Message from Chad Leith: October 19, 2020

Dear Morse School Parents & Caregivers,

Safeguarding the physical, social, and emotional health of our children during these challenging times has required all of us to think carefully about our collective responsibility as educators and parents. Now that we have gotten both remote and in-person learning off of the ground, I would like to appeal to the adult members of our community to consider the steps that you can take to help support our students’ positive growth and development during this unusual school year. 

Keeping an Eye Out for COVID Symptoms
It is very important that all families who send their children for in-person schooling take extra care to ensure that their children have no COVID-like symptoms before coming to school. Please be sure to complete the CPS Health Checker each morning before sending your child to school. Following the steps outlined in our COVID procedures document is a key part of our strategy for keeping our community safe, and we are relying on our parents and caregivers to take this responsibility seriously.

Maintaining Safe Practices Outside of School
Whether studying in-person or remotely, please remember that your children’s actions outside of school also have an impact on the health and safety of our community. Even when playing at the park or gathering for playdates, children should continue to wear masks, maintain appropriate distance from their friends, and regularly sanitize their hands. If COVID cases in our community rise too quickly, it will not only impact our in-person learners, but also students who participate in extracurricular activities such as youth soccer and hockey - activities which have allowed children to enjoy some measure of normalcy during a time of social isolation.

Raising Anti-Racist Children
In addition to making a collective effort to keep our children, staff, and families safe from COVID, we are also hoping to enlist your collaboration as we work towards creating a school community that actively works together to understand and combat the negative effects of racism and implicit bias. The Morse School has partnered with Wee The People to offer two evening workshops for Morse parents and caregivers who are looking for strategies for supporting this effort. The workshop, The ABCs of Racism: Starting the Conversation about Race and Racism with Kids, will be offered on two separate evenings (10/27 and 10/28). The program is free, but space is limited, so please register soon by following the links below (please note that an initial glitch with the online registration form has now been resolved):

Reminders for Successful Remote Learning
Now that our remote learners have settled into a rhythm, I’d like to remind you that in order to support effective digital learning, it is important to keep the following three norms in mind:

  • Please be mindful of background noise and other distractions. TVs and radios as well as loud conversations going on behind or in the same room as your child, can make hearing difficult. This can be a distraction for your child as well as the others in the virtual classroom if the children are not muted. Similarly, the presence of other family members on a child’s camera can be distracting to the class.

  • Please be mindful of your own presence. We realize that sometimes an adult might be helping with a young child, please keep in mind that the child is the participant in the classroom. We ask that parents refrain from interrupting the teacher or participating in the lesson unless invited to do so by the teacher. Under no circumstances should an adult address a child who is not their own during an online meeting.

  • Please help your child log in on time. The remote school day follows the same hours as our in-person school day, and we are marking tardies and absences for our remote learners in the same way we would for our in-person learners. Please help support your child’s learning by making sure that he/she/they log on each day by 8:25AM.

Finally, a reminder to the parents and caregivers of children learning remotely that we will be holding virtual parent meetings for our remote classrooms this week. This will be an opportunity for you to meet with your child’s teaching team and connect with other same-grade parents, to discuss grade-specific information to help you support your child’s learning and growth, to share about what is working well and what challenges you have encountered so far this year, and to ask any questions you may have. Here is this week’smeeting schedule for your reference!

Thank you and best wishes for a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Principal Chad Leith

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