From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 5, 2019
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
While we are just one-third of the way through this school year, planning is well underway for the 2020-21 school year. There are several information nights and action steps in the coming weeks for parents/guardians of younger students that I would like to call to your attention.
Please join us for Preschool Information and Pre-Registration Night on January 9, 2020 at 6:30pm.Children attending a MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2020.Preschool staff and administrators will highlight programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have. This information session will take place in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium, Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. All details can be found here.
On 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 in March, 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.
On Monday December 16th at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium, author and Tucker parent, Calvin Hennick presents “Great Expectations: What Do We Want From Our Boys?”
Mr Hennick is featured on the cover of this week’s Boston Globe Magazine: Raising a black son in America. Calvin Hennick thought he could somehow shield his child from the ugly truth of racism just a little longer. But a very public incident at Fenway showed he was wrong. “There are many reasons I’m filled with self-doubt,” Hennick writes. “This is one of them: I am white, and my wife is black, and I have nothing to teach my son about how to be a black man in America.
In his talk at MHS on December 16th, Mr Hennick will explore historical expectations of men and boys, unpacks how those expectations have already changed and continue to evolve, and suggests ways that parents can prepare their sons to meet the challenges of today’s world. His memoir “Once More to the Rodeo” was named as one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2019 and Winner of Pushcart’s 2019 Editor’s Book Award. This will be a night not to be missed.
UPCOMING MPS DATES
Dec 5 MHS College Information Night
Dec 9 Pierce Gr. 6 Winter Concert @ MHS
Dec 10 Pierce Grs 7&8 Winter Concert @MHS
Dec 11 MHS Winter Concert
Dec 12 Early Release Day for Students-Conferences Grs K-5 Only
Dec 16 PARENT Speaker Series – Calvin Hennick
Dec 18 Milton School Committee Meeting
Dec 23-Jan 1 Winter Break
Jan 2 Classes Resume
We have had our 1st snow day of the 2019-20 winter season. The last day of school is now June 17th, 2020. Please click this link for the Milton Public Schools procedures for inclement weather as it pertains to school delays and cancellations.
Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, December 18th at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found on the front page of our website.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
Please join the Guidance Department for our annual College Information/Post Secondary Planning night, at Milton High TONIGHT, Thursday, December 5th at 6pm in the MHS Auditorium. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process:
- Financial Aid
- Standardized Testing
- Supporting your senior throughout the year
- NCAA Requirements
- Overview of the College Application Process
Representatives from Emmanuel College Admissions, Summit Educational Group, American Student Assistance and Milton High School staff will be running all sessions. After a brief introduction in the auditorium, each sessions will run in 30 minute intervals. Students & Parents/Guardians are invited to attend any sessions during that window.
This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in any grade level. A description of topics and locations can be found here.
As you can see in the video below, 8th graders are learning about how thermal energy affects the particles in a fluid in accordance with MS-PS3-4: Conduct an investigation to determine the relationships among energy transferred, how well the type of matter retains or radiates heat, the mass, and the change in the kinetic energy as measured by the temperature of the sample. Students are reviewing thermal energy transfer as a precursor to an engineering design project in which they will build heat resistant “pods” to prevent ice cubes from melting. They also look like they are having fun in 8th grade science!
Pierce teacher Deanna Magill is pleased to share that Pierce Middle School won the CoderZ Social Media Domino Challenge Competition! Nine students created and coded their own original designs of their robot laying down a trail of dominos and then knocking them down and submitted a screen recording which Mrs. Magill posted to Twitter. If you use Twitter you can search for #dominochallenge and #PierceMiddleSchool to see all nine submissions. Congratulations to (pictured L-R) Sophia Kociol, Matthew Chin, Molly King, Lia Duran, Jackson Wagner and Braeden Mahoney and (not pictured) Chris Ennis, Wyatt Hartford, and Joseph Koh, who went above and beyond to complete this challenge. Well done!
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Collicot 4th graders in Mrs. Hodgkins’ class have been studying energy and circuits. Students discovered how to make a complete circuit using a D-cell, wires, and a lightbulb and were then introduced to a switch and a motor to make a circuit that they can turn on and off. In these pictures, students are working on using a different energy source, a solar cell, to produce electricity using energy from sunlight to operate the motor.
The Tucker community invites all MPS parents and guardians to join them for their Second Annual Tucker Talk on December 14th 8:30-11:30am at the Tucker School Library, 187 Blue Hills Parkway, Milton.
Wee the People present: The ABCs of Racism: Starting the Conversation about Race and Racism with Kids. This interactive workshop will explore the barriers that prevent adults from talking about race and racism with kids, examine the social science of race awareness in children, and identify strategies to start the conversation with kids about the complexities of race, racism, and racial differences.
You can learn more on the Wee the People website. This session is for adults. Free childcare is provided. All MPS elementary school parent/guardians are welcome to attend. Please RSVP if you are able to attend as it will help us plan ahead for light refreshments to be served.
Tucker Talk is sponsored by Tucker PTO, Celebrate Milton and the Tucker Diversity Committee.
As in previous years, elementary Spanish students celebrated the Dia de los Muertos in all schools. At its origin, this tradition combines the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors with All Souls’ Day, a holiday that Spanish invaders brought to Mexico starting in the early 1500s. Halloween has its origins in the Celtic harvest festival while the Day of the Dead is rooted in the ancient religious traditions of Mesoamerica. This holiday is celebrated mostly in Mexico early November. El Dia de Los Muertos is a joyful time that enables families to remember the deceased and celebrate the memory of loved ones. During the holiday, colorful Ofrendas – such as the beautiful one currently on display at the Tucker School – decorate homes and public places. Activities and craft in classes included: discussions and readings about special events and ceremonies (parade in Mexico City, meals and costumed gatherings), decorations (candles, flowers, sugar skulls, masks and paper craft called papel picado), culinary treats (sweets and special bread).
Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences for families with K-5 students are on Thursday, December 12th. Conferences are a great opportunity to sit down with your child’s teacher and get and give feedback on how your child’s year is going thus far. Below are “Tips to Get More Out of Your Parent-Teacher Conference” adapted from Scholastic PARENTS.
Before the Parent-Teacher Conference
Start preparing early, don’t wait until the night before to get organized. Create a folder at the beginning of the year in which you keep assessments, homework assignments, and any notes. If you haven’t been doing that so far, not to worry. Just pull together any materials you have, and jot down questions. Talk to your child. Ask how they’re doing in class and about what’s going on during lunchtime, recess, and when they go to special classes like music or gym.
During the Parent-Teacher Conference
Arrive early. With only a few precious minutes to spend, you don’t want to be late.
Go in with a positive attitude. The goal of both the teacher and you should be the success of your child. Arrive with a compliment to start the conference off on the right foot. (“My son is really enjoying the unit on space” or “We had a great time on the field trip.”) Then address any concerns respectfully. Find out the communication protocol. Don’t let this be the only time you talk to your child’s teacher. Ask them how they like to communicate, whether it’s by email, notes passed through a folder, or phone calls.
After the Parent-Teacher Conference
Follow up. If the teacher brings something to your attention that needs to be addressed with your child, take steps to put the plan in motion, whether it’s working on organizational skills, getting extra help, or addressing a social issue. Update your child. Start with the positive things their teacher had to say, then fill them in on any concerns you and the teacher discussed. Explain how you can all work together to ensure your child has a successful year.
With a little planning, these meetings will go from possibly stressful to totally successful.
If you are in need of additional information or resources , please feel free to reach out to the MPS Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email or phone at 617-980-7343.
In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, the Milton Public Schools Speech Language Pathologists have compiled a list of fun interactive games that work on vocabulary and language skills. Try some out with your family or use them as inspiration for those on your gift-giving list.
The Gile Road preschool students recently painted with corn on the cob! The students experimented with the best way to paint, whether it was rolling or sliding the corn over the paper, blotting the paper or using the corn cob like a crayon. Students made whole table designs with several different colors, and had fun creating.
The Woodworking Program at MHS provides experiences far more important than those typically associated with wood shop. I have asked MHS teacher Jamie Merkle to share some insight into our woodworking course.
Courses like Woodworking and other Applied Arts ask students to use their hands to not only build projects, but help build confidence, strength of character, and problem solving capabilities useful in all careers and in all other educational settings. Working with natural materials in a creative manner also promotes cross-curricular relevance that can give students context for their other classes.
Our curriculum covers the safe use of hand and power shop tools, the identification of woods and their characteristics (hardwood vs. softwood) and the assembly and finishing of a piece of quality furniture. We also explore CAD drawing and dimensioning to enhance the skill of spatial visualization and reasoning.
Throughout the projects, students become ‘self-assessors’ using measuring tools, squares, and the final ‘fit’ of things to truly assess the quality of their own work. These habits of perseverance and patience are at the heart of the coursework. Above all, it is a course that all students can succeed in and enjoy equally!
MPS GIVES BACK
During Thanksgiving week, some of our Pierce Middle School staff headed into Boston to distribute backpacks to homeless men and women. The group distributed 43 backpacks filled with donations supplied by Pierce staff. Included in every bag was a hat, gloves, socks, long underwear, personal items, toiletries, flash lights, and gift cards for food. The group packed bagged lunches with a PB&J sandwich, a piece of fruit, bottled water and Halloween candy and those were also given out.Thank you to our Pierce staff and their families for taking the initiative and bringing some Thanksgiving cheer to those who may be struggling this holiday season.
Drop off your used soccer uniforms (and equipment) in collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce and at 34 Cliff Road. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps and uniforms from other sports will be gratefully accepted. For more information, call Madame Brown @ 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public Schools and Milton Soccer.
Cunningham 3rd grader Sophia started doing a sock drive for the homeless when she was just 4. This is her 5th year and she hopes to be able to deliver over 1000 pairs of warm socks to Boston’s homeless men and women. It’s easy to donate – drop your socks into the donation bin in the lobby of Cunningham or the front porches of 3 Phyllis Lane or 178 Lyman Road. Thank you for helping Sophia to deliver new socks to those who need them!
The Pierce Student Council is holding a Sock Drive to Benefit the Boston Rescue Mission. The Student Council will be collecting pairs of new adult socks for two weeks, starting on December 3rd. Their goal is to have 1,000 pairs of adult socks (about one pair per student at our school) to donate by the December 15th deadline. All donations will be given to the Boston Rescue Mission. Please consider donating to this very worthy cause! Donations can be dropped at Pierce during school hours.
ART AND MUSIC
If you are looking for a fun night out this weekend, please consider the MILTON POP-UP ART SHOW on Saturday, December 7th 6-10pm at 1700 Dorchester Avenue, Boston ,MA. You’ll enjoy live music, food from the Blarney Stone and terrific local art. Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased here. The proceeds of this event will be donated to MPS Art & Music Programs!
Our MHS Chorus was asked to sing the National Anthem at the Celtics game this week! You can hear their beautiful rendition below. Thank you to MHS Senior, Nikolai Zychowicz for the video.
There will be more opportunities to hear our talented singers and musicians this month all over Milton. We hope you will be able to attend one of these community events!
12/7 Caroling on the Common at First Congregational Church – Christmas Carolers
12/8 Evening of Christmas Cheer at the Eustis Estate – Brass Choir
12/9 Pierce Grade 6 Ensembles at MHS at 6:30pm
12/10 Pierce Grade 7 & 8 Ensembles at MHS at 6:30pm
12/11 MHS Ensembles at MHS at 7:00pm
12/13 Merry Historic Milton at the Eustis Estate & Forbes House – Jazz Combo & String Ensemble
12/14 Holly Jolly Sing Along & Lantern Parade at the Eustis Estate – Christmas Carolers
12/16 Milton Public Schools Retiree Luncheon – Saxophone Quartet
Curry College and Milton Public Schools have announced a partnership that will allow all employees of MPS preferred partner pricing and discounts for all Continuing Education, Graduate and Post-Graduate coursework and programs of study at Curry. Through this collaboration (which excludes only the Bachelor of Science in Nursing ACCEL program), MPS employees will be able to complete degrees or pursue programs/courses at Curry College’s Milton or Plymouth locations, as well as online.
The Milton Public Schools is proud of our new partnership. You can read all of the details here.
If you are a registered nurse in MA and would like to see if school nursing is for you, consider applying for a per diem position in Milton Public Schools. For more information, please contact Kim Coughlin, Director of Nursing or call 617-696-4470 x5537.
We are hiring for substitute positions in food services at all schools. This can be a great opportunity for parents and retirees and food service experience is a plus, but not required. The starting pay for the food service substitute position is $15.05 per hour. Please email Jackie Morgan or call 617-696-5040 X 5514 for more information.
Milton Football brought back the Ramacorti Trophy after beating Braintree 19-7 in the 90th Annual Thanksgiving Day Game! Thank you to Roy Chambers for these photos of our Thanksgiving Day game.
The MHS Girls and Boys Winter Track Team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can and bottle drive this Saturday, December 7th from 9am-noon at Milton High School.
All game schedules can be found on our MHS Athletics website.
IN THE COMMUNITY
The Milton Art Center is holding Secret Elf Workshops! Your elves will create personalized gifts for loved ones, and enjoy holiday music, snacks, and a festive atmosphere. The $50 fee includes materials for several projects.
Sign up here for Dec. 7, 9am-Noon or Dec. 14, 9am-Noon.
Santa Claus is coming to the Eustis Estate Saturday, December 7th from 11am – 2pm! Take a photo with Santa and see the 1878 mansion decorated for Christmas. Enjoy cookies and cider in our cozy kitchen. All children must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. Select a time slot to reduce your wait time (11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m.). To purchase tickets, please visit out website or call (617) 994-6600.
Enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate on Sunday, December 8, 5-7pm. Explore the 1878 mansion, which has been lavishly decorated for Christmas, while live holiday music, provided by the Milton Public schools music department, fills the halls. Light refreshments, including wine and cider, will be served.
Advance tickets are required.To purchase tickets, please visit our website or call 617-994-6600 for more information.
The Milton Art Center Holiday Artisan Fair on Saturday, December 14, 10am-4pm, is one of the premier Holiday markets in the Boston area. There are 20+ merchants selling unique, hand-crafted items including artwork, pottery, jewelry, home goods, soaps, candies and more. Shop local, enjoy the holiday cheer! The Milton Art Center is located at 334 Edge Hill Road.
The Town of Milton is preparing a climate change vulnerability assessment. The assessment’s goal is to identify hazards climate change pose to Milton, our points of vulnerability to these hazards, and our points of strength as we work to mitigate their effects.
To that end, the Town will be hosting a public listening session before our assessment to get a better idea of resident priorities and mine their collective knowledge. All members of the Milton community are invited to the Climate Change Vulnerability Listening Session on Thursday, January 9th 6:30-8:30pm at the Milton Library, Keys Community Room.
Milton Youth Lacrosse spring registration for grades 3-8 is open! New players welcome. For those with need for financial aid please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Indoor practices begin in January!
Environmental Coordinator for the Milton Department of Public Works Hillary Waite share the following: The winter season is sprinkled with holidays, celebrations, gifts and delicious foods. It can also be wasteful. According to the EPA, household waste in the U.S. increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, totaling about 1 million extra tons of waste. What can people concerned about their environmental footprint do to make seasonal celebrations more sustainable? More information can be found here.
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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Noel Vigue, Karen Cahill, Kristin Fraine, Deanna Magill, Christine Hodgkins, Maggie Randall, Ryan Madden, Jamie Merkle, Hillary Waite, Zeina Hamada, Laurie Dunn, Susan Higgins, Dawn Sykes, Roy Chambers, Marti O’Keefe McKenna.
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: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812