Message from Christen Sohn: January 17, 2024

Message from Christen Sohn: January 17, 2024
Posted on 01/17/2024

Good afternoon CSUS families and caregivers,

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. If you found an opportunity to connect with a cause or otherwise honor Dr. King's birthday, I hope that it was fulfilling and reflective.  Please see below for important updates about our January attendance challenge, CSUS’ upcoming Choral Concert and Art Show and this week’s School Site Council/Equity Team.

January Attendance Challenge
We are kicking off the new year with a review of our attendance data and a friendly competition between our grade levels and advisories to improve school and class attendance! Our goals are

  • Improved daily school attendance - bring daily absences down from 6% to 5% by February 1
  • Improved class attendance - increasing the number of scholars arriving to classes on time

If scholars are ill, they should continue to remain home. Please call to excuse scholar absences and document whenever possible with a doctor’s note - excused absences will not impact our attendance competition.

Join us for our Winter Choral Concert and Art Show on January 18
Our CSUS scholar artists and vocal musicians are looking forward to sharing their talents with you! See you soon at our Winter Choral Concert and Art Show.

School Site Council and Equity Team
CSUS’ School Site Council and Equity Team will meet virtually this Thursday, January 11 from 6-7PM. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the group, understand the election process, and collaborate/problem-solve around building our CSUS community. If you are interested in joining the CSUS School Site Council or Equity Team, or in learning more about these opportunities please email me at [email protected].

8th grade Guest Speaker Friday January 19
We are excited to share that CSUS 8th Graders will engage with long-time Cambridge resident Ilse Heyman this Friday, January 19, from 1:30-2:30PM. This is a rare opportunity to interact with a Holocaust* survivor which is a small and dwindling population in the US. Ilse has spoken to high school, middle and elementary students in and outside of Cambridge for years now. Among social advocacy groups, she served on the Cambridge Peace Commission and lead the yearly Holocaust Memorial Anniversary in Cambridge. Ilse also co-authored the book, The Window Shop: Safe Harbor for Refugees 1939-1972. It details some of the hundreds of German and Austrian refugees who had escaped Hitler and ended up in Cambridge, MA. Many found both meaningful work and comfort at The Window Shop. This will be Ilse’s 3rd visit to CSUS.

8th graders scholars recently finished reading Elie Wiesel’s Night and are engaged in a 
variety of assignments as they continue to learn about the Holocaust and synthesize their understanding of the text through reading, writing, speaking and listening. Ilse’s story will give scholars another primary source to better understand the author’s themes, including  the power of being indifferent to the suffering of others.

*Holocaust: the mass murder of Jewish people under the German Nazi regime during the period 1941–5. More than 6 million European Jews, as well as members of other persecuted groups such as Romani, gay people, and disabled people, were murdered at concentration camps (Webster’s II New College Dictionary).

CSUS Homework Expectations and Weekly HW Calendars
In an effort to keep scholars, caregivers, and out of school time providers informed regarding weekly assignments, our teaching teams are sharing weekly homework calendars. These will be posted on our website for reference and easy access.

Parent Caregiver Organization (CSUS PCO) meeting Thursday, January 25th 7PM
If you are unable to attend in person, you may also join us virtually.

For more information about the PCO or to donate or sign up as a volunteer, check out our website here.

Volunteer at Upcoming School Events
The CSUS PCO is looking for volunteers to help with the following upcoming school events:

  • January 18: Art Show
  • January 29: Teacher Appreciation
  • February 8: Talent Show
  • May 8: Teacher Appreciation
  • TBD: CSUS Fun Run!

Use this link if you'd like to offer baked goods or other snacks, help man the PCO bake sale table, lend a hand at the art or talent shows, and/or set up teacher appreciation events. 

Important Upcoming Dates

  • January 15: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day, No School
  • January 17: Rising 9th grade Information Night at CRLS
  • January 17: Grade 6 Field Trip to Apex Center
  • January 18: Winter Choral Concert and Art Show 5-8PM; Art on display in the Cafeteria from 5-8PM, Choral concert begins at 6PM
  • January 19: 8th grade guest speaker Ilse Herbert
  • January 23 and 25: iReady testing for all grades
  • January 24: Hearing/Vision, BMI, and SBIRT screening for 7th grade (access links for more information - will also be sent to 7th grade families via Parent Square)
  • February 10: Lunar New Year 
  • February 19-23: No School, February Break

Thank you for entrusting us with your scholars’ education. Have a great week and Go Cobras!


Head of School
Cambridge Street Upper School

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