Message from Chad Leith: June 14, 2021

Dear Morse School parents and caregivers,

It is hard to believe that there are only six school days left in what has been a year for the history books. As we take stock, it is impossible to overstate how much our school community has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures we have been forced to implement throughout the year have taken a toll on our sense of belonging and have hindered our ability to focus on other important school improvement initiatives. Despite the many challenges we have faced, however, we have successfully managed multiple phases of school reopening, we have continued to provide positive and engaging online and in-person learning experiences for our students, and we have kept our community safe. These successes would not have been possible without the incredible efforts of our teachers and staff members, the flexibility and resilience of our students, and the partnership we have enjoyed with our families.

There will be much to do over the coming months as we look to recover from the pandemic, reconnect our community, and regain our momentum. At the final meeting of the Morse School Council on June 3rd, I shared this slideshow, highlighting 2020-2021 accomplishments and outlining the work that lies ahead. Over the coming days and into the summer we will be taking opportunities to celebrate and reflect upon this remarkable school year and set priorities for 2021-2022. Please keep your eyes out for a brief family survey, which I hope to have out to Morse parents and caregivers by the end of the week. In the meantime, please see below for information about some of our end-of-year events and initiatives.

Bidding our Morse School 5th Graders Farewell
To acknowledge and celebrate our 5th graders during their final days as Morse School students, we have planned some farewell experiences that include a rainy day of orienteering (led by local non-profit Navigation Games), our Moving On Ceremony next Monday June 21st at 1PM, and a staff vs. 5th graders kickball game after school on Tuesday, June 22nd. For more information, please take a look at this 5th Grade End-of-Year Countdown Calendar.

Parents & Caregivers of Color Affinity Group Meeting
Wednesday, June 16 | 6:30-7:45PM

This Wednesday evening, the Morse Parents & Caregivers of Color Affinity Group (Familia Umoja) will convene a panel discussion focused on a very important question: How do we achieve educational success for students of color at the Morse School? Panelists will include Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michelle Madera, School Committee Members Rachel Weinstein and José Luis Rojas Villarreal, Bernette Dawson of the Cambridge Families of Color Coalition, and Tutoring Plus Executive Director Kathryn Fenneman. Ms. Headley and I will also be present for this important discussion. On behalf of parent organizers Alba Alexander, Jennifer Betancourt, and Kim Bostic-Williams, I wish to extend a warm invitation to Morse School parents and caregivers of color to participate. Please click here to see the flyer with more information and a Zoom link.

Morse Virtual Variety Show!
Calling all talented Morse School 3rd-5th graders! There is still time to submit an entry for our end-of-year Virtual Variety Show!! You can sing, dance, juggle, play an instrument, perform a skit, tell some jokes… just maybe not all at the same time. We hope to share our variety show as part of our final Live Stream on Wednesday June 23rd! For more information, please see this flyer from Variety Show organizer Ms. Gallant.

Acknowledging and Celebrating Juneteenth
This Friday, June 18th, there will be no school in recognition of Juneteenth, a holiday which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Multiple events will be taking place in and around Cambridge, including an in-person, family-friendly celebration on Saturday June 19th at Starlight Square from 12-3:30PM sponsored by the Cambridge Families of Color Coalition (click here for more information and to register for tickets, including for a puppet show beginning at 11AM!). Morse teachers will also be looking for opportunities to acknowledge Juneteenth in their classrooms and Ms. Headley will feature the holiday on our Wednesday Live Stream (which can be accessed by all Morse School families on Wednesday mornings from 8:30 - 8:45AM by following this link). To learn more about the history and significance of the Juneteenth holiday, please take a look at this recently republished article in the New York Times.

End of Year Reminders & Deadlines
Finally, a few things to keep in mind as we close out the school year:

  • This Wednesday June 16th is a regular 6-hour school day.
  • Library books should be returned to the Morse School by this Thursday, June 17th.
  • In-person learners should return their chromebooks on Monday June 21st; remote learners should return their chromebooks and hotspots on Thursday (6/24) or Friday (6/25) between 8AM - 3PM.

Thank you and best wishes for a great start to your week!


Principal Chad Leith

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