In-Person Learning to Continue; Adoption of Updated COVID-19 Metrics

In-Person Learning to Continue; Adoption of Updated COVID-19 Metrics
Posted on 11/13/2020

View translations of message below: Spanish | Amharic


Dear CPS Community,

I am writing with an important update. Last night, the School Committee voted to adopt updated metrics recommended by CPS’s scientific advisors to reflect local Cambridge data for two of our three metrics. In alignment with these revised guidelines, CPS school buildings will remain open and we will continue our current in-person learning model for students currently in school.

As we continue to deal with the many challenges the pandemic presents, we remain focused on the health, safety, and education of our students. We value the diverse viewpoints in our community. We are committed to continuing to create opportunities for dialogue.

CPS will continue planning for all scenarios and supporting community dialogue to improve our efforts:

  • We are preparing for a future potential need to shift to all-remote learning. See below for what to expect in that situation.
  • Over the next few weeks we will be gathering student, staff, and family feedback on how to improve both in-person and remote learning through a variety of methods, including surveys and listening sessions.
  • We know that some families are eager for plans for future expansion of in-person learning, including many families of 4th through 12 graders.

See below for additional details, as well as next steps we can all take to keep our community healthy and safe. In this message:

  1. Metrics Updated to Reflect Local Cambridge Data and New Evidence
  2. CPS Dashboard Includes New Information on Number of COVID-19 Cases
  3. Expectations if a Temporary Shift to All-Remote Learning is Needed
  4. Do Your Part! Testing and Flu Vaccines

By continuing to work together and care for one another, we will strengthen our community and our schools. As always, I thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Details

1. Metrics Updated to Reflect Local Cambridge Data and New Evidence
Last night, Mayor Siddiqui facilitated a special meeting of the School Committee that included public comment, presentations, and dialogue with a diverse group of families, educators, scientists, medical professionals, and community members to share their questions and concerns about the COVID-19 metrics we monitor. Following that discussion, the School Committee voted to adopt our scientific advisors’ recommendation to shift the metrics we monitor from regional to Cambridge-specific data. (See this summary and presentation for more details.

2. CPS Dashboard Includes New Information on Number of Cases
The CPS COVID-19 Dashboard now includes the number of confirmed cases. CPS is currently working with the Cambridge Public Health Department on a more detailed dashboard that includes case information as well as rates of CPS staff participation in testing.

The Dashboard will be updated in a few days with the revised metrics adopted last night.

Click here to opt-in to a daily newsletter with updates on the metrics.

3. Expectations if a Temporary Shift to All-Remote Learning is Needed
While we are pleased that a transition to all-remote learning is not required at this time, we want to remind everyone what will happen if circumstances change. If future increases in CPS COVID-19 metrics determine that a district-wide temporary shift to remote learning is necessary, you can expect:

  • Notification via email and, for in-person learners, by phone
  • At least 2 days’ notice before the shift takes effect
  • Remote learning schedules and login information from your school
  • For students with disabilities, phone calls from OSS case managers to discuss expectations and support
  • A remote meals plan similar to last spring
  • Schools to remain closed for at least 1 week, with in-person education resuming only after two or more metrics remain below the thresholds for 7 consecutive days

4. Do Your Part:

  • Take advantage of the City of Cambridge’s free COVID-19 testing options for residents. More information and appointment-booking is available here.
  • Fight the Flu - Get the Vaccine! Massachusetts requires all students, except those with medical and religious exemptions, to receive a FLU VACCINE by December 31, 2020.
  • Make an appointment to visit Saturday’s drive-through flu clinic: Saturday, 8AM to 7PM at the CambridgeSide Parking Garage. More information, appointment-booking, and sign-up for email alerts about flu clinics and other important updates is available here.
  • Mask Up!
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