Updates from Maisha Rounds: April 29, 2021

Updates from Maisha Rounds: April 29, 2021
Posted on 04/29/2021

“Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to Dance. Equity is allowing you to choose the Music.” ― Cynthia Olmedo

Dear FMA,

I appreciate beyond words your commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity. Keep fighting the good fight, knowing that our scholars are truly benefitting from your work!

  • Word of the Week: Equity - fairness; everyone gets what they need, which is not always the same exact thing and that’s okay. Discuss the word of the week with your scholars. Encourage them to use the word in a sentence.
  • SEL Skill of the Month: Calm Down - Steps: 1) STOP - Use your signal ; 2) Name your feelings; 3) Calm down - breath, count, use positive self-talk.  Look for opportunities to practice these skills this month!

Upcoming Dates 

  • 5/3 - Community Meeting at 8:10AM led by 1st grade
  • 5/7 - Leadership Team Meeting 8:30AM; Fun Friday (NO UNIFORMS ; dress down)
  • 5/13 - PTO Meeting 8AM
  • 5/17 - Courageous Conversations 6-8PM
  • 6/7 - Community Meeting at 8:10AM led by PK/JK/K
  • 6/17 - Virtual 5th Grade Moving On Ceremony 9AM
  • 6/22 - End-of-Year Reading Celebration

Important Links/Deliverables

Celebrations and Shout Outs

  • As we head into Educator Appreciation week, I just want to let each of you know how much I value your work and feel fortunate to have such a remarkable team. Keep doing your thing!
  • Shout out to our related service providers for all of their hard work to ensure every scholar reaches their full potential! 
  • Million Minute Marathon update: FMA scholars have read 220,709 minutes so far! Keep reading and logging those minutes this Daily Reading Log! We will have a Read-a-Thon fundraiser coming up in May so let’s kick our reading into high gear. More details coming soon!
  • Spread the word about FMA! Follow us on social media: 

Student Attendance
FMA’s chronic absenteeism is holding steady at 3.7%! We are only seven-tenths of a point (LESS THAN 1 point) away from our goal of 3.02%!

Autism Acceptance Month Celebration 4/30 @ 3PM
Let’s celebrate neurodiversity at FMA! Our annual Autism Acceptance Month Celebration will be held on Friday, April 30th from 3:00-3:30PM ASD & general education teachers will co-host developmentally appropriate virtual celebrations by grade band with remote & in person scholars together. Shout out to Melinda Canty, Laura McCabe, and Marissa Ninni who developed the slide show a few years ago. Also, hats off to Caitlin O’Donnell, Ali Basu, & Marsa Waddell for co-facilitating. Kudos to the ASD team for adapting the celebration for our new virtual format. 

Remote families, please make sure your scholar(s) login at 3:00 on Friday using the link for their grade level below:

Cluster Facilitators Meeting Link
 PK/JK/K Melinda Canty
Ali Basu 
Ali’s link - Check your email.
Grades 1-2 Marissa Ninni 
Caitlin O’Donnell
Caitlin’s link - Check your email.
Grades 3-5  Siobhan Reardon
Marisa Waddell
Marisa’s link - Check your email.

PTO Updates
Bertucci's Fundraiser is next week. It is also part of teacher appreciation week and funds will be used to support teachers. So make sure you grab some grub from Bertucci’s on Thursday, May 6th from 11AM-10PM!!! 
Assessment Calendar
FMA’s updated assessment calendar can be found HERE and has been added to the links/deliverables above.
MCAS Updates
This week, teachers in person will conduct MCAS infrastructure trials to make sure students and their devices are ready for testing. The FMA MCAS testing schedule is below:

  3rd  4th 5th
ELA May 11 May 25 May 20
Math May 18 June 1 May 27
Science N/A N/A
June 3

For remote MCAS Administration, there is no infrastructure trial in the traditional sense. Students will be using TestNav in their browser. Teachers may complete browser-based practice tests available on the MCAs website. 

Early Release Days
The early release days for the remainder of the year are:

  • May 12
  • May 19
  • May 26
  • June 9

Early Release Wednesdays will also have a staggered dismissal as follows:

  • 11:35 - PK/JK/K
  • 11:40 - 1/2/3
  • 11:45 - 4/5

Please be sure to pick up your scholar(s) on time. Contact Family Liaison Daniel Skeritt if you would like information about after school programs with our community partners.

Staffing Updates
FMA welcomes Munira Fleyfel! She will be joining the 3rd grade team on Monday, May 24th as an instructional aide to support hybrid learners in person. She joins FMA with over 10 years Montessori teaching experience. She has designed, prepared, and maintained a calm, child-centered classroom that inspires inner discipline, self-assurance, and a love of learning. Ms. Fleyfel embraces many cultural competencies including being multilingual in English, French, and Arabic. Welcome, Munira!

Health & Safety Updates
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has issued the following updated quarantine guidance:

"Close contacts who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom or on the bus while both individuals were masked do not have to quarantine unless they were within 3 feet of distance of the COVID-19 positive individual for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. This does not apply if someone was identified as a close contact outside of the classroom or bus (e.g., in sports, extra-curriculars, lunch, etc.) or if masks are not worn by both persons at the time of the exposure. All other close contacts must follow the standard protocol for when a close contact may return to school."

The full DESE guidance is posted here >>

Please continue wearing masks when you come to school and practice social distancing, even if you are fully vaccinated. While there are new CDC updates, CPS and the City of Cambridge have not changed their masking guidelines. Let’s continue working together to keep our school safe!

Harvard City Step
Hello CityStep Families!
We hope this email finds you and yours well! CityStep classes may have ended, but we have yet to enjoy our program's grand finale–the Final Show!–and the following information is how your student can be a part of it!!

Our Final Show will be an online event, and we'll be creating a video that recaps all that your students have been exploring and discovering within the program this year for family and community members to watch together! We hope to include every participant of CityStep in this video celebration, so we are requesting video submissions from your students performing dance routines and/or demonstrating their artistic skills through visual art projects to make this virtual Final Show happen! 
Attached to this email is a "Final Show Recording Guidelines!" document that provides the following information: recording instructions, the dances and art projects we are requesting submissions for, review videos of said dances, and directions on how to submit recordings! Additionally, we are also including instructions for the visual arts project

Please have your student turn in all their submissions through this form, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the information within the documents, please send an email our way here!

The last day for students to send along submissions for the Final Show is next Monday, May 3, 2021–though the sooner the better! After being professionally edited together, the Final Show will premiere live on our YouTube channel on Saturday, May 22 at 5 PM EDT!

We have been looking forward to this Final Show all year, and we are so excited to watch your sweet students shine on this virtual stage in May! 
With care & ooh ahh excitement,
The CityStep Executive Team
Harvard CityStep Execs
59 Shepard St. SOCH Box 1 
Cambridge, MA 02138
[email protected]
Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
Construction Updates
THE PORT PL 6 Stormwater Tank Project
Paving of Columbia Street and Bishop Allen Drive
**Please note: work hours have been updated to include Saturday May 1, 9AM-4PM.**
We are pleased to announce that as part of completion of the City’s PL6 Stormwater Tank Project, final paving of Bishop Allen Drive and “lower” Columbia Street, as well as an interim maintenance paving of an additional segment of Columbia Street, is planned for the period of April 28- May 7, 2021 (Please note these dates are weather dependent).  
What to expect during construction
Paving limits are:

  • Bishop Allen Drive between Douglass Street and Columbia Street (final paving)
  • Columbia Street between Main Street and Bishop Allen Drive (final paving)
  • Columbia Street between Bishop Allen Drive and Broadway (interim grinding and paving to restore road surface until the next phase of Port Infrastructure construction in upcoming years)

Work will occur during normal construction hours, Monday-Friday 7AM – 4PM and Saturday May 1, 9AM-4PM.

During this work there will be times when parking is prohibited. “No Parking” signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance of construction. Please be sure to check posted signs for exact dates and times.

Impacted streets will generally be available for 2-way travel, but there will be periods when the road will operate with alternating 1-way traffic under police officer control, or closed to all traffic. Delays should be expected.

Pedestrian sidewalks will remain open on both sides of the street.

Temporary paint pavement markings will be placed after this operation, with final thermoplastic markings following several weeks later.
For Information and Assistance During Construction
If you have any questions about the construction work or need assistance, including if you have any special needs or disabilities that require special accommodations, please contact Kate Riley, DPW Community Relations Manager at 617.349.4870 or here. More information about the project in general can be found here.  

In case of a construction emergency, please call the Cambridge Public Works Department 24-hour hotline at 617.349.4800. 
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this construction.
Rounds Out Tomorrow 4/30/21
This is a friendly reminder that I will be absent tomorrow Friday, April 30th for the final defense of my Capstone, a practice-based application of educational research. My research topic was, “Does the OpporTUNEity ® Music Enrichment Program Impact Student Outcomes?” I explored the role that an after school music enrichment program plays on disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, and I developed recommendations for further program development and expansion. Findings indicated that music enrichment confers short-term academic and social benefits, and my study laid the groundwork for longitudinal research in this area where minimal U.S. research exists. 

On Friday, I will not be accessible by phone, text, or email. If you need immediate assistance, please call FMA's main office at 617.349.6588 or contact our administrative team:

Wish me luck!

Maisha Rounds, Ed.D ‘21
Proud Principal

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