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 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.

***

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.

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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 

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.

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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

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, 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

January 16, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 9, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There is no reason to leave Milton in the coming weeks to experience engaging and enjoyable theater and music. Our students and staff are prepared to entertain you – please consider supporting their endeavors!

Tonight at Milton High School, our Pierce and Milton High School musicians will wow you at the MHS/Pierce Jazz Concert at 7pm in the Charles Winchester Auditorium at MHS.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is coming to Pierce! Pierce Players productions are always a hit and enjoyed by theater goers of all ages. 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. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 13th at 12pm. Admission is $10 and all details and ticket link can be found on the Pierce Players website.

MHS Theater invites you to 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 Theater website.

The Women of Lockerbie: A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland, looking for her son’s remains that were lost in the crash of Pan Am 103. She meets the women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the U.S. government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families. THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE is loosely inspired by a true story, although the characters and situations in the play are purely fictional. Written in the structure of a Greek tragedy, it is a poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate.

These Shining Lives: In this drama centering around Catherine Donahue and her three coworkers / friends, the new financial independence of women working in the post-war 1920s is both liberating and exciting. The women earn a comfortable living painting watch faces glow-in-the-dark. This new vision of freedom is shattered when one by one the women begin to fall ill to mysterious ailments. THESE SHINING LIVES chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance. Catherine and her friends are dying, its true; but theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spiritsor endanger the lives of those who come after them.

On February 13th, please join us for the MHS Cabaret, and be entertained by our students and staff alike. These talented performers will leave you wanting more!

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The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites all to their Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. There are service projects happening from 9-11am at St Michael’s Episcopal Church, 112 Randolph Avenue, Milton. For the indoor service project, volunteers are invited to donate, assemble, and distribute Blessing Bags to homeless individuals. Please bring supplies to donate if you are able and willing. The full list of needed supplies, as well as the RSVP, can be found by clicking here.

In the evening, we will gather to celebrate Dr. Kings life from 6:30-8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Avenue, Milton.  Join the MHS Gospel Chorus,  MPS Elementary Singers, MHS Diversity Groups, MICA Scholarship Winners,  members of Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice and more as we come together as a community around the theme for this year: The Challenge of Change.

All are welcome to volunteer in the Day of Service activities and join in the Celebration as we remember and honor the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

These are busy days in the Milton Public Schools with grade specific Information Nights, two upcoming PARENT Speakers, concerts, theater productions, activity fairs, budget meetings and more all on the MPS calendar in the coming weeks. There are many options for staying “in the know” at the Milton Public Schools. Please refer to our Milton Public Schools website, district calendar, Facebook page, Twitter account, your Principal and PTO communications and of course this weekly update to stay informed and aware of all that is happening in your child’s school and our district.

Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. Holiday
Jan 21 PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole-“Vaping and our Youth”
Jan 22 Milton School Committee
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

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.

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

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 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 January 22nd, 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

MPS Budget Meetings: Along with members of the Milton School Committee, MPS Administrators recently presented budget requests for Fiscal Year 2021 to the Warrant Committee. As we navigate the process of presenting the school budget to the Warrant Committee and eventually to Town Meeting, we want to keep the MPS community informed as to the process. To that end, 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 

Our PARENT Speaker Series is midway though the 3rd year of bringing interesting and valuable speakers to parents and guardians in Milton and beyond. We are thrilled with the success of the PARENT Speaker Series and want to recognize the community organizations that help to fund the series. The PARENT Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Public Schools, Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, MPS Parent Teacher Organizations and Special Education Parent Advisory Council. We have two compelling speakers in the coming weeks and I hope you will consider making time to attend one or both of these valuable presenations.

On Tuesday January 21st at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium, Mary Cole, MPH, CHES presents “Vaping and Our Youth: Strategies for Prevention”. Learn more about what e-cigarette and vape products are, why they are harmful, how the tobacco and vaping industry are targeting kids, and how to protect our kids from this latest trend. Mary Cole is the Program Coordinator of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Mary has her Masters in Public Health from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). In conjunction with the speaker, you may find these links helpful:  Teen Vaping: What You Need to Know and CDC/Surgeon General Tip Sheet for Parents. 

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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 

Congratulations to our MHS students who attended the  All American Model United Nations Invitational this past weekend and were award “Best Delegation” All American!

Pictured (L to R): Sophie Kasiba, Anderson Korman, Jonathan Waldmann and William McElroy. Not shown but participated: Kiera Glazer, Honu Panerio-Langer and Iris Trafton

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MHS student Rejeila Sami Firmin shares the following about a recent field trip for the Young Men and Women’s Group.

Seniors in the Young Men and Women’s Group took an eye-opening trip to the Boston Public Library on December 18th to learn more about the college process. The students visited the Teen Center as well as the ASA Education and Career Planning Center.

As seniors, the members had already been to many different kinds of college informational sessions like tours, fairs, and meetings with counselors. However, this trip provided so much more. David Vera, Education Advisor at the Boston Public Library asks, “How many of you have actually taken the time to sit down and write a list of your skills?” In a room full of 20 seniors, not one raised a hand.

As the session carried on, Vera continued to ask the seniors simple questions about themselves, and immediately provided a plan for them. Vera advised the seniors to take advantage of social media, build themselves a portfolio, and begin working in the field they wish to pursue. At the end of the meeting, students made follow-up appointments and arranged to meet with Vera before Winter Break.

Young Women’s Group member Michelle Gauvin says, “I really liked how he talked about different options other than a 4-year college. A lot of people talk badly about community college but David talked about how you can save a lot of money that way.” Leila Stella, another member of the Young Women’s Group continues, “He gave us good advice for our futures and how we’re going to create a pathway for ourselves. He also reassured us that all our journeys are going to be different so we shouldn’t doubt ourselves and I really feel like that’s what a lot of young adults need to hear.”

The trip accomplished the goal of giving the seniors a new outlook on the college process through allowing students to ask individualized questions and beginning the discovery of their different career pathways. Due to the success of the first trip, the Young Men and Women’s Group plan to bring the sophomores and juniors in March of 2020.

PIERCE PAGES 

8th grade Pierce social studies classes enjoyed a field trip this week to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute  for the US Senate. Students participated in a Senate simulation playing the role of Senators from various states, political parties, with differing political views. Students debated the topic of immigration and voted on various clauses and a bill. Thank you to Representative William J. Driscoll Jr., Democratic Representative, 7th Norfolk,  who addressed students on his journey to political office.

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We are happy to share the great effort and results by Pierce Middle School wrestling this weekend at the Boston City Championships! Congratulations to Will Doyle – 1st, Colt Osinski – 3rd, Owen Crowley – 1st, Reese Lyte – 3rd, Nathan Auguste – 3rd, Vinny Thill – 3rd, Mack Poles – 1st and Griffin White – 1st.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders  are currently studying “Pebbles, Sand, and Silt”. In this unit, students are learning that rocks can be described by their properties. Students learn that properties are like categories, and that scientists sort rocks according to color, shape, texture, weight, luster, and pattern. Students were excited to use magnifying glasses to observe and compare physical properties of rocks. Students were captivated with the Rock of the Day- GRANITE. They examined its properties and discussed how this speckled rock is used in everyday life (stairs, countertops, curbstones, etc…) Our students rock on in grade 2!

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Collicot 5th graders serve as student leaders and have jobs around school that they work on during recess. Students use their recess time to empty recycle bins, organize books in the library or help administrators and Ms. Barker in the office. Some 5th graders have chosen to volunteer in our kindergarten classrooms and join students during centers. Below our 5th graders support kindergarten students during center time in Mrs. Bullard’s class.

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Tucker students are enjoying morning Yoga with Ms. Nicole as part of the winter enrichment offerings offered at Tucker. Other classes include Robotics, STEM Stories, Basketball, Girls and Boys Grade 5 Empowerment Group and more.

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Joel Christian Gill, Associate Professor of Illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, visited Cunningham this week. Mr. Gill is a cartoonist and author who creates comics to tell the stories of unheralded figures from black history. In his presentation to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, he spoke about his development as an artist and storyteller and shared samples of his work, from a picture book about Bessie Stringfield, an African-American pioneer for women in motorcycling, to a graphic novel about Henry “Box” Brown, an enslaved person who escaped by mailing himself in a crate from Virginia to Philadelphia. After the presentation, Mr. Gill treated the 5th grade classes to a workshop where students gained confidence as artists, learned tips about telling stories through the medium of cartooning, and created comics of their own.

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The Cunningham and Collicot PTOs held a parent/guardian coffee last week and Cunningham and Collicot adjustment counselors Jaclyn Germano and Elizabeth Caruso gave an informative and well attended  presentation focused on building confidence in children starting at a young age. They discussed the science behind the development of a child’s brain and provided parenting tips, family activities and other resources including bedtime books and videos. If you missed this valuable presentation, please take a moment to view the presentation and watch the Ted Talk linked in the slides.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY 

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. 

MPS PRESCHOOL 

Preschool pre-registration is open and will close on 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 – VISUAL ARTS

I have asked Dawn Sykes, Fine and Applied Arts Director to share information about our visual arts curriculum here.

Milton’s visual arts program encourages students to develop creativity and expressive awareness. In art classes, students gain powerful tools for learning artistic modes of problem solving, bringing an array of expressive, analytical, and developmental skills to all situations. Furthermore, visual arts programming heightens cultural traditions while encouraging self-realization and self-discipline.

In the elementary grades, students receive 45 minutes of art instruction per week where they build skills and experiment with making art. Lessons are grounded in the elements and principles of design, include exploration of materials, and the study of cultures and art from around the world. As students progress through the grades, they refine observational skills, learn to think abstractly, and make decisions to portray meaning in their art. Students in the fifth grade who show special interest in art-making may participate in Artistic Creative Enrichment (ACE), a program that allows for greater exploration of materials and techniques for more personalized artwork.

Students in middle school may elect to take visual art classes where they continue to learn about the creative process, and are encouraged to seek deeper personal solutions to artistic challenges. As well, they learn specific techniques traditionally used in art making. Along with the basic skills used in drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, and ceramics, students study a variety of artists and art movements. Also, students continue a deeper study of the elements and principles of design, and how to employ them to create successful compositions. In middle school, particularly dedicated students may continue with ACE Designation as a supplemental component to the class.

Finally, in high school, students are offered a wide variety of art experiences to explore their creative potential and to develop accompanying skills. In addition to increasing awareness of visual concepts, students refine technical skills as well as develop exploratory and experimental approaches to self-expression. Students are enabled to organize and direct the focus of their work through independent study, goal setting, creative problem solving and personal reflection. Expanding on concepts presented in prior years, the high school program aims to forge interdisciplinary connections between cultures, past artistic endeavors and the individual’s personal concepts. Courses in traditional art-making processes of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, ceramics, and sculpture are offered as well as digital photography and a study of visual concepts in film. Students may also elect to study AP Studio Art.

Our purpose is to foster attitudes, understanding, skills, and enjoyment so that each individual’s artistic potential may be developed. In developing their potential, students realize that participation in the Arts adds a richness to life.

TECHNOLOGY

We are looking forward to the first-ever elementary school Digital Citizenship Day.  All Milton Public School elementary students will take part in two to four engaging digital citizenship lessons during this exciting day.  The lesson topics will include but are not limited to, digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying, and creating passwords.

The ready to teach no teaching experience needed lessons will be delivered by family volunteers.  Each class will need two to four volunteers. The lessons will be shared with the volunteers on Tuesday, January 14th.  If the volunteers need support in preparing for the day an optional training session will be offered to all of the volunteers on Tuesday, January 21st at 6:30 pm in the Collicot/Cunningham cafeteria.

The  dates of each school’s Digital Citizenship Day are as follows:

  • Collicot – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
  • Cunningham – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
  • Glover – Tuesday, February 11th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm
  • Tucker – Thursday, February 13th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm

If you would like to volunteer please complete the Google Form for your student’s school: Collicot’s Google Form; Cunningham’s Google Form; Glover’s Google Form;Tucker’s Google Form  If you have any immediate questions please email  AJ Melanson, MPS Educational Technology Director.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

Over two days in December, teams of 5 or 6 teachers from each elementary school gathered at Cunningham Hall to build understanding of how to promote trauma-sensitive school environments.  This opportunity is one piece of a new partnership with STRIVE- Supportive Trauma Interventions for Educators.  Dr. Neena McConnico, Director of the Child Witness to Violence Project, and Courtney Bailey, Clinical Coordinator the Child Witness to Violence Project, led participants through a series of interactive activities and reflection exercises.  The overall goals of STRIVE are to:  Improve socio-emotional regulation for children and improve student-teacher interactions; 2).  Integrate a cultural lens that acknowledges inequities in exposure to adverse childhood experiences in order to create inclusive learning environments for students; 3). Promote trauma-sensitive school environment by leveraging existing data and coordinating partnerships to build institutional capacity of public schools that serve minority and disadvantaged youth.  We look forward to furthering this partnership and continuing to build capacity in our district to ensure the success of all of our students

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…

Are you interested in being among the first to have a 1/500 chance of winning a 2020 Jeep Wrangler or $20,000 cash? 2020 MFE Jeep Raffle tickets are hot off the press! Email Liddiefb@gmail.com to purchase a ticket or with any questions.  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

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.

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Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council invites you to SEPAC monthly meetings. Mark your calendars: Meetings start at 7pm at Glover Elementary School on 2/5/20, 3/4/20, 4/1/20, 5/6/20, 6/3/20.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

MPS Head Nurse Kim Coughlin shares that all schools are reporting students testing positive for flu.  These resources may be helpful for families: CDC “Flu: What to do if you get sick” link  and “Healthy Habits to prevent flu”.  As a reminder,  students should be fever-free for 24 hours without medicine before returning to school. 

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Milton High School staff and students – Do you want to avoid the lunch lines? Want to have more time to relax and eat your lunch? There’s an App for that!

This week, our new app, WebMenus, will be launching and will allow you to preorder your sandwich, salad or Power Pack just in time for your lunch period! You will be able to order your lunch up to a week ahead of time or before 9:30 AM for the day of.

  • Download the WebMenus app on your Apple or Google device. (Or order straight from your computer desktop at Milton School’s Foodservice Webpage  – look for the link on the top left corner of the food service page).
  • Enter your name; pick up date, email, and cell phone number (if you’d like a text confirmation).
  • Customize your sandwich, salad, or Power Pack.
  • During your lunch period, pick up your order at the cooler on the TOP SHELF before stopping by the cashier. It will have a label with your full name and order on it.

That’s it – no lines to wait in, more time to eat! Just go right to the cashier for payment.

*Please be aware that orders that are not picked up will still be charged to the student/faculty’s account. Please direct any questions you may still have to Milton’s Foodservice Department 617-898-1051

ATHLETICS  

Boys Hockey won in convincing fashion last night, beating Newton north 6-0. Goals from Bobby Carew, Rob Ricciardi, Owen Radley, Jack Vaughn, Ronan Robinson and John Carey.

The Girls Hockey Team won their second game, beating Newton North 4-1, with goals from Cheistina Sweeney (2), Kat Baker and Grace DeBenedictis. They will play at 6pm on Saturday before the Boys play at 7:40pm in a double-header. It is also Youth Hockey Night!

The Boys Basketball Games has not been for the faint of heart lately, as they rebounded from an overtime loss to Newton North with a 3-point victory (65-62) over Randolph last night to improve to 5-4 on the season.

All schedules can be found on our Athletics website.

IN THE COMMUNITY

The film In Their Shoes was created to amplify the unheard, disempowered, and often vilified populations in the drug crisis –  the easiest targets caught in the most difficult cycles.  All are invited to a screening and discussion of the film on Thursday, January 30th in the student lounge of Quincy College. All details can be found here.  

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter has information for families about many activities for children in the coming weeks.

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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 during the week of January 26th.

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The Milton Historical Society is hosting its annual Fireside Chat program on two separate occasions. The first chat is on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at 10 a.m., and second on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at 7 p.m., both at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. Reservations are required as there is a 20-person limit at each sitting. Coffee and light refreshments will be available. Reservations only to EJPen@comcast.net.
Suffolk Resolves House Curator Diann Strausberg will bring Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson to life using Hutchinson related items in the society’s collection.

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The next Milton Community Concert, “Rockin’ With Renaissance Men”, will be on Saturday evening, January 18th at 7pm at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. This is a free benefit concert, with donations of any amount going to support the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

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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 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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Please consider supporting Brookwood Community Farm or joining as a member. Over the past few years, a variety of elementary school students have visited the farm with their class, walking the fields, learning about how plants grow and more, all at the base of the Blue Hills.

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.

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: Glover 4th grader, Cole Robinson, has loved koala bears since the age of two, when a family friend gave him a koala stuffed animal from Australia. He has been devastated (as have many of us) by the news coming out about the bush fires in Australia and was inspired to take action.

Along with his friends Jack Queally, Owen Burnes, Patrick O’Leary, Emmett Sullivan and Charlie Heavey, Cole has begun to raise funds to support those impacted. Last week, Cole and friends organized a Hat Day at Glover. Students were invited to wear their hats all day in school in exchange for a donation, in any amount, to Cole’s fundraising efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of the Glover community, over $3000 was raised in the Hats for Koalas fundraiser! All funds raised are going to a carefully researched animal hospital in Australia that is currently treating hundreds of injured koalas. We are grateful for our student leaders, Cole, Charlie, Jack, Owen, Patrick, and Emmett for helping to bring this project to fruition. Thank you to all who participated to help make their charitable efforts a success!

STAFF: Thank you to Geralyn Comer, Carolyn Brandi, Amanda Brink, Kate Elovich, Sheila Arens, Cassi Driscoll,Anne-Isabelle Jungels, Amy Gale, Jackie LaMonica, Fatim Kramer and Jennifer Fitzsimmons. This group of K-2 teachers dedicated a recent Saturday to science professional development and I appreciate their commitment to their students.

During this professional development series, teachers investigated how to use FOSS science to help students explore science in a hands on manner, beginning with inquiry. Teachers participated in conversations about the importance of sense-making discussions in the primary science classroom and met in grade level teams to prepare for upcoming science units considering these two important ideas. Our students and staff continue to benefit from robust professional development.

VOLUNTEERS: Congratulations to Katherine Touafek of Schools to Careers who has been named the NRCC Paul Smith Volunteer of the Year 2019. The award is presented to a volunteer who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the NRRC (Neponset River Regional Chamber) and its members – exemplified by the late Paul Smith, Sr. – selfless giving of time, talent and materials to help fellow members succeed. Many of our students participate in the successful Schools to Careers field trips and seminars and we are grateful to Katherine for her work with Schools to Careers.

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, Caitlin Deptula, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Bernadette Butler, Josh Coben, AJ Melanson, Karen McDavitt, Ryan Madden,  Ellen Lohan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Susan Maselli, , Jackie Morgan, Kim Coughlin, Bill Deschenes, Margaret Carrels, Tanya Walsh, Dr. Karen Spaulding, Kevin Black , James Jette, Dawn Sykes, Jaclyn Germano, Elizabeth Caruso, Melissa Augustyn, Barbara Wright and Rejeila Sami Firmin.

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 16, 2020

January 9, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 9, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

These are busy days in the Milton Public Schools with grade specific Information Nights, two upcoming PARENT Speakers, concerts, theater productions, activity fairs, budget meetings and more all on the MPS calendar in the coming weeks. There are many options for staying “in the know” at the Milton Public Schools. Please refer to our Milton Public Schools website, district calendar, Facebook page, Twitter account, your Principal and PTO communications and of course this weekly update to stay informed and aware of all that is happening in your child’s school and our district.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Jan 9 Preschool Information Night
Jan 9 Milton Neighbors Event to Benefit MPS Music
Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. Holiday
Jan 21 PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole-“Vaping and our Youth”
Jan 22 Milton School Committee
Jan 23,24,25 Pierce Players
Jan 23 Kindergarten Information Night
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

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. 

Save the date for Milton Summer Enrichment 2020! MSE 2020 will run from July 6-31st, 2020. Look for details after the new year. For a peek at last year’s MSE details, check out our MSE webpage.

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION NIGHTS

TONIGHT – Please join us for Preschool Information and Pre-Registration Night on January 9, 2020 at 6:30pm at Milton High School. Children attending a MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2020.

The link to register for Preschool can be found here and will be live on the evening of January 9th. Preschool staff and administrators will highlight programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have. 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 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.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Up next in our PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole, MPH, CHES presents “Vaping and Our Youth: Strategies for Prevention” on Tuesday January 21st at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium.

Learn more about what e-cigarette and vape products are, why they are harmful, how the tobacco and vaping industry are targeting kids, and how to protect our kids from this latest trend. Mary Cole is the Program Coordinator of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Mary has her Masters in Public Health from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

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Just two weeks later, our next PARENT Speaker will be at Milton High School on Tuesday, February 4th at 6:30pm. Jon Mattelman will  present “The Secret Lives of Teens/Tweens” as part of our PARENT Series. Jon shares this article in reference to his presentation.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on January 8th, 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

MPS Budget Meetings: Along with members of the Milton School Committee, MPS Administrators recently presented budget requests for Fiscal Year 2021 to the Warrant Committee. As we navigate the process of presenting the school budget to the Warrant Committee and eventually to Town Meeting, we want to keep the MPS community informed as to the process. To that end, 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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS 

MHS Theater invites you to An Evening of One Act Plays: The Women of Lockerbie/These Shining Lives. Tickets are available at the MHS Theater website.

The Women of Lockerbie: A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland, looking for her son’s remains that were lost in the crash of Pan Am 103. She meets the women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the U.S. government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families. THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE is loosely inspired by a true story, although the characters and situations in the play are purely fictional. Written in the structure of a Greek tragedy, it is a poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate.

These Shining Lives: In this drama centering around Catherine Donahue and her three coworkers / friends, the new financial independence of women working in the post-war 1920s is both liberating and exciting. The women earn a comfortable living painting watch faces glow-in-the-dark. This new vision of freedom is shattered when one by one the women begin to fall ill to mysterious ailments. THESE SHINING LIVES chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance. Catherine and her friends are dying, its true; but theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spiritsor endanger the lives of those who come after them.

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Earlier today, 14 students involved in MHS Theatre’s Winter Production above  attended a day of workshops organized by The Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild and hosted at Bridgewater State University. Students were able to enroll in a variety workshops including Physical Theatre and Clowning, Acting for the Stage, Oral Interpretation of Poetry, Acting Shakespeare, Introduction to Directing, Introduction to Costume Design, and Scene Shop Construction Techniques. All of the workshops were taught by professors from Bridgewater State, so students were able to experience collegiate level theatre classes, speak with current theatre students at Bridgewater State about their experiences, and build connections with other theatre students at local high schools.

PIERCE PAGES 

Students in Mrs. Magill’s 7th and 8th grade FUSE classes have been experimenting with a new challenge in the FUSE program called Sculpty Pet. FUSE is an interest-driven STEAM exploration class offered at Pierce. In this challenge, students  use a program to “sculpt” a virtual ball of clay into a pet. Students are learning about symmetry, scale, and coordinate planes to create these pets and place them in the worlds they design.

Students were excited to learn that they could 3D print their pets.  Students have created an elephant, pigs, dogs, cats, and what could be an  angry bird or a platypus!  The challenge ends at Level 5, with students creating a virtual world for their pet to live in by importing backgrounds and sculpting other objects to have in that world.  As students begin to create their pet’s new worlds, we suspect that soon we will have an elephant flying in a spaceship or a cat and dog floating down a river on a raft. We look forward to seeing where our student’s creativity leads them!

Below, 7th graders Jennifer Lo (L)  and Mary Cullinan (R) show off their pets.

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is coming to Pierce! Pierce Players productions are always a hit and enjoyed by theatergoers of all ages. 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. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 13th at 12pm. Admission is $10 and all details and ticket link can be found on the Pierce Players website.

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Thank you to MPS parent John Gillooly for these terrific pictures of our current Pierce Patriots Basketball Teams. I know we will see many of these athletes in Wildcats gear in the coming years!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Tucker students were wowed by visiting Chinese acrobat, Li Liu last week. Li Liu was born in Bejing, China and began learning acrobatics when she was 6 years old. She has toured with the circus and performs on the Princess Cruise Lines and at NBA halftime shows.

The performance was a blend of acrobatic stunts such as artistic cycling, paired with lessons about Chinese culture and celebrations, including the upcoming Lunar New Year. Students were mesmerized by the ribbon dancing and excited to participate in some of the stunts.

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Cunningham 3rd graders have been busy learning about owls in class as part of the FOSS Structures of Life unit. Today,  two educators from the Trailside Museum in Milton visited Cunningham and brought two live owls to the classrooms. Students explored the adaptations owls have that make them unique nocturnal birds of prey. Students handled touchable nature artifacts and met two live owls which are native to the Commonwealth. Students were shocked to learn that these big owls were each only between 1 and 1 1/2 pounds as they have hollow bones!

The Trailside Museum will come to Glover later this month and to Collicot and Tucker in the Spring. Thank you to the Milton Foundation for Education for generously funding these visits using Sam’s Fund and Monster Dash proceeds!

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The Milton Activities and Athletics Fair is on February 6th, 2020 in the Tucker Gymnasium from 5:30-7pm. Join us to hear about how your student can get involved in the many Milton teams, activities and learning opportunities! Learn more about Milton Youth Lacrosse, Wrestling, Soccer, Hockey, Softball, Girl Power Run Club, STEAMologists, Parks and Recreation, Musical Instrument Lessons, Milton Summer Enrichment and more.   Please email Noel Vigue with any questions. 

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to become more involved in your child’s school? Getting involved is a great way to show them that you take an interest in their education and sends a positive message that you consider school a worthwhile cause.  

Across the district all of Milton Public Schools offer opportunities for families to get involved in whatever capacity they are able. Whether you are looking to join a committee that meets on a regular basis or are only able to help out when your schedule allows – there are opportunities for all.  Studies have shown that increased parental involvement can boost achievement levels in students.  Below, Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna shares some of the ways families can get involved and make a difference!

Site Council:  Each school in the district is required by state law to support the programs and policies of the schools through a shared vision.  School site councils are made up of a group of teachers and parents/guardians, community members and students (at the high school level only). Council members meet monthly with building principals.  The responsibilities of the council is to adopt educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards, identify the educational needs of students attending the school, review the annual school building budget and formulate a school improvement plan.

Diversity Committee: The Diversity Committee was created to promote high academic achievement by all students, respect for all people and an affirming atmosphere for students and families in the Milton Public Schools.  Committee members meet monthly and are made up of teachers, parents, community members and principals.

PTO – Parent – Teacher Organization: The purpose of the PTO is to promote the welfare of students through a united effort between parents/guardians and teachers in order to assure the greatest educational advantage. Through fundraising efforts, the PTO’s goal is to provide additional programs and activities, which enhance the education of the students.  The PTO sponsors cultural and social events for students. All monies raised by the PTO are used exclusively for school activities.

PTO membership is non-commercial, non-sectarian and non-partisan.  Any parent or guardian of pupils in a particular school may join the PTO.  The PTO relies on members’ support, both financial and through volunteer opportunities, to achieve its goal: the enhancement of the student’s education.

Please contact your building principal or administrative assistant to learn more about how to join or to learn about other opportunities that may be available. MHS – James Jette; PMS – Bill Fish Collicot – Holly Concannon; Cunningham – Jon Redden; Glover – Karen McDavitt; Tucker – Elaine McNeil GirmaiPlease reach out with any questions  to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, via email or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

MPS Head Nurse Kimberly Coughlin shares the following information about the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Vaping Ban.

The Massachusetts Public Health Council approved new regulations that restrict the sale of nicotine vaping and flavored vaping and tobacco products, and ended the Governor’s temporary statewide ban on the sale of vaping products in place since September 24th. This action follows Governor Charlie Baker’s signing into law An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control on November 27, 2019. The new regulations went into effect on December 11th.

Effective January 1, 2020, Massachusetts commercial health insurance plans plus the Group Insurance Commission and MassHealth, must cover smoking cessation counseling and FDA-approved products such as gum, lozenges, or patches without cost-sharing. Beginning on June 1, 2020, the sale of all other tobacco products that have a flavor, such as menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco, will also be restricted to licensed smoking bars where they may be sold only for on-site consumption. Information about this announcement is available here. The site will continue to be updated as new information and resources are available.

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT

An effective math curriculum provides learning opportunities for students to explore mathematical concepts and ideas as a whole class, within collaborative groups, and independently engages them in activities and tasks that encourage multiple approaches, deepen conceptual understanding, and connect to prior learning. I have asked Brian Selig, K-12 Math Director , to share more about our elementary math curriculum below.

All K-5 teachers in the Milton Public Schools presently utilize the fourth edition of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum to address the math learning standards defined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (click here to see). The strengths of this curriculum include its spiral design to allow repeated opportunities to revisit important concepts on an ongoing basis to combat “siloed” learning, its use of visual models to promote deeper understanding and connections, and its well-designed games to engage elementary students in fun and meaningful learning opportunities. No curriculum resource is perfect and as such we as a district are in the planning stages of a review of the Everyday Mathematics 4 curriculum to determine whether it or another program will best meet the needs of our young learners in the Milton Public Schools going forward.

With the significant changes in math education over the last decade, often referred to disparagingly as the “new math”, comes an obligation on the part of every school district not only to adopt and implement high quality curriculum materials but also to provide teachers with the necessary professional training to understand the intention and realize the potential of these changes on the learning experiences within their classroom, which can be characterized by a greater emphasis placed on understanding of the problem-solving process rather than a limited prioritizing of the desired result, answer, or solution.

This shift in how teachers approach math instruction with their students carries particular importance at the elementary level because success with more advanced algebraic concepts in math depends on a strong and flexible number sense established in the early grades and the fact that elementary teachers are responsible for instruction in multiple subject areas, not just math.

In Milton we are very fortunate to have two fantastic K-5 math coaches, Maura Middleton and Mary Shapiro, who are experts in content, effective instructional practices, and varied methods of assessment. By working collaboratively with one of the coaches, elementary teachers deepen their own content knowledge, utilize effective instructional strategies that include the use of concrete manipulatives and visual models, and develop techniques to facilitate rich mathematical discussions in their classrooms to help synthesize students’ learning.

TECHNOLOGY

It is with great excitement that we announce the first-ever elementary school Digital Citizenship Day.  All Milton Public School elementary students will take part in two to four engaging digital citizenship lessons during this exciting day.  The lesson topics will include but are not limited to, digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying, and creating passwords.

The ready to teach no teaching experience needed lessons will be delivered by family volunteers.  Each class will need two to four volunteers. The lessons will be shared with the volunteers on Tuesday, January 14th.  If the volunteers need support in preparing for the day an optional training session will be offered to all of the volunteers on Tuesday, January 21st at 6:30 pm in the Collicot/Cunningham cafeteria.  

The  dates of each school’s Digital Citizenship Day are as follows: 

  • Collicot – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
  • Cunningham – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
  • Glover – Tuesday, February 11th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm
  • Tucker – Thursday, February 13th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm

If you would like to volunteer please complete the Google Form for your student’s school: Collicot’s Google FormCunningham’s Google FormGlover’s Google Form;Tucker’s Google Form  If you have any immediate questions please email  AJ Melanson, MPS Educational Technology Director.   

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…

Are you interested in being among the first to have a 1/500 chance of winning a 2020 Jeep Wrangler or $20,000 cash? 2020 MFE Jeep Raffle tickets are hot off the press! Email Liddiefb@gmail.com to purchase a ticket or with any questions.  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

 

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.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

The Milton Public School offers breakfast every morning for twenty minutes before school begins.  There is no need to sign up for breakfast and we have breakfast supervisors in our cafeteria’s each day with our students.  

When students start the day with a nutritious breakfast, they start the day ready to learn. Some students skip breakfast at home because they are not hungry when they first wakeup.  Many families find it difficult for their children to get up, dressed, fed, and off to school. When parents rely on the School Breakfast Program, they can be assured that their child will receive a healthy breakfast every day. 

This is an excellent opportunity to ensure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal at the start of each day.  We offer breakfast for $1.25 each day as a complete meal.  These funds can come out of a student’s prepaid meal account. We offer a variety of whole grain items, egg sandwiches and fast grab and go items for students who may want to eat their meal a little later in the morning.  Each meal is accompanied with fresh fruit, 100% juice and white milk.   Studies have shown that children who eat a nutritious breakfast have better behavior, better attendance, and improved grades.  All students are welcome to attend Monday through Friday.  We also offer breakfast on our half days of school.

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Food Services, Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051.

ATHLETICS  

Sophomore Lateef Patrick (below R) and Senior Owen Leddy (below L) are your Susi Athletes of the Month for December. Lateef averaged 16.5 points per game over the first four games of the season; Scored 31 points in an opening night win over Framingham. Leddy been instrumental in every game. Has made huge strides from start of season to now. Has worked his way from the 4th line center position up to the 2nd line center position. Has become an instrumental player on both our penalty kill and now is on our 2nd power play unit. His stats for the month were; 6 GP – 2G, 3A = 5 Pts.

Girls Hockey earned a tie last night against Plymouth South. Christina Sweeney scored with 40 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 1!

The Wildcats from Weymouth pay a visit on Friday for Boys Basketball, and Saturday for Boys Ice Hockey.

All schedules can be found on our Athletics website.

IN THE COMMUNITY

The popular Milton Neighbors Facebook page is holding their annual member social on Thursday, January 9th at Novara. This year, the group has generously offered to donate all profits to the Milton Public Schools pilot music program for children who wish to take a musical instrument, and need financial assistance to participate.

Learning a musical instrument is a gift that can change a life and we so appreciate these neighbors working together to give some of our MPS children the gift of music!

Do you have an instrument collecting dust in your attic? Bring it to the social for a tax-deductible donation! Please contact them ahead of time if you are bringing an instrument by emailing melissa@miltonscene.com.

Tickets are available here. Please consider attending and supporting this valuable MPS program.

***

Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter has information for families about many activities for children in the coming weeks.

***

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 during the week of January 20th-25th.

***

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.

***

The Milton Historical Society is hosting its annual Fireside Chat program on two separate occasions. The first chat is on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at 10 a.m., and second on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at 7 p.m., both at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. Reservations are required as there is a 20-person limit at each sitting. Coffee and light refreshments will be available. Reservations only to EJPen@comcast.net.
Suffolk Resolves House Curator Diann Strausberg will bring Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson to life using Hutchinson related items in the society’s collection.

***

The next Milton Community Concert, “Rockin’ With Renaissance Men”, will be on Saturday evening, January 18th at 7pm at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. This is a free benefit concert, with donations of any amount going to support the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

***

Please consider supporting Brookwood Community Farm or joining as a member. Over the past few years, a variety of elementary school students have visited the farm with their class, walking the fields, learning about how plants grow and more, all at the base of the Blue Hills.

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.

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 pleased to announce the winners of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King writing, poetry and art contest for Milton High School. We had some outstanding work submitted and choosing the top four was a difficult task. The writing submissions can be read here. These four students will attend and present at the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration on Monday, January 20, 2020 6:30-8:00pm at the Concord Baptist Church. 180 Blue Hill Ave, Milton. All are invited to attend this special community evening.

Congratulations to the following students (L-R in photo) who were chosen as this year’s winners.

  • Sophomore Caroline Gannon wrote a poem called “Daydreaming.”
  • Freshman Lok Ye Young drew a piece of art and an accompanying poem called “The Challenge of Change.” (Pictured right)
  • Freshman Lydia Geering wrote a poem called “This is not an Angry Poem.”
  • Freshman Kiera Glazer  wrote an essay titled “Changing the World.”

New Chromebooks in the 4th grade!

VOLUNTEERS: A big thank you to Paul Shiff and his employer, HUB Tech in Easton, MA. Mr. Shiff is not a MPS parent but is friendly with a Cunningham family. When he learned that the 4th grade had requested some new Chromebooks, he offered to donate 15 new Chromebooks to the 4th grade at Cunningham. Last Friday, Mr. Shiff brought the Chromebooks to Cunningham and spent time with Mrs. McKay and Ms. Staker’s class. We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation!

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, Caitlin Deptula, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Bernadette Butler, Amy McKay, AJ Melanson, Karen McDavitt, Ryan Madden,  Ellen Lohan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Susan Maselli, Brian Selig, Alyson Zukowski, Jackie Morgan, John Gillooly, Bill Deschenes, Kevin Black and Deanna Magill.

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 9, 2020

January 2, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 2, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Today we welcomed back our Milton Public Schools students and staff after what we hope was a restful and enjoyable winter break. Our custodians were busy over break preparing our buildings for the winter season and we thank them for their continued efforts on behalf of our students and staff.

There are several important dates on the MPS calendar in January and February and I want to call your attention to them here. Please see the Grade Specific Information Nights listed just below.

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION NIGHTS

On Tuesday, January 7th, 5th grade parents/guardians are invited to the Pierce library at 6:30pm for the 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night.

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 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.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Jan 7 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night
Jan 8 Milton School Committee
Jan 9 Preschool Information Night
Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. Holiday
Jan 21 PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole-“Vaping and our Youth”
Jan 22 Milton School Committee
Jan 23,24,25 Pierce Players
Jan 23 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 30, 31 Feb 1 MHS Winter Production
Feb 4 Parent Speaker Series, Jon Mattleman – Secret Lives of Teens & Tweens
Feb 5 Early Release Day for Students
Feb 5 Milton School Committee

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. 

Save the date for Milton Summer Enrichment 2020! MSE 2020 will run from July 6-31st, 2020. Look for details after the new year. For a peek at last year’s MSE details, check out our MSE webpage.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Up next in our PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole, MPH, CHES presents “Vaping and Our Youth: Strategies for Prevention” on Tuesday January 21st at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium.

Learn more about what e-cigarette and vape products are, why they are harmful, how the tobacco and vaping industry are targeting kids, and how to protect our kids from this latest trend. Mary Cole is the Program Coordinator of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Mary has her Masters in Public Health from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on January 8th, 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Collicot 5th grade students recently learned about Egyptian art by making their own version of papyrus paper. Students deconstructed brown butcher paper by ripping into long finger width strips then dipped the strips into diluted glue and set them to dry.
The completed papyrus became the perfect background for their Egyptian profiles and hieroglyphics.

***

Collicot and Cunningham students in Mrs. Allegrezza’s music classes recently celebrated the end of term one by performing individual and group performances for their classmates during a special activity called “Music Share.”. Please enjoy this compilation of some of the many acts performed at Collicot and Cunningham before winter break.

***

The Tucker Basketball League ended their season with a big game on December 16th. Congratulations to the Blue Team who won a close one after 5 weeks of head to head competition across 4 teams!  36 of our 4th and 5th grade students participated in this fun school league which enjoyed its fourth year of success. A big thank you to  Coaches David Beaufort and Aidan Johnson for their time and dedication to our students and to all of the players and families who participated.

***

Just before winter break, Collicot 5th graders presented their projects for the 2nd annual STEM Toy Fair.

The CHALLENGE for the STEM Toy Fair was: Design and build a homemade toy that two to four children can play together. Use as many found materials as possible.

The CRITERIA for the STEM Toy Fair was as follows. The toy should…

  • Be a toy that children around the world would like to play with
  • Be designed for 2 to 4 children to play together
  • Be constructed of mostly found materials (reuse/recycle)
  • Be safe to play with
  • Be easy to carry

Children all over the world have some things in common. They all need food, shelter, and clothing. And they all PLAY! Many children create their own toys with things they find in their environment. This leads to the invention of many homemade toys. Our students  enjoyed making these creative projects from recycled materials!

***

Cunningham 3rd  graders in Mrs. Zoll’s class recently participated in an owl pellet dissection as part of a FOSS investigation.

***

Glover students in Ms. Comer’s kindergarten class are starting the year off learning about graphing in math. Students built a class bar graph based on favorite colors and then discussed the information that was presented in graph form. Way to start off the new year in Kindergarten!

ATHLETICS  

  • Boys and Girls Track take on Framingham tonight in a cross-division matchup at the Reggie Lewis Center.
  • Wrestling travels to Brookline High School to start the new year.
  • Next up in the league is Natick High School, as the Girls Basketball and

    Thank you, MHS Boosters!

    Girls Hockey Teams are home on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Thank you to the Boosters for the brand new chairs for our Field House and thank you to all who supported our student athletes over winter break with attendance at games! All schedules can be found on our Athletics website.

The MHS Ski Team will be hosting the first Cans for Cats bottle and can drive of 2020 on Saturday, January 4th from 9 a.m. to noon at Milton High School.

IN THE COMMUNITY

The popular Milton Neighbors Facebook page is holding their annual member social on Thursday, January 9th at Novara. This year, the group has generously offered to donate all profits to the Milton Public Schools pilot music program for children who wish to take a musical instrument, and need financial assistance to participate.

Learning a musical instrument is a gift that can change a life and we so appreciate these neighbors working together to give some of our MPS children the gift of music!

Do you have an instrument collecting dust in your attic? Bring it to the social for a tax-deductible donation! Please contact them ahead of time if you are bringing an instrument by emailing melissa@miltonscene.com.

Tickets are available here. Please consider attending and supporting this valuable MPS program.

***

The next Milton Community Concert, “Rockin’ With Renaissance Men”, will be on Saturday evening, January 18th at 7pm at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. This is a free benefit concert, with donations of any amount going to support the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

***

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.

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: I would like to thank MPS parent Sean Roche and all who participated and attended in three Pop Up Art Shows in December to benefit the Art and Music Programs in the Milton Public Schools. These events raised $3,155.00 in support of out Art and Music programs. I could not be more thankful for this generous contribution that will directly benefit our students!

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,  Zeina Hamada, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen McDavitt, Dawn Sykes, Ryan Madden, April Allegrezza and Ellen Lohan.

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 2, 2020

December 23, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 23, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we all begin a well deserved winter break, I want to wish all who are celebrating holidays this week a very Happy Holiday and to all of our Milton Public Schools students, families and staff a Happy and Healthy New Year and restful winter break with family and friends.

Below you will see some of the holiday activities and events that have happened at our schools over the past few weeks, please take a moment to join me in celebrating the giving spirit of the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools.

We look forward to seeing staff and students on Thursday, January 2nd for the 1st school day of 2020.

***

We welcomed our Milton Public Schools retirees to Milton High School on Monday of last week for our annual retiree luncheon. This chance to celebrate the educators and staff who impacted so many of our students throughout the years is always a highlight of the holiday season. A special thank you to The Tsanotelis Family and Eagle Farms for their very thoughtful donation of fifty holiday arrangements and to The Resnick Family and ProForma Printing for their generous donation of many gifts for the attendees.

***

Each morning at MHS last week, we were greeted by beautiful music. We were also treating to some caroling in the halls on Friday. The video below is a short compilation of the week. Enjoy!

***

Our schools held various drives over the past few weeks for those in need. Student (and staff) groups collected socks, coats, clothing, gift cards, money, toys and more to be distributed to those in our Milton community who need a helping hand during this holiday season. We appreciate these efforts and thank those who coordinated and donated to make them successful.

***

***

We said goodbye and Happy Retirement to long time MPS recess/lunch aide and Community Schools employee Deb Hayes this week. We wish you all the best Mrs. Hayes!

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, pregnancy/parenting status, marital status, sexual orientation, homelessness, 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, hiring and firing of staff, 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 December 23, 2019

December 19, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 19, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we have had several days of impactful winter weather already this month, below is a reminder about how we approach inclement weather at the Milton Public Schools. Snow days are a necessary part of life in the northeast and the better we manage them as partners, the more successful our winter will be.

The safety of students and staff is paramount and we do not want to have students, parents and staff on the roads when the conditions are unsafe. In addition, we need to be sure our sidewalks, crosswalks and buildings are ready for our students and staff to have a safe and successful school day.

Before and during inclement weather, I consult with the relevant town departments, MPS administration and superintendents from neighboring districts. I also monitor weather forecasts, including those provided by the Town of Milton. At times, the decision is clear and we are able to call a snow day the evening before school. Often, however, the forecast is difficult to predict with any certainty for Milton and those decisions are best made in the early morning (by 5:00am). When we experience inclement weather, there are three options that I consider: a full school day; a 2 hour delay; complete cancellation of school.

If we have a full school day:

  • The day will proceed as a regular day with breakfast, Before School, after school activities, etc. all taking place.
  • Please be aware that even with a full school day, there can be traffic delays for our buses due to weather.

If we have a 2 hour delay:

  • Your child’s school day will start 2 hours later than a regular day.
    MHS – 9:50 start and dismissal at 2:19. MHS will be open for arrivals
    starting at 9:35.
    Pierce – 9:57 start and dismissal at 2:26. Pierce will be open for
    arrivals at 9:40.
    Cunningham/Collicot – school will start at 10:20 and end at 2:49.
    School will be open for arrivals at 10:05 am.
    Glover/Tucker – school will start at 10:50 and end at 3:19. School will
    be open for arrivals at 10:35.
  • Busses will run on a 2 hour delay, please be aware that some busses
    could be running behind as they navigate the snow.
  • There will be no Before School program or before school activities at any school.
    After School Enrichment, after school activities and evening school based activities will proceed as planned.
  • There will be no breakfast served at any school.
  • Lunch will be served at every school.

If school is cancelled due to inclement weather:

  • All after school and evening activities will also be cancelled.

This school year, we will be utilizing the Remind app system for bus delay notifications. I urge all families with children who take the bus to join the messaging system for the specific route(s) their student(s) ride. Families can join more than one route. All details on opting in to Remind can be found on the MPS Transportation page. Please email our Transportation Department at bus@miltonps.org with any questions.

MHS Principal Jette recently shared this AAA Tips for Driving in the Snow with me and I share it with you here in the hopes you will read and also share with your student drivers.

When possible, we will communicate the decision to cancel or delay the evening before school. When the forecast dictates waiting until morning, we will communicate the decision to cancel or delay by 5:15 am. Please refer to our website, as well as check your email and voicemail as we will communicate this news via email, phone and website.

Please have plans ready for your children in the event of either a delay or cancellation in the case of inclement weather. I appreciate your patience and understanding this winter as we work to make the most informed decisions on behalf of MPS students, families and staff.

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION 

On Tuesday, January 7th, 5th grade parents/guardians are invited to the Pierce library at 6:30pm for the 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night.

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 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.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Dec 23-Jan 1 Winter Break
Jan 2 Classes Resume
Jan 7 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night
Jan 8 Milton School Committee
Jan 9 Preschool Information Night
Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. Holiday
Jan 21 PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole-“Vaping and our Youth”

The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

The School Committee voted last night on the 2020-21 school year calendar. The approved calendar can be found here. 

Save the date for Milton Summer Enrichment 2020! MSE 2020 will run from July 6-31st, 2020. Look for details after the new year. For a peek at last year’s MSE details, check out our MSE webpage.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on January 8th, 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

Last week, students involved in computer science-based classes at Milton High School participated in CS Ed week, a week dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take an interest in computer science.  MHS student Tyler MacNeil shares this summary of the week below.

Students in Mrs. Jarboe’s AP Computer Science Principles class were asked to visit the middle and elementary schools to do a presentation to some of our elementary  and middle school students at each school. The older students wanted to show younger kids that anyone can participate in computer science, and to encourage them to take an interest in computer science courses.
MHS students who presented were hopeful that students from Pierce and the elementary schools were able to be actively engaged in their activities and that they would consider learning more about computer science.

AP Computer Science A students also participated in an infiltration day. Students visited MHS classrooms to present  on a topic that related to Computer Science and the class they  ‘infiltrated.’ 3D Design was one of the classes infiltrated. Students presented on 3D printing and  showed their peers how to code 3D designs using BlocksCad. The designs were then printed in the new  library Maker Space. You can see the full list of CS Week events here.

***

Sophomore and Juniors: Please save the date for the 2nd annual HerUniverse Conference  at Curry College. The event will be on Friday, May 15th, 2020, from 8:00am – 1:00pm.

Held at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, HerUniverse is a free conference for young women (currently in their sophomore or junior year of high school) who aspire to work in the tech industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore different fields of technology through speakers, presentations, and hands-on workshops. Topics will include subjects from cybersecurity, programing robots, and more! Students can register at HerUniverse Registration.

PIERCE PAGES 

There is another Community Teen Skate Night at Shea Rink this Friday, December 20th from 8-10pm for middle school students. There will be music and local MC/DJ, Matt McAuliffe, will surely make it a fun night!

Admission is $5 a the door. Skate rentals will be available for $6 and the snack bar will be open for refreshments. Drop your middle schooler for some fun and get some last minute shopping done while they enjoy a fun night out with their peers!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Thanks to Glover parents, Thao and Tuan TranPham, Glover fourth and fifth graders have the opportunity to participate in a before-school enrichment Speech and Debate Club. Each week, students complete assignments, learn about effective speakers and presentation techniques, and give speeches in front of their peers. Speaking and listening skills are reinforced through peer critique as well as adult feedback. The students are really enjoying this experience! Enjoy this speech about the influence of Nelson Mandela given by Sebastien TranPham.

***

Gracie the therapy dog has been visiting  classrooms at Collicot this fall. Gracie and her owner Ginny are a registered therapy dog team through Dog B.O.N.E.S. As a team, Ginny and Gracie visit assisted living facilities and schools in the area to provide therapeutic contact and bring a little joy to the elderly and the young. Students at Collicot have enjoyed getting to pet Gracie, talk to her, and read her books. The students have also practiced how to interact with dogs. They have learned how to approach and pet a new dog as well as the importance of asking, “May I pet your dog?” This therapeutic opportunity has been both calming and uplifting for all. We’re looking forward to more Gracie visits in the new year!

***

BOKS Fall Session has officially wrapped at Glover! Thanks to Ellen Stoddard and her crew of amazing helpers, our students culminated their weekly exercise sessions with the annual “running of the halls” at Glover. You can see the Glover fun here.

***

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.

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT 

Director of World Languages Dr. Martine Fisher, Collicot Assistant Principal Zeina Hamada and Cunningham Principal Jon Redden recently hosted visitors from New Hampshire who are interested in implementing language immersion programs in the state of New Hampshire. Our NH guests included the Commissioner of Education, Manchester Superintendent of Schools, New Hampshire teachers and professors from Plymouth State University and St. Anselm College.

After splitting up and visiting  Holliston and Brockton in the morning, our guests
joined together and spent the afternoon at Cunningham and Collicot. Our two schools on one site provides for a variety of classrooms to visit and observe. We were pleased to share the details of our immersion program, challenges we have faced, solutions that have worked and the overall success of our  30 plus year old French Immersion program in Milton. This sharing of knowledge across districts and states only serves to enrich educational opportunities for all of our students.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is a parent driven organization that supports the families of Milton who have children with special needs. SEPAC can provide  links to essential services, state and federal laws, programs, meetings and community events. Our goal is to improve communication and increase membership so that we may effectively advocate and advise the school district on special education issues, initiatives and policies. Our vision is to have our website be a comprehensive resource, you can also contact SEPAC by email directly.

SEPAC is offering an OPT IN for their listserve. Use this link to sign up and receive their ongoing news and supports! 

***

The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is still looking for parental input in our Parent Survey. If you have not done so, and have a student in special education, please complete this brief survey.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Help your kids make choices that will support their well being. Participate in the SUPPER Project to learn how! We now have 53 Milton families enrolled, and 3 more pending enrollment. Sign up now to get your family involved.

Milton Public School families have been given an opportunity to partcipate in a study being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University. This study is funded through the National Institutes of Health. There are five openings left in the study for 5th-7th grade students and their parent/guardian.

Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and in the body of the email include your name and the name of your child’s school.  A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The Milton Foundation for Education depends on the support of our community to make a difference in the Milton Public Schools. We are a non-profit, volunteer-run charitable organization that relies on your financial support. Every level of charitable giving on behalf of our schools makes a difference.

Our sincerest gratitude to the many of you who have given in the past. Some of the many opportunities your generous support has made possible include: Discovering Justice, Science from Scientists, wireless internet in all six schools, Biotech Lab, peaceful playgrounds, SMART boards, STARlab, Wildcat Wellness Center, artists-in-residence, anti-bullying initiatives, mentoring programs, enhanced libraries, and much more.

Thank you for your support of the Milton Foundation for Education during their 2019 Annual Appeal! Give online here  or, if you prefer, mail a check to: Milton Foundation for Education, P.O. Box 223, Milton, MA 02186. As a 501c(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax deductible.

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Need a quick and easy holiday gift? Get an EARLY MFE Jeep raffle ticket.
Email Liddie Sutter  to purchase your ticket.Tickets are $100 and  are limited to 500 sold so get yours now!

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Up next in our PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole, MPH, CHES presents “Vaping and Our Youth: Strategies for Prevention” on Tuesday January 21st at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium.

Learn more about what e-cigarette and vape products are, why they are harmful, how the tobacco and vaping industry are targeting kids, and how to protect our kids from this latest trend. Mary Cole is the Program Coordinator of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Mary has her Masters in Public Health from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

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.

ART AND MUSIC

Milton Pop Up Art Show – Last Chance! If you missed the boat last weekend, be sure to stop by Friday night. The Art Show is at  1700 Dorchester Ave, December 20th, 3-9pm. Admission is free! Proceeds benefit our MPS Art and Music Programs.

***

Congratulations to our Senior District audition winners! These students have been invited to and will participate  in the Eastern District Senior Festival in January. Congratulations to these talented students.

 ATHLETICS  

Bobby Carew recently signed his National Letter of Intent to run Cross Country and Track at UMass Amherst. He is now the fourth signing this year, following Ava Duggan (XC/Track Northeastern), Grace Sullivan (XC/Track, Bryant) and Matthew Cormier (Gymnastics, Penn State). Congratulations to these student athletes!

Winter sports are in full swing. All game schedules can be found on our  MHS Athletics website.

  • Boys Basketball is 1-1 after beating Framingham to open the season, while both Boys and Girls Track beat Braintree to start 1-0 as well.
  • Wrestling split over the weekend and look forward to a busy winter break schedule.
  • Girls Hockey bounced right back after losing their opener with a 2-1 win over Framingham for Coach Lodi’s first Varsity win.
  • Boys Hockey played out a 5-4 tie after a back-and-forth game with Framingham and then tied Braintree 3-3 last night.

The MHS Ski Team will be hosting the first Cans for Cats bottle and can drive of 2020 on
Saturday, January 4th from 9 a.m. to noon at Milton High School.

IN THE COMMUNITY

DECEMBER:

There are activities at the Milton Public Library for children of all ages throughout the winter break. 

JANUARY: 

The next Milton Community Concert, “Rockin’ With Renaissance Men”, will be on Saturday evening, January 18th at 7pm at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. This is a free benefit concert, with donations of any amount going to support the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

***

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.

ONGOING:

Milton Youth Lacrosse spring registration for grades 3-8 is open! New players welcome. For those with need for financial aid please email miltonyouthlacrosse@gmail.com. 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.

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,  Zeina Hamada, Maureen Butler, Karen McDavitt, Karen Cahill, Dr. Martine Fisher, Jessica Jarboe, Tyler MacNeil and James Jette.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 19, 2019

December 12, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 12, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Several years ago I met young man in the Milton High School library who was attending one of our Milton School Committee meetings. I approached him and he introduced himself as Calvin Hennick – at that time he was writing for the Boston Globe. Calvin had a young son and had just moved to Milton. His wife is a Boston school teacher and I told Calvin how happy his son and family would be at Tucker Elementary School in just a few years. I have followed Calvin and his son’s journey at the Tucker and just last year Calvin asked Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai  to help him begin a robotics club for Tucker students. Calvin’s daughter is a kindergartener at Tucker and his son is in third grade.

I am thrilled to share that (as you hopefully already know) Calvin Hennick is presenting to the MHS community next week as part of our PARENT Speaker Series. Calvin has recently been featured in the both the Boston Globe Magazine and book section of the Sunday Globe.

I am sure that you join me in congratulating Milton Public School parent and author, Calvin Hennick. I hope that you will be able to attend Calvin’s presentation on December 16th. Details are below.

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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.

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION 

On Tuesday, January 7th, 5th grade parents/guardians are invited to the Pierce library at 6:30pm for the 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night.

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 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.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

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
Jan 7 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night
Jan 8 Milton School Committee
Jan 9 Preschool Information Night
Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. Holiday

The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

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.

Save the date for Milton Summer Enrichment 2020! MSE 2020 will run from July 6-31st, 2020. Look for details after the new year. For a peek at last year’s MSE details, check out our MSE webpage.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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 in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

There is a place for every skill and talent set in the health and medical fields and Schools to Careers works to prove that to our high school students. The health care and medical fields continue to grow, offering unlimited opportunity for every type of student.

Many of our students attended an in house field trip this week and met with a wide variety of health care professionals from area hospitals, including BID – Milton Hospital, South Shore Hospital, Steward Norwood Hospital, MCPHS (MASS College of Pharmacy & Health Services) and others. Our Keynote Speaker was Dr. Kim Dever, OBGYN & VP of Medical Affairs at South Shore Hospital and a Milton High School graduate!

Presenters included nurses, pharmacy techs, laboratory techs, therapists (PT/OT/Respiratory), a dietician, radiologists, EMTs, CNAs, administrators and more  and our students experienced hands on demos and informative exhibits. A full list of speakers can be found here. 

We are grateful to Schools to Careers and the professionals who attended and thank them for sharing their time and expertise with our students who are beginning to explore career paths.

***

On Friday December 13th, 9th and 10th grade students at MHS  will be attending a program about alcohol, marijuana, and vaping prevention presented by the Improbable Players, a theater company of young professional actors who are in long-term recovery.  “I’ll Never Do That!” has been welcomed in schools for over 34 years.  It’s a light-hearted play with a spectrum of scenes that explore stereotypes and issues about substance abuse and depicts a family and how they deal with drinking (including other substances) in their family.  Noel Vigue, Director of Phys. Ed and Health, shares the following. 

After the performance, the actors share their own stories and engage in a question/answer session with the audience.  Students are encouraged to talk among themselves and with you, about the issues raised. MHS administration will share resources available in the community.  

Parents can play an active role in supporting your children through these years when they or their friends may be experimenting with substances.  We would encourage you to use this program as an opportunity to have a conversation about alcohol and drug use in our community. Think about a few issues you may want to discuss regarding alcohol and drug use to bring up with your student in the days following the presentation.

PIERCE PAGES 

Great job, Pierce coders!

Led by Deanna Magill, four Pierce students participated in the New England Region Cyber Robotics Coding Competition. Hannah Lukasse, Jack McAnulla, Mason Pellegri, and Conor Walsh were recognized as finalists in the competition which was held at the University of New Hampshire. The team of Conor Walsh and Jack McAnulla finished in second place! In addition, there 65 members of the 103 Club (students who complete all 103 missions in the school competition) in New England, and only three of them are from MA – and all three are from the Pierce Middle Schools! Congratulations to Orla Crosse (who was unable to attend the competition), Jack McAnulla and Mason Pellegri for being part of the 103 Club!

The Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions are robotics and coding tournaments where students compete to showcase their STEM skills. The competitions are interactive, fun, and exciting, providing students and educators with the opportunity to learn how robots work, to build coding and robotics skills with virtual 3D robots, and to expand their knowledge and skills. Congratulations to Hannah, Jack, Mason, Conor, Orla and Ms. Magill!

***

The deadline for registration for the 8th grade DC trip is December 15. Instructions to register: Go to https://www.nationsclassroomtours.com/; Click on Register/Pay at the top of the page; Enter our Tour ID 35672001; complete the necessary information.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Inclusive Schools Week was acknowledged across the Milton Public Schools last week.  Inclusive Schools Week celebrates the progress  schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors. Students read books about diversity and inclusion, watched videos to celebrate people with living different disabilities, and had meaningful discussions about ways they can be more inclusive in their schools and communities. They also created art projects and wrote pieces about what they can do to promote inclusion, enjoyed fun lunches together and created colorful bulletin boards throughout their schools.

***

Collicot and Cunningham students in Mrs. Allegrezza’s music classes recently celebrated the end of term one by performing individual and group performances for their classmates during a special activity called “Music Share.”. We hope to share a compilation of some of the many acts performed at Collicot and Cunningham in next week’s blog, but for now, please take a minute to enjoy this beautiful and expressive piano solo performed by Collicot 4th grade student, Thinh Tran.

***

In a joint initiative between Glover’s PTO and Glover’s Diversity Committee, Glover has worked to bring diverse authors to Glover and Tucker Schools. Thanks to Glover parent and literary agent, Sara Crowe, the schools have been visited by many incredible and acclaimed authors, including Varian Johnson, Veera Hiranandani, and Jessica Hische. The first author of the 2019-20 school year, Megan Frazer Blakemore, visited Glover and Tucker on December 4. She is well-known for her Frankie Sparks series as well as The Firefly Code. Prior to her visit, a group of 40 Glover Kids met as a book club to talk about her book and complete exciting activities to share with her. During her visit, the Book Club had the opportunity to meet with her one of one and talk a bit more about the process of narrative writing as well as the specific content of her books.

Next up in Glover’s Diverse Reads Book Club, they will be reading The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon and will be skyping with her on January 29. In February, they’ll be reading Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly and she will be skyping with readers on March 12 at the Milton Public Library. We are also looking forward to reading and skyping with authors Kwambe Mbalia and Lesa Cline-Ransome, author of Finding Langston and Before She Was Harriet.

***

Please be sure to RSVP in the link below.

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.

***

The focus was learning fun painting techniques while also emphasizing that all are welcome in our school, in Ms. Tran’s painting CASS class at Collicot last week. Students painted many different papers and used the painted paper to cut out letters to collage the words “All Are Welcome Here”. Students researched different languages to make signs with the same message. The students created signs in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Polish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

***

Mrs. Chen’s Cunningham 5th graders enjoyed a Minecraft dance party during this week’s Computer Science Education Week. Look for more pictures and information about CS Ed Week in next week’s blog.

***

Enjoy this month’s edition of the Glover Gazette – created and published by Glover 5th graders!

***

Tucker students with Jessica, Patrick and Rescue.

Tucker students recently had a visit from Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, authors of the children’s book Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship. Jessica and Patrick were injured  in the Boston Marathon bombing and their award winning children’s book is a heartwarming children’s story about the friendship between a young girl named Jessica and her new service dog Rescue. Students enjoyed an animated read aloud from Jessica’s husband Patrick Downes, witnessed some of Rescue’s therapy skills in action, and had an opportunity to ask questions to the authors. It was a wonderful experience for all at Tucker!

***

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.

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT 

It’s always the most wonderful time of the year in Elementary Physical Education!  Students have the opportunity to collaborate with peers and learn while moving, in a fun, yet challenging environment. Our goal is to develop physically literate students who have the knowledge, skills  and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity. Quality physical education programs help to improve physical competencies, health-related fitness, self-responsibility, cognitive abilities and foster enjoyment of physical activity.  

Physical education is an integral part of a student’s educational path in MPS.  Physical education contributes, primarily through movement experiences, to the total growth and development of all students. Student experiences are designed to meet the appropriate level of development and help students to become skillful movers who are physically fit. We provide opportunities for children to develop their potential for movement mastery in a variety of ways, not just within the context of games. By challenging children to think, to operate creatively within limits of their own abilities, to solve problems, to share thoughtfully, and show consideration for others, our programs provide meaningful experiences to the total education of all students.

During December, elementary students work on several climbing skills in PE class. Under the supervision of their physical educator, K-2 students learn about safety, body alignment, patience, self-awareness, and communication skills.  Students in grades 3-5 work on developing the same competencies as above and practice working on muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, coordination, resiliency, and developing a growth mind-set.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is a parent driven organization that supports the families of Milton who have children with special needs. SEPAC can provide  links to essential services, state and federal laws, programs, meetings and community events. Our goal is to improve communication and increase membership so that we may effectively advocate and advise the school district on special education issues, initiatives and policies. Our vision is to have our website be a comprehensive resource, you can also contact SEPAC by email directly.

SEPAC is offering an OPT IN for their listserve. Use this link to sign up and receive their ongoing news and supports! 

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The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is still looking for parental input in our Parent Survey. If you have not done so, and have a student in special education, please complete this brief survey.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The MFE is thrilled to share that science items funded by proceeds from the Monster Dash in loving memory of Sam Cichello,  will be in your child’s classroom soon! Look for a Sunspotter Telescope, Earthquake Engineering Project tools, Convection Boxes and Vernier Sound Sensors all coming soon to Pierce! MHS and elementary resources are also coming soon and we look forward to sharing them in action in our classrooms.

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The Milton Foundation for Education depends on the support of our community to make a difference in the Milton Public Schools. We are a non-profit, volunteer-run charitable organization that relies on your financial support. Every level of charitable giving on behalf of our schools makes a difference.

Our sincerest gratitude to the many of you who have given in the past. Some of the many opportunities your generous support has made possible include: Discovering Justice, Science from Scientists, wireless internet in all six schools, Biotech Lab, peaceful playgrounds, SMART boards, STARlab, Wildcat Wellness Center, artists-in-residence, anti-bullying initiatives, mentoring programs, enhanced libraries, and much more.

Thank you for your support of the Milton Foundation for Education during their 2019 Annual Appeal! Give online here  or, if you prefer, mail a check to: Milton Foundation for Education, P.O. Box 223, Milton, MA 02186. As a 501c(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax deductible.

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Need a quick and easy holiday gift? Get an EARLY MFE Jeep raffle ticket.
Email Liddie Sutter  to purchase your ticket.Tickets are $100 and  are limited to 500 sold so get yours now!

 MPS GIVES BACK 

Milton Soccer Uniform program is a yearly tradition at MPS. Pass us your soccer uniforms and we’ll pass them on to children all over the world! Collection dates are November 18- December 20.

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.

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It’s easy to donate to Sophia’s Sock Drive – 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!

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The Pierce Student Council is holding a  Sock Drive to Benefit the Boston Rescue Mission.  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

Milton Pop Up Art Show – Part 2! If you missed the boat last weekend, be sure to stop by Friday night. The Art Show is at  1700 Dorchester Ave, December 13th, 4-9pm. Admission is free! Proceeds benefit our MPS Art and Music Programs.

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Our MHS musicians will be out and about in Milton this weekend, spreading some holiday cheer! Catch them at the dates below.

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
 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

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.

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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.

ATHLETICS  

Winter sports started last week. We look forward to sharing updates as games begin!
All game schedules can be found on our  MHS Athletics website.

IN THE COMMUNITY

DECEMBER:

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. 14, 9am-Noon.

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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.

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We’ve decked the halls of the Forbes House and you’re invited to enjoy an afternoon of traditional holiday funat the  Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 14th from 1-4pm. There will be Victorian re-enactors (Santa too!), a working model train in a Dickens’ Village setting, ornament crafts, caroling, live music played on an 1853 melodeon, and a make-your-own-hot-chocolate bar. Plus, an architecture activity will have you and your family exploring the house in a whole new way. Admission: $5/person; $20 max/family. Members are FREE.

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Join us on Saturday, December 14th, 5-7pm, for an enchanting family-friendly holiday lantern stroll and joyous Christmas carols at the Eustis Estate. Decorate a lantern with your own designs, then join a parade around the property. The Milton High School choir leads a sing-along of festive winter songs. Warm up with hot chocolate, coffee, and treats, and explore the decorated museum. Appropriate for children ages 5 to 12. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Most of the event is outdoors (weather permitting), so dress warmly. In the event of bad weather, all activities will be indoors. Family (member and non-member): $25; Historic New England member adult: $5; Non-member adult: $10; Member and non-member child: $5. Advance tickets recommended. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information.

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On Sunday, December 22, from 5-7om , enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. 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. Historic New England member: $20; non-member adult: $25; Student (13-) member and non-member: $15

Advance tickets required.To purchase tickets, please visit our website  or call 617-994-6600 for more information.

JANUARY: 

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.

ONGOING:

Milton Youth Lacrosse spring registration for grades 3-8 is open! New players welcome. For those with need for financial aid please email miltonyouthlacrosse@gmail.com. Indoor practices begin in January!

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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.

AMBASSADORS

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: I would like to acknowledge our Milton High School Guidance Staff, led by Director of Guidance Karen Cahill,  for what I understand was an excellent College Information/Post Secondary Planning night last week. I received several emails praising both the information shared and the way in which it was presented. Thank you to Scott Devlin, Leonice Bernard, Lisa Spinelli, Rich Guarino, Karen Cahill and Administrative Assistant Colleen MacDougall for preparing and presenting an informative and engaging evening for our parents and guardians. We are lucky to have a top notch guidance department at Milton High School.

STUDENTS: The Milton Youth Hockey 5th grade team took the gold at Lake Placid this past weekend! Congratulations to the team with students from all of our elementary schools, who swept the competition.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Noel Vigue, Deanna Magill, Bernadette Butler, Zeina Hamada, Maureen Butler, Bill Fish, Holly Concannon, Caitlin Deptula, Susan Maselli, Karen McDavitt, Rina Chen, Joyce White and April Allegrezza.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 12, 2019