March 21, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 21, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There are 3 important speaking events at the Milton Public Schools in the next 3 weeks that I would like to call your attention to. I hope you can find time to attend these valuable presentations.

Tuesday, March 26th: Jessica Lahey and the“The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children Can Succeed”.

Milton Public Schools and The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition are  proud to welcome New York Times best selling author Jessica Lahey, J.D. to speak on “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children Can Succeed”.

Jessica offers practical advice for fostering deep, meaningful learning by offering kids more autonomy at home and in school, helping them feel more competent, and strengthening parent-child and teacher-student relationships. Over her 20 years as a middle and high school teacher, Lahey began to suspect that the way we parent children has a direct impact on their motivation, learning, resilience, and the development of obsessive perfectionism and performance anxiety. A deep dive into research bore this hypothesis out and resulted in the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure. Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. Join us on Tuesday March 26th at 6:30 in the MHS Auditorium for this informative evening.

Save the Date for Organ Donation Info night on April 2nd at Pierce.

Monday, April 2nd: Understanding Organ Donation: Its Impact on our Community and Beyond

If you are like me, you may not have known that April is National Donate Life Month. The Milton Public Schools is partnering with MPS parent and pediatric nurse practitioner/nursing director specializing in transplant, Laura O’Melia to help spread the word about organ donation. Laura is organizing a Donate Life Information Night for the entire Milton community at Pierce on April 2nd from 6:30-7:30pm. Will you join us for just 60 minutes to hear compelling stories from:

  • A mom of a Collicot student who received a living donor kidney transplant
  • A man who lives in Milton who had a heart transplant
  • A woman who donated her husband’s organs

Please join us on April 2nd in the Pierce Auditorium to learn how you might be able to help save a life someday. All are invited to attend!

Thursday, April 11th: Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair and the The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

Internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair will be speaking about The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age on Thursday April 11th at 6:30pm.

This session will resonate with adults with children of ALL AGES who want to learn more about how to navigate the social and emotional impact technology has on families. Here is more information regarding Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair.

We hope to see everyone on April 11th. As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Buy your tickets now for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books” on April 6th at Lombardos. You will not want to miss this fun and entertaining  evening with your friends and neighbors in support of our schools!

There are just two weeks until the MFE Celebration 2019! Will you join us as we move “Beyond the Books”  and transform all of the MPS libraries into dynamic learning environments? MPS libraries support the learning and growth of every student and staff member in the district as they serve as community spaces that foster curiosity, print and digital literacy, critical thinking skills, creation, and collaboration. Libraries are places where individuals have the opportunity to learn not only about the larger world but themselves and where students can see positive representations of their own identity reflected back through stories and images. Let’s take our MPS Libraries “Beyond the Books”!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting is March 27th at Pierce Middle School. Please see this invitation from the Milton School Committee to the Open Public Budget Hearing that will begin at 6:45pm as part of the March 27th meeting at Pierce. More information on past School Committee presentations can be found on the the MPS Website, under School Committee. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

We are pleased to present the 2019-2020 Milton High School Program of Studies. Course selection for next year is an exciting time for students, parents and the MHS staff.  We hope all involved engage in thoughtful conversations about different offerings, possible career paths and post-secondary plans.  It is a time for students to think about topics or areas that inspire them and spark a passion for learning. Our goal is to develop lifelong learners and fully prepare our students for the many opportunities that exist beyond Milton High School. MHS parents and guardians can read the full course selection letter here. Please join us Thursday, March 28th at our Program of Studies/Advanced Placement 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. We are committed to taking comprehensive steps to ensure you have the information to make an informed decision about courses for next year.

PIERCE UPDATES

Congratulations to our  Future Problem Solving teams and students who are moving on to the regional competition in Worcester on March 30th! FPS 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.  Students advancing to the State Bowl on March 30th at Worcester State University will be partaking in competition regarding the topic of “Coping with Stress.” Students have been researching the difference between negative stress and good stress (eustress) in order to come up with relevant strategies to cope with stressors given a future scene.

The Pierce team and some individuals will participate in a two hour problem solving process.  The Pierce team will then take the action plan they developed during the two hour team process and create a skit to illustrate their final solution to the problem. Good luck to all of those competing in Worcester! Not pictured are Ida Zoll and Mudia Odion-Ukpebor who will also be competing. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

On Monday, March 18th, STEM Night took place in the Collicot/Cunningham cafeteria. During STEM night, Kindergarten students and families had the opportunity to hear about both the Spanish Language and STEM components of the English Innovation Pathway Program. Families had a great time participating in a STEM Challenge as they were tasked with building a tall tower out of 2 sheets of newspaper and 12 inches of tape. Families had some very creative designs to create free-standing towers! The night ended with concluding statements from Collicot Grade 5 English Innovation Pathways students Elizabeth Maye and Lauren Cooper about their favorite STEM experiences.  

If you missed the 2019 Grade One Information Night Presentation you can view it here. The Q&A from information night 2019 is also available here. 

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Thank you to the almost 40 Cunningham and Collicot students who volunteered to entertain their peers and showcase their talents during lunch last week. A  fun time was had by all who enjoyed their Irish Step Dancing peers.

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Certified Therapy Dog Marley and owner Meena Tondravi visited a small group of Glover 1st graders to promote literacy and build confidence in reading.  There were many smiles among the group, including Marley!

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Way to go. Vincent!

 

The winner of the final Boomwriter chapter is Tucker student Vincent Fahy who won the last chapter with his 900 word submission! Congratulations to all our 4th and 5th graders who wrote amazing chapters. We are all excited to see the final book!

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Justice Maldonado and her son Ben.


The Honorable Diana Maldonado, Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Glover parent, visited Glover 5th grade students this week.  Justice Maldonado was impressed by the background knowledge, participation, and questions asked by the students in their discussion about the branches of government. This presentation was a perfect wrap up of the Reach for Reading Unit on Justice and helped to bring the curriculum to life.  

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The Tucker science fair is often running! Guest judges arrived early this morning to work with students in small groups across all grade levels to give feedback and review testable questions. Guest judges included Elementary Science Coordinator Ellen Lohan, Emily Speck, Brian Flaherty, Joanna Weiss, La’Lena Etheart, Cynthia Price-Glynn, Solomon Mensa, Ian Harding,  Jim Dunphy, Libby Dunphy, Stacey Solomon, Ron Mitra and Dr. Eno Ebong. Thank you to all student scientists and volunteers for making this another successful science fair!

 

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The Girl Power Running Program  begins Monday, April 22. Girl Power provides a low pressure, confidence and self esteem building activity that encourages girls to work towards a goal, push themselves at a healthy pace and comfort level while supporting one another and participating in an outdoor, good for your body and soul activity. This is a FREE parent run program and you can read further details here. Email Heather Bergin with any questions.

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

Today is World Down Syndrome Day and MPS celebrated in style! MPS Inclusion Specialist Maureen Butler shares that March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. 3-21 represents trisomy 21, the medical term for Down Syndrome, which is the third replication of the 21st chromosome. This day provides the opportunity to celebrate people with Down syndrome and all the wonderful contributions they make to society. With Rock Your Socks, the point of wearing the silly socks is as a conversation starter for people to ask questions and to remind them that while things may be different they are still wonderful. MPS was full of crazy socks today as well as books, visitors, crazy sock sales, Pierce Pals lunch dates, videos and more. Celebrating inclusion is essential to to the students and staff of MPS!

If you can’t get enough Rock Your Socks, check out our all MPS Rock Your Socks video and our MHS Achieve classroom celebrating Rock Your Socks below!

WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL

5th grade families  – we would like to welcome both you and your child to the Pierce Middle School community. As your 5th grader prepares to transition to Pierce, we have two upcoming events to help smooth the way.

On Thursday March 28th, join Dr Spaulding for 5th Grade Information Night at 6:30 pm at Pierce Middle School. We would like to invite you (students are welcome too!) to come to the Pierce to learn all about the enriching learning opportunities your child will experience as a middle school student next year.  Please email Pierce Principal Dr. Karen  Spaulding  if you have any questions.

Sign up soon for Welcome to Middle School, a 3 day program designed to help acclimate all students to Pierce.  Middle school is quite different from the elementary setting, and the transition can sometimes be intimidating (but shouldn’t be!). Our program allows students to experience “a day in the life of a grade six student.” We encourage all families to enroll your current 5th grader in our camp. Details can be found here.

MPS SUMMER

Spring is here which means summer is coming! The Milton Public Schools and Community schools have options for your student throughout the summer. All Camp Cunningham information can be found here and you can read the opening letter from Milton Summer Enrichment here.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Laurie Stillman, District SEL Facilitator shares the following; “Coming Out: Resources for Parents whose Children may be Questioning Their Sexual Identity”.

Thinking that a child might be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can raise many questions for a parent. Often a parent is unsure whether they should talk to their child about this. Communicating is almost always a good thing. If you feel that your child might be LGBT, first think about what feelings this brings up for you. If this isn’t something you are comfortable with, it might help to know that just about all mainstream mental health experts now believe that someone’s sexual orientation, regardless of whether they are gay, lesbian, straight or bisexual, is something that forms in each person either before we are born, or within the very first few years of each person’s life. You can read more here and also refer to these excellent resources:  PFLAG, The Trevor Project , GLBT National Help Center and  Trans Lifeline.

SEPAC

The Milton SEPAC invites you to join us, in partnership with the Federation for Children with Special Needs, for our first workshop of the 2018-2019 school year. This Basic Rights Workshop  on March 27 at 7pm in the library at Glover will help you better participate in the team process, collaborate with the team, and advocate for your child. All are welcome to attend.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Mar 21  Grades 5-12 Band Concert
Mar 26  Parent Speaker Series, Jessica Lahey, “The Gift of Failure”
Mar 27  Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 28  Grade 5 Pierce Information Night
Mar 28 MHS Course of Studies
Apr 2  Organ Donation Presentation
Apr 3  MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Apr 6  MFE Celebration for Education
Apr 10  Milton School Committee Meeting
Apr 11  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Apr 15–19  April Recess

The 2018-19 calendar has been adjusted due to the recent snow day and can be found here.   
The 2019-20 calendar has been amended and can be found here.

Come join the fun on Saturday, March 30th at the March Madness Cornhole Social at Steel & Rye from 12-3pm.  This will be a fun “adults only” event to raise funds to sponsor  5th grade activities at Tucker. There will be something for everyone: March Madness Hoops playing on the TV, silent auction items, a door prize, music, refreshments and a Cornhole tournament.  Can’t go but want to donate? Donations are being accepted online.

ART AND MUSIC

March is Youth Art Month, a celebration of the visual arts! Youth Art Month encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety. The Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers the program at the national level. The program provides a medium for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences unlike any other curriculum subjects, including: Problem solving; Creativity; Observation and Communication.

Art shows, special exhibits, fundraisers, and school and community activities take place annually  to celebrate visual art education for grades K – 12. We are excited to showcase our students art at our school based art shows in May. Our Tucker artists are busy preparing their work in the pictures below.

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Members of the Milton High School Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble and Cello Ensemble will present “Music In The Afternoon”, a Concert for Senior Citizens on Wed., March 27 at 1:30 pm  in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at MHS. The concert is being held in an effort to share the joy of music with members of the Milton community. The performance will be directed by Debra Miller, MPS District Orchestra Director.

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On Sunday, April 28th , Milton FAME is pleased to host a unique fundraising event, our fifth annual mattress sale! Our goal is to sell over 100 mattresses, with proceeds going directly to benefit music in the Milton Public Schools. If you, or anyone you know might be in need of a mattress, please save the date and visit our mobile showroom at the Pierce Middle School Gym. This is the time to buy and save up to 50% off retail, all while supporting our students. There will be 29 sets on display and a team of experts on hand to answer any questions you may have.  More details to follow as the date gets closer.

MHS Marching Band camp will be held at Milton High School, August 12th-16th from 8 AM- 3 PM. Please remember that band camp is mandatory for all of those who wish to participate in marching the show. This is the only week the band has to learn the entire show. If you know you’re going to have a conflict, please speak with Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good.

March is Music In Our Schools Month and among the events this month are concerts and festivals taking place in Milton schools and with affiliated organizations.  All are welcome to attend! Please look to the Milton Music Department Calendar for further details.

March 21: MIOSM Band Concert, Grades 5-12
March 22: Glover K-2 General Music Showcase
March 22-23: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 22: Eastern District General Music Chorus Festival
March 27: Music in the Afternoon at MHS
March 29: Boston Youth Symphony Field Trip for all Grade Four Students

Thank you to the Wildcat News Team and Sean Lopresti for filming many of our concerts. Please enjoy the 6th-12 grade Chorus Concert ,  the 7th-12th grade Chorus Concert and the MPS Strings Concert.

We were treated to more music this morning at MHS for MIOSM. Coleman Rose, Henry MacKay, Caleb Smith & Rowan Leggett performed Libetango.

ATHLETICS

Spring Sports has started with tryouts beginning this past Monday.  Unified Track will start this coming Monday. The game schedules can be found on our new MHS Athletics website!   

Student athletes all over Milton have these great calendars for sale. Calendars are  $10 each with 30 chances to win some great prizes throughout April. Red Sox tickets, Golf, restaurant certificates, cash and the evert popular chance to win a DARE Camp entry. All proceeds go to the Athletic and Scholarship funds. You can buy online this year or purchase from any student athlete.  Thank you for your support!

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Town spring sports will be starting soon! Register for Softball, Field Hockey, Baseball (Nat League) , Baseball (Amer League) and Lacrosse before it’s too late.

Save the date for the 42nd Annual Milton Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30pm, rain or shine, on Tuesday, June 11th. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for high school students living in Milton. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit entities that help Milton residents.

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long.

The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.

Milton’s annual Sweetheart Dance for girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 5th from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Cunningham Hall.  The dance is hosted by Girl Scout Troop 76176, who will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help create a Youth Center in Milton. Tickets are $20 per couple (plus $5 for additional siblings) and can be purchased at the door.  Get ready for a fun night of dancing, games, and photo ops to support a great cause for our community!

The Forbes House Museum hosts two March events that offer modern perspectives on traditional practices. On Saturday, March 23, at 3 pm, Professor CJ Allen of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will present on holistic medicine and answer your questions about Chinese herbology and acupuncture. The program is $10/person, free for members. On Saturday, March 30, from 10 – 11:30 am, explore your creative side at our Sip & Script Modern Calligraphy Workshop. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.

Milton Historical Society’s upcoming Patriots Day open house to be held at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton MA 02186. This free event will take place on April 14th  from 1-3pm. Colonial reenactor Michael LePage will portray patriot Dr. Joseph Warren.

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:

Elizabeth and Lauren present to families.

Students: Collicot 5th graders Lauren Cooper and Elizabeth Maye represented the English Innovation Pathway on Monday night at STEM Night. Both Lauren and Elizabeth eloquently shared their favorite STEM memories in front of a group of kindergarten students and families from across the district. Lauren began by sharing her favorite memories of the car seat belt project which is a part of the 4th grade “Project Lead the Way” curriculum. She mentioned that she was challenged to design a car with a seat belt system that would protect a real egg in a crash! Elizabeth shared her experience with Lego WeDo in 2nd grade. She enjoyed building Lego animals that she coded to make noises and move just like real animals. Both girls give up their recess weekly to assist 1st graders with STEM lessons and hope to continue STEM courses next year at Pierce. Thank you to Lauren and Elizabeth for sharing their experience with our young students. Thank you also to Ellen Lohan for coordinating STEM night and to the many MPS teachers who attended and helped out. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jess Gillooly, Cat DesRoche, Kelly Herbert, Meaghan Ohrenberger, Ryan Madden, Sara MacNeil, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue,  Ellen Lohan, Maureen Butler, Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Amy Gale, Laura O’Melia, Dawn Sykes, Debra Miller, Erin Power, Sean Lopresti, Karen Cahill, Karen McDavitt, Noel Vigue, Karen Cahill, Justine Novak, Nicole Lauria, Heather Bergin, Lindsay Shanahan, Melissa Craven, Elaine McNeil-Girmai and Laurie Stillman.

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 March 21, 2019

March 14, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 14, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

It is with mixed emotions that I share with you Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan’s announced retirement effective June 30th of this year. I have known Janet since 1994 when she joined the teaching staff at the Collicot Elementary School.  After graduating from the Educational Leadership Program at Lesley University, she continued her career as a Principal in the Cohasset Public Schools. A decade later we were thrilled to welcome her back to Milton, first as Principal of the Collicot Elementary School and later as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Human Resources.

Janet is the consummate professional.  She has dedicated her career in Milton to improving the achievement and social-emotional well being of our students. Janet is uniquely qualified to lead pre-school through grade twelve administrators, teachers and staff in curriculum and professional development in a myriad of content areas.

In the area of Curriculum, one of her most recent and lasting accomplishments is leading a team of elementary staff over the past three years in the analysis of our English/Language Arts student achievement data.  Subsequently, she facilitated an examination of programs that led to the implementation of the National Geographic Reach for Reading Literacy Program for our Kindergarten through Grade Five students.

In the area of Human Resources, she leads all of our recruitment efforts and has set standards for excellence in hiring at every level of our school district.

Janet’s breadth of knowledge and interpersonal skills have additionally benefited the Milton Public Schools as she oversees Professional Development, Budget, Special Education, Title IX, State Assessments, Grant Programs, and Residency.  Her success in these areas ensures that teachers are given the tools they need to employ best practices across all grade levels and that the District operates in compliance with all Federal, State and Local requirements.

Professionally, the Milton Public Schools is stronger and more robust because of Janet’s contributions through her years of service and leadership. Personally, I will miss her humor, kindness, dedication and commitment.

Please join me in wishing Janet Sheehan a happy and healthy retirement with her husband Jack, daughters Jennifer and Allison, son-in-law Mark and two very special grandchildren Addy and Jack.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Tickets are now available for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books” on April 6th at Lombardos!  Celebration is an opportunity for the MFE to fund larger projects for the Milton Public Schools. In just the past few years, the MFE has raised money for and funded the wireless initiative (bringing wireless capability to all 6 schools), the Wildcat Wellness Center, the Starlab and major upgrades to our STEAM and Civics curriculums. In 2019, we are thrilled to partner with AJ Melanson and our librarians  to revitalize and transform the libraries in all six schools.

It is the goal of the Milton Public Schools Library Team to transform all of the libraries into dynamic learning environments. MPS libraries support the learning and growth of every student and staff member in the district. The libraries are community spaces that foster curiosity, print and digital literacy, critical thinking skills, creation, and collaboration. In addition, libraries are places where individuals have the opportunity to learn not only about the larger world but themselves. They are places where one can see positive representations of their own identity reflected back through stories and images.

The MFE Celebration will be funding the installation of Makerspaces in all of the MPS schools.  Makerspaces are collaborative space focused on innovation in science, technology, engineering, art, and math and  foster student-centered inquiry while promoting hands-on activities that teach twenty-first-century skills. Students make, create and express themselves by exploring through their own interests.  Makerspaces allow students to learn to use tools and materials, both physical and virtual, and develop creative projects. Students learn how to fail and try again.

The celebration will also transform our libraries by providing movable furniture and flexible, comfortable seating to promote collaboration and support a wide variety of activities. Our libraries will be better able to meet the needs of students, staff, families, and community members who use these spaces throughout the day and evening for whole-class lessons, small-group work, research, enrichment groups, clubs, staff meetings, professional development, committee meetings, and much more. Flexible seating will increase focus and engagement by providing the movement and sensory input many students require, as well as greater choice, comfort, and opportunity for collaboration.

Libraries are dynamic community spaces and funds raised at Celebration will allow us to transform our spaces to create more powerful learning experiences for our community.  

Tickets are available online and special early bird pricing ends on March 15th. Join your friends and neighbors for a terrific night out while supporting the Milton Public Schools.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Over the last 6 weeks, the School Committee has held 5 Public Forums on Space with hundreds of Milton residents in attendance. All information on previous forums can be found here. The next School Committee meeting is March 27th at 7pm at Pierce Middle School. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

On Wednesday March 6th, 12 MHS students joined students from Dedham and Holbrook to attend  the Schools to Career Field trip to Meditech in Foxboro. MHS student Vincent Luong shares the following. The field trip was very eventful as it included a tour of the facilities and a presentation of Meditech. Meditech is a company that makes software that connects and holds medical data of patients across different hospitals and medical facilities. I learned that because of aging baby boomers, there will be an increase in jobs in the medical field,  including in the nursing profession. There was a small competition for the best questions asked, and I am happy to say that, as one of the winners, I went home with a Dunkin Donuts Gift Card.

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This week, student Thanh Nguyen shares that MHS Student Leaders held their first annual Winter Wellness Week in order to promote school wide mental and physical health. Events included morning meditation, a wellness playlist, zumba, smoothie bikes, yoga and  – to great fanfare – the therapy dogs. Milton resident Jack Foley, and certified therapy dog, Bailey, volunteered their time to meet with students after school on Monday and Tuesday. The response from students and teachers was overwhelmingly positive and we  look forward to having Mr. Foley and Bailey visit regularly in the future!

PIERCE UPDATES

February 28th marked the date of the annual Pierce school wide science fair with a range of student conducted science experiments and design projects on display.  Students and families were also treated to a water rocket launch demonstration by 6th graders Edidiong Ebong and Chidudem Unamka, who investigated rockets for their project.  Congratulations to our winners:

  • 1st Place- Joe Krueger and Ben Simeone Is a Metal’s Density the Deciding Factor for its Ability to Strengthen?
  • 2nd Place- Kyle Denny  How does Hydrogel Affect the Growth of Plants?
  • 3rd Place- Neave Martin How Does Plastic Pollution Affect the Growth of Plants?

7th graders Ella Cantor, Neave Martin, Fiona Zimon, Nora Hegarty and Cora Redmond will represent Pierce at the Regional Science Fair at Regis College on April 6th.  8th graders Jayme Lo and Lok Ye Young will be attending the Massachusetts Middle School Science Fair on May 11th at Worcester Technical High School. Good luck at the upcoming Regional Science Fairs! 

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Once again, due to the generosity of Rodman for Kids, dozens of our Pierce students were able to attend a performance of The Illusionists at the Colonial Theater. Students and staff chaperones attended this exciting evening performance, at no cost, and we are so grateful to the Rodman family for continuing to offer these experiences to our students. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Standards based report cards will be going home with our elementary students early next week.  Almost all states in the U.S. have adopted the Common Core State Standards which are incorporated in our Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. These standards, which focus on what we call “college and career readiness” and 21st century skills, identify what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in each of the content areas. As a result, most school districts have replaced traditional report cards with standards-based report cards that align with these standards.
While some find it difficult to adjust to report cards without letter grades that include new language and ratings, there are many advantages for our elementary students and families. Reports now include important skills and competencies that are more specific and that are intended to give parents/guardians more information about their child’s progress towards uniform standards as well as growth based on each term’s benchmarks.
We recognize the need for continued communication about how we define report card ratings. Principals will be distributing a ratings guide that we hope will provide further clarification as report cards are issued next week. As always, we encourage parents/guardians to contact teachers or administrators with any questions you may have.

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Following the success of last year’s pilot of a Spanish Pen Pal Program at Collicot and Cunningham, our four elementary schools are now exchanging letters with two elementary schools in Spain.  Señora Jauregui’s 4th and 5th graders at Collicot and Cunningham are partnered with Los Robles School in Aravaca, Madrid. Señora Brown’s Glover 4th graders and Señora Taber’s Tucker 4th graders are partnered with Colegio Dulce Nombre de Jesús in Oviedo, Asturias. The students from Spain sent letters first in English, and our students wrote back in Spanish.  This experience provides opportunities for English Innovation Pathway students to use the Spanish language in a meaningful context.

Students were excited to learn about life in Spain from students their own age.  Many commented that they were surprised to find out that they shared similar interests in tv shows, songs, games, and hobbies.  They also learned that their new Spanish friends like to visit museums, cultural sites, and parks with their families – just like our students do.  Discussions were sparked comparing and contrasting both languages and cultures, as students dove into reading the letters. Milton students wrote return letters in Spanish and many students included photos and drawings to share with their new friends.  Everyone is now eagerly awaiting the response from Spain and the elementary Spanish teachers plan to have students exchange at least one more set of letters this year.

This experience has not only fostered new friendships, but has also expanded students’ horizons and sparked curiosity about other cultures.   Journalist Flora Lewis once said, “Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.”  Our 4th grade penpals are experiencing this 1st hand!

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The winter session of BOKS is winding down in our elementary schools and I am happy to share these pictures of our before school BOKS athletes! BOKS is a free physical activity program, run by volunteers, that improves our children physically, mentally and socially by strengthening their minds and bodies through movement.

 

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As part of the new Kindergarten FOSS Unit “Animals 2 by 2”, all kindergarten classes welcomed goldfish into their classrooms this week! After creating suitable habitats, students observed goldfish living in a simple aquarium. They identified and named different parts of the fish, such as fins, tail, mouth, and gills. They discussed if all the fish are alike, or if there are differences such as color and size and recorded their findings in science notebooks. Next up – students will begin to compare goldfish to guppies!

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March is National Literacy Month and Collicot celebrated with the 3rd Annual “Dress Like your Favorite Literary Character Day”. Students and staff were  invited to dress like one of their favorite book characters and walked the red carpet to spread awareness around some pretty amazing characters and to show their love for reading.

Collicot 5th graders also invited their families and school community to the Annual 5th Grade Wax Museum. 5th graders provided a summary of their favorite book as well as a slogan created to support the book’s theme and acted a live  statues of a favorite character from their chosen book.

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Congratulations to Madison and Nathan!

4th and 5th graders across the district are hard at work on Chapter 4 of their collaborative BoomWriter Bee. Congratulations to Cunningham 4th grader Nathan Chan and Glover 5th grader Madison Sison for being named the official authors of chapters 2 and 3 (respectively). Nathan submitted a chapter that grabbed the attention of his peers and garnered the most votes  for chapter 2 while in the closest vote in Milton’s BoomWriter history, Madison edged out the competition with her creative chapter 3. This week students are writing the fourth and final chapter of the book. If you are interested in ordering the final published book, please email Amy Gale. Students in grades 4 and 5 will receive order forms for the books at school. 

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Milton Public Schools and The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition are  proud to welcome New York Times best selling author Jessica Lahey, J.D. to speak on “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children Can Succeed”.

Jessica offers practical advice for fostering deep, meaningful learning by offering kids more autonomy at home and in school, helping them feel more competent, and strengthening parent-child and teacher-student relationships. Over her 20 years as a middle and high school teacher, Lahey began to suspect that the way we parent children has a direct impact on their motivation, learning, resilience, and the development of obsessive perfectionism and performance anxiety. A deep dive into research bore this hypothesis out and resulted in the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure. Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. Join us on Tuesday March 26th at 6:30 in the MHS Auditorium for this informative evening.

NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH

Save the Date for Donate Life Information Night on April 2nd at Pierce.

If you are like me, you may not have known that April is National Donate Life Month. The Milton Public Schools is partnering with MPS parent and pediatric nurse practitioner/nursing director specializing in transplant, Laura O’Melia to help spread the word about organ donation. Laura is organizing a Donate Life Information Night at Pierce on April 2nd from 6:30-7:30pm. Will you join us for just 60 minutes to hear compelling stories from:

  • A mom of a Collicot student who received a living donor kidney transplant
  • A man who lives in Milton who had a heart transplant
  • A woman who donated her husband’s organs

Please join us on April 2nd in the Pierce Auditorium to learn how you might be able to help save a life someday.

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

Last year they “Rocked Their Socks” at Pierce!

Join us next Thursday, March 21st as we “Rock Your Socks” for World Down Syndrome Day! Inclusion Specialist Maureen Butler shares that March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. 3-21 represents trisomy 21, the medical term for Down Syndrome, which is the third replication of the 21st chromosome. This day provides the opportunity to celebrate people with Down syndrome and all the wonderful contributions they make to society.

The point of wearing the silly socks is as a conversation starter for people to ask questions and to remind them that while things may be different they are still wonderful. This is meant to bring awareness and acceptance of Down Syndrome. People are encouraged to wear bright, mismatched or printed socks and many of our MPS staff have ordered socks from John’s Crazy Sock company. You can learn about John’s Crazy Sock Company in this short video. We hope to see many at MPS “Rock Your Socks” next Thursday!

WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL

5th grade families  – we would like to welcome both you and your child to the Pierce Middle School community. As your 5th grader prepares to transition to Pierce, we have two upcoming events to help smooth the way.

On Thursday March 28th, join Dr Spaulding for 5th Grade Information Night at 6:30 pm at Pierce Middle School. We would like to invite you (students are welcome too!) to come to the Pierce to learn all about the enriching learning opportunities your child will experience as a middle school student next year.  Please email Pierce Principal Dr. Karen  Spaulding  if you have any questions.

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Sign up soon for Welcome to Middle School, a 3 day program designed to help acclimate all students to Pierce. Middle school is quite different from the elementary setting, and the transition can sometimes be intimidating (but shouldn’t be)! Our program allows students to experience “a day in the life of a grade six student.” Students will familiarize themselves with the building, administrators, agenda books, lockers and Pierce faculty – as our teachers assume the role of Camp Counselors. Your child’s camp experience will be fun, enriching, and academically motivating! They will meet new friends, begin to build relationships with Pierce faculty, and find comfort as the “unknown” becomes “the known”. We encourage all families to enroll your current 5th grader in our camp. Details can be found here.

MPS SUMMER

The temperature outside may say otherwise but summer will be here soon! The Milton Public Schools and Community schools have options for your student throughout the summer. All Camp Cunningham information can be found here and you can read the opening letter from Milton Summer Enrichment here.

FIRST GRADE INFORMATION

There are two opportunities for parents and guardians of current kindergarteners to learn about 1st grade in the Milton Public Schools.  

On March 12th, in the Pierce  Auditorium many of you joined us for 1st Grade Information Night. If you missed this valuable presentation, you can view it here.

On Monday, March 18th, the Milton Public Schools will hold a STEM Information Night for kindergarten students and their parents/guardians.  During STEM Information Night, attendees will be given an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity. STEM Information Night will take place in the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria and will run from 6:30-7:30 PM. You may enter through the back doors of the building beginning at 6:30 PM. Due to limited space during this event, we ask that you make efforts to leave siblings of current kindergarteners at home. Please contact Elementary Science Coordinator Ellen Lohan with any questions.

FOOD SERVICES

March 5th-8th was National School Breakfast Week and we shared some exciting mornings with our Milton students. Although we started with a snow day on Monday, Tuesday kicked things off right with “Romaine Calm: Tips to Feed Your Family for Health,” which was followed by a tasting with breakfast options (Chocolate-Banana Oat Bars, Sweet Potato Bread, and Smoothies). Some of our high school students came in to operate the popular smoothie bikes for the event (which are also being used for the student planned Wellness Week at MHS).

We had celebrity chefs serving breakfast daily in all our schools, including teachers and staff, the Police and Fire Chief, the Town Administrator, DPW Director, School Committee Members, State Senators, Select Board Members, and many other exciting additions to our morning crew. We are thrilled to report a 5% increase in breakfast participation across the MPS district during this special week! Our goal is to set students up to learn, and eating a healthy breakfast is proven to increase focus and test scores, improve classroom behavior, and decrease nurse visits and tardiness. We serve a variety of healthy, whole grain, breakfast options every day, so please come and have breakfast with us soon!

SEPAC

The Milton SEPAC invites you to join us, in partnership with the Federation for Children with Special Needs, for our first workshop of the 2018-2019 school year. This Basic Rights Workshop on March 27 at 7pm in the library at Glover will help you better participate in the team process, collaborate with the team, and advocate for your child. All are welcome to attend.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Mar 14  Glover Science Fair
Mar 14 Biography of a Constellation at MHS
Mar 18  Stem Information Night
Mar 19  Grades 5-12 Strings Concert
Mar 20  After School/Evening PT Conferences
Mar 21 Grades 5-12 Band Concert at MHS
Mar 26 PARENT  Speaker Series, Jessica Lahey, “The Gift of Failure” at MHS
Mar 27 Music in the Afternoon at MHS
Mar 27 Milton School Committee Meeting
Apr 2 Donate Life Presentation at PMS
Apr 3 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert at MHS
Apr 6 MFE Celebration for Education

The 2018-19 calendar has been adjusted due to the recent snow day and can be found here.
The 2019-20 calendar has been amended and can be found here.

ART AND MUSIC

In honor of Women’s History Month, students in the Cunningham and Collicot ACE program learned about the Ukrainian-born French artist, Sonia Delaunay whose work focused on Orphism, an art movement noted for its use of strong colors and geometric shapes.  Students used compasses and rulers to design their geometric composition and acrylics to paint in their design.  Each students needed to have the following components in their artwork: a checkerboard, a monochromatic triangle focusing on tints, a section with complementary colors and a sense of balance in the overall painting. 

Members of the Milton High School Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble and Cello Ensemble will present “Music In The Afternoon”, a Concert for Senior Citizens on Wed., March 27 at 1:30 pm  in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at MHS. The concert is being held in an effort to share the joy of music with members of the Milton community. The performance will be directed by Debra Miller, MPS District Orchestra Director.

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Last weekend, the Milton Music Department was busy making music!  On Friday and Saturday, seven students from Pierce and MHS attended the MMEA- Eastern District Junior Festival at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.  Participants included Barron Clancy (Orchestra), Michael Howard (Concert Band), Sadie Carrol (Orchestra), Tim Fay (Concert Band), Isabelle Feloney (Mixed Chorus), Madison Massad (Concert Band), and Fiona McCarthy (Mixed Chorus).  The festival concluded with a performance by each ensemble.

In addition, Eastern District hosted a rehearsal for the first General Music Festival Treble Chorus.  This new program offers an introductory choral performance opportunity to students in grades 4-6, and Milton  sent 13 talented students! Joy Egersheim, Haylie Maile, Aine D’Arcy, Victoria Kirkham , Kyle Tam, Ciara Poff, Lauren Roebuck, Jay Sekhar, Kate Connor, Orlaith Killion, Juliette MacGrath, Bella Murphy and Ava Fay-Loughrey and their teachers will attend a second rehearsal and perform their program at Dedham Middle School on Saturday, March 23 at 3pm.  Friends and families are welcome to attend this special concert!

Pierce Grade 6 Chorus

Congratulations to these students, and many thanks to Ms. Julia Hanna, who served as Festival Manager for the Junior Mixed Chorus, and Ms. Colleen Martin, the Assistant Manger to the General Music Treble Chorus.

March is Music In Our Schools Month and among the events this month are concerts and festivals taking place in Milton schools and with affiliated organizations.  All are welcome to attend! Please look to the Milton Music Department Calendar for further details.

March 19: MIOSM District Wide Strings Concert, Grades 5-12
March 21: MIOSM Band Concert, Grades 5-12
March 22: Glover K-2 General Music Showcase
March 22-23: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 22: Eastern District General Music Chorus Festival
March 27: Music in the Afternoon at MHS
March 29: Boston Youth Symphony Field Trip for all Grade Four Students

Thank you to the Wildcat News Team and Sean Lopresti for filming many of our concerts. Please enjoy the 6th-12 grade Chorus Concert and the 7th-12th grade Chorus Concert.

ATHLETICS

Spring sports start on Monday, March 18th and the deadline to register is this Friday, March 15th. All of this information and more can be found on the Athletics Website

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Student athletes all over Milton have these great calendars for sale. Calendars are  $10 each with 30 chances to win some great prizes throughout April. Red Sox tickets, Golf, restaurant certificates, cash and the evert popular chance to win a DARE Camp entry. All proceeds go to the Athletic and Scholarship funds. You can buy online this year or purchase from any student athlete.  Thank you for your support!

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The MHS Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive on Saturday, March 16th from 9am – 12pm at Milton High School.  To arrange pick-up of a can/bottle donation at your home, please send the team an email.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long

The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.

There are just few spots still available at the 8th Annual Chess-a-Palooza! Please email dvigorito@msn.com to register ASAP to reserve a spot. On Saturday March 23rd from 9:30am-1pm at the Milton Public Library, The Friends of the Milton Public Library and Vigorito Chess present the 8th annual Chess-a-Palooza! Open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players. Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito. Four round Swiss-style tournament – every player plays all four rounds and players of all abilities are welcome. Limited to first 50 entrants with trophies for top 3 players in each section: K-1, Grades 2-3, and Grades 4-5. Registration information can be found here. Please note: the deadline has passed to receive a personalized medal.

On Saturday, March 16th at 7pm Milton Community Concerts presents the fifth annual “Sing For Their Supper” free benefit concert at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. Ten local opera singers will be performing a variety of songs, arias, and musical theater selections to raise money for the Milton Food Pantry and the Milton Residents Fund. Admission is free; an offering will be taken.

Milton’s annual Sweetheart Dance for girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 5th from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Cunningham Hall.  The dance is hosted by Girl Scout Troop 76176, who will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help create a Youth Center in Milton. Tickets are $20 per couple (plus $5 for additional siblings) and can be purchased at the door.  Get ready for a fun night of dancing, games, and photo ops to support a great cause for our community!

The Forbes House Museum hosts two March events that offer modern perspectives on traditional practices. On Saturday, March 23, at 3 pm, Professor CJ Allen of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will present on holistic medicine and answer your questions about Chinese herbology and acupuncture. The program is $10/person, free for members. On Saturday, March 30, from 10 – 11:30 am, explore your creative side at our Sip & Script Modern Calligraphy Workshop. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.

Milton National Little League is open for registration. New this year is a 13 year old baseball division for children born between 9/1/2005 and 8/31/2006. All details on all divisions of MNLL, including the Challenger Division 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:

Volunteer and Students: Congratulations to Cunningham 4th graders Sara Callahan, Taylor Feloney, RoisAine Gannon, and Caroline Melanson who placed 3rd at the elementary level  in a Massachusetts Regional Tournament for Destination Imagination in Shrewsbury last weekend. After months of preparation, the team presented their creative solution to the 2018-19 STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) engineering challenge called “Monster Effects”. For the challenge, this team of 4th graders had to:

  • Design and build a structure that could support weight without breaking
  • Test the structure by placing weights and then removing them
  • Create and present a story in which the sudden appearance of a monster has surprising results
  • Design and create a special effect to enhance the sudden appearance of the monster and/or the events surrounding the monster in the story
  • Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents

The Cunningham team developed a story of a burglar who steals a diamond at the Eiffel Tower gift shop and is captured.  They incorporated French into their script and created colorful scenery. Congratulations to these talented 4th graders and a big thank you to their parent advisor, Cindi Melanson, who spent countless hours with this group over the past 2 months as they developed and executed their STEAM Challenge.

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: Martine Fisher, Christina Brown, Cristina Jauregui, Jennifer Taber, Cat DesRoche, Ryan Madden, Sara MacNeil, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Christie Chiappetta, Will Korman, AJ Melanson, Jess Royster, JT Troy, Josh Coben, Karyn Viveiros, Vincent Luong, Thanh Nguyen, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Maureen Butler, Jon Redden, Cindi Melanson, Holly Concannon, Amy Gale, Laura O’Melia, Dawn Sykes, Debra Miller, Erin Power, Sean Lopresti, Martha Sandoval, Jen Grubler, Rachel Cross and Laurel Bernini.

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 March 14, 2019

March 7, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 7, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There are two Milton High School highlights that I would like to share with you below.

On Thursday, February 28th, the Milton High School Chorus performed at the Massachusetts State House. The Chorus was invited by State Senator Walter Timilty, for a tour and a meeting with Senator Timilty as well as  the opportunity to sing during a Senate Session. Chorus Director Johnny Nichols shares the information below.

Students from both the Mixed and Select Choruses presented a rare a cappella performance on the floor of the Senate during an informal session, impressing the Senators and legislative staff members with what sounded like a “professional ensemble”, according to Senator Timilty. Before the performance, the Senator’s office graciously gave students an hour long tour of the State House, providing the students a first-hand look at both the history of the State House as well as  the dignitaries who served in those same halls. After the performance, students received an additional treat of a Q&A with Senator Timilty. The students asked the Senator insightful questions about his responsibilities and duties as a public servant. Our students performed four pieces and two of them are captured on video below; “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal” (both Mixed and Select Choruses ), MHS Mixed Chorus: “Carnavalito”  and MHS Select Chorus: “Precious Lord”.

Thank you to Senator Walter Timilty for providing this extraordinary opportunity for our students and congratulations to Mr. Nichols and our talented students on a job well done!

As you may know, Milton High School  will become a Unified Champion School this spring. The Milton High School Athletic Program, governed by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) in partnership with Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA), is focused on the inclusion of all students. This program is a comprehensive model of our Unified Schools’ strategy that combines Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement to create the greatest impact. These activities aim to help reduce bullying and exclusion, promote healthy activity and interactions, combat stereotypes and stigma, eliminate hurtful language in our school and engage people in social activities that lead to personal growth.

Milton High School will offer  a Unified Track and Field Team starting March 25th. This Track and Field program is open to all students with and without intellectual disabilities to participate alongside one another. There are over 73 schools participating in the state of Massachusetts. Students are not paired, like in Best Buddies, but rather serve as teammates that mentor and coach each other as they train and compete together. If your child might be interested, we encourage getting a new physical as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit the Unified Sports page on the Athletics Website.  Please email Athletic Director, Ryan Madden at rmadden@miltonps.org to be added to the email list. You can read the entire unified sports letter here and please take just 5 minutes to watch this video about Unified Sports. We are excited for a terrific inaugural Unified Track and Field season!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Over the last 6 weeks, the School Committee has held 5 Public Forums on Space with hundreds of Milton residents in attendance. Thank you to all who attended, asked questions and offered suggestions. There is another forum tonight, March 7th, at 7pm at MHS  and all are invited to attend.  If you were unable to attend a forum, you can stay informed with the help of the links below:

The School Committee submitted a warrant article to the Special Town Meeting on February 25th asking for the formation of a School Building Committee. The article was approved and the Town Moderator will begin to appoint members to the School Building Committee. Residents with technical expertise are invited to apply to serve on the committee by contacting Bob Hiss, the Town Moderator

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Tickets are now available for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books” on April 6th at Lombardos!  The MFE has exciting plans for our libraries as we bring our libraries into the 21st century! Special early bird pricing ends on March 15th and as always, MPS teachers are offered a special price of $65. 

Celebration is the MFE’s major fundraiser and we need your support to raise funds to fulfill the MFE’s mission to enhance the quality of education and expand educational opportunities within the Milton Public Schools by generating and distributing financial and other resources. What does that look like in practice? The pictures below tell the story! 

Feeling lucky? Well then take a chance on a Jeep and help the MFE continue to support the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools! The MFE is selling raffle tickets (only 500 of them!) for a chance to win a Jeep (or $25,000). Contact Liddie Sutter via email, reach out to any MFE board member or stop into any of our 6 schools during the school day to purchase a raffle ticket.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

On February 28th,  The Young Men’s Group got the opportunity to meet and speak with former Chancellor of UMass-Boston, Dr. J. Keith Motley. Dr. Motley was YMG’s first guest speaker back on April 14, 2011 and has met with the group, either on campus or at UMass, several times.  Dr. Motley always brings a strong message and great energy to the boys and he did not disappoint this time. Dr. Motley spoke about his experiences as a young man in Pittsburgh and how he was often ashamed to show his childhood friends his various talents and often hid his strong desire for the arts and academics from his peers.  He challenged YMG to master the world around them, to be themselves and not to be afraid to stand out for something positive. He challenged the boys to strive to be their best at whatever it is they was to do. 

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Coleman and Esme at the Festival

MHS student Coleman Rose shares the following about his and fellow attendee Esme Link’s experience at the Massachusetts All-State Festival: This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Massachusetts All-State Festival and was part of the concert band. This festival was one of the most fulfilling, exciting, and truly special musical experiences in my life. Playing alongside musicians from all over the state that perform at a very high level leads to the making of powerful, beautiful, and impactful music. As well, I made friends with people that I would have otherwise never met had we not been at the festival together. I am very thankful for the music department faculty and private lesson teachers at the high school for giving me the environment and support to earn my place in this ensemble. I am also grateful to the Milton FAME organization who sponsored my trip to the All-State Festival.  I believe every student deserves an experience like the one that I had this weekend. With the great teachers and program that we have here in the Milton Public Schools, I do think that many students to come will be making exceptional music and will hopefully be able to experience these great festivals.

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MHS Students Leaders are hosting a Winter Wellness Week next week and have one event open to the public. Please join them for Zumba in the field house on Wednesday March 13th at 4:30. 

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We are pleased to present the 2019-2020 Milton High School Program of Studies. Course selection for next year is an exciting time for students, parents and the MHS staff.  We hope all involved engage in thoughtful conversations about different offerings, possible career paths and post-secondary plans.  It is a time for students to think about topics or areas that inspire them and spark a passion for learning. Our goal is to develop lifelong learners and fully prepare our students for the many opportunities that exist beyond Milton High School. MHS parents and guardians can read the full course selection letter here. 

PIERCE UPDATES

On Feb. 28th, a group of Pierce Drama students traveled to Boston to see a performance of Spamilton, a parody of the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton.  In the weeks prior to the show, participating students were visited by a teaching artist from the Huntington Theatre and guided through a series of theater exercises to prepare for the production.  After the performance, students were treated to a backstage tour and an enlightening Q & A session with the actors and crew of Spamilton. Our Pierce Drama students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see this terrific show.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Last week, Collicot participated in its 1st Annual Spelling Bee. During an exciting, emotional and at times tense morning, 32 students participated in the Spelling Bee, spelling more than 450 words over 2 and ½  hours. Students worked hard over the past few weeks studying and preparing for the Spelling Bee and their effort really showed as did their teamwork, comradery, and competitive spirit.

Congratulations to 4th grader, Rafael Corcoran who placed first and will continue the process to move on in the Scripps Spelling Bee! Congratulations as well to 4th grader Charlotte Hegarty (2nd place) and 4th grader Teddy Hsu (3rd place). Thank you to Mrs. Spitz for coordinating such an exciting event for Collicot and to Mr. Rosner and Ms. Metz for providing support and for treating the entire team to a well deserved extra recess.

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Read Across America Day was adopted by the National Education Association in honor of beloved author Dr. Seuss.  Glover students in Mrs. Franklin and Mrs. Collins’ class celebrated this special day by sharing stories written by Dr. Seuss.  After reading, students wrote a book recommendation of their favorite title.

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It was a terrific night at the Milton Activities Fair at Tucker last week with a great turnout and 16 organizations present to share their mission and  information with Milton families. Families were able to ask questions, register and even try out some of the equipment related to the activity or team! An exciting next step is an ongoing collaboration with the Milton Parks and Recreation Department.  

Groups in attendance included Milton Youth Wrestling, Wildcats Football, Milton Youth Cheer, Milton Youth Flag Football, Milton National League Baseball, Milton Youth Lacrosse, Milton Girls Softball, Milton Youth Hockey, Milton High School Crew, Applied Lessons Program, Milton Foundation for Education, Girl Power, Milton Youth Soccer, Brookwood Farm, Milton Parks and Recreation, Modern Taekwondo Center, STEAMology and the Milton Arts Center.  If you were unable to attend, you can find updated information on the Milton Public Schools website. This page will continue to be updated with information. Thank you to all who attended and thank you to Tucker Assistant Principal Cat DesRoche for organizing!

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This year all 1st grade students participated in the program “The Day the Water Stopped” presented by Meg Tabacsko of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The program sparked the curiosity and awareness of the importance of water in daily lives of our students. 1st graders imagined what life would be like if the water stopped  and developed an awareness of the importance of water in their daily lives. Tucker 3rd graders also learned about the water delivery system and made maps to create a map connecting pipes to buildings in the community. Thank you to the MWRA for presenting to our students.

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Cunningham students in Mrs. Chen’s fifth grade class recently learned a new method for measuring the volume of objects called the displacement method.  After thinking about Mrs. Chen’s lunch contents of a banana and an apple, students discovered that not all objects easily lend themselves to the volume formulas that they had already learned.  After discussing ways to estimate the volume of irregular objects, several students remembered an assembly that the Cunningham PTO sponsored last year, where they learned that you could find the volume of any object by measuring the amount of water that the object displaced, or moved aside, when you submerged it.  Students then worked with a partner to find the volume of several irregularly shaped classroom objects by making sure they understood the units they were using (milliliters), measuring the initial water level by looking at the beaker at eye level and checking each other’s work, submerging the object, taking a new water level measurement, and finally finding the water displacement which gave them the volume of the object.  Students then were asked to make a connection between millimeter and cubic centimeter units for measuring volume. 

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Join the fun at the Family Night Out!

Tucker is hosting a Laser Quest Family Fun Night  on Monday, March 11th and all are invited to attend.  Tickets are a great deal at $10 per person and include multiple games of Laser Tag and pizza. You can purchase tickets online here and you can email the Tucker PTO team to pay by check or with any questions. 

MPS SUMMER

The snow outside may say otherwise but summer will be here soon! The Milton Public Schools and Community schools have options for your student throughout the summer. All Camp Cunningham information can be found here and you can read the opening letter from Milton Summer Enrichment here

FIRST & FIFTH GRADE INFORMATION NIGHTS – NEW DATES

There are two opportunities for parents and guardians of current kindergarteners to learn about 1st grade in the Milton Public Schools.  Due to the recent snow day please note the NEW DATES for both nights, as well as the new location of the Pierce Auditorium for 1st Grade Information Night.

On March 12th, in the Pierce  Auditorium at 6:30, please join us for  1st Grade Information Night. Parents of current kindergarten students will 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.

Then on Monday, March 18th, the Milton Public Schools will hold a STEM Information Night. Kindergarten students and their parents are welcome to attend. During STEM Information Night, attendees will be given an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity. STEM Information Night will take place in the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria and will run from 6:30-7:30 PM. You may enter through the back doors of the building beginning at 6:30 PM. Due to limited space during this event, we ask that you make efforts to leave siblings of current kindergarteners at home. We hope to see you there! Please contact Elementary Science Coordinator Ellen Lohan (elohan@miltonps.org) with any questions.

5th grade families

We would like to welcome both you and your child to the Pierce Middle School community. As your 5th grader prepares to transition to Pierce, we have two upcoming events to help smooth the way.

On Thursday March 28th, join Dr Spaulding for 5th Grade Information Night at Pierce Middle School. We would like to invite you (students are welcome too!) to come to the Pierce to learn all about the enriching learning opportunities your child will experience as a middle school student next year.  Please join us on Thursday, March 28th at 6:30 PM in the Pierce auditorium for 5th Grade Information Night so we can tell you all about the opportunities your student will have next year! Please email Pierce Principal Dr. Karen  Spaulding  if you have any questions.

Sign up soon for Welcome to Middle School, a 3 day program designed to help acclimate all students to Pierce. Middle school is quite different from the elementary setting, and the transition can sometimes be intimidating (but shouldn’t be)! Our program allows students to experience “a day in the life of a grade six student.” Students will familiarize themselves with the building, administrators, agenda books, lockers and Pierce faculty – as our teachers assume the role of Camp Counselors. Your child’s camp experience will be fun, enriching, and academically motivating! They will meet new friends, begin to build relationships with Pierce faculty, and find comfort as the “unknown” becomes “the known”. We encourage all families to enroll your current 5th grader in our camp. Details can be found here.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Milton Public Schools and The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition are  proud to welcome New York Times best selling author Jessica Lahey, J.D. to speak on “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children Can Succeed”.

Jessica offers practical advice for fostering deep, meaningful learning by offering kids more autonomy at home and in school, helping them feel more competent, and strengthening parent-child and teacher-student relationships. Over her 20 years as a middle and high school teacher, Lahey began to suspect that the way we parent children has a direct impact on their motivation, learning, resilience, and the development of obsessive perfectionism and performance anxiety. A deep dive into research bore this hypothesis out and resulted in the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure. Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. Join us on Tuesday March 26th at 6:30 in the MHS Auditorium for this informative evening. 

FOOD SERVICES

All week we have celebrated National School Breakfast Week in the Milton Public Schools to encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast. We know that when students start the day with a nutritious breakfast, they start the day ready to learn and when parents rely on the School Breakfast Program, they can be assured that their child will receive a healthy breakfast every day. We will have a full wrap up of the events next week but wanted to share a few pictures of the festivities so far! 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Lil Cronin, LICSW from the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares the following information about students and stress.

Children and young adults confront many of the usual stressors as they transition into adult life: Adjustment in school and work situations; interactions with peers as well as peer pressure; ever changing family dynamics; day to day life experiences, etc.  However, some youths encounter extreme adverse, or traumatic, life experiences that may impede their healthy functioning as adults.

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, have been found to be a significant risk factor for substance abuse disorder. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration describes ACEs as traumatic events during childhood, which may include abuse and neglect or even a difficult family event such as divorce or illness. They may also include dysfunction within the household, such as witnessing domestic violence, or growing up with family members experiencing substance-abuse disorders. Trauma can be experienced both physically or emotionally, or both. Please continue reading for more information and resources.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Mar 7  School Committee Public Forum (Space/Enrollment) at MHS
Mar 9  Minority Recruitment Fair
Mar 12  1st Grade Information Night at Pierce
Mar 12  Grades 6-12 Concert
Mar 13  Glover Science Fair
Mar 13  Grades 7-12 Concert
Mar 14  Glover Science Fair
Mar 18  Stem Information Night
Mar 19  Grades 5-12 Strings Concert
Mar 20  After School/Evening PT Conferences
Mar 21 Grades 5-12 Band Concert at MHS
Mar 26 PARENT  Speaker Series, Jessica Lahey, “The Gift of Failure” at MHS
Mar 27 Milton School Committee Meeting
Apr 2 Organ Donation Presentation at PMS
Apr 3 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert at MHS
Apr 6 MFE Celebration for Education

The 2018-19 calendar has been adjusted due to the recent snow day and can be found here.   
The 2019-20 calendar has been amended and can be found here.

ART AND MUSIC

March is Music In Our Schools Month and among the events this month are concerts and festivals taking place in Milton schools and with affiliated organizations.  All are welcome to attend! Please look to the Milton Music Department Calendar for further details.

March 8: Cunningham K-2 General Music Showcase
March 8-9: Eastern District Junior Festival
March 12: MIOSM Chorus Concert, Grades 6 & 9-12
March 13: MIOSM Chorus Concert, Grades 7-12
March 19: MIOSM Strings Concert, Grades 5-12
March 21: MIOSM Band Concert, Grades 5-12
March 22: Glover K-2 General Music Showcase
March 22-23: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 22: Eastern District General Music Chorus Festival
March 29: Boston Youth Symphony Field Trip for all Grade Four Students

ATHLETICS

Spring sports start on Monday, March 18th and the deadline to register is this Friday, March 8th. All of this information and more can be found on the Athletics Website

The MHS Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive on Saturday, March 16th from 9am – 12pm at Milton High School.  To arrange pick-up of a can/bottle donation at your home, please send the team an email.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton National Little League is open for registration. New this year is a 13 year old baseball division for children born between 9/1/2005 and 8/31/2006. All details on all divisions of MNLL, including the Challenger Division can be found here.

Come join Chef Jenny Devivo in THE KITCHEN at The Boston Public Market on Sunday March 31st at 10am for Teens Cook: A Hands on Seasonal Cooking Class. Teens & tweens ages 12-18 will learn about local food and the journey it makes from the farm to the table. In these hands-on classes, young adults will explore and taste the seasonal bounty of the region through the local vendors of the Boston Public Market. Each class will feature different cooking skills and two hands-on cooking experiences. Attendees will be able to eat what they’ve made.

The Forbes House Museum 2019 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest is open for students in grades K-8. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 12 and the awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 19 at the museum. All details on this year’s drawing and writing topics can be found here.

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long.

The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! For over 30 years, the Milton Young Musicians Festival has encouraged young people with an interest in music and fostered their developing performance skills.  All participants receive feedback from trained adjudicators, and a medal at the end of the day. Recipients of the Gold Medal are invited to perform in a concert the next weekend. The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.

On Saturday March 23rd from 9:30am-1:00 pm at the Milton Public Library, The Friends of the Milton Public Library and Vigorito Chess present the 8th annual Chess-a-Palooza! Open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players. Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito. Four round Swiss-style tournament – every player plays all four rounds and players of all abilities are welcome. Limited to first 50 entrants with trophies for top 3 players in each section: K-1, Grades 2-3, and Grades 4-5. Registration information can be found here.

On Saturday, March 16th at 7pm Milton Community Concerts presents the fifth annual “Sing For Their Supper” free benefit concert at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. Ten local opera singers will be performing a variety of songs, arias, and musical theater selections to raise money for the Milton Food Pantry and the Milton Residents Fund. Admission is free; an offering will be taken.

Milton’s annual Sweetheart Dance for girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 5th from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Cunningham Hall.  The dance is hosted by Girl Scout Troop 76176, who will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help create a Youth Center in Milton. Tickets are $20 per couple (plus $5 for additional siblings) and can be purchased at the door.  Get ready for a fun night of dancing, games, and photo ops to support a great cause for our community!

The Milton Historical Society presents Written in Light: Photographs from the Milton Historical Society featuring photographs by Margaret Sutermeister (1875-1950). The event opens March 15 and runs through September 29 at Historic New England’s Eustis Estate located at 1424 Canton Ave., Milton, MA 02186. The exhibit is free with admission to the Eustis Estate. Admission is free for Milton residents.

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:

L-R Ms. Miller, Ms. Sykes. Ms. Damiani, Mr. Good. Ms.Hanna and Ms. Martin

Staff: Last weekend, Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good were recognized for their outstanding and hard work in music education.  Both were recipients of the Lowell Mason Award during the Massachusetts Music Educator Association (MMEA) conference. This award is given to music teachers who have had an impact on music education in their respective district and also at the state organization level. They were 2 of the 5 teachers chosen from all music teachers in the state who received this impressive award. Congratulations to Ms. Damiani and Mr. Good! 

Students: It looks like many of our MPS families enjoyed the 1st snow day of the 2018-19 school year. With the snow day, the last day of school is now a half day on Monday, June 17th. The updated calendar can be found here.  You can see the fun MPS students and staff had in the video below. Nice job playing in the snow, reading, getting ready for the science fair, playing games, building some impressive snow people and generally having a great time!

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: Cat DesRoche, Lil Cronin, Ryan Madden,  Sara MacNeil, Larry Jordan, FAME, Dawn Sykes, Noel Vigue, Laurie Stillman, Rina Chen, Johnny Nichols, Coleman Rose, Will Deschenes, Liz Spitz, Ellen Lohan, Erin Power, Martha Sandoval and Jackie Morgan. 

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 March 7, 2019

February 28, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 28, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Next week we will celebrate National School Breakfast Week in the Milton Public Schools. Director of Food Services Jackie Morgan has planned fun events at each of our schools next week to encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast. We know that when students start the day with a nutritious breakfast, they start the day ready to learn and when parents rely on the School Breakfast Program, they can be assured that their child will receive a healthy breakfast every day.

  • MPS offers breakfast at every school, every day, for all students K-12, 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.  
  • School breakfast is an excellent opportunity to ensure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal at the start of each day at a reasonable price as we offer a complete breakfast for $1.25.
  • There is no charge for students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

Look for our Celebrity Chefs at each school throughout next week. If you haven’t tried school breakfast, this is a great week to start!

For more helpful nutrition information, you won’t want to miss our next PARENT Speaker Series event entitled: Romaine Calm: Tips to Feed Your Family for Health. Registered dietician, Tara McCarthy’s talk will give parents the tools they need to give their child the nutrition they need to grow and thrive.

You won’t leave hungry as we will be featuring smoothies, sweet potato bread and our Food Service intern’s new chocolate banana bars at the end of the event. Please join us on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30pm at MHS for this valuable discussion! 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Over the last 5 weeks, the School Committee has held 5 Public Forums on Space with hundreds of Milton residents in attendance. Thank you to all who attended, asked questions and offered suggestions.  If you were unable to attend a forum, you can stay informed with the help of the links below:

The School Committee submitted a warrant article to the Special Town Meeting on February 25th asking for the formation of a School Building Committee. The article was approved and the Town Moderator will begin to appoint members to the School Building Committee. Residents with technical expertise are invited to apply to serve on the committee by contacting Bob Hiss,  the Town Moderator. The School Committee will continue to discuss a course of action to address the short and long term needs of the system. The next public forum on space and enrollment is scheduled for Thursday, March 7th at 7pm at Milton High School. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Ms.Tobacsko presents to students

Meg Tobacsko from the MWRA visited the Environmental Science Class at MHS this week. We discussed how water arrives at our tap and how Deer Island treats waste water after each flush. Students were asked to demonstrate how tissue, toilet paper and the so called “flushable wipes” are processed in our sewer system and surprised to see that only toilet paper actually breaks apart. One student commented that this was “riveting” and “eye opening”. We are so lucky to have Ms. Tobacsko come to our class each year. She is an amazing presenter who skips over the usual power point presentation and gets the kids involved with hands on activities that truly make them appreciate both their tap water and how fortunate we are to have a treatment facility like Deer Island in our community.

***

Dr. Ray Hammond speaks to the YMG.

On February 13th, The Young Men’s Group was fortunate enough to have Dr. Rev. Ray Hammond visit. Dr. Hammond is the founder and pastor at Bethel AME Church in Roxbury.  Prior to accepting the call to ministry Dr. Hammond practiced emergency medicine.  Dr. is a native of Philadelphia, a gradate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and currently serves on the boards of several organizations including The Yawkey Foundation, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and BMC Health System, Inc.  Dr. Hammond spoke to the boys about many topics, but his central theme was giving back to your community and making a career out of something that you love doing and that also helps others.

DA Rollins, Mr. Jordan, Ms. Mattocks and the YWG.

Then on February 14th, The Young Women’s Group was visited by Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins.  DA Rollins is the chief law enforcement officer for Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.  She is the first woman elected to that position and the first woman of color to ever serve as a Massachusetts District Attorney.  Rollins’ dynamic energy and realness kept YWG fully engaged in her presentation.  Rollins stayed with the girls for well over an hour and delivered a strong message of the value of putting time and effort into your passions.  Rollins talked at length about the reform that is needed in the criminal justice system and how many of the laws disproportionately affect those who are economically disadvantaged and minorities and what she is doing to try to change that.  Rollins’ message to the girls was to be fully invested in the work that you are passionate about, maintain balance in your life, and be consistent with your time, all while maintaining balance in order to keep your energy moving forward.

***

We are pleased to present the 2019-2020 Milton High School Program of Studies. Course selection for next year is an exciting time for students, parents and the MHS staff.  We hope all involved engage in thoughtful conversations about different offerings, possible career paths and post-secondary plans.  It is a time for students to think about topics or areas that inspire them and spark a passion for learning. Our goal is to develop lifelong learners and fully prepare our students for the many opportunities that exist beyond Milton High School. MHS parents and guardians can read the full course selection letter here. 

PIERCE UPDATES

6th grade learns about Historia Antiqua.

Before vacation, Pierce hosted Mr. Doug Ryan and Historia Antiqua at school for three days. Mr. Ryan has an incredible collection of ancient artifacts known as Historia Antiqua,  a traveling museum that has been exciting Pierce 6th graders for the past few years. The Historia Antiqua museum consists of reproductions and replicas of artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  Museum items include full size replicas of armor and weapons, scale models of siege machines, reproductions of statuary, pottery, glassware, coins, representations of wall paintings and mosaics, funerary items, and other pieces. ​

The museum is an impressive vision and all who enter the library are wowed by the various exhibits.  Students engage in Mr. Ryan’s presentation, as well as the scavenger hunt that allows them to focus their exploration and are given an opportunity to try on traditional clothing and armor.  Mr. Ryan, in collaboration with our sixth grade social studies teachers Ms. Connell, Ms. Dann and Ms. Devin, assist students as they engage in the presentation, explore the museum, complete their scavenger hunts and go back in time.  

***

The Pierce Global Celebration was a huge success, with many thoughtful and entertaining performances by students. If you were not able to attend and are interested in seeing a recording, Choral Director Julia Hanna uploaded the videos for all to see.  Part 1 is all of our talented student performers, and Part 2 is our guest performance by Mr. Bassem Rashidi.  

***

Ms. Jarret and her father, Attorney Dilday speak to 6th graders.

On Monday of this week, 6th graders at Pierce were a captive audience to Attorney Dilday (Ms. Jarrett’s father), who came to share his experiences as a member of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the Civil Rights Movement.  He spoke of nonviolent training, protest and the courage it took to make change and bring more rights to more individuals. On Tuesday, Ms. Borde, Ms. Jarrett and Ms. Martland’s students gathered in the library for a Read In. Students learned about the origin of Read Ins, and how they came about to bring attention to the lack of diversity in the curriculum in schools across the country.  Students engaged in a children’s story on Jackie Robinson and learned about and participated in call and response. Thank you to our 6th grade teachers for facilitating this learning opportunity for our students. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Ms. Mawn’s Bagel Shop team!

A few weeks ago, Ms. Mawn’s 3rd grader’s  “watch out words” included “plane” and “plain.” When asked to come up with sentences to distinguish between the two, students settled on plain bagels. The joke took off, and ever since then, their vocabulary sentences have included plain bagels as often as possible. To celebrate the class love of plain bagels, the students voted to celebrate “Plain Bagel Day” as a reward they earned for working well together as a class and earning pom-poms. The Cunningham 4th graders decorated visors to become members of the Plain Bagel Shop team, did bagel shop math incorporating fractions into bagels, and enjoyed a snack (from home) of plain bagels and an assortment of toppings.

***

Bonjour Amérique!

Mme Theobald’s Collicot 4th graders recently completed their Black History Month Interview Projects. Students  conducted research in French on a famous person in Black History. Students worked as partners to create an interview script for an  interviewer and an expert. When the interviews were written, students recorded them using the video feature in Seesaw and families were able to see these amazing projects in their students Seesaw accounts. We’re pleased to share 3 excellent student projects here – enjoy these “Bonjour Amerique” (Good Morning America) interviews! Group 1   Group 2  Group 3

***

The annual Glover Book Swap took place the week before February break.  Glover families donated gently used books from home and all Glover students had the opportunity to swap a book for a new title to read over break. What a fun way to discover a new book during break while keeping your literacy skills sharp!  Thank you to our generous parents who organized another successful swap. 


***

For Valentine’s Day,  Ms. Rooney’s Cunningham 3rd graders worked in groups to engineer and design candy boxes. The challenge?  Work together to create a box sturdy enough to hold an entire bag of candy hearts when the box was picked up. They worked collaboratively in groups and each group created a unique design that worked! Since the candy hearts were not a treat for school, they finished up with a healthy snack from home.

***

Hard at work on Chapter 2 at Glover!

The 3rd Annual BoomWriter Bee kicked off on Monday, February 25th!  All students in grades 4 and 5 across the district will participate in this collaborative and engaging online writing contest. This year the BoomWriter featured author is Nick Bruel, author of the Bad Kitty series.  Children began by reading chapter 1 of a story written by Bruel, then this week worked on chapter 2. A voting process will anonymously select a winning chapter each week. At the end of the project, we will have a published book written by many of our students. All students along the way will have the opportunity to provide feedback and determine the direction of the story, thus making it a truly collaborative writing process.  

***

Mrs. Slater’s Cunningham kindergarten class loves author Jerry Pallota’s books. So what did they do? They campaigned to bring him to school for an assembly! Through the generosity of Donors Choose, Cunningham families and the Cunningham PTO,  Mr. Pallotta visited the Cunningham School this past week. Jerry is a children’s author who has written over 90 books and his most recent Who Would Win? Series has been a huge hit. Jerry is an amazing storyteller and presenter and students, staff and parents enjoyed his visit. We love Jerry Pallotta! 

***

Thank you to the Tucker Tigers who greeted our School Committee members last night at the meeting held in Tucker School library. Students answered questions and shared what it means to be a Tucker Tiger. They finished up with an impressive musical performance! Pictured top L-R are Layla Raymond, Delia Henry, May Fundling and bottom L-R are Georgia Manning, Zach Polanci  and Ale Tuozzolo. 

FIRST GRADE INFORMATION NIGHTS

There are two opportunities for parents and guardians of current kindergarteners to learn about 1st grade in the Milton Public Schools.

On March 4th, in the MHS Auditorium at 6:30, please join us for  1st Grade Information Night. Parents of current kindergarten students will 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.

Then on Monday, March 11th, the Milton Public Schools will hold a STEM Information Night. Kindergarten students and their parents are welcome to attend. During STEM Information Night, attendees will be given an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity. STEM Information Night will take place in the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria and will run from 6:30-7:30 PM. You may enter through the back doors of the building beginning at 6:30 PM. Due to limited space during this event, we ask that you make efforts to leave siblings of current kindergarteners at home. We hope to see you there! Please contact Elementary Science Coordinator Ellen Lohan with any questions.

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Milton Community Schools students enjoyed a variety of activities during February Vacation Camp at Tucker and Cunningham/Collicot schools. Campers received a special visit from Ecology of Sound where they learned about sounds of the Amazon jungle, built their own instruments and participated in a brief showcase. Campers also enjoyed  hands-on art projects, cooking activities and even decorated their own super hero capes!

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Tickets are now available for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books”  on April 6th at Lombardos!  The MFE has exciting plans for our libraries as we bring our libraries into the 21st century! 

Feeling lucky? Well then take a chance on a Jeep and help the MFE continue to support the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools! The MFE is selling raffle tickets (only 500 of them!) for a chance to win a Jeep (or $25,000). Contact Liddie Sutter via email, reach out to any MFE board member or stop into any of our 6 schools during the school day to purchase a raffle ticket.

TECHNOLOGY

Do you wonder what your students are doing online, or who they are communicating with?  The best and most effective way to monitor your student’s online activity is to speak with them. However, there are several alternative ways you can monitor your student’s online activity. Director of Instructional Technology AJ Melanson shares some tips here.

One of the easiest method for checking where your student has been online is to check the browser history.  In most browsers hold down the control key and press “H” to open the browser history. This link provides instruction on how to view the history of a browser in the most popular web browsers (desktop & mobile).

If you have a savvy student who knows how to clear the browser’s history or uses incognito windows (cannot track the history), PC Mag ranked the best Parental Control Software for 2019. You may also find useful information in this  article from Parenting.com titled How to Spy on Your Child Online.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair, Pierce Science Fair, Cunningham Science Fair
Mar 1 Movie Night to Benefit the Sophomore Class
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair 
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night
Mar 12  Grades 6-12 Concert
Mar 13  Glover Science Fair
Mar 13  Grades 7-12 Concert

The full 2018-19 calendar can be found here.   

ART AND MUSIC

Congratulations to Milton High School’s newest Tri-M Honor Society members!  Front Row: Jeremiah, Elias, Coleman, Caleb, Katherine, Ava
Back Row: Allison, Sydney, Sophie, Dominique, Simone, Maureen, Claire, Adriana, Sam, Philip, Aishlinn and Esme.

March is Music in Our Schools Month and we plan to celebrate all month!  Several events celebrating student accomplishments in musical performance are planned by the Milton Music Department during the month of March.  Yesterday marked the first of these events when the Tri-M Music Honor Society of Milton High School, Chapter 2952 welcomed eighteen students into of the National Association for Music Education’s service organization.  Student members of Tri-M are carefully selected on the basis of scholarship, character, leadership, service and mastery of their instrument. You can watch the Tri-M ceremony here. 

***

Among the events this month are concerts and festivals taking place in Milton schools and with affiliated organizations.  All are welcome to attend! 

February 28: MHS Chorus Performance at the Massachusetts State House
February 28-March 2: MMEA All State Conference & Festival
March 6: Collicot K-2 General Music Showcase
March 8: Cunningham K-2 General Music Showcase
March 8-9: Eastern District Junior Festival
March 12: MIOSM Chorus Concert, Grades 6 & 9-12
March 13: MIOSM Chorus Concert, Grades 7-12
March 19: MIOSM Strings Concert, Grades 5-12
March 21: MIOSM Band Concert, Grades 5-12
March 22: Glover K-2 General Music Showcase
March 22-23: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 22: Eastern District General Music Chorus Festival
March 29: Boston Youth Symphony Field Trip for all Grade Four Students

***

On Sunday, April 28th , Milton FAME is pleased to host a unique fundraising event, our fifth annual mattress sale! Our goal is to sell over 100 mattresses, with proceeds going directly to benefit music in the Milton Public Schools. If you, or anyone you know might be in need of a mattress, please save the date and visit our mobile showroom at the Pierce Middle School Gym. This is the time to buy and save up to 50% off retail, all while supporting our students. There will be 29 sets on display and a team of experts on hand to answer any questions you may have.  More details to follow as the date gets closer.

ATHLETICS

Please see our athletics website for all up to date sports information. Please note the new link for athletics – https://sites.google.com/miltonps.org/athletics/home.

Photo credit: Roy Chambers

The Boys Basketball Team, seeded #14 in Division II South, beat Nauset Regional High School 60-56 this week to advance to the next round of the MIAA Tournament.  They will take on #3 Hanover High School , in Hanover, on Thursday night at 6:30pm. Tickets will be $7/adults and $5/students and senior citizens. Wear red to support the team! 

On Saturday, February 16th, the Milton Girls Cross Country Team traveled to the Reggie Lewis Center for the Eastern Mass Championships and came home with 2 first place finishes and a second place finish! Jayda Dillon placed 2nd in the 300 meter with a time of 41:03.  Ava Duggan won the Eastern Ma Division III Mile with a time of 5:01. Elise O’Leary won the Eastern MA Division III 1000 meter with a time of 2:57. One week later, on February 23rd, Elise O’Leary became the 2019 All-State Champion with a time of 2:53:32! See her interview after the race here. 

Also, as a reminder, Spring Sports start on Monday, March 18th.  Deadline to register is Friday, March 8th. All of this information and more can be found on the Athletics Website 

The MHS Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive on Saturday, March 2nd from 9am – 12pm at Milton High School.  To arrange pick-up of a can/bottle donation at your home, please send the team an email.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Come join Chef Jenny Devivo in THE KITCHEN at The Boston Public Market on Sunday March 31st at 10am for Teens Cook: A Hands on Seasonal Cooking Class. Teens & tweens ages 12-18 will learn about local food and the journey it makes from the farm to the table. In these hands-on classes, young adults will explore and taste the seasonal bounty of the region through the local vendors of the Boston Public Market. Each class will feature different cooking skills and two hands-on cooking experiences. Attendees will be able to eat what they’ve made. 

The Forbes House Museum 2019 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest is open for students in grades K-8. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 12 and the awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 19 at the museum. All details on this year’s drawing and writing topics can be found here.

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long

The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! For over 30 years, the Milton Young Musicians Festival has encouraged young people with an interest in music and fostered their developing performance skills.  All participants receive feedback from trained adjudicators, and a medal at the end of the day. Recipients of the Gold Medal are invited to perform in a concert the next weekend. The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.

On Saturday March 23rd from 9:30am-1:00 pm at the Milton Public Library, The Friends of the Milton Public Library and Vigorito Chess present the 8th annual Chess-a-Palooza! Open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players. Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito. Four round Swiss-style tournament – every player plays all four rounds and players of all abilities are welcome. Limited to first 50 entrants with trophies for top 3 players in each section: K-1, Grades 2-3, and Grades 4-5. Registration information can be found here.

On Saturday, March 16th at 7pm Milton Community Concerts presents the fifth annual “Sing For Their Supper” free benefit concert at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. Ten local opera singers will be performing a variety of songs, arias, and musical theater selections to raise money for the Milton Food Pantry and the Milton Residents Fund. Admission is free; an offering will be taken.

Milton’s annual Sweetheart Dance for girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 5th from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Cunningham Hall.  The dance is hosted by Girl Scout Troop 76176, who will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help create a Youth Center in Milton. Tickets are $20 per couple (plus $5 for additional siblings) and can be purchased at the door.  Get ready for a fun night of dancing, games, and photo ops to support a great cause for our community!

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:

Hoku is getting ready for her C2C drive!

StudentsEvery year 351 eighth graders are chosen represent their Massachusetts city or town as a Project 351 Ambassador. This year’s Ambassador from Milton  is Hokulani Panerio-Langer who will be kicking off her spring project to benefit Cradles2Crayons in the coming weeks. Hoku is hopeful that with the community’s support, including places of worship and schools, she can make this service project a huge success. Previous recent Ambassadors include Marykate Mylod and Dominique Thomas who also served in the role of Alumni  Leadership Council this past year while Marykate was the Ambassador. Dominique’s mother Elizabeth Thomas kindly shares some words about Hoku here. Stay tuned for more information on how you can help Hoku help Cradles2Crayons.

Volunteers: Thank you to Rodman for Kids, who once again generously donated 50 tickets to the Milton Public Schools to last week’s School of Rock at The Boston Opera House! 43 students and 7 chaperones were able to attend this production free of charge thanks to Rodman for Kids. The faces of these MPS students tell the story! And a special thank you to Dr. McNeil-Girmai for arranging this outing during vacation. 

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: Cat DesRoche, Sarah Slater, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden,  Sara MacNeil, Larry Jordan, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue,  Nancy Warn, Nicole Rooney, Holly Mawn, Karen Cahill, Jackie Morgan, Karen Plunkett, Amy Tom, Julia Hanna, Karen McDavitt, Ellen Lohan, Laurie Dunn and Martha Sandoval.

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 February 28, 2019

February 14, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 14, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Over the last 3 weeks, the School Committee has held 4 Public Forums on Space and Enrollment with hundreds of Milton residents in attendance. Thank you to all who attended, asked questions and offered suggestions.  If you were unable to attend a forum, you can stay informed with the help of the links below:

The School committee has submitted a warrant article to the Special Town Meeting on February 25th asking for the formation of a School Building Committee. The School Committee intends to decide in the next few weeks on a course of action to address the long term needs of the system. Once this is done, the School Building Committee will contract with architects to begin the design and ultimate construction of the resulting project. We will plan additional community outreach and keep you updated on our progress.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Debate Team advisors Kacy Kalell, Kathleen Kelley, and Dana DePaul share that on Saturday, February 9, the MHS Debate Team competed at the NCFL Qualifier at Shrewsbury High School. Led by Matt Sullivan and Fritz Lalley, who finished the preliminary rounds with a record of 3-1 and made it to the run-off rounds, the team performed well.  Matt and Fritz finished 9th overall, just one place short of being an alternate team for the National Tournament. Congratulations on a strong showing!

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If you missed our talented MHS students at their recent cabaret, you can watch these impressive performers here!

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Last week the MHS  Asian Culture Club visited the Child Study class to share about the  Lunar New Year. MHS student Onn Ye Young shares the following. Lunar New Year is a holiday whose date changes every year, as it is determined by the moon. In many countries that celebrate Lunar New Year,
people celebrate with lucky red envelopes, elaborate lion dances, and seasonal dishes. This year, the Child Studies students were taught about the significance of Lunar New Year. We handed out lucky red envelopes, the children watched videos, colored  pages depicting this year’s animal, the pig, and wore the lion head and romped around the room. The Lunar Calendar goes through twelve cycles annually, each representing a different animal. You can read more at
Lunar New Year: Rituals and Legends.

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Milton High School is pleased to offer preparatory classes for the May 2019 SAT to students who are looking to improve their scores.  Students can sign up for Reading, Writing, & Language Prep, Math Prep, or both classes. All sessions will be held at Milton High School and are designed to prepare students for the May 4th SAT Exam. All details can be found here.

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Milton Junior Woman’s Club scholarship applications are now available. The club invites Milton residents graduating from high school this year to apply for scholarships to further their education. The scholarships will be awarded to qualified applicants who plan to enter schools or colleges in 2019. The scholarships are not limited to four-year accredited programs.

PIERCE UPDATES

Mr. McElhinney’s 8th grade Orion students celebrated Dr Martin Luther King’s birthday by decorating the school with their own dreams for the world, the nation and their local communities, as well as with their personal dreams. Their inspiring work can be seen throughout the halls of Pierce all month!

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The Pierce Wrestling Team wrapped up their inaugural season with a great scrimmage and lots of smiles! Thank you to all of the parents who supported the Play FORE Pierce Golf Tournament last year in support of Middle School sports. Our wrestlers are grateful!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

As part of Black History Month, Glover 5th graders studied two important leaders – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Nelson Mandela.  Students read French comics written about each figure and then watched documentary videos explaining their lives and numerous accomplishments.  Students were then given the task of comparing the two using a Venn diagram. The finished work can be found in the fifth grade hallway at Glover all month.

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Ms. Fitzgerald’s Cunningham 3rd graders enjoyed a special visit from a generous parent,  who shared traditions and customs around the Lunar New Year. Students made their own Chinese Lanterns, received “lucky” red envelopes and played their own festival music with Chinese instruments as they took turns dancing inside of the handmade dragon costume! Celebrating the Year of the Pig was an exciting way to end the week at Cunningham!

In honor of Black History Month, Cunningham 5th graders have been sharing the accomplishments of prominent black Americans during morning announcements. Today’s announcers shared information about the first African–American Congresswoman, Shirley Anita Chisholm.  5th graders  are also celebrating Black History Month by researching black activists and making posters about their lives. Students wrote summary biographies, researched quotes from their activists, made up movie titles for their activists’ lives (along with three scenes from that movie), thought about life lessons they learned from their activists, and came up with five words to describe each activist. They are writing their activists’ words on sentence strips to hang throughout the building.

Mrs O’Leary’s 1st grade Cunningham students enjoyed enthusiastically reciting I too sing America by Langston Hughes this week. You can see their efforts here.

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To celebrate Tết (the Vietnamese New Year) and the Lunar New Year Mme Brown’s Glover 1st graders learned how to say the Mandarin New Year greeting “XinNian KuaiLe” , made and decorated red envelopes that had lucky money inside, practiced writing chinese characters  and wrote their wish for their community, their family and themselves on a red dragon. Some of the wishes expressed were for good health, prosperity, and happiness as well as a wish that every child in the world could go to school.

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Did you know we have passed the 100th day of school? Our kindergarteners and 1st graders certainly do! The 100th day is a big milestone in our youngest grades and students celebrate by sharing collections of 100, playing math games around the number 100, singing songs and reading books about the 100th day of school and more. Glover students used the 100th day celebration for a fun movement break! You can see some of the 100 days adventures below! 

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We are proud to announce that the 3rd Annual BoomWriter Bee will kick off on Monday, February 25!  All students in grades 4 and 5 across the district will participate in this collaborative and engaging online writing contest. This year the BoomWriter featured author is Nick Bruel, author of the Bad Kitty series.  Children will begin by reading chapter 1 of a story written by Bruel, then write the chapters that follow. A voting process will anonymously select a winning chapter each week. At the end of the project, we will have a published book written by the pens (actually keyboards) of many of our students. All students along the way will have the opportunity to provide feedback and determine the direction of the story, thus making it a truly collaborative writing process. Stay tuned for updates as our 4th and 5th graders write their new book!

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Collicot hosted Science Fairs for students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 and Grades 3-5 on January 31st and February 7th. The cafeteria was filled with thoughtful projects in the areas of physical, life, and Earth Science both nights. There were also a record number of STEM projects represented this year! A new format was used this year and instead of awarding winners, each student received personalized feedback on their project from members of the Milton High School Science Club or alums returning to Collicot from Pierce or Milton High School. All participants received a bracelet to congratulate them for their participation. Thank you to all students and families for their participation and a big thank you to all of our volunteers from Pierce and Milton High School!

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Our next PARENT Speaker Series event is titled: Romaine Calm: Tips to Feed Your Family for Health. Registered dietician, Tara McCarthy’s talk will give parents the tools they need to give their child the nutrition they need to grow and thrive. Please join us on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30pm at MHS for this valuable discussion! 

Due to the snow earlier this week, we have rescheduled Catherine Steiner-Adair for April 11th. Please save the date!

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Just as it is important to assess the academic skills of our students, it is just as important to collect information directly from students concerning their social and emotional competencies.  One important source of this data is from student surveys. We have several surveys that are being planned in the coming weeks for Milton middle and high school students and you can read more about the following validated questionnaires promoted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education below. Thank you to MPS SEL Coordinator Laurie Stillman and head Nurse Margaret Gibbons for sharing this information.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) focuses on prevention, early detection, risk assessment, brief counseling and referral for assessment that can be utilized in the school setting. The use of this mandated and validated screening tool enables school health teams to detect risk for substance use related problems and brief intervention strategies will help to address these concerns at an early stage in adolescents. The results do not appear in student records. Nurse Leader Margaret Gibbons, who oversees SBIRT in Milton, recently sent out a letter to parents with more information. You can  find out more about the law and the process here.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the Youth Health Survey (YHS) are valuable and anonymous student surveys offered by many schools across the Commonwealth. The YRBS is administered in Milton High School and the YHS is administered at Pierce Middle School. The last time these surveys were administered were in 2015.  These surveys ask students similar questions regarding their behaviors, attitudes and emotions at home, in school and in the community. Questions about feelings of safety, behavioral health, and engagement in risky behaviors such as substance abuse are asked in this online survey. Individual responses cannot be tracked; rather a statistician compiles them for an overall picture of the school so that we can better address the social and emotional needs of our students overall.  

Since the last surveys, the Milton School District and the Town of Milton, have adopted a number of new social and emotional programs and interventions to support our youth, tailored to the results of, and needs presented in, these surveys.  We are hopeful that we may see improved results this time around.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

 

Ditch the minivan and take a chance on a Jeep! The MFE is selling raffle tickets (only 500 of them!) for a chance to win a Jeep (or $25,000 if you still need the minivan). Contact Liddie Sutter via email, reach out to any MFE board member or stop into any of our 6 schools during the school day to purchase a raffle ticket.

Save the date for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books”  on April 6th at Lombardos. The MFE has exciting plans for our libraries as we bring our libraries into the 21st century!

 M-PACE

Milton Partnership for Arts and Cultural Enrichment (M-PACE) is a program that brings art, music and drama opportunities to our MPS students at a level they might not otherwise experience. You will receive a communication from M-PACE in your excise tax bill this month. If you would like to donate, please check off the donation box at the bottom of your Excise Tax Bill. Add your donation amount to your payment. You can also mail a check in support of our students to: M-PACE, Milton Town Hall, Attn: Treasurer’s Office, 525 Canton Ave, Milton MA. Thank you for considering a donation so that we can continue to provide these enhancements for our Milton Public Schools students!  

MPS GIVES BACK

Milton Daffodil Days are almost here!  Help support the American Cancer Society in saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer through Daffodil Days. Make a donation from now until February 18th to receive fresh-cut or potted daffodils in March to brighten your day or that of others through flower delivery to cancer patients at a local cancer center, hospital, or American Cancer Society Boston Hope Lodge® community.  Place your order by clicking “register” and be sure to select your school at checkout. Pick up will be at the school you have selected. Contact Kate Lockhart for more information.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

We know that 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 wake up and any many families find it difficult for their children to get up, dressed, fed, and off to school in time. When parents rely on the School Breakfast Program, they can be assured that their child will receive a healthy breakfast every day.

The Milton Public School offers breakfast at every school, every day, for twenty minutes before school begins.  There is no need to sign up for breakfast and we have breakfast supervisors in our cafeterias each day with our students.  School breakfast is an excellent opportunity to ensure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal at the start of each day at a reasonable price as we offer a complete breakfast for $1.25. There is no charge for students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

Breakfast at MPS consists of a variety of whole grain items, egg sandwiches and grab and go items for students who may want to eat their meal a little later in the morning. Each meal includes fresh fruit, 100% juice and white milk.  All students are welcome to attend Monday through Friday and we also offer breakfast on half days.

Studies have shown that children who eat a nutritious breakfast have better behavior, better attendance, and improved grades. We are here to help you and our students and we hope that you will try school breakfast soon!  You can learn more about the benefits of school breakfast here. Please contact Director of Food Services, Jackie  Morgan, via email or phone at 617-898-1051 with any questions. 

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.  Registration is OPEN until Friday, February 22nd! There is still time to join the fun!

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting
Feb 27 School Committee Meeting at Tucker 
Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair , Pierce Science Fair, Cunningham Science Fair
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair  
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night

ART AND MUSIC

Many of our talented high school students performed at the MHS Cabaret last week. Thank you to Milton FAME for sharing these pictures with us. Be sure to follow FAME on Facebook to keep up with music news.

On Sunday, April 28th , Milton FAME is pleased to host a unique fundraising event, our fifth annual mattress sale! Our goal is to sell over 100 mattresses, with proceeds going directly to benefit music in the Milton Public Schools. If you, or anyone you know might be in need of a mattress, please save the date and visit our mobile showroom at the Pierce Middle School Gym. This is the time to buy and save up to 50% off retail, all while supporting our students. There will be 29 sets on display and a team of experts on hand to answer any questions you may have.  More details to follow as the date gets closer.

ATHLETICS

Wrestling Wins the Division II Metro Sectional Championship!

The Milton High School Wrestling Team won the 2019 Division II Metro Sectional Championship as Coach Ted Carroll wins Division II Metro Coach of the Year! Eleven Wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament at Beverly High School on Friday (2/15) and Saturday (2/16). Congratulations to Coach Carroll, Coach Smith, the Wrestling Team and Good Luck this Weekend!

Boys Basketball have clinched the tournament with a few wins on the trot! After beating Weymouth last Friday, they beat Canton on Sunday and took the season series with Walpole on Wednesday night. They are now 11-7 and will play in the Quincy Tournament next week before entering tournament play.

Support our Wildcats over the vacation! We have runners in the DIII Championships, All-States, Wrestlers in the State Finals, Hockey and Basketball Teams in tournaments. They may have no school but our student-athletes are still working hard!

For updates, scores, highlights and information, make sure to check us out on Twitter. 
Don’t forget to spend some time over the break registering for Spring Sports. The deadline to register is March 8th!  If you don’t get your registration in on time, you’ll have to sit out the first day of practice. Don’t let that happen to your athlete!

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Forbes House Museum 2019 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest is open for students in grades K-8. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 12 and the awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 19 at the museum. All details on this year’s drawing and writing topics can be found here. 

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Thayer Academy’s Parent Association is hosting a screening of the documentary Angst on Thursday, February 26 at 7:00 pm in the Center for the Arts.  Angst explores what causes anxiety, its effects, and what we can do about it. The film is appropriate for parents as well as children ages 11 years and older.  Following the screening, there will be a Q&A session with Thayer’s counselors, Jessica Matzkin and Jarvis Wyche. This is a complimentary opportunity that Thayer has invited the MPS community to attend.

Brookwood Community Farm is offering 3 different cooking classes for tweens (8-13)  over the February break.  Check out the different options available next week here.

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Milton Town Clerk Susan M. Galvin  announces that Nomination Papers for both Town Wide and/or Town Meeting Members will be available beginning January 22, 2019 in the Office of the Town Clerk. All nomination papers are due on March 12, 2019. Ms. Galvin would like to encourage all residents to consider running for office. “Citizen participation in Town government is essential to providing the residents of Milton with clear access to our Town government.”

The annual Town Election will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. To be placed upon the ballot, Town Wide candidates must obtain a minimum of 50 legible signatures from registered voters. Town Meeting Member candidates must obtain a minimum of 10 legible signatures from the precinct in which they reside. All details can be found on the Town of Milton website.

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The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long.  

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The Year of the Pig begins in February, and the Forbes House Museum is celebrating with a series of fun and educational programs based on New Year’s traditions and animal symbolism in the Chinese culture. To register for any of their programs and to find out more, please  visit our website or call 617-696-1815. The museum is located at 215 Adams Street in Milton.

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The Milton Historical Society is hosting author Stephanie Schorow who will be discussing her book “Inside the Combat Zone: The Stripped Down Story of Boston’s Most Notorious Neighborhood” on Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7 pm., in the Keys Room at the Milton Public Library.

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The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! For over 30 years, the Milton Young Musicians Festival has encouraged young people with an interest in music and fostered their developing performance skills.  All participants receive feedback from trained adjudicators, and a medal at the end of the day. Recipients of the Gold Medal are invited to perform in a concert the next weekend. The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.

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:

Student: Congratulations to Tucker 4th grader Kwaku Jean Charles Asareo who emerged as the winner of the 6th Annual Tucker Spelling Bee this week. After almost 2 hours of Spelling Bee intensity, Kwaku came out on the top of a very talented field! Thank you to Rachel Spitz and Nora Sweeney who coached this group of superstar spellers.

Coach Smith is excited for Coach Carroll!

Staff: Congratulations to Coach Ted Carroll who is the MIAA D2 Metro Coach of the Year! This is a well deserved honor for our wrestling coach and we are thrilled to share this recognition with the MPS community.  

Volunteers: Three years ago, Heidi Schleicher, parent of a 6th grade student at the time, met with the Pierce PTO Leadership to propose the Pierce PTO Ski Club. Three years later, this labor of love has become an extremely popular after school opportunity for Pierce students. Mrs. Schleicher has dedicated hours to planning and leading this wonderful opportunity for our students. It is likely that few fully understand how many hours she has volunteered to make ski club a reality for our students.  Thank you to Mrs. Schleicher for giving Pierce students this incredible opportunity! Thank you also to the many parents who chaperoned, some attending several trips: Robin Gaynor, Heather Resnick, Kaitlyn Wood, Melanie Ramadan, Peter Hunt, Matt Mahoney, Erin Hellmuth, Trish Heelen, and Jamie Panucci. You can see some of the Pierce ski club at the top of today’s blog. 

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: Cat DesRoche, Kacy Kalell, Kathleen Kelley, Dana DePaul, Sarah Slater, Kathy Mulligan, Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Sara MacNeil, Larry Jordan, Lauren Fitzgerald, Jake Smith,  FAME, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Onn Ye Young, Joyce White, Karen McDavitt, Bernadette Butler, Rina Chen, Tracy d’Entremont, Kerry O’Leary, Marie Laure Brown, Ellen Lohan, Holly Concannon, Laurie Stillman, Karen Spaulding, Nancy Warn, and Noel Vigue.

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 February 14, 2019

February 7th, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 7, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

These are busy days in the Milton Public Schools and I want to call your attention to some important events and student accomplishments that are featured in more detail in the blog post below.

Parent Speaker Series 
Our next speaker is Tuesday, February 12th at 6:30pm at Milton High School. Internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair will be speaking about The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age. This is valuable information for parents of children of all ages and as always, the PARENT Speaker Series is free and open to the public.

Black History Month and Lunar New Year 
As you will see below, our schools celebrated the Lunar New Year this week and will be recognizing Black History Month throughout February. As Principal Jette recently wrote,” Black History is celebrated throughout the month of February in communities throughout the United States, however Black History is not an isolated history , or something that can be studied over the course of only 28 days.  Contributions of African American men and women are an important thread in all American history. African Americans play an integral role in the study of our political, economic, religious, technological and artistic history, and it would be impossible to squeeze all those contributions into one month of study so we do so over the course of the year, as historical and cultural context frame the story”. In February we may have a sharper focus on Black History and will share some of  these classroom activities and events throughout the month.

School Committee Public Forums on Space 
Please consider joining the School Committee at one of three upcoming Public Forums on February 11th at 1:30pm or 7pm or on February 13th at 7:30pm. Details are below under School Committee.

Milton Foundation for Education Celebration!
Save the date for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books”  on April 6th at Lombardos. The MFE has exciting plans for our libraries as we bring our libraries into the 21st century!

Milton Partnership for Arts and Cultural Enrichment
M-PACE is a program that brings art, music and drama opportunities to our MPS students at a level they might not otherwise experience. You will receive a communication from M-PACE in your excise tax bill this month. If you would like to donate, please check off the donation box at the bottom of your Excise Tax Bill. Add your donation amount to your payment. You can also mail a check in support of our students to: M-PACE, Milton Town Hall, Attn: Treasurer’s Office, 525 Canton Ave, Milton MA. Thank you for considering a donation so that we can continue to provide these enhancements for our Milton Public Schools students! 

Scholastic Art Competition and Southeastern School Bandmasters Association
The fine arts offer a multifaceted education known to link problem-solving and creative expression with teamwork and self-confidence. As our community increases in diversity, so do the arts benefit from this richness that each culture contributes, and which can be a vehicle to greater understanding and connectedness. While the Milton Public Schools offer arts programming that begin in the elementary years and continue throughout middle and high school, the Department of Fine and Applied Arts strives to provide further opportunities to ensure positive and meaningful experiences for students, engaging them in the greater artistic community.  I am delighted to highlight two recent accomplishments of Milton’s young artists and their teachers. Please see the Arts and Music section for information on our talented musicians and visual artists who have won recent honors.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

On January 23rd, the School Committee welcomed almost 60 citizens to the Public Forum on Space held in the Cunningham/Collicot Library. A Public Forum allows the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. Dozens of citizens spoke, expressing concerns, offering ideas and engaging in dialogue with the School Committee.  The School Committee has scheduled 2 additional Public Forums on February 11th and will be attending the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting on February 13th. All Milton residents are welcome and encouraged to attend any meeting that is convenient.

Please join the School Committee on Monday, February 11th at either of these locations and times:

  • At 1:30pm at Fuller Village
  • At 7pm at the Milton High School Auditorium

Or on Wednesday, February 13th:

  • At 7:30pm at the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting at Cunningham Hall.

How can you stay informed on this issue?

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

“Technology has changed the basic construct of our relationships. It has triangulated our connections with each other, becoming the ubiquitous third party in our conversations, sometimes connecting us, but often interrupting us and ultimately disconnecting us.” Catherine Steiner-Adair in The Big Disconnect.

On Tuesday, February 12th, MPS will be hosting internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair at 6:30 PM in the MHS auditorium.  The title of the event is The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

This session will resonate with adults with children of ALL AGES who want to learn more about how to navigate the social and emotional impact technology has on families. Here is more information regarding Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair.

In her public appearances, Dr. Steiner- Adair often covers topics such as:

  • developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life
  • insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes
  • how to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults
  • skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships

We hope to see everyone on February 12th! As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The Young Men and Women’s Group welcomed speakers to MHS last week. Both speakers were dynamic and engaging!

Boston Police Commissioner Gross encouraged the boys to hold themselves to a higher standard, work hard, and always give back to their communities.  He encouraged the YMG to empower themselves through education. He also discussed his background and how he was able to overcome the challenges of growing up with a single mom in an area of the city that had its share of challenges and how he often engaged in difficult conversations with his childhood friends due to his desire to become an officer.  His story resonated with our young men and I’m sure encouraged them to continue working hard towards their goals.

Emmy-Award winning News Anchor Latoyia Edwards lit up the room with her energy, compassion, and obvious love of speaking to young people. She shared her stories of success, and some of the challenges she has faced as a black woman in an industry where there are not many that represent her culture or heritage.  She talked about the challenges of being a mother and wife, and how she has to balance this with her professional career. Mrs. Edwards encouraged the YWG to do all they can to prepare themselves for their professional careers and to start creating their experiences now. She even offered to host YWG on a field trip to tour the NBC/NECN studios!    

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Milton High School is pleased to offer preparatory classes for the May 2019 SAT to students who are looking to improve their scores.  Students can sign up for Reading, Writing, & Language Prep, Math Prep, or both classes. All sessions will be held at Milton High School and are designed to prepare students for the May 4th SAT Exam. All details can be found here

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Milton Junior Woman’s Club scholarship applications are now available. The club invites Milton residents graduating from high school this year to apply for scholarships to further their education. The scholarships will be awarded to qualified applicants who plan to enter schools or colleges in 2019. The scholarships are not limited to four-year accredited programs. 

PIERCE UPDATES

Pierce Middle School is planning for the implementation of 1:1 Chromebooks for the 2019-20 academic school year.  Earlier this year the Milton Public Schools submitted a request to the Town of Milton to purchase nine hundred Chromebooks through capital funds for next year.  I have asked Director of Instructional Technology AJ Melanson to share the details here.

After researching districts who have implemented 1:1 initiatives at the middle school level,  Pierce has decided to change the approach for the distribution of Chromebooks if this initiative is funded.  Initially, the Chromebooks were going to be stored in core classrooms. Pierce believed this would help extend the life of the Chromebooks. Districts who implemented this approach quickly changed.  These districts reported students did not feel ownership of the Chromebooks and continuously damaged them. As a result, these districts assigned students their own Chromebook for their middle school years.  This change significantly decreased the amount of Chromebook damage. Student’s now have ownership of their devices and take appropriate care of them. Pierce will follow this lead and assign Chromebooks to students to take home throughout the school year.  At the end of each year the students will return their Chromebook to Pierce for summer storage and then have their device returned the following school year.

These additional Chromebooks will allow teachers to use technology any time a Chromebook is the best tool to help advance student achievement.  Currently, teachers compete with one another to use one of the twelve Chromebook carts available. Technology is scheduled and cannot be used on the spot when creative thoughts or ideas develop or when a professional resource is needed for a more profound understanding of a topic.  The new Chromebooks will allow teachers to improve student achievement through personalized learning, which leads towards closing achievement gaps, empowers students with student-centered learning, allows the opportunity to reinforce positive digital citizenship traits/actions, and starts to prepare students to be college & career ready.  The devices will also improve the teacher’s instructional practices allowing them to truly personalize learning, create interdisciplinary units, embed STEM into units, utilize Project Based Learning, empower students by providing multiple platforms for their voice to be heard, and most importantly provide teachers with instant access to data through formative assessments.  This data enlightens teachers with the current level of achievement of students and highlights specific areas that need to be reinforced while providing the opportunity for accelerated students to achieve at higher levels.

This exciting initiative, if funded, will help close achievement gaps, foster a higher level of thinking, empower students, and improve the overall achievement of Pierce Middle School students.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Happy Lunar New Year from Miss Smith’s Cunningham kindergarteners. This week the class welcomed Cunningham parent Baoying Qui who shared some Lunar New Year traditions and taught a Tai-Chi lesson to the class. The video of the Tai-Chi lesson can be found here.  Thank you Ms. Qui  for spending time with our kindergarteners this week.

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Art teacher Jess Gillooly shares that students in the Tucker art room have been studying African American artists such as Faith Ringgold, Kehinde Wiley, and Amy Sherald for inspiration on their self portraits. Also this week, 1st graders created pig portraits in celebration of the Chinese New Year. You can see some of their impressive work below!

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Students at Collicot enjoyed their Lunar New Year celebration with arts and crafts and a yoga session lead by professional yoga instructor. Students learned about family and community traditions around lunar celebrations and received a lucky red envelope and a clementine to bring them health and good fortune for this coming year. During the yoga session below, they learned poses that represent the 12 zodiac animals signs.

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Mrs. McCarthy’s Glover 1st graders listened to the book Henry’s Freedom Box in library with our elementary librarian, Mr. Coben. A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom, Henry’s Freedom Box is just one of the many books read during Black History Month to engage students in thought provoking discussions and activities.

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Cunningham families enjoyed a terrific Diversity Family Fun Night this week as families gathered to share a dish, a game and items representing  their family’s culture with the Cunningham community. Cunningham teachers who are a part of the Diversity Committee led cultural games and activities for the children, while the parents who are members of the Diversity Committee led low pressure and fun cultural awareness activities for the adults. 

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In preparation for the upcoming Reach for Reading Unit on Justice, Glover grade 5 students visited the Massachusetts State House this week. During their visit, they toured the site, spending some extra time in the new Senate Chambers, and had a question and answer session with Senator Walter Timilty.  This was a great way to extend the learning from the classroom and build background knowledge for students in preparation for their upcoming reading unit. Thank you to Senator Timilty for helping to engage our students in the workings of state government! 

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Happy New Year from our friends at Collicot!  

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Pierce teacher Mr. Forge is thrilled with his recent MFE grant “Real life connections to coding using Makey Makey”. He shares what the project has meant to his students here.

Students have been enthusiastic in their efforts of finding creative ways of integrating the Makey Makey circuit boards with their knowledge of coding and software applications. This video shows the construction of an interactive steering wheel that is connected to the computer via a Makey Makey device. With this device the users are able to navigate through Google Maps Street View seamlessly, simulating the driving of a vehicle with the capability of moving forward, turning left or turning right.

In the photos above is a giant controller created by students to connect to a Scratch Coding Project via a Makey Makey board. Earlier in the year students worked on their coding skills using Scratch. With the Makey Makey boards they now have the opportunity to remix their coding for the newly connected controller. Thank you to the MFE for generously funding this exciting project for our Pierce students! 

The MFE can only continue to provide these enriching opportunities for our students with your help. Please consider attending the MFE Celebration, “Beyond the Books!” on April 6th. Tickets will be available soon! 

MPS GIVES BACK

Milton Daffodil Days are almost here!  Help support the American Cancer Society in saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer through Daffodil Days. Make a donation from now until February 18th to receive fresh-cut or potted daffodils in March to brighten your day or that of others through flower delivery to cancer patients at a local cancer center, hospital, or American Cancer Society Boston Hope Lodge® community.  Place your order by clicking “register” and be sure to select your school at checkout. Pick up will be at the school you have selected. Contact Kate Lockhart for more information. 

HEALTH NEWS  

In recent years, studies have shown an upward trend in youth anxiety and depression.  In response to this trend, state education departments and school districts have put an emphasis on Social Emotional Learning (SEL).  The Milton Public Schools is no exception. I have asked Director of Health and Phys Ed, Noel Vigue to share the following about some of our efforts.

MPS has been implementing the well respected Second Step curriculum at our elementary schools, teaching students the skills they need to communicate, manage emotions, and advocate for themselves or others if they need help.  At Pierce, we look to address SEL by examining healthy relationships in health classes and digital citizenship as part of the technology curriculum. We had Jon Mattleman address, students, staff and parents (all separately) last year as part of the “Minding Your Mind” program to help recognize mental health sign and symptoms. At MHS, students have a mental health unit, as well as a conflict resolution unit, students work with an advisor twice a week, and there is the “Take 5 Room” with adjustment counselors present for students who may need extra support.

MPS can’t do this alone, our partners are our families, and we need to work together for the overall well being of students.  We’ve offered several events as part of our PARENT Speaker Series to address youth health concerns including: relationships;  drug/alcohol prevention; addiction and the teen brain; reducing anxiety in children; protecting boys’ emotions; addressing academic pressure;  digital safety and SEL in the home. On January 7th, we presented “Race to Nowhere”. In the film, a parent of an 8th grader who had committed suicide, shares that none of the signs or symptoms were present with her 13 year old.  We all need to be vigilant. This is a powerful article on suicide that I hope you will take a few moments to read. 

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.  There are 2 new classes below that you won’t want to miss!  

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Feb 7  Collicot K-2 Science Fair
Feb 7  MHS Winter Cabaret
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ Fuller Village Re: Space /Enrollment 1:30 pm
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ MHS Re: Space and Enrollment 7pm
Feb 12  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Feb 13  Pierce Global Celebration
Feb 13  School Committee at EMNA Meeting at Cunningham Hall
Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting
Feb 27 School Committee Meeting
Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair , Pierce Science Fair, Cunningham Science Fair
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night

The full 2018-19 calendar can be found here.  The recently approved 2019-2020 School Calendar can be found here. 

ART AND MUSIC

The Scholastic Art Competition is an annual event sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic talent and present their works to the world. It is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12.

For decades, Milton schools have participated in the program to provide students opportunities for exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Regional recognitions advance to the national stage where medalists and their educators are set to be celebrated at a National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

This year, Milton High School entered over 100 submissions to the Scholastic Art Competition.  Of these entries, 19 students received 39 recognitions, earning Gold Keys, Silver Keys, and/or Honorable Mentions for their artwork.  Among the winners are MHS Seniors who competed with Senior Portfolios, requiring them to include a series of eight works as well as other, individual entries.

All Gold Key winners will participate in a featured exhibit held at the Transportation Building before advancing to be considered for National recognition. 

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Last weekend, 67 Milton High and Pierce Middle School musicians travelled to Abington High School to audition for the junior and senior music festivals hosted by Southeastern School Bandmasters Association (SEMSBA).  

SEMSBA is a music educators’ organization that endeavors to raise the standard of, and to promote greater community interest in school music.  The organization was established in 1950 by local music educators; former Director of Music in Milton, Mr. Francis Tatro, was a founding member.

Each year, SEMSBA sponsors two festivals for which Milton students may audition, a junior festival for students in grades 7-9, and a senior festival for students in grades 9-12.  The audition process requires students to prepare a prescribed piece on their instrument/voicing as well a series of scales. Those who are selected for the festival prepare a program in advance, and meet at the festival to rehearse and perform in the festival concert.

Please join me in congratulating these  students who will represent Milton at the 2019 SEMSBA Junior and Senior Festivals. 

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On Sunday, April 28th , Milton FAME is pleased to host a unique fundraising event, our fifth annual mattress sale! Our goal is to sell over 100 mattresses, with proceeds going directly to benefit music in the Milton Public Schools. If you, or anyone you know might be in need of a mattress, please save the date and visit our mobile showroom at the Pierce Middle School Gym. This is the time to buy and save up to 50% off retail, all while supporting our students. There will be 29 sets on display and a team of experts on hand to answer any questions you may have.  More details to follow as the date gets closer!

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start planning Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2019!  Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan will be Co-Directors this year and are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE.  All the details of our fun summer ahead can be found here!

ATHLETICS

Please join us in recognizing our January Athletes of the Month!

Ryan McGroarty, Senior, Wrestling

Ryan has been a 4-year starter on the wrestling team. He has been the most improved wrestler this year and one of the big reasons for this year’s team success 12-5 team record and his overall record is 11-3. He is always helping the new wrestlers, communicating with the coaches and has overall been a pleasure to coach.

Mark Guerra, Senior, Ice Hockey

The Boys Hockey Team has found it difficult this season, in an extremely tough Bay State Conference, as well as coming up against some of the best teams in the State. They have turned the corner as of late with a few great wins, and Mark Guerra has been the foundation for that turnaround.  Guerra’s record in January was 2 wins, 4 losses, and 3 ties, while facing 338 shots (saved 308 of those shots) with a save percentage of .911%. He had 7 games where he faced 30 shots or more. He had 3 games where he faced 40 shots or more. He had one game where he faced 64 shots (saved 59 of them).

We are just over a month from the start of Spring Sports! Registration opens Friday, February 8th.  More information can be found here.

Thank you to Roy Chambers for many of these terrific photos of our athletes and to Heidi Graf for the great picture of the MHS Ski Team.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Town Clerk Susan M. Galvin  announces that Nomination Papers for both Town Wide and/or Town Meeting Members will be available beginning January 22, 2019 in the Office of the Town Clerk. All nomination papers are due on March 12, 2019. Ms. Galvin would like to encourage all residents to consider running for office. “Citizen participation in Town government is essential to providing the residents of Milton with clear access to our Town government.”

The annual Town Election will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. To be placed upon the ballot, Town Wide candidates must obtain a minimum of 50 legible signatures from registered voters. Town Meeting Member candidates must obtain a minimum of 10 legible signatures from the precinct in which they reside. All details can be found on the Town of Milton website.

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long

The Year of the Pig begins in February, and the Forbes House Museum is celebrating with a series of fun and educational programs based on New Year’s traditions and animal symbolism in the Chinese culture. To register for any of our programs and to find out more, please  visit our website or call 617-696-1815. The museum is located at 215 Adams Street in Milton.

The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! For over 30 years, the Milton Young Musicians Festival has encouraged young people with an interest in music and fostered their developing performance skills.  All participants receive feedback from trained adjudicators, and a medal at the end of the day. Recipients of the Gold Medal are invited to perform in a concert the next weekend. The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.  

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:

Students:  Congratulations to our MHS Students of the Quarter who were recognized this morning at Milton High School! In order to recognize those students who are making a contribution to our community, each department nominates two students who deserve commendation for the previous marking period.  These students may have shown marked improvement, may have done a significant project or may have shown outstanding effort. Students of the Quarter receive a certificate and their pictures are posted in a wall case near the main office. Because of these individuals, Milton High School continues to be an outstanding school. It is a pleasure to recognize these student.  

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: Cat DesRoche,  Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Karen McDavitt, Larry Jordan, Mary-Bianca Mattocks, Sara Smith, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Greg Forge, Ben Kelly,Paul Ajemian, James Jette, Bernadette Butler, Holly Concannon, Jess Gillooly and Laurie Stillman. 

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 February 7th, 2019

January 31, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 31, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Last week the School Committee welcomed almost 60 citizens to the Public Forum on Space held in the Cunningham/Collicot Library. A Public Forum allows the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. Dozens of citizens spoke, expressing concerns, offering ideas and engaging in dialogue with the School Committee.  The School Committee has scheduled 2 additional Public Forums on February 11th and will be attending the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting on February 13th. All Milton residents are welcome and encouraged to attend any meeting that is convenient.

Please join the School Committee for a Public Forum on Space and Enrollment in the Milton Public Schools on Monday, February 11th at either of these locations and times:

  • At 1:30pm at Fuller Village
  • At 7pm at the Milton High School Auditorium

Or on Wednesday, February 13th:

  • At 7:30pm at the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting at Cunningham Hall.

How can you stay informed on this issue?

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

I am pleased to share this photo  of our students in our MHS Achieve Program with the work they did for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Students created posters to represent their favorite picture and quote to help them remember the positive impact Dr. King made. 

 

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Advisors Larry Jordan and Mary Bianca Mattocks accompanied  students from The Young Men’s and Women’s Groups on a field trip to the Boston Public Library this week. Students visited the American Student Assistance program at the Teen Center and received valuable training and information on securing college aide. Both the FASFA process and possible scholarships for college were discussed and explored. MHS guidance continues to support all MHS families with seminars and counseling throughout the college process. 

PIERCE UPDATES

Last week was the 13th Annual Pierce Geography Bee. The action on the stage kept the audience on the edge of their seats, as they waited for the champion to emerge. Teams cheered their representatives on and celebrated the expertise of so many of the contestants as the crowd enjoyed a great show of the geographic knowledge of their peers. 15 contestants participated in the schoolwide competition with a full auditorium to witness their expertise. Geography Bee legend Ms. Connell asked question after question until 6th grader Will Malec triumphed as the 2019 Geography Bee winner and 7th grader Moses Mann emerged as the runner up. Will takes the National Geographic Test to determine if he qualifies for the Massachusetts State Geography Bee later this Spring. Good luck, Will!  

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For the second year in a row, the Pierce staff bested the Pierce student basketball team at their annual basketball game. Congratulations to the staff and to the students who played a hard fought game. Most importantly, great fun was had by all! 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Best of luck to our Future Problem Solving Teams which will participate in the Annual Qualifying Future Problem Solving Bowl on Saturday, February 2 at Canton High School. Elementary FPS coach Justine Novak shares that each team of four students will compete and be given a futuristic scenario on Food Waste and Loss, a topic that students have been researching and discussing. Each team will brainstorm problems and solutions based on this topic, and produce a final solution stated in an action plan format.  They will have two hours in which to complete this booklet. The goals of the FPS program are to help students develop skills in divergent, flexible and innovative ways through written and oral expression. We look forward to hearing about the great experience our students have at the bowl this weekend! Not pictured is the Pierce FPS Team: From Grade 6:Victoria Lundeen, Luke Grant, Ida Zoll and from Grade 7:Tucker Korman, Ella Cantor, Jasmine Bethea, Frank Hawker,  Taylor Xu and Mudia Odion-Ukpebor.

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Marley the therapy dog visited Cunningham last week to explore ways in which she might benefit students on a regular basis. There are many ways a therapy dog provides support in a school. In the future, Cunningham  is looking forward to integrating Marley as a reading buddy to individual students and small groups, as motivational support during academic tasks, or as part of a calming strategy for students when they may need a break from classroom demands. From our visit with Marley we gathered that she is an excellent listener, has a big, warm smile, loves a soft pet and will give kisses in return. Some of Cunningham’s 5th Grade Student Council and 3rd graders  were able to meet Marley and students have given her rave reviews and hope to visit with her again soon! Thank you to Meena McWeeney and her certified DOG B.O.N.E.S. therapy dog, Marley for the visit. We look forward to seeing you both again soon!  

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Pizza, anyone? Cunningham 3rd graders are enjoying “Ms. Fitzgerald’s Pizzeria” this week as they learn about fractions in math while creating and interpreting data about their favorite types of pizza. They will all be craving pizza after their Reach for Reading  persuasive writing lesson and presentation about why their favorite type of pizza is the best type of pizza!

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This week, Tucker families engaged in a collaborative conversation about how to support students in math. While this started as a way of supporting family members volunteering in our Morning Math League, we find it also applies to helping students in their math  at home. Tucker parent and math coach, Stacey Solomon, offered a session for families who volunteer in the Morning Math League at Tucker. At the session, families engaged with a complicated math problem (similar to those found in Continental Math League) and reflected on their own approach as well as how one might support a student grappling with the problem. Through conversation, participants acknowledge the nuances of the language in math as well as the need for a back and forth interaction with complicated math problems. Ms. Solomon shared strategies that pushed all to think about how important it is for students to focus on the process of approaching and persevering through complicated problems rather than the answer to the problem.  Using visual models, re-reading, trying multiple approaches, and confirming things that students are thinking throughout the process all get at the goal of having flexible thinkers and problem solvers in all areas of learning. Thank you to Ms. Solomon and all who participated in this Morning Math session for families! 

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Mrs. Spitz’s Collicot 4th graders had a recent powerful math lesson on partial products with Math Coach Ms. Middleton and Mrs. Spitz. Students used place value concepts to multiply the numbers, making it a strategy that actually enhances number sense. This method was a follow up to the area model/box strategy that students are familiar with. Giving students multiple strategies to solve complex math problems allows them to be flexible thinkers and use the approach that best suits their learning style. 

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Glover kindergarten students have been working hard during their STEM lessons, supported by our technology specialist Jennifer Van Hill, to code the Dash and Dot Robots. Students were engaged and motivated to move their robots using iPads to numbers called out by the teacher.  You can see Dash in action here. It was a great way to incorporate technology with number recognition, a fundamental mathematics skill. Next week, the teachers will replace the numbers with sight words to continue the fun (and learning)!  

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Professor Margie Skeer speaks tonight at BID-Milton

Tonight, we invite Milton parents to join the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition to learn helpful tips about speaking to our children when they are faced with risky choices.

Professor Margie Skeer, whose passion and profession focuses on productive parent interactions with youth, will give us ideas and suggestions we all can use. You are not alone if you think that you could be doing a better job speaking with your kids, or worry that they’re not listening. Everyone can benefit from good advice from experts who study best practices.  This meeting is not just for parents who are struggling with their children. It’s meant for all those who are currently parenting—or will be parenting—teens. All community members are invited to this meeting. Please join other parents from Milton.  It’s free and will definitely be informative! Join us TONIGHT, Thursday January 31st at 7pm at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton. Refreshments will be served.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

“Technology has changed the basic construct of our relationships. It has triangulated our connections with each other, becoming the ubiquitous third party in our conversations, sometimes connecting us, but often interrupting us and ultimately disconnecting us.” Catherine Steiner-Adair in The Big Disconnect

On February 12th, MPS will be hosting internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair at 6:30 PM in the MHS auditorium.  The title of the event is The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

This session will resonate with adults with children of ALL AGES who want to learn more about how to navigate the social and emotional impact technology has on families. Here is more information regarding Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair.

In her public appearances, Dr. Steiner- Adair often covers topics such as:

  • developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life
  • insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes
  • how to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults
  • skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships

We hope to see everyone on February 12th! As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Feb 5  Grade 5 Growth & Development
Feb 6  Early Release (Grs K-12) PD Day
Feb 6  Milton School Committee Meeting
Feb 7  Collicot K-2 Science Fair
Feb 7  MHS Winter Cabaret
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ Fuller Village Re: Space/ Enrollment 1:30 pm
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ MHS Re: Space and Enrollment 7pm
Feb 12  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Feb 13  Pierce Global Celebration
Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting
Feb 27 School Committee Meeting
Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair , Pierce Science Fair
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night

The full 2018-19 calendar can be found here.  The recently approved 2019-2020 School Calendar can be found here. 

ART AND MUSIC

Congratulations to Coleman and Esme!

The Music Department is proud to announce that two students will represent Milton High School at this year’s All State Festival and Conference.  Congratulations to Esme Link (French Horn) and Coleman Rose (Tenor Saxophone) who have earned a place in the All State Honor Ensemble! These students will spend three days in rehearsal at the Boston World Trade Center in preparation for a performance at Boston’s Symphony Hall.  Esme and Coleman are both members of the junior class and participate in MHS Concert Band, Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble. Well done to these outstanding student musicians!

In addition, six Pierce students will join these Milton representatives at the festival as members of the All State Treble Chorus.  This ensemble is comprised of students in grades 4, 5 and 6, selected by audition from schools across the State . Congratulations to this year’s participants:  Lillian Heaton, Christopher Mancini, Madison Mercier, Mairead Brien, Ava Butler, Rebecca Raider. 

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start planning Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2019!  Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan will be Co-Directors this year, as Bernadette Butler has stepped down from her role with MSE after 3 years of outstanding work.  We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE and invite you to read our Opening Letter here. All the details of our fun summer ahead can be found here!

ATHLETICS

Last week we shared that MHS is becoming a Unified Sports School. You can read all about Unified Sports here and get more information on our Unified Track and Field Team that starts at the end of March. 

The MHS Boys Hockey Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats can/bottle drive on Saturday, February 2nd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Milton High School.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Town Clerk Susan M. Galvin  announces that Nomination Papers for both Town Wide and/or Town Meeting Members will be available beginning January 22, 2019 in the Office of the Town Clerk. All nomination papers are due on March 12, 2019. Ms. Galvin would like to encourage all residents to consider running for office. “Citizen participation in Town government is essential to providing the residents of Milton with clear access to our Town government.”

The annual Town Election will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. To be placed upon the ballot, Town Wide candidates must obtain a minimum of 50 legible signatures from registered voters. Town Meeting Member candidates must obtain a minimum of 10 legible signatures from the precinct in which they reside. All details can be found on the Town of Milton website.

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The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long.

The Year of the Pig begins in February, and the Forbes House Museum is celebrating with a series of fun and educational programs based on New Year’s traditions and animal symbolism in the Chinese culture. On Monday, February 18, from 10-11:30 am, representatives from the Greater Boston Chinese Cultural Association will visit the museum to help lead games, stories and arts & crafts projects for children in grades K-3 with a Lunar New Year theme. On Wednesday, February 20, from 10-11:30 am, children in grades 3-5 can learn how the Chinese convey meaning through nature imagery – including animals, bugs and flowers – and spend some time with artist Tsun Ming Chmielinski learning the art of Chinese calligraphy. Finally, on Friday, February 22, from 11-12:30 pm, bring your favorite stuffed animal friend for a special tea and scavenger hunt through the museum. To register for any of these programs and to find out more, please  visit our website or call 617-696-1815. The museum is located at 215 Adams Street in Milton.

Milton community grant applications are now available through the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The deadline for applications is Feb 15, 2019.

Summer on your brain? We are happy to welcome EMPOW Camps back to Milton this summer. All details can be found here. Early bird discount ends today!

Save the date for the 42nd Annual Milton Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for high school students living in Milton. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit entities that help Milton residents.

The Commission on Disability needs you! Whether you’re a parent, teacher or a student over the age of eighteen, Milton needs you to serve on the Commission to assist those who are living with disabilities enjoy all that Milton has to offer. Please contact Diane DiTullio Agostino, Chair of the Commission on Disability, via phone  617-698-8232 or email with questions. 

Milton Girls Softball is a recreational softball league open to girls in K-8th grade who reside in or attend school in Milton. New softball players at all ages are welcome as this is an instructional program, yet competitive enough for everyone. The season runs from mid-­‐April until mid-­‐June.

The league offers five divisions:Kindergarten Instructional Program ($80 per player); Grades 1 and 2 ($85 per player); Grades 3 and 4 ($150 per player);Grades 5 and 6 ($150 per player);Grades 7 and 8 ($150 per player). We are offering FREE pre-season softball skills clinics to all registered girls in Grade 1 through Grade 8. Clinics will be held indoors at Dirt Dawgs in Stoughton on Sunday’s starting late January until end of March. Clinics are free ($100 value), but space is limited so signup to reserve your spot! www.miltonsoftball.com

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:

Students: Milton 4th grade Girl Scout Troop #69225 recently completed a service project. The girls saw a need and they  collected children’s books and refilled and organized the little library stands around town this past week. The Girl Scouts  also tried to repair the library stand at Andrews Field to help keep the rain out of it. Troop # 69225 is made up of students from all 4 elementary schools. We are proud of these students and Girl Scouts for helping their community. Happy reading!

Students: I am happy to share some thoughts from a note we received from Kevin J Cook – US Navy (Ret.), Director of Veterans Services for Randolph & Milton. Mr. Cook shares that he delivered cards made by our Tucker students to his fellow Veterans at the Massachusetts State House during a meeting with legislators and the Governor Baker about the needs of our Veterans. Mr. Cook placed the cards on the chairs that the Veterans would sit on. When Governor Baker got up to speak, he had one of the cards in his hand and highlighted it in his remarks and let everyone know that the cards were made by our very own Tucker students. Governor Baker told Mr. Cook that he appreciated the card and would keep it in his office for everyone to see. Mr. Cook writes that “I was so proud of our students and glad I was able to share these great cards with my fellow Veterans and the Governor. He has been personally involved in supporting Veterans and their families. Your students should be proud of their work and please let them know that by their efforts, they made many Veterans feel appreciated.” Thank you to our Tucker students and volunteers who made the cards and to Mr. Cook for all he does for our Veterans. 

Staff:  I am pleased to announce that MHS Band Directors Mr. Gary Good and Mrs. Rebecca Damiani will be recognized at the upcoming Massachusetts Music Educators Association – All State Festival & Conference, where each will receive the MMEA Lowell Mason Award.  This recognition is named on behalf of Lowell Mason, a Massachusetts born musician who over the course of his career became an important figure in the advancement of music education. Recipients of this prestigious award are chosen for their contribution and leadership in music education.  Congratulations to Mr. Good and Mrs. Damiani on this highly distinguished recognition!

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: Cat DesRoche, Charlene Rocher, Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Sara MacNeil, Larry Jordan, Lauren Fitzgerald, Jake Smith, Justine Novak, Nicole Lauria, Liz Spitz, Jaclyn Germano, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Laurie Stillman Karen Spaulding, Nancy Warn, Mark Harrison and Noel Vigue.

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 January 31, 2019

January 24, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 24, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I am pleased to share some exciting news with you. Milton High School is proud to announce that they will become a Unified Champion School this Spring. I have asked Athletic Director Ryan Madden to share the details here.

The Milton High School Athletic Program, governed by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) in partnership with Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA), is focused on the inclusion of all students. This program is a comprehensive model of our Unified Schools’ strategy that combines Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement to create the greatest impact. These activities aim to help reduce bullying and exclusion, promote healthy activity and interactions, combat stereotypes and stigma, eliminate hurtful language in our school and engage people in social activities that lead to personal growth.

Milton High School looks to take the first step by creating a Unified Track and Field Team starting March 25, 2019! This Track and Field program is open to all students with and without intellectual disabilities to participate alongside one another. There are over 73 schools participating in the state of Massachusetts. Students are not paired, like in Best Buddies, but rather teammates that mentor and coach each other as they train and compete together.

Students in grades 9 thru post-graduate year may participate. The track program will run from late March to early May and will include the following events: shot put, javelin, long jump, 100 meter run, 400 meter run, 800 meter run, 4×1 relay. Each schools team must consist of equal number of students with and without disabilities who will serve as partners for the events. Beginning March 25th , practices will be held Mondays and Tuesdays from 2:30 to 3:30pm at Milton High School. Students will also compete in four meets that will generally be held on Thursdays. Two of those meets will be at home and two away. This will be followed by a district qualifier and then a State Championship for those individuals who qualify. Competition is based on students of similar athletic ability in heats/flights. All students’ performances count and potentially contribute to the team’s success, not just the fastest runners and longest throwers. 

If your child might be interested, we encourage getting a new physical as soon as possible. For more information, please visit the Unified Sports website.  An application of interest can be found here. We will also be looking for fans in the stands during our meets so stay tuned for updates!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Last night the School Committee welcomed almost 60 citizens to the Public Forum on Space held in the Cunningham/Collicot Library. A Public Forum allows the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. Dozens of citizens spoke, expressing concerns, offering ideas and engaging in dialogue with the School Committee. You can watch the meeting On Demand at Milton Access TV 1-2 days after each meeting. I also suggest watching the School Committee meeting from January 16th which contains the most recent space presentation from DRA.  You can view a PDF of the presentation here. There will be more Public Forums in the coming months as the School Committee works to identify short term (3 year) and long term (5 year) solutions to our space and enrollment issue. We will announce the dates of these meetings next week. 

How can you stay informed?

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN

Kindergarten Information Night: TONIGHT, January 24th, at 6:30 pm, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Milton High School for Kindergarten Information Night.  As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Pre-registration is live on our website. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2019 to start kindergarten in September 2019.

The information session will take place in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd.  Please email Laurie Dunn with questions about kindergarten.

Preschool: Preschool pre-registration is underway. The deadline for pre-registering is TODAY, Thursday January 24th. Families who are presently residing in Milton with children age three on or before August 31, 2019 for the half day programs and children who will be four years of age on or before August 31, 2019 for half and full day programs are invited to complete the pre-registration. Please review the program overview, MPS program fact sheet and important preschool dates.  If demand exceeds availability, a lottery will be held on January 25th. Any family who has completed the pre-registration by Thursday, January 24th will be included in the lottery. Families pre-registering after January 24th will be awarded a seat based on availability or added to a waitlist. If you have any questions please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna or call 617 980 7343. For preschool special education and evaluation questions please email Jayme Szymczak.

You can see what our happy preschoolers are up to this year in this short video.

PIERCE UPDATES

Congratulations to the almost 120 Pierce students who wowed the community with their recent performances of High School Musical, Jr! Through 3 sold out shows, students acted, danced and sang their way into the audience’s hearts. The sets were impressive, the lighting and sound perfect and the crew deserves a huge round of applause.

Pierce Players would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of drama teacher and director Bill Deschenes and a host of other adults who support our Pierce Players. Bravo to all!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

On Friday, January 18th, the Tucker Community gathered in the morning to start a school-wide day of service.  Organized by the PTO, each grade level had a service project for a different organization or group of people. Throughout the day on Friday, grade levels were visited by the various groups and context was given to the projects that were being completed.  Preschool classes made cards for the Milton Fire and Police Departments and these were given to Officer Maria Poles and Fireman Malik Gibbons. Kindergarten classes were visited by Officer Nancy to presented her with tied fleece blankets and toys for the Animal Shelter.  1st graders made cards for patients at Milton Hospital and Director of Volunteer Services, Janet Evans came to collect the cards and meet the students. Our 2nd graders made cards for active service members while 4th graders wrote letters to Veterans in the community.  3rd graders made bagged lunches for clients at Father Bill’s whose mission is to support families and individuals struggling with homelessness. Julia Palmerino from Dana Farber came to speak with 5th graders about her work with the Philanthropy Office and cancer research. Following her presentation and a Q&A  session, students assembled chemotherapy bags to be available for patients receiving treatment. The bags held blankets, hats, socks, colored pencils, puzzles, coloring books, journals, pens, and water bottles. Students were encouraged to connect the work done on Friday to the works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to be community helpers in whatever ways they can going forward.  Throughout the day, students and staff could be seen working together to complete these projects with energy and enthusiasm. A big thank you to PTO leaders Meena Tondravi, Lacy Stoneburner and Stacey Solomon for their organization and commitment to this important Tucker event!

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Ms. Windwer’s Cunningham 3rd graders enjoyed playing math games this week while learning more about area and perimeter.  Working in small groups, students measured and calculated their findings, writing explanations of why they were measuring area or perimeter while showing the correct formulas they used.

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To begin their Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration projects, 5th graders in Ms. Craven and Mrs. Bodkin’s classes read  about other influential people who were critical components of the civil rights movement. They talked about Ruby Bridges, Barbara Johns, Rosa Parks, and The Little Rock Nine and how their actions helped create a much larger movement led by MLK, Jr. This led them into a conversation about fixed vs. growth mindset. The people they read about stood up for something  they believed in and because of that, change happened. Students then created a mural which depicts other famous people throughout history whose successes came from having a growth mindset. This lesson was an excellent segue as 5th grade begins unit 4 of Reach for Reading which will focus on the essential question – “What is Justice?”

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As part of the new FOSS curriculum, Collicot kindergartners started an investigation into the unit titled Animals Two by Two. In this science unit, students will explore red worms and nightcrawlers. Let the investigation begin! 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

On January 31, at 7pm at BID Milton in the  Nangeroni Conference Room, Professor Margie Skeer will speak on the topic of  “Underage Drinking Prevention: Practical Parenting Facts and Tips for ‘The Talk’ and So Much More”. Learn why talking to your kids works, get specific tips on how to talk to your kids and observe practice role-playing. The MSAPC invites all Milton community members to attend this important, free talk and the MSAPC meeting that will follow.

HEALTH NEWS – VAPING

As we continue to share resources on vaping, our goal is prevent young people from starting to vape. While we would  like to prevent all youth from using in the first place, Director of Health and Phys. Ed Noel Vigue shares this tool from the Truth initiative that could be a great resource to help users quit.

If you need help quitting, text Quit to 202-804-9884 and begin to get support from the Truth Initiative. This 5 minute video introducing the program on NBC Today is worth watching to understand how this free service works.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

For over 20 years the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been funding initiatives that have positively altered the educational landscape of our community. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we ask ourselves: Where will it take the children of Milton? With your continued help, the possibilities are endless.

Middle Schoolers like to hop, too! Thank you to the MFE for the new Hippity Hops at Pierce.

Ask Kindergarteners what they want to be when they grow up, and the responses are adorably familiar. Ask students on the cusp of graduation that same question, and the answers get more complex. The career opportunities of the future are changing rapidly. What exciting possibilities await!

We owe it to them to keep pace: to offer opportunities which inspire curiosities and engage minds; to help our children prepare for whatever tomorrow brings; to support Milton’s incredible teachers as they suggest meaningful, forward-thinking programs and initiatives. The MFE supports all 6 of our schools with teacher grants, major initiatives, support of science in all schools and more. I hope you will  consider  a gift to the MFE today.  

The MFE has distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. Please consider a tax-deductible gift. Every dollar changes lives!

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

BUS UPDATES

With the hard work of our MPS custodians and support of all staff, as well as the cooperation and flexibility of families, we successfully navigated the winter weather early this week. Bus delays proved to be challenging for some routes while more manageable for others. Our new Remind text program got its first real workout and while it was not perfect, it did prove effective and helpful for many families. I encourage every parent whose child takes the bus to sign up for Remind. The directions can be found here.  

Remind has notified us that due to an unresolved dispute with Verizon, beginning January 28, 2019 Remind subscribers who have Verizon Wireless as their phone carrier, who normally get our Remind messages as texts, will no longer receive these messages. If you do not have Verizon wireless, your Remind updates will continue unchanged.

What can you do as a Verizon customer to continue to receive important MPS Bus updates?

To continue receiving our messages, please download the mobile app or enable email notifications—both of which are free of charge. Please read more about the Remind text program and how to sign up here. 

Please also review our Winter Weather/Snow Day communication. There are details about a 2 hour delay and how that would impact your child’s day if MPS had a delay, as well as information about the process used to open, cancel or delay school. Inclement weather is a part of life in the northeast and the better we manage these challenges as partners, the more successful our winter will be.  

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Our next PARENT Speaker is Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D, on February 12th at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium.  Dr. Steiner-Adair will speak on The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

Come hear Dr. Steiner-Adair speak about how to maintain important relationships as a family, in our ever-increasing digital world.  Dr. Steiner-Adair address topics such as:

  • Developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life.
  • Insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes.
  • How to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults.
  • Skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships.

As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 25  Pierce Movie Night
Feb 6  Early Release (Grs K-12) PD Day
Feb 6  Milton School Committee Meeting
Feb 7  MHS Winter Cabaret
Feb 12  PARENT Speaker Series: Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Feb 13  Pierce Global Celebration
Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting

The full calendar can be found here.  

ART AND MUSIC

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Glover art teacher Mr. Reynolds grew this piece of art during each art class last week and all 610 Glover students contributed as it came together. Principal McDavitt shares that it is breathtaking to see in person. 

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start planning Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2019!  Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan will be Co-Directors this year, as Bernadette Butler has stepped down from her role with MSE after 3 years of outstanding work.  We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE and invite you to read our welcome letter here. Please be on the lookout for more communications in the upcoming months, but if you have questions in the meantime, please contact Ms. DesRoche and Ms. Lohan via email.

ATHLETICS

The MHS Boys Hockey Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats can/bottle drive on Saturday, February 2nd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Milton High School.

Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Girls Softball is a recreational softball league open to girls in K-8th grade who reside in or attend school in Milton. New softball players at all ages are welcome as this is an instructional program, yet competitive enough for everyone. The season runs from mid-­‐April until mid-­‐June.
The league offers five divisions:Kindergarten Instructional Program ($80 per player); Grades 1 and 2 ($85 per player); Grades 3 and 4 ($150 per player);Grades 5 and 6 ($150 per player);Grades 7 and 8 ($150 per player)    

We are offering FREE pre-season softball skills clinics to all registered girls in Grade 1 through Grade 8. Clinics will be held indoors at Dirt Dawgs in Stoughton on Sunday’s starting late January until end of March. Clinics are free ($100 value), but space is limited so signup to reserve your spot! www.miltonsoftball.com

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long

Milton community grant applications are now available through the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The deadline for applications is Feb 15, 2019.

Summer on your brain? We are happy to welcome EMPOW Camps back to Milton this summer. All details can be found here.

A reader shared this video with me, a presentation by David O’Leary, Chair of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Board.

Save the date for the 42nd Annual Milton Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for high school students living in Milton. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit entities that help Milton residents.

The Commission on Disability needs you! Whether you’re a parent, teacher or a student over the age of eighteen, Milton needs you to serve on the Commission to assist those who are living with disabilities enjoy all that Milton has to offer. Please contact Diane DiTullio Agostino, Chair of the Commission on Disability, via phone  617-698-8232 or email with questions. 

AMBASSADORS

Volunteer: Mary Claire Cantor is a Collicot parent who is instrumental in making the Collicot science fair a great success. Mrs. Cantor volunteered her time over two days to visit each Collicot classroom to demonstrate the components of a great science fair project! Mrs. Cantor talked to students about testable questions and variables. In each classroom she posed the question: What will happen if you put a can of soda in a fish tank filled with water? In this experiment she used diet soda and regular soda as her variables. Students were engaged by the demonstration and left excited to try their own projects. The Collicot community is very grateful for Mrs. Cantor’s dedication to the science fair!  

Staff: I want to take this space to recognize Mary Schofield, a long time educator in the Milton Public Schools who passed away this week. Many of us had the privilege of knowing and learning from “Miss Schofield.”  

Mary Schofield earned her amazing reputation when she was the Principal of the Glover Elementary School. She was known as a kind and compassionate person who treated everyone fairly and with respect and showed great consideration to her co-workers. Mary went on to serve as MPS Assistant Superintendent and served the district in many capacities after her retirement. Our elementary schools give a Mary B. Schofield Award to 5th graders each year, presented to two students who exemplify her character by consistently showing consideration for others and a caring spirit. Mary Schofield was a mentor to me and many others. She dedicated her life to the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools. 

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:  Ellen Lohan, Kristen Giffune, Cat DesRoche, Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Sara MacNeil, Karen Spaulding, Taylor Windwer, Rachel Schewe and Noel Vigue.

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 January 24, 2019

January 17, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 17, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Once again on Monday, January 21st, members of the Milton community will join to celebrate the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader who fought daily to bring equality to all Americans. It is fitting that this annual event is sponsored by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association (MICA) because Dr. King would have appreciated the effort to bring all members of the community together. I have asked Barbara Wright, Head of the MHS Humanities Department, to share some history below.

The members of MICA invite every citizen to join in their annual celebration, and the Milton Public Schools is proud to be part of the celebration. Our elementary students, as well as our high school choir, sing each year and artwork from students from kindergarten through twelfth grade is displayed throughout the Concord Baptist Church.  

In a most generous gesture, MICA also recognizes and sponsors four Milton High School students to represent Milton at the YWCA’s Youth Initiative Leadership Program (known as INIT), a school-year program where students meet on weekends and work with students throughout the greater Boston area and the INIT staff to plan and implement a service project for the students at Milton High School.  In the past our students have celebrated diversity, hosted difficult conversations on race and religious inequality, and invited the entire community to come together to talk about ways our town could welcome all its members. Without the generosity of those who attend the Dr. King celebration this amazing opportunity would not be available for our students. The current INIT team – those students who won the art/essay contest last year and are currently working on their service project – are juniors Maggie Haley, Catherine Le and Alisa Lorden and senior Damauri Fox Portis.  Their project will be presented in the spring. This year’s winners, who were chosen as part of an art and writing contest, are sophomores Anna Fahy, Connor Foley, Grace Kelly and freshman Caroline Gannon.

Caroline, Grace, Anna and Conor

This year’s theme is  – Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, a sentiment Dr. King expressed the day after Bloody Sunday.  In 1965, when the Civil Rights movement was becoming more prevalent in southern cities, Dr. King and about 600 citizens (including current Georgia Congressman John Lewis who was only 25 at the time) planned a march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital in Montgomery more than 50 miles away. On the first day of the march they were attacked by Selma police and Alabama state troopers who told them they were not allowed to protest on the streets of Alabama.  Film crews videotaped the violent confrontation and within hours people from all over the United States watched. The marchers walked for their right to have a voice through voting, but their voices became more pronounced after public outcry, and within a few days there were marches in more than 30 cities throughout the United States.

In many ways those protesters – who refused to remain silent – stirred a nation into action.  It’s important to understand that in a democratic society the voices of the people are the most important, whether they gather to implement change or to celebrate.  On Monday MICA and the Milton community will use their voices to celebrate. The celebration is held at the Concord Baptist Church at 180 Blue Hill Ave, and will run from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  All are invited to attend.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

In an ongoing effort to identify potential short and long term solutions on our space and enrollment issue, the School Committee hosted an extended Citizens Speak at their meeting on January 16th. DRA also presented additional information, including cost estimates on various options, to the committee. The presentation was informative and interactive as School Committee members discussed possible solutions. I urge all Milton residents to take the time to watch the recorded version of the meeting, which is available on Milton Access TV, as are all School Committee meetings. 

On Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm, there will be an Open Forum on Space and all are invited to attend and participate. The January 23rd School Committee meeting will be held in the Cunningham School Library. Please note that unlike Citizens Speak, the Open Forum will allow the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. All are invited to attend and participate.

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN

Kindergarten Information Night: On January 24th, at 6:30 pm, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Milton High School for Kindergarten Information Night.  As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Pre-registration is  live on our website. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2019 to start kindergarten in September 2019.

The information session will take place in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd.  Please email Laurie Dunn with questions about kindergarten.

Preschool: Preschool pre-registration is underway. Families who are presently residing in Milton with children age three on or before August 31, 2019 for the half day programs and children who will be four years of age on or before August 31, 2019 for half and full day programs are invited to complete the pre-registration. Please review the program overview, MPS program fact sheet and important preschool dates.  If demand exceeds availability, a lottery will be held on January 25th. Any family who has completed the pre-registration by Thursday, January 24th will be included in the lottery. Families pre-registering after January 24th will be awarded a seat based on availability or added to a waitlist.

If you have any questions please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna or call 617 980 7343. For preschool special education and evaluation questions please email Jayme Szymczak.

You can see what our happy preschoolers are up to this year in this short video. 

PIERCE UPDATES

Each year the Milton Foundation for Education supports teachers’ creativity by offering teacher mini-grants. MFE Teacher Mini-Grants provide valuable funding so that teachers can enhance their work in the classroom. Inspired by a recent workshop, Pierce physical education teachers, Mr. O’Leary and Ms. Queally, submitted an MFE grant to purchase “Hippity Hops” for the PE classes. It has been found that hippity hops can greatly enhance fitness as they require little skill, support many components of fitness, and are just plain fun! A special thank you to the Milton Foundation for Education for supporting our teachers’ creativity.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Mrs. Chen’s Cunningham 5th graders know how to appreciate the small things. The best birthday gift? Kind words. For every student’s birthday, classmates write birthday compliments and share them with each other at the beginning of class. This well loved class tradition has helped to foster a kind and inclusive classroom.

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Last Friday, Glover 3rd graders mixed it up at lunch in response to our Positive Behavior Incentives and Supports (PBIS) initiative, as well as our Social Emotional Curriculum.  During lunch, students were asked to move to another spot in the cafeteria, away from the typical friends they sit with, while music played. When the music stopped, students sat down.  This was repeated three times to ensure students were well mixed! Once their final spot was chosen, Principal McDavitt and Assistant Principal MacNeil facilitated the lunch, helping students to connect, ask each other questions, and find similarities.  The multiple opportunities to switch seats and make new friends created fun for all!

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Collicot 5th graders are wrapping up a fabric arts project in the art room by making their very own sock monkeys.  Thanks to generous funding by the Collicot PTO, students learned and applied the basic steps to hand sewing by threading a needle, tying a knot, using the whipstitch and adding stuffing to make these adorable monkeys. 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Do you know what youth addiction looks like?  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Milton Public Schools along with the towns of Milton, Dedham, Quincy, Randolph, Braintree, Stoughton and Canton are bringing back Drug Story Theater for a community presentation of “The Price You Pay:  Second Chances” on Tuesday, January 22nd at 6:30pm at Milton High School. 

This is a riveting play by youth about their own seduction by, addiction to, and recovery from drugs and alcohol.  It will give the audience an inside look, as well as some vital information about why getting hooked at such a young age can be so concerning.  

Dr. Joseph Shrand, Child Psychiatrist, nationally recognized expert on adolescent addiction, and founder of Drug Story Theater, will also share his experience treating youth challenged by substance use.  This is also an opportunity for parents, caregivers, community leaders and other audience members to ask questions of Dr. Shrand and the cast: What are the signs my child may be using? What can prevent this?  What can I do if my child is using? What is spice?

Photo by Scott Eisen

This play was seen in October, 2018 by Milton High 9th and 10th graders, and you could hear a pin drop.  Principal James Jette said he was “thrilled with the performance and feedback from our students.” Our showing of “The Price You Pay: Second Chances”, is a unique collaboration between Milton and the surrounding towns.  This event is free and there is ample parking available.  

TEXTILE BINS

Did you know that the Milton Public Schools  earns funds for every pound of textiles that is donated in the Bay State Textile bin in the back of each of our schools? Since June of 2014, the six schools have collectively received almost $12,000 to support enrichment activities and supplies in each school. If you are cleaning out your closets and do not know what to do with your bags of tattered clothes and textiles, we encourage you to donate them in the bin at the back of each school.  We know many of you donate your gently used clothes to important causes such as Cradles to Crayons. But what do you do with those clothes that your children have “lived in” a bit too much? Please consider placing them in the textile bins. Many items that you can not easily dispose of can be placed in the textile bins – including stuffed animals!  It’s the environmentally responsible thing to do and also  earns valuable funds for each of our six schools!

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

For over 20 years the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been funding initiatives that have positively altered the educational landscape of our community. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we ask ourselves: Where will it take the children of Milton? With your continued help, the possibilities are endless.

Super Mario starts the Monster Dash!

Ask Kindergarteners what they want to be when they grow up, and the responses are adorably familiar. Ask students on the cusp of graduation that same question, and the answers get more complex. The career opportunities of the future are changing rapidly. What exciting possibilities await!

We owe it to them to keep pace: to offer opportunities which inspire curiosities and engage minds; to help our children prepare for whatever tomorrow brings; to support Milton’s incredible teachers as they suggest meaningful, forward-thinking programs and initiatives. The MFE supports all 6 of our schools with teacher grants, major initiatives, support of science in all schools and more. I hope you will  consider  a gift to the MFE today.

The MFE has distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. Please consider a tax-deductible gift. Every dollar changes lives!

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

New classes this year:

  • Phoenix Rising Body-Mind Yoga
  • Balancing Screen Time in Elementary School
  • Ukulele for the Complete Beginner
  • Guitar for the Busy Adult

WINTER WEATHER

Even though it has been mild to date, the winter season is upon us. Please review our Winter Weather/Snow Day communication. Inclement weather is a part of life in the northeast and the better we manage these challenges as partners, the more successful our winter will be.  

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Our next PARENT Speaker is Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D, on February 12th at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium.  Dr. Steiner-Adair will speak on The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

Come hear Dr. Steiner-Adair speak about how to maintain important relationships as a family, in our ever-increasing digital world.  Dr. Steiner- Adair address topics such as:

  • Developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life.
  • Insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes.
  • How to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults.
  • Skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships.

As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Jan 17, 18,19  Pierce Players
Jan 21 MLK Jr. Holiday No School
Jan 22  Drug Story Theatre at MHS
Jan 23 Milton School Committee Meeting at Cunningham
Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 25  Pierce Movie Night
Feb 6  Early Release (Grs K-12) PD Day
Feb 6  Milton School Committee Meeting

The full calendar can be found here.  

MPS GIVES BACK

Hillary Wong, MPS Dietetic Intern, would like to extend her sincere gratitude to the MHS community for supporting the recent sock drive. Due to the generosity of the students, families and faculty, the Sock It To Me Sock Drive was a huge success. The outpouring of donations from Milton High School provided 505 pairs of socks to the homeless men and women at Father Bill’s & MainSpring Homeless Shelter in Brockton and Quincy.  By donating to Father Bill’s, you have enabled them to continue in their mission to support the basic needs of families and individuals, making a difference in their lives. Thank you again for your generous support! 

FOOD SERVICES

MPS Food Services would like all federal employees affected by the shutdown to know that anyone can apply for school lunch benefits at any time. Please reach out to Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org with any questions. Application and details can be found here. 

ART AND MUSIC

Junior District Audition results are in!  Congratulations to Pierce and Milton High School students who auditioned this past weekend and were selected to perform in the Eastern District Junior Festival. These students will participate in the two-day festival sponsored by the MMEA- Eastern District in early March.  Well done to all who participated!

On Wednesday this week, MHS Senior Julia Nerenberg performed a recital on lute, marking the completion of an independent study.  Over the past semester, Julia researched the history of the lute, taught herself to read French and Italian tablature, and acquired mastery on the instrument. Julia is co-concertmaster in the MHS Orchestra and has performed on lute with the Chamber Ensemble.  You can see her performance here.   

Finally, if you did not get a chance to catch the Winter Jazz Night concert this week, please enjoy these clips by the Pierce Middle School and Milton High Jazz Ensembles: Pierce MS Jazz Ensemble: Uptown Funk , MHS Jazz Ensemble: Stormy Weather, Winter Jazz Night Finale. Thank you to MPS parent John Gillooly for the images below.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

There are several MLK Day Service Projects taking place in Milton on January 21st. It would be wonderful to see many MPS families at these volunteer events.

For the indoor service project, you are invited to donate, assemble, and distribute Blessing Bags to homeless individuals. For time, location, and sign-up, Click Here.

For the outdoor service project, you are invited to help clean up litter from the trails of the Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. For time, location, and sign-up, Click Here.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton is an important healthcare resource in our community.  Every three years, BID-Milton gathers information from people living, working, and learning in Milton, Quincy and Randolph. The information collected helps to identify strategies and programs that will improve community health.  It is important for BID-Milton to gather feedback from as many people as possible to ensure findings reflect the community-at-large. Please take a moment to take the survey online  or email Laureane Marquez  for a paper version in Spanish, Chinese or Haitian Creole.  Responses are completely anonymous and will not impact your existing health services in any way.  The survey window closes on January 31.

***

On January 31, at 7pm at BID Milton in the  Nangeroni Conference Room, Professor Margie Skeer will speak on the topic of  “Underage Drinking Prevention: Practical Parenting Facts and Tips for ‘The Talk’ and So Much More”. Learn why talking to your kids works, get specific tips on how to talk to your kids and observe practice role-playing. The MSAPC invites all Milton community members to attend this important, free talk and the MSAPC meeting that will follow.

***

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long

On  Saturday, February 2nd at 7pm Milton Community Concerts and First Parish of Milton are proud to present a rare viewing of the silent film classic, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” with live improvised organ accompaniment by virtuoso organist Peter Krasinski. This concert celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Wigglesworth Memorial Pipe Organ at First Parish. Tickets (at door only) are $25/$15 seniors/Free 18 and under.  

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter is bursting at the seams with many free activities for families to do together this season.

Milton Art Center winter/spring art class registrations are open now, sign up for creative classes in book making, weaving, sewing, storytelling yoga, clay, pastels, STEAM, sewing, watercolor, painting, quilting, photography, screen printing, creative writing and more!

Summer on your brain? We are happy to welcome EMPOW Camps back to Milton this summer. All details can be found here

A reader shared this video with me, a presentation by David O’Leary, Chair of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Board

ATHLETICS

On Friday, January 18th, the Boys Basketball Team takes on Walpole High School in what will be called the “Snowbowl”. Join us in recognizing Derrick Snowden, MHS Hall of Famer, for his 30th year of service to the Milton Public Schools.  He has been one of the biggest supporters for the Milton High School Football and Basketball Teams as the “man behind the mic”!  We will also be holding a sock drive during the game. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. For free admission, we ask that you donate at least one new pair of men’s or women’s socks (wool or cotton work best).  All donations will be sent to a local homeless shelter.

December Athletes of the Month

Grace Long, Freshman, Ice Hockey: The Girls Ice Hockey Team is off to a slow start in a rebuilding year with Grace Long as one of the brightest on the team. Grace has scored 6 Goals and 5 Assists for a total of 11 points. She has played a part in a 11 of the 14 goals. Grace is a skilled player that makes her teammates better around her. She is a team player and very coachable. She has a great attitude and a leader on the team as a Freshman. Grace has double the points of the second leading scorer on the team.

Austin Wright, Senior, Wrestling; Austin is one of the senior captains. He exemplifies what it takes to be a true leader and captain. He leads by example always one of the first to practice and last to leave. He teaches new wrestlers and encourages the veterans. He has a very solid 7-4 record wrestling in a very tough weight class 138lbs. His pin in the Weymouth match was one of the most dramatic of the season and which helped the Cats of Milton beat the Cats of Weymouth, 42-36.

Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!

AMBASSADORS

Student: Cunningham 2nd grader Sophia Casini, who has collected thousands of pairs of socks for homeless men and women through her annual December sock drive, was invited by Governor Baker to do the Pledge of Allegiance at his inauguration. Mrs. Casini shares that it was an amazing day for Sophia and her family and that Sophia plans to continue her annual sock drive for years to come.  You can watch Sophia lead the Pledge here. Congratulations to Sophia on a job well done!

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:  Jon Redden, Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Margaret Carels, Debbie Alsebai, Ada Rosmarin, Lacy Stoneburner, Tanya Walsh, Robin Lee, Karen Hughes, Barbara Wright, Ellen Lohan, Sara MacNeil  and Noel Vigue.

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 January 17, 2019

January 10th, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 10, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

On Wednesday January 2nd, the Milton School Committee welcomed Carl Franceschi and Paul Moore from Drummy Rosane Anderson (DRA) to present preliminary findings and potential solutions on our space and enrollment issue. The presentation was informative and interactive as School Committee members discussed possible solutions. I urge all Milton residents to take the time to watch the recorded version of the meeting, which is available on Milton Access TV. The powerpoint presentation can be found here.

At the Wednesday, January 16th School Committee Meeting, there will be an extended Citizens Speak on Space as well as a follow up presentation by DRA with more details and preliminary budget estimates associated with various proposals. This meeting is at 7pm and will be held at Milton High School.

On Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm, there will be an Open Forum on Space during the School Committee meeting. All are invited to attend and participate. The January 23rd School Committee meeting will be held in the Cunningham School Library. Please note that unlike Citizens Speak, the Open Forum will allow the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members.

I have asked current School Committee member Ada Rosmarin, who was involved in the Milton School Building project that began in 2001 to share some thoughts below. Ms. Rosmarin, who is the Chair of the Facilities Advisory Committee  can be reached via email at any time.

The Glover groundbreaking ceremony

Back in 2001, my family had a 2nd grader and 4th grader at the Glover School, and a 6th grader at Pierce.  Our kids were happy, but the Milton Schools were crowded and crumbling. Through some skilled advocacy by our legislators, Milton qualified for 90% reimbursement from the State School Building Authority, Milton voters (after 3 tries) said YES, and the school building project was in full swing.  The children and staff all wore hard hats for the many groundbreaking ceremonies across town, as school by school, we renovated and rebuilt our schools. We all withstood the multiple transitions to swing space, construction noise and dirt, because we knew that our schools were going to become brand new and wonderful.  One of the strings attached to the 90% state funding was that we could only build for the current enrollment at the time.

Fast forward to 2017, my kids have all graduated from MHS and college and are all off living their lives.  I wanted to make a contribution to the town that has done so much for our family, so I ran for and was elected as a School Committee member.  

During the years between the end of our last school building project (2008) and today, our town’s population has changed.  We built the schools and they came. Seniors began selling their homes and moving on. Despite the rising cost of housing, young families moved in, attracted by the town’s beauty, amenities, its proximity to Boston, and great schools.  

Our school enrollment has grown in the last 10 years to the point that we are now housing 5 elementary schools of children in 4 elementary buildings. The School Committee worked with NESDEC, the organization that studies enrollment trends and projections, to understand our situation.  We found that not only has enrollment grown dramatically, but that it is projected to continue to do so for the next ten years.  

This year, I became Chair of the Facilities Advisory Committee to the School Committee.  We hired the architectural firm DRA to study our elementary space needs. DRA designed our six school buildings for our last building project, and they know our physical plant and town well.  Their preliminary report was presented to the School Committee last week.

DRA has made a number of recommendations of short-term and long-term options for us to consider.  Over the coming months, we will explore these options, solicit input and feedback from throughout the community, and determine a plan to provide adequate facilities in which to educate our expanding student population.  Just as others did in the past, we will all need to tighten our belts a bit to invest in our town. I hope you will share your thoughts and ideas, your efforts and time, and your positive support to make these needed changes for the future of our schools and our town. I can be reached via email at anytime at arosmarin@miltonps.org.

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN

Preschool Information Night: Mark your calendars and join us at Milton High School for a preschool information evening TONIGHT,  Thursday, January 10th at 6:30pm. This is guaranteed to be an informative evening as preschool staff and administrators outline the similarities and differences in the programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have. Milton Public Schools has a variety of programs for those children who will turn three or four on or before August 31, 2019.

Kindergarten Information Night: On January 24th, at 6:30 pm, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Milton High School for Kindergarten Information Night.  As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Pre-registration is  live on our website. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2019 to start kindergarten in September 2019.

Both information sessions will take place in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. Please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, or call Ms. McKenna at 617- 980- 7343 if you have questions about preschool. Please email Laurie Dunn with questions about kindergarten.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

The past week the members of the MHS social skills group and advisor Robin Lee visited Father Bill’s  to deliver the handmade blankets they have been working on. Students also  toured the facility and visited with residents. The trip was a success with many warm blankets now in the hands of people who can use them. In addition our students have a greater understanding of the challenges the homeless population faces while seeing firsthand one of the supports available.  

***

Artwork by Conor Foley

Artwork by Anna Fahy

On Monday, January 21st we will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day. We greatly value the Milton Public School’s partnership with MICA (the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association) especially as it relates to their annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, January 21st.  The theme this year is: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.

L-R Caroline Gannon, Grace Kelly, Anna Fahy and  Connor Foley

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade participate in the celebration with essays, poems, art projects, musical selections and more. Please join me in congratulating our four outstanding MHS students whose work was chosen to represent MHS in honor of Dr. King. We are very proud of Caroline Gannon, Grace Kelly, Anna Fahy,  Connor Foley for their excellent submissions. Please click on any of the students names or pictures for a clearer look at their work. 

***

Curious as to who in the MHS Class of 2019 has the best smile or best laugh? Who’s the most talkative, best dressed or friendliest? All of your questions will be answered here, with the 2019 Senior Class Superlatives.  

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All are invited to join the Collicot and Cunningham PTOs on Friday morning, January 11th at 8:30am for a joint informational session on lice and how to prevent it in the Cunningham/Collicot cafetorium. Camille from Close Nit Family will speak about how to check and treat for head lice. How to “Know what you are looking for.” She will also have some preventive sprays, conditioners and combs for sale during the coffee hour. You  may also find the following Lice Videos informative as well as entertaining: Lice Video Part One and Lice Video Part Two.  All parents, from any school, are welcome to attend!

***

Last week, Tucker Elementary students celebrated the success of the fall PTO Calendar Fundraiser with Tucker’s first annual Movement Day. Students participated in fitness activities in the school gym including running a Ninja Warrior-inspired obstacle course, competing in scooter races and showing off their hula hooping and basketball skills. When asking a group of third graders what their favorite part was, each student had a different answer, but they all enthusiastically declared that Movement Day was “so much fun” and “the best!”. The PTO would like to say a BIG thank you to Coach Jones for organizing this fun filled event! 

***

Sara Truog, head of the Milton Public Library  Children’s Department, visited Collicot 5th graders in preparation for the annual science fair. Mrs. Truog began by sharing a personality quiz that would help students identify topics of interest for science fair projects. She also  introduced students to some of the many online resources available for free with a library card. Students explored ScienceFlix and World Book for Kids to find inspiration for science fair projects. Collicot will hold science fairs for students in grades 3-5 on January 31st and February 7th for students in k-2. 

***

Mikey and Chris Clough with Officer Tom Wilson at the Milton Police Department.

Cunningham 2nd graders are learning about the importance of helping others in their Reach for Reading Unit 4, Lend a Hand.  Their goal is to start off the new year by helping others. During the unit, students were asked, “What is something that YOU can do independently to help someone out in the community?”.  Students brainstormed various tasks that they could do to either help out or make someone smile and came up with ideas including giving cards and treats to our mailmen, making get well cards for sick relatives, writing thank you cards to the host of playdates, and making motivational signs for high schoolers  saying “Good Luck on Exams”. Recently Mikey Clough from Mrs. Walsh’s class and his 5 year old brother Chris delivered homemade chocolate chip cookies to the Milton Police Department thanking them for their support in our community. During their visit they got a tour of the station and even got to sit in a holding cell. Connecting the Reach for Reading unit to a real life experience for students has enhanced both their learning and compassion. 

***

The MLK Celebration began at Glover last week as students in grades K-5 assembled in the Glover gym to begin the month long celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Students learned about his life and the important impact he has had on our lives through viewing real-life pictures along with the reading of “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rapport.  Students were also given the opportunity to reflect upon this years theme “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Following the presentation, students returned to their classrooms to further discuss Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and complete various projects related to the theme.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Do you know what youth addiction looks like?  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Milton Public Schools along with the towns of Milton, Dedham, Quincy, Randolph, Braintree, Stoughton and Canton are bringing back Drug Story Theater for a community presentation of “The Price You Pay:  Second Chances” on January 22nd at 6:30pm. 

This is a riveting play by youth about their own seduction by, addiction to, and recovery from drugs and alcohol.  It will give the audience an inside look, as well as some vital information about why getting hooked at such a young age can be so concerning.  

Dr. Joseph Shrand, Child Psychiatrist, nationally recognized expert on adolescent addiction, and founder of Drug Story Theater, will also share his experience treating youth challenged by substance use.  This is also an opportunity for parents, caregivers, community leaders and other audience members to ask questions of Dr. Shrand and the cast: What are the signs my child may be using? What can prevent this?  What can I do if my child is using? What is spice?

This play was seen in October, 2018 by MHS 9th and 10th graders, and you could hear a pin drop.  Principal James Jette said he was “thrilled with the performance and feedback from our students.” Our showing of “The Price You Pay: Second Chances”, is a unique collaboration between Milton and the surrounding towns.  This event is free and there is ample parking available. Suitable for 9th grade and older.  

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

There are some exciting new classes this year:

  • Phoenix Rising Body-Mind Yoga
  • Balancing Screen Time in Elementary School
  • Ukulele for the Complete Beginner
  • Guitar for the Busy Adult

WEATHER AND BUS UPDATES

As we begin the winter season, we want to share links to two important documents that were sent to families in December. Please review our Winter Weather/Snow Day communication and Bus Text App for Major Delays. Inclement weather is a part of life in the northeast and the better we manage these challenges as partners, the more successful our winter will be.  

HEALTH NEWS – VAPING

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, Vaping has become a national epidemic for teens.  In this link, there are recommendations for citizens to have an impact at the local level . According to 2017 statistics, over 25% of grade 12 students in Massachusetts are current users and may be addicted, feeling compelled to use during school hours. This trend has been on the rise across South Shore communities including Milton.  Help protect your child by educating yourself, having ongoing conversations about your beliefs and values, and support local programs that restrict access to these harmful products. For more information contact Director of Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue or Board of Health Director, Caroline Kinsella .   

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools. You’ll be serving healthy food to kids and be home when your kids are home due to the school schedule – what’s better than that?! 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 pays $15.05 per hour and substitute jobs often lead to permanent jobs. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514) for more information.

The police department is currently accepting applications for the position of School Crossing Guard. Duties include directing and escorting school children and pedestrians across the street, stopping traffic as necessary. It is preferred that applicants be available for both one hour in the morning (school opening) and one hour in the afternoon (school dismissal). Positions are ten hours per week with a salary range of $16.98 to $19.15 per hour. Positions are not eligible for benefits. More information can be found here.  Any questions can be directed to Lieutenant Mark Alba via email at 617-898-4814.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Jan 10 Preschool Information Night
Jan 16  Milton High/Pierce Jazz Concert
Jan 16 Milton School Committee
Jan 17, 18,19  Pierce Players
Jan 21 MLK Jr. Holiday No School
Jan 22  Drug Story Theatre at MHS
Jan 23 Milton School Committee Meeting at Cunningham
Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night

The full calendar can be found here.  

ART AND MUSIC

L-R Lemeul Marc, Caleb Smith, Coleman Rose and Brendan Scott

Last weekend, students of MMEA- Eastern District gathered at Boston Latin Academy for the annual Senior Festival, including these 10 Milton High School Musicians: Concert Band –  Esme Link, Coleman Rose, Caleb Smith; Jazz Band –  Brendan Scott; Mixed Chorus – Annabel Botsford, Jada Farar, Paula Hogan, Penelope Holland, Luke Palmer; Orchestra – Lemuel Marc.

A round of applause for these students selected for Senior District, and a standing ovation to MHS Band Directors, Rebecca Damiani who is an MMEA-ED Board Member, and Gary Good who was a featured piano soloist in the performance!

On to the next festival: this coming weekend, 22 additional Pierce and MHS musicians will be auditioning for the MMEA-ED Junior Festival.  Best of luck to our students in their audition, and to Pierce Chorus Director Julia Hanna who is acting Treble Chorus Manager this year. 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

There are several MLK Day Service Projects taking place in Milton. It would be wonderful to see many MPS families at these volunteer events.

“Courageous Conversation towards Racial Justice” is leading a community service project to assemble and distribute Blessing Bags.  On Monday, January 21st, we will meet in the basement church hall at Church of Our Savior located at 453 Adams St., Milton from 9-11am then carpool to St. Paul’s Cathedral to distribute the bags. We need volunteers for all parts of the day.

9-11am assemble Blessing Bags; 11am  drive to St. Paul’s Cathedral; 12-12:45pm distribute Blessing Bags to homeless attendees at a mid day lunch; 12:45pm drive back to Church of Our Savior

Courageous Conversations also needs volunteers to gather these supplies before the event: gallon size ziplock bags; travel size: tissues, toothpaste, shampoo, bar soap, hand sanitizer, hand lotion; hand-feet-body warmers, gloves, white socks , toothbrushes, chapstick, feminine products, granola bars, small snacks, disposable razors for men, $5 gift cards to McDonalds, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts and small water bottles.

On Monday, January 21 from 9:30 am to 12pm (half hour or hour shifts welcome), MICA (Milton Interfaith Clergy Association) is leading a clean up of the grounds around The Boston Nature Center, a community-based urban sanctuary, serving, among many groups, the Boston Public Schools. We will be picking up litter throughout the trails.  Come dressed for the cold and wear boots. Cleaning equipment will be provided. The Boston Nature Center is at 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126 and this event is open to all ages. Please email Debbie Alsebai with questions about any of these volunteer opportunities. 

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites you to participate in the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Milton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. On Monday, January 21st  from 6:30-8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Avenue, Milton we will gather to celebrate the life and message of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Please RSVP if you are planning to attend.

***

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton is an important healthcare resource in our community.  Every three years, BID-Milton gathers information from people living, working, and learning in Milton, Quincy and Randolph. The information collected helps to identify strategies and programs that will improve community health.  It is important for BID-Milton to gather feedback from as many people as possible to ensure findings reflect the community-at-large. Please take a moment to take the survey online  or email Laureane Marquez  for a paper version in Spanish, Chinese or Haitian Creole.  Responses are completely anonymous and will not impact your existing health services in any way.  The survey window closes on January 31.

***

On January 31, at 7pm at BID Milton in the  Nangeroni Conference Room, Professor Margie Skeer will speak on the topic of  “Underage Drinking Prevention: Practical Parenting Facts and Tips for ‘The Talk’ and So Much More”. Learn why talking to your kids works, get specific tips on how to talk to your kids and observe practice role-playing. The MSAPC invites all Milton community members to attend this important, free talk and the MSAPC meeting that will follow.

***

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long

***

On  Saturday, February 2nd at 7pm Milton Community Concerts and First Parish of Milton are proud to present a rare viewing of the silent film classic, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” with live improvised organ accompaniment by virtuoso organist Peter Krasinski. This concert celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Wigglesworth Memorial Pipe Organ at First Parish. Tickets (at door only) are $25/$15 seniors/Free 18 and under.  

***

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter is bursting at the seams with many free activities for families to do together this season. 

Milton Art Center winter/spring art class registrations are open now, sign up for creative classes in book making, weaving, sewing, storytelling yoga, clay, pastels, STEAM, sewing, watercolor, painting, quilting, photography, screen printing, creative writing and more!

ATHLETICS

The Girls Basketball Team earned their first win of the season with a hard fought, end-to-end battle with Notre Dame Academy from.  Kara Milliken led the way with 19 points, scoring 11 of those points in the final quarter.

The Boys Hockey Team also earned their first victory of the season over Brockton, aided by a flurry of goals in the second period.  Tyler MacNeil scored his first varsity goal in the first period to give the ‘Cats the lead, and then followed with his second that was ultimately the winning goal. Mark Guerra finished with 21 saves.

The Wrestling Team improved to 4-1-1 on the season with a blow-out victory over Wellesley High School.  Alex Paxhia got things started early with a pin and Raphael Yunger earned his first Varsity win!  They will host Newton North on Wednesday, January 16th at 6pm for their Senior Night.

Boys Basketball will host Walpole High School next Friday night, January 18th, at 6:30pm in the “Snowden” Game. Join us in recognizing Derrick Snowden, MHS Hall of Famer, for his 30th year of service to the Milton Public Schools.  He has been one of the biggest supporters for the MHS  Football and Basketball Teams! We will also be holding a sock drive during the game.  Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. For free admission, we ask that you donate at least one new pair of men’s or women’s socks (wool or cotton work best).  All donations will be sent to a local homeless shelter.

Milton High School is also happy to announce that we will become a Unified Champion School by starting Unified Outdoor Track and Field!  More information will be available soon. In the meantime, you can find out more about Unified Sports here.

Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Margaret Carels, Debbie Alsebai, Ada Rosmarin, Lacy Stoneburner, Tanya Walsh, Robin Lee, Karen Hughes, Barbara Wright, Ellen Lohan, Sara MacNeil  and Noel Vigue.

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 January 10th, 2019