DHSP Update for Community Schools and Cambridge Youth Program Enrollment


9/2/2021

Earlier this week, DHSP communicated with the families who applied to Community Schools and Cambridge Youth Programs (CYP) afterschool programs to let them know the status of their child’s application to our programs.

Families who applied to enter the Community Schools and CYP lotteries received one of four email communications.

  • Some families received an email offering their child a place in a program and describing how to complete the enrollment process.
  • Other families received an email informing them that their child has a seat in a program, but their entry will be delayed until there is adequate staffing for the program. (The Department is currently hiring more staff and actively recruiting new staff to start this fall).
  • Some families received an email indicating that their child has a seat in a program and their next step is to connect with DHSP’s Inclusion Initiative staff to ensure that the appropriate program supports will be in place for their child.
  • Finally, some families received an email letting them know that there is not a seat available for their child in the program(s) they applied for. These children will be added to DHSP’s waiting pool and families will be contacted if a seat becomes available.

This year, the Department moved away from the first-come, first-served registration model, which impacted our ability to equitably serve families, and implemented a lottery-based system. Combined with a sliding fee tuition scale, the lottery-based system provides more equitable access to our programs. In addition, the new model has resulted in an increased number of low-income children who applied and were accepted to our programs.

DHSP recognizes that it is frustrating for families to receive this information so close to the start of school. Therefore, the Department is committed to adjusting future registration processes to allow for earlier notification to families.

If families applied to the Community Schools or CYP lotteries and did not receive any of the above email communications, or if families have questions, please contact askdhsp@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6200.