Message from Chad Leith: December 20, 2022

Dear Morse School parents and caregivers,

Tomorrow is the first day of winter and we have planned a series of fun activities and events to bring our community together over the coming weeks and months. We kick off our “Winter Happenings” with a Winter Solstice Spirit Day tomorrow. We invite students and staff members to wear something bright on the darkest day of the year. Other upcoming events include a Winter Concert (1/27), Family Paint Night (2/10), and Family Gym & Game Night (3/3). For more information please click here!

We Recycle and Compost in the Cafeteria!
Recycling and composting are back in the Morse School cafeteria again! Our students have been doing a great job with this, and thanks to everyone’s efforts we are now only one barrel of trash at each lunch! When we recycle and compost, we protect animals and nature! Please click here to learn more about how you can recycle and compost at home!

Morse Teachers are Learners Too!
On Friday December 16th, a group of Morse School staff made an afternoon “field trip” to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), where 3rd grade Morse parent and ICA Curator Ruth Erickson offered a personal tour of her new exhibition, “To Begin Again: Artists and Childhood.” Here is a short (5min) video overview of the exhibition, which I highly recommend to all Morse School parents and families - particularly with children in grades 3 and up!

For more suggestions for activities for you and your children to enjoy over the winter break, please see these suggestions from the Cambridge Public Schools!

Selecting Books, Movies, and Television Shows that Challenge Racial Stereotypes
Exposure to negative stereotypes contributes to the development of unconscious racial biases in children. One important step that you can take to disrupt this pattern is to intentionally and regularly expose your children to books, movies, and television shows that include positive portrayals of characters of color. Common Sense Media offers a list of age-appropriate books featuring characters of color. During the height of the pandemic, we also compiled a Morse School list of age-appropriate feature films that include characters of color in positive and prominent roles. Our list needs updating, so please send additional recommendations my way!

Lockdown Drill Tomorrow
Please see the ParentSquare message I sent yesterday evening about the lockdown drill we have scheduled for tomorrow (12/21) at 1:30PM. During the drill, children and teachers practice remaining inside their locked classrooms in response to the presence of an armed intruder. As with fire drills, lockdown drills are brief. We take care to minimize anxiety and to explain to students that practicing together is an important way to stay safe.

As a reminder, the winter vacation begins this Saturday December 24th; Children return to school on Wednesday January 4th. For those Morse families who observe Hanukkah, Christmas, and/or Kwanzaa, I extend my very best wishes for a wonderful and joyous holiday season. I hope that all members of our community enjoy a safe and restful winter break!

Sincerely,

Principal Chad Leith
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