Non-Binary Gender Category in Student Records

Non-Binary Gender Category in Student Records
Posted on 04/12/2018
inclusive pride flagWe are pleased to share an update on CPS's ongoing efforts to provide a welcoming educational environment for all students. Specifically, CPS has implemented a change in data collection that we believe will more accurately reflect the diversity of LGBTQI+ students.

In 2015 the Cambridge School Committee adopted a policy on Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity. Among other guidelines, the policy states:
Names/Pronouns: A student has the right to choose a name and pronoun appropriate to the student's gender identity, regardless of the student's assigned birth sex and name that appears on the student's birth certificate. Schools should accurately record and use the student's chosen name and pronouns that are consistent with the student's gender identity. Court orders are not required to update student records to reflect changes in a student's name and gender markers. Schools will work with a student and the parents/guardians of the student if they are involved in the process, or in the case of a younger student with the student and the student's parents/guardians, to develop a plan for communicating any name and pronoun change within the school.
This school year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education added a third gender category for demographic data collection purposes. In addition to Male and Female, schools and districts may report the gender "Non-Binary."

In practice, schools were already able to change the gender category listed in the student database if the student identifies as a gender that is different than the assigned sex listed on their birth certificate. Now, students and/or families may additionally make the selection of Non-Binary.

As always, we will work with Transgender and non-binary students and their families to demonstrate inclusion and respect for how a student chooses to identify their gender. This includes supporting students through gender transitions and ensuring that their educational record accurately reflects their gender identity.

We are proud that our school system and the State of Massachusetts recognize that some students do not identify as Male or Female, and provides a way for schools and districts to demonstrate our respect for non-binary gender identities.

More information on supporting and welcoming Transgender and Gender Expansive students can be found at GenderSpectrum.org.
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