Morse Weekly Family Newsletter: April 9, 2020
Published on Apr 9, 2020 16:50

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April 9, 2020

Greetings from Chad Leith

Dear Members of the Morse School Community,

First, I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and managing as well as possible under these challenging circumstances. At the Morse School, we continue to look for bright spots as we adapt to a new way of learning and connecting with one another.

Over the first four weeks of our emergency school closure, we have had to think differently about how to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students. Morse School teachers, paraprofessionals, and specialists have been working hard to help preserve a sense of community for our children and to sustain their learning and growth. While we will continue to learn, experiment, and make adjustments, our distance learning model will continue to remain closely aligned with the vision and expectations outlined in the CPS Distance Learning & Support Plan, which Superintendent Salim shared with the CPS community on April 7th. This document also includes information about what you can expect from your child’s special educators and/or related-service providers, if your child receives OSS services.

Thanks to the efforts of many members of the CPS team, all Morse School students will have access to the internet and to a Chromebook by early next week. This will permit our teachers to gear their lessons, activities, and virtual class meetings to address grade-level content. Our goal and expectation is that every Morse School student is connected to our distance learning program and is actively participating in the activities being shared each day by our teachers and specialists. Our classroom communities are stronger when all members participate. When your child shows up for an online class meeting or shares a piece of writing that he/she has completed, he/she is making an important contribution to the Morse School community.

However, we also recognize that - for a variety of reasons - it may not be feasible for every child to complete every assigned activity every day. This has been a stressful and uncertain time for all members of our community, and we understand that there are many considerations and constraints that will shape each family’s daily home schedule. We know that there are challenges to facilitating online learning at home and we are grateful for your collaboration.

Monday 4/13 Parent Meeting (6-7PM)
Please join us on Monday, April 13th from 6-7PM for our 5th virtual parent meeting. Family Liaison Denise Sullivan, School Clerk Elaine Delaney, Assistant Principal Sam Headley, and I will be on hand to answer your questions and hear your feedback. So far, these meetings have provided a great opportunity to connect with one another and share ideas. To participate in Monday's meeting, please log onto Google Meet from your computer by following this link, or dial in with your phone by calling 513-783-2157 (PIN: 538 181 125#). If you are unable to join Monday's meeting and have questions or concerns that you would like to share, please feel free to reach out to me directly by email ([email protected]) or text message (617-201-7801).

Maintaining Your Social, Emotional, and Mental Health during the School Closure
The COVID-19 crisis and the emergency school closure have had an impact on all of our lives and require us to think differently about how we take care of ourselves and our children. It is very important to us that all members of our community stay safe and healthy during this stressful and unpredictable time. Our School Counselor Fergie Wheeler has created a distance learning page dedicated to supporting the basic needs, social, emotional, and behavioral health of our students, families and staff during the extended school closure. Click here to visit the Morse School Support Page for Students, Families, and Staff.

Welcome Sam De Soto!
I am very pleased to introduce Sam De Soto, who will be stepping in as our JK-2 Kodaly music teacher while Ms. Graeber is out on maternity leave (Ms. Graeber’s baby girl, Marian Laura Graeber, was born on March 26th!). Mr. De Soto will begin sharing lessons with our JK-2 classrooms beginning next week. In the meantime, he has prepared a short video to introduce himself to our students. Please join me in welcoming Mr. De Soto to the Morse School! Please click here to watch Mr. De Soto’s intro video!

Speaking of our special subject teachers, Ms. Pennell, Ms. Kerr, Mr. Fousek, Ms. Lavalle, Ms. Convers, Ms. Ostrovsky-Kaminsky, and Mr. Grosfelt have been working hard to translate their rich content into an online environment. However, they are all in the unenviable position of sharing activities without having the opportunity to connect in real time with their students. If there has been particular Art, Music, P.E., Spanish, Library/Tech, or Garden activity that your child has enjoyed, please send your special subject teachers a message to let them know!

Finally, a reminder that tomorrow is a school holiday (Good Friday), which we will also observe in our virtual environment. Early next week, we will share updated content on our school’s Distance Learning Page, including some new resources and information, and a calendar of upcoming extracurricular events that we hope your children will enjoy! In the meantime, we are grateful to you for staying connected with our school and with your child’s classroom. Together, we can make sure that our children keep learning and growing during the school closure.


Chad Leith

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