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About the Somerville Children's Cabinet

The Somerville Children’s Cabinet was formed in 2017 with the support of the By All Means initiative of the Education Redesign Lab at Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Cabinet shares the aim of the By All Means Initiative, to develop comprehensive child wellbeing and education systems that help eliminate the link between children’s socioeconomic status and achievement, and is guided by the 6 conditions of Collective Impact:

  1. A Common Agenda
    Our vision is to create a stable, cross-sector network that supports positive outcomes for children, youth, and families in Somerville.
  2. Shared Measurement
    Data analysts with  Somerville Public Schools and the City’s SomerStat department inform evidence-driven approaches to our work. Work around common sets of measurement is beginning in key areas.
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities
    The Somerville Children’s Cabinet’s mission is to improve collaboration and communication between a cross sector network of School, City, and Community partners in order to mobilize and align the resources that optimize positive life outcomes for children and youth in our city.
  4. Continuous Communication
    The entire Cabinet meets monthly and is informed by separate meetings of the Out of School Time Taskforce, Early Childhood Advisory Council, the Somerville Education Foundation, the City Council and the School Committee. Subcommittees to support specific projects are formed as needed.
  5. Backbone Organization
    The SomerPromise initiative of the City’s Health and Human Services Department provides backbone support to the Cabinet.
  6. Equity as a Priority
    The Cabinet aims to be explicit about using an equity lens both internally as we strategize, and externally as we operationalize our work.
Contact Information


City of Somerville

Somerville Public Schools

  • Katiana Ballantyne - Mayor
  • Christopher Hosman - SomerPromise Director
  • Kristen Strezo - City Councilor at-Large
  • Susan Yerkes - Parks and Recreation Director
  • Nancy Bacci - Health and Human Services Deputy Director
  • Maria Teresa Nagel - Director of Somerville Office of Immigrant Affairs
  • Lisa Robinson - Director of Food
  • Access and Healthy Communities
  • Emily Mayernik - Clinical Youth Specialist
  • Hallory Mogren - Clinical Youth Specialist
  • Jennifer Mancia - Workforce Development
  • Senior Planner - Economic Development
  • Jeff Curley - Interim Superintendent
  • Ellenor Barish - School Committee Member, Ward 6
  • Ruth Santos - Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Director
  • Liz Doncaster - Director of Student Services
  • Chad Mazza - Assistant Superintendent of Operations
  • Susana Morgan - Interim Chief of Staff and Strategy, SPS
  • Kathleen Bailer - Director of Early Childhood Education
  • Jason Behrens - Innovation Specialist


  • David Gibbs - Community Action Agency of Somerville
  • Greg Nadeau - Somerville Education Foundation
  • Jaime Lederer - Director of Community Health Youth Initiatives, CHA
  • Leiran Biton - Somerville PTA Council

About Somerville

Somerville is a vibrant city located immediately to the north-west of Boston, MA. The 2017 population was estimated at 79,983, which, coupled with its small footprint of 4.1 square miles makes it the most densely populated city in New England. Somerville is historically a gateway city and, since 1987, a sanctuary city welcoming immigrants from around the world. Approximately 3,300 of our residents are under 5 years old and a further 4,900 are enrolled in Somerville Public Schools where, between them, they speak over 50 languages. “Diversity is our strength!”

Somerville has seen a rapid escalation in the cost of housing in recent years, leading to financial strain and housing insecurity for many families. Coupled with an influx of more affluent residents, income disparity is on the rise, affecting many of the children in our school system where 40% are considered economically disadvantaged. Creating and sustaining equitable opportunity for all of our young people is an overarching priority of the City and Schools; the Somerville Children’s Cabinet was created to coordinate cross-sector work towards this goal.

Current Priority Areas & Projects

Current Priority Areas

With equity and wraparound as ongoing priorities, the Cabinet’s work is currently focusing on Out of School Time and Early Childhood.

Current Projects

Cabinet members are involved in the following cross-sector work:

  • Development of the Somerville Partnership for Young Children
  • SomerBaby - a home visiting program for all newborns in Somerville
  • Single Point of Entry work - reshaping how families sign up for preschool and afterschool
  • Creating a citywide Out of School Time network and increasing equitable access to, and funding for slots
  • The Somerville Learning 2030 Report - A community wide survey about the future of learning
  • Envisioning the Future at Somerville High School - informing the roll out of the new SHS
  • SomerVision 2040 - A community-driven process to extend the current 2030 plan

Future Pilot Program

The Cabinet is also working on a pilot cross-sector Student Success Plan, with the support of the By All Means Team at HGSE. We aim to create equity and consistency in how students and families access all the school, city, and community resources they need to be successful.

Resources & Tools

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