Feedback

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Dear Families,

We like feedback at 75 Morton. It is why I have three email accounts. It is why I stay for entire PTA meetings in case you want to pull me aside or talk to me when the meeting ends. It is why my office door is literally always open and you do not go through various people to make a meeting. It is why I (and the staff) try to answer emails within 24 hours – to the very best of our ability.

So we received two forms of feedback last week.

Here is the hard feedback:

We have been hiring substitutes to cover our teachers so that they can do important planning and reflection work. The subs have been struggling with the behaviors of some of our students. The feedback has come from your children who have said, “Enough! We want our teachers back!” While we have addressed the behaviors that have deeply disappointed us and our community, we still have work to do. Therefore, we are changing our planning system and keeping our strong and wonderful staff with your strong and wonderful children. If a staff member is absent moving forward, it is because of illness, family emergencies, or a district meeting that we cannot miss. Your children’s feedback is hugely important to us.

Here is the GLORIOUS feedback:

We have been working with i2Learning to pilot an outstanding STEM program in the 7th grade, which we hope to bring to our entire school community next year. We are the first NYC public school that has partnered with the organization, which works with the entire Boston public school system. i2Learning generously trained our staff, and then our 7th grade students spent every day last week with their Advisories doing STEM projects. The trainer told me that this group of teachers was among the best she had ever trained. The founder of the program, Ethan Berman, visited on Thursday with some important funders – and they were all AMAZED by the focus of the students, the projects they produced, the expertise of the teachers, and the tone in all of the classrooms. Their feedback confirmed what we already know: our students have abilities and characters that will lead them to success.

We have so much to be proud of at 75 Morton and, while the work we have done in less than two years is in so many ways breathtaking, we still have stronger systems to put in place, and work to do in more than one area. We know that and embrace the challenge – with your feedback and support.

With respect,

Jacqui

info@75morton.org

Teamwork

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Dear Families,

I am watching a basketball game with my husband (not by choice;) and I am not at all drawn to the teams playing (no clue) or the score (who cares). But I am very interested in watching the teamwork. I have no idea who the star players are or their areas of expertise. Dunking? Free throws? Passing? I just see bodies running up and down the court, effortlessly, with hardly a glance, throwing the ball to a teammate. The players skip backwards and place themselves for a ball thrown their way (or not). They are always ready and constantly in position to move. They travel around the court quickly and, while they may be talking a bit, most of the communicating is through movement, watching, predicting and experience.

It is clear that they have practiced to the point that they know each other and are so tuned in to their teammates’ thinking. This is actually the behavior we work towards as a staff running a school together – and by staff, I mean all of the adults in the building. We pass your children amongst us all day. Our goal is to give consistent messages, to work off of the same playbook, to have language, expectations, reactions and responses that are so similar that our students sense the community and unity of the environment in which they spend six hours a day.

This is far from easy and, as we grow the next layer of our staff (25 new teachers!), we will be working towards this goal for another few years. Our students – and all of you – can help us reach that goal with your questions and feedback to our communications, which is always helpful. When we offer you time to meet your child’s Bungalow, when I encourage you to email with your questions, when I say we try to answer within 24 hours... it is all TRUE.

Thanks so much for reaching out, for being patient with us and for being team members. That is what makes a community.

With respect,

Jacqui

info@75morton.org

P.S. Speaking of teamwork, I want to encourage you all to pitch in and volunteer and/or buy tickets to some of the MANY events set for the final weeks of school. I know we’re all tired, and the summer is just around the corner, but we really need YOUR HELP to get us to the finish line. Please click on the links below to see what’s coming up… or get details in our weekly newsletter!

Volunteer HERE

Purchase tickets HERE