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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 4, 2020 | 05:00 pm

1. Public Comment (3 Minutes):

2. Student School Committee Report:

3. Presentation of the Records for Approval:

June 30, 2020 Special Meeting Minutes

4. Reconsiderations:
None

5. Unfinished Business/Calendar:
None

6. Awaiting Reports:
#20-143 Joint Motion by Member Wilson, Vice Chair Bowman

Whereas, People of Color face greater discrimination, structural discipline, lack of social support both in schools and in society at large; and

Whereas, children, adolescents, and adults in the Black community face higher rates of social and structural violence and racial discrimination, and

Whereas, centering the experiences of scholars and staff of color is a core value of the Cambridge Public Schools; and

Whereas, scholars and staff's mental well-being is a fundamental concern of the School Committee as the nation grapples with issues of structural racism in public institutions due to the unjust killing of George Floyd; therefore be it

Resolved, that the School Committee affirms its immediate support to promote the needs and safety of all staff and scholars who identify as black by reviewing the Non-Discrimination and Non-Tolerance of Hate Crimes policy or other policies that disproportionally impact scholars and staff of color to ensure they are current, relevant, and up to date; and be it further (referred to Governance Sub-Committee)

Resolved, that the School Committee, encourage the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to enhance programming to provide schools with the guidance needed to provide anti-racist curriculum and professional development for all staff to build understanding and awareness of the history and the challenges of minority communities, and of structural racism in the United States; and be it further (Referred to Curriculum and Achievement Sub-Committee)

Resolved, that the Cambridge Public Schools commit to holding our district accountable to policies that protect the rights of black staff and scholars within our district.



#20-95 Joint Motion by Member Rachel, Member Weinstein, Member Wilson

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools prioritize the health and safety of scholars, staff and school communities, and;

Whereas CPSD is committed to ensuring that our young people learn about and exercise their voting rights as part of instilling lifelong habits of civic engagement, and;

Whereas public health guidelines dictate that safely responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires limiting the number of people in close proximity, particularly indoors, and;

Whereas individuals including CPSD students, staff, and their close contacts have different levels of vulnerability to COVID-19, and CPSD school buildings have been long utilized as polling places for elections, now therefore be it;

Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee encourages all who are eligible to vote to register and vote, and eligible voters to register to vote by mail, and be it further;

Resolved that, while respecting student privacy with regard to citizenship status and other personal information, the Superintendent will work with Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and relevant elections agencies to ensure that all students who are 16 years of age or older are provided with voter pre-registration or registration forms far enough in advance to participate in all upcoming elections, and all students who will be eligible to vote in the next election are provided with materials to request voting by mail far enough in advance to participate, and be it further; Resolved that the Cambridge School Committee joins the City Council in supporting H. 4737, "An Act ensuring safe and participatory 2020 state elections in response to COVID-19," and will send a copy of this motion to the State Legislature and Governor Baker, and be it further;

Resolved that the School Committee requests a recommendation from the Cambridge Election Commission, Cambridge Public Health Department and Superintendent Salim by June 30, 2020 in regards to closing school buildings to scholars and staff on election days in 2020 and 2021 and any other viable options in order to ensure that voters who choose to exercise their right to vote in person are able to physically distance from school communities.

Resolved that, the School Committee requests a recommendation from the Buildings and Grounds Sub Committee by June 30, 2020 in regards to closing school buildings to scholars and staff on election days in 2020 and 2021 and any other viable options in order to ensure that voters who choose to exercise their right to vote in person are able to physically distance from school communities.



#20-99 Joint Motion by Member Fantini, Vice Chair Bowman

That the following be referred to the Community Relations Sub-Committee:

Whereas the Cambridge Public School District is committed to providing families with information that will promote increased family engagement; and

Whereas engaging families as a partner with a formal, ongoing feedback mechanism that creates differentiated opportunities for family voice and engagement is a crucial component of the 2017 - 2020 District Plan; therefore Be it resolved that the committee directs the Superintendent to create a Parent University whereby the school department organizes and provides relevant information/courses to parents to allow all parents to become partners in the education of their children. Be it further

Resolved that the School department works with the two newly created parent engagement leaders and parent liaisons in this work.



7. Superintendent’s Agenda:

7a. Superintendent's Update:
None
7b. Presentations:

COVID-19 Response Update……………Superintendent Salim

7c. CPS District Plan:
None

7d. Consent Agenda:
#20-187 Recommendation: Recommendation: Approval of Educational Opportunities for Military Children Policy (Second Reading)
#20-188 Recommendation: Recommendation: Approval of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster Care (Second Reading)
#20-189 Recommendation: Recommendation: Approval of Education Homeless Student Policy: Enrollment Rights & Services (Second Reading)
#20-190 Recommendation: Recommendation: Approval of Agreement between the Cambridge School Committee and the Cambridge Education Association Regarding School Closure in the 2019-2020 School Year During COVID-19 Pandemic
#20-191 Recommendation: Recommendation: Approval of Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy (First Reading)
#20-192 Recommendation: Recommendation: Day & Residential Program Services not Available From the Cambridge School Department
#20-193 Recommendation: Recommendation: Contract Award: Newsela: Educational Computer Software
#20-194 Recommendation: Recommendation: Contract Award: Learning A-Z: Educational Computer Software
#20-195 Recommendation: Recommendation: Contract Award: Kittredge Equipment: Food Service Equipment
#20-196 Recommendation: Recommendation: Contract Award: CDW Government LLC: Instructional Computer Supplies
#20-197 Recommendation: Recommendation: Contract Award: Youth Guidance: Educational Support
#20-198 Recommendation: Recommendation: Contract Award: CDW Government LLC: Computer Software
#20-199 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: Summer & Vacation Learning Program Grant (SC21201)
#20-200 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Title IV Student & Academic Enrichment (SC21732)
#20-201 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: Special Education IDEA Allocation (SC21605)
#20-202 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Title I Distribution (SC21604)
#20-203 Recommendation: Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Title IIA Educator Quality (SC21731)

8. Non-Consent Agenda:
None

9. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):
#20-204 Joint Motion by Member Weinstein, Member Rojas, Member Rachel

That the following be removed from the Calendar and adopted as Amended:

Whereas the 2020-21 school year will be unlike any other in the history of schooling; and

Whereas the School Committee recognizes that the demands on all members of our school community will be unprecedented, especially so for educators who work directly with scholars; and

Whereas in a typical school year, preparation for and administration of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) accounts for a significant amount of time in classroom communities and educator workloads; and

Whereas standardized tests have been shown to have biases that disproportionately negatively impact scholars of color and scholars with low-incomes, which may be further amplified in the pandemic context; and

Whereas the School Committee is committed to holding all scholars to high academic standards regardless of how scholar proficiency is assessed; and

Whereas teachers have a wide variety of formative and summative assessment tools they can use and there is growing interest in adopting competency-based assessments to assess scholar growth; now therefore be it

Resolved that, by September 30, 2020, the School Committee and Superintendent will send the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education a copy of this resolution urging that the Department suspend MCAS for school year 2020-21; and be if further

Resolved that, if DESE does not suspend MCAS this year, the Cambridge School Committee and Superintendent will discuss how to enable educators to have the capacity to focus on developing pedagogy adapted to this new context and to focus on teaching, assessing student progress and other scholar support.



#20-205 Joint Motion by Member Weinstein, Member Rojas, Member Rachel

Whereas the Cambridge Public School District is committed to a mission of equity, anti-racism, academic rigor, joyfulness, and preparation of all scholars for success in adult life i; and

Whereas during the emergency school building closures last year the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education identified priority standards to teach in the spring; and

Whereas the Cambridge Public School District (CPSD) is developing plans for 2020-21 school year instruction through convening grade level educator collaboratives; and

Whereas the School Committee supports collaboration between educators, scholars, and caregivers to identify CPSD 'power standards' for this year that support our district needs and goals; and

Whereas educators, scholars and caregivers have recommended prioritizing skills that support learning across disciplines, such as literacy, critical thinking, social justice, teamwork, and social emotional learning skills; now therefore be it

Resolved that, before scholars resume school this fall, CPSD will establish a set of power standards integrated across the preK-12 curriculum for the 2020-21 academic year; and

Be it further resolved that the Superintendent will ensure these standards will be established in collaboration with key stakeholders: educators, scholars, caregivers; and

Be it further resolved that these standards will advance our work to be a district of equity, antiracism, and rigorous, joyful and culturally responsive teaching that prepares every scholar for success post graduation; and Be it further resolved that these standards will be shared with the School Committee and all caregivers and scholars with clarity about what is expected of their scholar to learn in a given year; and

Be it further resolved that these standards will be reviewed during the academic year by the team that collaborated to create them and will be adjusted as necessary; and

Be it further resolved that the Curriculum and Achievement Subcommittee will convene a meeting after the year to review this pilot and make recommendations as to how best to proceed in future years.


#20-206 Joint Motion by Member Rachel , Mayor Siddiqui, Member Wilson

Whereas the global pandemic and correlated economic recession have resulted in significant loss of household income for many Cambridge Public Schools families; and

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools recognize that scholars' learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom, and significantly through their work experiences; and

Whereas many of our Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and High School Extension Program scholars have taken on jobs as essential workers during the 2019-20 school year in order to provide financial resources for their families; and

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools believe that scholars should not have to choose between their education and supporting their families; and

Whereas the district and its partners offer programs that provide stipends to scholars; now therefore be it

Resolved that district-run programs, such as First Work, that pay or stipend scholars will give priority enrollment to scholars who qualify for free or reduced lunch, other income-based programs such as SNAP, and/or have expressed financial stress to a school staff member; and be it further

Resolved that the Cambridge Public Schools will work in collaboration with other City departments as well as out of school time partners to publicize this opportunity to scholars and to document which young people are engaged in specific programs through a shared case management system; and be it further Resolved that RSTA, CRLS and the City of Cambridge will look into additional opportunities for providing stipends to scholars (such as serving on boards and commissions or mentoring younger children), as well as how to cover expenses for scholars acquiring credentials related to employment, such as Red Cross Babysitting and First Aid courses.


#20-207 Joint Motion by Member Rachel , Mayor Siddiqui. Member Wilson (Added as co-sponsor)

Member Wilson added as a co-sponsor

That the following be adopted as amended and referred to the Buildings and Grounds Sub-Committee:

Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic brings unprecedented challenges in keeping our scholars, educators and families safe; and

Whereas the Cambridge Public Schools face many unknowns about how the virus works which complicate district planning efforts; and

Whereas one thing that is known is that COVID-19 is more easily transmitted in indoor spaces with low air flow; and

Whereas Cambridge buildings vary in age and HVAC systems; and

Whereas the CPSD administration has measured air quality in each school building and made plans to mitigate problem areas; and

Whereas the carbon dioxide measures will be substantially different when classrooms and other school spaces are occupied for a number of hours than during summer vacation; and

Whereas experts recommend increasing outdoor air ventilation (by keeping at least two windows open at all times and two fans pushing air in and out) and filtering indoor air to MERV 13 or higher; and

Whereas many school bathrooms will require retrofitting such as adding toilet lids and exhaust fans; and

Whereas transparent building and room data will reduce rational anxiety amongst Cambridge school communities; now therefore be it

Resolved that, prior to families and teachers being asked to commit to hybrid or in-person plans, and before instruction begins inside buildings, the Cambridge Public School Department will engage a HVAC and respiratory pathogen expert to review the current system and make recommendations; and be it further

Resolved that the district will provide public school-by-school data on the baseline air ventilation and quality in individual school rooms, the planned frequency of air quality testing, and the timing and types of mitigations for rooms requiring improvements.



#20-208 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Vice Chair Bowman, Member Rachel

Whereas: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has required all school districts in Massachusetts to prepare for the possibility of a fully in-person, fully remote, and hybrid return to school this fall; and

Whereas: Safety must be the first priority if school buildings are to be reopened; and

Whereas: While COVID-19 prevalence in Cambridge is low, the City is about to experience an influx of university students returning to campus at MIT, Lesley, and Harvard; and

Whereas: Current public health evidence is shifting away from the notion that children are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19 as studies are showing that those between the ages of 10-19 can carry high viral loads and transmit the virus at least as well as adults; and

Whereas: Experts from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute state that surveillance testing is necessary in order to establish clear benchmarks that determine when scholars or cohorts are sent home as well as when buildings must close entirely and for how long; and

Whereas: Mathematical modeling from Harvard University shows that testing an entire school community once a week effectively eliminates outbreaks and testing an entire school community twice a week can prevent nearly all transmission; and

Whereas: The City of Cambridge has the capacity and technology to implement widespread and frequent non-invasive COVID-19 tests with a 15-20-minute turnaround time at its schools; and

Whereas: As COVID-19 will continue to affect us for a long time, in the absence of a vaccine, the City of Cambridge and Cambridge Public Schools must have a plan in place to make such testing available in schools; and

Whereas: Such testing should be made available to all staff and to all scholars, with an emphasis on those at the high school; now therefore be it

RESOLVED: That the Superintendent continue discussing with the City Manager, Cambridge Public Health Department and Broad Institute the feasibility of providing frequent testing for our Cambridge Public Schools staff and scholars; and further

RESOLVED: That the Superintendent provide an update on the feasibility and logistics of implementing testing at CPS locations by August 11, 2020 in order to provide ample time to prepare for the upcoming school year and keep our students and faculty safe.


#20-209 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Rachel, Member Weinstein

That the following be referred to the Building and Grounds Sub-Committee:

Whereas The return to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic has created many unknowns and much anxiety within the community; and

Whereas Health and safety, racial equity, and family partnerships are among the guiding principles of the Cambridge Public Schools Department in their planning for reopening; and

Whereas There is a growing push in public comment testimonies for a 100% remote learning start to the school year from educators and families due to health and safety concerns; and

Whereas The data shows that COVID-19 transmission is significantly lower outdoors; and

Whereas The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's guidance from July 22nd, 2020 guidance urges districts to create an inventory of spaces and consider outdoor and off-campus options for classes; and

Whereas In-person educational experiences are highly beneficial for scholars, and in some cases of critical importance; and

Whereas There will be a need for an abundance of spaces to be used as in-person classrooms as well as spaces for scholars to safely access their remote classes when their home environments are not conducive to learning; now therefore be it

Resolved That the Cambridge School Department will collaborate with the City of Cambridge, and other public and private entities to determine what outdoor and open-air spaces can or may be used for these purposes (including parks, parking lots, and youth centers); and be it further

Resolved That the Cambridge Public School Department will provide an inventory of which outdoor and community spaces are available for in-person classroom use and an assessment of their safety to the School Committee by August 11th, 2020; and be it further

Resolved That the district provide an update on which spaces, both in and out of schools, can be used as remote classrooms for scholars who are unable to safely or optimally learn at home by August 11th, 2020.



#20-210 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Rachel, Member Weinstein

Whereas Health and safety, racial equity, and family partnerships are among the guiding principles of the Cambridge Public Schools Department in their planning for reopening; and

Whereas Cambridge Public School educators and many caregivers are essential workers; and

Whereas There cannot be a safe reopening of schools without addressing childcare needs of both families and educators; and

Whereas The lack of childcare options must not be a barrier to scholars' learning; now therefore be it

Resolved That the Cambridge Public School District works with the City of Cambridge Department of Human Services and community partners to determine childcare options and to provide an update to the School Committee on what is possible, to ensure options for Cambridge Public School families and educators as soon as possible.


10. Resolutions:
#20-211 Joint Motion by Member Rachel, Member Wilson

Whereas The Cambridge School Committee was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Maurice Page, a former teacher in Cambridge, on July 15, 2020; and

Whereas Maurice was the first in his family to graduate from college, having attended Cornell and Harvard University; and

Whereas Maurice was a beloved Math teacher in the Pilot School at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, which used untracked classes; and

Whereas Maurice inspired students of all skill levels to love Math by getting them 'in the zone' and making learning fun; and

Whereas Maurice taught his students to stay the course and deeply believed they could do anything they set their minds to; and

Whereas Maurice made sure all students participated in his classes; and

Whereas Maurice was one of a few Black men teaching at CRLS and provided social emotional support and community for students of color; and

Whereas Maurice integrated music into the lives of his students by singing in his classroom and performing in annual Pilot Plays and annual holiday choirs; and

Whereas Pilot School alums consider Maurice the hippest Math teacher ever; and

Whereas Maurice challenged his colleagues to think first about the students and shape curricula around their needs rather than the other way around; and

Whereas During his service as a professor at Harvard, MIT, Wheelock and Lesley Universities, Maurice inspired thousands of future and current math educators in all corners of the globe; now therefore be it

Resolved that the School Committee will go on record extending its deepest condolences to the family of Maurice Page for their loss; and be it further

Resolved That the Executive Secretary be and hereby is requested to forward a suitable letter of condolence to the family of Maurice Page on behalf of the entire School Committee.


#20-212 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Fantini and Member Wilson

Whereas: The School Committee was deeply saddened at learning of the death of Josephine Vendetti at the age of 89 on July 18, 2020; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti was born on May 3, 1931; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti was the devoted wife of the late George M. Vendetti; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti retired from The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and Cambridge Public Schools in 2017 after forty-four years of dedicated service to the children and community of Cambridge; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti was beloved by students and staff alike; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti was a long-time Chair of the Sacred Heart Church Christmas Bazaar; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti festively decorated her home for every season and occasion and inspired the Cambridge community for decades; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti was especially fond of Halloween and her haunted house display drew families from near and far; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti's passing will leave a void in the lives of all her surviving family; her beloved children Richard and his wife Diane, Joan and her husband Richard, Teresa, George and his wife Deb, Patricia, Ruth and her husband Dave, Elizabeth, Michael and his wife Lorraine, and Joseph; her devoted eighteen grandchildren; and her cherished seventeen great-grandchildren, and many other loving relatives and friends; and

Whereas: Mrs. Vendetti will be sorely missed by all she touched and loved; now therefore be it

RESOLVED: That the School Committee go on record extending its deepest sympathy to the family of Josephine Vendetti at this time of such personal loss; and be it further

RESOLVED: That a formal copy of this Resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee.


#20-213 Joint Motion by Mayor Siddiqui, Member Fantini

Whereas: The School Committee was deeply saddened at learning of the death of Christopher Saheed on June 25, 2020; and

Whereas: Christopher is survived by his loving husband and partner of 43 years, Stephen Nonack, his beloved aunt Carol Rondeau, his brother and sister-in-law Peter and Ruth Nonack, and nephews Christopher and Henry Nonack; and

Whereas: Christopher valued education, earning a degree in education at Tufts University, a J.D. degree from Suffolk University, as well as a master's degree in education from Harvard; and

Whereas: Christopher spent his entire career as an educator in Cambridge, as a teacher, dean, and principal, leaving a lasting impact on generations of students at CRLS; and

Whereas: Serving as CRLS principal from 2006 to 2011, which he referred to as 'the fulfillment of a professional dream,' Christopher was known as a thoughtful leader who cared deeply about equity and inclusiveness, and

Whereas: Christopher will be remembered by colleagues and family members for his passion for education and affection for teaching and never forgetting what it was like to be a teacher, earning him the respect of classroom teachers; now therefore be it

RESOLVED: That this School Committee go on record extending its deepest appreciation for Christopher Saheed and deepest sympathy to his family at this time of such personal loss; and be it further

RESOLVED: That a formal copy of this Resolution be prepared by the Executive Secretary to the School Committee.


11. Announcements:
None

12. Late Orders:
None

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