From Principal Leith: April 27, 2021

Dear Morse School Parents & Caregivers,

I hope that you and your family enjoyed the April break and that your week is off to a good start! I’d like to begin this week’s newsletter with a reminder about tomorrow’s early release day. Morse School students will be dismissed two hours early (at 12:25PM, rather than 2:25PM). School lunch will be available for in-person learners. However, due to logistical considerations around dismissal, the Morse School will not serve as a food distribution site for remote learners on early release days. For a full list of remaining early release days and holidays, here is the updated CPS end-of-year calendar.

Morse Parents & Caregivers of Color Affinity Group Meeting -
Thursday, April 29th

On behalf of parent organizers Alba Alexander, Jennifer Betancourt, and Kim Bostic-Williams, I wish to extend a warm invitation to our parents and caregivers of color to participate in this Thursday’s (6:30-7:45PM) meeting of the Morse Parents & Caregivers of Color Affinity Group (Familia Umoja). The group is intended as a safe and joyful space for the purpose of building community, as we honor each other’s identities and lived experiences, sharing information, and empowering each other to advocate for our children to be heard, seen and thrive at the Morse School. This Thursday, the group will be joined by Zuleka Queen-Postell, Special Ed Liaison for SE-PAC (Cambridge Special Education Parent Advisory Council). Please see the attached flyer for more information and the Zoom link: Familia Umoja April 29th

May Materials Pick-Up
This month’s materials pick-up for our remote learners will take place next week (May 3rd-7th). Please plan to come by the Morse School building between 7:30AM-3PM to pick up your child’s learning materials and library books for the month of May. Please remember that these materials are provided so that your child can participate actively in the learning experiences that our teachers have designed. It is therefore very important that you pick them up!

New Date for the Morse Marathon - Thursday, May 20th
In acknowledgement of the fact that many members of our community are observing Ramadan this month, we have decided to postpone the Morse Marathon until Thursday, May 20th, which falls after Eid al-Fitr. We want to be supportive of students who are fasting and do our best to ensure that the event is accessible as possible to students who wish to participate and parents who wish to volunteer. We regret any inconvenience and thank you in advance for your flexibility and understanding. I will have updated information soon with an overview of the Marathon, including plans for providing an alternative remote activity for learners who are unable to join us in person. As a reminder, the Morse Marathon is not only an event to promote fitness and community, but also a fundraising event for our school. Money raised through the Marathon helps to pay for field trips, learning materials, and enrichment activities. Please consider sponsoring your student runner! You can donate by completing a pledge sheet for your child, or by making an online contribution through the Friends of Morse website.

Spring 2021 MCAS Assessment at the Morse School
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is a standardized test used by all public schools in Massachusetts. It is designed to help measure students’ progress towards meeting grade level standards in English language arts, mathematics, and science. Although last year’s MCAS was cancelled, the State has reinstated a modified version of the test for Spring 2021 for students in grades 3-5. Student performance will be used for diagnostic purposes only, and will provide us with an additional tool for taking stock of student learning and growth over the course of the pandemic. For more information, please see this Spring 2021 MCAS overview and testing schedule.

Picture Day on May 7th (In-Person) & May 12th (Remote)
Our friends at LifeTouch will be returning to our school for the first time since the start of the pandemic. School pictures will be taken outdoors following COVID safety protocols (with masked and appropriately-distanced photographers). In-person learners will have their pictures taken next Friday, May 7th. We have also set up a special time for remote learners to come in for pictures, from 1-4PM on the Wednesday, May 12th early release day. Ms. Delaney will follow up with additional information later this week.

Poetry Month Virtual Live Stream Assembly!
Finally, a reminder that during tomorrow’s Live Stream (8:30-8:45AM) we will feature poems written and recited by our Morse School students! We have received video poems from every grade level, and look forward to sharing the work of our young poets with you tomorrow morning. If your child has not yet had a chance to share his/her/their poem, please feel free to email or text me a video by 6PM this evening. We are focusing on Haiku poems, but welcome all student entries! You can log onto the live stream by following this link.

As always, we are grateful for your collaboration and support, and we look forward to working together to make sure that our children enjoy a strong and positive finish to the school year!

Sincerely,

Principal Chad Leith
 
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