School Committee Meeting Agenda: August 4, 2020

From the Office of the Executive Secretary to the School Committee

School Committee - Regular Meeting August 4, 2020

A G E N D A


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:
#20-95 Joint Motion by Member Rachel, Member Weinstein, and 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 Delegation and Governor Baker, and be it further;
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 and Vice-Chair Bowman
Be referred to the Communications and Community Relations Sub-Committee for review
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.

#20-143 Joint Motion by Member Wilson and Vice-Chair Bowman
Be referred to the Governance (1st Resolved) and Curriculum & Achievement (2nd Resolved) Sub-Committees
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
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
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.
7. Superintendent’s Agenda:
7a. Presentations:
COVID-19 Response Update……………Superintendent Salim

7b. CPS District Plan: None

7c. Consent Agenda:

#20-187 Recommendation: Approval of Educational Opportunities for Military Children Policy (Second Reading)

#20-188 Recommendation: Approval of Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster Care (Second Reading)

#20-189 Recommendation: Approval of Education Homeless Student Policy: Enrollment Rights & Services (Second Reading)

#20-190 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: Approval of Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy (First Reading)

#20-192 Recommendation: Day & Residential Program Services not Available From the Cambridge School Department

#20-193 Recommendation: Contract Award: Newsela: Educational Computer Software

#20-194 Recommendation: Contract Award: Learning A-Z: Educational Computer Software

#20-195 Recommendation: Contract Award: Kittredge Equipment: Food Service Equipment

#20-196 Recommendation: Contract Award: CDW Government LLC: Instructional Computer Supplies

#20-197 Recommendation: Contract Award: Youth Guidance: Educational Support

#20-198 Recommendation: Contract Award: CDW Government LLC: Computer Software

#20-199 Recommendation: Grant Award: Summer & Vacation Learning Program Grant (SC21201)

#20-200 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Title IV Student & Academic Enrichment (SC21732)

#20-201 Recommendation: Grant Award: Special Education IDEA Allocation (SC21605)

#20-202 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Title I Distribution (SC21604)

#20-203 Recommendation: Grant Award: FY21 Title IIA Educator Quality (SC21731)
8. Non-Consent Agenda:

9. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):
#20-204 Joint Motion by Member Weinstein, Member Rojas and Member Rachel
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 August 15, 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 and other scholar support, rather than test preparation and administration.

#20-205 Joint Motion by Member Weinstein, Member Rojas and 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 and 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 and Mayor Siddiqui
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 and 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 and Member Weinstein
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 and 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 (letters of congratulations, letters of condolence):
#20-211 Joint Motion by Member Rachel and 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 and 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:

12. Late Orders:

13. Communications and Reports from City Officers: None
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