March 27, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 27, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As I wrote to our teachers and staff last Sunday, as our world community is working to save lives, we as a small education community must do our part to help and care for each other in the weeks ahead.

As a school district we are working together to build and implement remote learning opportunities for our students to learn at home between now and May 4th. We received guidance from Jeff Riley, Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Education regarding Remote Learning Recommendations and Guiding Principles for Supporting Student Learning and Holistic Needs. Principals, curriculum leaders and teachers will continue to work to develop quality remote learning opportunities while continuing to engage all of our students.

I know that all of you have hundreds of questions regarding everything from will MHS’s Prom still be held to MCAS, SAT and AP testing to when our schools will reopen. I am in constant communication with our principals and I promise you that we will work together to provide you with guidance and answers to your questions and concerns. Please continue to read our Frequently Asked Questions on the front of our website.

We were not prepared for the changes and challenges we are facing. If ever we needed to develop the resilience in each of us, it is now.

The Milton Public School pledge to our 600 employees, 4,500 students and their families that we will work together through this crisis and find strength in each other. The health and well-being of our students, families and staff have to be our priorities.

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Once again, Maria Trozzi is sharing valuable resources and information. I encourage you to read her full communication here or in the link below.

Superintendent Gormley has asked me to share my thoughts with you as we face this unprecedented crisis together. Truth is, there’s no playbook here. For many and in many ways, this is uncharted territory. We are not facing the aftermath of Katrina or 9/11, but find ourselves needing to live in a different way due to a force beyond our control.

What I can offer is what my work has taught me to be helpful for families when facing a ‘chronic crisis’….one that is on-going and may impact our physical health, our mental health and economic health. Please read the full communication from Ms. Trozzi here. 

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Many of you celebrated Milton Goes Gold in Support of Childhood Cancer Awareness with us last September and we look forward to an even bigger effort in September 2020. One of the parents who spearheaded this town wide effort, on behalf of her daughter Hannah and all children with cancer, is Michelle Serpa. Hannah Serpa completed more than 2 years of treatment in the fall and yesterday, Hannah turned 5. She was supposed to be in Disney World celebrating with her family and instead, like all of us, is sequestered at home. Well, Milton showed up big for Hannah last night, with a big 5th birthday party! As Hannah says in the video below, this was the best birthday ever! If we have learned anything in the past several weeks, it’s that people are helpful, giving and good and we are seeing that play out every day in Milton. Thank you to Milton for giving Hannah the “best birthday ever” and thank to you photographer John Gillooly for capturing these moments for Hannah and her family. These videos will give you a peak at Hannah’s birthday. Hannah’s Rolling Birthday Party.  Best Birthday Ever – 20200326-210530-1920.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-686-4808 or via email.

We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE 

As the MPS community adjusts to their second week of social distancing at home, MPS Director of Nurses Kim Coughlin shares some resources about talking to your children about COVID-19.

CDC link: Talking with Children about Coronavirus Disease

We found this podcast with Dr. Sanjay Gupta helpful: Talking to our kids about Covid-19

Our Milton Public Schools school nurses have been in close contact with the local health department since the onset of COVID-19. All of our MPS nurses have volunteered to help Caroline Kinsella, Milton’s Director of Public Health, and began training this week to help with community outreach. We appreciate their commitment to the health of our community.

MPS STAFF NEWS 

I am very happy to inform you that Zeina Hamada has been appointed as the Milton Public Schools Director of World Language. Ms. Hamada will assume the position on July 1st, as Dr, Martine Fisher has announced her retirement. I will share my admiration and appreciation for Dr. Fisher in the weeks to come.  Dr. Karen Spaulding writes the following about this exciting appointment.

Zeina Hamada has been an educator for almost two decades. She began her career teaching both French and English immersion at the middle and high school levels in Lebanon. While there, Ms. Hamada took on teacher leader roles very early in her career, serving on accreditation committees and coordinating the French National Brevet . Once she moved to the United States, we were fortunate that Ms. Hamada found her way to Milton. For 11 years, Ms. Hamada was a highly respected teacher in our French Immersion program, earning the 2013 Milton Foundation for Education Teacher of the Year Award. Both an excellent teacher and leader among her colleagues she engaged fully in opportunities to develop her own skills, share ideas with colleagues, contribute to the development of curriculum and common assessments, and lead professional development.

For the last two years, Zeina Hamada has continued her track record of excellence as the Assistant Principal/Curriculum Coordinator of the Collicot Elementary School. In this role, Ms. Hamada has again impacted well beyond her immediate responsibilities as a school based administrator, serving on several committees such as the MPS Cultural Competency Committee, the MPS Professional Development Committee, and the MPS Instructional Council. Ms. Hamada holds a French Baccalaureat, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration, a Master of Arts in History, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Educational Leadership.

Please join me in welcoming Zeina Hamada in her new role as Director of World Languages. We know that Ms. Hamada will continue along the path of excellence laid by Dr. Fisher.

Thank you to those who served on the Screening Committee: MPS teachers Dr. Amal Radwan, Shelagh Frossard, Desiree Okoh; MPS parents Lindsay Hudgins and Alessandra Higgins;  PreK-8 Literacy Director Cat DesRoche, (MHS Principal James Jette, and Assistant Superintendent Dr Karen Spaulding.

Thank you also to those who served on the Final Interview Round Committee: Superintendent Mary Gormley, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Karen Spaulding, School Committee Member Margaret Eberhardt, Principal Karen McDavitt, Principal William Fish, Principal Holly Concannon, and Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai.

FOOD SERVICE

After serving to-go breakfasts and lunches on designated days since March 18th, the Milton Public Schools is moving to a new format to better accommodate family’s schedules.

Starting on Wednesday, March 25th, families can pick up 5 days of breakfasts and lunches at one time. Pick up times are 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building).

These FREE 5 day to-go bags will contain low sugar cereal, shelf stable milk, sunbutter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and snack bags. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

This change to one day of distribution is a safer way to get more food into the homes of our food insecure students, while also minimizing contact between the MPS Food Service staff and MPS families.

This FREE service will be available throughout the school closure.   

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email at jmorgan@miltonps.org or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna at mmckenna@miltonps.org or by phone at 617-980-7343.

PIERCE PAGES 

Congratulations to 7th grader Lydia Turner (pictured at right) who has won 2nd Place in the Will McDonough Writing Contest!  The New England Sports Museum has just released this exciting news.

With over 1,100 entries, this is an impressive accomplishment. Lydia wrote a strong persuasive essay about keeping the age requirement for competing in the Olympics to 16 years old. Congratulations to Lydia!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Many of our elementary students participated in a Color Wheel Challenge this week in their first distance learning activity from the art room. Students went on scavenger hunts around their house finding objects that matched all the colors in the color wheel and arranged them in a circle.Mrs. Gillooly, Ms. Baylon, Ms. Bernini and Ms. Tolleson collected many pictures and you can see the creativity of our students below.

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Students at Tucker were disappointed to not be in schools for their annual Book Character Day, but that did not stop students and staff from celebrating at home. From Waldo to Harry Potter, these characters did not disappoint!

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Mrs. Spitz’s Collicot students invite all of Milton to join them in a movement to support our healthcare providers during this very difficult time. The class began making small bright hearts this week and they are displayed all over Milton to let healthcare workers  know that we appreciate their long hours, risks, and sacrifices.

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You may also have seen rainbows in windows as many of our students are participating in “rainbow walks”. As you walk safely in your neighborhood, you may see some of these colorful reminders of our wonderful community. Thanks to these Glover kids below and the many more around Milton who are reminding us of the color and joy still around us.

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Cunningham students and teachers have been sharing pictures of their workspaces this week. Our students have set up some great spaces with their families to support all the different ways we will learn in the coming weeks.

Many of our elementary teachers have begun doing read alouds for their students. We will be posting them on our Facebook page and Twitter feed (add links). You can see a few of this week’s read alouds here: Ms. Renehan reads a special book for World Down Syndrome Day.; Mrs. Butler reads Where the Wild Things AreThe Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
read by 1st grade teacher Ms. Gallella; Mme Morton reads in French; Mrs. Kennedy and her “assistant” share a book. 

ROCK YOUR SOCKS 

Last Friday, March 20th, was Rock Your Socks Day at MPS! Our students and staff Rocked their Socks at home in support of World Down Syndrome Day and you can see their infectious fun below. Thank you to all who participated!

TECHNOLOGY 

Google Classroom: Many teachers in the Milton Public Schools use Google Classroom to help manage their class.  This is not a requirement for teachers. It is a common misconception that family members can join a Google Classroom.  Only students and staff in the miltonps.org domain have the right to join a Google Classroom. Teachers can invite family members to receive summaries.  For more information on Guardian Summaries please click here.

Families have asked how to help their students turn in assignments on Google Classroom. Here are instructions on how a student can turn in an assignment on Google Classroom.

Elementary families who need support with their student’s Google username and password, please email your student’s teacher for this information.

PlusPortal: If you need support navigating PlusPortals here are support instructions and tutorials. If you need help with your username and/or password please contact the following individuals: Elementary- Jen Van Hill; Pierce –  Jess Royster; MHS-  J Troy Add links 

EverFi Remote Learning: EverFi has offered enrichment lessons for students at all grade levels.  In these lessons, students will learn about real-world skills like career readiness, financial literacy, and health & wellness.

Your student can go through these online resources independently and will be asked to show learning through mini-quizzes at the end of each lesson.

Here is each school’s flyer with more information on the modules offered at each grade level along with how to create an account for your student. Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, MHS, Pierce, and Tucker

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Educational Technology Director AJ Melanson shares the following enrichment materials you may find helpful in the coming weeks.

K-2 Screen Time Leisure Activities; 3-5 Screen Time Leisure Activities; Common Sense Media’s Events and Activities for Kids at Home

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Susan Maselli, shares the following. She can be reached anytime via email.

The Office of Pupil Personnel Service continues to work in partnership with district and state leadership during this school closure. Rest assured that efforts are well underway to build upon resources and supports we have already begun, as we shift into an extended school closure.

Just yesterday, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provided guidance on how districts should begin to craft remote learning service delivery models for students in special education. Our office is actively pursuing this process and welcomes parental input on remote learning for special education students.

As we initialize our model of remote learning service delivery, which we realize will continue to be refined as we work together,  we would like to open up an opportunity for parents to share their ideas and thoughts as we craft our service plan model.

We would like to invite families and stakeholders to a set of virtual meetings to share ideas and hear about your needs. If you would like to participate in a 1 hour meeting with our staff, please RSVP to Patty Lesenechal, at plesenechal@miltonps.org, and she will assign you to the correct age group/focus group opportunity.

Thank you for all your support!

FAMILY OUTREACH LIAISON 

As we all navigate this unfamiliar territory we want families to know that we are committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or via email. All calls and emails are confidential.

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While the Quincy Family Resource Center is not open for in person assistance, they are still available to support families Monday – Friday 9am-5pm.  If you are in need of any assistance please contact: Samantha at 617-347-4962 or Caitlin at 617-750-3381 or email them at QuincyFRC@baystatecs.org

HEALTH AND WELLNESS 

Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue writes the following.

Week one, done!  We did it!  I’m so proud to be part of this community!  It has been amazing to see how quickly and effectively our school community banded together to help make things happen.  While we continue to practice recommended at-home isolation and social distancing, it’s vital to continue practicing healthy self-care.  Make time for wellness activities with your family, make it a priority in your day.
My family has been exercising and playing board games together which has helped us stay sane.  Find a fun family activity that works for you and your loved ones.
We are all in this together! Here are some links that you might find helpful:

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Interface Referral Service: If you find that you need support around locating Mental Health Resources, please consider the Milton Interface Referral Services.

This is a FREE service to support Milton residents. Visit Interface here or call them toll free at (888)-244-6843 Monday – Friday between 9:00am – 5:00pm.

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The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has asked us to share the following, written by Margaret Carels. Please take a moment to read if you have returning college students home with you.

The pandemic of the coronavirus is up-ending everyone’s lives, including our college-aged children. Many students have been sent home in order to finish out the semester with on-line classes. This may be a hard adjustment for the entire family, as students have gotten used to operating independently and experimenting with their new-found freedoms. This will be a good time to revisit our expectations around the use of drugs and alcohol. You can read the entire piece from Ms. Carels here.

FROM OUR LIBRARIANS

A message from Mr. Coben and the Milton Public Library for all K-8 Families:

Join the Spring Reading Challenge with the Milton Public Library!

Read whatever you like, and then log your minutes online, write book reviews, and complete fun activities in order to earn virtual badges. Once the MPL reopens, every participant will be eligible to receive a prize!

We’ll be using Beanstack, a free service which you may remember from Summer Reading. If you already have an account, you can use that to log in – and if you don’t remember it, feel free to set up a new one. It’s easy to set up one account for your whole family! There’s also an app for that: search for Beanstack in the App Store.

To get started, visit the Beanstack website. Have questions? Contact struog@ocln.org. Happy reading!

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While schools and libraries are closed there are plenty of resources available remotely. The MPS librarians have compiled a list of links to access streaming of books, movies, music and more that you can find here! Thank you to Elementary librarian Josh Coben; Pierce librarian Jess Royster  and MHS librarian J Troy for the many resources found here. Please  reach out to our librarians if you have any questions about these resources.

COUNSELING CORNER 

“A connection is the energy that exists between two people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship” – Anonymous

Each week, one of our MPS Adjustment Counselors will share information or resources. Last week, Ms. Beliveau from MPS wrote to the MPS community. This week, Cunningham’s Ms. Germanno checks in.

As have all of the MPS Adjustment Counselors, I have been connecting with many families and students over the last week and a half. I think we all feel better after these check-ins – I know I do. One family wrote to me, “There was a lot of smiling and excited chattering about the video meeting afterward – a positive change from the boredom and missing of friends that have already set in on day 4. What a great idea and boost to the spirits your meeting was!”

A discussion I had with two students yesterday was an important one and I wanted to share it with you all. It was a discussion about balance.

In our normal lives there is a natural sense of balance. The balance of work and fun, activity and rest, thinking and doing, talking and listening, seeing and imagining. Currently this natural sense of balance is out of order and we have to work to recreate it, because we don’t have the same contact with the outside world that we would typically have.

Right now we all have a “new normal.” This “new normal” is one where we have to reach out to connect to others in a way we are not used to doing. We have to plan our days with activity so we are not only resting, organize our time to allow for both thinking and doing, and we have to connect with friends and extended family through the virtual world in order to balance out our time alone. I encourage you to find the time to think about what your “new normal” looks like and how you can create balance each day.

I find making a list helpful and you might, too! Ms. Germano’s Balance List:

Check my mail/post to my google classroom —- Do yoga and ride my stationary bike
Talk to students and families/friends and my family —– color/draw, cook dinner
Watch a TV show —– Take my dog for a walk to the beach

Your MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

As with most events, our 2020 Celebration for Education has been cancelled. Traditionally, this event funds a significant portion of the Foundation’s work. There are two ways that you can help ensure that the MFE can fund teacher grants going forward, despite the cancellation of our event.

First, tickets are still available for the jeep raffle. Only 500 tickets will be sold and the drawing will take place on April 4th and the winner has their choice of a Jeep Wrangler or $25,000. To purchase a ticket, please contact Liddie Sutter at Liddievs@gmail.com

Second, please consider making a donation to the Milton Foundation for Education. You can make a donation at this link. Thank you so much for your continued support.

ART AND MUSIC 

We have exciting news and beautiful music to share with you!

The Pierce 7th/8th grade orchestra was awarded the honor of performing at the Massachusetts Music Educators Conference at the Boston Seaport Hotel on Friday, March 6.

The orchestra, under the direction of Mrs. Debra Miller, performed five pieces of music for music educators in attendance from around the Commonwealth. Last December,  Mrs. Miller submitted an audition recording to the Massachusetts Music Educators panel of judges. Typically the panel will choose four top high school ensembles to perform at the conference. It is very unusual for a middle school ensemble to be awarded this honor, however this year our middle school orchestra was chosen as exemplary in the state.

Well done Pierce Middle School strings! You can enjoy their performances here.

Pierce Middle Schools Strings 1; Pierce Middle School Strings 2;  Pierce Middle School Strings 3

Congratulations to the Pierce Grade 7/8 Orchestra: Lucy Asanza, Samantha Chiu, Stephy Dai, Camille Donovan, Kevin Gomes, Molly King, Lucie Lloyd-Farber, Alex McEttrick, Abby McMenomy, Louise O’Donoghue, Isabella Polanco, Sadie Ruth, Van Tran, Lily Wong, Amelie Barbier, Daschel Koh, Hanh-Xuan Nguyen, Juliette Yunger, Nora Hegarty, Tucker Korman, Rory Martin, Will Malec, Rachel McNulty, Ivy Miskell, Leila Morton, Daniel Thomas, Taylor Xu, Ida Zoll, Malachi Buchanan and Nicholas Miller

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS:

Amid this public health crisis, we have all seen so much of the good and generous nature of people on display. I would like to recognize that here.

Thank you to the MSAPC for donating the bags for our Milton Neighbors efforts.

In the early days of this national health crisis, the Milton Neighbors FB group, led by Melissa Fassel Dunn and Ruth Baltopoulos, approached me about supporting MPS families who may need help during this time. A plan was quickly put in place to collect much needed items for Milton families in need. Many Milton residents donated new items and Ms. Baltopoulos and her family  quickly assembled shopping bags full of essential household items, food staples, and small games and puzzles. These bags are being distributed to families who are in touch with our Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna. Thank you to  the Milton Neighbors group for rallying so quickly to garner support for our neighbors in need. We have given out 44 bags to date, with more to come.

In the days following the school closure, I also heard from Dan Kerrigan from the local restaurant Steel and Rye. Mr. Kerrigan and Steel and Rye have moved to a take out only model as have all restaurants. He generously offered to support MPS families in need with a full dinner each week. This week, 15 MPS families are enjoying a full Steel and Rye dinner, delivered to their home, completely free of charge. Thank you to Steel and Rye for this generous gift, especially at a time when restaurants are struggling with this new model of business.

Neither of these initiatives would be possible without the coordination and support of our Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna. Ms. McKenna plays a crucial role in our schools everyday, working as a liaison between families who may need support and the internal and external resources available. In this time of upheaval, Ms. McKenna’s role is heightened. She has worked to stay in contact with existing families in need while also realizing that changing circumstances may mean that more families need support. She has been the conduit for Milton Neighbors, both in coordination and then in delivering the bags to our families who need them. She has also delivered our Steel and Rye delivery meals (maintaining no direct physical contact with families in all cases) and reached out to many families alerting them to our weekly “to-go” breakfast and lunch bags. Our district is lucky to have so many employees going above and beyond, Ms. McKenna among them. Thank you to Ms. McKenna for her dedication to our students and their families.

 The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 27, 2020

March 19, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 20, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The past two weeks have been stressful and unsettling for all of us. As we settle into this new normal, I am sure your mind is swirling with questions like:

  • How long will this last?
  • Will my family stay healthy?
  • Is remote learning going to work for my child?
  • I am not a teacher, how can I do this?
  • How much is too much screen time?
  • How do I access this learning resource or that one?
  • How can I do my own job through all this?

The list is endless and ever changing. I say to you what I often say to myself and the staff here at Central Office  – let’s take a collective breath and pause for a moment. This national emergency is not going to just last several days. We need to prepare for these weeks of learning and social isolation in as methodical and manageable a way as possible. There will be missteps, triumphs, laughter, a few tears, and hopefully some fun and new connections as we navigate this time together. The Milton Public Schools is your ongoing partner in your child’s learning, and we are here for you and your family.

I want to share a letter I received from Maria Trozzi. For over twenty-five years, Maria Trozzi has been a source of expertise, strength and comfort for our school district as a whole and for me personally. Maria shares her thoughts on taking care of our own and our children’s mental health during this uncertain time. When you have a quiet moment in the coming days, I encourage you to read her valuable words here. 

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach me any time via phone at 617-686-4808 or via email.

We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

To the entire MPS staff  – Central Office, Principals, Administrators, Teachers, Administrative Assistants, Custodians, Paraprofessionals, Lunch and Recess Aides, Food Services Professionals, Support Staff and our HRS Staff – thank for your tireless work with our students last week and in preparing for the weeks ahead. We appreciate your work under these difficult circumstances.

I will communicate with you each Thursday in this space or more often if needed. Your principals will communicate with you every Monday and your teachers will be in regular communication about learning opportunities.

My niece Julia works for Harvard University and has been sharing some of their communications with me. In an email yesterday, Harvard President Larry Bacow wrote the paragraph below and I share it with you here. We are all struggling with this new reality and words like these below give me a sense of purpose as this situation unfolds.

“The Talmud says that to save one life is equivalent to saving the entire world. When the situation we find ourselves in has passed, there will be no way to calculate the number of lives your actions have saved. It was the thought of that unknowable figure—undoubtedly growing greater by the day—that gave me reason to keep moving forward this morning. May it quicken all our steps in the weeks and months to come.”

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE 

Director of Nursing Kim Coughlin has asked me to share this Social Distancing Video with you. As I shared with you Monday, I implore you to take “Social Distancing” as seriously as the experts tell us we should.

This school closure is not a vacation. It is an extreme measure to allow for social distancing so the virus is not spread. Not being exposed to the virus is the best way not to get sick.

Families should be in their home or yard, with only the immediate family with whom they live. Take a walk, hike or bike ride – with your immediate family only – and stay more than 6 feet away from anyone you see. Per Governor Baker, people should take only necessary trips to stores and workplaces when needed. Your children, our students, should not be socializing with anyone outside of their immediate family during this school closure. Continue best hygiene practices throughout this time. These actions are our best chance to slow the spread of this virus and not further overwhelm the medical system.

***

You can pick up your child’s essential medication (if needed during the closure) by contacting  Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin at kacoughlin@miltonps.org. As the schools are now closed, we are encouraging all parents/guardians to make arrangements for medication pick up by Friday, March 20, 2020.

ROCK YOUR SOCKS 

This Friday, March 20th, is Rock Your Socks Day at MPS!

We had a great time doing this last year, and just because we are not physically together this year, we are still going to have a great time celebrating our differences in honor of World Down Syndrome Day! Wear your craziest socks on Friday, March 20th to show awareness and acceptance for people with Down Syndrome.

Get ready to show us how you Rock Your Socks on Friday! Email your pictures to  sokeefe@miltonps.org or post them on the MPS Facebook page.

MPS SHOUT OUT! 

Yesterday, MPS Director of Food Services Jackie Morgan and her team made and packed dozens of to-go bags of breakfasts and lunches for ANY student who needs one. They will continue to do this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday while school is closed.

43 students enjoyed a healthy breakfast and lunch and we expect even more of our students to benefit in days to come.

You can pick up your to-go bags at MHS or Tucker every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7-8am or 5-6pm. Each bag contains 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches.

We are so grateful to Ms. Morgan and her team for their dedication to our students! Thank you to Ms. Morgan’s daughter (and MHS teacher) Caroline Morgan, Maryellen Comer Barbara Doherty, Maureen Ford, Sarah Lacombe, Mercedes Gonzalvaz, Maria O’Donell, Bernard Jette, Gladys Volmar and Nalio Fraga for their dedication to our students. We also could not to this without the assistance of the MHS custodians. They all have my deepest appreciation.

These “to-go” meals are available to anyone who would like them, regardless of your free and reduced status. Meals are available rain or shine! 

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email at jmorgan@miltonps.org or phone at 617-898-1051.

FOOD SERVICE

In addition to our to-go meals above, we wanted to share the following.

DESE has  been in discussions with the Department of Transitional Assistance, Project Bread, and the regional Food Bank system about ancillary services during this effort. We will keep you informed.

Counselors at Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 are available to connect you to food resources in your community as well as provide you with information about elder meals programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The Hotline will continue to operate Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm, and can provide information in 160 languages through our Language Line.

FAMILY OUTREACH LIAISON 

As we all navigate this unfamiliar territory we want families to know that we are committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Community news: The Milton Community Food Pantry is changing their days of operation. They will now be open on the first and third Saturdays of the month. They will be open this weekend, 3/21 and then their next open date will be 4/4. Families can pick up food between 9:15-11:15am. The pantry is located in the basement of the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway.

HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION 

Director, Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue writes the following: I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but this new normal of “living in isolation” has been challenging to say the least. I think of Newton’s Laws… paraphrasing here, a body at rest tends to stay at rest…well that certainly has been the battle, to stay active and resist eating everything in the house. Here’s some motivation for you and your family:

Just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we can pause our health.Life doesn’t have a pause button! You can read all of Mr. Vigue’s tips and resources to stay active and healthy here.

FROM OUR LIBRARIANS

While schools and libraries are closed in the following weeks there are plenty of resources available remotely. The MPS librarians have compiled a list of links to access streaming of books, movies, music and more that you can find here! Thank you to Elementary librarian Josh Coben; Pierce librarian Jess Royster  and MHS librarian J Troy for the many resources found here. Please  reach out to our librarians if you have any questions about these resources. 

TECHNOLOGY 

Milton Public Schools seeks to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all students. MPS deployed a Children’s Internet Protection Act compliant content filtering tool called Securly on school-owned devices to ensure online safety while they are in school and out of school.  This service provides an extra layer of content filtering, and also picks up on certain keywords entered in a Google search that may indicate a student is in some kind of distress or leaning towards self-harm.  These ‘self-harm’ alerts are emailed to all MPS Principals and Assistant Principals in real-time. If you have any questions regarding this extra layer of content filtering please email MPS IT Director, Bob Pattison.

COUNSELING CORNER 

MHS Adjustment Counselor Ms. Beliveau wants you to know that we are not alone.

These last few days have been very difficult for many families as we adjust to our new normal. We have all had our daily routines and lives flipped around and are finding ways of coping. After a conference call that I had with a high school student today, we found comfort in the idea that although we are social distancing, we are not alone. The same emotions that this student is experiencing are being felt by our entire community. We are all learning to cope with this new normal and it is during this time that its most important we stay connected. We actually now have an opportunity to become even more connected. More connected with ourselves through journaling, meditation and daily mindfulness. More connected with our families through enhanced conversations, meals together, and family activities. More connected with our community by reaching out to neighbors to provide and receive support and by communicating through the many forms of online communication.

Although we are social distancing, we don’t want anyone to feel alone. We are all in this together!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, shares the following.

I would like to thank all the parents who have been reaching out to show their  appreciation for the work staff have been rushing to put together for our children with special  needs. We appreciate your support and patience and recognize that how we support students with special needs will evolve and change as we respond to the changing conditions in our community and world.

The Office of Pupil Personnel Services has been working in partnership with district leadership and  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish engaging and structured activities for our students in special education during this unprecedented school closure.  As I mentioned earlier this week I will continue to provide updates to families as we work with DESE on special education topics.

You can read Ms. Maselli’s full letter here.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

As with most events, our 2020 Celebration for Education has been cancelled. Traditionally, this event funds a significant portion of the Foundation’s work. There are two ways that you can help ensure that the MFE can fund teacher grants going forward, despite the cancellation of our event.

First, tickets are still available for the jeep raffle. Only 500 tickets will be sold and the drawing will take place on April 4th and the winner has their choice of a Jeep Wrangler or $25,000. To purchase a ticket, please contact Liddie Sutter at Liddievs@gmail.com

Second, please consider making a donation to the Milton Foundation for Education. You can make a donation at this link. Thank you so much for your continued support.

ART AND MUSIC 

Elementary music students study Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. This is a particularly good performance: Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

ATHLETICS

As you know, the spring sports season was to commence on Monday, March 16, 2020.  Given the challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the closing of Milton Public Schools for the time being, the beginning of spring sports has been postponed until our anticipated return to school date of Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at the earliest. The MIAA has postponed the start of the Spring season until April 27, 2020. This is also subject to change. For your information, linked here are some answers to some frequently asked questions from the MIAA.

With this in mind, registration on FamilyID has been reopened for those of you still wanting to participate in tryouts and have not registered as of yet.  It will remain open for two weeks.

In the meantime: MIAA rules and guidelines must be followed until April 27, 2020.

  • Out of season coaching is not allowed. This is in effect until April 27th, though that date may change. That being said, you can reach out to the coaches and they will gladly give you ideas and workouts that you may do during this time to help you prepare for when we do get back to sports. See link to coaches’ emails here.
  • There will be no organized team workouts consisting of strength and conditioning, “captains” practices or pre-season gatherings to prepare for tryouts and the season.  You will have to consider training methods in preparation for tryouts and the season on an individual basis.
  • There should be no activity on campus athletic fields and venues, regardless of the sport.  No fields or courts will be accessible for use during this time.
  • Please fill out this parent/guardian feedback survey regarding our Winter coaches. Linked here.
  • Please have students complete their student-athlete feedback survey. This is mandatory for all winter student-athletes. Linked here.

We appreciate your patience and for respecting our requests as Milton Public Schools, Milton Athletics, inclusive of the entire Commonwealth and Nation, embrace the challenges that have been presented while attempting to provide a safe and healthy environment for our community.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ryan Madden, Director of Athletics, via email, at rmadden@miltnps.org.

Do your part and we will be back in school and playing sports!

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

 The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 19, 2020

March 16, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 16, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this unprecedented situation as  a school district, a town, a state, a nation, and quite frankly, as a global community.

We will often use the statement “At this time”, as we know you understand that this is a rapidly changing situation – for all of us. We will share information and answer questions to the best of our ability, with the information we currently have available.

Our goal is to support our students, families and staff  in the trying weeks ahead. As we settle into this “new normal”  we will also be sharing community building opportunities in an effort to keep connections alive in our MPS community. We will continue to send the blog to you every Thursday, or more often if needed.

I implore you to take “Social Distancing” as seriously as the experts tell us we should. 

This school closure is not a vacation. It is an extreme measure to allow for social distancing so the virus is not spread. Not being exposed to the virus is the best way not to get sick.  

Families should be in their home or yard, with only the immediate family with whom they live. Take a walk, hike or bike ride – with your immediate family only – and stay more than 6 feet away from anyone you see. Per Governor Baker, people should take only necessary trips to stores and workplaces when needed. Your children, our students, should not be socializing with anyone outside of their immediate family during this school closure. Continue best hygiene practices throughout this time. These actions are our best chance to slow the spread of this virus and not further overwhelm the medical system.

We are developing a new Frequently Asked Questions document that we will share widely in the coming days. This document will be updated as new information is received.

Please know that we are in this together and that the Milton Public Schools is here for you.

WHAT WE KNOW NOW – MARCH 16, 2020

The Governor of Massachusetts has closed all schools (excluding residential and day schools for special needs students) in Massachusetts, through April 7, 202o. At this time, the 1st day back to school would be Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Could school be closed beyond April 7, 2020?

  • Milton Public Schools will continue to monitor this fluid situation and will make determinations in the best interest of the students and staff. We are in regular communication with the Governor’s Office and the MA Department of Elementary and  Secondary Education.

What will happen to April vacation (April 20-24)?

  • At this time, the April vacation week is scheduled as planned. However, given these unexpected school closures we may revisit the need for additional school days as the situation progresses. We will share any changes to the calendar as we have them.

What is the last day of school?

  • Milton Public Schools will be in school through June 23, 2020 which is our regularly scheduled 185th day. This is unlikely to change.

What will learning look like for my student going forward?

  • Please refer to the emails you have received from your principal and will receive from your child’s teacher(s). Learning opportunities will begin this week and will be ever evolving. Per DESE guidelines, districts should strive to maintain a continuity of learning and keep learning alive. In the coming days, we will keep you updated in this space. Your principals and teachers will also be in communication with students and families.

What if I don’t have a device or internet service?

Will food services be available for students?

  • Plans are in place to offer “to-go” breakfast and lunch to ANY student in MPS.
  • We will have meals available for pick up at the Tucker School and Milton High School on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the closure. Families will have the opportunity to come to either of these schools between 7- 8am and 5-6pm to pick up a to-go meal (a breakfast and a lunch) for their children.
  • Pick up at the Tucker School will be behind the school near the gym. Pick up at MHS will be at Door 13, on the side of the school near the auto shop, on the Canton Ave side of the building.
  • If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email at jmorgan@miltonps.org or phone at 617-898-1051.

How can I help others in Milton who may need support, food or other essential items?

  • First, thank you for asking! Our community is amazing. The Milton Public Schools is working with community groups and our Principals, Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna and Adjustment Counselors to develop ways to best support families in Milton.  If you need assistance of any kind, please contact Ms. McKenna at any time. We will be in touch with ways that you can help in the coming days.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

Mary Gormley, Superintendent of Schools,  mgormley@miltonps.org

MHS Principal James Jette,  jjette@miltonps.org

PMS Principal Bill Fish,  wfish@miltonps.org

Glover Principal Karen McDavitt,  kmcdavitt@miltonps.org

Cunningham Principal Jon Redden,  jredden@miltonps.org

Tucker Principal Elaine McNeil-Girmai,  emcneilgirmai@miltonps.org

Collicot Principal Holly Concannon,  hconannon@miltonps.org

Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Special Education, Susan Maselli smaselli@miltonps.org

Director of Food Service Jackie Morgan,  jmorgan@miltonps.org

Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna, mmckenna@miltonps.org

A NOTE FROM OUR MPS ADJUSTMENT COUNSELORS

I reached out to our MPS Adjustment Counselors through MHS Adjustment Counselor Jennie Beliveau and Ms. Beliveau has communicated with all MPS Adjustment Counselors and shares the following.  Our adjustment counselors will share ongoing resources on an ongoing basis.

To the Milton Families We Care about So Much:

We understand that this is a difficult time and that it is affecting everyone in our community in different ways. Although we are not in school, the adjustment counselors will continue to provide support to families and students through different modalities.

We have each set up a google classroom that we will use to post announcements and to provide regular mindfulness activities and tips for coping through this time. We will be in touch with our school communities in the coming days. We are also available for brief video conferencing through the Zoom app. Please email your adjustment counselor directly to set up an appointment. If your child receives outside counseling it is important to continue to access that service in whichever way the provider is able. If your child is in crisis, please reach out to emergency services.

When stressful situations occur, it can be difficult to navigate how to best support our kids. Whether they are five or seventeen, kids look to the adults to figure out what they need to know and how they should react. Here are some basic tips to help:

  • Talk about it! Not talking about something can actually cause a child to worry more. Keep the conversation age appropriate and try your best to answer questions that your child has. Focus the conversation on what you are doing as a family to stay safe and healthy.
  • Structure. Although it can be difficult, providing as much structure and routine at home will be helpful for everyone. Structured days with scheduled  mealtimes, learning times, wake ups and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids healthy and happy.
  • Manage your own anxiety. We are all having difficulty processing the current situation we are facing and what the future days will hold. It is important for us as parents to manage our own anxieties and fears. When you are feeling panicked, that is not the time to talk with your child about the virus. Take some time to yourself to cope,  i.e. deep breathing in the bathroom for 2 minutes.
  • Please follow the necessary precautions. Although social distancing is difficult, it is incredibly important at this time. We understand that kids (especially teenagers) would like to continue to socialize and spend time with their friends, but as a community it is imperative for the adults to enforce these guidelines and say no.

Please do not hesitate to reach out. The lines of communication are open as we all work together through this difficult time supporting ourselves, families and community.

Your MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, (Glover)

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 16, 2020

March 12, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 12, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As a district, we continue to closely monitor the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 and the Milton Public Schools’ response to it. We understand that it is difficult not to feel shaken by the rapidly changing coronavirus situation. 

Today, Thursday, March 12th the MPS District Planning and Response Team met throughout the day to determine next steps (as we have daily for the past week) and met with all district leaders after the school day to collaborate on next steps for the district.

The Superintendent’s Office participated in a conference call  with officials from the Governor’s Office and the MA Department of Health. Our Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin, is in direct contact with Milton Health Director Caroline Kinsella.

Tomorrow, we will participate in a call with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

At this time, the Milton Public Schools remain open.

As of tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020, here are the deliberate, proactive steps we are taking to slow the spread of Coronavirus COVID 19 in our district and community.

We have continued to increase the frequency of our cleaning of “high touch” areas in our schools – cafe tables, door knobs, faucets, devices, desks and more. See the March 10th district communication  for more details on our cleaning plans.

We continue to model and encourage best health practices; hand washing, cough etiquette,  social distancing practices, curriculum changes when warranted and more. See the March 10th district communication for more details on best practices.

We have cancelled all MPS events and outside rental events that would bring unfamiliar adults and students  into our buildings through the updated date of March 30th. We will update this date as needed, as events continue to unfold.

Our in-school community is together every day and we are working to stay healthy as a community. We have cancelled all in-school events and activities that would bring additional people into our school, though March 30th. In addition, our students and staff are not leaving the grounds of the school for any reason.

We are informing ALL volunteers that given the current situation, we are no longer having volunteers in schools (includes ALL parent volunteers, outside volunteers, etc.) This includes all student teachers and interns.

The only exceptions to parent visitors  are IEP and 504 meetings. Other parent meetings/business should be conducted via phone or video conference.

Parent-Teacher Conferences for March 19th have been canceled. In order to ensure the best use of time to allow staff to prepare for potential remote learning, we will not be holding phone conferences. Please reach out to your teacher with questions and concerns about your student.

Under the leadership of Educational Technology Director, AJ Melanson, we are exploring options for remote learning if needed. Districts across the Commonwealth are awaiting guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

We have developed a plan, if needed,  for supporting our food insecure students and you can read it under Food Services below.

Our Director of Pupil Personnel Services is exploring all options for our Special Education students.

The MIAA has delayed the start of spring tryouts until March 30th.

All Milton Public Schools resources and information can be found on our Coronavirus COVID 19 page here. 

We recommend that you follow the Town of Milton webpage here for Milton specific information. We also suggest that you follow both the MA Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control websites for updated accurate information on this rapidly changing situation.

We know this situation can be stressful for students as well. We share the following resources in the hopes that you will find them valuable resources as you discuss the Coronavirus with your children. How to Talk to Children about the Coronavirus; Talking to Teen/Tweens about Coronavirus; A Comic created from NPR based on interviews with experts; The NASP released a resource for parents you may find helpful. 

Please direct any school related questions you may have to Superintendent Mary Gormley at mgormley@miltonps.org  and MPS Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin at kacoughlin@miltonps.org. No question is too small.

We will continue to update the MPS community every Monday or more frequently, as this situation continues to evolve. We thank you for your continued partnership as we navigate this community challenge together.

We continue to educate our students every day, and to a casual observer, our school day looks much like it always does – engaged, happy learners, doing what they do best. You can see some of the learning that has gone on in ours schools below!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on March 18 , 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

Nathan Andrews of Bio-Rad Laboratories spoke to the Culinary Arts 1 class last week about his job, and what is being done to protect the world’s food supply. Mr. Andrews supplied the class with a poster guide to “RAPID’Chromogenic Media” a method/machine which counts the levels of bacteria growth in our food supply.

Culinary students study the effects of food borne illness as they relate to microorganisms and Mr. Andrews showed how Bio-Rads laboratories detect these pathogens quickly and report to the suppliers of any potential health risks.

Playing a game to determine if certain foods are “Gross – Unsafe – or Dangerous”, along with a video of how hot dogs are made; the students were both fascinated and engaged. Students were asking a variety of questions from what is Mad Cow disease, or what the best time to test food would be, to what is a puffer fish? Mr. Andrews was brought to the classroom by his daughter Hanna Andrews, a 9th grade student who takes Culinary Arts. Thank you to Mr. Andrews for a terrific afternoon!

***

Milton was proud to host the successful 4th Annual South Shore Regional Minority Recruitment Event this past Saturday.

There was a great “buzz” in the Copeland Family Field House with  over 26 school districts represented, a strong number of candidates,  gracious student greeters, and MHS Principal James Jette greeting all candidates (with a an elbow bump!). The above sent a powerful message about the Milton Public Schools commitment to diversifying our staff. Milton Public Schools hosting this Recruitment Fair for over 26 other districts reinforces a powerful message that diversity is important and a priority for our district.

***

MEFA is hosting an After the College Acceptance (ACA) event, a free seminar on understanding financial aid offers, making the college decision, and creating a college payment strategy. This seminar is offered with MEFA, the Commonwealth’s authority on planning, saving, and paying for college. If you are interested, please visit MEFA’s website for more information.

PIERCE PAGES  

We were pleased to welcome some of the MFE board members to Pierce on Monday to show them our FUSE class in action in the Pierce Makerspace.

The FUSE class is an interest-driven STEAM exploration where students have the freedom to explore different challenges which involve Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math concepts.

The task that students were given involved showing motion or movement in some way using the wonderful supplies that were purchased by the MFE for the Makerspace. Students were coding the Spheros to drive around the Library or along an obstacle course; some students drew a course and others built one using some plastic tubes that link together. A second group of students experimented with the LittleBits and were trying to make something that could move a marble around. The last group of students were using the Green Screen and iPads to create stop motion animation videos. The students who chose to do the videos have a new appreciation for animation now. Their videos were less than a minute long and were made up of 100+ individual photos!

Thank you to the MFE for their ongoing support of our students and schools!

***

The Mosaic Club is an affinity group for students of color who identify as African American/Black, Latinx/Hispanic- American, Native-American, Middle Eastern-American, Asian/Asian-American, or Multiracial. The purpose of the affinity group is to provide students of color with a safe space to build connections, provide academic, social and cultural affirmation, foster healthy identity development, and develop leadership and self advocacy skills. The common themes for this group will focus on affirming and celebrating identity, building community and cultivating leadership.

Student participation in this group is voluntary. This group will start on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 2:25pm in room 104. If you have any questions or concerns, please email  the program coordinator, Myriam Francoeur, LICSW, School Adjustment Counselor.


INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Last week, Collicot held its annual 5th grade Wax Museum and the Collicot all school Literary Character Dress up day. 5th graders celebrated their reading by dressing up as characters from their favorite books or biographies and created a setting to represent a scene from their books. Collicot students and teachers grades K-4 also dressed up as their favorite literary character and in the afternoon walked the red carpet in the cafeteria to represent the characters in their favorite series, books, or personalities. Down the red carpet walked Abraham Lincoln, Pocahontas, Cleopatra, Thing one and Thing Two, Alexander Hamilton and many more Historical figures, book characters and athletes. It was a great day enjoyed by all!

***

Cunningham students in Mme Muhsin and Mr. Young’s 3rd and 4th grade classes have journeyed to Alaska this week to study the Iditarod. Called “The Last Great Race,” it is a 1,150 mile dog sled race from Anchorage, Alaska to Nome, Alaska. This year’s race begin on March 7th and it typically takes anywhere from 9-12 days for the winner to complete the race. While learning about the origins and history of the race, students have expanded their knowledge about geography, written compare-and-contrast essays about sled dogs and developed stronger map skills while incorporating technology skills across subjects. We have also integrated the Iditarod into science and social studies lessons, and used it to strengthen mathematical concepts and literacy skills.

Additionally, each child was randomly assigned a musher, whom they will track during the race, providing invaluable practice in reading expository texts (websites and newspaper accounts) and using real-time data available online. During this 4 week unit, children will complete a research project about the Iditarod in which they will present information about an aspect of the race, Alaska, or about their musher and their dog team. Students even will become sled dogs! Who knew learning could be such an adventure?

***

Siabh Chaplin, grade 4 and Lauren Connolly, Grade 5 are the chapter 3 winners of the Boomwriter Bee at the Collicot School! Siabh and Lauren continued writing the story of “The Talent Show” and their entries were voted to win by their peers. Our four Collicot students winners of the Ch2 and Ch 3 entries Siabh Chaplin, Lauren Connolly, Frankie Jilani and John Griffin have qualified to compete in theWriting Bee finals for a chance to be the 2020 Writing Bee Champion which will start in April 2020.

FOOD SERVICES 

The Milton School Food Service Department would like to reassure you that we have a plan, in the event of a prolonged school closing, to make  breakfast and lunch available for all of our food insecure students.

If school is closed for three days or more we will have meals available for pick up at the Tucker School and Milton High School.

Families will have the opportunity to come to either of these schools between 7- 8am and  5-6pm to pick up a to-go meal (a breakfast and a lunch) for their children. We will have meals available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please call Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051.

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

DESE Tiered Focus Monitoring: During the week of February 3, 2020 the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) conducted a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Milton Public Schools.  The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education. We have received preliminary results on this program review and were identified as “fully implemented” for all areas related to special education. 

Special Education Program Review: Every few years, each department, in both general and special education, undergoes a program review. This process is concluding. If you have not participated in the parent focus group or online survey, and want to connect regarding your experiences in special education, please email reach out Susan Maselli at smaselli@miltonps.org  

News Update: On March 4, 2020 the Office of Pupil Personnel Services conducted its annual presentation to the School Committee. This presentation is  posted on our website.  Special Thanks to Ms. Martinelli and Ms. Truax on the preparation of this introduction video!

Summer Services: Plan your summer! Please note MPS summer ESY special education supports and services will be offered the weeks of July 6, 2020-Aug. 14, 2020. Bridget Renehan will be returning for a second year as Program Director. Please be on the lookout for her email containing essential information about registration. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

This is the last week to get an MFE Jeep raffle ticket at the school offices!  You can also visit us at Starbucks this weekend or contact Liddievs@gmail.com for a ticket!  Only one lucky winner will be chosen!

CURRICULUM 

Beginning in the fall of 2017, Milton Public Schools adopted and implemented National Geographic’s Reach for Reading ELA curriculum in grades K-5. This core curriculum provides a comprehensive research-based approach for literacy success for the students attending the Milton Public Schools.

This core curriculum provides the opportunity for students to develop important foundational skills while at the same time developing a love for reading, stamina and fluency through the accompanying authentic literature. The original National Geographic content helps students to engage in meaningful reading and writing experiences that build vocabulary and language, allows for the rich analysis of texts and the opportunity to employ higher order thinking skills in questioning and responding. The curriculum is fully aligned with the Common Core standards and will allow for us to continually monitor the progress our students are making and provide the necessary interventions to support and challenge their learning. Teachers regularly assess student skills and competencies with curriculum embedded assessments and other formative measures to monitor student progress.

In addition to the variety of text resources, the student online component of Reach for Reading (MyNGConnect) is used in K-5 classrooms as well. Be on the lookout for a detailed post in next week’s blog for specific ways families can access student content on MyNGConnect.

MILTON GIVES BACK

Last summer, Dr. Martine Fisher donated boxes of books not in use anymore in MPS to Jou Nouvo/New Day, Inc., a non-profit which supports education for the extreme poor in Bon Repos, Haiti. Through child sponsorships, Jou Nouvo is now helping to send 70 young students to school. They currently have 82 adults enrolled in adult literacy classes, varied levels, and vocational programs who are enjoying our previously loved books!

TRANSPORTATION 

Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year will open online on May 15, 2020.  Information on policy, procedures and cost to ride will be shared via email, website updates and in the Superintendent’s Blog in April.

CAMP CUNNINGHAM

Feeling ready for summer? Camp Cunningham is ready for you!

Camp Cunningham (CC), is a licensed, full day camp offering swimming, sports, arts and crafts, special events and field trips. Registration opens on Monday, March 9th at 12pm on Family ID.  Sessions are as follows: Session 1: June 29 – July 10 (No camp 7/03); Session 2: July 13 – July 24; Session 3: July 27 – Aug. 7; Session 4: Aug. 10- Aug. 14.

You can see the Milton Community Schools newsletter here and visit the MSE website here.

ART AND MUSIC 

Even amid the strings and band concert cancellations, in school rehearsals for Music in Our Schools Month continue. The Music Department is currently brainstorming ways to provide alternate performance opportunities so please stay tuned. In the meantime, the MHS Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Rebecca Damiani, will have an open rehearsal in the MHS lobby tomorrow during arrival time, and the MHS Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of Debra Miller, will perform on Wednesday.

***

On Wednesday, March 4th, our MHS jazz students welcomed the honors jazz combo from the New England Conservatory for an inspiring performance and workshop. This initiative was made possible by the NEC community partnership program where ensembles travel to schools and work with students on a variety of topics. The NEC trio, comprised of undergrad and graduate students, started the night with a performance and a question and answer session. The workshop then focused on the MHS jazz students with two groups performing for feedback. This experience has been invaluable for our Jazz students over the years.

IN THE COMMUNITY 

Brookwood Community Farm is starting seeds and looking forward to a great Seedling Sale and CSA season. Community input is needed regarding CSA share pickup in a survey HERE.  Details can be found on the Brookwood Farm website. Come grow with us!

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

VOLUNTEERS: The Milton Rotary Club recently honored the impressive work of the award winning Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

Celebrating five years of impactful service to help reduce alcohol and drug dependence in our community-especially with our youth, the coalition was recently given the “Chairman’s Award” for serving as an outstanding coalition at the national Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) leadership conference in Washington DC.

Their efforts in pulling together adults and youth across Milton to address the community factors that contribute to substance abuse has made a noticeable difference, reducing youth binge drinking and marijuana rates by about 12 percentage points in just three years of concerted effort. Thank you to the MSPAC for the good work you do in our community!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 12, 2020

March 5, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 5, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

On April 4th, 2020, the Milton Foundation for Education invites you to the 24th annual MFE Celebration! This annual event is the mainstay of the MFE’s fundraising efforts in support of our six Milton Public Schools.

How does the MFE support our schools? In ways big and small, 12 months a year, for almost 25 years , the MFE has funded innovative programs and opportunities that are beyond the reach of the school system’s budget. If you are a weekly reader of my blog, you will see mentions of MFE support sprinkled throughout. This is a natural result of their systemic generosity and support of our students and teachers. Almost weekly, a teacher or principal sends me an item that includes a thank you to the MFE – for technology, enhanced art supplies, curriculum add ons, flexible seating, interesting classroom tools – the list is endless and we are so grateful to the MFE for their ongoing support.

MFE Trustees are people from the community who donate considerable time to help the Foundation achieve its goals. Will you join them on April 4th at Granite Links to celebrate our school system and raise funds for the amazing work they do in support of our schools?

We look forward to seeing you at this fun and festive event!

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Mar 7 Minority Job Fair
Mar 10 Harlem Wizards vs. Staff Basketball
Mar 12 MIOSM Strings Concert
Mar 17 MIOSM Band Concert
Mar 18 Milton School Committee
Mar 19 After School Conferences
Mar 24 MIOSM Chorus Concert, Gr 6
Mar 26 MIOSM Chorus Concert
Mar 31 Parent Speaker Series, Jason Wheeler-Supporting LGBTQ+ Students
Apr 1 Milton School Committee
Apr 2 Tucker Unity Day
Apr 4 MFE Celebration for Education

The 4th Annual South Shore Regional Minority Educator Recruitment Fair, hosted by Milton Public Schools  and sponsored by PROforma Printing & Promotion will take place at the Copeland Field House at Milton High School on Saturday, March 7th from  8am- 12pm.

The number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students in kindergarten through grade 12 public school classrooms is expected to exceed the number of non-Hispanic, white students, but the racial and ethnic makeup of our country’s teaching staff does not reflect this shift. There is a shortage of African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian educators, and this recruitment fair helps to encourage those individuals to pursue a career in education.

During the event, representatives from South Shore public school districts (all levels: elementary, middle/Jr. high and high school) will meet with potential employees in an effort to find the most qualified minority teachers, administrators, librarians, administrative assistants, instructional aides, custodians, food service personnel, coaches and more. Please contact James Jette via email or phone (617-696-4470) with any questions.

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On March 10th, at Milton High School, the Harlem Wizards will take on the Milton Public Schools staff in an interactive, slam-tastic, family friendly evening filled with music, comedy, tricks, hoops & alley-oops!

What makes a Wizards show “awe-inspiring” or as the kids and teens say, “off the hizzle?” Some say it’s the oohs and aahs created by the thunderous, sky-high slams. For others it’s the humor and seeing the teachers being good sports and having fun on the court with the Wizards. The comedy, the audience participation, the spontaneity delivered as a world class show, in an intimate and community setting adds up to a night to be experienced and treasured.

The Milton High School Student Government has invited the Harlem Wizards to MHS and any funds raised will benefit all 6 of our schools. Come out and support our students, while having a great time with your family, right here in Milton! 

The Wizards will be here on March 10, 2020  in the Copeland Field House at Milton High School and will play two games against the MPS staff as they entertain the crowd throughout the evening. Doors open at 6pm and the games start at 7pm. Wear your school gear or colors and come out and support the home town team – your teachers and principals! 

Be sure to get your tickets at this link now!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on March 18 , 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

This weekend, the cast and crew of Milton High School Theatre’s one-act play The Women of Lockerbie participated in METG High School Festival Competition. Not only did the show move onto semi-finals, students from Milton High School also earned 8 All-Star awards: Mikey McCarthy received an award for excellence in technical direction, Lily Doucette and Sydney O’Toole received an award for scenic design, the entirety of the stage crew won awards for scenic construction, Maeve Bentley, Katherine Scannell, Sophia Labbe, Sadie Leggett, and Rowan Leggett all received awards for acting, and Sydney O’Toole won an award for directing. The cast and crew will be participating in semifinals at Danvers High School on March 14th.

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Milton High School is pleased to offer preparatory classes for the May 2020 SAT to students who are looking to improve their scores. Students can sign up for Reading, Writing, & Language Prep, Math Prep, or both classes. All sessions will be held at Milton High School and are designed to prepare students for the May 2nd SAT Exam. Please email Mathematics Director Brian Selig with any questionsAll details on the MHS SAT Prep Classes can be found here.

PIERCE PAGES 

Pierce Model UN attended the Innovative Model United Nations conference last Friday. At this conference students  worked with their peers from all over Massachusetts to engage in diplomacy and draft resolutions to international concerns. Congratulations to our students who won awards!

  • Best Negotiator: Colin Glazer, Will Malec, Hahn-Xuan Nguyen, Charles Slate , Patrick Kelly, Loren Johnson , Ava Regan, Sydney Burns and Jacira King
  • Best Position Paper: Abigail Mcmenamy, Emma Dhima, Nick Chung, Dashel Koh, Tucker Korman ,Katie Scott and Vivienne Renaud
  • Best Delegate: Rachel McNulty and Isabella Lee
  • Best Public Speaker: Leo Waldbaum and Kevin Gomes

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Tuesday’s primary elections brought out a strong core of voters right here at Pierce Middle School – our 8th grade students! The 8th grade teams hosted a mock election in each of their classes on Tuesday to coincide with our Massachusetts primary day. The mock election was only one activity in a year  long study of civics in the 8th grade. This Pierce curriculum is in its first year, and is aligned with the new Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) standards in Social Studies. Throughout the year our students have studied the foundations of democracy, our US federal, state and local government, and the role of the citizen in a democratic society.

In the most recent unit on rights and responsibilities students practiced the right to vote. In the weeks prior to Tuesday’s mock election, Ms. Augustyn, Mr. McElhinney and Mr. Smith created lessons and activities that helped students become informed citizens. On Monday, students conducted research on the different party platforms as well as the different candidates and their views on the various issues. After becoming informed, students then participated in various activities to help solidify their knowledge on caucuses and primaries. In the end, students cast their votes in a mock primary poll, ultimately exhibiting the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

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Hot off the presses we are pleased to share that a big congratulations are in order for Nicole Lauria and two of the Pierce Future Problem Solver teams who will be moving on to the State Bowl at the end of the month! Congratulations to Middle Division team: Tucker Korman, Ella Cantor and Jasmine Bethea and Junior Division team: Ryan Kelly, Emma Dhima and Kyle Tam.

Many of our other teams were right on the cusp of qualifying as a team and some individuals will be eligible to move on to the State Bowl. We will share their progress and updates as the State Bowl approaches.

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INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Tucker students enjoyed a very successful science fair last Thursday. This year’s theme was “When you change one thing, you can change everything!” and students were encouraged to explore variables and testable questions. A number of scientists from the field visited Tucker during the day to provide feedback to all students who completed a project. In the evening, the fun  and learning continued as students and families explored the fair with their families. The Tucker community also enjoyed a presentation from the Milton High School robotics team to see the opportunities for science beyond elementary school. It was a great day to celebrate science in preschool through grade 5!

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Collicot 3rd graders  in Ms. McDermott’s class are studying fractions. Students used dominoes to make the faction and fraction strips to compare them and then drew the visual representation. I this lesson, students learn how to compare two fractions with the same numerator or the same denominator by reasoning about their size and recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Finally students record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions by using a visual fraction model.

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Cunningham 2nd graders recently created interactive book reports and spent time in class sharing them with each other. Students created games pertaining to the book they read. The fun part was playing each other’s game!

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Glover School was filled with activity on Wednesday night as families visited for both the Science Fair and the Art Show. The cafeteria was filled to capacity with science projects exploring everything from airplanes, energy, 3D printing, Megalodons, States of Matter and more. The Milton High School Robotics team also visited to show off their robot. Families enjoyed walking the halls to see the beautiful artwork displayed from all Glover students. Thank you to our art teachers Star Baylon and Kim Tolleson for all their hard work in displaying our students work.

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In celebration of  Dr Seuss’s birthday at Cunningham , Mrs Chen’s 5th graders read books with Ms. Smiths kindergarten class this week.

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Congratulations to Collicot students John Griffin (5th grade, left)  and Frankie Jilani (4th grade, right) who were the Chapter 2 winners of the Boomwriter Bee that began at Collicot in February. Students wrote their Chapter 2  entry for “The Talent Show” and then voted for the best chapter to win the Bee on Monday March 2nd.

This week, students are writing their Chapter 3 entry and voting will start on Monday, March 9. Two more winners will be announced for Chapter 3 next week.There is palpable excitement in grades 4 and 5 as the writing continues!

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All Milton families are invited to the 2nd Annual Glover/Tucker Diverse Reads Family Book Club at the Milton Public Library on March 12th at 6:30pm. Prior to March 12th, students will be reading Lalani of the Distant Sea by Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, . Inspired by Filipino folklore, Lalani of the Distant Sea is an unforgettable coming-of-age story about friendship, courage, and identity. Erin Entrada Kelly will join us via Skype to answer questions from readers. Please see the Diverse Reads Family Book Club flyer for more information.

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Several years ago, Glover participated in the Behavioral Health and Safe and Supportive Schools Self-Assessment. The work that came out of this self-assessment process was transformative in terms of culture and climate at Glover School. Last Saturday, a focus group of teachers, staff, parents, and administrators from Glover met to continue our work involving the Safe and Supportive Schools Initiative by completing an updated survey. In order to support this work, we were awarded a grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to engage in these valuable Behavioral Health and Safe and Supportive Schools Self-Assessments. We are looking forward to receiving the data and continuing our Safe and Supportive work.

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5th graders speak at STEM Info Night.

On Monday night, kindergarten families across the district came to the Collicot and Cunningham cafeteria to learn more about the STEM Enrichment and Spanish components of the English Innovation program. Families were able to hear 5th grade students share their favorite STEM memories from elementary school. The night ended with families working together to use specific materials to build a catapult that could launch a marshmallow at least two feet! Students and their families used the engineering design process to ask questions, plan, create, and finally improve on their models to make their marshmallows travel even further! The night was engaging and informative. If any families have any remaining questions about STEM in the English Innovation Pathway, please email  Ellen Lohan and for any questions about Spanish please email Dr. Martine Fisher. Program selection forms for Kindergarten families are due back to schools by March 13th at 3:30 p.m.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Ivy Watts presented to over 50 people this week as part of the PARENT Speaker Series. Ivy addressed mental health issues as they relate to students (she addressed specifics with athletes as well as students of color) and how caregivers (parents/guardians, teachers, coaches) can recognize signs of a student that may be struggling and what to do about. She provided resources that I share with you here. Youth Resource Sheet, Mental Health Resource Sheet. 

Ivy also presented to all 7th grade students at Pierce on Monday. She was well received, students were respectful, engaged and asked thoughtful, pertinent questions. On Tuesday, Ivy presented two separate times to grades 9/10 and then grades 11/12. She made quite an impression on our students. We received positive feedback from students, staff and parents. These discussions were a great opportunity to share MPS resources with our students.  MHS Principal Jette, Pierce Assistant Principal Dr. Fitzgerald and MPS Health Director Noel Vigue made a point to highlight our guidance staff and adjustment counselors as well  to showcase all that we offer to students regarding their social-emotional well being. After the presentation, two students volunteered to serve on the MSAPC Youth Action Team! Ivy will be working with small groups of MHS students in the coming weeks. Thank you to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition for sponsoring Ms. Watts for our students and community.

Mark your calendars for March 31st for Jason Wheeler “Supporting All Students (LGBTQ)” in the Milton High School  library at 6:30pm.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

The Milton Public Schools celebrated National School Breakfast Week this past week. Celebrity chefs,  Golden Plate winners, and healthy, delicious breakfasts were  enjoyed by many of our students!

Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast. However, US Department of Agriculture data show that more and more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in their school cafeterias. The USDA School Breakfast Program currently serves more than 14 million students every day. Studies show that students who eat school breakfast are more likely to:

  • Reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math
  • Score higher on standardized tests
  • Have better concentration and memory
  • Be more alert
  • Maintain a healthy weight

The National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) campaign theme, “Out of This World,” reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy and energizing start to the day for students.

The district serves over 650 breakfast meals daily through the federally funded School Breakfast Program. School nutrition professionals in all  Milton schools prepare breakfast and lunches every day that meet federal nutrition standards – limiting fat, calories and sodium – while encouraging students to choose from the fruits, vegetables and whole grains offered with school meals.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Coronavirus Information for the MPS Community  The COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) is an emerging health concern and we are closely monitoring this evolving situation. We understand that families have questions about the Coronavirus and how it may impact our schools and local community. Please read the full March 3, 2020 District Communication in the link below.

MPS Coronavirus Communication March 3, 2020.   February 27, 2020 Coronavirus Communication

TECHNOLOGY

The Milton Public Schools continues to devote a significant amount of time, effort, and energy into preparing our students to be good Digital Citizenship.  In the spirit of Digital Citizenship, the National Day of Unplugging will take place at sundown Friday, March 6th and goes until sundown on Saturday, March 7th.  Bond together with your family and unwind, unplug, relax, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.  For more information regarding the National Day of Unplugging click here.  Worried about being stressed and not relaxed?  Click here for ideas on how to stay relaxed.

CURRICULUM 

Milton’s general music programming offers a variety of experiences to develop proficiency, and foster a life-long love of music. Such activities include singing, playing instruments, movement and listening.

In the elementary grades, general music classes provide a foundation for the development of musical understandings and skills. Weekly lessons of 45 minutes are organized in a course of study in which students encounter a progression of musical elements, each increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning. Teachers draw from the methodologies of Kodály, Orff Schulwerk, and Dalcroze to create rich learning situations. In the younger grades, students learn to perform and compose using pitched and unpitched percussion instruments. In the upper grades, students play the soprano recorder.

Students in middle school may elect general music as an exploratory class. Programming incorporates an understanding and a greater application of the knowledge and skills learned in elementary music. Performance and composition are studied with increasing depth and complexity using drums, ukulele, and other instruments while integrating elements of form, texture, melody, and harmony. In middle school, knowledge and skills deepen through experiences including reading and writing music notation, performing, composition, and reflective music listening. Students also explore music from historical and contemporary genres of cultures throughout the world.

Finally, in high school, students are offered courses that develop musical knowledge, and explore creative potential. No prior experience beyond elementary and/or middle school general music is required as students with all levels of knowledge are eligible to participate. Among the course offerings are opportunities to study theory, ear training, songwriting, technology, music history as well as piano, drumming and guitar methods. While some classes are intended to develop musicianship skills or provide an introduction to reading music and playing an instrument, other classes do not require students to be musical performers but rather to become educated audience members and evaluators.

Milton’s general music program endeavors to enrich students through varied and increasingly complex experiences. In doing so, our goal is for students to develop skills transferable to all areas of life, and offer benefits beyond music itself.

TRANSPORTATION 

Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year will open online on May 15, 2020.  Information on policy, procedures and cost to ride will be shared via email, website updates and in the Superintendent’s Blog in April.

ART AND MUSIC 

Tucker 3rd grade and Tucker 5th grade ACE students had an exciting opportunity to participate in the South Shore Arts Centers’ Artist in Residence (AIR) program. For 15 years, the AIR program at SSAC has provided free educational outreach for thousands of students. This year’s featured artist is Jess Hurley Scott. She is a contemporary painter of land and seascapes. Her paintings are multiple layered, individually painted, acrylic panels. During this field trip, students were exposed to interdisciplinary educational methods that build critical thinking skills, STEAM knowledge, and visual art learning objectives. Students had the chance to explore the worlds of 2 and 3 dimensions and create their own artwork of a deep roaring ocean.

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Glover was Rocking and Rolling last Friday and Saturday when students performed “Rock and Roll Forever” under the direction of music teacher Colleen Martin. This fun show highlighted some of the most famous rock and roll musicians in history. Students were overjoyed as they performed for their families, friends, and teachers. Bravo to Colleen Martin for all her hard work in organizing and directing a successful performance that taught us all a little history about rock and roll, but more importantly gave students the opportunity to be let loose, be themselves, and shine!

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The MISOM and Art Month Calendar of Events is below.

March 5-7: MMEA All State Conference & Festival
March 12: MIOSM Strings Concert (Grades 5-12), 7:00pm
March 13: Boston Symphony Orchestra Fieldtrip (Grade 4)
March 13-14: MMEA Eastern District Junior Festival
March 17: MIOSM Band Concert (Grades 5-12), 7:00pm
March 20-21: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 24: MIOSM Chorus Concert (Grades 6 & 9-12), 7:00pm
March 26: MIOSM Chorus Concert (Grades 7-12), 7:00pm
March 27: Glover K-1 General Music Showcase, 2:15pm
March 28: MMEA Eastern District Treble Choir Festival
March 30: MHS Tri-M Induction Ceremony, 8:00am
April 15: Cunningham Art Showcase, 6:00 – 7:30
April 16: Collicot Art Showcase, 6:30 – 8:00
May (TBD): Tucker Art Showcase
MHS and Pierce Art dates TBD

ATHLETICS 

The MHS Boys and Girls Cross Country teams will host Cans for Cats on Saturday, March 7th, 9am to noon, at Milton High School.

Susi Athletes-of-the-Month for February!

Lindsey Dunn, Junior, Ice Hockey
Dunn has played well all year but really stepped it up towards the end of the season. She played four games in February, seeing 97 total shots, and making 92 saves in what ended up being a .948 save percentage and a 1.25 goals against average for the month. Her play in the NDA game stood out the most as she made 42 saves on 44 shots. She earned a shutout vs. Weymouth and stood strong in games vs. Brookline and Walpole.

Alex Paxhia, Sophomore, Wrestling
Paxhia finished the season with an impressive record of 30-10. He finished 4th at the Division II Metro Sectional Championships and then followed that up with a 5th place finish at the Division II State Championships, held here at Milton High School. He qualified for All States, as the first Milton wrestler since 2014. He also had a 16 match win streak ending in the month of February.

Ben Catudal participated in the MIAA Alpine Ski Championships today, placing in the top half! He is the first MHS skier to participate in this event since 2014!

Cheer will participate in Regionals this weekend at Milford HS!

Spring Sports start Monday, March 16th. Registration is open and tryout information can be found online. There are also Parent/Guardian Meetings today, March 5th. Information has been emailed to families.

All schedules and athletic information can be found on the athletics website. 

IN THE COMMUNITY 

Milton Girls Softball invites you to their Spring Social!  Please join us on Saturday, March 21 at 7pm at the View for an evening to support Milton Girls Softball. Milton Girls Softball is a volunteer led organization that offers over 350 girls in our community the opportunity to learn and play softball in a fun and competitive environment. Funds raised will be used to improve fields and the game experience for players and fans alike. Dress: Casual Attire
Please support this great cause! Tickets can be purchased here.

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Milton Chess Club with International Master David Vigorito will take place on Tuesdays March 17-May 26 at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. Milton. Chess Club is open to students in grades 1-6. There are two levels: Beginners 5:15-6:15pm:  This is a class for students who are new to the game, as well as those who would like to brush up on their basic knowledge. Intermediate/Advanced  6:30-7:30pm: This is a class for students with a good understanding of the rules who are looking to further develop their knowledge and skills. All details can be found on Mr Vigorito’s website. 

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The Friends of the Milton Public Library present the ninth annual Chess-a-Palooza on Saturday April 4th,  9:30-1pm at the Milton Public Library (Keys Room lower level). Chess-a-Palooza is open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, children of Milton teachers, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players!Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito.  All details can be found here.

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Milton’s Annual Sweetheart Dance for all girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 3rd from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Cunningham Hall.  A significant portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to two local organizations:  Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Milton Residents Fund.  Tickets must be purchased in advance this year at  miltonsweetheartdance.eventbrite.com.  Don’t miss out on a fun night of dancing, games, prizes and photo ops to support two great causes in our community!

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has spring programs available to families with young children.

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The DPW shares the guidelines for mattress and box spring pickup: For requests placed before Friday at noon, mattresses will be picked up the following Tuesday. For requests placed after Friday at noon, mattresses will be picked up the Tuesday after the following
Tuesday.

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The Milton Public Library has programs available all month for children and families.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

STUDENTS: Several of our elementary students were selected to have their artwork displayed at the State Transportation Building in Boston. This exhibit, sponsored by the Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA), is part of Youth Art Month (YAM), a national celebration held each year during March, that emphasizes the value of art education for all children and encourages support for quality art programs in schools. Some of our students and teachers attended the opening reception this weekend.

Students representing Milton are John Devine, Caroline Melanson, Katherine Field, Benjamin Nguyen, Hayla Fuller, Neave Kelly, Zoe Sullivan, An Nguyen, Aaron Pullia, Zadie Schopf-Malone, Jeremiah Sitkoff, and Nebyat Ejigu.

STAFF:  I would like to thank the MPS staff  who successfully welcomed our Preschool and Kindergarten families to  teachers and administrators to the Milton Public Schools over the last two months. Over two information nights, and multiple days of registrations, our staff worked together to both inform and welcome our new families as they begin their 13 year (or more for our youngest students!) educational journey with us.

Thank you to the administrators and teachers who presented at both of our information nights.  If you missed either presentation and would like more information, you can find it on our website under Preschool and Kindergarten Registration.  I would also like to thank our staff who  were involved with multiple days of  Preschool and Kindergarten registration in February.

  • To Dr. Glenn Pavilcek, Dr.Karen Spaulding, Susan Maselli, Jayme Szymczak, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Jon Redden, Maggie Randall, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Karen McDavitt, Holly Concannon, Carolyn Brandi, Jackie Morgan, Martha Sandoval, Kim Coughlin and Brian Selig: thank you for preparing for our two information nights and presenting to parents in an informative and engaging manner.
  • To John Muir and his crew at Cunningham and Collicot: thank you for your hard work in assisting us in getting the tables, chairs and artwork set up and broken down each and every day as to minimize the disruption to Cunningham students and teachers
  • To Eileen Keaney, Erica Cadigan, Joanne Barker and Deb Woods: thank you for your constant professionalism and positive attitude as you preregistered our new students
  • To Director of Nurses Kim Coughlin and School Nurses Maureen LeBlanc, Jeanne Sgroi, Kerri Joyce, Alison Joyce: thank you for your attention to detail and your patience as many families weren’t able to access their child’s health records due to the computer compromise at Partners Health
  • To Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Ellen Lohan, Caroline Morton, Brad Spindle and Sarina Burke: thank you for your organizational skills – without you our registration process would not have been the success it was.

For many families, Preschool and Kindergarten registration is their first MPS experience and all reports are that we had many  positive interactions  and have laid the foundation for an ongoing  home-school connection as families begin their journey as a member of the Milton Public Schools community.

The podium generously built by the Matejka Family was put to good use during the tournament.

VOLUNTEERS: Several weeks ago, Milton High School was proud to successfully host the MIAA D2 State Wrestling Tournament. A huge thank you to all of the wrestlers, parents, administrators, custodians, and volunteers that made the weekend tournament such a success. Hosting a tournament is no easy task, but it felt that way because of all of your hard work. We would like to specifically thank the Matejka Family, the Sullivan Family, the Dobrindt Family, the Carroll Family, the Heller Family, the Peloquin Family , the Paxhia Family, the Pentland Family, the Navarro Family, the Walsh Family, the Mottley Family, the Crowley Family, Susan Wright, Claire Yunger, Susan Judge-Burns, Monica LaBelle, Coach Jake Smith and Coach Ted Carroll. Because of the your efforts, we were able to host a well run and successful tournament. On behalf of our athletes, thank you!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Sara MacNeil, Karen McDavitt, Ryan Madden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden,  Zeina Hamada, Noel Vigue, Kevin Black, Barbara Wright, Karen Cahill, Jackie Morgan, AJ Melanson, Rachel Schewe, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Beth Neville, Kim Coughlin, Laurie Stillman, Ellen Lohan, Rina Chen, Tanya Walsh, Jess Gillooly, Christine Paxhia, Laurel Bernini, and Dawn Sykes.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 5, 2020

February 27, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 27, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) is an emerging health concern and we are closely monitoring this evolving situation.  We understand that families have questions about the Coronavirus and how it may impact our schools and local community.  For any public health matter, we take our guidance from State and Federal agencies, in particular the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The CDC is providing daily updates and recommendations that you may find helpful and informative.  Please visit the  Center for Disease Control website and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website to stay updated.  I have asked Kimberly Coughlin, Milton Public Schools Director of Nursing, to share more information with you.

While this is a public health concern, the CDC continues to report that the immediate risk to the general public remains low at this time. Yet, in today’s connected world, with a large number of District families traveling during school vacation weeks, the potential for infectious disease is always of concern. As with seasonal flu and strep infections, there are general precautions we can all take to remain as healthy as possible.

  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Use Alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You can also cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
  • Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

It is important to keep children home from school when they are ill. If your child has any of the following symptoms please keep them home from school:  temperature greater than 100.4, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from eye, and any contagious illness such as chicken pox, strep throat, or flu.

Please rest assured that we are monitoring student health concerns. We are in close communication with the local Board of Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health/School Health Unit, as well as pediatric health care providers in the community. Our School Facilities Department is vigilantly sanitizing our educational spaces as we typically do during cold and flu season.  We are following all recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

We remain deeply committed to student and staff wellness and will continue to share new information with you, as necessary, about this evolving situation.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

On April 4th, 2020, the Milton Foundation for Education invites you to the 24th annual MFE Celebration! This annual event is the mainstay of the MFE’s fundraising efforts in support of our six Milton Public Schools.

How does the MFE support our schools? In ways big and small, 12 months a year, for almost 25 years , the MFE has funded innovative programs and opportunities that are beyond the reach of the school system’s budget. If you are a weekly reader of my blog, you will see mentions of MFE support sprinkled throughout. This is a natural result of their systemic generosity and support of our students and teachers. Almost weekly, a teacher or principal sends me an item that includes a thank you to the MFE – for technology, enhanced art supplies, curriculum add ons, flexible seating, interesting classroom tools – the list is endless and we are so grateful to the MFE for their ongoing support.

MFE Trustees are people from the community who donate considerable time to help the Foundation achieve its goals. Will you join them on April 4th at Granite Links to celebrate our school system and raise funds for the amazing work they do in support of our schools?

We look forward to seeing you at this fun and festive event!

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Up next in our PARENT Series , the Milton Public Schools and the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition welcome Ivy Watts presenting “Breaking the Stigma of Mental Illness: How You Can Make A Difference” to be held on Tuesday March 3rd at 7:00pm in the MHS Auditorium.  

  • Learn about Ivy’s story of her struggle with her mental health as an athlete (anxiety, depression), her fear of speaking up due to the stigma around mental illness in athletics, but how speaking up saved her life.
  • Feel empowered as a parent/guardian, teacher or coach to provide support for the mental health of their children/students
  • Feel empowered to recognize the warning signs of mental health issues and how to have conversations with your child about mental health
  • Understand the importance of practicing mindfulness and how to be an advocate for yourself and others
  • Learn about the vast number of resources available in the school system, locally and online
  • This presentation would be appropriate for parents, guardians, caregivers and teachers of students ages 10 and older.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Feb 27 MHS Program of Studies Night
Mar 2 1st Grade STEM Information Night
Mar 3 Parent Speaker Series, Ivy Watts, Mental Health Empowerment
Mar 4 Milton School Committee
Mar 5 Early Release Day
Mar 7 Minority Job Fair
Mar 10 Harlem Wizards vs. Staff Basketball
Mar 12 MIOSM Strings Concert
Mar 17 MIOSM Band Concert
Mar 18 Milton School Committee
Mar 19 After School Conferences
Mar 24 MIOSM Chorus Concert, Gr 6
Mar 26 MIOSM Chorus Concert

Current kindergarten families are invited to STEM Information Night on March 2nd at 6:30pm , in the Collicot/Cunningham cafe to preview an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity.

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The 4th Annual South Shore Regional Minority Educator Recruitment Fair, hosted by Milton Public Schools  and sponsored by PROforma Printing & Promotion will take place at the Copeland Field House at Milton High School on Saturday, March 7th from  8am- 12pm.

The number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students in kindergarten through grade 12 public school classrooms is expected to exceed the number of non-Hispanic, white students, but the racial and ethnic makeup of our country’s teaching staff does not reflect this shift. There is a shortage of African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian educators, and this recruitment fair helps to encourage those individuals to pursue a career in education.

During the event, representatives from South Shore public school districts (all levels: elementary, middle/Jr. high and high school) will meet with potential employees in an effort to find the most qualified minority teachers, administrators, librarians, administrative assistants, instructional aides, custodians, food service personnel, coaches and more. Please contact James Jette via email or phone (617-696-4470) with any questions.

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The Harlem Wizards vs. the MPS staff game is coming to Milton High School!  Save the date for this family friendly night out on March 10th at 7pm in the Copeland Fieldhouse at MHS. Come and show your school pride by wearing your school colors or gear with your school’s name. Check out the fun in this video  and be sure to get your tickets at this link now!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on March 4 , 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

All parents/guardians of rising 9-12th graders are invited to join us  – TONIGHT  -Thursday, February 27th  at our MHS Program of Studies Information Night. During this evening presentation we will review graduation requirements, course offerings and answer any questions you may have about our program of studies.  The presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium. Following the presentation department heads will be available to answer any questions you may have. We are committed to taking comprehensive steps to ensure you have the information to make an informed decision about your student’s courses for next year. The MHS Program of Studies booklet can be found here.

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On Saturday, Feb. 29th, the Milton High School Theatre Program will be participating in the 2020 Massachusetts High School Drama Festival at Joseph Case High School in Swansea, MA. Milton High School will be bringing their student-directed/designed production of The Women of Lockerbie to compete in the program that includes over 100 other one-act plays produced by member high schools. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild, this festival provides opportunities for students and teachers to create, share, and respond to theatrical experiences with other participating schools. Student excellence in acting and technical design is recognized at each level of the competition. Of the 112 one-act plays that enter the festival, fourteen will be selected as State Finalists, of which three will be named winners.

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Milton High School is pleased to offer preparatory classes for the May 2020 SAT to students who are looking to improve their scores. Students can sign up for Reading, Writing, & Language Prep, Math Prep, or both classes. All sessions will be held at Milton High School and are designed to prepare students for the May 2nd SAT Exam. Please email Mathematics Director Brian Selig with any questionsAll details on the MHS SAT Prep Classes can be found here.

PIERCE PAGES 

This year’s Pierce Middle School Geography Bee participants wowed a packed house of their peers on January 31, showing off their ability to name the world’s rivers, capitals and famous landmarks, along with a myriad of other questions. 6th grade teacher Ms. Connell hosted the annual event, and all fifteen participants were outstanding.

The participants earned a spot on the stage after competing with other students in their Social Studies classes, so each team at Pierce had someone on stage. Two students from each of the 6th and 7th grade teams and one student from each of the three 8th grade teams represented their classmates.

Victoria Kirkham, Rafael Lukasse, Grayson Chojnowski-Yoder, Zahria Daley, Elias Caros, and Jordan Munsey represented the 6th grade. Luke Grant, Sebastian Mann, Will Malec, Nick Gray  Owen Crowley and Leo Waldbaum represented 7th grade and in the 8th grade Moses Mann, Karim Camara and Ethan Nowak took the stage. The eventual winner – after nine rounds of competition – was Moses Mann. Congratulation to Moses!

The Pierce Geography Bee is part of a national competition that will be held in May. Moses is eligible to compete in the state – and potentially national – Geography Bee. He will take an on-line qualifying exam to determine if he will represent Milton in the statewide competition.

Special thanks  to Ms. Kelly Connell, who coordinates the entire Geography Bee, from the classroom competitions through the final Geography Bee and is also tasked with  pronouncing lots of places that are very hard to pronounce!

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Our 3rd school now has Grow Racks! Pierce students planted their new Grow Racks this week with 4 types of lettuce, kale & basil. We are growing our own greens at Tucker,
MHS and Pierce with Glover, Collicot & Cunningham still to come!

The Milton School Food Service program is bringing the Farm INTO our schools, allowing  immediate access to the most nutrient dense organic foods while educating the students in schools. The Farm-to-School movement is trying to improve access to local foods  and education practices in schools while boosting the local economy. EvanLEE Organics Super Grow Rack is our solution to bringing the gardening into the schools by empowering the children’s futures by helping them make informed food choices. Teaching children how to garden and grow their own food with their own two hands is sustainable! Gardening is no longer seasonal, our Grow Unit produces predictable harvests all year long. A school garden project can teach the art of growing with students being able to see and taste the fruits of their labor. Our Pierce School  enjoyed a great day of planting this past week. We
can not wait to serve their lettuce, kale and basil in the cafeteria.

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Just before February break, 6th English classes at Pierce participated in the National African American Read-In. Students listened to stories written by and about African Americans. The literature was read aloud by Ms. Borde, Ms. Jarrett and Ms. Martland. Students heard autobiographies, biographies, short stories and folktales. We also listened to music by Louis Armstrong while celebrating African American authors and literature.

This event is sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. “The Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. Over a million readers of all ethnic groups from 49 states, the West Indies, and African countries have participated. The goal is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.” -NCTE

It’s easy to have a family Read-In. Just select a book or short story written by or about an African American. Read your chosen literature with your child and encourage your child to share information about your family Read-In with their English teacher.

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INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

All Milton families are invited to the 2nd Annual Glover/Tucker Diverse Reads Family Book Club at the Milton Public Library on March 12th at 6:30pm. Prior to March 12th, students will be reading Lalani of the Distant Sea by Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, . Inspired by Filipino folklore, Lalani of the Distant Sea is an unforgettable coming-of-age story about friendship, courage, and identity. Erin Entrada Kelly will join us via Skype to answer questions from readers. Please see the Diverse Reads Family Book Club flyer for more information.

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During the week of  February 10th, the Milton Public Schools held their first-ever Digital Citizenship Day in all four elementary schools. All Milton Public School elementary students took part in two or three engaging digital citizenship lessons during this exciting day. The lesson topics included;  digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying and  creating passwords.

Digital Citizenship Day lessons were facilitated by family volunteers. The engaging lessons were developed by Common Sense Media and are intended to help our students better understand how to interact with digital technology and their peers in a healthy, respectful way. Each lesson took on real challenges and digital dilemmas that students face today, giving them the skills they need to succeed as learners, leaders, and citizens.

Each lesson included an at-home exercise that your student was invited to take home so the family can help continue the conversation and reinforce the guidance provided during Digital Citizenship Day.

Milton Public Schools would like to thank all of the family volunteers for supporting this important initiative. Without their support, this day would not have been possible.

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On February 13, children’s book author Beth Ferry visited Glover to share her work with students in grades K-2. Beth Ferry is the author of many picture books including
the New York Times bestseller  Stick and Stone.  Students were delighted when she read this book aloud to the audience and shared her favorite parts and the decisions she made as an author during the writing and editing process. Among many accolades, Beth is the winner of The Chickadee Award – The Maine Children’s Choice Picture Book Award for her book Land Shark. Students enjoyed her presentation, the way she shared some beloved titles, and her thoughts about how she uses the world around her to construct stories.

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The Cunningham Science fair this week was a huge success! Students in Grades K-5 participated by formulating a hypothesis and testing it out using the scientific method. Students from the MHS Robotics team also led demonstrations for students and families, as well as a captivating lesson with the 3D printer from Technology teacher Mrs. Van Hill. It was a great night filled with creative projects and smiling scientists!

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3rd graders in all four classes at Glover recently joined forces to conquer some challenging math problems!  One student from each class worked in a small group of four and put their mathematics brains together to solve challenging problems involving area, perimeter, and fractions. Students were supported by their teachers and Mrs. Shapiro as they worked through the problems. Students enjoyed integrating knowledge from their own classrooms and sharing what they have learned from their teachers. Math is always more fun when solving problems with new friends!

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT 

Raising a middle school student can certainly be challenging. The raging hormones, epic mood swings, challenges with communication and the messy room! Now consider having to motivate and manage up to 50 tweens/teens in a gymnasium all at once. It seems daunting, but it’s what our amazing physical education teachers excel with everyday in our Pierce PE program. They provide our middle schoolers with the knowledge, skills and confidence, to prepare them for the rigors of high school and beyond, so they can enjoy a lifetime of physical activity and health-enhancing behaviors.

Middle school is a brand new world for students and Physical Education class requires one of the biggest changes besides having a rotating schedule of teachers. Having to use a locker room and changing into active clothing is a new routine for them. But, it’s an essential part of pre-teen development, we’re looking to foster personal responsibility, develop proper hygiene routines, self-management skills, and self-awareness. Students build on the foundational skills and knowledge learned at elementary school. They begin to develop personal fitness plans, learn advanced concepts and principles, continue to practice movement skills, work on social-emotional skills and by the end of 8th grade should recognize the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and social interaction.

There are many exciting activities and skills that are linked to National Standards that students get to experience through their time in Pierce PE. Students learn about the five components of fitness and assess what level they are at and set goals to maintain or improve. Team sport activities include: Soccer, Flag Football, Volleyball, and Badminton. There are “Teamwork Thursdays” that involve a variety of cooperative/collaborative activities. There are “Project Adventure” lessons using ropes and obstacles. “Fitness Fridays” have students learning proper technique and appropriate form while using cardio equipment, fitness stations and strength training equipment. And there are a variety of other indoor/outdoor activities that students get to participate in throughout the school year to work on their skill development.

Recently 8th grade students have been learning about the cardiovascular system, target heart rate zones, exercises intensities and how exercise prepares the brain to learn. They train with “Polar” heart rate monitors. Students get individualized, instant feedback on their productivity during class activities and can make personal goals with the advice from their teacher. One thing we always notice at the end of class is the change in mood, students are left smiling with their brains ready to learn,focused and engaged. Now, if we could just help with that messy room! If you have any questions about the Pierce Physical Education program you can contact your student’s teacher or PreK-12 Health & Physical Education Director Noel Vigue.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

United Way provides My Free Taxes, a resource for free tax preparation services for those who made less than $66,000 in 2019. Thank you to the MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna and the Milton Residents Fund for sharing this resource.

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person, in every community. We give people the financial education and tools to build a solid foundation to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Tax refunds are often the largest paycheck a family receives and can be used to pay bills, save for the future, buy groceries, etc. 70% of US filers are eligible for free tax preparation but don’t take advantage, potentially paying to access tax credits or deductions such as the EITC.

Since 2009, almost 1 Million taxpayers filed using MyFreeTaxes, bringing $1.4 Billion back to communities in tax refunds, and saving individuals and families $191 Million in tax filing fees. United Way and H&R Block partner to offer MyFreeTaxes– free online tax preparation- to individuals and families who earned $66,000 or less in 2019.

ART AND MUSIC 

March is both Music In Our Schools Month and Youth Art Month. There is plenty to celebrate in all of our schools this spring!

As we enter Music in Our Schools month, the music department will be well represented at the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s Conference in March. MHS Juniors Sam Higgins and Philip Phan were selected as members of the MMEA All State Orchestra and Jazz Band respectively. Sam and Philip will rehearse for two days with their ensembles, culminating in performances at Boston’s Symphony Hall on Saturday, March 7th. Bravo to these two outstanding musicians!

The Pierce Middle School Chamber Strings, under the direction of Ms. Debra Miller, was selected to perform at the prestigious Concert Hour for all of the music educators in attendance at the conference on Friday, March 6th. Music ensembles from all over Massachusetts submit recordings for the opportunity to be one of four groups to perform at the conference. The Pierce Middle School String Ensemble is comprised of non-auditioned students in grades seven and eight that rehearse during the school day as well as before school and have put together a beautiful program for this performance. Congratulations to Ms. Miller for having one of her ensembles selected for the second time in four years!

MHS Senior Coleman Rose was selected as a recipient for the Young Composer’s Competition for his work “Out for a Stroll”. Coleman will be recognized and have the opportunity to share his composition at a workshop at the MMEA Conference where he will receive feedback from Berklee College of Music faculty. Well done, Coleman!

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The following elementary students have been selected to have their artwork displayed at the State Transportation Building in Boston. This exhibit, sponsored by the Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA), is part of Youth Art Month (YAM), a national celebration held each year during March, that emphasizes the value of art education for all children and encourages support for quality art programs in schools.

Across Massachusetts there are numerous celebrations and exhibits happening in schools, in districts, and regionally. The Boston exhibit, Take a Journey Through Art is the only statewide YAM Exhibit in Massachusetts and features student work from over 50 communities.

Students representing Milton are John Devine, Caroline Melanson, Katherine Field, Benjamin Nguyen, Hayla Fuller, Neave Kelly, Zoe Sullivan, An Nguyen, Aaron Pullia, Zadie Schopf-Malone, Jeremiah Sitkoff, and Nebyat Ejigu. We look forward to sharing pictures from the opening reception this weekend.

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In preparation for Collicot and Cunningham’s art shows, 3rd and 4th grade students are making underwater creatures to transform the art room into a glow room. Using ink dabbers, students participated in a guided drawing of various sea creatures followed by a fluorescent painting session under the black lights.

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5th grade ACE students are learning about Wayne Thiebaud, the American painter widely known for his delicious depictions of pies, cakes, and sweet treats. Students began this project by measuring out a template from recycled cereal boxes to tape together and turn into a 3-D wedge. The next class students learned how to use plaster and cover their templates to give the texture and look of their chosen desserts. Up next, decorating!

The MISOM and Art Month Calendar of Events is below.

March 3: Cunningham K-2 General Music Showcase, 9:15am
March 4 Glover Art Showcase, 6:00pm
March 5-7: MMEA All State Conference & Festival
March 4: Collicot K-2 General Music Showcase, 9:15am
March 12: MIOSM Strings Concert (Grades 5-12), 7:00pm
March 13: Boston Symphony Orchestra Fieldtrip (Grade 4)
March 13-14: MMEA Eastern District Junior Festival
March 17: MISOM Band Concert (Grades 5-12), 7:00pm
March 20-21: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 24: MIOSM Chorus Concert (Grades 6 & 9-12), 7:00pm
March 26: MIOSM Chorus Concert (Grades 7-12), 7:00pm
March 27: Glover K-1 General Music Showcase, 2:15pm
March 28: MMEA Eastern District Treble Choir Festival
March 30: MHS Tri-M Induction Ceremony, 8:00am
April 15: Cunningham Art Showcase, 6:00 – 7:30
April 16: Collicot Art Showcase, 6:30 – 8:00
May (TBD): Tucker Art Showcase
MHS and Pierce Art dates TBD

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Sleepless in Milton? Not after March 1! The Milton Music Department is excited to announce their 6th annual mattress fundraiser on Sunday, March 1, from 10am to 5pm.
The MHS auditorium will transform into a mattress showroom during the one day only sale, with 25+ brand‐name, brand-new mattress models to test, all discounted 30 to 50% off retail. Brands include Simmons Beautyrest, Wellsville, Intellibed and Therapedic beds, which are manufactured locally here in Massachusetts.

For more information about the sale, please visit the Beds4Milton website.  Take a peek of what to expect in this video. Please see this link for a special offer.

ATHLETICS 

Track: Four members of the track team qualified for the 25th Annual Girls’ & Boys’ Indoor Individual Pentathlon. Michelle Gauvin, Audrey Mak, and Demi Davis participated on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 and Kevin Harvel participated yesterday, Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at the Reggie Lewis Track Center. Stay tuned for results.

Ski: Ben Catudal has qualified for the Mass State Alpine Championships, to be held at Berkshire East on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. He will be participating in both Slalom and Giant Slalom events.

Wrestling: Congrats to Alex Paxhia 5th place and therefore qualifies for All States in Methuen on Friday. He is the first Milton wrestler to qualify since 2014.

Basketball: Boys Basketball will travel to Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School, after beating Nauset Regional High School in the preliminary round of the MIAA Tournament. Captains Earl and Daylon led the scoring while Andrew Lynch was the best defensive player on the court, as usual. Tonight’s game tips off at 6:30pm. Travelling fans should wear white!

Ice Hockey: The Wildcats ended their season with a 4-2 loss to Natick High School. They took a 2-0 lead early in the 2nd period thanks to freshmen Jimmy Fallon and Sean McDougall, but Natick evened the score later in the period. The game was in the balance in the third and the ‘Cats had a shot saved off the goal-line which would have put them up 3-2. Natick capitalized on their Powerplay to take the lead and then tapped in the empty netter as time expired. It was a great season for the Wildcats and they will look to build on their success next season!

Be on the look out for an Athletics Email regarding Parent/Guardian Meetings and Spring Sports Information. There are meetings next week, see below for the schedule. More information to follow.

Thursday, March 5th in the MHS Copeland Field House
5:30pm – Boys/Girls Tennis, Unified Track, Boys/Girls Crew
6:00pm – Baseball, Boys/Girls Outdoor Track
6:30pm – Boys/Girls Lax, Rugby
Softball will have their own meeting during tryouts in the field house at a date and time TBA.

All schedules and athletic information can be found on the athletics website. 

IN THE COMMUNITY 

Milton Girls Softball invites you to their Spring Social!  Please join us on Saturday, March 21 at 7pm at the View for an evening to support Milton Girls Softball. Milton Girls Softball is a volunteer led organization that offers over 350 girls in our community the opportunity to learn and play softball in a fun and competitive environment. Funds raised will be used to improve fields and the game experience for players and fans alike. Dress: Casual Attire
Please support this great cause! Tickets can be purchased here.

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Milton Chess Club with International Master David Vigorito will take place on Tuesdays March 17-May 26 at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. Milton. Chess Club is open to students in grades 1-6. There are two levels: Beginners 5:15-6:15pm:  This is a class for students who are new to the game, as well as those who would like to brush up on their basic knowledge. Intermediate/Advanced  6:30-7:30pm: This is a class for students with a good understanding of the rules who are looking to further develop their knowledge and skills. All details can be found on Mr Vigorito’s website. 

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The Friends of the Milton Public Library present the ninth annual Chess-a-Palooza on Saturday April 4th,  9:30-1pm at the Milton Public Library (Keys Room lower level). Chess-a-Palooza is open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, children of Milton teachers, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players!Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito.  All details can be found here.

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Milton’s Annual Sweetheart Dance for all girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 3rd from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Cunningham Hall.  A significant portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to two local organizations:  Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Milton Residents Fund.  Tickets must be purchased in advance this year at  miltonsweetheartdance.eventbrite.com.  Don’t miss out on a fun night of dancing, games, prizes and photo ops to support two great causes in our community!

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has spring programs available to families with young children.

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The Milton Public Library has programs available all month for children and families.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

STUDENTS: I am always happy to receive notice of the Student of the Quarter ceremony at Milton High School. These students are making a contribution to our community, and are nominated by their teachers. Students may have shown marked improvement, may have done a significant project or may have shown outstanding effort. Because of these individuals, Milton High School continues to be an outstanding school and it is a pleasure to recognize these students.

Ms. Grant-Heal, Ms. Deptula and Ms. MacNeil are ready to present!

STAFF: I would like to thank the teachers and administrators who presented to parents and guardians this week during 1st Grade Information Night.  During 1st Grade Information night, kindergarten families learn more about our two first grade programs: the English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. Our teachers and administrators work together to deliver a comprehensive and engaging presentation and I would like to recognize their commitment to our district here. Thank you to Assistant Superintendents Dr. Glenn Pavlicek and Dr. Karen Spaulding, our elementary Principals Karen McDavitt, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Holly Concannon and Jon Redden, Director of World Langauges Dr. Martine Fisher, and our Curriculum Coordinators and teachers who participated and presented: Zeina Hamada, Ellen Lohan, Brian Selig, Sara MacNeil, Nicole Grant-Heal, Caroline Morton and Caitlin Deptula.

If you were unable to attend, the PDF of the 1st Grade Information Night can be found here.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Sara MacNeil, Karen McDavitt, Ryan Madden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden,  Zeina Hamada,  Caroline Morton, Noel Vigue, Kevin Black, Barbara Wright, Christie Chiappetta, Karen Cahill, Jackie Morgan, AJ Melanson, Jess Gillooly, Laurel Bernini and Dawn Sykes.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 27, 2020

February 13, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 13, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Just after the upcoming February recess, we will hold 1st Grade Information Night on Tuesday, February 25th at 6:30pm in the MHS Auditorium. Parents and guardians of current MPS kindergarten students are invited to learn about our two first grade programs: the English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will explain the assignment plan, lottery (if needed) and the timeline. The night will end with a Q&A session.

We will also hold a STEM Information Night on March 2nd, in the Collicot/Cunningham cafe, for current kindergarten families to preview an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity.

In addition, all parents/guardians of rising 9-12th graders are invited to join us on Thursday, February 27th  at our MHS Program of Studies Information Night. During this evening presentation we will review graduation requirements, course offerings and answer any questions you may have about our program of studies.  The presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium. Following the presentation department heads will be available to answer any questions you may have. We are committed to taking comprehensive steps to ensure you have the information to make an informed decision about your student’s courses for next year. The MHS Program of Studies booklet can be found here.

I hope all of our students, staff and families enjoy a healthy and restful February recess. We will see you on Monday, February 24th, as we return to school.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Feb 13 Pierce Middle School Science Fair
Feb 17-21 February Recess
Feb 24 Transportation & Traffic Safety Advisory Comm meeting  – MHS/Pierce, 6:30pm MHS Auditorium
Feb 25 1st Grade Information Night
Feb 26 Milton School Committee
Feb 27 MHS Program of Studies Night
Mar 2 1st Grade STEM Information Night
Mar 3 Parent Speaker Series, Ivy Watts, Mental Health Empowerment
Mar 4 Milton School Committee
Mar 5 Early Release Day
Mar 7 Minority Job Fair
Mar 10 Harlem Wizards vs. Staff Basketball

The 4th Annual South Shore Regional Minority Educator Recruitment Fair, hosted by Milton Public Schools  and sponsored by PROforma Printing & Promotion will take place at the Copeland Field House at Milton High School on Saturday, March 7th from  8am- 12pm.

The number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students in kindergarten through grade 12 public school classrooms is expected to exceed the number of non-Hispanic, white students, but the racial and ethnic makeup of our country’s teaching staff does not reflect this shift. There is a shortage of African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian educators, and this recruitment fair helps to encourage those individuals to pursue a career in education.

During the event, representatives from South Shore public school districts (all levels: elementary, middle/Jr. high and high school) will meet with potential employees in an effort to find the most qualified minority teachers, administrators, librarians, administrative assistants, instructional aides, custodians, food service personnel, coaches and more. Please contact James Jette via email or phone (617-696-4470) with any questions.

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The Harlem Wizards vs. the MPS staff game is less than a month away! Save the date for this family friendly night out on March 10th at 7pm in the Copeland Fieldhouse at MHS. Come and show your school pride by wearing your school colors or gear with your school’s name. Check out the fun in this video  and be sure to get your tickets at this link now!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on February 26th , 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

Congratulations to MHS Theatre on a wonderful run of An Evening of One Act Plays. Students, staff and volunteers work so hard on these productions and I would like to recognize them here. The reviews of both The Women of Lockerbie and These Shining Lives were stellar, as fellow students, staff and community members enjoyed these shows.

A community member wrote the following  to me: Tonight my husband I went to Milton High School where we saw An Evening of One-Act Plays. I cannot even put into words how moving and powerful these shows were. The kids were AMAZING and knowing that they had mid-terms this week makes it even more impressive.

We are so lucky to have the quality of performances here in Milton from our own kids. Ten dollars  bought us two hours of top quality entertainment, close to home, in a beautiful theater.  Thank you to all who brought this theater experience to our community!

PIERCE PAGES 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Mrs. d’Entremont’s Cunningham 5th graders have been sharing stories of unsung heroes of black history during Black History Month. After a presentation by author  Joel Gill, in January, students were inspired to undertake this project. As part of a Diversity Committee initiative, Joel Gill visited Cunningham 4th and 5th graders and shared his graphic novels about unsung heroes of black history. He spoke to students as a group and then joined each 5th grade class for a 45 minute hands-on comics workshop.

While the whole class is involved in the research and preparation, 10 students are sharing these stories over morning announcements each day. Students chose 5 of the unsung heroes that can be found in his graphic novel , Strange Fruit Volume 2 to share with the Cunningham community all week. The black Americans that were highlighted this week are: Jourdan Anderson, who requested payment from his former slave owner; Stagecoach Mary Fields, the first African-American female star route mail carrier; Willie Kennard, the Sheriff of the Colorado gold mining town of Yankee Hill; Cathay Williams, the only known female Buffalo Soldier; and Blind Tom Wiggins, an autistic musical prodigy.

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Ms. Caswell’s Cunningham 4th graders have enjoyed working on their graphic biographies for Black History Month. These graphic biographies are set up as flip books focusing on the early life and accomplishments of the subjects. Students read a biography about a notable African American from history and complete questions to demonstrate what they’ve learned. The flip book is then put together in a way that you can ‘flip’ through and learn about the subject of the biography. At left, students show their flip books about Jackie Robinson and Ruby Bridges.

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Collicot 3rd graders in Ms.Liz  Spitz and Mr. Rosner’s class were asked the question, “What happens when hot or cold water is put into room temperature water?” Students added red food dye to hot water and blue food dye to cold water and  then submerged them into glasses of room temperature water. The students could determine where the hot and cold water went based on where the food dye was in the container. They were excited to find that colder water stays submerged because it is more dense than room temperature water, and hot water rises to the top because it is less dense than room temperature water!

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Glover 2nd graders in Ms. Rachel Spitz’s class have been working hard with Ms. Van Hill to produce stop motion animations.  In the first class, students learned what stop motion was and how to use the app Stop Motion Studio.  The students created LEGO stop motion animations that told a simple story. During the second lesson, students started to create animations that will teach others something. Students got into groups and chose a topic based on things they have been learning in class.  They started by planning out their stop motion animations by creating a story map with simple illustrations and sentences for each part of our animation. In the next step, students will be going to the Makerspace with their classes to create the props they will need to create their final animations.  Next month, students will use their story maps and props to create their final stop motion animations to share with others.

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In celebration of Black History Month and partnership with the Glover Diversity Committee, Glover students have begun an exploration into influential black individuals and prominent landmarks associated with Boston’s Black History. Our intention is to educate our students on local history and prominent black figures who have ties to our area, inviting students to learn more about our local heroes and visit important landmarks right around the corner.

  • Monday: Mme. Brown’s class taught us about the ties that Martin Luther King Jr. had to Boston: Did you know he earned his Doctorate in Theology from Boston University?
  • Tuesday: Mr. Hoff’s class taught us about Horatio Julius Homer, Boston’s first black Police Officer (1878).
  • Wednesday: The fourth graders in Ms. Morris’s class taught us about WEB DuBois, American civil rights activist, leader, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. He was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1895!
  • Thursday: We learned about our first Black Boston History landmark as Ms. Craven and Ms. Renehan’s class introduced us to the home of Lewis and Harriet Hayden, escaped slaves who lived in Boston. Lewis Hayden went on to become a Massachusetts State Representative. You can visit their home at 66 Philips Street in Beacon Hill!
  • Friday: Ms. Elovich’s Kindergarten class taught us about William Monroe Trotter, Civil Rights Activist who launched “The Guardian” newspaper and was the first African-American person inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard.

In addition to researching their important figures and landmarks, students and teachers have been working hard to decorate their classroom doors to represent their person or place. Glover is slowing becoming a Black History Learning Walk – students are educated through pictures and quotes as they travel the hallways!

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Bring a book, take a book! It’s book swap time at Glover! The annual February break book swap is all set up in the Glover library and has been available to eager readers all week during Library classes. During this long standing tradition, students bring up to 10 books and take up to five. To help in the process, parent volunteers come in during class library time and help students pick books that might be “just right” for them. Every student leaves with at least one new book to read over break. What a great way to keep our reading skills active while school is not in session.

The 100th day of school is a big milestone in our elementary schools and celebrated as such. Students worked on counting, sorting and building with legos in groups of 100, celebrated with art work, collaborated to form the number 100 outside, made signs, and did science projects- all around the number 100!

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT 

I have asked World Language Director Martine Fisher and Collicot Assistant Principal Zeina Hamada to share some information below about science in our French Immersion curriculum.

The teaching, in French, of mathematical, scientific, historical and social concepts advances students’ linguistic proficiency in the target language while developing their content knowledge and problem solving skills. In elementary schools, French Immersion students and English Innovation Pathway students learn science through FOSS (Full Option Science System): a research-based curriculum presenting science as an inquiry driven activity, a process for producing new knowledge (content) and strategies (practices and experiments). Students are naturally curious, which makes science an ideal subject. Science study teaches rigor and logical methods of inquiry, stimulates creative thinking and exposes students to a wide range of hands-on activities and visual materials leading to the development of content based skills, academic language and scientific vocabulary.

Science is taught in French from grades 1 through 4 in the French Immersion Program. Immersion teachers work with their English Innovation Pathway colleagues on content and pedagogy under the supervision of Ms. Lohan, Elementary Science Coordinator.  All teachers use the online components, visuals and experiment materials of the FOSS Program. In immersion, the textbooks and instructional have been translated into French. In grade one, students tackle three units: Air and Weather, Sound and Light and Plants and Animals. Second graders learn about Pebbles, Sand and Silt, Solids and Liquids and Insects and Plants.  Third graders learn about Water and Climate, Structures of Life and Motion and Matter.  The fourth grade FOSS units are Energy and Electromagnetism, Environments and Soils, Rocks and Landforms. All immersion students have science notebooks where they record and reflect – in French – on their experiments and observations

In 3rd grade Collicot students recently experimented with magnets and rotating tops to reflect on magnetism, gravity and patterns of motion during the Motion and Matter unit. Cunningham students learned during the Structures of Life unit about some of the unique features of the human body. They also learned about fingerprints: what types of fingerprints there are, how each person’s fingerprint is unique, and how to get a print of their fingerprints. At the Glover School, students recently focused on another aspect of structures of life by studying food chains. At the end of the unit, they worked in small groups to create their own food chain on land or in water. Each group presented – in French –  to the class. Correct use of scientific vocabulary and academic language was a criterion of success. At the Tucker School, students are starting the Water and Climate unit based on two essential questions: how is water involved in weather, and are weather conditions the same around the world and throughout the year? Science kits with experiment materials are rotating around the district, therefore all classes will cover the three units of the program over the school year.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Thank you to all who attended Jon Mattleman’s talk earlier this month. Jon’s website is full of valuable information and he shares his Top 15 Parenting Tips here. 

Up next in our PARENT Series we welcome Ivy Watts presenting “Breaking the Stigma of Mental Illness: How You Can Make A Difference” to be held on Tuesday March 3rd at 7:00pm in the MHS Auditorium.  

  • Learn about Ivy’s story of her struggle with her mental health as an athlete (anxiety, depression), her fear of speaking up due to the stigma around mental illness in athletics, but how speaking up saved her life.
  • Feel empowered as a parent/guardian, teacher or coach to provide support for the mental health of their children/students
  • Feel empowered to recognize the warning signs of mental health issues and how to have conversations with your child about mental health
  • Understand the importance of practicing mindfulness and how to be an advocate for yourself and others
  • Learn about the vast number of resources available in the school system, locally and online
  • This presentation would be appropriate for parents, guardians, caregivers and teachers of students ages 10 and older.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

The cold and flu season is upon us and with that comes an increase in trips to the nurses offices for students. On occasion the nurse needs to reach out to families to update them on the health status of their child. At other times, your principal or Central Office may need to reach out to families to communicate school happenings and snow days. It is very important that the schools be able to reach families in these situations.

We know that on occasion a parent/guardian changes their phone number and/or email address or decides to use a different email for school business other than the one they provided  at the beginning of each school year. Please email the administrative assistant at your child’s school at any time to provide needed updates to your contact information including primary and secondary telephone numbers, new or preferred emails and your emergency contact person’s information.
Administrative Assistant Contact Info: MHS – Brad Spindle, Meghan Connors; Pierce –  Susan Higgins, Sandy Wyse; Collicot – Joanne Barker ; Cunningham School – Erica Cadigan  ; Glover School – Deb Woods; Tucker School – Eileen Keaney

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

We are looking forward to a fun-filled summer  at Milton Summer Enrichment!  The full MSE letter linked here will serve as the first of many communications in the upcoming months about MSE, and contains important information about our program.  In addition to updates, there are two important changes related to course registration and course payment increases found here.

MSE will be held at Milton High School and will run Monday – Friday, 8:00-12:00 from July 6 – 31, 2020. Please read the full MSE letter here with information on tuition, registration and important dates. 

We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE 2020! Please be on the lookout for more communications in the coming months.  If you have questions at anytime, please  contact Ms. DesRoche and Ms. Lohan via email.

ADULT EDUCATION 

Registration is open to sign up for one of our fabulous Adult Education courses  for our spring term beginning in March. Please visit our website and scroll through our menu of courses where you will find Zumba, Restorative Yoga, Knitting, Beginner French and Intermediate French Level 3, Beginner Ukulele,  Beginner Guitar, our ever popular Pickleball courses and more! There is something for everyone to melt away the winter weather and join other like-minded adults and enjoy the spring together. Registration will be open until February 24th.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The MFE is busy planning Celebration 2020!

Join us on April 4, 2020 at Granite Links for a seated dinner, black tie optional event with dancing and amazing auction items in support of all six Milton Public Schools. We are raising funds to expand the competitive grants in all six schools and we are excited to support even more innovative requests to help MPS students learn and grow

MFE Celebration tickets are available in the coming weeks and will be $95 per person, (with discounted tables of 10 so start talking to your friends!) If you are interested in sponsoring or have an auction item, please email the MFE.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES 

The Milton Public Schools are in need of daily substitute teachers. If you have a Bachelors degree, experience with children and a desire to help MPS students achieve, please visit our website  for details and to apply to be a daily substitute teacher. 

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In addition, please see the following Legal Notice: Milton Public Schools Transportation Bid.

ART AND MUSIC 

Sleepless in Milton? Not after March 1! The Milton Music Department is excited to announce their 6th annual mattress fundraiser on Sunday, March 1, from 10am to 5pm.
The MHS auditorium will transform into a mattress showroom during the one day only sale, with 25+ brand‐name, brand-new mattress models to test, all discounted 30 to 50% off retail. Brands include Simmons Beautyrest, Wellsville, Intellibed and Therapedic beds, which are manufactured locally here in Massachusetts.

All mattresses are made to order in all sizes and have full factory warranties. Twins start at $199, Full $289, Queen $299, King $499 and delivery or pick-up  is available 8-10 days after the sale. To give back even more to the community, teachers and school faculty, police and fire personnel, EMTs, nurses, military and veterans all receive additional offers.
Adjustable power bases, weighted blankets, body massagers, massage chairs, luxury pillows & sheets, bed frames and mattress protectors will also be sold the day of the event. Delivery, removal and financing also available. Every purchase supports the music programs.

For more information about the sale, please visit the Beds4Milton website.  Take a peek of what to expect in this video. Please see this link for a special offer.

ATHLETICS 

Boys Hockey won their 5th game out of 6 last night, beating Walpole 3-1 to clinch a spot in the tournament!

Boys Basketball also punched their ticket, beating Walpole to earn their 10th win of the season.

Spring Athletics Registration is now open. See link here. Deadline is March 11th and Sports start Monday, March 16th. Tryouts are mandatory for all levels, returning students and new students. Schedule will be posted at the beginning of March on the Athletics Website.

We have officially hired our new Girls Varsity Softball Coach for this spring, Emma May. Emma comes to us with a ton of softball experience. She graduated from Milton High School in 2006 and was a part of the 2005 Sectional Champion Softball Team that is now in the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame. She went on to play Division I Softball at Loyola Marymount University in California. She has since coached softball at various levels, and is currently a private softball instructor at the David Valdez Baseball and Softball Academy in Medford, MA.

On Thursday, March 5th, the Milton High School Athletic Department will hold Team Meetings for Parents and Guardians of Spring Student-Athletes. This will take the place of the normal Parent/Guardian Meeting after tryouts as some teams have done in the past. Please make every effort to make the meeting as this is a great chance to meet the coach, learn expectations, and open a channel of communication for the season. Below is the schedule of meetings on Thursday, March 5th in the MHS Copeland Field House:

  • 5:30pm – Boys/Girls Tennis, Unified Track, Boys/Girls Crew
  • 6:00pm – Baseball, Boys/Girls Outdoor Track
  • 6:30pm – Boys/Girls Lax, Rugby

Softball will have their own meeting during tryouts in the field house at a date and time TBA.

If you have not already, please read the new Student-Athlete Handbook in preparation for the meeting. This handbook should help answer many of your questions regarding sports offered, eligibility, playing time, captains, tournament qualification, and much more. Ryan Madden, Director of Athletics, will also be in attendance at all meetings to answer any remaining questions you may have.

Lastly, as the winter season winds down, please take a few minutes to complete the winter feedback form. This feedback form for athletics will be kept live all academic year. Parents and Guardians may complete this form at any point during their season. Please click here to direct you to the form, found in the red box. It can be anonymous but it is recommended that you leave your contact information so that the Athletic Director can contact you regarding the feedback and work to improve each program.

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Milton High School would like to thank the Milton High School Boosters for the purchase of 30 brand new chairs for the indoor athletic programs. These chairs are also used during graduation and is another step towards improving the branding of Milton High School!

IN THE COMMUNITY 

The Commission on Disability reminds everyone,  whether you’re young or old, a Milton resident or not, healthy or ill, disabled or not disabled, please register your cell and home phones on WWW.SMART911.COM.

Milton pays for this HIPAA secured safety service which provides contact information should you be injured or unable to respond to emergency personnel. The SMART911 APP allows some information to be entered and computer entry allows more specific information such as how many people live in your home, names, ages, where your electrical panel is to shut it off in an emergency, etc.

Please email any questions to the Chair of the Commission, Diane DiTullio Agostino 

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Visit the Eustis Estate during February Break on Monday 2/17 and Thursday 2/20 – Sunday 2/23!

The Eustis Estate is a spectacular 19th century house museum that sits on 80 acres of beautiful landscape, right at the base of the Blue Hills (Eustis Estate is located at  1424 Canton Avenue, Milton) This lovely estate offers up all kinds of fun for families during the Winter Break. Take a guided tour of the mansion at 11 am and 2 pm, explore the house on your own using the kiosks and tablets, stop by the craft room and create a love bug or fairy, go on a scavenger hunt adventure and be sure to visit the whimsical Fairy Village created by the Amateur Gardeners of Milton which will be on display through February 23. The grounds may be explored everyday and are open dawn till dusk. Free for Milton residents and Historic New England members, $15 non-member adult and $8 student. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information or visit the Eustis Estate website.

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Milton Girl Scouts has  new Troops forming for 2020. Join us for a free, sample troop meeting for girls in K-3 to learn more! Wednesday, February 26th at 5:30pm Milton Public Library – 476 Canton Ave Questions? Contact Christine Candler at ccandler@gsema.org. All details can be found here. 

The Friends of the Milton Public Library present the ninth annual Chess-a-Palooza on Saturday April 4th,  9:30-1pm at the Milton Public Library (Keys Room lower level). Chess-a-Palooza is open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, children of Milton teachers, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players!Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito.  All details can be found here.

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The Milton Public Library has programs available all month for children and families.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

VOLUNTEERS: Thank you to the Gavin family for their generous donation to Ms. Spitz’s Collicot 3rd grade class. The Gavins all attended Collicot and donated board games, marbles and math logic games to the class in loving memory of their dad, Jim Gavin.

STUDENT: MHS English teacher Michael Young shares that MHS junior Charlotte Lawrence recently  won a “localizing contest” award her coverage of last year’s MCAS dilemma regarding the pulled question about The Underground Railroad from the New England Scholastic Press Association headquartered at Boston University.

Charlotte won this special achievement for localizing the 2019 MCAS dilemma. Her piece “Everyone has their Stereotypes” captured MHS sophomores’ mixed emotions regarding the removal of an essay question about Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. This exemplary work of journalism was selected among hundreds of entries from around New England. Congratulations to Charlotte as well as  to all the other members of the MHS produced Elephant in the Room who submitted work to their first writing contest. You can read Charlotte’s submission here.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Sara MacNeil, Ryan Madden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Jen Rhodes,  Liz Spitz, Suzanne Caswell, Zeina Hamada,  Caroline Morton, James Jettes, Joanna Weiss, Bernadette Bentley, Tracy d’Entremont, Martine Fisher, Michael Young, Laurie Dunn and Mary Scott.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 13, 2020

February 6, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 6, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week is National School Counseling Week across the country. The week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), highlights the unique contribution of school counselors within  school systems and the tremendous impact they can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. I would like to take this opportunity to thank and celebrate the counselors in all six of our schools.

Cunningham Adjustment Counselor Jaclyn Germano with a Cunningham class.

Each of our elementary schools has an Adjustment Counselor on staff, while Pierce and Milton High School have both Adjustment and Guidance Counselors who work together to support students. Our Adjustment Counselors collaborate with teachers, administrators and parents/guardians to support students with friendship challenges, family changes that may bring stress, anxiety, mindfulness, PBIS, returning to school after illness and more. Our Guidance Counselors support students around academics, scheduling, navigating the new environments of Pierce and MHS, course selection, the college process and more. These professionals are valued members of the Milton Public Schools staff and are vital in the social emotional health of all of our students.

I have asked several parents to share their experiences with our counselors and I share a few of their thoughts here.

“As a Milton High parent that has been through the college process, Milton High guidance department was  extremely helpful in finding a good academic and financial fit, while also encouraging the student to manage the steps independently with Naviance. The MHS scholarship program is amazing, and they make it very easy for MHS students to apply for a myriad of opportunities with just one application.”

“From the first day of kindergarten to the transition to academic independence, elementary school can cause anxiety in lots of kids. The MPS elementary adjustment counselors for many kids are the calming faces, words of encouragement or simple presence that bring a sigh of relief as the kids tackle each day.”

“For my child, the counselor succeeded in bringing a child who literally fought getting on the bus everyday in the early years to becoming a member of the school’s student council in fifth grade.”

“I’m just so in love with this department that I could go on and on! I cannot say enough about the Guidance and adjustment counselors at Pierce! When we were in a time of crisis and didn’t know up from down these amazing professionals got the whole teaching team informed, on board and the whole team could not have been more patient, informative, supportive of our both our child and us and in touch all the while individualizing supports to meet our child’s changing needs. With so many students it was amazing, we felt like we were the only ones, that is how much attention and support we received. When needed, I would hear from the adjustment counselor or guidance counselor after every single period of the day. They had their fingers on the pulse of the situation. They knew and truly believed we would get through it and guided us along the way and continue to do so to support my child, even though things have settled and we are in a great space. We are so grateful to have such knowledgeable, approachable and empathetic professionals who go above and beyond to support students get what they need to be as successful as they can be.”

Just this past week, MHS Guidance Counselor Jennie Beliveau visited Pierce with 6 MHS juniors to lead a mentor training session with nine Pierce 8th graders. After February vacation, the eighth grade students will mentor a group of sixth grade students with the help of the Pierce guidance team. The goal of the program is to promote leadership in our eighth graders and help ease transitions and make connections for our sixth grade students. The students had a great time connecting with each other on Friday and Pierce is excited to kick off their third year of the mentor program.

Please join me in thanking our counseling staff for all that they do, every day, to support our students.  Kelly Dearing, Jaclyn Germano, Elizabeth Caruso, Karen Cahill, Rich Guarino, Leonice Bernard, Lisa Spinelli, Scott Devlin, Jennie Beliveau, Mary Bianca Mattocks, Kenneth, Adelmann, Ramsay Cadet, Brian Powers, Christine Howley, Lisa Veldran, Erica Benjamin, Erin Jaquette, Myriam Francoeur and Kara Sheridan as well as interns Ekta Bhalla, Gabrielle Jonas and Kate French are to be commended and celebrated for their work with students.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Feb 6 Milton Activities Fair – Tucker Gym
Feb 12 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium
Feb 13 Pierce Middle School Science Fair
Feb 13  MHS Cabaret
Feb 17-21 February Recess
Feb 25 1st Grade Information Night
Feb 26 Milton School Committee
Feb 27 MHS Program of Studies Night
Mar 2 1st Grade STEM Information Night
Mar 3 Parent Speaker Series, Ivy Watts, Mental Health Empowerment
Mar 4 Milton School Committee
Mar 5 Early Release Day
Mar 7 Minority Job Fair

Join us TONIGHT for the Milton Activities and Athletics Fair! The fair takes place tonight,  February 6th, in the gymnasium of the Tucker School, 187 Blue Hills Parkway from 5:30-7:00pm.

Representatives from a variety of athletic programs, after school activities, musical instrument lessons, theater, acting and future engineers opportunities, and Milton Summer Enrichment will be on hand to answer questions. In addition, a representative from the Milton Public Library will be on hand to register students for a library card and outline all the amazing MPL programs offered.
If you have any questions or need additional information please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison.

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The 4th Annual South Shore Regional Minority Educator Recruitment Fair, hosted by Milton Public Schools  and sponsored by PROforma Printing & Promotion will take place at the Copeland Field House at Milton High School on Saturday, March 7th from  8am- 12pm.

The number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students in kindergarten through grade 12 public school classrooms is expected to exceed the number of non-Hispanic, white students, but the racial and ethnic makeup of our country’s teaching staff does not reflect this shift. There is a shortage of African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian educators, and this recruitment fair helps to encourage those individuals to pursue a career in education.

During the event, representatives from South Shore public school districts (all levels: elementary, middle/Jr. high and high school) will meet with potential employees in an effort to find the most qualified minority teachers, administrators, librarians, administrative assistants, instructional aides, custodians, food service personnel, coaches and more. Please contact James Jette via email or phone (617-696-4470) with any questions.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on February 5th , 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

The School Committee recently updated the Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan. The updated document can be found here. 

MPS Budget Meetings: There were two school budget meetings this week and there is one still to come on February 12, 2020 @ 6:30pm in the Milton High School Auditorium. This presentation is open to all Milton residents, please join us to discuss the projected MPS budget for the 2020-21 school year. The recent budget presentation to the Warrant Committee can be found here. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

Members of Milton High School’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) would like to share some information about the GSA and its role at MHS. The GSA focuses on creating a safe and accepting environment for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. As members of the GSA, we work together to provide a welcoming, safe space for all students. Through group meetings and field trips to The Massachusetts GSA Leadership Council – part of the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ+ Students – we work to promote inclusive learning environments for all students. Topics of discussion include: inclusivity, education, supporting people in the questioning and coming out process, and building connections. With full support of the administration, the GSA has collaborated and researched what we feel are useful resources for families, friends, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Links to these resources can now be found on Milton High School’s Guidance webpage. Please keep an eye out as this list of resources may grow through our collaboration with all schools in the district. We encourage parents, families, and friends of members of the LGBTQ+ community to take this opportunity to educate themselves and others in order to continue to increase acceptance and awareness in our schools.

The group  would like to share the resources for students/parents/guardians/families. These resources can all be found on our MHS Guidance page.

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Model UN Advisor Ayeola Davis shares that on Thursday, January 30, 2020, the Boston Sheraton and Marriott hosted the Harvard Model United Nations’ sixty-seventh conference. The 4-day conference welcomed more than 4,000 students from 50 countries. Delegates were tasked with grappling some of the most serious challenges in international relations. The conference gave secondary students an opportunity to broaden their horizons, learn/network, establish peace and enable all people to live in dignity.

Eight students from Milton High School and their advisor, Ayeola Davis, accepted the opportunity to attend this conference. The following students attended the conference: Evan Trafton, Anderson Korman, Jonathan Waldmann, Iris Trafton, Kiera Glazer, Ralph Destin and William McElroy. Although students took part in committees that lasted hours, they had nothing but positive feedback. Barron Clancy said, “Participating in HMUN gave me the opportunity to debate about the economic empowerment of rural women. I was also able to meet people from across the world that has a similar love for discussion, debate, and compromise. This conference provided an incredible experience that I will never forget”. Kiera Glazer acknowledged that, “HMUN was an amazing experience and was extremely eye-opening. I had the chance to work with kids from all over the world; which was an exciting opportunity. I learned a lot about the international community and had fun working to solve a worldwide crisis”. Jonathan Waldmann also stated that, “The 2020 Harvard Model United Nations Conference was easily one of the most intriguing and enjoyable events that I have ever attended. It was simply amazing to observe the diversity of nationalities and cultures present at the conference. Furthermore, I was astounded by delegates’ ability to overcome these cultural and linguistic barriers to both have fun and work to address some of the most urgent issues facing the international community today”.

Congratulations to Anderson Korman and Jonathan Waldmann who both won Outstanding Delegate awards, to Barron Clancy and Ralph Destin  who both won Honorable Mention and to William McElroy and Evan Trafton who both won Diplomatic Commendations.

MSE Red Shirt Opportunity for MHS Students:  All Milton High School students are invited to apply for volunteer and paid Red Shirt positions this summer at Milton Summer Enrichment. Details can be found in the application link here. The application deadline is February 13, 2020.

PIERCE PAGES 

Pierce students in Ms. Downey-Tipping and Ms. Hartgering’s 8th Grade Literacy Lab class have been reading the novel Something Upstairs, by Avi . In the book, set in Rhode Island, the protagonist becomes fascinated by historical research in trying to solve a mystery about his house. The Milton Historical Society recently hosted the class for a morning of historical research.  Students examined documents and maps from long ago Milton and got a customized tour of the house, with connections to how the characters may have lived. The Suffolk Resolves house is the exact same architecture as the house in the novel, and students felt as if they were in the characters’ home.

This was the 4th year that the 8th grade Literacy Lab class has visited  the Suffolk Resolves House and over the years, classes have  learned about the fascinating history of the house and how it was moved, viewed some of the intriguing objects inside, and learned about the many businesses that contributed to Milton’s rich history. Through the glimpse into Milton’s archives, students have traced the suffragette movement in Milton (original vote was against; but future votes upheld voting rights for women), looked at some interesting political ads for and against the right to vote, and explored through maps how Milton (and specifically their neighborhood) has changed over time. The Milton Historical Society, especially the President Steve O’Donnell and  Educational Coordinator Gwen Labbe, have been amazing partners as they make this time period come alive for students and give them get a glimpse of the Milton of long ago. In preparation for our visit, Steve and Gwen read our book so they can talk to the students about the connections, and pull out fabulous documents and maps from the archive that students can look through. This year, we were so appreciative that the Milton Police Department and Officer Potts, who supported the experience by providing a van to travel  to the Suffolk Resolves House.

The Milton Public Schools is so lucky to be supported by the community in this way, and we encourage everyone to check out the Milton Historical Society website and programming.

***

This week, motivational speaker Ed Gerety presented to all Pierce students. He captured the students’ attention with his passion, humor and positive message: be respectful, be grateful and be kind to one another. He reminded the students to take the time to tell the people in your life that you love them, and he encouraged them to reach out and be kind to everyone because you never know what struggles other people may have in their lives. A huge thank you to the Pierce PTO for sponsoring this amazing speaker!

***

The Pierce Student Council will be holding its 3rd Annual Student vs. Faculty basketball game in the gym this Friday, starting at 2:45. The Teachers have come out on top the past two years. Who will own bragging rights in 2020? Ticket $1 before the game, $2 at the door. Come out and cheer on your team!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

As a kick off to Black History Month and Science Fair season,  all Tucker students enjoyed a presentation by Dr. Oneeka Williams this week. In addition to being a surgeon, Dr. Williams is the author of the “Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo” children’s book series. The series centers around a main character who is a female surgeon who uses her super powers to help others. The series also focuses on the five habits of positivity. Students learned about Dr. William’s journey to become a surgeon and the challenges she faced along the way as a woman of color. Our hope is that all Tucker students left the assembly excited to participate in the upcoming science fair on February 27th!

***

Collicot held its 2nd annual Scripps Spelling Bee last week. After many grueling rounds , 4th grader  Isabel Berdik won on the word console! Congratulations to Isabel and 2nd place winner 5th grader Teddy Hsu  and 3rd place winner 5th grader Sofia Serpa.

Students who participated came in 1st and 2nd in their classroom bees. They were invited to an after school club with Mrs Spitz to prepare for the big bee! 3rd graders Luke McEvoy, Juliette Van Riet, Sofia Conti, Owen Griffin, Ariella Corcoran, Caroline Mullen, Alicia Chan, Lola Murillo, Brendan Aylward and Karen Foo; 4th graders Hope Sergi, Alex DeGregorio, Gavin Gottlieb, Paul Raffle, Christopher Morrow, Isabel Berdik, Cole Kelly and Oliver Berdik and 5th graders Helena Case, Rafael Corcoran, Caitlin Sanchez, Keira Clark, Lauren Connolly, Sofia Serpa, Jack Ensign, Teddy Hsu, Sophia Lang and  Nolan Sweeney.

***

Cunningham held their 4th Annual Diversity Night this week. Students and families were invited to bring items representing their culture to share with the community, and participate in breakout sessions for both children and parents. Children were read a book from the Reading about Diversity program and engaged in an activity led by Cunningham teachers. Adults met with Tanya Frank McKnight, a social worker and former Cunningham parent, to participate in  thought-provoking activities and discussion around diversity.

***

Our Collicot 5th grade writers participating in the after school newspaper club, the Cardinal Connection, recently had the opportunity to meet Mary Whitfall, a writer from the Patriot Ledger. Students were able to ask Ms. Whitfall questions about her career and they learned that each reporter at the Patriot Ledger has a “beat” or an area they focus on. Students were surprised to learn that the news never stops and reporters are often called at all hours to report on breaking news. Students also learned about the importance of meeting writing deadlines and editing their work. Ms. Whitfall stayed and offered suggestions to students as they worked on articles for the upcoming edition of the Cardinal Connection. The Cardinal Connection is part of the Collicot CASS program and has been offered exclusively to 5th grade students since 2014.

***

The Collicot Cafe was the site of the 3rd -5th grade Science Fair last week and full of  innovative Science and STEM projects. The MHS Robotics and Science Teams attended and gave students feedback on their projects and highlighted the strengths of the projects – display, data or research. The 5th grade display of their 3D city was a huge success. Students made their 3D buildings with our Technology teacher Ms Van Hill.

***

The book  I Am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde kicked off Kindness Week at Collicot.  Sttudents will take part in the Great Kindness Challenge and will collect coins  to help build a school in Mexico. Students have a kindness checklist to complete as part of that challenge with tasks like surprise someone with a kind act, take a picture with the kindness frame decorate and a classroom kindness bulletin board.

***

Cunningham 2nd graders researched their heroes and presented biography reports dressed up as their subject.  Mrs. Walsh’s class was full of athletes, inventors, politicians, musicians and artists. Students talked about their subject’s childhood and accomplishments.

***

Glover students in Ms. Vanacore and Ms. Craven’s 2nd grade class celebrated World Read Aloud Day on February 5th with students in Ms. Craven and Ms. Renehan’s 4th grade class. World Read Aloud Day began in 2010 to recognize the joy of reading aloud around the world, but also to bring awareness to the fact that literacy should be a fundamental human right that belongs to everyone. Since it began in 2010, World Read Aloud Day has evolved into a global movement of millions of readers, writers, and listeners from communities all across the world coming together to honor the joy and power of reading and sharing stories. The event is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries. These lucky students spent time reading together not just on World Read Aloud Day, but once a month when they gather to read together. Students choose their favorite stories to share with each other and practice their oral reading and fluency skills. These classes have formed a unique bond because not only are their teachers siblings, there are many siblings pairs within these two classrooms as well.

***

The Cunningham+Collicot Green Space Committee is excited share that their fundraising has taken off!  Once they raise the 1st $50,000,  a matching grant from the Copeland Family Foundation kicks in. Once the C+ C Green Space committee raises $50,000, The Copeland Foundation will DONATE $50,000! If you would like to donate or learn more, please visit their website to learn more and to donate! Thank you to everyone in the Cunningham & Collicot community who is working to make this project a reality for our children!

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT 

This past weekend, 45 MPS students from Pierce, Glover, Tucker, Collicot and Cunningham competed in the Future Problem Solving Qualifying Bowl held at Pierce Middle School.

The Future Problem Solving program provides students with a way to critically think about relevant topics that will impact the future. Teams of four students learn a six-step problem solving process which they then apply, along with their research on specific topics, to solve social and scientific problems. A “future scene” prompts students to explore challenges as they refine their critical and creative thinking skills, focus on one problem area to solve, produce solution ideas, generate criteria to evaluate their solutions, and develop an action plan.

The Qualifying Bowl held this past weekend required students to use the six-step problem solving process to solve a future scene in a two hour competition. The topic this year is Gamification. Students have researched different techniques to use gamification in a variety of settings including in education and the workplace to enhance learning, productivity, and even their personal health. In previous years, the topics have included de-extinction, philanthrocapitalism, coping with stress, food and waste, and drones.

We will have the results of the bowl in 3-4 weeks and selected teams will advance to the State Bowl in April. In the meantime, our teams will be preparing for the State Bowl topic on “Living in Poverty” in the hopes that they receive an invitation to move forward. Our MPS Future Problem Solving program coaches are Justine Novak (elementary) and Nicole Lauria (Pierce) and we are grateful to them for their preparation, guidance and leadership of our students.

Pierce students who participated are: Tucker Korman, Ella Cantor, Jasmine Bethea, Ida Zoll, Kevin Gomes, Taylor Xu, Theo Dhami, Jayden Ng, Gisele Dimanche, Sam Boucher, Ryan Kelly, Kyle Tam, and Emma Dhima.

Our elementary teams were:

  • Cunningham teams: Julia Scapicchio, Brayden Zeldis, Andy Ramkissoon and Elizabeth Miller, Moon Morrison, Taylor Feloney and Noah Tran.
  • Collicot teams:Charlie Hellmuth, Rory Gorham, Annabel Gale, Reese Longo and Alex Nowak, Esme Neugebauer, Ella Hunt and Peter Mullen
  • Glover teams: Michael Canale, Avery Squiciarino, Lilo Grassl, Sebastien TranPham and Aava Darvish, Vicky Pierre, Sophie Derwinski and Sam Epstein.
  • Tucker teams: Lucas Petersen, Lena Do, Ellie Hardy and Ephraim Ohaya and Caleb Simmons, Ben Gallagher, Samara Solomon-Sanneh and Grace Tucker.

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2020!  We are looking forward to a fun-filled summer with the children. The full MSE letter linked here will serve as the first of many communications in the upcoming months about MSE, and contains important information about our program.  In addition to updates, there are two important changes related to course registration and course payment increases found here.

Those of you who had children participate in the MSE program last year will see the return of the same MSE Directors.  Cat DesRoche (PK-8 Literacy Director) and Ellen Lohan (Elementary Science Coordinator) will once again be working together to ensure 2020 is the best summer yet!  We can be contacted via email anytime.  We are fortunate to have Billy Donovan   on our team as well, who will be continuing his role of coordinating middle and high school courses.

MSE will be held at Milton High School and will run Monday – Friday, 8:00-12:00 from July 6 – 31, 2020.

Please read the full MSE letter here with information on tuition, registration and important dates. 

We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE 2020! Please be on the lookout for more communications in the coming months.  If you have questions at anytime, please  contact Ms. DesRoche and Ms. Lohan via email.

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Milton Community Schools is holding February Vacation Camp  from February 18-21 (4 days) at two sites: Cunningham & Tucker Schools.
Join the fun during February vacation week. Arts & Crafts, Cooking, Gym Games, Survivor Challenges, Sports, Special Projects, STEM, Drama workshop, Special guests, Science Show and more! Students from all MPS elementary schools are welcome to attend either site. Register before Wednesday February 12 online at Cunningham Camp Registration or Tucker Camp Registration. Questions? Please email Jackie Marr or call  617-696-5040 ext. 5544

ADULT EDUCATION 

Registration is open to sign up for one of our fabulous Adult Education courses  for our spring term beginning in March. Please visit our website and scroll through our menu of courses where you will find Zumba, Restorative Yoga, Knitting, Beginner French and Intermediate French Level 3, Beginner Ukulele,  Beginner Guitar, our ever popular Pickleball courses and more! There is something for everyone to melt away the winter weather and join other like-minded adults and enjoy the spring together. Registration will be open until February 24th.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The MFE is busy planning Celebration 2020!

Join us on April 4, 2020 at Granite Links for a seated dinner, black tie optional event with dancing and amazing auction items in support of all six Milton Public Schools. We are raising funds to expand the competitive grants in all six schools and we are excited to support even more innovative requests to help MPS students learn and grow.

MFE Celebration tickets are available in the coming weeks and will be $95 per person, (with discounted tables of 10 so start talking to your friends!) If you are interested in sponsoring or have an auction item, please email the MFE.

ART AND MUSIC 

Tucker students in Kindergarten and first grade experimented with the concept of taking something old and making it into something new by using scraps of paper from previous projects. We looked at the African American community of artists from a tiny town in Gee’s Bend, Alabama and how they used old scraps of clothes to create unusual quilts. We also made a literacy connection to the book “Joseph had a Little Overcoat” by Simms Taback. Fifth grade ACE students are painting large heart paintings by mixing and blending warm or cool colors.

ATHLETICS  

Your “Susi” Athletes of the Month for January are Patrick Kennedy and Bobby Carew!

Pat has set personal records at over four track meets during the month of January. In just two days, Pat was able to lower his time in both the 1000m run and Mile by over 13 seconds! That kind of improvement in performance is extremely rare, particularly for a senior who has been running for all four years. Pat has also ran the lead off leg on the winning 4×800 meter relay team at the Division 3 Relay Meet on January 19 and on the second place team at the Coaches Invitational on January 25. Pat continues to work hard every day in practice and is a role model for his peers.

Bobby compiled 6 goals, 4 assists for a total of 10 points in 7 games played. His season totals to this point are 8 goals, 6 assists for 13 points in 13 games played (a point game average). He also has a +2 plus/minus rating for the season at this point. This included a hat-trick in the 4-0 victory over Wellesley High School! On top of that, his leadership as a captain has been exemplary through his consistent work ethic on and off the ice, as well as through the way he earns the respect of his teammates as he pushes everyone on the team to improve and try to be better than they were the day before.

Spring Athletics Registration Opens Friday, February 7th. Please visit the MHS Athletics Website for more information.

Girls Basketball will have their Senior Recognition Night on Friday, February 7th, at 6:30pm vs Weymouth High School in the Copeland Field House and the Girls Hockey Team will have theirs against Weymouth the following night at Ulin Rink, 6pm start!

All schedules can be found on our Athletics website.

IN THE COMMUNITY 

Milton Police Chief John King has asked us to share the following:

It’s the Law – February 23
Drivers who are 18 and over:

  • Can only use electronic devices and mobile phones in hands-free mode and are only permitted to touch devices to activate hands-free mode.
  • Not permitted to hold or support any electronic device/phone.
  • Cannot touch phone except to activate the hands-free mode and can only enable when the device is installed or properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard, or center console in a manner that does not impede the operation of the motor vehicle.
  • Not allowed to touch device for texting, emailing, apps, video, or internet use.
    Activation of GPS navigation is permitted when the device is installed or properly mounted.
  • Handheld use is allowed only if the vehicle is both stationary and not located in a public travel lane, but is not allowed at red lights or stop signs.
  • Voice to text and communication to electronic devices is legal only when device is properly mounted; use of headphone (one ear) is permitted.

Drivers who are under 18:

  • Are not allowed to use any electronic devices. All phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.

Penalty for violating the hands-free law:

  • 1st offense – $100 fine.
  • 2nd offense – $250 fine, plus mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program.
  • 3rd and subsequent offenses – $500 fine, plus insurance surcharge and mandatory completion of distracted driving educational program.

2 Exemptions:

  • Does not apply to public safety personnel operating an emergency vehicle engaged in the performance of their duties.
  • Anyone in an emergency can offer a defense (accident, disabled, medical, etc.)

***

On Wednesday, February 12, at 7:00 pm, the Forbes House Museum will host public historian Amanda Goodheart Parks presenting Sweethearts at Sea: Love and Marriage in the Age of Whaling. 

During the nineteenth century, when Yankee whale oil lit the world, men from more than thirty New England communities sailed the seven seas in the pursuit of whales, leaving their families behind for up to five years at a time. This lecture will focus on one remarkable couple out of Fall River, MA who defied social and industrial conventions and went to sea together. It’s a story of life, love, and loss drawn from the letters and journals that the couple left behind.

Sweethearts at Sea is offered in conjunction with the exhibit, “Man Overboard! How One Man Reckoned with the Challenges of the Sea.” Following the program and Q&A, guests are invited to view the exhibit. Complimentary wine and chocolates will be served.

Tickets are $20/person or $15/member, and advance reservations are strongly recommended. To purchase tickets, visit our website. 

***

Please see this following part time job post: Custodian needed at Milton synagogue, 9 to 10 hours a week, flexible weekend hours required and one afternoon/early evening during the week. General cleaning of building and setting up of tables and chairs. Contact the Temple office at 617-698-3394 if interested.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

VOLUNTEERS: Thank you to Tucker parents Lacy Stoneburner, Daphnis Dessources, Jody Macleod and Marya Ochs who volunteered their time to help with the 2nd grade indoor gardening project this week. Parents helped prepare the soil and assisted students in planting seeds evenly. Students are very excited to watch their kale, basil, and arugula grow in the classroom. These greens will be harvested by students and shared with the Tucker cafeteria for all to enjoy as part of the school lunch program.

STUDENT :  Congratulations to MHS junior Sam Higgins who  has been selected to perform on the NPR radio show “From The Top”!   In addition to being concertmaster of the MHS Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble, Sam is a very talented vocalist.

His performance will be recorded at a live performance on Saturday, February 29th in the George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfax, Virginia. Sam will be on episode #385 which will be aired nationally on NPR the week of April 20th.  As more information becomes available it will be posted at this link and we will keep you posted as the date nears. Good luck and congratulations to Sam!

STUDENTS: Tucker families spent Wednesday’s half day volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton. The kids checked the quality of the items and then sorted the clothes into appropriate size bins. We learned that there are over 300,000 children 0-12 years in Massachusetts that are in need of everyday items. The work the volunteers did as a group helped 660 kids in need. Way to go, Tucker Tigers!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Sara MacNeil, Ryan Madden, Ellen Lohan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Janice Mazzola,  Zeina Hamada, Dawn Sykes, Karen Cahill. Liz Hallisey, Jeannie Beliveau, Millicent Hartgering, Caroline Morton, Tanya Walsh , Justine Novak. Nicole Lauria, Aeyola Davis and Jess Gillooly.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 6, 2020

January 30, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 30, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Each year, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partners with more than 100 visual arts and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Awards to local communities. Students  in grades 7–12 (ages 13 and up) apply in 29 categories of art and writing. In 2019, students submitted nearly 340,000 works of art and writing to the Scholastic Awards. MHS Art teacher Karen Hughes shares some background below.

Kami Nguyen

Submissions are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Students’ submissions are blindly adjudicated by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts. Many Scholastic Awards Alumni have lent their expertise as jurors, including Michael Bierut, Philip Pearlstein, Edward Sorel, Red Grooms, and Gary Panter. Other luminaries who have served as judges include Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Judy Blume, Billy Collins, Paul Giamatti, Francine Prose, Edwidge Danticat, David Sedaris, Lesley Stahl, Nikki Giovanni, Roz Chast, Wangechi Mutu, Andres Serrano, Kiki Smith, Jill Kraus, Shinique Smith, Rashid Johnson, and Waris Ahluwalia. Jurors look for works that exemplify the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision.

Students receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Voices & Visions Nominations are celebrated within their communities through local exhibitions and ceremonies. Gold Key works are then judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative–industry experts to receive National Medals, including Gold Medals,

Nikolai Zychowicz “Solid Ground”

Silver Medals, American Voices & Visions Medals, Gold Medal and Silver with Distinction Portfolio Medals, and Special Achievement Awards. National Medalists are recognized in part at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Thank you to Milton High School teacher Karen Hughes for mentoring our students through the submission process and congratulations to our talented students listed below!

Gold Key Winners:

  • Kami Nguyen: Grade 12, Gold Key Winner for her Painting
  • Nikolai Zychowicz: Grade 12, Gold Key Winner for his Photograph “Solid Ground”

National awards opportunity for Gold Key work is currently being reviewed at the national level in New York City by panels of creative professionals. National Medalists selected by these panelists will be announced on Monday, March 16, 2020.

Silver Key Winners:

  • Sarah Mcdonnell: Grade 12, Silver Key Winner for her Photograph “Peekaboo”
  • Nikolai Zychowicz: Grade 12, Silver Key Winner for his Photograph “Call”

Honorable Mention Winners:

  • Maeve DiSandro, Grade 12, Honorable Mention for her Mixed Media “Layers”
  • Edward Enyedy, Grade 12, Honorable Mention for his Illustration “Chained Demon”,
  • Wallace Heller, Grade 12, Honorable Mention for his Photograph “Leaves of Lightning”
  • Isabelle Richer, Grade 12, Honorable Mention for her Photograph “Virginia Fields”
  • Lila Slymon, Grade 11, Honorable Mention for her Digital Art “Title 2”
  • Nikolai Zychowicz: Grade 12, Honorable Mention for his Photograph “Stargazing”
  • Nikolai Zychowicz: Grade 12, Honorable Mention for his Photograph “Reach”
  • Nikolai Zychowicz: Grade 12, Honorable Mention for his Photograph “Reclined”

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Jan 30, 31 Feb 1 MHS Winter Production – One Act Plays
Feb 4 Parent Speaker Series, Jon Mattleman – Secret Lives of Teens & Tweens
Feb 5 Early Release Day for Students
Feb 5 Milton School Committee
Feb 6 Milton Activities Fair – Tucker Gym
Feb 12 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium
Feb 13 Pierce Middle School Science Fair
Feb 13  MHS Cabaret
Feb 17-21 February Recess
Feb 25 1st Grade Information Night
Feb 26 Milton School Committee
Feb 27 MHS Program of Studies Night
Mar 2 1st Grade STEM Information Night

MHS Theatre invites you to An Evening of One Act Plays

Love. Resilience. Freedom. The Milton High School Theatre Department presents two powerful, thought-provoking one-act plays that explore these themes through historical events.

“An Evening of One-Act Plays” takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 30; Friday, January 31; and Saturday, February 1 at the Milton High School auditorium.  Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults, and are available at the MHS Theatre website.

***

Are you looking for activities for your elementary school age children? Please join the Milton Public Schools on February 6th, 2020 in the gymnasium of the Tucker School, 187 Blue Hills Parkway from 5:30-7:00pm. Representatives from a variety of athletic programs, after school activities, musical instrument lessons, theater, acting and future engineers opportunities, and Milton Summer Enrichment will be on hand to answer questions. In addition, a representative from the Milton Public Library will be on hand to register students for a library card and outline all the amazing MPL programs offered.
If you have any questions or need additional information please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison.

***

Educational Technology Director AJ Melanson shares that we are  excited to host an incredibly important parent/guardian discussion led by Karin Roethke-Khan, (Cunningham parent, Milton Academy faculty member, and dorm parent for over 20 years) for the parent/guardian community of all of our elementary schools. She will share her insights about the effects tech has had on her students and strategies for managing it at the early stages of your child’s education and social development.

Parents/guardians from ALL schools are invited to join us in the Cunningham faculty lounge on Friday, January 31st at 8:30 am. We look forward to seeing you there for this important discussion.

***

The 2019-20 calendar can be found here. The School Committee voted recently on the 2020-21 school year calendar. The approved calendar can be found here. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on February 5th , 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

The School Committee recently updated the Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan. The updated document can be found here. 

MPS Budget Meetings: There were two school budget meetings this week and there is one still to come on February 12, 2020 @ 6:30pm in the Milton High School Auditorium. This presentation is open to all Milton residents, please join us to discuss the projected MPS budget for the 2020-21 school year. The recent budget presentation to the Warrant Committee can be found here. 

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Our next speaker is fast approaching. Join us on Tuesday, February 4th, as we welcome Jon Mattleman presenting “The Secret Lives of Teens/Tweens” at the MHS auditorium, starting at 6:30pm. Jon will help provide new ways of understanding and engaging with teens/tweens, effective strategies you can implement immediately and leave you with more confidence, courage, and patience in your parenting skills. Jon is a mental health counselor and trainer with 30 years of experience working with children, teens, young adults, parents and families. His dynamic presentations have been well received by thousands of parents throughout New England. We welcome his return to Milton after presenting “Minding Your Mind” at Pierce Middle School in 2017. All details on Jon’s visit can be found here. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS 

Is it time for Driver’s Ed for your student? There are two classes starting next week at MHS.  We are offering two classes-  at 2:45pm and 6:30pm –  to accommodate hectic high school schedules and there are spots available in each class. All details can be found on the Driver’s Ed website.

***

MSE Red Shirt Opportunity for MHS Students:  All Milton High School students are invited to apply for volunteer and paid Red Shirt positions this summer at Milton Summer Enrichment. Details can be found in the application link here. The application deadline is February 13, 2020.

PIERCE PAGES 

William Fish, Pierce Principal and AJ Melanson, MPS Educational Technology Director share the following exciting news.

It is with tremendous excitement that we share with you that Pierce Middle School will soon implement a one-to-one computing initiative (1:1). In adopting this model, all students will receive a school-issued Chromebook that they will take to and from school on a daily basis.

To this point, students and teachers have had limited access to technology tools at Pierce as teachers have had to compete with one another to use one of twelve Chromebook carts. The new Chromebooks will allow teachers to improve student achievement through more personalized learning experiences, utilize project-based learning, and empower students by providing multiple platforms for them to demonstrate their learning.

The effort to make 1:1 a reality at Pierce has required the support of many stakeholders. We have been fortunate to benefit from the support of the school district, parent groups and organizations, and individual donors who have given their time, money and ideas to make our vision for twenty-first century learning opportunities a reality for students. Sustaining this initiative will require more resources in the coming years, but we have a tremendous amount of faith in the community’s support of its children and schools to do so.

From the professional staff who have advocated fiercely for this initiative to the families who supported Donors Choose projects, we express a world of gratitude to our entire community for its support of our children.

More information about the timeline, logistics, and processes for distributing Chromebooks to students will be shared in the coming weeks.

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Last week, Mr. Faherty’s English classroom at Pierce was transformed into an art gallery. Students completed a ‘gallery walk’ to prepare for a new novel study unit. Prints of photographs and paintings were posted  to the walls and students were prompted to analyze each work of art. After circulating through the gallery and surveying the artwork, students used academic vocabulary to critique the pieces.

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This weekend (Jan 30-Feb 2)  will be Pierce’s third homework free weekend of the school year. The fourth and final homework free weekend will coincide with Memorial Day weekend.

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INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Collicot students celebrated the Lunar New Year last week. Teachers and students enjoyed making horoscope wheels, dragon puppets, dragon masks and lanterns and read books about the Lunar New Year celebrations and traditions in their classrooms. Students from all grade levels who celebrate the Lunar New Year recorded a video for their peers wishing them a Happy New Year in Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and English.  They also distributed Red envelopes or hongbao in Mandarin and lai see in Cantonese which are small red and gold packets containing money given to children, family members and friends as a symbol of good luck. At the end of the day, Collicot students from all grades left school with an impressive array of  Lunar New Year celebration work.

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Glover 4th graders in Ms. Craven and Ms. Renehan’s class have been working hard throughout all of unit 4 of Everyday Math. Recently, they have discovered new strategies to multiply 2-digit by 2-digit numbers. To master and reinforce their skills, they have been playing “Rugs and Fences” in partners. It was a fun way to challenge peers thinking, practice their new multiplication strategies, and review their skills with finding the area and perimeter of rectangles by applying formulas.

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Milton Community Schools is holding February Vacation Camp  from February 18-21 (4 days) at two sites: Cunningham & Tucker Schools.
Join the fun during February vacation week. Arts & Crafts, Cooking, Gym Games, Survivor Challenges, Sports, Special Projects, STEM, Drama workshop, Special guests, Science Show and more! Students from all MPS elementary schools are welcome to attend either site. Register before Wednesday February 12 online at Cunningham Camp Registration or Tucker Camp Registration. Questions? Please email Jackie Marr or call  617-696-5040 ext. 5544

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Collicot Kindergarten students began their study of worms as part of their FOSS unit “Animals 2 by 2.” Students looked at both redworms and nightcrawlers and compared their structures. Students also learned what both kinds of worms need to survive and created habitats for the worms to live in the classroom. Students will continue to observe the worms and their structures over the next few weeks.

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As part of the  Glover and Tucker “Diverse Reads and Authors” initiative, 4th and 5th graders at both schools recently had the opportunity to Skype with author Kekla Magoon.  This is a joint initiative between the Glover and Tucker Diversity Committees.

Kekla is the recipient of many accolades, including the NAACP Image Award, the John Steptoe New Talent Award, two Coretta Scott King Honors, The Walter Award Honor, and the In the Margins Award. 4th and 5th grade students read the book “The Season of Styx Malone” and were given the opportunity to participate in before school book club meetings which concluded in a lively book discussion with the author. Students asked many questions during their discussion and learned a lot about what it takes to persevere through the writing process, along with many interesting facts about Kekla’s personal feelings about her characters.  What an enriching experience for our students!

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Tucker and MPS district staff gathered for a Book Club discussion recently with author Soo Hong, whose book Natural Allies Natural Allies: Hope and Possibility in Teacher-Family Partnerships  offers a paradigm shift in how we think about family engagement with schools. The discussion focused on family engagement strategies and approaches to remove barriers and increase collaboration and connection between and among staff and families.

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Math League at Cunningham is in full swing! Students in grades 2-5 meet weekly before school to explore Continental Math problems in small groups. Parent volunteers facilitate the groups and students have a great time working through a variety of math problems. The multipstep problems present a challenege that requires students to think about appropriate strategies to apply. Math league helps students gain more confidence in math, and students thrive in the small group setting with personalized attention from parent facilitators.

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The Cunningham+Collicot Green Space Committee is excited to announce an exciting project at the Collicot and Cunningham Schools!

Our goal is to build a recreational green space that will promote the health and safety of more than 1,300 preschool and elementary students in our community. This project will add a second recess area to the two schools and relieve the overcrowded recess.

What is the goal and timeline? Our goal is to fund raise $275,000 in time for construction Summer 2020 so students will have the additional space for the 2020-2021 school year!

Why do we NEED this space? Currently both schools – 1300 students – share one recess area with as many as 10 classes (250 children) utilizing the same recess space at the same time. This project will create an additional recess area and a beautiful green space to be used by both schools and relieve the overcrowding.

We have a matching grant from the Copeland Family Foundation! Once we raise $50,000 they will DONATE $50,000!

There are 3 Ways to Participate:

  • Join the Path to Play by purchasing one or more personalized bricks
  • Donate any dollar amount – all contributions are tax-deductible and don’t forget your employer match
  • Join our Plaque to Play by becoming an individual or business sponsor

Please visit our website to learn more and to donate!

Thank you to everyone in the Cunningham & Collicot community who is working to make this project a reality for our children!

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The Glover Green Team is looking to reduce waste by recycling old markers. We can work together to reduce our carbon footprint at Glover and beyond  and help the environment as well. We can all make a difference!

What can you do to help?  Have a marker that is not working? We’ve got a solution! Bring any old or non-usable markers (of any brand) and drop them in the crayola bin in the Glover main office. Thank you for your support in going green and stay tuned for future projects brought to you by the Glover Green Team. Go GREEN!

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

BOKS (Build Our Kids Successes) is a before-school exercise program that is led by parent volunteers. The focus is to get kids moving, teach simple nutrition lessons and reinforce healthy behaviors taught in health and physical education classes.  It’s a wonderful example of school community working together to help students be their best.

The grassroots program started in 2009, when a parent was inspired to get her own kids moving and boost their academic performance after reading the book SPARK:The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Dr. John Ratey.   Studies show that students who exercise regularly, in moderate to vigorous intensities, see significant boosts in intelligence-test scores and core subjects at school, compared to their inactive peers.  Researchers Sattelmair and Ratey suggest the link between learning and physical activity is strong, citing studies that indicate students who receive a high level of strenuous physical activity exhibit higher test scores.   Ratey points out that, exercise does not specifically make someone smarter, but what it does do is optimize the brain for learning for 90+ minutes post-exercise. Consistent with Ratey’s findings, four years of research on BOKS points towards valuable associations of participation with, enhanced executive skill functioning, and improved performance on school-related learning measures.

Students  love playing the various activities and games and enjoy the challenges.  Parent volunteers love how BOKS reinforces teamwork and celebrates effort. They love that it provides a great forum for creativity in movement and exercise. It’s such a fabulous way to get energized for the day with an emphasis on making healthy choices.  Staff repeatedly mention they know when BOKS is in session as students come in prepared to learn (focused, improved mood and less likely to be distracted).

BOKS is a wonderful example of a community coming together to support the health and well-being of its young people.  Thank you to all our BOKS parent/guardian volunteers for providing this opportunity. Thank you to Collicot volunteers Heather Bergin and Eric Kelly; Tucker volunteers Meena Tondravi, Sita Cochran, Kim Johnson, Brendan Bartlet, Gail Trachtenberg, and Rich Cassidy and Glover volunteers Ellen Stoddard, Laurie Stuart, Amy Donovan, Megan Dalton, Elilibeth Abreu, Jonas & Nathalie Sison, Melanie Barbier, Anita Lazar, Meghan Dalton, and Niki Rukstalis. If you would like to volunteer for BOKS at  Cunningham, please email the PTO. 

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact MPS Health/PE director Noel Vigue. (Reference: Natick BOKS study prepared by: National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College, 2011-2014)

TECHNOLOGY

The Milton Public Schools seeks to ensure the protection of the privacy of students attending the Milton Public Schools in a manner consistent with the Federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), Children’s Online Protection Privacy Rule (COPPA),  and Massachusetts student record regulations. Last week, AJ Melanson, MPS Educational Technology Director, sent a letter to all MPS families detailing strategies that are being implemented at both the District and School levels to ensure student privacy is protected. You can read that full communication here.

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2020!  We are looking forward to a fun-filled summer with the children. The full MSE letter linked here will serve as the first of many communications in the upcoming months about MSE, and contains important information about our program.  In addition to updates, there are two important changes related to course registration and course payment increases found here.

Those of you who had children participate in the MSE program last year will see the return of the same MSE Directors.  Cat DesRoche (PK-8 Literacy Director) and Ellen Lohan (Elementary Science Coordinator) will once again be working together to ensure 2020 is the best summer yet!  We can be contacted via email anytime.  We are fortunate to have Billy Donovan   on our team as well, who will be continuing his role of coordinating middle and high school courses.

MSE will be held at Milton High School and will run Monday – Friday, 8:00-12:00 from July 6 – 31, 2020.

Please read the full MSE letter here with information on tuition, registration and important dates. 

We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE 2020! Please be on the lookout for more communications in the coming months.  If you have questions at anytime, please  contact Ms. DesRoche and Ms. Lohan via email.

ADULT EDUCATION 

Registration is open to sign up for one of our fabulous Adult Education courses  for our spring term beginning in March. Please visit our website and scroll through our menu of courses where you will find Zumba, Restorative Yoga, Knitting, Beginner French and Intermediate French Level 3, Beginner Ukulele,  Beginner Guitar, our ever popular Pickleball courses and more! There is something for everyone to melt away the winter weather and join other like-minded adults and enjoy the spring together. Registration will be open until February 24th.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The MFE is busy planning Celebration 2020!

Join us on April 4, 2020 at Granite Links for a seated dinner, black tie optional event with dancing and amazing auction items in support of all six Milton Public Schools. We are raising funds to expand the competitive grants in all six schools and we are excited to support even more innovative requests to help MPS students learn and grow.

MFE Celebration tickets are available in the coming weeks and will be $95 per person, (with discounted tables of 10 so start talking to your friends!) If you are interested in sponsoring or have an auction item, please email the MFE.

In the meantime, it’s time to buy your jeep raffle ticket! Only 500 tickets will be sold and you’ll have a 1/500 chance of winning a 2020 Jeep Wrangler or $20,000 cash.

How to buy a ticket?

  • Email Liddiefb@gmail.com to purchase a ticket or with any questions
  • Look for ticket sales at many MPS events in the coming weeks
  • Stop in at your school main office – all schools have tickets!

The winner will be drawn 4/4/20 at Celebration. The Milton Foundation for Education’s Celebration and Jeep Raffle raises money in support of all  six Milton Public Schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

During the week of February 3, 2020 the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Milton Public Schools.  The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may call Doryce Smith, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338- 3718 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the (district or charter school) with a report with information about areas in which the (district or charter school) meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the (district or charter school) requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at this website. 

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The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is conducting a comprehensive program review of the Special Education programs in Milton. A component of this review is input from various community stakeholders. We are  seeking interested community members who would like to participate in a 1 hour focus group. The goal of the group is to hear from community members about their experiences in special education. Information gathered will be integrated into our Program Review and will help guide future planning for Special Education.

The focus group for community members is Tuesday, February 4, 2020 from 4-5pm and the group will meet in Milton High School room 209. Please reach out to let us know if you are able to come, so we plan for appropriate space. if you have already RSVPed, you are all set. Please confirm your attendance by emailing Susan Maselli.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

The Milton Public Schools is looking for ways to support those in our community who have deployed members of the military in their family. If you feel you could help us discern the best ways to provide support, we welcome your involvement (staff, parent/guardian, community member) as we consider a path forward. Please email Superintendent Gormley to join this informal group. The group is planning to meet on Thursday, February 6th at 9:30am in the Superintendent’s conference room at Milton High School. All are welcome.

If your family needs support at any time, for any reason, please email our Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna.

ART AND MUSIC 

MPS Director of Fine and Applied Arts, Dawn Sykes, shares that Milton High School will be represented by two outstanding musicians at the MMEA All State Festival. Sam Higgins and Philip Phan, both members of the MHS Junior class, earned top scores at the audition last weekend, and were selected to be members of the All State Orchestra and All State Jazz Ensemble.

In addition, MMEA recently announced the Pierce Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Orchestra is selected to perform at the MMEA All State Conference, which runs consecutively with the festival. This fine ensemble, led by Ms. Debra Miller, will be featured during the Music Educators Conference Concert Hour. This is one of the highest honors received by an ensemble and director in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.

The MMEA Educators Conference and Festival will take place March 5-7 in Boston at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center with a concluding All State Ensemble performance at Boston Symphony Hall. Congratulations to our student musicians!

ATHLETICS  

The MHS Girls Basketball Team will host a “Cans for Cats” can and bottle drive on Saturday, February 1st from 9am -12pm at Milton High School.

Boys Hockey made it two in a row, with wins over Wellesley (4-0) and Needham (2-1). Bobby Carew scored a hat-trick against Wellesley and followed up with another goal against Needham.

Wrestling beat Needham in their third match of a quad on Saturday, with Alex Paxhia picking up with 19th win of the season. Alex then picked up his 20th win in the team’s loss to Natick.

Spring Sports Registration opens next Friday, February 7th. Please see this  link for more details.

All schedules can be found on our Athletics website.

IN THE COMMUNITY

TONIGHT : The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition recently  took a deep look at youth and drugs, alcohol and mental health issues in Milton in 2019. This included surveys of hundreds of teens and preteens, a survey of over 500 parents, interviews with key stakeholders, focus groups, and data from BID Hospital Milton and our ambulance service. Milton youth demonstrate a lot of strengths and use of illegal substances has decreased generally since MSAPC last examined this issue. However, we still face challenges. Come and hear the results of this community assessment TONIGHT  – January 30th at 6:30pm  – at Milton Hospital and what we can do as a community in order to continue to move misuse rates in a positive direction. The 2016 release of the last community assessment led to amazing collaboration across town departments focused on decreasing youth alcohol and marijuana use and increasing the focus on behavioral health.

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Celebrate winter and dance with friends at the Family Snowball Party! This new Milton tradition will be held Saturday, February 1st from 5-8pm at Cunningham Hall in Milton (77 Edge Hill Road). This year’s party theme is Disney’s “Frozen”, and costumes are encouraged.

Tickets are $15 per person, and can be purchased online. Tickets will also be available at the door, space permitting. Raffle tickets and refreshments will be sold separately at the event. More information available on the event’s Facebook page.

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Please see this following part time job post: Custodian needed at Milton synagogue, 9 to 10 hours a week, flexible weekend hours required and one afternoon/early evening during the week. General cleaning of building and setting up of tables and chairs. Contact the Temple office at 617-698-3394 if interested.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

Congratulations to the Pierce Players on a wonderful sold out run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! Students, staff and volunteers work so hard on these productions, for months on end, and I would like to recognize them here.

To our student performers, listed in the program attached here: I am so impressed with your courage, talent and hard work. All three were evident during this past weekend’s performances.

To our student crew members, listed in the program attached here: You work tirelessly, behind the scenes, for many weeks and months, to ensure a seamless performance for the audience. These productions would not be possible without your sustained effort and expertise.

To our parent volunteers: You are our unsung heroes! Thank you for the countless hours you donate to these productions so that your children can have this amazing theater experience and share it with the Milton community multiple times each year.

To the Pierce Players staff team of Bill Deschenes, Desiree Okoh, Jessica Royster and Patrick Manning: For months, you leave your full time job working with middle school students each afternoon to spend many more hours mentoring, leading and having fun with those same students! I am forever grateful to these dedicated educators who choose to be a part of these amazing Pierce Players productions.

Credit to Pierce parent Gordon Grisinger for the wonderful photos below.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai,  AJ Melanson, Sara MacNeil, Ryan Madden,  Ellen Lohan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Bill Deschenes, Kelly Connell, Colin Faherty, Bill Fish, Janice Mazzola,  Zeina Hamada, Cat DesRoche, Dawn Sykes and Karen Hughes.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 30, 2020

January 23, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 23, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

It was wonderful to see so many of our Milton Public Schools students participating in MICA’s Annual Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service and Celebration this past Monday. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to consider attending this wonderful community event next year. You will be impressed by our young people and moved by the spirit of community throughout the event honoring Dr. King.

Thank you to Milton Interfaith Clergy Association for including our students in so many meaningful ways. Milton High School students Caroline Gannon , Lok Ye Young, Lydia Geering and Kiera Glazer  were honored for their work celebrating Dr. King and our MHS singers (Sadie Leggett, Bridget Green, Newly Henry, Anika Williamson, Anthia Davis, Maeve Bentley, Roisin Queally, Luke Palmer, Brian Soto and Logan Do)  contributed beautiful music. Along with Select Board Chair Mike Zullas, MPS  students Sadie Leggett, Daniel Thomas, Alyssa Zullas and Luke Palmer, proclaimed the No Place for Hate message to all and our elementary singers (Chandler Sumpter, Farrah LeRay, Gianna Bradford, Milan Cenafils, Adelaide Chalmers, Ime Ebong, Justin James, Kloee Puhala, Gabriella Robinson, Graison Saba, Zoe Sullivan, and Chisom Unamka) lent their young voices to the program. Thank you to our music teachers for preparing our students so well.

Kindergarteners in Ms. Smith’s class have been learning about Martin Luther King Jr.’s dreams for inclusion and acceptance. They spent the last two weeks learning about MLK and relating his dreams to their own dreams. The students then wrote about their dreams for our world and Ms. Smith created a display outside of her classroom.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Jan 23,24,25 Pierce Players
Jan 23 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 28 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, Tucker School Library
Jan 29 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, Collicot/Cunningham Library
Jan 30, 31 Feb 1 MHS Winter Production – One Act Plays
Feb 4 Parent Speaker Series, Jon Mattleman – Secret Lives of Teens & Tweens
Feb 5 Early Release Day for Students
Feb 5 Milton School Committee
Feb 6 Milton Activities Fair – Tucker Gym
Feb 12 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Come see our Pierce Players in action on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7pm, Friday, Jan. 24 at 7pm and Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2pm in the Pierce Auditorium. Admission is $10 and all details and ticket link can be found on the Pierce Players website.

MHS Theatre invites you to An Evening of One Act Plays

Love. Resilience. Freedom. The Milton High School Theatre Department presents two powerful, thought-provoking one-act plays next week that explore these themes through historical events.

“An Evening of One-Act Plays” takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 30; Friday, January 31; and Saturday, February 1 at the Milton High School auditorium.  Tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults, and are available at the MHS Theatre website.

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Are you looking for activities for your elementary school age children? Please join the Milton Public Schools on February 6th, 2020 in the gymnasium of the Tucker School, 187 Blue Hills Parkway from 5:30-7:00pm. Representatives from a variety of athletic programs, after school activities, musical instrument lessons, theater, acting and future engineers opportunities, and Milton Summer Enrichment will be on hand to answer questions. In addition, a representative from the Milton Public Library will be on hand to register students for a library card and outline all the amazing MPL programs offered.
If you have any questions or need additional information please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison.

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The MPS Wait Until 8th Team is excited to host an incredibly important parent/guardian discussion led by Karin Roethke-Khan, (Cunningham parent, Milton Academy faculty member, and dorm parent for over 20 years) for the parent/guardian community of all of our elementary schools. She will share her insights about the effects tech has had on her students and strategies for managing it at the early stages of your child’s education and social development.

Parents/guardians from ALL schools are invited to join us in the Cunningham faculty lounge on Friday, January 31st at 8:30 am. We look forward to seeing you there for this important discussion.

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The 2019-20 calendar can be found here. The School Committee voted recently on the 2020-21 school year calendar. The approved calendar can be found here. 

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION NIGHTS

TONIGHT – January 23rd, 2020 at 6:30 pm, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Kindergarten Information Night in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd.  As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Pre-registration can be found online here. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2020 to start kindergarten in September 2020. All details on registering for Kindergarten can be found here.

On Tuesday, February 25th, in the MHS Auditorium, parents and guardians  of current kindergarten students  are invited to 1st Grade Information Night  to learn about our two first grade programs: the English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will also explain the Assignment Plan, Lottery (if needed) and the Timeline. The night will end with a Q&A session. We will also hold a STEM Information Night on March 2nd, in the Collicot/Cunningham library,  for current kindergarten families to preview an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on February 5th , 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

The School Committee recently updated the Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan. The updated document can be found here. 

MPS Budget Meetings: We are holding three School Budget Presentations in the coming weeks. Each of these presentations is open to all Milton residents, please consider attending the meeting that best fits your schedule. Please join us on one of the following dates to discuss the projected MPS budget for the 2020-21 school year.

January 28, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Tucker School Library
January 29, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Collicot/Cunningham Library
February 12, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Milton High School Auditorium

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

On Tuesday, February 4th, we will welcome Jon Mattleman presenting “The Secret Lives of Teens/Tweens” at the MHS auditorium, starting at 6:30pm. Jon will help provide new ways of understanding and engaging with teens/tweens, effective strategies you can implement immediately and leave you with more confidence, courage, and patience in your parenting skills. Jon is a mental health counselor and trainer with 30 years of experience working with children, teens, young adults, parents and families. His dynamic presentations have been well received by thousands of parents throughout New England. We welcome his return to Milton after presenting “Minding Your Mind” at Pierce Middle School in 2017.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS 

The MHS Pre-Med Club hosted a certified EMT from Fallon Ambulance to train students about controlling blood loss. Students learned how to put on a tourniquet and in which situations to use one.It was a wonderful opportunity for those venturing into the medical field or outside adventures like rock climbing and downhill mountain biking. Thank you to advisor Vanessa Bettencourt & MHS Librarian JT Troy for facilitating.

***

The Young Men’s Group of Milton High School had the pleasure of having former U.S. Senator William “Mo” Cowan talk with the group as a guest speaker on January 10th. Senior Rejeila Sami Firmin shares more here.

Senator Cowan began by telling the young men how happy he was to “be here at the start of the new decade” for them all. Cowan was very personable as he described just how much he wanted to get to know each young man in the room. He was a welcoming and humble presence as he began to tell his inspiring, true story.

He first wanted the members to know that the job titles he has held do not define him. He emphasized to the young men that he has gone through his fair share of difficulties, and that he wouldn’t have been able to succeed without the guidance and support of others. You can read the rest of Rejeila’s article here.

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Introducing the Milton High Backstage Boosters! The MHS Backstage Boosters is a new 501(c)3 parent-led organization that supports the growing Milton High School Theatre Program –  which has doubled this year to include two musicals and two dramatic productions. The next MHS Theatre Production is An Evening of One Act Plays: The Women of Lockerbie/These Shining Lives on Thursday, January 30; Friday, January 31;  and Saturday, February 1  – all at 7pm. Tickets are available at the MHS Theatre website.

The Backstage Boosters need your help and input. Please come to a general membership meeting on Monday, January 27 at 7pm in the MHS auditorium to learn more about upcoming shows, scholarships for seniors, and newly formed committees. You can also share fundraising ideas and volunteer to help behind the scenes or serve on next year’s board.

To make a monetary donation to support the theatre program, please write a check to MHS Theatre Backstage Boosters and either drop it in the Main Office at MHS or mail it to MHS Theatre Backstage Boosters, Milton High, 5 Gile Road, Milton, MA 02186. There are also sponsorship opportunities available for upcoming productions, which provide great publicity for community organizations and we welcome all inquiries.

Thank you for your support! For questions, contact any member of the  MHS Theatre Backstage Boosters Board as follows: President Tommy McCarthy Vice President Bernadette Bentley ; Treasurer Dave Leggett ; Secretary Joanna Weiss;  Student Technical Representative Mikey McCarthy; Student Actor Representative Maeve Bentley; MHS Theatre Director and Backstage Boosters Advisor Kevin Black MHS Technical Director and Backstage Booster Advisor Preston Pero.

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MSE Red Shirt Opportunity for MHS Students:  All Milton High School students are invited to apply for volunteer and paid Red Shirt positions this summer at Milton Summer Enrichment. Details can be found in the application link here. The application deadline is February 13, 2020.

PIERCE PAGES 

Want to check out what your middle school student has been buzzing about? Milton Parks  and Rec & The Youth Task Force invite  you to a Community Open House of the Wildcat Den Teen Program! Join them on Saturday, February 1st from 1-3pm at the Lower Level of the First Congregational Church, 495 Canton Avenue. Questions? Email miltonyouthtaskforce@gmail.com. For a sneak peek, watch this quick MATV video. Hope to see you there!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Cunningham 5th graders recently had the opportunity to video chat with oceanographer Heidi Dewar. Dr. Dewar is a marine biologist who works for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in San Diego, and she is featured in the 5th grade Reach for Reading text book. Cunningham 5th grade teacher Mrs Chen and her husband have known Dr. Dewar for many years and have had the opportunity to see her research first hand as she took them kayaking with leopard sharks off the coast of San Diego. For the 2nd year in a row, Dr. Dewar enthusiastically agreed to answer questions students had about her research, the Reach for Reading article she was featured in, oceanography and more. Students spent time learning about Dr. Dewar and her research interests, and they formulated questions based on what they learned about her. Students learned about Dr. Dewar’s favorite fish (the opah because it can regulate its body temperature and the manta ray because it is so peaceful), how difficult it can be to tag mola (sunfish), the places in the world she has visited for research (Micronesia was her favorite), how much she loves the process of asking a question, forming a hypothesis, making instruments, and carrying out research, how lucky she feels to be able to do what she does and more. Our  students enjoyed and appreciated this special experience.

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Last week, Tucker participated in their second annual service day as part of the ongoing Tucker Cares program. Every student, grades Pre-K through 5th, participated in activities that provided them the opportunity to perform acts of kindness and give back to the community in various ways.

Preschool students welcomed visitors from the Milton Police and Fire Departments, thanked them for their hard work, provided homemade treat bags for the departments, and handed out handmade ‘Thank You’ cards.

Kindergarteners made fleece blankets and braided toys for the Milton Animal League and thanked Nancy Bersani, animal control officer, for her hard work and dedication.

1st graders created care packages and handmade cards for patients at BID-Milton Hospital. Representatives from the hospital visited the students to thank them and talk about the different types of care the hospital provides.

Second graders welcomed a Navy veteran, Kevin Cook, who spoke to the students about his service for our country, the responsibilities of being a service member, and the role he plays currently in supporting other Veterans. Students made cards and created a care package for a Tucker dad who is currently stationed overseas.

The 3rd grade came together in the cafeteria to make sandwiches and bagged lunches to be delivered to Father Bills.

4th grade students worked together to support an orphanage in Cambodia. Students wrote cards to other students studying hard to learn English, sorted clothes and books donated to the orphanage and welcomed a family member of a Tucker student who will be visiting the orphanage and spoke to the students about the children there.

5th graders  created chemotherapy care packages for cancer patients at Dana Farber including blankets and water bottles,. They were visited by representatives from Dana Farber who spoke to the students about cancer research and answered questions the students had.

Everyone left the day feeling inspired and hopeful that their participation could have helped brighten someone’s day.

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Learning from a classmate’s family member can be so impactful for our students. Thank you to Cunningham parent Baoying Qui for teaching Mrs. O’Leary’s 1st grade class about Chinese New Year. Students read books about Chinese New Year, learned how to write Chinese numbers to 20, and enjoyed a few crafts, including making lanterns and Chinese letters with origami paper.

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Cunningham fourth-graders in Ms. Hyde and Ms. DeFilippis, Ms. McKay and  Ms. Staker and Ms. Caswell’s classes recently participated in their second Readers’ Cafe of the year. Family members  were invited to join the cafe groups as students discussed books they read as part of our Amazing Places unit in Reach for Reading. Students enjoyed sharing their books and learning about their classmates’ books in our classroom cafe setting. It was a great way to end our unit, learn how to talk about books, and celebrate reading!

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Our Collicot 5th grade Student Representatives (chosen to represent their peers) meet with their advisor, Mrs. McGrath, each Friday, to discuss ways to make Collicot School the best school it can be. Last week, the team focused on planning for Kindness Week at the end of January. They brainstormed advertising strategies and are decorating posters to hang around the school as reminders of how kindness can impact someone’s day.  They are organizing the “Great Kindness Challenge” to promote activities and actions toward others that spread kindness.
Throughout the year, they will focus on the Collicot code and undertake new projects including cleaning the garden, town based community service projects and researching  ways to make the Collicot cafeteria more green. We are grateful to our Collicot Student Representatives!

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Milton Community Schools is holding February Vacation Camp  from February 18-21 (4 days) at two sites: Cunningham & Tucker Schools.
Join the fun during February vacation week. Arts & Crafts, Cooking, Gym Games, Survivor Challenges, Sports, Special Projects, STEM, Drama workshop, Special guests, Science Show and more! Students from all MPS elementary schools are welcome to attend either site. Register before Wednesday February 12 online at Cunningham Camp Registration or Tucker Camp Registration. Questions? Please email Jackie Marr or call  617-696-5040 ext. 5544

MPS PRESCHOOL 

Preschool pre-registration is open and will close TONIGHT , January 23rd. Children attending a MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2020.The link to pre-register for Preschool can be found here. The following links will bring you to important information regarding our preschool programs. Preschool Presentation 2020-21; Preschool Overview 2020-21; Preschool Fact Sheet 2020-21; Preschool Important Dates 2020-21; Preschool Tuition and Financial Aid 2020-21

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT 

I have asked MPS Director of Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue, to share information about the MPS elementary health curriculum below.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention can go a long way. In the Milton Public Schools, we know that to be true when applied to comprehensive school health education. At the elementary level, the health curriculum focuses on building students’ skills and content knowledge to lay the foundation to be a health literate individual. We are building a student’s capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and to help them develop essential skills to make responsible decisions regarding their overall well-being. The elementary health curriculum includes, Pre-K – 5 “Second Step” lessons regarding social-emotional skills taught by their classroom teacher, 5th grade growth and development lessons taught by their school nurse and 5th grade LifeSkills lesson taught by their health educator.

The “Second Step” curriculum focuses on helping students develop the skills for learning, develop empathy for others, emotional management and problem solving skills. These lessons are held approximately once a week. The growth and development curriculum is “The Puberty Workshop” and it helps students with self-management skills, self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship skills. Thanks to grant funding support from BID-Milton Hospital, all 5th grade students are able to go through the “Botvin LifeSkills” substance use prevention curriculum. This evidence-based curriculum has been proven effective through years of research. Part of the curriculum has been supplemented with vaping prevention strategies from the Stanford University School of Medicine – Anti-Vaping Toolkit. The curriculum addresses all of the most important factors leading adolescents to use one or more drugs by teaching a combination of health content, general life skills and drug resistance skills. Research shows that it can help increase self-esteem, develop healthy attitudes, and improve their knowledge of essential life skills – all of which promote healthy and positive personal development. The program learning objectives are as follows:

Personal Self-Management Skills: Students develop skills that enhance self-esteem, develop problem-solving skills, help them reduce stress and anxiety, and manage anger.
General Social Skills: Students gain skills to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating clearly, building relationships, and avoiding violence.
Drug Resistance Skills: Students build effective defenses against pressures to use tobacco (including e-cigs), alcohol and other drugs (including marijuana and opioids).

For more information regarding any of these programs please feel free to contact your school principal or the Director of Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

CELEBRATION 2020 is coming soon! Save the date for April 4th, 202o at Granite Links. Details and tickets in the coming weeks. In the meantime…

It’s time to buy your jeep raffle ticket! Only 500 tickets will be sold and you’ll have a 1/500 chance of winning a 2020 Jeep Wrangler or $20,000 cash.

How to buy a ticket?

  • Email Liddiefb@gmail.com to purchase a ticket or with any questions
  • ]Look for ticket sales at many MPS events in the coming weeks
  • Stop in at your school main office – all schools have tickets!

The winner will be drawn 4/4/20 at Celebration. The Milton Foundation for Education’s Celebration and Jeep Raffle raises money in support of all  six Milton Public Schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

During the week of February 3, 2020 the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Milton Public Schools.  The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may call Doryce Smith, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338- 3718 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the (district or charter school) with a report with information about areas in which the (district or charter school) meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the (district or charter school) requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at this website. 

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The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is conducting a comprehensive program review of the Special Education programs in Milton. A component of this review is input from various community stakeholders. We are  seeking interested community members who would like to participate in a 1 hour focus group. The goal of the group is to hear from community members about their experiences in special education. Information gathered will be integrated into our Program Review and will help guide future planning for Special Education.

The focus group for community members is Tuesday, February 4, 2020 from 4-5pm and the group will meet in Milton High School room 209. Please reach out to let us know if you are able to come, so we plan for appropriate space. if you have already RSVPed, you are all set. Please confirm your attendance by emailing Susan Maselli.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

The Milton Public Schools is looking for ways to support those in our community who have deployed members of the military in their family. If you feel you could help us discern the best ways to provide support, we welcome your involvement (staff, parent/guardian, community member) as we consider a path forward. Please email Superintendent Gormley to join this informal group.

If your family needs support at any time, for any reason, please email our Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna.

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Quincy Family Resource Center (QFRC ), provides community-based, multi-cultural programs, support groups, early childhood services, information and referral resources, and education for families whose children range in age from birth to 18. For a list of groups offered in February along with a description and time line, please click here.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Research supports what educators and school officials see every day in our nation’s schools: a well-nourished child who starts the day with breakfast is more likely to be at school, a better learner, and willing to participate in the classroom. Jackie Morgan, shares the following link with valuable information about the many benefits of school breakfast. 

ATHLETICS  

Due to changes at the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association), fall sport tryouts for fall of 2020 will start earlier than usual. Football tryouts will begin on Friday, August 21st and all other sports tryouts will now begin on the following Monday, August 24th. There will be a mandatory “Fall Sports Night” in the Copeland Field House on Monday, 8/24/20 for all students intending to play sports at the high school in any season.

Please familiarize yourself with our student-athlete handbook, found on the front page of the athletics website and linked here. It includes many important items for parents and guardians to be aware of, including; governing bodies, list of sports offered, registration checklist, eligibility, fundraising and sources of funding.

All schedules can be found on our Athletics website.

IN THE COMMUNITY

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition recently  took a deep look at youth and drugs, alcohol and mental health issues in Milton in 2019. This included surveys of hundreds of teens and preteens, a survey of over 500 parents, interviews with key stakeholders, focus groups, and data from BID Hospital Milton and our ambulance service. Milton youth demonstrate a lot of strengths and use of illegal substances has decreased generally since MSAPC last examined this issue. However, we still face challenges. Come and hear the results of this community assessment ( on January 30th at 6:30pm at Milton Hospital) and what we can do as a community in order to continue to move misuse rates in a positive direction. The 2016 release of the last community assessment led to amazing collaboration across town departments focused on decreasing youth alcohol and marijuana use and increasing the focus on behavioral health.

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There is much fun to be had this season in the Children’s Room at the Milton Public Library! Cool family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular story times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening this week.

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Celebrate winter and dance with friends at the Family Snowball Party! This new Milton tradition will be held Saturday, February 1st from 5-8pm at Cunningham Hall in Milton (77 Edge Hill Road). This year’s party theme is Disney’s “Frozen”, and costumes are encouraged.

“Elsa” and “Olaf” will be there, ready to meet and greet with lots of photo opportunities! There will also be a DJ, karaoke, “Just Dance”, face painting, movie corner, raffles, games, crafts, and other fun activities for kids. Pizza, treats and drinks will also be available for sale.

Tickets are $15 per person, and can be purchased online. Tickets will also be available at the door, space permitting. Raffle tickets and refreshments will be sold separately at the event.

The Family Snowball Party is hosted by Milton Girl Scout Troop 65352 to raise funds for an upcoming cultural exchange program with the Bermuda Girl Guides. A portion of event proceeds will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund, to help the arctic wildlife threatened by climate change. More information available on the event’s Facebook page.

YOUTH SPORTS 

It’s only January but many spring sports registration sites are up and running – or will be soon! If you are considering a town spring sport for your child, now is the time to explore options and register. Milton has many sports options for your child, including: Milton Youth Lacrosse;Milton Girls Softball ;Milton American Baseball ;Milton National Little League, Parks and Rec Spring Basketball. 

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

STUDENTS:  Our Girls and Boys Cross Country teams visited the State House last week and were honored with Senate citations for having secured the 2019 Eastern Mass Division 3 Championship Title.  Thank you to Senator Timilty, Representative Driscoll and Select Board Chair Mike Zullas for honoring our students. Congratulations to both teams!

VOLUNTEERS: Two weeks ago, over 70 neighbors came out to enjoy conversation, food and drinks to celebrate the Milton Neighbors Facebook Page reaching 11,000 members, and donate to a very worthy local cause at the Milton Neighbors 11k Celebration Social. Thank you to Mellissa Fassel Dunn for sharing the information below.

Though the goal of the social, hosted by The Milton Scene, was to foster community, the event also raised $1800 for the Milton Public Schools pilot music program for children who wish to take a musical instrument, and need financial assistance to participate. This will allow 6 children to take music lessons for a year, a gift they would not otherwise have been able to receive.

Coleman Rose, Darby McCullough, Lemuel Marc and Henry Link of the Milton High School music program entertained the group with a number of jazz pieces. (They were absolutely wonderful and we are hoping to see more of them at a Novara brunch in the future!)

Many thanks to those who attended, many of whom who donated extra, as well as key sponsors, Gervasi & Co., Chinman Law, The Hanley Group, the Leguia Family, and The Accelerato Group, as well as all of the businesses who donated to the swag bags. The Milton Scene donated special advertising packages to each business sponsor. Special thanks to Novara for hosting the event.

We are grateful to these Milton Neighbors for supporting our MPS music programs and bringing the gift of music to more of our students!

Do you have an instrument collecting dust in your attic? Did you know that you can donate it to Milton Public Schools for tax-deductible donation? Email melissa@miltonscene.com for more details.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Caitlin Deptula, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai,  AJ Melanson, Karen McDavitt, Ryan Madden,  Ellen Lohan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Bill Deschenes, Margaret Carrels, Kevin Black , Noel Vigue, Rejeila Sami Firmin, Vanessa Bettencourt, Maggie Randall and Sarah Callahan.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 23, 2020