Cambridge City

Communication and Report from Other City Officers
COF 2020 #31
Jun 1, 2020 5:30 PM

A communication was received from Mayor Siddiqui, transmitting information from the School Committee’s Regular Meeting and Subcommittee meetings.


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  2. 5.28 SC Council Memo



Sumbul Siddiqui



To:                            Cambridge City Council

From:                            Sumbul Siddiqui, Mayor

Date:                            May 28, 2020

Subject:              Communicating information from the School Committee’s Regular Meeting and Subcommittee meetings


To the Honorable, the City Council:

Last Tuesday, May 19th, the School Committee had a Regular Meeting <> where members voted to pass the FY21 budget proposal, with the understanding that there is still much work to be done and significant additional funds that will be necessary to adequately implement a COVID-19 Recovery Plan. Here is Dr. Salim’s presentation <>.


Please feel free to set up a time with me to discuss this further, prior to the June 3rd vote.  I am happy to meet with each of you individually to ensure I can best answer any questions you may have.


The School Committee also voted to submit a letter of appeal to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education around the school year requirement <>, which will cost CPSD $2 million for 4 extra days in June. We hope to, instead, put that time and money toward a comprehensive COVID-19 Recovery Plan that provides direct support to our most vulnerable students-including the implementation of summer programming and additional instructional time next school year to address student learning loss. CPSD commits to expanding summer programming for students across the district, with lower student to teacher ratios to enable personalized instruction and support for individual learning needs. The School Committee commits to creating accountability structures to ensure that this happens.


The Building & Grounds Subcommittee <> met last Friday, May 22nd, to begin a series of conversations around how to develop guidelines and policies in planning for the potential reopening of schools in September. Members of the CPSD administration presented <> on the status of their planning and big areas they are addressing-including building entry protocols, determining classroom capacity with social distancing measures, and hygiene measures. School Committee members raised important questions about the public use of school facilities for voting this election year, safe transportation for students, and the impact of building protocols on academic learning time.


The Governance Subcommittee <> also met last Friday, May 22nd, to review the existing code of ethics of the School Committee in the context of possibly incorporating restorative justice practices. The School Committee experienced turbulent times in 2019, which lead to a call for implementing restorative practices in the handling of future conflicts. CPS Conflict Mediator Chandra Banks helped guide the members in a discussion about effectively writing policy that is not punitive and sets a tone of community and transforming together. This will be an ongoing effort and an ongoing discussion for the School Committee members.


Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, suggestions, or concerns.






Sumbul Siddiqui





Meeting History

Jun 1, 2020 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
YEAS:Dennis J. Carlone, Patricia Nolan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Alanna Mallon, Marc C. McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Timothy J. Toomey, Quinton Zondervan