The threat of putting the brakes on the flow of $1 million in federal grant money finally got School Committee member Patty Nolan some of the answers she’s been seeking on the logic behind how those funds are distributed in Cambridge’s public schools.
Members of the North Cambridge Family Opera appealed a seemingly mundane policy change on facility use Tuesday before the School Committee that, they said, could threaten the opera’s financial health. Officials supported the appeal unanimously.
The toxic atmosphere around charter schools in Massachusetts was largely absent from a School Committee election forum this week, but criticisms of public school failures around race and academic achievements were prominent.
A near-total rewrite of the school district’s “Rights and Responsibilities Handbook” and Cambridge Rindge & Latin School student handbook for 2017-18 – neither of which most students have ever seen – was urged by School Committee members Tuesday.
Indigenous People’s Day will officially replace Columbus Day on the district’s school calendar after the School Committee voted Tuesday to make the change. It follows a City Council decision in June 2016 to change the holiday held the second Monday in October.
The committee vowed to do ’anything in our power to protect the ‘Dreamers’ among us,” following a motion by Mayor E. Denise Simmons, using a nickname for the nearly 800,000 young people granted temporary legal U.S. residency via an Obama-era program.
The high school’s athletic director acknowledged a “systems breakdown” leading to unequal experiences for some male and female student athletes, but said the school was taking steps to correct the unintentional – and unknown – legal violations.
With several thousand new housing units due in the Alewife, NorthPoint and Kendall Square neighborhoods, School Committee members noted that if even 10 percent of those units have one child, that’s easily two schools’ worth of students.
“I’m looking for more of a plan. I don’t have enough to adopt for right now,” the mayor said, asking for a roundtable meeting in July at which the School Committee could get deeper into the details. “I want to vote when it’s finished.”
Superintendent Kenneth Salim presented his three-year “district plan” to a variety of audiences in recent days, finding support f0r the broad, overarching concepts, but worries about the details.