From Manuel J. Fernandez

January 7, 2020

Dear CSUS Caregivers,

Welcome to 2020! So much has happened since we opened the doors to our new facility at 840 Cambridge Street and so much more is happening in January at CSUS.

Getting acclimated to our new environment has been at times been challenging. Amidst the gleaming new windows and the expansive facilities we have tried to traverse four floors, two buildings and what seems to be miles of corridors. The school climate has been impacted in ways that necessitate a tighter rein on scholar behavior and interactions. We are mindful that some of you have been concerned with this and I want you to know that we have taken the following steps.

  • We have met with individual scholars and caregivers to collaboratively create improvement plans that benefit scholar growth and development.
  • We have met with small cohorts to encourage a shared responsibility for improvement.
  • We used both our December Scholar Identity Assembly and our Back to School Recalibration assembly on Jan 2nd to present community resolutions that we could all commit to:
  1. Resolve to be kinder to each other
  2. Resolve to be actively involved in one’s learning, school and community
  3. Resolve to be anti-bias and anti-racist

It is early but by most accounts we appear to be turning a corner. We will continue our stepped up efforts to learn how we can be more responsive to the needs of each scholar.

Beginning this month I will endeavor to have lunch with small cohorts of scholars to ascertain what’s working for them, what needs improvement and how TEAM CSUS can better support all. I will apprise you of our findings when I have met with every scholar that is willing to have a lunch discussion with me.

Our January calendar is filled with many events and activities that I hope where applicable you will join us.

Today, January 7th the 7th grade visited their NetPals at area tech firms around Kendall Square. NetPals is a science, technology, engineering and math mentoring program where seventh graders are matched with a STEM professional whom they will meet with several times a year and correspond with via email throughout the school year under the supervision of Ms. Simon our grade 7 Science teacher and the Cambridge School Volunteers.

On January 9th at 6:30PM our Family Liaison along with PCO leaders Debby Bonilla, Abby Fechtman and Marc Chamblee will host another Family Engagement Roundtable. The Roundtable covers many topics important to families including community efforts to support families in need, fundraising for fieldtrips and activities and initiatives to support anti-bias efforts. Come with your ideas and your energy. Any time that you can contribute is most appreciated.

On Jan. 15th, CSUS will compete in the 8th annual Upper School Volleyball championship at CRLS at 3PM. Over the years we have garnered many championships in athletics. Win or lose it’s always a fun and community building activity for our scholars. If time permits come in join us as we seek another trophy for our display case.

On January 20th there will be no school in commemoration of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. Day. Every year an 8th grader is selected to serve and lead in the Governor’s Project 351 community day of service in honor of Dr. King. This year TEAM 8 selected Mia Moragne to represent CSUS. We hope as time permits during the long MLK weekend that CSUS families will be able volunteer to do community service for those in need.

On January 28, at 6PM the CSUS Guidance Department will present an interactive parent/caregiver event entitled, Navigating Your Middle Schooler’s Journey in 2020. Join us to share your concerns and challenges and receive tips and resources from our guidance staff.

On January 30, we will hold our first Diversity Dialogues of the school year. Sarah Fiarman will facilitate an interactive workshop around her book Unconscious Bias in Schools. Dinner is at 6:00pm and the presentation begins at 6:30PM.

CSUS is coming in strong in January and we hope you can join us at some of these events. In any case, all the best in 2020!

On behalf of TEAM CSUS, thank you for choosing CSUS! We are humbled that you have entrusted us with your child’s education. We are mindful that you have choices and we are pleased that you chose us. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any TEAM CSUS staff member if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.

Peace,

Manuel J. Fernandez
Head of School

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