Morse Weekly Family Newsletter: October 11, 2019
Published on Oct 11, 2019 07:27

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October 11, 2019

Greetings from Chad Leith

Dear members of the Morse School community,

It is hard to believe that we are already six weeks into the school year! As I mentioned during my presentation at our fall Open House on September 25th, our students are not the only ones who are engaged in powerful learning experiences this year. Our teachers and staff members are also working together to build our collective skills and capacity around important school improvement initiatives and priorities. These include strengthening our school’s approach to supporting our children’s positive social and emotional development, as well as advancing our shared efforts to understand and address equity issues stemming from the lingering effects of systemic racism. Here is a sampling of some of the professional learning experiences that will help inform our work over the coming year:

  • Ms. Bishop (Gr. 5), Ms. Roderick (Gr. 3), and Ms. Gallant (Gr. 3), along with our Social Worker Ms. Gordon and Assistant Principal Ms. Headley, participated in a two-day Restorative Justice Practices & Circle Training workshop at the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University. Our School Counselor Ms. Wheeler will also participate in advanced training offered by the Center for Restorative Justice this fall.

  • Ms. Connelly (JK) and Ms. Jeram (Gr. 5) participated in Collaborative Problem Solving: An Innovative Approach to Helping Kids with Challenging Behavior, sponsored by Think:Kids at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Ms. Gordon and our Speech Therapist Ms. Dubofsky will participate in the fall Social Thinking Conference, which is aimed at helping educators promote their students’ self-regulation, social-emotional learning, executive functioning and social problem solving.

  • Ms. DeWitte (Gr. 4), Ms. Rosenberg (Gr. 1), and our Math Coach Ms. Vincent will be joining me at the annual Fall Meeting of the School Reform Initiative which will be focused on supporting teams to surface issues of inequity, injustice, and oppression even when they may appear to be absent and examine how our assumptions and beliefs can serve to support some students and hinder the success of others.

Additionally, we have two exciting partnerships taking place in our school this year that will support our our professional growth as a community of educators:

Equity Work with Dr. Darnisa Amante
To support our school’s equity work and our efforts to understand and address structural racism in our community, we have partnered with Dr. Darnisa Amante, CEO of The Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP). Dr. Amante, who has worked closely with other district schools, will serve as a thought partner as we identify goals and chart next steps at the Morse School. She will also help to facilitate some of our whole-staff professional development sessions around cultural proficiency. Dr. Amante's collaboration with our school will complement the important and ongoing work of the Cultural Proficiency Team and the Working Group on Race & Equity.

New Phonics Program Supported by the Teaching & Learning Alliance
To support early-grade implementation of a systematic phonics approach at the Morse School, we have partnered with the Teaching & Learning Alliance (TLA). TLA's support will include professional development sessions, demonstration lessons, grade-level planning meetings, and coaching for our teachers in Kindergarten through Grade 2.

Over the coming months, our teachers and staff members will be drawing upon these professional learning experiences to reflect upon and refine our approaches to supporting our children’s positive growth and development at the Morse School. I will share more at next week’s School Council Meeting, which will take place on Thursday (10/17) from 5:30 - 7PM in the Morse School Library. All members of the Morse School community are invited to attend!

Thank you and best wishes for a wonderful long weekend!


Chad Leith, Principal

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Morse Events & Announcements

October 14
No School: Indigenous People's Day

October 17 | 5:30 - 7PM
School Council Meeting

October 17 | 9 - 10:30AM
Morse Marathon

October 23
Early Release Day

October 23 | 6 - 7:30PM

Morse Family Paint Night
Morse & CPS Calendars
Morse calendar >>
District calendar (pdf) >> 

District calendar >>

CitySprouts Seeks Volunteers
Interested in helping out with an upcoming Apple Cider event? To sign up for a slot, please click here and write your first and last names in the volunteer time slot (highlighted in yellow). After you sign up for your shift, please fill out a CORI form. These will need to be submitted prior to volunteering with us.

In Our District & Community

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Looking for things to do in Cambridge? See below for a few ideas. For a full list, take a look at  Find It Cambridge!  
Find It Cambridge >> 

Film Screenings and Discussion:
New Immigrant & Refugee Visions
October 12 | 11AM
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Details >>

October 24 | 6-9PM
Cambridge Street Upper School
840 Cambridge Street
Have you ever wanted to make your own gummy worms? Maybe you'd like to engineer and launch a zipline car? If this sounds like fun and you'd like to spend some great family time having PIZZA and learning together, come join us at STEAM It Up!
Details >>

Free Clothing of All Sizes and Types
Gently-used clothing is available at The Spot! The Spot is located in East Cambridge, at the green door across from 75 Gore Street. Let Maryam Dar,Debbie Bonilla, or Mary Grassi know that you are coming so they can leave the door open for you.
DHSP Preschool Lottery
Lottery applications for DHSP Preschool are now available! 
Details >> 

Mind Matters 
Sign up for a FREE 10-session workshop for dads and male caregivers. 
Details >>

Cambridge in Motion's 
Healthy Snack of the Week

Fruit Racers: Pair an apple slice with 4 grape halves as wheels (held together with toothpicks)

Cambridge Affordable Housing Information Sessions
Learn about the eligibility requirements and application process for Cambridge Rental and Homeownership ProgramsLearn more >>

Immigration Legal Clinics (FREE!)
3rd Wednesday each month
90 Third Street, Cambridge
Details >>
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Morse School
40 Granite Street, Cambridge, MA 02139  •  617.349.6575
CPS Mobile App >>
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