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How to Be an Active Family Member at the Morse

How to Be an Active Family Member at the Morse
Posted on 09/27/2016
Written by: Denise Sullivan, Family Liaison

Please consider being active in some way!

When families become involved in their student’s education, everyone benefits! Research has shown that parent/guardian involvement benefits students, parents, teachers and schools, whether the program is at the preschool, elementary or high school level. For some parents, being involved in the school may not be a familiar concept, or one that they are comfortable with. Family involvement comes in many shapes and sizes. It is the Morse School’s wish that all families find even the smallest way to be involved.

Here are some benefits of parent /guardian involvement for students:
More positive attitudes toward school
Higher achievement in reading
Completion of more homework
Observing more similarities between family and school.

STAY INFORMED

Read the monthly Morse School Newsletter.

Visit Morse School website.
 http://morse.cpsd.us

Join Morse School Google Group. By joining this group, you will receive information sometimes much faster then via backpack express. The information provided via Google is for school events (afterschool activities, meetings, performances, etc.), district happenings, as well as community events. You may also choose to bookmark the group’s “home” page as a reference tool. To join: e-mail Denise Sullivan, Family Liaison, at desullivan@cpsd.us, in the subject list: ADD to Morse Google Group. Once added, you will receive a confirmation email and then you will start getting information electronically. Please note some AOL and EDU accounts have difficultly receiving Google postings.

GET INVOLVED

Become an active member of Friends of Morse School (FMS).
Every parent/guardian is considered an automatic member of FMS. How much involvement that is dedicated is up to the decision of each family. Though the more people who volunteer to help, the easier the work and more fun for all! The FMS is dedicated to supporting the educational experience of students, fostering community, and celebrating the diversity of the school. The FMS meets one night a month at the Morse School. The FMS help plan FUN family events like the International Festival, Family Movie Nights, and the annual Garden Party. They organize a silent auction and raffle event yearly. Mark your calendars now for the next meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 6:30PM in the Morse School Library.

Attend Morse School Council Meetings.
A GREAT way of finding out what is going on here at the Morse!!!! Every parent/guardian is welcome and encouraged to attend. You can simply sit and listen you do not have to speak. If you like the meetings, please think of becoming a school council is a representative. What is School Council? A school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, and community members. School Council representatives are committed to improving the school and supporting the public school system. They have the opportunity to shape the policies and programs of the school. We are seeking a few parents to commit to a two-year term but welcome all to join us at any of the meetings. You can come and just listen too, it will help you better understand the Morse community! The School Council meets: first Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8PM in the Morse Library. First meeting for this school year is Wednesday, October 5, 6:30PM.



The above are two committees that help us be a wonderful community, where parents and guardians are helpful in building community bonds and helping guide the schools path. *-- Please consider joining either group this year as we all work toward academic excellence and social justice in our schools. If interested please contact Family Liaison, Denise Sullivan desullivan@cpsd.us or 617.349.6679 or simply come to the meetings!


Represent the Morse School at District Group Meetings.
There are District Groups that meet monthly. The Morse would like to have parent/guardian representation for each if possible. If interested please contact our Family Liaison, Denise Sullivan for more information. Groups: Citywide School Advisory Group (CSAG); Title 1 Parent Advisory Council (PAC); School Food Service Advisory Group; Cambridge Advanced Learning Association (CALA)

Attend monthly Parent/Guardian Workshops.
Monthly workshops are offered in Literacy and Math to help parent/guardians understand and be informed on what their child is learning and how to help support them at home. Please note: all past workshop handouts are available on the school’s website. From the home page under the Quick links column, click the link that says “Parent Workshops.” Watch for more information.

Please attend Back to School Night for grades 1-5 on September 28.

Watch for more information via your child’s backpack and the Morse Google group as it gets closer. If your child is just entering the Morse as a Junior Kindergartener or Kindergartener please plan on attending the JK/K Curriculum Night on Wednesday, October 26th - watch for more information via your child’s backpack and the Morse Google group as it gets closer. FREE on-site childcare available on the nights of the two events listed above.

Get Involved with the Weekend Backpack Program - FREE Weekend Food For Child/Children Available!
The Morse School participates in the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program to offer a supply of nutritious meals and snacks for children over the weekend, free of charge. Any child enrolled at the Morse School is able to receive these weekly bags of food. The program will begin in October. Every Friday morning a team of Morse School parent/community volunteers meet in the cafeteria at 8:30AM to pack the Weekend Food Bags (WFB) for the participating Morse students. New packers are always welcome. There are also a small group of parent volunteers that help pick up the food bins, which contain the food for the WFB from the receiving dock (located on Cambridge St) of Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School from 7:15AM–8AM and drop here at the Main Office each Friday morning. It would be nice to add some new drivers into the rotation.

There are many ways that you can contribute to the Morse School Community. Participation is always welcome as it helps build a stronger community. At Back to School Night, classroom teachers may have some specific ways you can help the classrooms. Below is a list of ways you can contribute to the Morse School. If you would like more information or would like to volunteer for any of the below please contact Denise Sullivan, Family Liaison, by email desullivan@cpsd.us or by calling her office at 617.349.6679.

WAYS TO HELP INSIDE THE MORSE SCHOOL BUILDING
 
Weekend Food Bag (WFB) packers (Friday mornings from 8:30AM) – see description above

Attend your child’s performances and classroom shares: We try to schedule performances most mornings, to try to make it easier for adult family members to attend, though we know that you made need to be at work and this may not be possible, may we suggest you ask a family member or friend attend if you cannot. The students do look forward to seeing their own family or friends at performances or classroom shares.

Help chaperone class field trips – you must request a CORI form from the main office.

Be a classroom volunteer a couple of hours one day a week

Volunteer in the lunch room

Help in the School Library (shelving books, checking out books, etc.)

Help in the Art Studio

Help out in class with art projects, science experiments, etc.

Share your profession, your culture or a travel experience: Appear as a classroom guest speaker

Attend Monthly Parent Workshops

International Festival (October)

Help plan an ethnic craft or activities; Attend the International Festival; Bring/share food from your culture for everyone to try for dinner; Help run an activity or craft; Help set-up tables and activities/crafts; Help clean up after

Election Day Bake Sale (November, 8, 2016)
Sit at the table for a two-hour time period at the bake sale table - watch for sign up information

Movie Nights
Attend with your child; Help sell pizza and drinks before the movie begins

Staff Appreciation Luncheon (May)
Help set up; Help oversee; Help clean up, put away any leftovers, wash bowls and platters to be returned

WAYS TO HELP FROM OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL WALLS (HOME)

Be a Classroom Parent: Talk to the teacher in person or by email and help keep other families informed about classroom happenings via a classroom email group.

Help with our outdoor classroom – Morse’s CitySprouts Garden – see Garden News for more information

Be a BoxTops 4 Education Collector: BoxTops 4 Education are on most General Mills products. If you already purchase these products why not save and send in the BoxTops 4 Education coupons. Each coupon is worth 10 cents.

Help further with the BoxTops 4 Education Program, help package the coupons for submitting (A SIMPLE task that can be done from the comfort of your home).

International Festival – Did you come from another country and have an idea for a craft, game or sport that you would like to share for our annual International Festival but do not have the time to come to a meeting and share? Please contact Morse’s Family Liaison Denise desullivan@cpsd.us or 617.349.6679 to share.

Join the Morse Arts Committee - The Morse Arts Committee (http://bit.ly/2dtFtQP) is a fantastic group of volunteer parents who help put together the various art exhibits and shows we have. This committee organizes all of the month-long art exhibits throughout Central Square, as well as our big school-wide show at Gallery 263. Join us! We are always seeking more parents to get involved. It’s a fun and different way to help out within the Morse community. Contact: Aimee Kerr at akerr@cpsd.us

Review the Parent Monthly Workshops “Helping your Child” series at home, if you cannot attend the workshop offered in the school building. Please visit: http://bit.ly/2d0l2iy

Election Day Bake Sale (November, 8, 2016) – Please watch for more information. Bake items for our election Day bake sale, bring them in wrapped individually if possible and drop at the Bake sale table in the Main Lobby.

Friends of Morse Annual Silent Auction & Raffle (Spring) - Help gather donations from business; Donate a service or prize; Help set up; Help at the event; Clean up

Volunteer to be a “Welcomer” – In the Spring, families that have entered the JK/K Lottery receive their school assignments. Once we know who they are we like to send a welcome note. Please watch for more information in the spring if interested, in writing a Welcome Note.

WAYS TO HELP FROM HOME TO THE SCHOOL BUILDING

Provide transportation to other parents/guardians for conferences, events, etc.

Prepare lunch items for the Teacher appreciation luncheon held in May and drop off the day of the Luncheon.

Weekend Backpack Program - Food bin pick ups – Friday mornings – (see above for description)