Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tonight brings the scheduled vote on the fate of the schools’ Intensive Studies Program, with students and parents urging people to show up for another round of public comment intent on saving the program from cancellation or at least letting those enrolled now finish out their years in it.

“Please come,” said an e-mail labeled as coming from the “ISP Steering Committee.”

“A large turnout helps. It’s our last chance to stand up for our kids,” the e-mail said.

The program, with some 175 students, accepts nearly any sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who feel held back educationally in their traditional classrooms. The program is held only at the Kennedy-Longfellow and Peabody schools, but could end in the fall with the rollout of the district restructuring known as the Innovation Agenda.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, Innovation Agenda plans included an honors class option for math but no specific advanced option for English-language arts or social studies.

“We’ve heard that [Superintendent Jeffrey Young] is revising the proposal,” parent John DeLancey said as part of the effort to get speakers to tonight’s meeting.

A tweet from the Cambridge Advanced Learning Association, which advocates for keeping the ISP, noted that the “newly released academic challenge ‘policy’ is very different from the ‘plan’ released earlier.” The policy, posted Monday and dated Friday, has no specific mention of any program set aside for kids who want a more challenging classroom.

“Dr. Young has a history of promising things, then making changes at the last minute. So it wouldn’t surprise us if he eliminated math honors or the Subject Acceleration Protocol or any element that benefits all students, including advanced students,” said the e-mail identified as being from the ISP Steering Committee.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the School Committee meeting room at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, 459 Broadway.