Message from Chad Leith: November 9, 2022

Dear Morse School parents and caregivers,

Thanks to the Friends of the Morse School and the many parents (and students!) who helped out at yesterday’s busy Election Day Bake Sale! Your efforts to support our school helped raise funds that will directly benefit our students.

Lion DanceIt was also wonderful to see so many Morse School students, family members, and staff at Friday evening’s International Festival & Potluck Celebration! We estimate that over 350 members of our community were in attendance! From the delicious food, to the many fun activities, to the spectacular performance by MIT Lion Dance (pictured here), it was an evening to remember! A special thanks to the Friends of the Morse School and to the many parents, students, staff, and community members who contributed their time, cooking skills, and cultural expertise to making this event a success!

Accelerating Student Learning
Since my last newsletter, families of 4th and 5th graders have received their children’s Spring 2022 MCAS scores. Consistent with state and district trends, Morse School students performed lower, on average, than they had prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to accelerate student learning across grade levels - and to address lingering performance gaps across student sub-groups - we and our district partners are taking several steps to help our students improve. In addition to providing our teachers with coaching, feedback, and time to collaborate, we are looking to personalize instruction for children. Here are some examples:

  • i-Ready Personalized Lessons: Cambridge Public Schools will be offering personalized i-Ready instruction for all students in grades 3-5. Since some of these lessons will be completed outside of school, it is important that parents and caregivers understand how the program works. Here is an overview of the program, and a link to sign up for a parent information session on Monday November 14th.
  • Morse ELT (Extended Learning Time): We have developed an after-school learning program for 3rd-5th graders on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, with a focus on strengthening students’ skills in literacy and math.
  • WIN (“What Individuals Need”) Blocks: Twice a week, Morse School students in all grades receive targeted, individual or small group instruction that is focused on their next learning steps. These sessions are planned and led by teachers, interventionists, special educators, and paraprofessionals.

I will share more about these and other initiatives at next week’s School Council meeting (Thursday | 6:30-7:30PM), which is open to all members of the Morse School community (click here to register for the virtual meeting).

1st Quarter Parent Conferences: November 14 - 18
We are approaching the end of the first quarter of the school year and have scheduled our fall parent/teacher conferences to take place next week. We hope that these meetings provide you with an opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion about your child’s progress. You and your child’s teacher will also be able to discuss steps that can be taken at school and at home to make sure that your child continues to make steady and positive growth. Your child’s teacher will follow up directly about scheduling your individual conference.

Finally, please remember that there will be no school on Friday (11/11), in honor of Veterans Day. 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

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