School Observations at Year's End - Rachel for Cambridge

School Observations at Year's End

Dear Friends,

I hope you’re staying cool! 

‘A few brief updates before school lets out for the summer:

First, our School Climate Subcommittee visited Cambridge Street Upper School this month as part of our series of school visits focused on upper school culture and climate.  Our observation included a fabulous art class in which students began by breathing and stretching.  The displays in the hall were representations of their strategies for calming.  We also had a rich conversation with 8th and 6th graders who were paired for a mentoring program.  The students shared what made them feel dis/respected, as well as insights about social groups and trusted adults.  Thank you to Principal Sohn and her team for organizing such a meaningful visit.

Second, I am grateful to have participated in a walkthrough of the Cambridgeport School and in 8th grade portfolio presentations at the Rindge Ave Upper Campus.  At Cambridgeport, Vice Chair Hunter, Member David Weinstein, and I joined central office leaders to observe classes.  The group discussed effective strategies teachers used, as well as available resources for a student struggling to focus.  At RAUC, graduating eighth graders shared their strengths and challenges, highlighting particular pieces of work in each subject area.  I was very impressed with the candor and maturity of the students, who seemed ready for high school.  My thanks to Principals Jean-Michel and Sizer (whose grandfather, Ted Sizer, was a favorite college professor of mine!) for inviting the School Committee to these events.

(One of the impressive RAUC graduates)

Thinking back on my own CPS experience, one of the highlights was being in CityStep, a program in which Harvard undergraduates teach dance theatre and social-emotional skills to CPS students.  Given how current students’ social-emotional development was interrupted by the pandemic, CityStep is a more needed resource than ever.  In the decades since I enjoyed the program, it has refined and further strengthened its approach to building both individual confidence and classroom community.  A couple of weeks ago, I was truly honored to receive an award from CityStep, recognizing my “fierce advocacy for children.”

Finally, although school ends this Monday, the School Committee will continue working over the summer to appoint an Interim Superintendent for SY24-25, someone who will lead the district while we conduct a longer search for a permanent Superintendent.  The search for the permanent hire will include community input, so stay tuned for opportunities this fall.

Congratulations to the CRLS Class of 2024!

Wishing you a healthy, peaceful, and joyous summer,


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