Morse Weekly Family Newsletter: August 20, 2019
Published on Aug 20, 2019 13:00

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August 20, 2019

Greetings from Chad Leith

Dear Morse School students and families,

I hope that you are having a fun and relaxing summer break. My wife Edna and I, along with our children Aléx and Isabella, enjoyed a wonderful three-week trip to visit family in Cape Verde and Portugal. Now that we are back in Cambridge, I am feeling rested, recharged and ready for the 2019-2020 school year! With only two weeks left before students in grades 1-5 return on September 3rd, I am writing to share some updates, information and reminders to help you get the year off to a great start. 

Welcoming New Members to Our School Community
I’d like to offer a special welcome to the parents and caregivers of the 95 new students who will join our school community in September! In addition to new children and families, we are also fortunate to be welcoming a very talented group of new staff members to our team. Click here to learn more about them >>

School Improvement Goals for 2019-2020
Over the remaining two weeks of summer Cambridge Public Schools teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators will meet to review our goals for strengthening our approach to meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of our students. Although I will present additional information in September about our broader school improvement goals, I wanted to share with you some of the ongoing work that the Morse School team will engage in over the coming months:

  • First, we will continue to work together to strengthen our approach to challenging and supporting students at every grade level through engaging and appropriately-differentiated learning experiences.

  • We will also focus on enhancing collaboration and communication to foster a safe and respectful learning environment for all students and staff. Among the steps we will take to achieve this goal is improving protocols so that our team can respond efficiently to any issues that might interfere with a child’s academic progress, safety or emotional well-being.

  • Finally, we will continue to examine the way that race and culture impact the daily experiences of children and adults in our community, and how we can work together to address persistent inequities and the lingering effects of systemic racism.

I look forward to sharing more information over the coming weeks and engaging all members of our school community in these important initiatives and conversations. 

Strengthening Our Sense of Community

This year, we will introduce exciting new ways of nurturing positive relationships between students, teachers, and families. We are expanding our before-school offerings for students in Grades 3-5 to include a new co-ed Morning Intramurals program led by our P.E. teacher Phil Fousek and designed to help kids get their Tuesdays off to an active start through team sports. We will also be introducing a Thursday morning Computer Science Club led by our tech specialist Jen Lavalle, which will encourage students to explore activities like Scratch, 3D Design, and physical computing with robots! Of course, our music teacher Kelly Graeber will continue to lead the Morse Morning Singers on Wednesdays! We are also planning additional evening events for families to enjoy together, including a family “paint night” in October, grade-level pasta dinners in the fall, and monthly family gym nights in the winter. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these events - or in helping to plan and organize additional events that bring Morse School families together - please consider attending the first Friends of Morse meeting on September 12th from 6 - 8PM in the Morse School library.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures
The Morse School is located in a busy city and we need to be mindful about properly monitoring the access points to our school. In order to maintain a secure learning environment, we ask that all parents and children enter the building for morning drop-off through our school's main entrance. As a reminder, children in grades JK-5 may be dropped off as early as 7:55AM. We offer free breakfast in our cafeteria and supervised play in our Granite Street playground (weather permitting). At 8:10AM, students (and parents dropping off young children) may proceed from our main lobby to their classrooms. During afternoon pick-up, we ask that all parents wait outside until our 2:25PM dismissal bell, so that we can safely transition our bus riders to the auditorium. Please keep an eye out for additional information about dismissal procedures for your child’s grade level and classroom.

If you have any questions or concerns as we approach the first day of school, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Assistant Principal Sam Headley, or our fabulous administrative assistant Elaine Delaney. We can also be reached at 617.349.6575.

On behalf of the teachers and staff of the Morse School, I wish you all the best for a wonderful end to your summer vacation. We can’t wait to welcome you back in two weeks!


Chad Leith

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Morse Events & Announcements

August 21 | 5 - 7PM
JK/K Meet-Up at Old Morse Park

September 3
First Day of School (Grades 1-5)

September 4
Kindergarten Orientation

September 5
First Day of School (JK/K)

September 6 | 6 - 8PM
Welcome Back "Picnic in the Playground"

September 12 | 6 - 8PM
Friends of Morse Meeting

September 25 | 6 - 8PM
Open House & Curriculum Night

October 4
2nd Annual Morse Marathon

In Our District & Community

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Morse School
40 Granite Street, Cambridge, MA 02139  •  617.349.6575
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