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Dear Cambridgeport Families,

A new school year is always filled with much that is new and unknown. There is excitement in this, there is a feeling of a fresh start, but there can also be some anxiety. So rather than provoking anxiety with a letter enumerating all of the changes you will see in the year to come, I thought I’d comfort you with a letter enumerating all of the things that will stay the same… all that you have to look forward to returning to in September.

All of our classroom teachers from last year are staying at Cambridgeport this year. We’ve added Anna to the 3/4 team, but Jen is still with us as a literacy coach. In addition to classroom teachers, all of our co-curricular teachers (art, music, PE, library, technology) will be returning as well. Our special education team will largely remain intact; one change is in school psychologist. Ann Dostert will be working full time at Fletcher Maynard this year, and we have hired a part-time psychologist, Christine Lette, to join our team. Even our part-time interventionists, Amy Wong and Amanda Van Vleck, will be returning to their respective part-time positions this year. Our special start team is still going strong, but adding another classroom. Sandra McClosky is the head teacher of a substantially separate special start classroom that will be joining us at Cambridgeport. It is going to be a great year in which we can continue the work we started last year.

Some of the work that we started last year, and will have the chance to build on this year includes honing our teaching of the Cambridgeport Habits of Mind. In particular, we are eager to do more work fleshing out what it really means to analyze and interpret, to think flexibly, and to construct a logical argument. This will help us find new ways to teach these habits across the school as well.

Last year we also started thinking a lot about what kinds of learning can and does happen outside of the school day. We eliminated traditional homework in favor of encouraging consistent, voluminous reading at home as well as encouraging children to seek out challenges that excite them at home (the challenge that I sought out personally was writing about this new approach to homework, and having my writing published on the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) website. This year we will have the opportunity to continue looking at this approach, refining it, and figuring out how to build better partnerships with families in the absence of homework.

We also completely revamped our report cards last year. Those of you who were parents here at Cambridgeport last year patiently worked with us as we came out with several versions that were “not it.” This year we look forward to sharing a new and improved reporting structure that takes into account all of the feedback we got from you last year. Hopefully we’ve settled on something we can stick with for awhile.

Unfortunately, the playground construction has not seen as much progress as we had all hoped. I have been in communication with the department of public works, and the latest word is that they will begin construction in late August, and hope to complete it by mid to late October. This means we will all have to be flexible as we gaze with excitement and anticipation at the work in progress that will become our new playground.

Finally, I am thrilled to share with you all that my daughter, Wylie, will be starting Kindergarten at Cambridgeport in September. I feel so proud of this school, and so grateful for all of the teachers at Cambridgeport who have made this the only school I wanted my daughter to attend. I am sure the journey will be bumpy at times, navigating the path of being a parent and a principal at the same time, but a foundation of open communication and transparency will be my guide.

Important Information:

  • Please look for a packet from Cambridge Public Schools. This is a booklet of REQUIRED forms that must be completed and turned in on the first day of school.

  • Classroom doors are open starting at 8:10AM. Beginning at this time, important learning takes place each day. While students are required to be at school by 8:25AM, we strongly encourage families to have their children arrive at 8:10 in order to maximize learning time.

  • Dismissal is at 2:25PM. Please be sure to pick your child up on time. If your child is in JK-2nd grade, he/she must be picked up by an adult.

  • Children should not be dropped off early to play on the playground; there is limited supervision for students who arrive early on the bus.

  • You cannot park in front of the school during arrival and dismissal. Buses need to load and unload, and cannot if you are parked there. I know it can be hard to find parking around the school, but for safety of all, it is critical that you not park in front of the school.

There is so much to look forward to! I can’t wait to see you all back at school on Tuesday, September 8th at 8:10AM!

Katie