From DHSP head Ellen Semonoff herself this morning (Friday 4/22):
DHSP has "begun working" on the 2022-2023 Community Schools Afterschool Lottery. Good to know!
The "anticipated timeline" includes
Big thanks to the mom who forwarded this to me. And to Councilor Quinton Zondervan for forwarding it to her!
As of right now [Monday, June 9], this is still not up on DHSP's Community Schools website, so you're in on a secret.
For context, a Cambridge parent told me that, "Somervillle ran its lottery in March and they notify families by June so that they have enough time to hire staff and so families can plan." (See Somerville afterschool.)
In the spirit of complete transparency, below is the entire email from Ellen (It's mostly about their Summer Camp program). I looked up and added the titles of the people on the email. The info on After-Schools is the very last paragraph, bolded below.
(There's also some fascinating stuff on why everyone missed the Summer Camp announcement because it seemed like spam.)
Umm ... Obvious alert: Cambridge parents are angry because there aren't nearly enough after-school spots in this town.
You'd think I'd know this, since I just wrote a post to expiate my own anger over how confusing figuring out how to get a spot is. But I didn't. As a new mom in the system, there's so much to get angry about, that it takes you a little while to catch up.
(All said with love to the hard-working administrators and teachers in the system. I know it's all been tough these last years.)
That being said, multiple people have asked me to help with advocacy. So, this post is my attempt to sort through why parents do need to advocate and what they can do.
As usual, please email me with corrections/additions/suggestions at email@example.com, as I don't really know what I'm doing.
Step 1: A few parents (4-5) meet with Marc McGovern.
I lay out what I know about the problem below. But there are many unanswered questions. City Councilor Marc McGovern chairs the committee that oversees DHSP, so he's a natural first place to go + move on from there. Therefore, please email me if you'd like to join a small meeting to talk with Marc (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the end of April.
Step 2: I don't have a step 2 yet, so ITM, here's what I know about the after-school problem
Note: I've added updates on TIMING throughout.
This is the info I wish was readily available online. It’s not, so I had to do the research myself. It would be a waste to hoard it for myself.
First, thank you, Cambridge for putting together this comprehensive list of after-school options (hereafter, the Overwhelming List, or OL for short).
Small problem — whoever put this together does not actually have kids they’re trying to get coverage for. I know this because so much crucial info is missing (from the list or anywhere on the web).
So here’s what I’ve learned emailing, calling, and visiting various programs so that you can get through it all faster. If I’ve made errors or you have new info, please share — email me email@example.com. [Many edits made 4/1 — thank you!]
BASICS: Cambridge has 3 types of after-school programs. All are 10-month programs (September — June). (All separately offer summer programming.) They are:
This calls for a table, so here’s one with the basics (many of which I only learned via lengthy email correspondence, as it’s not up online). Get your bearings, then meet me below for deeper dives.
Eugenia Schraa & Amanda Beatty
Cambridge moms of young kids, going slowly nuts trying to wrangle basic info from the City about schools, after schools, preschools, and probably much more.