From Principal Leith: March 25, 2021

Dear Morse School Parents and Caregivers,

I’d like to begin this week’s newsletter with an important COVID reminder. We have seen an uptick in students and families who have had to quarantine due to close contact with individuals outside of school who have tested positive. It is very important that we all remember that COVID is still an active concern. While we have many safety protocols in place here in the school building, we cannot control the way that our children and families choose to stay safe after school and over the weekends. I am asking that you please keep COVID safety in mind as you plan social activities and gatherings. At the end of the day, we want to keep all members of our community safe while also minimizing the disruptions to learning that are caused when staff and students are required to quarantine. Thank you for your attention and collaboration.

Supporting Asian American Members of Our Morse School Community
In the wake of last week’s racially-motivated shootings in Atlanta, many members of our Morse School community have come together to begin a conversation about how we can make sure that we are actively creating a space of belonging for our Asian-American students, families, and colleagues - and how we can actively work together to dismantle racist structures that have made Asian-American stories and experiences invisible. Ms. Headley and I are grateful for the support and guidance of our Asian-American parents and educator colleagues, who have helped us think about how to build awareness among our broader Morse School community. We invite your partnership and collaboration as we take our next steps together. We’d also like to make our Asian-American families aware of an upcoming meeting of Cambridge Families of Asian Descent (CFAD), is a group of Cambridge parents/caregivers of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and multi-racial Asian heritage centered on forming social connections and advocating around increasing visibility of Asian-Americans in the school curriculum and community. CFAD will hold its next meeting on Thursday, April 15th from 7-8PM.

outdoor spacesNew Outdoor Spaces for Lunch and Learning
I am excited to share that new tents have been installed in our Memorial Drive courtyard. Classroom teachers will be able to reserve these spaces for lunch, mask breaks, and outdoor learning.

Preparing for Our April 5th Expansion
Our April 5th expansion will have an impact on both our in-person and remote learners, as we reconfigure our class lists, learning spaces, and teaching assignments. Our biggest shift will be in the upper grades, where we will open two new in-person classrooms to accommodate returning 4th and 5th graders. Once reconfigured, we will have two in-person 5th grade classrooms led by Ms. Jarvis and Ms. Jeram as well as two 4th grade classrooms led by Ms. DeWitte and Mr. Offley. Remote 4th and 5th grade students will be taught using a departmentalized model where Ms. Roderick teaches ELA and social studies and Ms. Byrnes teaches math and science. Our temporary “supervised remote” classroom will no longer exist as those students will transition into in-person classrooms with live instruction. I am grateful to all members of our community for their flexibility and creativity, as we have held fast to our commitment to provide positive and engaging learning experiences to all Morse School students, regardless of whether they are learning remotely or in person.

fms logoSave the Date - Morse Marathon 2021!
I am very excited to announce our first whole-school community event since last year’s emergency school closure. The 3rd annual Morse Marathon will take place on Friday, April 9th (rain date 4/16)! For those new to our school, the Morse Marathon is an annual school-wide fun run/walk that takes place at beautiful Magazine Beach Park. The event is aimed at promoting fitness and community. It also helps to raise funds for the Friends of Morse, a parent-led organization that supports enriching learning experiences for our students. Friends of Morse president Chris Edelman, Morse P.E. Teacher Phil Fousek, and the rest of the Morse School team will reach out early next week with more information about the event and to ask for help from parent volunteers. While we want the event to be fun for all participants, we will continue to enforce strict safety protocols, including mandatory mask wearing for all participants throughout the event.

My very best wishes for a great end to your week.

Sincerely,

Principal Chad Leith
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