Message from Principal Chad Leith: November 7, 2021

Dear Morse School Parents & Caregivers,

To echo the words shared by Nurse Sam in her Friday (11/5) email to families, we are all excited that the COVID vaccine is now available for children over age 5.  We urge all Morse School families to consider getting your child vaccinated, and are aiming for a Morse School vaccination rate of 80% for eligible children in grades K-5.  If you don't already have an appointment and are looking for places to get the vaccine, please visit the City of Cambridge's website or consult this document on where to get a vaccine.  For more information, here is a fact sheet on the Pfizer COVID vaccine for 5-11 year olds. 

As we continue to work together to keep our community healthy and safe, I also like to share a reminder that you should keep your child home if he/she develops any of the following COVID-like symptoms:

  • Fever about 100.0 F, chills, or shaking chills
  • Cough (not due to other known causes)
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes) when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes) when in combination with other symptoms 

If your child has any of these symptoms, your child must remain out of school until he or she has a negative COVID test.  Here is a link to the City of Cambridge website which lists the places where you can get free COVID testing for your child.   

Morse Marathon Reminder

It looks like the weather on Tuesday (11/9) will be perfect for the Fall 2021 Morse Marathon!  All children and staff members participate in this wonderful community event, and families who wish to cheer their children on are welcome to join us as well.  This year, we will be running the marathon in two shifts: 9-10 AM (classrooms B8, D6, A4, C3, C2, E3, E8, & E5) and 10-11 AM (classrooms B6, B7, A6, A1, C1, C4, E6, & E7).  Our Special Start teachers will be scheduling a special Mini-Morse Marathon to take place on Friday.  If, for whatever reason, you would prefer that your child not participate in the Morse Marathon, please let me or your child’s teacher know and we will find an alternate activity for your child in the building.  Many thanks to our P.E. Teachers Mr. Fousek, Mr. Pastyrnak, and Mr. Armstrong - as well as the Friends of Morse and our parent volunteers - for helping to make sure that things go smoothly!

Additional Morse School Events This Week

The Morse Marathon is just one of many upcoming opportunities to connect with other members of our community.  Weather permitting, Family Liaison Kasey Clermont and I will be hosting a parent coffee this Friday (11/12) from 8-9 AM in the CitySprouts Garden, and a “Walking Taco” family get-together at Danehy Park this Saturday (11/13) from 12:30-2 PM.  We are hoping that these events not only bring us together, but also give us a chance to hear your questions, concerns, and suggestions. Even though we have been dealing with pandemic-era schooling for well over a year, we are still working hard to rebuild our community and address our children's full range of needs.  Your questions and honest feedback will help us continue moving in the right direction.  Here is the November Calendar that Ms. Clermont has prepared for Morse Families with additional upcoming events (paper copies were sent home in your child’s backpack).

Parent/Teacher Conferences

We are approaching the end of the first quarter of the school year and have scheduled parent/teacher conferences to take place on November 29th & 30th.  The focus of these meetings will be to provide you with an opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion about your child’s social, emotional, and academic progress.  You and your child’s teacher will also be able to discuss steps that can be taken at school and at home to help make sure that your child continues to make steady and positive growth.  Your child’s teacher will follow up directly about scheduling your individual conference.  I very much regret that the timing of the conferences coincides with this year’s early celebration of Hanukkah.  To avoid conflicts for Morse School families and teachers who observe Hanukkah, we will be coordinating with individual teachers to make some conference slots available during the week of November 22nd.  

Morse School Cookbook - Please Share Your Family Recipe!

Unfortunately, COVID safety protocols will prevent us from gathering for our traditional International Festival & Family Potluck this year (the event was last held in the fall of 2019).  In lieu of an in-person gathering, the parent volunteers of the Friends of Morse School are putting together a cookbook to capture the international flavor of our unique Morse School community.  My family and I will be sharing our recipe for Fidjós (Cape Verdean banana pancakes), and I can’t wait to see the recipes that you plan to share!  All families are welcome to participate, but recipes must be received by November 15 to appear in the cookbook.  For more information, please click here.  

Finally, a reminder that there will be no school this Thursday November 11th in observance of Veterans Day.  I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to Morse School community members who have served - or continue to serve - our country in uniform. Thank you for dedicating a portion of your lives to the notion that we all have a duty to make our nation stronger through service.


Principal Chad Leith

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