Message from Chad Leith: November 5, 2019

Dear Members of the Morse School Community,

Last Wednesday afternoon, all Morse School teachers and staff members met to discuss next steps in our school’s work around race and equity. We centered our conversation on the notion of “belonging,” which our equity consultant Dr. Darnisa Amante has defined as, “the ongoing culture created to have all people feel welcome across difference, as manifested in relationships, conversations, physical spaces, and written words.” After watching a short video on belonging, small teams of teachers and staff members conducted self-guided tours of our building to identify examples of intentional steps being taken to foster a sense of belonging at the Morse School. Teams also generated ideas for additional ways in which we might enhance the sense of belonging that our children, families and staff members feel in our school. 

morse familiesOne suggestion that emerged from our conversation was to increase visual representations of our students’ identities, backgrounds, and cultures. As one step towards accomplishing this goal, we would like to invite all members of the Morse School community to share family photos to be displayedas part of next week’s International Festival & Potluck Celebration. Much like a mural project, the photographs we receive from our families and staff members will be displayed without names or identifying information, and will not appear in any online or printed material. Rather, we hope that the family photos we display in our lobby will “speak for themselves” as a tribute to our school’s wonderful diversity and sense of community. Ms. Headley and I have each selected the family photos that we plan to contribute to our Morse family photo display. Please keep your eyes out for more information from Ms. Sullivan about how you can contribute your family photos(s) as well! I will share more information about this project at our next Friends of Morse meeting, which will take place this Thursday (11/7) from 6:30-8:00pm in the Morse School Library. I also welcome your suggestions for ways that we can work as a community to foster belonging at the Morse School. 

Family Book Club - November 21st
Our International Festival & Potluck Celebration is not the only community event we have planned for November. Ms. Pennell will also be hosting the first-ever Morse Family Book Club on Thursday November 21st from 6:00-7:00pm! You and your children are invited to read this year’s selection, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser, and come to discuss the book with other families and staff members over light refreshments! Please RSVP to Ms. Pennell or Ms. Headley if you plan to make it. For more information, please see the flyer

Finally, today is election day and the Morse School lobby has been busy. Please join me in thanking the parents (and students!) who have contributed their time, talents, and delicious treats to our Friends of Morse Bake Sale! And please make sure you take the time to vote! 

Thank you and best wishes for a wonderful week! 


Chad Leith
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