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Community Schools

Culture class

DHSP Community Schools provide educational, cultural, social, and recreational opportunities for Cambridge children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. This includes afterschool programs, school vacation camps, and full-day summer camps. Enrichment focuses on visual arts, performing arts, and STEAM education. Community Schools also offer “Arts in the Parks” activities every summer. All Community Schools programs emphasize inclusion, quality, safety, and developmentally appropriate curriculum.

Families apply to Community Schools Summer Camps through the DHSP Summer Lottery. Learn more at www.cambridgema.gov/SummerCamps

Families apply to Community Schools Afterschool Programs through the DHSP Afterschool Programs Lottery. Applications for the 2024-2025 school year will open in spring 2024. Learn more at www.cambridgema.gov/AfterschoolLottery

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I get billed and what are my payment options?

After families accept their child’s seat and confirm the days their child will enroll, they will receive their monthly tuition, based on income and family size. Payment can be made by personal check or money order to the City of Cambridge. Vouchers are not accepted as a form of payment.

Do Community Schools Afterschool Programs accept vouchers?

No, vouchers are not accepted as a form of payment for Community Schools Afterschool Programs. 

Will there be afterschool programming on early release days? Holidays? Vacation weeks?

Yes. Community Schools offer programming on CPS early release days, as well as full-day programming during February and April vacations. Early release day programming does not have an additional cost. Vacation week programming will incur an additional cost for participation, and the process for registering will be shared with families who are offered enrollment in September. A full schedule will be provided for enrolled families in September.

Can I change which days or how many days my child attends a program after we receive our lottery placement?

You can reduce the number of days your child attends a program during the year by providing notice to the Program Director. The ability to change enrollment days or increase the number of days your child will attend a program each week will depend on program capacity.

Are snacks provided at Community Schools afterschool programs?

Yes. All Community Schools afterschool programs provide daily snacks for children in attendance. If a child has specific nutritional needs, families are encouraged to pack an individual snack for their child.

How many days can my child participate?

Families can apply for one of the following options:
  • Tuesday/Thursday (2 days a week)
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday (3 days a week)
  • Monday through Friday (5 days a week)

Does my child need to attend the same school for academic and afterschool programming?

No, but DHSP does not provide transportation to Community Schools sites. Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) provides transportation between schools and some Community Schools sites. If your child chooses to attend a Community School and CPS does not provide transportation between your child’s school and the Community School site, you will be responsible for transporting your child to the afterschool program.

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