Head of School
End of Year
CMS held High School Graduation last Friday. We hope that you were able to enjoy the livestream of this event since seats are limited. It is a wonderful celebration at the end of a long, rich journey for these students. We wish them an amazing next chapter of their lives. We also celebrated these seniors and their families at prom last Saturday evening at the Santo Domingo Country Club.
We have also had many additional celebrations this week, including awards ceremonies, Shark Shiver, and Moving On ceremonies. We hope you were able to join us in these end of year opportunities. Also, Grades 9 - 11 completed their finals yesterday. We hope that your family had an incredible final week of the 2017/2018 school year.
As CMS does each year, the School has summer projects and will place orders for needed resources, equipment, and furniture. Below are the main projects scheduled for this summer:
- Traffic study to determine the best management of vehicles in and around campus
- Elevated seating for Shark Center for better viewing of stage performances
- New chairs campus wide for use in all events
- Purchase of sports equipment to complete the functionality of the covered court
- Upgrades in infrastructure for drainage and water supply
- Annual replacement of and upgrades for fine arts equipment and resources
- Blue Room expansion to maximum learning spaces for students and student groups
- Middle School bathroom upgrades (upgrades are a multiple year project)
- Front yard and back playground resurfacing (continuation of last summer’s work)
- Continued development and implementation of innovation labs and unique learning spaces, such as 2nd floor of MS/HS library
- Umbrellas for the Middle Plaza (some are already in place)
- Replacement of main sidewalk surfaces in the interest of safety
- Annual replacement of and upgrades in technology to support student learning
- Annual replacement of and upgrades to safety and security equipment, ie..cameras
The School recognizes and appreciates the CMS communities’ support over the past several years in terms of major construction and upgrades on campus in the interest of creating enhanced and enriched opportunities for our students. We anticipate this summer will be less extensive than in past years. However, due to the sidewalks project, which touches many areas of campus, the back parking lot entrance is the preferred point of access over the summer break with the Administration Building entrance being an alternative entrance if necessary.
Head of School Message to Community
As I walk around the Carol Morgan School reflecting on the end of my tenure, I smile with great pride in our accomplishments these past three years. I am proud that we have ensured our focus has been on student learning through continuous improvement with reaffirmation of our standards, developing our learning units, and integrating our forward thinking approaches or Essential 11. We have put students at the core of our strategic plan, The Shark Sphere, that we developed during my first year. This plan is a commitment to putting students at the center of our daily learning and planning experiences, as it should be since learning is our core business.
Our school has focused on the ongoing professional learning of our educators and staff as they are crucial to our success in supporting students in their learning. Our staff have engaged in teams in their own grade levels and departments as well as they have embraced participation in school wide teams to support their own development and to support enhancements in student learning opportunities as well as in creating a collegial learning environment for adults.
The school community partners have supported expanded learning experiences for our students, from parent partners to community organizations supporting unique and expanded learning for our students. We have created learning experiences through after school activities, athletics, clubs, and performing arts providing opportunities for our students to share their strengths and areas of interest. We appreciate this support for CMS.
CMS has redesigned our physical space, starting with the Shark Center, replacing a gym space that had reached the end of its useful life in terms of safety. We have enhanced our outside space from sports fields to the front yard play space to the middle campus learning and eating area to the enhancement of the Zen Garden, all with the goal of providing spaces for students to learn and grow academically, physically, and socially- one of the key elements of our Shark Sphere.
In achieving these successes, CMS maintained an average year on year financial budget increase that was more than 4% below the average that had been maintained for the previous 10 years plus. We accomplished more with less and stayed true to who we were as an educational organization while expanding the experiences for our students. A primary goal and a definite accomplishment from my perspective.
Beyond our most recent accomplishments, CMS’ mission was celebrated this year through the 85th anniversary. Our school has a rich history connected to an extensive alumni group that collaborates with our Community Relations Team, a team that supports our internal and external communities in making connections and staying connected to CMS. We are grateful for these relationships.
As our family departs Santo Domingo and CMS, we wish the school community continued success in building on the amazing accomplishments that we have achieved over the past three years.
A Final Thank You
On behalf of the leadership team, thank you for your support of and engagement with CMS throughout this school year. We are grateful for those in the CMS community who have partnered in learning for our students.
- To CMS educators, thank you for your daily giving to our students
- To CMS parents, thank you for supporting your children and engaging with their teachers
- To CMS extended families, thank you for your participation in events and celebrations
- To CMS alumni, thank you for your strong engagement in giving back
- To CMS community members, thank you to your commitment to our school
Enjoy the summer break and see you on August 20th!
Rhonda Norris, Head of School
We’re glad that so many of you were able to join us for the festivities to celebrate our 85 years at Carol Morgan School last week. From the 14th to the 17th of March, the CMS family came together to enjoy fond memories, make new connections, and celebrate our rich history during our 85th anniversary celebrations. We hosted a variety of activities for the CMS community, including current families, staff, alumni, and special guests. We also introduced new events and activities, such as the CMS Benefit Gala & Auction and the Family Fit Day Athletic Circuit during Spring Fest. We are pleased to have hosted all events on campus in our enhanced and expanded facilities.
MOSAIC Student Art Exhibit Opening & Small Ensemble Performances
On Wednesday, March 14, our talented students and Fine Arts department showcased their talent during MOSAIC Student Art Exhibit Opening & Small Ensemble Performances, an evening filled with music, beautiful artwork, and hors d’oeuvres, to mark the opening of our celebrations. The venue was the beautiful plaza and lobby of the Shark Center.
CMS Benefit Gala & Auction
One of our new events, the CMS Benefit Gala & Auction, was hosted on Thursday evening, the 15th of March 15 on the first floor of the Shark Center. This event provided an opportunity to enjoy and bid on wonderful collectible items, art pieces, and experiences for auction. There were also items for raffle. The funds raised in this event will go towards supporting our innovation programs and student-led community service initiatives.
General Assembly & Class Parade
Our General Assembly & Class Parade took place the morning of Friday, the 16th of March. This event began with a parade of students and graduates starting with our youngest students in PK, future graduates of 2023, working backwards to graduates of 1968 with about 200 alumni participating. It was a wonderful way to begin the Assembly to celebrate CMS history. During this event, we also recognized families with three generations who have attended and graduated at CMS along with the past 5 years of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for these past 5 years, and all Board Presidents who have played a significant role in CMS’ history. The Shark Center gymnasium and stage were an excellent venue to host this event.
Alumni Reunion Cocktail Party
On the evening of Friday, the 16th of March, CMS hosted our Alumni Reunion Cocktail Party, also hosted on the first floor of the Shark Center. This event was an excellent opportunity for CMS Sharks to reconnect and reminisce with old classmates and friends as they returned to their Alma Mater. Remember: Once a Shark, always a Shark!
Spring Fest & Family Fit Day
To close our 85th anniversary celebrations, our annual, well-known Spring Fest was held on Saturday, the 17th of March. This event included fun activities for the whole family such as inflatable games, a water park, attractive contests and much more! It also included our traditional Business Expo and the International Food Fair, of which the majority of funds raised go to Techo-República Dominicana. This year we also introduced the Family Fit Day Athletic Circuit with the support of specialized workout centers such as Bari, Orange Theory, Rotonda Crossfit, Title Boxing Club, and Yoga+.
Those who were able to join us for some or all of these events have shared that their experiences were very enjoyable. These types of experiences happen thanks to a great deal of time and effort with significant attention to the details and ensuring everything is thought of, planned for, and anticipated as much as possible. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Community Relations Team for the tremendous time, effort, and teamwork to create these events as well as the Maintenance and Security teams for their support. Here’s to the next 85 years at CMS!
Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope that this message finds your family having enjoyed a wonderful break and starting to settle back into the school routine for the second semester. For those new families who are joining us this semester, we welcome you and would like to share that we are here to help; please let us know how we can support your family in the transition to CMS.
As is the case this time of year, CMS leadership team members have been working these past few months to recruit teachers with all but a few of the 25 positions already filled for next year. For the remaining positions, several members of our leadership team will be traveling to Boston this week for the next international recruiting fair. Also, as shared in December in the Board communication, CMS will be returning to the Principal and Assistant Principal model that was previously in place in the Middle and High Schools before this year. We anticipate communicating the appointment of the two new Assistant Principals by the end of this month.
We are fortunate at CMS to have a long, rich history of providing outstanding educational experiences for students. On the weekend of March 14th-18th, CMS will be celebrating our 85th Anniversary starting with our MOSAIC Grand Exhibit & Ensemble Performances by students, along with the CMS Benefit Gala and Auction fundraiser, the General Assembly & Class Parade, our Alumni Reunion Party, and the annual Spring Fest. It will be a week of celebration in honor of our community school. Please join us!
As a parent, I find that the second semester moves way too quickly and with a senior daughter graduating this year, I am certain that this will be the case again. Therefore, I plan to enjoy more of the small events that occur day-to-day as well as embracing the bigger milestones for our family this year. My hope is that you are also able to do the same in your children’s lives.
As always, thank you for your partnership with CMS and have a great Spring!
Carol Morgan School (CMS) is fortunate to have a very positive reputation both locally and internationally as a well-established, outstanding educational organization for students and educators. The experiences that our students have and share when they leave CMS for university or life after high school plays a role in this reputation. However, as we have previously shared, research continues to show that the most significant factor in successful learning for CMS students, your children, is the educators engaged with them daily.
There are several major aspects in attracting and retaining these educators. First, hiring the right people from the start and then supporting ongoing growth and development for those who continue to be a part of CMS from year to year. Another aspect is the focus of our blog today, recruiting new educators to our community and how they are hired.
While our reputation is strong, CMS has high expectations for all of our teachers regardless from where they are recruited. While our learning environment has similarities with other schools, we also are unique and expect an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement through new learning opportunities for students and ongoing professional growth by our staff to ensure we offer our students the greatest opportunity of success in their futures.
CMS seeks the best teacher for each position based on the expectations of our student learning opportunities and the needs of our student population alongside building the best team of educators to support every student in reaching their full potential. The recruiting process for the best teacher is balanced between the local and international markets in identifying only the highest quality of educators. We are committed during recruiting in connecting with and hiring those educators who believe what we believe, value what we value, understand the needs of our unique school learning community, and are aligned with the learning experiences we have identified for our students.
Our school is fortunate to have educators who are interested in considering CMS but not every candidate interested in CMS is the right candidate for our school. To find these outstanding and "right fit" educators, CMS advertises locally and participates annually in international recruiting fairs with our leadership team focused on finding teachers who are the right match for our learning environment and will best meet the needs of our students. Schools and educators are as unique as our children and students, so this significant commitment to recruiting is essential.
We have begun this recruiting process for the 2018/2019 school year and look forward to sharing the new educators with our community in the Spring when we have concluded our searches. Wish us success in finding the best match for our students!