remember that they represent the entire community at all times
  6. Accept the office as a School Committee member as means of unselfish service with no intent to "play politics," in any sense of the word, or to benefit personally from their School Committee activities
  7. Recognize and respect the confidentiality of parent/guardian/caregiver, student, and personnel records.

A School Committee member in their relations with their school administration should:

  1. Endeavor to establish sound, clearly-defined policies which will direct and support the administration
  2. Recognize and support the administrative chain of command and refuse to act on complaints as an individual outside the administration
  3. Give the chief administrator full responsibility for discharging their professional duties and hold them responsible for acceptable results Refer all complaints to the administrative staff for solution and only discuss them at School Committee meetings if such solutions fail.

A School Committee member in their relations with their fellow School Committee members should:

  1. Recognize that action at official meetings is binding and that they alone cannot bind the School Committee outside of such meetings
  2. Realize that they should not make statements or promises of how they will vote on matters that will come before the School Committee
  3. Uphold the intent of executive sessions and respect the privileged communications that exists in executive sessions.
  4. Not withhold pertinent information on school matters or personnel problems, either from members of their own School Committee or from members of other School Committees who may be seeking help or information on school problems
  5. Make decisions only after all facts on a question have been presented and discussed.
  6. It is the responsibility for all School Committee members to both follow and enforce the letter and spirit of the Member Code of Ethics, Member Authority policies, Non Discrimination Policy and Prohibition Against Sexual Harassment, and Equal Employment Opportunity policy. In order to confirm our acceptance of this point, each member shall sign a copy of each document after its reading and acceptance at the annual organizational meeting.
  7. In the event that a School Committee member observes another member or is made aware by an identified or anonymous individual of another member behaving in a way that might fall short of the expectations set by any of these documents, they will report the behavior to the Chair, the Vice-Chair or a member of the Governance Subcommittee, as appropriate.

The Chair, the Vice-Chair, member of the Governance Subcommittee or their designate will speak to the member in question to share the concern and will call for an executive session of the School Committee to discuss the report. The School Committee will then re-convene in open session. If the majority of the School Committee then votes in favor that the report is indeed an issue, support will be provided to address the behavior:

a. Initially, the member in question will be offered the use of Restorative Justice to solve the problem.

b. If the member in question does not claim some responsibility for the complaint against them or if Restorative Justice is not implemented, the School Committee could consider the following in open session:

i. Vote for an external in-depth examination of the complaint, with the cost, selection process and scope of the examination discussed in public.

ii. Vote to censure the member in question

iii. Vote to consider other actions as appropriate

c. The School Committee shall keep a record of all Executive Sessions where reports of instances of a member falling short of expectations were discussed and how the complaints were addressed (second reading).

Adopted: TBD

#20-298 Joint Motion by Member Rachel, Member Wilson and Mayor Siddiqui

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools strive to engage families, students, educators, staff, and the community in decision-making, and;

Whereas CPS policy (section KDD) states, "Every effort will be made to assist the press and other communications media to obtain complete and adequate coverage of the programs, problems, planning, and activities of the school district," and; Whereas the number of people participating in School Committee meetings has grown significantly since the Committee expanded access through online and television outlets, now therefore be it;

Resolved that the School Committee will amend the rules to televise all future Roundtable discussions (second reading).

#20-299 Motion by Member Fantini

Given that students are travelling hundreds of miles, even out of state, to take the SAT exam; and

Whereas many scheduled SAT exams have been cancelled at the last minute, leaving only limited sites as options; and now therefore be it;

Resolved that the School Committee thru the Superintendent direct CRLS to do everything possible to work with the College Board to find ways to support our students by offering the Sat exam at CRLS in a manner that is safe.

#20-300 Joint Motion by Member Rachel , Mayor Siddiqui, Member Wilson

Whereas the majority of Cambridge Public School students have been learning remotely since March 16, 2020; and

Whereas students, families, educators and administrators have noted a surge in mental health challenges amongst our young people; and

Whereas expansion of in-person learning is not feasible prior to second semester; and

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools recognize that social opportunities with peers are critical to children's well-being; and

Whereas the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School's Field House will soon complete its service as a shelter for people experiencing homelessness; now therefore be it

Resolved that the School department will work with other City departments to determine how soon the Field House can be made available for school use; and be it further

Resolved that the School department will work with scientific advisors, community partners and volunteers to explore the provision of wellbeing and social opportunities for students at the Field House during the remainder of the global pandemic.

#20-301 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Weinstein, Vice Chair Bowman

That the following be adopted as amended:

Whereas the City of Cambridge and Cambridge Public Schools aim to ensure that schools are effectively surveilled for COVID-19 in order to mitigate the spread of the virus; and

Whereas the City of Cambridge is densely populated, with more than 7,000 students enrolled in the Cambridge Public School system; and

Whereas regular and repeated testing of entire school populations has been proven to substantially mitigate spread; and

Whereas Governor Baker's administration urges districts to continue and expand in-person learning options and CPSD is committed to ensuring that in-person learning in Cambridge is as safe as possible; and

Whereas CPSD provides in-building testing twice a week to all educators and staff, and seeks to maximize participation in testing; and

Whereas CPSD currently offers onsite testing only to symptomatic students who are learning in-person; and

Whereas the nearby municipalities of Somerville and Medford have partnered with Tufts University, which will cover half the costs and provide support, to pool samples together that are screened by the Broad Institute to monitor everyone within a school "all teachers twice a week and all students once a week" at about a third of the cost of the standard individual tests, with individual follow-up testing in the event of a positive result; and

Whereas a pool testing program may allow the Cambridge Public Schools to regularly and cost-effectively screen asymptomatic students, and increase the participation of educators and staff while reducing cost, with only a fraction of the analysis required of standard individual tests; now therefore be it Resolved that the Superintendent work with the Safety, Health, and Facilities Working Group and Cambridge Public Health Department to explore the possibility of implementing a pool testing strategy and whether it can be effective and applicable to the Cambridge Public School community by December 31, 2020.

10. Resolutions:
#20-302 Motion by Member Fantini

Whereas Peter F. Colleary, 86, of Medford, MA, passed away Saturday, November 14, 2020; and

Whereas he was born and educated in Cambridge and was the beloved husband of 46 years to the late Beatrice M. (Moynihan). Devoted and Loving father of Maura C. Colleary of Medford. Dear brother of the late James and Thomas Colleary; and

Whereas he attended, Matignon High School and was in the first graduating class of the School of Education for Boston College, Class of 56; and

Whereas Peter Colleary was an Army veteran who served our country during the Korean War Conflict; and

Whereas, he was a beloved teacher and administrator who was a friend to countless students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the local Cambridge Community.

Whereas while at the Peabody School, Mr. CollearyÕs number one focus was always the students. He took an interest in their academic success as well as their personal success. Maintaining relationships long after graduation; and

Whereas Peter Colleary was one of the founding members of the Cambridge Teachers Association, where he was instrumental in demanding and implementing fair wages and safe working conditions for his peers; and

Whereas Peter Colleary was not only a dedicated father to his daughter, Maura he was an equally proud Uncle Peter to his many nieces and nephews of the Karle, Buckley, and Colleary Families, regaling on their journeys and accomplishments; and

Whereas Peter Colleary loved travelling to Ireland and relished his times on Cape Cod, he always knew his roots were in Cambridge; and therefore be it Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee go on record recognizing the accomplishments; academically, personally and professionally, of Peter Colleary and his impact on the Cambridge School District; and be it further Resolved that a formal copy of this Resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee and forwarded to his daughter.

#20-303 Motion by Member Fantini

Whereas Thomas R. Scalese,Jr. of Belmont, MA, passed away Monday, November 16, 2020; and

Whereas Thomas R. Scalese Jr. was born in Cambridge and was the beloved husband of the late Jeanne M. (Brooks) Scalese. Father of Richard Peloquin and his wife Rosie, Nancy E. Mullen and her husband Dana, Suzanne Peloquin and Dayna Junkins and her husband Paul; and

Whereas Thomas R. Scalese,Jr. was a veteran who served our country as a Marine; and

Whereas Thomas R. Scalese, Jr, was a dedicated educator and spent the majority of his career at the M.E. Fitzgerald School, where the Fitzgerald School community, faculty, staff, students, and families all admired him; and

Whereas Thomas R. Scalese, Jr. was not only a dedicated father to his children, he was an equally proud grandfather of Rachel Peloquin, Brian Gonzales, Jacqueline Nadeau, Michael Nadeau, Christina Cafiso, Maximilian Eisenberg and Brett Junkins, cherished great-grandfather of Peyton Nadeau, Bodhi Eisenberg and Gavin Eisenberg; and

Whereas Thomas R. Scalese,Jr relished his times in Florida during the Winter as well as enjoying his meals at the Mount Auburn Grill; therefore be it Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee go on record acknowledging the tremendous contribution to the Cambridge Public Schools as a teacher and mentor; and be it further Resolved that a formal copy of this Resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee and forwarded to his family.

11. Announcements:

12. Late Orders:

13. Communications and Reports from City Officers: None
Updated on 04/26/2021