Message from Chad Leith: November 10, 2020

Dear Morse School parents and caregivers,

This is certainly an interesting time for us all, as we navigate the aftermath of an historic national election against the backdrop of a global pandemic! As we settle into our third month of schooling, we have looked to create opportunities for you to connect with Morse School teachers and administrators around the ups and downs of COVID-era teaching and learning. Below, I share some information and reminders that I hope will help you plan ahead!

Morse School Council Meeting - Thursday November 12th
Our first School Council meeting will take place this Thursday (11/12) from 6-7PM (Zoom link | Agenda). The Morse School Council is a legally-required representative group of parents and educators who play an important role in shaping our school’s policies and programs. We are still looking for parent representatives willing to serve a two-year term on the Council, and are keen on recruiting a School Council that represents the diversity of the children and families we serve. I strongly encourage parents and caregivers of color to consider running for seats. If you are interested in learning more, please join us on Thursday evening!

1st Quarter Parent Conferences: Nov. 30th - Dec. 4th
The district has recently aligned all elementary schools around a four-quarter school year, with parent-teacher conferences taking place in the fall and spring, and report cards being issued in the winter and early summer. I am pleased to share that our fall parent conferences will take place during the week of November 30th. We hope that your conference will provide you with an opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion about your child’s social, emotional, and academic progress. The conference will also provide you and your child’s teacher with a chance to set shared goals for the school year. Your child’s teacher will follow up directly with more information about the schedule and format of your conference.

Additional Upcoming Meeting: Morse Working Group on Race & Equity (11/19)
Please also save the date for the next meeting of our Morse Working Group on Race & Equity. Co-facilitated by 4th grade parent Jennifer Betancourt and Morse School Math Coach Liz Vincent, the working group is aimed at understanding and addressing racism within our school and community. All parents, caregivers, and staff members are warmly invited to participate. Please join us next Thursday November 19th from 6-7:30PM.

Contingency Planning for a Possible Shift to Remote Learning
We are closely monitoring the CPS Reopening Data Dashboard, which has shown a steady increase in positive COVID test rates and average new cases per day. Under current School Committee policy, if either of these metrics passes the established thresholds, we will shift all classrooms to a remote learning environment. Although we are hopeful that these metrics will remain within acceptable levels for in-person learning, we have asked our in-person teachers and teams to begin preliminary preparations for a possible change. Should circumstances require us to shift to a fully-remote scenario, we will communicate our plans to families so that we can together ensure as smooth and supportive a transition as possible for our students.

Veterans Day: Honoring Kindergarten Aide Juana Gayle-Flores
VeteranOn the eve of tomorrow’s Veterans Day holiday, I would like to take a moment to highlight the accomplishments of our very own Juana Gayle-Flores, who currently serves as a full-time paraprofessional with our Kindergarten team. Ms. Flores, a retired Master Sergeant who served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 23 years, reflects that, “During those years, I became accustomed to being the only Black-Hispanic female in the room. I was the first female in the transportation unit to be promoted to Master Sergeant. I come from a Hispanic family background, and I’m the only woman in my family to have served in the United States Army.” As a master Sergeant in the Army Reserves, Ms. Flores served as Chief Instructor for the Training Academy, and played a leadership role in managing logistics, cargo, and troop combat readiness. Please join me in thanking Ms. Flores for her service!

Indeed, I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to all Morse School community members who have served - or continue to serve - our country in uniform. Thank you for dedicating a portion of your lives to the notion that we all have a duty to make our nation stronger through service. 

Sincerely,

Principal Chad Leith

P.S. Due to the Veterans Day holiday, there will be no Morse Live Stream this week. Ms. Headley and I will be back with another Live Stream next week!
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