From Principal Leith: March 2, 2021

Dear Morse School parents and caregivers,

Morse ClassroomYesterday, we marked the return of over 40 additional students to in-person learning, bringing our total number of students learning from the Morse School building to just over 200. This is yet another milestone in an unusual school year, which has also forced us to develop creative new approaches to supporting our children’s development and growth. Pictured here, a group of 4th and 5th graders pioneer a new learning model as they engage in their online classes from room D43.

Spotlight on 5th Grade Persuasive Writing
Even as we have expanded in-person opportunities for Morse School students, our remote teachers have continued to provide nurturing and engaging online learning experiences for those still learning from home. This week, I’d like to highlight the persuasive writing projects that Ms. Roderick’s remote 5th graders recently completed. Students shared opinions on a variety of topics, including pets, climate change, cell phones, and voting rights for young people. Prepare to be persuaded by clicking here. I look forward to highlighting additional student learning projects in upcoming newsletters.

Morse Parents of Color Affinity Group Meeting
Thursday, March 4 | 6:30 - 7:45PM

On behalf of parent organizers Alba Alexander, Jennifer Betancourt, and Kim Bostic-Williams, I wish to extend a warm invitation to our parents and caregivers of color to participate in this Thursday’s (6:30-7:45PM) meeting of the Morse Parents & Caregivers of Color Affinity Group. The group is intended as a safe space for building community, sharing information, and advocating for children of color to be heard, seen, and thrive at the Morse School. This Thursday, the group will be joined by CPS Director of Family Engagement Robin Harris. Participants will also have a chance to win a $25 Trader Joe’s gift card sponsored by the Friends of Morse. Please see this flyer for more information and for a Zoom link.

Changes to Morse Library Schedule
In order to keep up with the reading needs of our voracious readers, Ms. Pennell will begin teaching using an A/B week model. How will this look for your child?

  • A Week: All JK-5 classes will be live with Ms. Pennell
  • B Week: In-Person JK-2 classes will have a personalized video created for them to view during their assigned library time.
  • B Week: Remote classes will have the option of viewing the video via SeeSaw during their library time, or it can be saved to view later in the day depending on the families availability.
  • B Week: 3rd-5th grade classes will have live classes with Ms. Lavalle, our Instructional Technology teacher.

As always, please reach out to Ms. Pennell with any book related questions.

COVID Testing for In-Person Students
As part of our plan for keeping in-person students and staff healthy and safe, we will begin student COVID testing next week. If you have not done so already, please be sure to complete the testing consent forms so that your child can participate in testing. Here is a helpful overview from the district, which explains the testing plan and offers answers to general questions. Here is also a great video showing what testing looks like from a student perspective! If you have questions about completing your student COVID testing consent forms, please reach out to our Clerk Elaine Delaney.

Finally, a reminder to please join us for tomorrow morning’s Morse Live Stream (8:25 - 8:45AM), where we will feature some special guests to celebrate National Reading Month and the 100th day of school! As always, I am grateful to all of our students and families for doing such a great job of following our health and safety protocols - both in and out of school. These important steps will help us move closer to a day when we can all be together again in person.


Principal Chad Leith

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