Message from Chad Leith: November 18, 2020

Dear Morse School Parents & Caregivers,

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, we continue to keep an eye on the CPS COVID-19 Data Dashboard, which has unfortunately shown a steady increase in cases. Despite the School Committee's decision last week to update the metrics we use to make determinations about in-person schooling, there is still a strong likelihood that rising rates will require us to shift to a fully-remote model for all of our students. Please know that if we do make such a shift, we will work together to ensure as smooth and successful a transition as possible.

In the meantime, there are some very important protocols that we are asking the families of our in-person learners to follow. Please take a moment to review this What Should I Do? document, which offers guidance for students and families who test positive for COVID-19, even when a child does not show symptoms.

Race & Equity Working Group Meeting Tomorrow - All Morse Parents Invited
As a reminder, the next meeting of the Morse School Working Group on Race & Equity will take place tomorrow, Thursday November 19th, from 6-7:30PM. The meeting, which will be co-facilitated by Morse math coach Liz Vincent and parent co-chair Jennifer Betancourt, is open to all staff, parents, and caregivers who wish to build their awareness and reflect upon steps we can take as a community to name and address racism and racial bias in our school. Please join by following this Zoom link! If this will be your first time attending, we ask that you take a moment to read the overview of our September and October meetings, which can be found on this page.

Parent Candidates for the Morse School Council
I am excited to introduce two parents who have volunteered to serve as representatives on the Morse School Council. By the end of the week, I will send out a google form to Morse School parents and caregivers, giving you an opportunity to indicate your approval. Below, please see an overview of each parent candidate:

  • Nekeya Dancy is the mom of a Morse 3rd grader and was a CPS student herself from Head Start through the 12th grade. She writes, “This is our second year being part of the Morse community. Before attending Morse, my daughter spent two years at a charter school in Somerville, where I was very engaged with her in-class learning and was chair of the school's Family Advisory Board. I am very appreciative that my daughter will now get to benefit from the dedication of services and diversity of people that the Cambridge Public Schools have to offer. A lot has changed in our city over the years, as things often do. My goal as being a member of the Council is to ensure that the city's commitment to fair and equitable success for all its students regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or religion is upheld. It's also important that my daughter sees me in an active role within her school community and understands her own responsibility of leadership.”

  • Sweta Joshi is the mother of a 2nd grader at the Morse School. She is a Biomedical Scientist, a homemaker, and has been a member of the Morse School community for the last four years. In her words, “During this unusual pandemic year, the Morse School Team did a great job supporting kids and helping them get through the transition into different classroom models.” As a part of the Council, Sweta wants to share the responsibilities and support families at this challenging time.

Many thanks to Nekeya and Sweta for their willingness to serve on our School Council this year! If approved, they will join Caleb Hurst-Hiller, Nuria Jane Chemeno, and Jennifer Betancourt as parent members. An additional parent seat on the Morse School Council is held by an officer of the Friends of Morse. Our next School Council meeting will take place on Thursday, December 10th from 6:00-7:30PM. All parents and caregivers are welcome to attend!

Looking Ahead to the Week of November 30th
Whether your child is studying from home or in-person, the week of November 30th will include opportunities for you to connect with your school. Between 11/30 and 12/4 we will be scheduling materials pickup. Parents and caregivers can stop by and pick up the learning materials that your child will need for online learning during the month of December. Ms. Delaney and Ms. Sullivan will follow up with more information about pick-up times. During the week of 11/30, we will also be holding parent/teacher conferences, which will give you and your child’s teacher an opportunity to share impressions about your child’s learning over the first three months of the school year and to set goals for your child’s social, emotional, and academic growth over the months ahead.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me, Ms. Headley, Ms. Delaney, Ms. Sullivan, or your child’s teacher if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions. 

Sincerely,

Chad

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