Morse Weekly Family Newsletter: May 10, 2022
Published on May 10, 2022 10:28

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May 10, 2022

Dear Morse School Parents & Caregivers,

I’d like to begin by thanking all of the parents and caregivers who contributed their time (and their cooking talents) to Friday’s educator appreciation luncheon! Our teachers, paraprofessionals, and specialists have demonstrated extraordinary creativity, collaboration, and flexibility during these last few challenging years, and it was so nice to see their care and commitment honored and appreciated in such a meaningful way.

Continuing to Remain COVID Vigilant
Due to an increase in the number of COVID-related cases in our community, the Superintendent has issued an advisory encouraging the use of masks when indoors. Although masks will not be required at this time, we hope that many adults and children will choose to wear masks while at school. In light of the evolving public health situation, we have also decided to postpone a planned expansion of cafeteria dining at the Morse School, which would have increased the number of children eating in the cafeteria at any given time. We have also opted to move some upcoming events to outdoor or virtual spaces (see below), in order to reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID within our school. If there is one thing that we have learned over the past two years, it is to be adaptable to the ups and downs of COVID. Thank you for continuing to do your part by monitoring your children for symptoms and having your children test regularly at school and at home. Please remember to let me and our School Nurse know if your child has tested positive for COVID so that we can help you think through next steps.

Introducing Nurse Emma Rome!
Speaking of our School Nurse, I am very happy to introduce Emma Rome who has recently joined us in this role. Nurse Emma grew up in Cambridge, went through the Cambridge Public Schools, and is happy to still call Cambridge home. She has been a nurse for a little over 10 years - the majority of it in the Emergency Room at Massachusetts General Hospital. Nurse Emma says, “I was ready for a change after being in the ER throughout the pandemic and school health seemed like a perfect opportunity. I have been enjoying getting to know the kids and am really looking forward to becoming a part of the Morse School community!”

Morse Highlights

Recent Highlights from the Morse School
Despite the impact that COVID has continued to have on our school community, things have been busy at the Morse School since the April break. Pictured above:

  • Author/illustrator Ruth Chan recently visited the Morse School library to share with our JK/K and 1st graders about the things that inspire her stories and the different steps of the picture-book writing process (top left). Learn more about Ruth Chan here.

  • Over the last two weeks, many Morse School students have had the opportunity to enhance their learning by participating on some great field trips, including a 1st grade trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History (top right) and a 3rd grade visit to the Museum of Science (bottom left).

  • The members of the Morse Student Council held their first official meeting (bottom right). 3rd-5th grade Council representatives, will work with me and Council advisor (and 4th grade teacher) Dan Offley to identify things that we can do to make the Morse School a more welcoming and engaging learning environment for our students.

Upcoming Events
As you may have seen from the Morse School May 2022 Calendar that Family Liaison Kasey Clermont shared in last week’s Thursday Take Home, we have several exciting events planned for the coming weeks. These include opportunities for students to express themselves in new ways, enhance their learning through presentations and field trips, and show off their talents!

  • The Mathematics MCAS begins this week with our 5th graders and 3rd graders sitting for the assessment. We continue to underscore for our students that while we want them to work hard, take their time, and try their best, we don’t want them to feel any undue test anxiety. If you’d like to see the MCAS schedule and tips for how you can support your 3rd-5th grader, please take a few minutes to review this parent info sheet.

  • While not an “Event,” please remember that tomorrow, Wednesday May 11th is an early release day. Students will be dismissed at 12:25 PM.

  • This Friday May 13th our 4th graders will be the next group of students to head out on a field trip to the Museum of Science. Other upcoming enrichment experiences include a May 12th wildlife presentation for our JK/K students, a May 25th 1st grade field trip to the Franklin Park Zoo, and a May 26th 5th grade field trip to Boston’s Museum of African American History. Your children’s teachers will share more information about each trip as they get closer.

  • This year’s Morse Variety Show will take place this Friday, May 13th from 6:30-8PM. Due to the recent rise in COVID cases, we have decided to hold the event outdoors under the tents in our inner courtyard. Parents and students who wish to attend the event can come in through the Main Entrance and make their way out to the courtyard by the Library.

  • Next Monday, May 16th Bren Bataclan will kick off his week as Morse School “artist in residence!” A Filipino-American artist who lives right here in the Cambridgeport neighborhood, Bren will be working with 1st and 4th graders to create a mural within our school, right next to the library. Please see Bren Bataclan’s website for more information about his work. If you’ve got 10 minutes, you can also check out his TED Talk, “Kindness Can Truly Be Paid Forward.”

  • On Sunday, May 22nd the Friends of Morse will run our first Spring Fair since the pandemic. Please come by to enjoy fun activities with other Morse School families!

  • On Wednesday, May 25th we will welcome our incoming Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten families with a Virtual JK/K Open House (5:30-6:30PM).

  • On Tuesday, May 31st we will kick off the annual Morse Art Show with a 5-7PM reception at Gallery 263 on Pearl Street. All Morse School students will have a piece of work on display and the exhibition will remain open through the first week in June.

  • On June 13th we will hold our first Coady Award Dinner since prior to the pandemic. Typically given twice a year to one student from each class in Grades 3-5, the James Coady Award for Academic Effort & Achievement is given to students who, as determined by their teachers, have served as a model for our school’s core values. It may be a student who has made considerable progress in academics, or a student who has overcome a particular challenge in either school or in their personal lives. This award is named after retired principal James Coady and is one of the greatest honors that we bestow upon Morse School students.

  • Finally, we are still finalizing plans to bid our 5th graders farewell in June, but I want to ask our 5th grade families “save the date” for two special events: The annual Staff vs. 5th Graders Kickball Game (Wednesday, June 15th from 3-4PM) and our 5th Grade Moving On Ceremony (Thursday, June 23rd from 1-2PM).

We have been on a long and difficult road together as a school community and I am grateful to the staff members and families who have made the extra effort to plan these special learning experiences and community events. Our community


Principal Chad Leith

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In Our District & Community

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