Spread Some Joy!


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Dear Families,

We hope you can stop by tomorrow (Tues, Nov. 20) at any time from 4 - 7pm in the Cafeteria for our FREE, community Pie & Cider Open House (rescheduled from Friday!). Bring the whole family, meet some new friends, and spread some JOY!

We are a very special community. When I describe our school to other educators, I always say JOYOUS. These educators understand how unique it is to use that word. Much of the press on education is anything but joyous. People are so quick to cast a shadow over the world of teaching and learning.

I grew up with a mother who taught for 63 years, and I am married to a principal. We are always HUMBLED by the work of teachers. One, we know only too well how challenging it is to raise children – and we are the last in line to eagerly volunteer to be scrutinized and judged as parents. Rather, we have always understood that while others trust us to raise our children, we have always trusted the intentions and expertise of those who taught our own children.

Two, our approach is to join in the work of those who taught our children. This has meant being patient and approaching situations where we needed clarification with a patient and respectful tone – looking for solutions. It hasn’t always been easy. But these are the people who spend all day with our children, and we were grateful those teachers took on the task of working through the social, emotional, and academic lessons 6 hours a day!

So back to the word JOYOUS. The adults who are teaching your children are joyous. They love their jobs, they strive to be better every day, and they take on the responsibility of teaching, communicating, and creating curriculum every day. They are simply among the best colleagues I have had the honor of working with day after day. They smile and laugh and are incredibly funny.

I also use the word JOYOUS for our funny, laughing, inquisitive, loving, frustrating, loud, quiet, pensive, thoughtful children! They literally fill our halls with ENERGY and JOY.

Finally, I use the word JOYOUS for our parents. For the tons of emails and energy and ideas and solutions that pour in every day. When you ask questions – and when you offer really great ideas – we grow and thrive as a community.

This is all to say THANK YOU. For bringing the joy, for spreading the joy, for keeping the joy.

We hope to see you tomorrow. And Happy Thanksgiving!

With Respect,


Gutterballs & Strikes


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Dear Families,

I am a really bad, but very enthusiastic bowler! I seem to aim for the gutter and actually drop, not roll the ball…  lucky for me I had some terrific parents and staff on my team and I picked up a few tips. Watch out for next year! Thank you for the terrific vision of Cathy Curtin and the amazing work of the BOWL-A-THON team! It was a great event and far surpassed what I imagined. It was so much fun watching our parents and, of course, I loved that the 75 Morton staff showed up and bowled their hearts out. I am thrilled by the money raised, but even more thrilled by this COMMUNITY building event. It is so special to spend time making friends, matching students to parents, hearing the laughter, and watching us grow strong together.

Don’t forget we’ve got a PTA evening meeting this Wed., Nov. 14 at 6:15pm in the Cafeteria, with a Special Election for co-2nd Vice President. Lots of you have told me you can only attend evening meetings, so this is your chance! We’ll have sandwiches for the grown-ups and pizza for any students who need to come. Please join me.

You’ve got until Wed. evening (at the PTA meeting) to bring in donations to our Coat & Warm Clothing Drive. You can leave items in boxes in the lobby at any time. Special thanks to our parent coordinator Jill Bennett for this initiative!

On Friday Nov. 16, it’s our first annual Pie & Cider Open House, from 4 - 7pm in the Cafeteria. Stop by for a slice and a sip and good conversation. I’m so pleased we’re launching our series of FREE community events with this this fun fall gathering. You can RSVP HERE and let us know if you want to bring something or help out: 

Student Led Conferences are Tues. Nov. 27 from 5 - 7:30pm, and Wed. Nov. 28 from 1 - 3pm (11:30am dismissal). Your child’s Advisor will be sending home an appointment form. We expect every family to come to their Student Led Conference. Your children work very hard reflecting on their progress and preparing to present their successes and challenges. It is important that you work with your child’s Advisor to find a time to attend!

Some of you have asked about High School Articulation. We will have a preliminary meeting for 7th grade families in February. We will present a timeline and overview of the process. More in-depth meetings will take place in the spring.

High schools look at ALL or SOME of the following 7th grade data as part of their admissions rubrics:

  • Grades

  • NY State Test Scores

  • ATTENDANCE and LATENESS - if the total number of days (individually or combined) exceeds 10, many high schools grow concerned, which can impact chances of acceptance

  • Portfolios

  • Interviews

  • Teacher Comments

7th grade families, look for Out-Lunch Policy & Permission Form - going out electronically tomorrow... It’s due this Thursday, so we can start Out-Lunch on Monday. That’s all for now!

With Respect,