Update from Principal Smith: March 27, 2020

Update from Principal Smith: March 27, 2020
Posted on 03/27/2020

Good Evening CRLS Community,

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and in good health. Establishing balance in an uncertain time is difficult and I have heard from many members of our community about their concerns and hopes. This week has been challenging, yet CRLS and CPS staff members’ response to this worldwide crisis has demonstrated the strength, resolve, and compassion that exists in our community.

CPS Food Service staff and our fabulous CRLS Cafeteria Team have worked tirelessly to provide hundreds of meals for students and their families every day since schools closed. RSTA staff responded to the request for personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers in the area and a number of supplies (gloves, masks, gowns) from RSTA were given to the hospitals and facilities of the Cambridge Health Alliance. CRLS educators have conducted online class sessions to maintain and support student learning and have continued to communicate, check in, and provide encouragement for their students. I remain grateful and humbled by these displays of generosity. Please continue to reach out to a staff member in the CRLS professional community if you need assistance with any matter related to the COVID-19 school closure.

Tomorrow, the Learning Community Deans will share a document of responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding events and other school matters. I am writing to draw your attention to three items in the FAQ that will impact the community, most notably our students.

As a result of this unprecedented public health crisis, scheduling and events for this school year have been impacted. I am disappointed to the deliver the following updates:

  • Due to the closure extension until May 4th, the earliest starting date for games in the Spring Athletic season will now be May 11th. Unfortunately, this shortened schedule timeline for competitive games means there will not be Spring athletic season MIAA State Championship Tournaments.

  • Both venues hosting this year’s Junior and Senior Proms have canceled reservations. As a result the Junior and Senior Proms will be postponed.

I know reducing the spread of COVID-19 and focusing on community health and wellbeing is most important, and logically, I understand why these events have been impacted. However, I also know missing out on these traditions and signature moments will be a loss for students, especially our graduating seniors. I am saddened to know that students will miss out on these opportunities and I have asked CRLS administrators to consider other signature experiences that could be developed in this unique circumstance. 

  • Third quarter grades have also been a topic of significant interest for students and staff. Additional guidance related to Third quarter grades and other matters will be shared by Wednesday, April 1 and preliminary thinking will be shared in the FAQ.

  • Third quarter grades will reflect school work, assignments, tests/quizzes, and projects that were due on or before March 13th, the last regular day of school before closure. However, students can submit assignments that were due on or before March 13th to be included in their Third quarter grade.

  • No additional work assigned beyond March 13 will be counted towards a student’s Third quarter grade. Educators have done an excellent job continuing to offer engaging coursework and enrichment during the past two weeks, and students who have continued to keep up with work should be commended for maintaining high standards for themselves. At the same time, we must be mindful of the many challenges facing students and families, which may be interfering with completing assignments within a distance learning model.

  • Mid-term exams have been canceled No online mid-term exams will be administered on either April 1st or April 2nd.

  • For the Fourth quarter, which begins April 6th, CRLS will follow guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and transition from our usual practice of using A-F grades to issuing Credit/ No Credit. Additional guidance regarding this change will also be shared on Wednesday, April 1.

The FAQ document will be emailed this weekend. If you have questions regarding information in the FAQ please check in with your Learning Community Deans.

Sincerely,

Principal Smith

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