August 15th, 2014

Report on Advanced Learning in the Cambridge Public Schools

On July 29th 2014, the Cambridge Public Schools’ Academic Challenge and Enrichment Program Manager, Paula Feynman, presented to the School Committee and Administration on the state of advanced learning in CPS. Slides from her presentation are here.

The presentation was covered by Jean Cummings in The Cambridge Day, in her article “Difficulties handling ‘advanced learners’ […]

April 25th, 2014

New Math Pathways for Cambridge Middle School Students

On March 4th, 2014 the Cambridge Public School District administration and School Committee amended the Academic Challenge Policy to allow for two math pathways in the CPS middle schools. The CALA community has advocated for this change for two years, and supports this decision, as it better enables middle school math teachers to meet the […]

December 10th, 2013

CPS Office of Academic Challenge Website is Launched!

The Cambridge Public School District’s Office of Academic Challenge now has it’s own website, with information, resources, a calendar, and more. The full website is here:

There is also now a link from the “Departments” section of the main CPSD website takes you to this introductory page:

Please let the Academic Challenge Program […]

September 1st, 2012

Introducing CPS’s new Academic Challenge Program Manager

I’m very happy to report that this week CPS Deputy Superintendent Carolyn Turk introduced the school district’s new Academic Challenge and Enrichment Support Program Manager. She is Paula Feynman, who has in recent years worked as a 6th grade science teacher in Sudbury, MA. She is very skilled in project-based learning and differentiating instruction, in […]

August 28th, 2012

Update on Academic Challenge from CPS District Leaders

Below are answers to questions that CALA coordinator Freedom Baird submitted to the School Committee in mid-August, around the issue of advanced learning, especially as it will be addressed in the new Upper Schools. The answers were prepared by Deputy Superintendent Carolyn Turk, and reviewed by Superintendent Jeff Young.

Cambridge Public […]

April 4th, 2012

CPS to Hire Academic Challenge Program Manager

With last night’s voting in of the Cambridge Public School’s annual budget, it became official that the district will hire an Academic Challenge and Enrichment Support Program Manager to oversee support and services for advanced learners in grades K-8. The new job position was created after months of advocacy by parents from CALA, the Cambridge […]

March 26th, 2012

Jimmy Tingle to Host “Are You as Smart as a CRLS Student” Quiz Show

This thursday, bring your general knowledge and trivia smarts out as community members pit themselves against CRLS students in a battle of the brains! Cambridge comedic legend Jimmy Tingle will host the event at the Fitzgerald Auditorium, 7pm-9pm. Here’s an excerpt from the write-up in the Cambridge Chronicle, titled “Jimmy Tingle to host Cambridge Rindge […]

February 18th, 2012

Reactions to CPS’s New Academic Challenge Policy

Two letters to the Cambridge Chronicle published today express deep concern over the Cambridge Public School’s recently voted in Academic Challenge Policy:

“Nolan Explains Her Vote”, by School Committee Member Patty Nolan

An excerpt reads:

“Differentiation is extremely difficult to do. Cambridge has tried for 20-plus years. Our results? Uneven achievement, pockets of […]

February 11th, 2012

CPS Academic Challenge Policy is Voted In

On February 7th, the Cambridge Public School Committee voted in a new Upper School Academic Challenge Policy, as part of the Innovation Agenda‘s reshaping of Cambridge’s middle grades. The complete text of the Policy is below.

Reporter Andy Metzger’s coverage of the night of the vote is in this Cambridge Chronicle article: “Cambridge School Committee […]

February 3rd, 2012

ISP Students Continue to Voice Concerns to Cambridge SC

James Robinson ran this article in the Cambridge Chronicle today: “Cambridge students block plan to end advanced study program”. Here’s an excerpt:

The ISP course is an advanced learning curriculum that has been available to Cambridge middle school students for over five decades through the Peabody and Kennedy-Longfellow schools. It now faces the […]