April 11, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date April 11, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As I shared in a blog post on March 14th, Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan is retiring at the end of this school year. We have been busy assembling a Screening Committee to review potential applicants.  

The Screening Committee consists of representatives from the Milton Educators Association (teachers and administrators); parent representatives; a representative from the Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council; a representative from Citizens for a Diverse Milton; one principal; two School Committee members and the Superintendent. The Screening Committee members can be found here, the MPS community is invited to reach out with input. 

At their first meeting held earlier this week, the Screening Committee reviewed the guidelines for this process; received copies of pertinent School Committee policies, reviewed the job description for this position; and determined what characteristics and qualifications they feel are important for an Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources.  The resumes were emailed to the Screening Committee and at the next meeting on April 16th, the Screening Committee will determine interview questions, review all applications and recommend semi-finalists.

The semi-finalists will be interviewed by the Screening Committee and finalists selected and moved ahead into the second phase of this process. Finalists will be interviewed by School Committee members, Principals and Central Office Personnel.  

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The final PARENT Speakers Series of this school year will be TONIGHT  at Milton High School, as internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair will be speaking about “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age”.

A group of MPS parents made a special request last year for this speaker to be a part of the 2018-2019 PARENT Speaker Series and we encourage you to attend. After reading this book, we can say that parents of children of ANY age will absolutely benefit from this information. Truly a must read for all parents and educators!

As Dr. Michael Thompson, PhD, coauthor of Raising Cain and It’s A Boy says “In her insightful new book, Steiner-Adair reveals how technology and the Internet are fragmenting American families, leaving parents confused and children lonely. Put down your smartphone and read this book!” Dr. Thompson was a featured speaker of the 2017-2018 MPS Parent Speaker Series. The Milton Public Library has purchased several copies of The Big Disconnect. Click HERE to reserve.

We hope to see you TONIGHT, April 11th at 6:30 pm at MHS.  As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

The Board of the MFE has asked us to pass on the following message: Heartfelt thanks to all who participated in Celebration For Education! Congratulations to Laurie Dunn for winning Patriots tickets and to Steve Sullivan for winning the diamond ring from Grono and Christie. The biggest winners of the night, however, are the kids who attend the Milton Public Schools. Not only will they directly benefit from each spin of the wheel and each auction bid, but the winner of the Jeep raffle, who wishes to remain anonymous, has generously donated the $25,000 back to the Foundation so that we can revitalize and modernize the libraries on all six public schools. THANK YOU!! 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday, April 24th at 7pm at Milton High School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.  

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The Gile Road Preschool enjoyed a visit from the Rainforest Reptile Program this week.  This program allows students the chance to see several different reptiles and learn all types of information about them.  Several lucky students were picked for audience participation throughout the program and at the end of the program, the students were invited up to hold and touch some of the reptiles. 

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Front Row: Jonathan Waldmann, Anderson Korman, Barron Clancy, Claire Walko. Back Row: Fritz Lalley, Matt Sullivan, Max Winkler, Philip Ng Pack, Alex Dhima, Anthony Martin, Not in photo: Luke Walker, Ralph Destin

Last weekend the MHS Debate Team ended their season at the Massachusetts State Tournament, with eight students competing. Our Debate Team is young, as many of our seasoned debaters graduated in 2018, and we look forward to encouraging their growth over the next few years. We are pleased to note that two of the freshman students in debate class this year were undefeated at the novice tournament and we are already busy rebuilding the team for the 2019-20 debate season.  Our debaters also attended Milton’s town hall debate on March 26th and we were told our debaters were the best prepared participants in the room. 

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On Monday, April 8th, 2019 Milton High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competed in the FBLA State Leadership Conference at Bentley University.  We had a record number of competing participants this year with 24 students qualifying to attend. The students gained valuable business, life and career insights from industry leading executives.  They participated in leadership activities, networked with future business leaders from across the state, and competed in business events. Yvonne Nequist, Milton High School Business & Technology Teacher and FBLA Advisor writes  “I would like to congratulate ALL the leaders who qualified to attend the Future Business Leaders of America Leadership Conference and further recognize the winners and state champions. All of the students’s hard work and effort has paid off.  Our students are amazing and the future leaders of America.” Our FBLA State Champions and winners are invited to compete on a National level at the National Leadership Conference on June 29th – July 2nd in San Antonio, Texas!

Please join me in congratulating: State Champion Karisa Lasoff for Interviewing;  State Champions Lucy Moynagh, Rachel Steinberg and Hayley McDermott for Digital Video Production; Second place in the state is Lucas Alverez for the economics competition.  Finally, congratulations to our 3rd place state winners of Graphic Design, Vincent Luong, Linda Do, and Shemar Cole. Congratulations to all the winners! 

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This week, the MHS chapter of SADD ran a day long “in school field trip” in conjunction with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office.  The purpose of this program is to make teens aware of the dangers of driving while distracted and/or under the influence in the hopes of keeping them safe, by sending the message in a fun and interactive way.  In preparation for the day, students made posters, activated the Distractology course as well as decide on activities that their peers would enjoy.

Jim Ross brought the simulation car in hopes of making an impact on the students during his lecture and hands on activity of what could happen while driving distracted. Our students manned obstacle courses where their peers had to wear goggles giving the effect of being impaired.  Additionally, they helped their peers take the distractology course online. This course is crucial to the success of SADD being awarded a $1500 prize from the DA’s office. They are hoping the entire student body will participate. You can participate at home with your child by using the following link. A big thanks to SADD President Gwyneth Sauter, Sammy Shakeel, Chris Eugene, Elizabeth Bennet, Stella Yuan, Michael Johnson, Melvin Rosario, Zane Baker-Poveromo and John McCampbell and to advisors Robin Lee and Karen Hughes for their efforts.

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It was an exciting day at MHS today with our well attended College Fair for our junior class. More than 60 colleges and universities were on hand, as well as representatives from the armed services and SOCK – (Sharing Our College Knowledge) a parent run MHS group that assists students who are the 1st in their families to attend college. An impressive addition this year – a Coast Guard helicopter, co-piloted by a 2009 MHS graduate landed behind the field house!

PIERCE UPDATES


On Friday, April 5th Janet Applefield visited 7th graders at Pierce Middle School. Ms. Applefield is a Holocaust survivor and she visits to share her story with students each year, as our 7th grade students study the Holocaust. In addition to sharing her own personal story, she raises awareness and understanding of the dangers of prejudice.  She encourages all 7th graders to stand up to discrimination and injustice – whenever and wherever they see it. Ms. Applefield sparked lots of questions from students, and we truly appreciate her coming to Pierce.  Thank you to the Pierce PTO for making this beneficial educational experience possible. Ms. Applefield and her daughter, Deb Milley will be speaking at Faneuil Hall on May 5th at 2pm with a focus on the transmission of memory to generations to come.  All are welcome to attend.

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Last weekend 229 Pierce 8th grade students and 24 staff members descended upon Washington DC to learn first-hand about our nation’s history and how they can exercise their rights and have their voices heard. The trip was a whirlwind of amazing experiences for our students.  A special thank you to all our staff who attended this year- Mr. Alves, Mrs. Murphy, Ms. Meleedy, Mr. Fay, Ms. Starr, Ms. Pompilus, Mrs. Francoeur, Mrs. Capasso, Ms. Connell, Ms. Boissonneault, Mrs. Fraine, Mr. Zitz, Mr. Romeo, Mrs. Lombardo, Ms. Augustyn, Ms. Denehy, Ms. Clancy, Ms. Hoyt, Mr. Bonn, Ms. Hartgering, Nurse Perry, Nurse Noonan, Ms. Hupp and Dr. Spaulding. Thank you also to those who were at Pierce, holding down the fort and taking our students to a day long field trip at Patriot’s Place. 

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School supplies already? Yes! The Pierce PTO has partnered with Yubbler to bring quality, economical school supplies to Pierce families. All supplies are delivered right to your house! All details, links and coupon codes can be found here.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Collicot 4th graders enjoyed a visit from the Ecotarium Museum of Science and Nature last week and a lesson on Designing for Wind”. Students were asked to put their engineer cap on to design an efficient wind turbine that could convert wind energy into electricity. Each team built a working wind turbine, measured its performance, and learned firsthand how the design process can create better products. Throughout the process, students tested different design features and redesigned prototypes to create the wind turbine that would convert the greatest amount of wind energy into electricity.

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It was a wonderful night at Milton High School this week when we celebrated some young Tucker artists whose work has been chosen to be displayed in the Superintendent’s conference for the next two years. These 1st and 2nd graders were enthusiastic about sharing their work with the MPS community. You can see their work (and smiles!) in the video below. 

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Science and spring go hand in hand at Glover!  

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Unity Night is a highlight of the Tucker School year! Unity Night is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and unity of families at Tucker as students collaboratively work together to perform a unique dance as a grade level. This year our choreographer, George-Marie Jasmine, enthusiastically led the students in preschool through fifth grade in routines to music from all parts of the world. The theme of our “Differences Make us Beautiful” was also brought to life by our fifth graders reading aloud poems and essays about the importance of living in and learning from one another in diverse communities.

DONATE LIFE MONTH

April is National Donate Life Month and The Milton Public Schools proud to partner with MPS parent and director of transplant nursing in the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, Laura O’Melia and others to bring this information to our community.  Last week we were honored to support Donate Life Information Night when members of our community shared stories and information around organ donation. Laura shares her personal story here and invites all in the MPS community to consider registering to be an organ donor at this link.

Gretchen Duffy, MPS parent and a nurse coordinator for the heart transplant program at Tufts Medical Center shares the following information:  Organ donation is one of the greatest advancements in modern medicine. It is a potential treatment option for someone who is suffering from an organ that is failing or an organ that has been irreversibly damaged by disease or injury.   As of January 2019, there are more than 113,000 people formally listed and waiting for an organ transplant. In 2018, there were 35,528 organ transplant surgeries performed leaving over 77,000 patients waiting. Statistics show that 20 people die each day waiting for a suitable donor.   Each year the number of people on the wait list continues to grow and the number of donors is significantly less than what is needed. Please continue reading here and please considering signing up to DONATE LIFE here.

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

The 4th grade Celebrating our Differences Program and the new unit on Autism at Cunningham were the focus of a recent Patriot Ledger article. We are pleased to share the ongoing inclusion practices in our schools. 

MPS GIVES BACK

8th grader and Project 351 Ambassador Hoku Panerio-Langer shares the following after a successful drive for Cradles to Crayons. Congratulations on successfully completing our clothing drive.  As a town, Milton has collected a total of 32 bags of donatable clothing to Cradles to Crayons This was well above what I had imagined we would collect and am so proud of our town. My parents and I dropped off the clothes on Sunday to Cradles to Crayons, from there it will be distributed to children living in poverty in the Commonwealth.  I am so grateful for all the support that you have given me and for all the hard work that you put into this project. Thank you again for being a part of my drive! Hoku Panerio-Langer

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released a letter on Friday, April 5, asking districts to share this information Student Vaping, Marijuana, and Opioids – Risks and Resources with parents/guardians. As part of our ongoing education and support around student vaping, we hope you will take a few minutes to read through this valuable information. 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

CARING AND CONSEQUENCES: Milton Leaders Discuss their Efforts to Reduce Substance Abuse. Please join the MSAPC on Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:30 pm at the Milton Public Library.

Since the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was established five years ago, town organizations, clergy and community residents have impressively dedicated themselves to preventing youth substance abuse and helping all residents who may be struggling with addiction and other behavioral health disorders. There is still much to learn, more work to do, and yet cause for celebration.

Recognizing the power of community awareness, MSAPC’s next meeting will locally reflect the national “Communities Talk” movement called, “Caring and Consequences: Milton Leaders Discuss Their Efforts to Reduce Substance Abuse”. A leadership panel will discuss their efforts to date and their plans for the future, and will include representatives from Milton High School, Milton Police Department, Milton Health Department, Milton Hospital, and Milton’s Youth Task Force. The public is encouraged to attend this free event and ask questions of the panelists.

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition released its first Community Health Assessment in 2014. While the results exposed high numbers of households with someone in the family struggling with addiction, as well as high rates of youth binge drinking, marijuana use and adolescent depression, the data led to some impressive town-wide actions to address these issues.

Come to our next meeting, to be held on Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:30pm in the Milton Public Library, to hear what progress has been made and to inform our future priorities. If you have any questions, please reach out to Project Coordinator, Margaret Carels.  MSAPC’s website is filled with valuable information and resources.

MPS SUMMER

You’ve been waiting for it and now it’s here! Please see the Milton Summer Enrichment “At a Glance” brochure to begin planning your summer fun now. 

BUS UPDATES

Please see the following from the MPS Transportation Department. Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year will open on May 15th and close on June 14th.  ALL registration will be done online. Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year.  Please mark your calendars with these important dates. More information and links for registration will be coming later in April and early in May. Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

RESIDENCY 

The Milton Public School’s Residency Policy states that “students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grades six(6) and nine(9), and during other times as determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee. Students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools but who attend an educational program outside of the town shall be required to re-establish residency on an annual basis.”

Beginning June 3, 2019, Sarina Burke, Milton Public Schools Residency Coordinator will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7 am to 1 pm and Wednesdays from 1-6 pm.  Re-establish Residency packets will be available to download after April break and must be submitted no later than June 14, 2019 to ensure a student’s placement in Grades 6 and 9 or in an educational program outside of the district.

This process is one of the safeguards used by the Milton Public Schools to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the Town of Milton. Although the re-registration process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the Town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us in ensuring residency compliance.

SPECIAL ED/SEPAC

Milton SEPAC will host Licensed Mental Health Counselor Janine Halloran for a “Simple Strategies to Help Anxious Kids” at 7pm on April 25th in the library of Glover Elementary School. During her talk, Janine will share five simple coping skills to try, including creative ways to encourage deep breathing, creating a calm down space and how to create a coping skills toolkit. This presentation is free and open to the public.  Janine Halloran has been working with children, adolescents, and their families for over 15 years. She is the Founder of Coping Skills for Kids, the author of #1 Best Selling Coping Skills for Kids Workbook, and the host of the Calm & Connected podcast. Her work has been featured in Huffington Post, Psych Central, and The Skimm® Newsletter. Janine lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Apr 11  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Apr 15–19  April Recess
Apr 24  Milton School Committee
Apr 25  MHS Faculty/Student Spring Cabaret
Apr 30  Town Elections
May 1  Milton School Committee Meeting Reorganization Meeting
May 2  Scholastic Honors Night
May 6  Town Meeting Begins

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

Parent Café – “Getting Ready for Kindergarten!” Tuesday, May 7th and Tuesday, May 14th

The Milton Public Schools, in partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance, will offer a free Parent Café to parents/guardians of children entering kindergarten in fall 2019, “Getting ready for kindergarten!”.  We hope you will be able to join us for one of two sessions being offered; Tuesday, May 7th from 5- 6:00 pm at Tucker Elementary School or Tuesday, May 14th from 9- 10:00 am at Cunningham Hall.

Kindergarten can be a big step for your child and we would like to share some tips to help you get them ready.  In addition to a roundtable discussion, all participants will receive helpful hints, a list of children’s book titles about kindergarten, and activities to help with language, fine motor, gross motor, kindergarten readiness and self-help skills.   

Registration is not required but recommended.  These workshops are open to all Milton families; your child does not need to be attending a Milton Public School in the fall. To register, please email cpcmecasld@verizon.net or call Susan Dolan, MECA at 617- 696- 2262.  To complete the registration, leave your name, the session you plan to attend and a contact phone number. 

ART AND MUSIC

MHS junior Samantha Baum shares the following about the recent music department trip to Toronto. On Friday, April 5th, 130 students of the Milton High School Music Department embarked on a three-day trip to Toronto, Canada for the annual cultural field trip. Students visited Roy Thomson Hall for a performance of award-winning Broadway themes by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and also to the Elgin Theatre to see the modern, Canadian musical, “Come from Away.”  Other stops on the trip included the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and on the return, a visit to Niagara Falls. We enjoyed classic Canadian food such as Poutine and smoked meat at the St. Lawrence Market for lunch, and confirmed that Canadian currency does not smell like maple syrup! This annual music trip, once again, was culturally enlightening and a fun way to bond with members of the department.  

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 The Milton Art Center, Gallery 334 is hosting a teen art show, Adolescent Chaos, May 10-June 21, with an opening reception  May 10th from 7-9pm.

Being a teenager is a whole entity of life that is not only uncomfortable, but also uneasy, chaotic, authentic, inauthentic, and uncertain. How do teens today deal with coming to terms with the rest of the world along with their own identities and futures? How do we express this uneasiness and discomfort in art?

“Adolescent Chaos” is about the tension between appearances vs. authenticity. Teens are repeatedly exceeding societal expectations but underestimating and doubting themselves as they come to terms with new ideas and concepts to recreate their identities.

Interested teens, Grades 9-12, are asked to submit one work of art that illustrates the theme. The application form is available at the MAC website  and please address questions to the Curator, Anna Garrity. We ask that the work be no larger than 48×48” and be exhibition ready, wired. If this is not possible, we will accept and mat artwork on paper for display. Best of show cash awards, sponsored by East Boston Savings Bank will be announced at the opening reception. Artwork will be on display till June 21 in Gallery 334 of the Milton Art Center, 334 Edge Hill Road, Milton, MA.

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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.

ATHLETICS

The Baseball Team is off to a great start, beating both Framingham and Needham on the road.  They are 2-0 and face Braintree at Cunningham Park today at 3:45.

The Softball Team has also impressed, beating North Quincy, Framingham and Needham to improve to 3-0.  They were down 5-0 and scored 16 unanswered runs to win the game last night! They take on Braintree this afternoon.

Rugby won their first match over Weymouth last week and they take on Malden Catholic tomorrow as they look to defend their State Title.

Unified Track had their first ever Track Meet at Brockton High School on Tuesday, April 9th.  We are looking forward to the two home meets on Thursday May 2nd and Thursday May 9th at 3:30pm at Brooks Field. 

All  game schedules can be found on our  MHS Athletics website!

The Rugby Team is hosting a Car Wash Fundraiser on Saturday, April 20, from 12:30-3:30pm  at the Cunningham School.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

Please see the MECA Spring Newsletter, filled with many free activities and events for families.

On Sunday, April 28th at 3pm Milton Community Concerts presents “A Message of Music”, featuring the Boston City Singers Tour Choir. This concert of classical, jazz, gospel, and African folk songs will take place at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue.

The 2019 SHINDIG! is  on May 4th from 6-11 PM at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. The Shindig! is a family event that was created to celebrate the life of Tucker Elementary school grad Michael McHugh who died last year at age 13 from a rare pediatric cancer.  The event raises money for the MCM Fund which focuses on helping low income families pay for funeral and non-medical end of life expenses. Again this year you can enjoy Blue Ribbon BBQ, line dancing, a DJ, Cornhole Tournament and lots of outdoor activities to kick-start the summer. Last year’s event was completely sold out, so get your tickets early

ArtWeek Milton is coming! From April 26 – May 5, your favorite local nonprofits are coordinating for a week of interactive arts and cultural activities. The Forbes House Museum is hosting two special events: The Lost Art of Letter Writing will be held on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 pm. Meet author Phyllis Forbes Kerr, who immersed herself in the letter-writing world of the 1800s for her book, “Letters From China: The Canton-Boston Correspondence of Robert Bennet Forbes, 1838-1840.” On Saturday, May 4, from 2:00-5:00 pm, participate in a Chinese Calligraphy workshop led by Chinese-American artist Rayna Lo.

Brookwood Community Farm is a local non profit community farm that promotes growing with organic methods and engaging a diverse community around food, including fresh food donations to 5 surrounding food pantries. Enrollment in our CSA (vegetables, fruit, egg, PTO flowers) is open for weekly or every other week pickup of shares at the farm from late May to late November. We are offering cooking classses for children –  Register at the website soon!  Join us for our Annual Seedling Sale May 11-12 at Brookwood Community Farm, from 10am-3pm. To keep up with the farm and events please follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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:

Volunteers: Please join me in giving a huge thank you to the board of the MFE for another successful Celebration. These volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year on behalf of the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools and we are grateful for the many enhancements their dedication brings to our students. Thank you to  President Will Korman; Vice Presidents Liddie Sutter, Karyn Viveiros; Treasurers Leslie Collins, Pete McLoughlin; Recording Secretary Angela Rue-Van Allen; Corresponding Secretary Allen Schweitzer and Trustees: Courtney Affanato, Tami Carpenter, Jeanne Conley, Julie Cosgrove, Winston Daley, Kate Dobin, Scott Farrell, Greg Gordon, Thuy Le, Lanita McCormick, Valerie Neville, Karly Rizzo, Ray Sambrano, Nora Vernazza, Erika Vogel and Erin Wright.

Students: Thank you to MHS students and cellists Aoife Ruth and Nicola Cross who beautifully entertained the crowd at the MFE Saturday night. We so appreciate these talented student musicians giving their time on a Saturday evening. 

2018 TOY Celebration at MHS.

Staff: The Milton Foundation for Education invites you to nominate that special teacher as Teacher of the Year. Our teachers are second to none, which is what makes this event so special to us. We are currently seeking nominations for teachers who promote achievement in our children and garner the respect of colleagues, students and parents alike. We look forward to hearing from you, and learning more about the amazing teachers who inspire Milton students every day. Nominate that special teacher today. Nominations due Monday, April 29 and guidelines can be found here and a full list of past winners is here.  We look forward to seeing you at the big celebration on May 22! 

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: Ryan Madden, Charlene Roche, Sean Lopresti,  Noel Vigue, Maureen Butler, Gretchen Duffy, Liz Spitz, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Laura O’Melia, Dawn Sykes, Karen Spaulding, Will Korman, Maggie Randall, Kathleen Kelley, Nancy Warn, Robin Lee, Yvonne Nequist, Jess Gillooly, Ellen Lohan, Margaret Carels, Rachel Schewe and Samantha Baum.

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 April 11, 2019

April 4th, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date April 4, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

We have recently completed kindergarten registration and 1st grade placement procedures for 2019-20.  We will present this information to the School Committee on April 10th and share it with the MPS community below.

First Grade Placement/Program Choice: In response to parental requests, for the 2019-2020 school year, there will be 10 English Innovation and 6 French Immersion classes in the district.  The classes are distributed as follows: Collicot 2 English and 2 French; Glover, 3 English and 2 French; Cunningham, 3 English and 1 French; Tucker, 2 English and 1 French.  

With this distribution, we have waiting lists for French at Cunningham, Glover and Tucker, but we have available seats in French at Collicot.  Following our usual placement procedure, we have held a district wide lottery for those on the waiting lists and will offer parents and guardians the option of moving to Collicot in order to enroll in French Immersion. Those who opt to move will maintain their positions on waiting lists in their home schools in case seats open between now and the beginning of the school year.

Initial placement letters went out this week.  Offers to those on waiting lists are beginning and will continue until either all available seats are filled or until the waiting list is exhausted.   

Kindergarten Enrollment/Placement: For the 2019-2020 school year, we again have a large incoming Kindergarten population that will require us to have 17 Kindergarten classes:  5 each at Glover and Collicot, 4 at Cunningham, and 3 at Tucker. Students will be placed in the schools in their home districts with the “split districts” being used to equalize class size. Additionally, those families who have requested placement outside of their home districts will have their requests considered, if class sizes permit. School assignment letters will be sent out mid April.

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We are thrilled to share that our Pierce Future Problem Solving Team placed 2nd (writing) & 1st (action plan) and have been invited to the International FPS meet at UMASS Amherst! Congratulations to Tucker Korman, Jasmine Bethea,  Ella Cantor and their teacher Nicole Lauria.  A cheer for our  individual competitors as well (Kate Piccirillo , William Nass, Jack Concannon, Jackie Segall, Ida Zoll , Victoria Kirkham and Mudia Odion-Ukpebor) who will receive their scores in the coming weeks.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

This weekend is the MFE Celebration 2019! We are looking forward to a fun and entertaining evening with the MPS community in support of our schools. More information on the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books” can be found here.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday, April 1oth at 7pm at Milton High School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.  

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

If you have not had the chance to read the article Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take by Benjamin Conlon, I strongly recommend you do. It brilliantly captures the role smartphones play in the day to day lives of our students.  

We are also excited to share that on April 11th, 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.  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. For more information regarding Dr. Steiner-Adair please click here.  

THE MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

One of our town’s amazing resources, the Milton Public Library, celebrates 10 years in their new building this weekend. Please consider attending some of the events throughout the weekend. We appreciate the MPL and our students and staff say Happy Birthday, MPL!

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Last Friday, Milton High School celebrated “Spread the Word to End the Word” by supporting the elimination of the derogatory use of the “r-word” from everyday speech and promoting the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. Staff and students were encouraged to support this movement by wearing tie-dye to school. Before school and during advisory over 200 MHS students made the online pledge to end the use of the “r-word” and wore orange ribbons to show their support. Mr. Lopresti and his students did a great job capturing these moments on Friday and we share some of these images with you below and at the top of today’s blog. 

PIERCE UPDATES

The Pierce Math Team.

The Pierce Math Team finished their season with a strong showing at their last meet at Coakley Middle School in Norwood last week. The team worked well together all winter with advisors Sarah Pullia and Jim Moonan and are excited about next season.

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Where were you at 3:45 this morning? If you have a Pierce 8th grader, you were probably sending them off on the annual 8th grade Washington, DC trip! We know our students will have a wonderful time and we can’t wait to share their adventures with you next week. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

On Friday, March 29th, our MPS 4th graders traveled to Boston’s Symphony Hall where they were treated to a world class performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Our students were introduced to Conductor Thomas Wilkins, who welcomed the students and held them in rapt attention with his knowledge and humor.

The theme of this year’s concert was “Rule Number 1: Always Take the Scenic Route.” Wilkins recalled a story from when his children were younger and how they would get in the car and have the kids tell the parents which way they should turn, often ending up in new unchartered territory which made for a wonderful adventure.  The selections reflected this sense of curiosity and creativity and included “Procession of the Nobles” by Rimsky-Korsakov, Grofe’s “Sunrise” from Grand Canyon Suite, Elgar’s “Nimrod,” David Dzubay’s modernistic “Ra!” and the crowd favorite, Rossini’s Overture to William Tell!

All agreed that it was Conductor Wilkins’ approachability and relatability to both children and the beautiful music that created a child-centered, memorable and very enjoyable student experience at Symphony Hall.  Children enjoyed making close connections with the music and were able to build upon previously learned knowledge from music class. A special thank you goes out to our 4th grade classroom teachers and assistants, parent chaperones and elementary music teachers, April Allegrezza and Colleen Martin who accompanied the students to Symphony Hall and to the elementary PTOs for providing bus transportation for the trip. 

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Each year the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority offers a poster contest for students who live or attend school in a community served by the MWRA. This year the theme of the poster contest was STEM. Kindergarten 1st and 2nd graders were asked to create a poster that showed how science is used at the MWRA while 3rd-5th graders created posters that showed how technology is used at the MWRA. Many students were inspired by their 1st grade classroom visit from the MWRA. There were several finalists for the poster contest from Collicot. Congratulations to Esme Neugebauer(4th grade); Olivia Doherty, Theresa Gervasi, Kerianne Fogerty, Ayden Hoang, Samuel Lee, Matthew O’Melia, Jocelyn Platt (2nd grade); and Savannah Delaney, Brenna Monaghan (1st grade). 

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DONATE LIFE INFORMATION NIGHT

This past Monday we were honored to support Donate Life Information Night. MPS parent and director of transplant nursing in the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, Laura O’Melia organized the evening and was joined by others in our community to share stories and information around organ donation. Laura shares her personal story here and invites all in the MPS community to consider registering to be an organ donor at this link. The presentation was recorded by Milton Access TV and we will share it as soon as it is available. 

April is National Donate Life Month and The Milton Public Schools is proud to partner with Laura and others to bring this information to our community. I’m thrilled to say that Laura shared that we’ve had 11 people register to become an organ donor as of April 1st. Throughout April, we will continue to share personal stories, donation information and the link to register

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

Tuesday, April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day and our schools participated in  “Light it Up Blue” for Autism Awareness. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.

Students decorated the halls to encourage students to show their support by wearing blue. Classes read books and shared activities to foster autism awareness.  

On Wednesday, Cunningham students in 4th grade enjoyed the new unit on autism that was added to the long-standing Celebrating our Differences program. For one hour, students rotated through stations, experiencing just a bit of what someone with autism might experience in everyday life. At the first station, students wore headphones and watched a video produced by autism speaks on the iPad allowing them to experience walking down a busy street from the perspective of a neurotypical person and then walking down the same street from the perspective of a person with autism. Almost all of the student’s favorite station was understanding sensory differences and experimenting with different tactile mediums to see things that were calming or bothersome to their unique sensory system.  At another station, students discussed differences and things we all might be good at or struggle with. At the final station, students learned appropriate terminology for communicating with a friend with autism and learned that being direct and kind is an effective strategy.

In the second hour, the students heard from speaker Elizabeth Avery, who shared her experiences growing up with autism. The students participated in a Q&A session with Elizabeth to ensure they understood and had lots of great takeaways on how to be a better friend to their peers with autism. As always, the students were respectful and kind and we are so proud of them. We are excited to roll this new unit out next week at Tucker and next year at both Collicot and Glover. 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

CARING AND CONSEQUENCES: Milton Leaders Discuss their Efforts to Reduce Substance Abuse. Please join the MSAPC on Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:30 pm at the Milton Public Library.

Since the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was established five years ago, town organizations, clergy and community residents have impressively dedicated themselves to preventing youth substance abuse and helping all residents who may be struggling with addiction and other behavioral health disorders. There is still much to learn, more work to do, and yet cause for celebration.

Recognizing the power of community awareness, MSAPC’s next meeting will locally reflect the national “Communities Talk” movement called, “Caring and Consequences: Milton Leaders Discuss Their Efforts to Reduce Substance Abuse”. A leadership panel will discuss their efforts to date and their plans for the future and will include representatives from Milton High School, Milton Police Department, Milton Health Department, Milton Hospital, and Milton’s Youth Task Force. The public is encouraged to attend this free event and ask questions of the panelists.

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition released its first Community Health Assessment in 2014. While the results exposed high numbers of households with someone in the family struggling with addiction, as well as high rates of youth binge drinking, marijuana use and adolescent depression, the data led to some impressive town-wide actions to address these issues.

Come to our next meeting, to be held on Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:30pm in the Milton Public Library, to hear what progress has been made and to inform our future priorities. If you have any questions, please reach out to Project Coordinator, Margaret Carels.  MSAPC’s website is filled with valuable information and resources.

MPS SUMMER

You’ve been waiting for it and now it’s here! Please see the Milton Summer Enrichment “At a Glance” brochure to begin planning your summer fun now. 

BUS UPDATES

The MPS Transportation Department shares that registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year will open on May 15th and close on June 14th. All registrations will be done online and every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school.  Students will not be rolled over for ridership from the current school year.  Please mark your calendars with these important dates and look for links and more information at the beginning of May. Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

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
Apr 24  Milton School Committee
Apr 25  MHS Faculty/Student Spring Cabaret
Apr 30  Town Elections
May 1  Milton School Committee Meeting 
May 2  Scholastic Honors Night
May 6  Town Meeting Begins

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

Parent Café – “Getting Ready for Kindergarten!” The Milton Public Schools, in partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance, will offer a free Parent Café to parents/guardians of children entering kindergarten in fall 2019, “Getting ready for kindergarten!”.  We hope you will be able to join us for one of two sessions being offered; Tuesday, May 7th from 5- 6:00 pm at Tucker Elementary School or Tuesday, May 14th from 9- 10:00 am at Cunningham Hall.

Kindergarten can be a big step for your child and we would like to share some tips to help you get them ready.  In addition to a roundtable discussion, all participants will receive helpful hints, a list of children’s book titles about kindergarten, and activities to help with language, fine motor, gross motor, kindergarten readiness and self-help skills.  Panel members will include Beth Greenawalt, Parent Coach and founder of www.Parent-Solutions.com, Susan L. Dolan, Director of Milton Early Childhood Alliance and Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison for the Milton Public Schools.  

Registration is not required but recommended.  These workshops are open to all Milton families; your child does not need to be attending a Milton Public School in the fall. To register, please email cpcmecasld@verizon.net or call Susan Dolan, MECA at 617- 696- 2262.  To complete the registration, leave your name, the session you plan to attend and a contact phone number. Your registration will be confirmed with a reply email or phone call.  Child care is not available for these sessions. 

ATHLETICS

Girls Lacrosse won their home opener 7-6 over Framingham.

Boys Tennis won their home opener 5-0 over Oliver Ames.

Unified Track will travel to Brockton High School on Tuesday, April 9, for the first ever Unified Track Meet!

All game schedules can be found on our new MHS Athletics website!   

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

Please see the MECA Spring Newsletter, filled with many free activities and events for families. 

The Challenger League is back and better than ever!  The Challenger Division of Little League enables boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5-18, or up to age 22 (if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide. All details can be found here. 

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!

Milton Historical Society‘s upcoming Patriots Day open house will 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.

On Sunday, April 28th at 3pm Milton Community Concerts presents “A Message of Music”, featuring the Boston City Singers Tour Choir. This concert of classical, jazz, gospel, and African folk songs will take place at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue, and will feature a choir of 35 singers, ages 12-18, from many parts of Greater Boston. Also performing will be the Croation musical ensemble PAJDASI. Admission is free; an offering will be taken to support fundraising for their upcoming tour of the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. A reception will follow. 

The 13th Annual Natick PMC Kids Ride is on May 5th at Belkin Farms in Natick. Kids will come together to support the Jimmy Fund and benefit kids fighting cancer. PMC Kids Rides give children the opportunity to experience the joy of volunteerism and charitable giving through physical fitness and community spirit. Money raised through the event goes to the Pan Mass Challenge/Jimmy Fund, the most successful athletic fundraiser in the nation. Kids also have the option to raise funds in the name of a relative or friend fighting cancer or to dedicate their ride to a special person.

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 Pierce Middle School student Will Malec, who placed in the top ten with an impressive 5th place in the statewide Geography Bee last week in Chicopee. We are proud of you,  Will!

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: Ryan Madden, Glenn Pavlicek, Melissa Craven, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Maureen Butler, Jon Redden, Nicole Lauria, Sarah Smith, Lindsay Shanahan, Sean Lopresti, Sarah Pullia, Laura O’Melia, Amy McKay, April Allegrezza, Ellen Lohan, Maureen Butler, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Karen Spaulding, Margaret Carels, Rachel Schewe, Liddie Sutter and Kelly Conaty.

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 April 4th, 2019

March 28, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Almost every week I hear a story or receive an email about the MFE like the one I am sharing with you below. Just this morning, Pierce Science Coordinator Christie Chiappetta emailed to share the following science highlight.

Last week, Pierce 8th grade students experienced a hair raising demonstration presented by their science teachers, Kristen Fraine, Jill Markarian and Dave Romeo.  Thanks to the generosity of the Milton Foundation for Education, some of this year’s Monster Dash Funds were used to purchase a Van de Graff generator that will be used to enhance the Forces and Motion unit.  The teachers prepared and participated in a range of engaging demonstrations that allowed students to observe and deepen their understanding of electrical forces.

Few are aware of just how broadly the MFE supports the Milton Public Schools. In every classroom in Milton you will find evidence of this support, from math manipulatives,  terrariums and reading materials to technology, sewing machines and flexible seating. This list is endless and I encourage you to browse through almost two decades of teacher grants. The MFE is only able to provide these enhancements, as well as major upgrades to our schools, with your continued support.

I hope you will consider joining the MFE on April 6th at Lombardos. Tickets are available now for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books”  and can be purchased online. You will not want to miss this fun and entertaining  evening with your friends and neighbors in support of our schools!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

School Committee Member Ada Rosmarin shares the following about Milton’s District Strategic Plan that was approved by the Milton School Committee in June, 2018.  The plan was developed, after several years of work, by the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee.

This plan is a “living plan” in that the district uses the established goals and objectives to guide its work.  The Strategic Planning Advisory Committee meets quarterly to review updates on all of the goals. In addition, at each quarterly meeting, recommendations for revisions to the plan are reviewed and approved.  As a result, the Strategic Plan remains an up to date guide for district activity related to the district goals and objectives in the plan.

Each quarterly update to the Strategic Plan will be made available on the Milton Public Schools website.  The most recent update can be found here. We encourage you to follow the district’s progress in meeting its strategic goals.

The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday April 1oth at 7pm at Milton High School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.  

DONATE LIFE INFORMATION NIGHT

On Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:30pm in the Pierce Auditorium, MPS parent and pediatric nurse practitioner/nursing director specializing in transplant, Laura O’Melia will be joined by others in our community to share stories and information around organ donation.

April is National Donate Life Month and The Milton Public Schools is proud to partner with Laura and others to bring this information to our community.  Did You Know?

  •       One person can save up to 8 lives thru organ donation
  •       115,000 children and adults are currently waiting for an organ transplant
  •       Another person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes
  •       20 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant
  •       About 36,500 organ transplants occurred in 2018

Join us at Pierce on April 2nd from 6:30-7:30pm for valuable information as well as moving 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

Boston Children’s Hospital shared several videos with us. Please take a moment to learn about Bri, pictured at left,  in this short video. Bri was a completely healthy teenage girl, until she was suddenly diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and listed for a heart transplant. Now on the other side of transplant, Bri wants to help kids like her. #becauseofadonor, Bri is able to study to become a nurse.  

You can register to be a donor here. The evening will include speakers sharing their stories of either receiving or donating theirs or their loved one’s organs. Stories can be emotional. Youth are welcome to attend at the discretion of their parents.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

TONIGHT at MHS:  Please join us tonight, Thursday, March 28th at 6:30pm 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.

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L-R Evan Trafton, Anderson Korman,Jonathan Waldmann, Sam LeLacheur, Will McElroy, Barron Clancy, Zach Danner, Caitlin Heelen

The Milton High School Model U.N. participated in the Boston College Model United Nations conference this past weekend held at the Westin Copley hotel in Boston. Over 750 high school students from around the world attended the conference and 8 members of the MHS club served as delegates in the historical political role-play of international cooperation. MHS  studied and prepared to play roles in such varied situations as the ancient Roman Senate, the Flint Michigan water crisis, and the Republic of Hawaii. 9th grader Anderson Korman received recognition as “Best Delegate” for his preparation and performance as a representative of Benin in the African Union committee.

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Matthew Sullivan and Philip Ng Pack of Milton High School’s Debate Club were part of a five member panel this week who interviewed candidates running for election in Milton. Debate organizers Becky Padera and Mike Lynch share that the students’  questions were excellent and it was evident that they had prepared very well for the candidates. Thank you to Milton Access TV for this opportunity for our students to engage in the election process. I encourage all Milton voters to watch the Candidate’s Forum on demand at MATV.  

PIERCE NEWS

Last night, I was honored to attend the official dedication of the Pierce Middle School Mosaic. Some time ago Dr. Spaulding and the Diversity Committee began brainstorming ways in which they could create “a clear message” to all who entered the Pierce Middle School that Pierce is  a welcoming, inclusive community. From that brainstorm came the idea to create a mosaic for the main lobby. Two years later, the Pierce mosaic is done! The artist, Josh Winer, partnered with the Pierce Diversity Committee and students, to bring their vision to life. Last night,  it was exciting to officially present the completed mosaic to the Pierce community. 

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Congratulations to Nina Truog who won the 2019 Pierce Spelling Bee!  15 contestants from grades 6-8 competed in the school wide bee after winning class and team bees.  The competition came down to our two 7th graders (Nina and Karim Camara) who wowed the audience with their spelling abilities.  After 12 rounds, Nina emerged victorious. Congratulations to Nina, Karim and all the contestants. It was an impressive competition!

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Thank you to Town Administrator Mike Dennehy & Town Clerk Susan Galvin for speaking with some our 8th graders last week about the voting process & voter engagement. The exchange of ideas was terrific. Students have been learning about voting and the importance of exercising your civic duty and this meeting with two of our town officials was an excellent complement to our student’s voting service learning project.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

March is Kindness Month at Cunningham. Over 5 weeks, students and staff reflected on 4 different areas of kindness: Kindness to self, kindness in the school community, kindness in the greater Milton community and tangible kindness (giving).  The month kicked off with 5th grade student council members visiting each classroom and reading “We’re All Wonders”, by R.J. Palacio and leading student discussions on empathy and kindness and what it looks like at the Cunningham School. During Week 2,  students focused on the practice of self-kindness by taking part in an activity which highlighted all the positive characteristics and attributes about themselves. This positive, bright student work lines the halls of Cunningham. Week 3 was devoted to spreading kindness by meeting students in different grades.  Classes were matched up and wrote “secret” messages to each other giving subtle hints about which class they were but not revealing themselves until they met each other in the gym. During Week 4 students wrote letters and postcards to family members, neighbors and community members who keep them safe in the community.  Week 5 was a culmination of kindness month as students have been collecting canned goods to be donated to the Milton Community Food Pantry and items for animals to be donated to the Milton Animal Shelter and the month will end with a school wide kindness assembly organized by our 5th grade student leaders. Throughout the month students had the opportunity to recognize their peers for acts of kindness by adding their name to a star in the Kindness Galaxy located in the main foyer.  Each week random acts of kindness were called over the intercom and student stars morphed into an astronaut in the galaxy.

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This year’s Boomwriter Bee did not disappoint! All 4th and 5th graders participated in a month long collaborative writing contest that culminated with the publishing a real book along with co-author Nick Bruel. Congratulations are in order for all students, especially our chapter winners; Cunningham student Nathan Chan, Glover student Madison Sison and Tucker student Vincent Fahy. Their creative and well written chapters were chosen by their peers to become part of the final published book.

The next phase of the BoomWriter Bee will see the top vote getters from each four of our elementary schools qualifying for the International Bee Finals which will take place in June. Last year, Collicot student Regan Vaughan brought home this title and a $2500 prize after winning out amongst writers from many schools within the United States and England.

If you are interested in purchasing this year’s published BoomWriter Bee book; Uncle Conrad and the Egg (all grade 4 and 5 students names are in the book), please visit the BoomWriter Bookstore and enter the Purchase Code: SDIKY.

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Congratulations to the thirty-five MPS students who participated on March 23rd in the Friends of Milton Public Library’s 8th Annual Chess-a-Palooza with tournament director International Master (IM) David Vigorito!  A special congratulations to MPS Winners! Mr. Vigorito teaches chess at all 4 MPS Elementary schools as well as the MPS Summer Enrichment Program.    For more information please visit Vigorito Chess.

 

Math Kangaroo at Tucker

Last week, 34 Tucker students from grades 1-5 competed in an international math competition, Math Kangaroo! Math Kangaroo is a 75 minute one-time competition that was held in the Tucker library. Students worked diligently through 24- 30 challenging math world problems. Students who compete in the US are compared to other students who compete in the US and will receive their results on April 22nd. We are so proud of our smart and talented Math Kangaroo participants!

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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 her. Email Heather Bergin at smithbergin@msn.com with any questions.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

On 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.

Director of Instruction Technology shares this article in advance of Dr. Steiner-Adair’s presentation.  SCREEN-FREE ZONES, HOW TO ENCOURAGE MORE FACE-TO-FACE TIME, gives practical, real world advice to families who are looking for ways to navigate screen time. 

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Thank you to all who attended Jessica Lahey’s talk this week. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and we are thrilled so many of you were able to attend. We’ve heard from several parents who have signed up for Jessica’s email list and have already received valuable information, including the bibliography she shared this week. If you would like to sign up, please use this link

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

On Friday, March 29th,  MHS will be celebrating “Spread the Word to End the Word” by supporting the elimination of the derogatory use of the “r-word” from everyday speech and promoting the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

MHS students and staff  – please support this movement by wearing tie-dye on Friday. If you don’t have any tie-dye and would like to purchase a MHS Best Buddies tie-dye t-shirt, they are for sale in room 307 for $10 while supplies last.   Friday morning before school and during advisory students will also have the opportunity to make a pledge to end the use of the “r-word”. Members of Best Buddies will be at all entrances of the building Friday morning offering ribbons to those who have pledged. Please see this  Spread The Word to End The Word video for more information.

Tuesday April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day! We will be “Lighting it Up Blue” for Autism Awareness at our schools and our student groups are asking their peers to wear blue on April 2nd. Students have decorated the halls to encourage students to show their support by wearing blue on the 2nd. Please show your support by wearing blue.  We are all looking forward to celebrating “Light it up Blue” next Tuesday!

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.

TONIGHT: 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.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Director of Nutrition Services, Jackie Morgan, shares the following after attending the Legislative Action Conference for the School Nutrition Association.

Many things are changing in the world of nutrition and the school nutrition program and my  biggest takeaway is the USDA changes for whole grain, sodium, and milk. Regulations on these three commodities will become a bit looser as only half of students’ weekly grains will now be whole grain-rich, sodium will retain target 1 through 2023-24, and milk regulations will now allow flavored, low fat 1%. Our school districts will stay on target with the previous requirements because the menus are created and products are already bid for the school year, but they have the option to adjust to the new requirements immediately.  There are a few items that have been hard to source in whole grain so this is the only time we will loosen these requirements. We will also continue to serve skim flavored milk and we will not be moving toward 1% flavored milk.

Districts are turning to new foods and options like roasted instead of steamed vegetables and adding seafood snacks and popcorn. This trend has been a successful way to serve vegetables to our students and they seem to really enjoy them.

There continues to be a big emphasis on farm to school from the USDA.  Buying farm fresh local food has been a huge asset to our local farmers and our students. Milton School Food Service will continue to always source local and sustainable food whenever possible. You can continue reading more from Jackie Morgan  here.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

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 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

This past Saturday eighty students from eastern Massachusetts came together to sing with the First Annual General Music Treble Chorus. The chorus was directed by Dr. Sandra Doneski (Gordon College), accompanied by pianist Valerie Stark, sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, and hosted by the Dedham Middle School. These 4th, 5th and 6th grade singers, including 12 from Milton, learned about healthy singing, musicianship skills, expressing the story of a song, and building a community through singing. Students prepared for the festival with their school music teachers, representing ten different school districts in the Commonwealth. After only two group rehearsals, these young musicians performed music from a variety of choral genres and time periods. Their energy, expression, and joy filled the concert hall, a treat for all music lovers. Congratulations to our students who were performed beautifully on Saturday.

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Members of the Milton High School Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble and Cello Ensemble presented “Music In The Afternoon”, a Concert for Senior Citizens this week in an effort to share the joy of music with members of the Milton community.  The performance was directed by Debra Miller, MPS District Orchestra Director. 

ATHLETICS

The spring season at MHS is kicking off! The game schedules can be found on our new MHS Athletics website!   

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The MHS Boys Tennis Team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can and bottle
drive on Saturday, April 6th from 9am-12pm at MHS, To arrange pick up of a can/bottle donation at your home, please email the team.

The MHS Baseball Team will be hosting a car wash fundraiser on Saturday, April 6th from 9am-12pm at the Cunningham School.

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

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

On Saturday, March 30, 1-3pm, at the Milton Art Center, we have a thoughtful, caring  group of local experts and wellness instructors presenting tools and tips for self-care.  If you have been considering how you can better handle everyday stress and anxiety, been wondering how meditation can benefit you, thinking about how to maintain balance and flexibility in the upcoming years, come meet, listen, talk to and experience a small session of each teacher/lecturer’s expertise.

There is a $10 registration fee but you will get to choose a class pass ticket, value of $10-$17, to any class that you would like to try out. Herbal tea and healthy snacks will be available! This is a friendly, low key exploration of ways to improve your thinking and approach to daily life.

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!

Mad Hatter Tea at the Forbes House Museum! Grab a hat, grab a friend and come to the Forbes House Museum for a delightfully lighthearted tea party. Featuring a selection of tea, sandwiches, scones and sweets, music by local ukulele group the Choco-leles, a raffle and prizes for best hats Sunday, April 7, 2019. Two seatings: 1:00 and 1:30 pm. Tickets are $40/person, $35/member 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.

MSAPC’s next Coalition meeting is on Tuesday, April 23rd, 6:30pm at the Milton Public Library.  At this meeting, we are featuring a panel of fellow Milton leaders who will each speak briefly about their organization’s response, over the past few years, to the findings of the Coalition’s Community Assessment from 2016.  The panel members include representatives from Milton Hospital, Milton Health Department, Milton Police Department, Milton Public Schools and the Youth Task Force. A question and answer period will follow. This is an excellent opportunity for the community to learn about important changes that have been made in response to the findings of our last Community Health Assessment, as well as challenges that we are facing in the coming years.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Project Coordinator, Margaret Carels.

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.

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 Molly Sutphin, Patrick O’Leary, Elle Ryan, Nicholas DeBarros, Lexi Donovan, Zoe Rodriguez and Lucas Ilzarbe

Students: I would like to recognize Glover students Molly Sutphin, Patrick O’Leary, Elle Ryan, Nicholas DeBarros, Lexi Donovan, Zoe Rodriguez and Lucas Ilzarbe who were nominated by teachers as “Glover Kids who always embody empathy and compassion”. Each student received an “Inclusion Man” T-Shirt as recognition of these students as inclusion superstars. Inclusion Man is the brainchild of 9th grader Josh Ricciardi’ who’s “Inclusion Man” stood out as a powerful story about inclusion. In middle school,  Josh wrote “Have you ever been asked if you could have any superpower? If so, what was your answer? Mostly, people say super speed, super strength, or even the ability to fly. But a lot less popular ability is the ability to include someone. So if you don’t have this ability, then Inclusion Man will come and help you gain such an ability”. Former Glover student Josh has inspired all of our Glover Kids to become “Inclusion Man” as you can see below from what their teachers shared about them. The full text of the teachers comments can be read here.

  • Lucas Ilzarbe has consistently exemplified what it means to be kind, compassionate, and caring towards other people throughout the years that he has been at Glover School. – Ms. Martin
  • The most empathetic and compassionate person in our class is Zoé Rodriguez.  Her kindness and empathy stand out on a daily basis. – Mme. Cardiasmenos
  • I nominate Nick DeBarros for being a compassionate friend because he makes all peers feel included. – Ms. Lennon
  • Molly Sutphin is a gentle compassionate person who innately treats others with kindness and respect. – Ms. Morris, Ms. Donohue, and Ms. Pender
  • Lexi Donovan truly is the definition of what it means to be kind to the core. – Ms. Craven, Ms. Vanacore, and Ms. Gardiner
  • Elle Ryan is the most genuinely kind and inclusive student. She goes out of her way to make sure everyone in our class feels like her friend. – Ms. Collins, Ms. Franklin, and Ms. Bennett
  • Patrick O’Leary embodies everything that an “inclusion man” should embody. He is kind, compassionate, and a wonderful friend to all. – Mr. Powers, Mrs. McDavitt, and Ms. Hammond

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, Jaclyn Germano, Christie Chiappetta, Ada Rosmarin, Karen Spaulding, Becky Padera, Jim Bowes, Amy Gale, Jackie Morgan, Melissa Craven, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Maureen Butler, Jon Redden, Amy Gale, Laura O’Melia and Barbara Wright.

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 28, 2019

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.

Tuesday, 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

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: 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.

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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.

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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

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.  

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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.  

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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.

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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

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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. 


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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.

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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.  

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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! 

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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. 

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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

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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.

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!    

***

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. 

***

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. 

***

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. 

***

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!  

***

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.

***

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!

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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