Message from Principal Chad Leith: January 21, 2022

Dear Morse School Parents & Caregivers,

I hope that 2022 is off to a strong and positive start for you and your family, despite the continued COVID-related challenges that continue to affect our daily lives. Although the Omicron surge seems to be leveling off, the last month has put a tremendous amount of pressure on our nursing staff. I would like to share my sincerest appreciation to our Nurse Sam Pillen and our Health Aide Gloria Mejia, who have been working tirelessly to make sure that the Morse School is as safe a place as possible for our students and staff members. Between their efforts, our robust weekly testing program, our consistent masking protocols, and the steps we are taking to enhance ventilation and air quality in our classrooms, I continue to believe that the Morse School is one of the safest places for your child to be during this pandemic.

studentsI’d also like to share my gratitude for the work that our teachers, paraprofessionals, and specialists have been doing every day to ensure that our children continue to make steady academic, social, and emotional growth. Inside our building the distractions of the pandemic have been able to take a back seat to engaging, fun, and rigorous learning experiences that give our students a feeling of pride and accomplishment.

As the public health situation continues to evolve, it is important that we all stay on top of the protocols that are meant to keep your children safe. If you have not yet had an opportunity, please take a moment to review the most recent CPS Testing & Quarantine Protocols. If you are looking for things that you can do to help keep our community healthy and safe, please consider getting your child vaccinated if you have done so already (63% of eligible Morse School students have received both doses of the vaccine, which means we are getting closer and closer to our goal of 80%!). Another thing that you can do is to consider donating blood. Health care providers within our community have faced a shortage of blood. If you are able and willing, the American Red Cross website is the best/easiest place to go to find out local donating sites. You put in your zip code and they can find out the closest location for you.

Morse Working Group on Race & Equity
The Morse School Working Group on Race & Equity will re-launch this February with the important task of conducting an equity self-assessment for our school. We are looking for parents who are interested in making an important contribution to our school by volunteering to meet monthly with me, Ms. Headley, Family Liaison Kasey Clermont, other parents, caregivers, and staff members, and district partners from the CPS Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Meetings will be virtual and scheduled for a time that is as convenient as possible for all volunteer members. One outcome of this process will be to identify goals and action steps that will make our school a more welcoming and equitable place. Please see this flier for more information about the focus of this group and how to join!

Courageous Conversations Social Identity Workshops - 1/25 & 2/10 | 7-8:30PM
All CPS parents are invited to participate in an upcoming two-part workshop on social identities (e.g., how the groups you belong to identify you) being hosted by North Cambridge Courageous Conversations. The group will reflect on and discuss the facets of our identities to better understand how the world around us does or does not allow us to choose which pieces of our identity are most important. Individuals are encouraged - but not required - to attend both workshops. Please follow these links to register: Part 1, Jan 25 | Part 2, Feb 10. If you have questions, please direct them to: [email protected]

The Omicron surge seems to have peaked, and I am hopeful that over the coming weeks we will return to a more “normal” day-to-day experience here in the Main Office so that I can spend less time communicating to you about positive COVID cases and more time sharing with you about the great teaching and learning that is taking place in our classrooms. As always, if you ever have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Ms. Headley, Ms. Elaine, Nurse Sam, or your child’s teacher.

Thank you and best wishes for a wonderful and restful winter weekend!

Sincerely,
Chad
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