Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A Covid-19 Task Force will work through the long, hot days of summer to reinvent school for its reopening, superintendent Kenneth Salim said Wednesday in an email to the school community.

The task force was created to provide input and expertise to the Cambridge Public Schools administration as it plans for the return to school in September, whether classes are held in person, via remote learning or a combination.

The kickoff meeting is planned for 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, and will meet throughout the summer, said Lyndsay Pinkus, the district’s chief strategy officer. She said the meeting schedule will be made public once it is confirmed by the task force.

“We plan to record and publish the subsequent meetings, and the superintendent will share a report from the task force meetings as part of his weekly updates to the community about the planning for the fall,” Pinkus wrote.

Salim’s email said that the task force will review the recommendations and plans generated by multiple working groups whose members will be drawn from “CPS staff, educators, families/caregivers, community partners, community members and students over the course of the summer.”

Working group members will be selected based on “interest demonstrated through a community forum, staff survey and additional outreach,” Pinkus said. The working groups’ scope of work and their meeting schedule for the summer is underway.

The administration has also committed to establishing a CPS Student Task Force to include student perspectives.

Salim announced the creation of the Covid-19 task force and working groups in an email May 19, and provided an online form for interested community members to nominate themselves or others to participate. It appears that the district is no longer accepting nominations, as the online form is not accepting new applications.

The administration said in an email that it selected participants to “represent a wide range of expertise, roles and perspectives.”

The 19 confirmed members are drawn from roughly equal numbers of community organizations and district staff, with four participants from the medical community. The Superintendent’s Office is in the process of confirming additional members, according to the email.The task force will review initiatives that address student learning loss, encourage student engagement, targeted professional development for staff and approaches that will help mitigate the “colossal impact of the Covid-19 crisis” on the learning community, Salim’s email said.