Message from Chad Leith: January 20, 2021

Dear Morse School families and caregivers,

The New Year has gotten off to a busy start, with lots of decisions being made at the district level that will impact the Morse School community. In this week’s newsletter, I will build upon information that I have shared through previous messages to Morse School families, and offer some additional important information and reminders.

Expansion of In-Person Learning
Thanks to those families who completed the 2nd semester enrollment form. We are in the process of reviewing parent preferences and creating tentative in-person class lists based on the district eligibility criteria. While March 1st will be the “official” first day of in-person schooling for eligible 4th and 5th graders, we are hoping to phase in our eligible JK-3 students sooner than that, if possible. We will work with our in-person and remote teachers to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for students who will be shifting to in-person classrooms. We will inform families of their enrollment status on Monday, January 25th, and will follow up shortly thereafter with additional information about the plans for your child’s grade level. Although we will not be able to grant an in-person seat to every interested child. please know that we care about every Morse School student, and we will continue to work hard to provide a high-quality environment for all children - whether they are learning in-person or learning from home.

Race & Equity Working Group Meeting Tomorrow (6-7:30PM)
All parents and caregivers are warmly invited to join us for tomorrow afternoon’s meeting of the Morse School Working Group on Race & Equity. The purpose of the meeting is to create a safe and brave space where interested families and staff members can build awareness in community, and together consider the work we need to do to disrupt the effects of racism in our community and school. At tomorrow’s meeting, we will watch a short video together on the development of implicit racial bias in children, and discuss the implications for us as educators and parents. We will also invite those present to help us take stock of our 2020-2021 equity initiatives, and share thoughts on our next steps. Whether you are a regular participant or a first-time visitor, you are welcome to join the conversation! (Zoom link here).

“No School” on January 27th and February 3rd
In order to help schools prepare for the expansion of in-person learning, the School Committee has voted to convert the next two Wednesdays into full staff professional development days. This means that on 1/27 and 2/3 there will be “no school” for Morse School students. In order to be able to meet with staff on those days, Ms. Headley and I will also take a short break from our Wednesday morning “Live Stream” community meetings. However, we will continue to follow our regular in-person and remote schedules on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and we will be back on February 10th with our regular array of Wednesday programming.

As always, we thank you for your patience, collaboration and support.

Sincerely,
Principal Chad Leith
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