District Communications & Publications
- Superintendent Communications
- Superintendent Presentations
- Superintendent Webinars
- District Videos
- The DISTRICT Newsletter
- Important Announcements
Letters, updates, and celebratory news from the Office of the Superintendent to the parent community
Letter to the Community, January 7, 2021
Superintendent Pendergrast emphasizes the Morris School District's commitment to teaching and promoting the principles of democracy as we work to establish a healthy community
MSD Fall Highlights, December 2020
Inspiriational winter concerts, our scholars earn national recognition, early college decisions, state engineering challenge winners, elementary winter art show, and a preschool Tree Study.
Letter to the Community, November 25, 2020
Our collective success in forging a web of relationships to surround and support our students and our community, even in the most trying times.
Letter to the Community, October 30, 2020
Important reminders derived from the MSD's "lessons learned" since we reopened schools in September.
Letter to the Community, September 11, 2020
Remembering the strength we found in community following 9/11, and the imperative to once again unite in common purpose to keep our schools open and safe.
Letter to the Community, June 19, 2020
Update on the Morris School District's planning for Fall 2020.
Letter to the Community, June 3, 2020
Superintendent Pendergrast shares his thoughts about recent national events and reaffirms the values of the Morris School District.
Updates on COVID-19, school closure, virtual learning, and school re-entry
Central repository of updated information and resources pertaining to COVID-19 and related matters.
MHS Student Achievements (and how they remind me of trees), December 2019
Holiday video message, songs from the winter Band concert, National Merit Commended students, student writers honored at Morristown Book Festival, slide show from The Miracle Worker, programs in Coding & Cybersecurity, among other highlights!
Welcome Back and 2019-20 Initiatives, September 2019
Goals for communications and community relations, our award-winning newsletter, video of the MSD legacy, a historic preschool expansion program, and an introduction to our Pupil Services leadership team!
Opportunities for Student Success at Frelinghuysen Middle School, March 2019
Future City winners, General Knowledge Bowl champs, smash-hit spring musical, #1 Girls Basketball Team, winter Band concert slide show, and more!
MHS Winter Achievements: A Few Highlights, March 2019
Math Team superstars, prestigious invite for Wind Ensemble, Mock Trial competition, legendary season for Girls Swim Team, Unified Bowling sets an example, and news from our flourishing Humanities and STEM Academies!
A sampling of presentations to the Board of Education, the faculty, the wider community, and professional audiences.
Communications & Community Relations
A Learning Organization = A Healthy Community, Part II: Communications & Community Relations Action Plan
The MSD's mission, values, and action plan for a full-scale Communications & Community Relations program. (Presented to the Board of Education, August 2019)
A Learning Organization = A Healthy Community: Stakeholder Voice & Feedback
Engaging in productive dialogue with our stakeholders and gaining insight toward continuous improvement. (Presented to the Board of Education, July 2019)
Communications & Community Relations
The MSD's steps toward increasing transparency of information to date and our focus on communications and community relations as a district priority. (Presented to the MSD HSAs as part of the Superintendent's "Feedback Forum" series on Communications, May 2019)
Thoughts on the centrality of relationships, objectives for instruction and learning, and becoming an antiracist school district. (Video recording to the faculty and staff, September 2020)
The significance of "small moment" opportunities for instilling confidence in our students and helping them develop grit, growth mindset, and self-efficacy. (Presented to the faculty and staff, September 2019)
How the MSD is fulfilling our mission to be the district we were called to be--one that is "proud of our past, poised for the future." (Presented to the faculty and staff, September 2018)
Equity, Inclusion, and antiracism
Whole-Child Approach to Equity and Assessment
Drawing on the impactful results of a multiyear focus within the Morris School District on equity and inclusion initiatives, Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast explores how actionable data can be marshalled to dismantle systemic racism in education. (Presented via webinar hosted by Panorama Education, November 2020)
District Priorities, 2020-21: Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism
Details our district priorities and strategies relative to equity, inclusion, and antiracism. (Presented to the Board of Education, November 2020)
MSD Equity Project: National Press Club & NJ Equity Conference
A "systems" approach to equity and inclusion in our "community of communities." (Presented to the NJ Association of School Administrators, November 2019)
The Architecture of a Coherent Vision for Learning: Equity & Inclusion as a Cornerstone of Impactful Student Growth in Grades 6-8.
How the MSD addressed and rectified a reading and writing achievement gap through the triangulation of improved school climate, elevated instruction, and thoughtful technology integration. (Presented at the National Press Club to the League of Innovative Schools, October 2019)
2020 Continuing District Priorities: Equity & Inclusion Action Plan Implementation
Creating a more responsive system through specific operational and instructional strategies. (Presented to the Board of Education, October 2019)
Equity, Access, & Inclusion
Our comprehensive approach to establishing an equitable and inclusive environment to ensure each student feels a sense of belonging and success in our schools. (Presented to the Board of Education, December 2017)
Interoperability: The True Promise of Education
The MSD's innovative vision for personalized learning. (Presented at the NJ School Boards Association annual conference, October 2018)
MSD District Priorities & Strategies Update: S.E.L.
Progress toward implementation of social-emotional learning initiatives. (Presented to the Board of Education, February 2019)
2018-19 District Priorities & Strategies
The MSD's highest priorities for academic year 2018-19: Health, Wellness, and Safety; Learner Positioning System & Social-Emotional Competencies; and Equity & Inclusion. (Presented to the Board of Education, September 2018)
2018 PARCC & Assessment Data
Contextualizing our student achievement data. (Presented to the Board of Education, August 2017)
Student health, wellness and safety
2020 Continuing District Priorities: Student Health, Wellness & Safety
The many facets of ensuring a healthy community district-wide, and the "high-velocity decision-making" that underlies district actions in this central area. (Presented to the Board of Education, October 2019)
Violence & Vandalism Annual Report
Annual and longitudinal data on violence and vandalism in the MSD and the district's HIB report card. (Presented to the Board of Education, June 2019)
Social Media & Student Wellness
Our commitment to student and community wellness and our strategies for establishing system-wide practices to maximize student support. (Presented to the Board of Education, January 2018)
Community Forum on Safety & Security
The MSD's multi-tiered initiatives to address safety and security. (Presented at a community-wide forum April, 2018)
VISION FOR LEARNING
District Priorities 2020-21: Operationalizing the Learner Positioning System; Student Growth and Continuity of Instruction in a Variety of Instructional Modalities
Outlines the District's continuing implementation of a Learner Positioning System to synthesize data in service of learning and addresses our focus on ensuring student success during the current public health crisis. (Presented to the Board of Education, October 2020)
Developing Independent Thinkers, Problem Solvers, and Learners
How do we support students so they become independent learners? How do we ensure we really see and understand the students in our care? (Presented to the faculty and staff, February 2020)
Education & the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Vision 2040
A key facet of the #MSDAdvantage is a transformational approach to education that prepares students for the future--for their future. (Presented to the Board of Education, November 2019)
Whole-Child Approach to Equity and Assessment
Drawing on the impactful results of a multiyear focus within the Morris School District on equity and inclusion initiatives, Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast explores how actionable data can be marshalled to dismantle systemic racism in education. (Hosted by Panorama Education, November 2020)
Measuring and Improving Equity and Inclusion in Schools
Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast and SEL Supervisor Debora Engelfried discuss how the Morris School District is using student survey data to understand and take action on students' perspectives regarding race, ethnicity, and culture in our schools. (Hosted by Panorama Education and Education Week, December 2019)
The 5 Biggest Challenges of MTSS: How Districts Are Responding
Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast joins two other chief school administrators in a discussion of multi-tiered student supports and outlines how the Morris School District is using data interoperability to meet the individual needs of each student. (Hosted by Panorama Education and Education Week, January 2019)
Click on the title below to access the video. Or check out our YouTube channel, MSDK12, for more!
Virtual Learning Update, May 2020
Details on the Morris School District's approach, progress, and plans with respect to virtual learning.
State of the District and 2020-21 Budget
Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast shares the 2020-21 budget and describes the innovative programming this budget continues to sustain.
Holiday Greetings from the Morris School District
Recent images from our beautiful school community!
An Introduction to the Morris School District
Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast describes the unique and enduring legacy of the Morris School District.
Financing Excellence in Education: The Morris School District Budget, 2019-20
Learn about the people and programs supported by our district budget in this short video presentation by Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast.
Our award-winning biannual publication is mailed to all residents of Morristown, Morris Township, and Morris Plains, featuring the latest news from the Morris School District and the Morris Education Foundation. (Read about our communications award from the NJ School Public Relations Association!)
* Click the issue you wish to view; then click the image to access the full newsletter.
2020 NJ Superintendent of the Year on Dismantling Inequity Piece by Piece
White paper by Panorama Education on how the Morris School District uses data-driven strategies for building equity and centering the whole child (March 2021)
Racism Diminishes All of Us
As the NJ Superintendent of the Year, MSD's Mackey Pendergrast was asked to offer his words of wisdom for the new school year. His article addresses the urgency of antiracist work in our schools. (September 2020)
Lessons From the Pandemic on How to Reimagine and Improve Schooling
Op-Ed in NJ Spotlight by Mackey Pendergrast and Michael LaSusa on key takeaways from virtual learning, including what the neuroscience tells us. (May 2020)
Toward a "Learning Positioning System": Interoperability and the Promise of Data in Service of Learning
Article in NJASA by Mackey Pendergrast and Erica Hartman on supporting the "whole child" by leveraging a comprehensive picture of student learning. (February 2019)
Four Steps to Achieving Data Interoperability in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
White paper by Panorama Education featuring the Morris School District's approach to using data interoperability to better support students' needs
Strengthening and enhancing communications district wide is an MSD priority. We have begun strategic implementation of a comprehensive Communications and Community Relations Action Plan that outlines our most critical objectives over the next several years.
3-Part Mission of
MSD Communications & Community Relations:
Create and maintain a responsive system that supports open, two-way communications internally and externally to build collaboration, trust, and understanding among all district stakeholders.
Promote district excellence: broadcast the news, accomplishments, and initiatives of our students, teachers, and administrators in order to solidify pride in our schools, instill a sense of belonging to a cohesive community, and attract new families and top-quality employees.
Establish and reinforce an enduring district identity that resonates with our multiple constituent groups in order to clearly message our core values with impact.
contact the communications & community relations coordinator