Cambridge Public Schools Elementary School Honored as National 2023 Distinguished School

Cambridge Public Schools Elementary School Honored as National 2023 Distinguished School
Posted on 12/04/2023

Morse Elementary School One of Only Two Schools Recognized in Massachusetts for Exceptional Student Performance and Academic Growth

Cambridge Public Schools is delighted to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has honored Morse Elementary School as a 2023 National ESEA Distinguished School in the category of exceptional student performance and academic growth. Each year, DESE nominates only two schools across the Commonwealth for the national recognition.

“It is an honor to be nominated for a national recognition of this caliber,” Superintendent Victoria L. Greer said. “This recognition is a reflection of the Morse Elementary School’s staff and their deep commitment to our students. I commend them for all they do to further our students’ educational journey and to help them achieve success in all their endeavors.”

The Distinguished School program recognizes schools, which receive federal funds, whose students perform at very high levels, make significant progress in closing the achievement gap, or demonstrate excellence in serving special populations of students. Interim Principal Samantha Headley attributes the school’s success to several factors, including:
  • An intentional effort to foster a sense of community and belonging among students, families, and staff;
  • A renewed focus on deliberate, reflective, and collaborative data practices; and
  • A shift to equity-driven, therapeutic approaches to supporting positive behavior and engagement.
“The Morse school community is honored to be a National ESEA Distinguished School,” Interim Principal Headley said. “I extend a sincere thank you to DESE and the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program for recognizing our school in this way. This recognition would not have been possible without the dedication of our staff, who have created an exceptional environment for our students to thrive. Thank you to every member of the Morse team.”

Former Morse Principal Chad Leith, who recently became the district's Director of Professional Learning and Leadership, added that, "this accomplishment shows what is possible in a diverse public school when staff members, caregivers, and district leaders see each other as partners and work together to make sure that every child experiences positive learning and growth."

Morse Elementary School will be recognized alongside up to 100 other schools from across the country at the National ESEA Conference next February in Portland, Oregon. Schools are honored with a commemorative award package, a dedicated section on the ESEA Network website and a special presentation at the conference. Additionally, select sessions at the conference will feature stories of success from Distinguished Schools and highlight the notable work they do for students.

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