September 24, 2020

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 24, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Today was the sixth day of school for Milton Public Schools students and I am happy to say that, overall, they have been a successful six days. Our staff and students continue to make connections, all are getting acclimated to the new routine, and are perfecting health and safety expectations. They have begun the work of teaching and learning, as they do every September. Teachers, administrators, students, and families have been flexible and creative and have made adjustments as needed.  I want to give a heartfelt thank you to our teachers and staff, parents, guardians, and students for their patience and understanding as we all get accustomed to the routines of this new and different school year.

At last night’s School Committee meeting, I addressed several issues.

Some families have requested a switch from full remote to hybrid. When our Return to School plan was finalized, Former Superintendent Gormley and the School Committee made a commitment of social distancing using a calculus of 6 ft between students in a class. Each Principal and his/her team worked out schedules and routines with that calculus in mind. We have made the necessary accommodations and some of our classrooms are filled to capacity. As we stated in August, if a student is currently in the remote model and wishes to switch to hybrid, it will take at least 2-4 weeks to implement any changes. As previously stated, no model changes will be considered prior to October 1. Whether or not we can accommodate a request to switch from remote to hybrid will depend on the space in a particular class, grade, and school.

I also addressed any possible shifts in our model in the future.  The Milton Public Schools submitted three plans (Full In-Person, Hybrid and Full Remote) to the school committee in August. We presented these plans to the public multiple times and the entire 92 page document was submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as well. That document was also sent to all families via email and remains on the MPS Return to School website. Due to our high enrollment (prior to COVID 19) and challenges with space, we are not able to provide full in-person at this time. At the end of June, we had 4400 students enrolled in the Milton Public Schools. Our enrollment remains steady at 4420 students. We decided on and remain committed to a half-day model due to concerns about the distance needed between students during lunches. Students could not eat in the classrooms as the social distancing requirement exceeded the 6 ft when the masks were off to eat and socialize. This half-day model allows for remote live, synchronous teaching for all students for a part of every school day which is an important factor in our Hybrid Model.

Many people compare other schools and districts when discussing models. Each school and district has individual challenges. Enrollment, space availability, budget, staffing, and more are all considered when developing models.

Milton Public Schools will use several data points to monitor COVID-19 cases within our community. The first data point is cases per 100,000 metric established by DESE and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH). This data is based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents. Each city or town has been designated as a higher risk (red), moderate risk (yellow), or lower risk (green) community. Communities with fewer than 5 cases are not given a designation. It is important to note that while average daily cases per 100,000 is the metric that determines the color coding for each community, we will monitor this over a period of 2-3 weeks prior to making any recommendations about pivoting to other models. We may have a spike one week and the second and third week, those numbers could be on a decline.

The second data point is the State Positivity Percentage. The guidance calls for schools to go fully remote when the State Positivity Rate hits 5%. The daily rate is found by dividing total tests in a day by positive results. The MA DPH then reports out a weighted 7 day average on a daily basis on their website. The Commissioner has told schools to use a 2-3 week window to monitor these results.

The Milton Public Schools has a COVID Metrics Advisory Team that will be meeting regularly. Tonight is the second official meeting of the team. Members have agreed to look at additional data points which include, but are not limited to:

  • Total positive cases in the community
  • Age of demographic of the positive cases
  • How and where people contracted the virus (for example, were all cases reported at Curry College or Milton Academy, etc.)
  • Hot spots/color code of communities for our faculty and staff
  • Additional information recommended by Caroline Kinsella and our local Board of Health.

There is not a single staff member, myself included, who does not want to see our students in person more. The current reality of Covid 19 prevents this right now and our current model, developed over several months, allows for the best combination of in-person and remote learning for our MPS students and staff. I will continue to update the MPS community at bi-weekly School Committee meetings, in this weekly blog, and via email.

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On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, I want to express my sincerest condolences to the Nohmy family on the tragic murder of Cameron (Cam) Nohmy. Cam, a 2015 MHS graduate, was a personable young man and a valued member of our school community. I am saddened to see another life lost so young. Donations may be made in his memory to the Cameron Nohmy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Please keep Cam’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on October 7, 2020, at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched live and later on demand on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/login information is available on the Town of Milton website.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Please see the following health and safety items  – some Covid -19 related  – posted on the MPS Health Services website. Please email Director of Nursing Kim Coughlin with any questions.

Next week, all families will receive an email asking them to confirm receipt of and affirm their commitment to using the MPS Symptom Pre Screening Checklist each day. Please review the email and submit your confirmation of receipt next week.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement in the Jewish religion, will begin in the evening (sunset) of Sunday, September 27, and ends the evening of Monday, September 28. There will be no school on Monday, September 28 in observance of Yom Kippur.

It is the policy of the Milton Public Schools NOT to assign homework, tests, quizzes, major presentations, Google hangouts or hold events or athletic practice/games during the Jewish Holidays.

Sept 28 Yom Kippur, No School
Oct 1 Glover Open House
Oct 7 School Committee Meeting
Oct 12 Columbus Day, No School
Oct 14 Collicot Open House

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

FOOD SERVICE 

We hope you and your student will take advantage of our lunch and breakfast options this fall!

All details can be found in this link.

Students will have two options  – grab and go (several breakfasts and lunches) as they leave school on their in-person days or once a week pick up (at MHS near the field house doors behind the school) of multiple breakfasts and lunches on Wednesday.

Due to an extension by the USDA, all meals will be free to all students through December 2020. Please consider trying a grab and go meal on your students in person days or visiting our drive through on Wednesdays. 

TECHNOLOGY 

All elementary, Pierce, and families of students who loan out an MHS Chromebook have the option of purchasing insurance for their student’s Chromebook for the 2020-21 school year.  The optional insurance is thirty dollars and will cover any accidental damages to your student’s Chromebook.  Here is a link with instructions on how to purchase Optional Chromebook Insurance.

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Check out this quick Google meet tip from Glover’s Mrs. MacNeil. Want to see your teacher as the big picture on the screen? Learn how here.

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If I want to purchase my own device, what should I buy? Recommended specs and details can be found here. 

Family Technology Support Help Center website:  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact.

MPS Family Tech Support Group: A technology minded group of MPS parents and guardians invite you to join the private MPS Family Tech Support Group Facebook group.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS 

Welcome to Milton High School!

Thank you to MHS Student Leader Lindsey Dunn for sharing the following information about last week’s MHS Freshman and New Student Orientation.

On Wednesday, September 14th Milton High School’s Student Leaders hosted Freshmen Orientation on Brooks Field, to welcome all incoming freshmen and new students. Due to COVID-19, the Orientation had to be run a bit differently than in years past. The students were split into two groups by last name, the beginning of the alphabet came from 1:30- 2:30pm, and the end of the alphabet came from 3-4pm

Our new students were welcomed onto the field by the Student Leaders. Students found their assigned group on their assigned yard line and were seated 6 feet away from each other. Each student received a welcome bag, filled with a Wildcat sticker, Milton mask, a schedule, and other supplies they needed for the icebreakers.

Once all the freshmen arrived,  Vice Principal Mackinaw and Principal Cahill said a few words to welcome the new students and to get them excited about their high school career.

After the welcome, we split into two smaller groups, one that started with a socially distanced tour of the building and the other that did socially distanced icebreakers on the field. Halfway through the orientation, the groups switched.

The tour followed a strict route through the building, each student walking 6 feet apart from one another. Socially distanced icebreakers such as Cross the Line, Wa, Inside Circle Outside Circle, and a Q&A were all conducted on the field.

Although this Orientation was different from all previous ones, students were welcomed, well informed, and got a taste of the Wildcat Spirit. We are excited to welcome all incoming freshmen and new students to Milton High School!

PIERCE PAGES 

This week the 7th grade science team kicked off the Astronomy unit on the Pierce Middle School patio. Ms. Mitchell hosted science outside this week as students traced their shadows to track the movement of the sun over time.

Students took a break from drawing in their science notebooks to model rotation vs. revolution. What happens to your shadow as we get closer to noon? Why does the sun appear to move across the sky? How does the movement of the sun change with the seasons? These are all questions our 7th graders are investigating as we start the school year.

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Please see this most recent communication to the Pierce community from Principal Fish to stay up to date on all things Pierce. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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Kindergarten Days are here! During the week of October 4,  the sponsors listed here will offer free gifts or discounts to children who are entering kindergarten this fall when they visit wearing their bright yellow “I’m Going To Kindergarten!” t-shirt. Participating businesses will display a special sign in their window to remind you to visit them. You don’t need to turn anything in to take advantage of the offers – but your child must be present, entering kindergarten in September, and wearing his or her yellow Kindergarten t-shirt. As you visit our sponsors, please join us in thanking each of them for their support of Milton’s young school children!

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following information.

Parent Series: All are invited to participate in a parent series for parents/guardians of students in grades 6-12 that will focus on how parents can support their children as they navigate through their Hybrid/Remote learning schedule. This series will focus on identifying strategies on how parents can set up their home working environment to support at home learning, how to support your child planning and organizing their workload,  behavioral strategies to increase independence with remote learning, and strategies to monitor your child’s social and emotional well being.  Please use this link to register. 

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Do you know someone going through an Initial Evaluation? Is your child going through an Initial Evaluation?

If so, please refer them to our parent Outreach Series on Preparing for My Child’s First Team Meeting.

This one hour remote session is designed to help parents and guardians:

  • Understand the Eligibility Process
  • Understand how to interpret Evaluation Reports
  • Prepare to share their ideas at a Team Meeting
  • Learn about programs and services in the district.

To join, please email Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services at smaselli@miltonps.org

SEPAC News: Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! Our first Milton SEPAC meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, October 7 at 7pm.

Our Elections for board positions will take place this fall. There are many anticipated openings and we need your support and your voice to ensure that every child and family voice is heard and supported!

Please mark the monthly meetings on your calendar and plan to attend. Why? There is strength in numbers! Your ideas are needed to help us ensure your children receive the best possible education in Milton. Parents/guardians of children who receive services on an  IEP or  504, and others interested in special education, have first-hand knowledge of what their children need in school. You will be able to make connections with and get support from others who have similar circumstances. SEPAC meetings are the perfect place to talk about the issues and learn what you can do to help your child be successful

Inclusion Task Force (ITF): The inclusion task force is a group of parents, school staff, and community members who meet to ensure that the Milton Public Schools are a welcoming place for students of all abilities. The purpose of the ITF is to foster authentic relationships in schools and the broader community for our students with disabilities and to promote awareness of inclusive opportunities throughout the school district and community.

We will have our first remote meeting of the 2020-2021 school year on October 19 from 4-5pm and we would love to have additional members join us! A link for the meeting will be forthcoming.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH

As I shared last week, the social-emotional health of our students will be paramount as we reopen our schools. I have asked our district wide team of Adjustment Counselors to share resources with you in the coming weeks. This installment is from Pierce Adjustment  Counselor Kara Sheridan.

“The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.” ― Eckhart Tolle

The Milton Public School District has made it a priority this school year to focus on Social Emotional Learning, as well as overall wellness for the students, faculty, and staff.  With everything going on in the world, now more than ever we can easily become overwhelmed and distracted. Especially, when we are out of our typical routines and norms.  An important component of social and emotional learning that we’re teaching our students is Mindfulness.  Mindfulness means being present and focusing on the now. Taking a step back and looking at the world around you. When our students are present and not worrying about the past or future, they are more able to focus and therefore, learn.  What better way to encourage mindfulness than to practice and model this mindset ourselves.

Here are some quick Mindfulness exercises to try throughout your day, and hopefully incorporate into your family and lifestyle.

Mindfulness Activity #1, Mindful Breathing 7/11

  • Breathe in through your nose while you count to 7; breathe out through your mouth while you count to eleven.  While breathing in and out, notice the movements of your body; notice your chest and stomach rising up and down. Notice the air in your nostrils when you breathe in. The counting helps you concentrate on your breath, and in turn, refocuses your attention and makes you feel calm.

Mindfulness Activity #2, Tune into your senses

  • Choose one of the 5 senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing) and become aware of what it brings to you.  Really focus on the sense you chose, observe it, and identify in your mind what you notice. Example: if you chose sight, take a moment and look where you are, focus in on one thing you see, and notice the colors, textures, shapes, and shadows.
  • If you have more time and energy, try to focus on each one of your senses!

Mindfulness Activity #3, Awareness of Posture

  • Instead of awareness of breathing, some people prefer mindfulness of posture- in other words, an awareness of the fact that you are sitting, slouching, standing, walking, running,or lying down. Try awareness of your posture next time you’re in your living room, bedroom, office,  kitchen table, etc, and you will find your concentration improves. Awareness of your posture can also give you a mental space when you’re trying to get some work done. Bringing awareness to your posture takes you out of your racing thoughts, especially in stressful situations.

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Our Adjustment Counselors are available as resources for your family. Please reach out to your principal or Adjustment Counselor for support at any time.

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

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All updates on Family Resources – food, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC 

Last call for Music Lesson Sign Ups!

The Milton Applied Instrumental Lesson Program is currently registering new students! If your student is in 4th grade or above and would like to begin learning an instrument, please fill out the form found here: Beginner Registration Form The deadline for filling out the form has been extended to Friday,  September 25th. Once you fill out the form, a lesson teacher will be in touch with you.

Continuing students should contact their lesson teacher directly to set up your lesson time.

Not sure which instrument to play? Take a look at these instrument demonstration videos provided by one of our vendors, Needham Music: Instrumental Demos- Needham Music

More information about the lesson program  including rates and instrument rentals can be found here: ALP Beginner Information

If you have any questions, please email Rebecca Damiani at rdamiani@miltonps.org.

ATHLETICS 

The Milton Boosters is offering something new this year. In addition to our year-round online merchandise store and in-person concessions, we are offering 3 seasonal pop-up online stores with limited edition merchandise. Currently, our Fall Pop-Up store is open and can be found at this link. 

This Pop-Up store close October 2nd! Orders typically take 10-14 days to come in and we will e-mail you with a pick-up date, likely mid-October. Let’s support our student athletes. Go Cats!

COMMUNITY NEWS 

It won’t be like the last 3, but the 4th annual Mike’s 5K is still on!  No big gathering this year, but we want to keep the momentum going.  Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse raises funds to erase stigma, spread awareness, strengthen treatment programs, and demonstrate the power of community and friendship in the battle against substance abuse.  Significant funds support Milton youth prevention programs.  As always, we do this to honor Mike Mulcahy and his family, as well as others who have struggled with addiction or loved someone who has struggled with addiction. 

Team MSAPC will be starting our walk/run as a physically distant- mask wearing group on Saturday, October 17th, at 9am, following the same route that leaves from Cunningham School.  Register here and join Team MSAPC!   Bring your own mask and water.  You can also support Mike’s 5K here.   Or register and walk/run any time before Oct. 24th, your own route and distance.  Thank you for your support!

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International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. Virtual classes begin on September 28th.

There are four different levels to choose from and classes available Mondays through Thursdays. All details and registration info can be found here. Register soon, as some classes are almost full!

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Join the Milton Art Center  for a wonderful nature-inspired virtual open house filled with artwork, activities, and fun for all ages on Saturday, October 3 from 10-11am

Teacher Camille DeMarco will walk students through how to create an environmental art piece inspired by artist Andy Goldsworthy’s work. This is the perfect activity to get outside and enjoy this beautiful fall weather and create art! Drop into Zoom for an exciting free virtual experience filled with creative family fun!

The event is free. Please register here by Oct. 1 for the zoom link.

The Milton Art Center is offering in person classes through the end of October and Zoom online art classes, to view: Milton Art Center children’s classes.

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The Milton Public Library offers many children’s programs virtually every week.  See all the fun offerings here.

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Brookwood Community Farm is continuing to accept folks joining our 2020 CSA using SNAP benefits at a rate of $40/month.  This $40 is added back to their account immediately through HIP.  If forms are filed quickly, the member will receive a share every other week from now through the week before Thanksgiving.  Pick up at the farm is preferred but if transportation is a barrier, Brookwood will find a partner to deliver the share. Please print out the form and call or email to alert us that it is coming.  Farm phone 339-502-0826.  Email president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org.  The form can be found at the bottom of this page.

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Christie Chiappetta, Lindsey Dunn, Liz Spitz, Kim Coughlin, Rebecca Damiani, Susan Maselli, AJ Melanson, Madeline Murphy, Jackie Morgan, Erica Cadigan, Sheri Paquette, Karen McDavitt, Anne Marie Quinn, Sarah Slater, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jess Gillooly, Eileen Keaney, and Kara Sheridan.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 24, 2020

September 17, 2020

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 17, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week we welcomed our Milton Public Schools students back in our buildings and to our virtual classrooms for the start of the 2020-21 school year. How best to describe these first two days? Successful, to start. But also exciting, stressful, fun, exhausting, frustrating, joyful – the list of possible adjectives is endless. What I do know, is that all of our Milton Public Schools students and staff engaged in making connections and setting the stage for a year of learning together in the months to come.

I would ask that we all take a breath right now and have confidence that the glitches  – in schedules, communication, technology – will be worked out in the coming days. Remember that the beginning of the school year can be stressful in a normal year, and this year is far from normal. Our administrators, teachers, and staff are working feverishly to make adjustments, both for your individual student and to our practices as a whole if we see room for improvement. This school year, and really all school years, are a marathon, not a sprint.  If we can give each other grace, now and throughout the year, we will all be setting a positive example for your children, our students, in this tumultuous time.

I would also like to thank the Milton Community for their outpouring of support after my communication to you last Friday. Rest assured that this situation is behind me and I am ready and excited to move forward with a focus on an outstanding year for the Milton Public Schools.

We captured many happy faces and moments this week and I invite you to take a minute to relish the joy of being back to school in the video below.

RETURN TO SCHOOL –  HEALTH AND SAFETY 

As we continue to Protect the Paw, I want to call your attention to the following important safety items.

Milton Public Schools COVID-19 Positive Case Process

As living in a Covid-19 world is our current reality, we recognize that our schools do not exist in sealed bubbles, and we will likely experience positive cases in the Milton Public Schools. Our active safety protocols – mandated mask wearing for anyone who enters our schools, social distancing throughout all buildings, daily at home prescreening for all students and staff, increased cleaning and sanitizing, increased ventilation, half of the school population for in-person learning, vigilant hand hygiene and more – are designed specifically to decrease the chance of the spread of the virus inside our schools.

When there is a positive case in MPS, communication will be a key component. We have developed a Milton Public Schools COVID-19 Positive Case Process and I invite you to read it here.  Knowing when and why you will be contacted, and by whom, will be important as we safely navigate this school year together.

A key component of a safe return to school is a daily health screening, every day, for all students and staff.

Everyone in the Milton Public Schools will wear a mask. 

  • Please see the Face Covering Policy for all details. We encourage every student to wear one mask to school and to also pack a back up if at all possible. Each classroom will have a box of 3-ply disposable masks to be used when needed.

In order to continue to #protectthepaw, we all must adhere to CDC guidance outside of school as well. Students should be wearing masks and maintaining some distance as they walk home with friends and as they safely socialize outside of school.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on September 23, 2020, at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/login information is available on the Town of Milton website.

The Milton School Committee last week presented a quarterly update to the MPS Strategic Plan. You can view the presentation here. The updated Strategic Plan Can be found here. We will write more about the updated Strategic Plan in the coming weeks.

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On August 26, the Milton School Committee voted to approve four policies. Each of these policies is important and I encourage you to take the time to read through them.Face Covering PolicyRemote Learning Policy; Immunization Policy; Covid Policy

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

September 17/18: Kindergarten and Preschool Orientations
September 21: 1st Day of School for Kindergarten and Preschool
September 28: No School, Yom Kippur

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

FOOD SERVICE 

We hope you and your student will take advantage of our food service options this fall!

All details can be found in this link.

Students will have two options  – grab and go (several breakfasts and lunches) as they leave school on their in-person days or once a week pick up (at MHS near the field house doors behind the school) of multiple breakfasts and lunches on Wednesday.

Due to an extension by the USDA, all meals will be free to all students through December 2020. If a USDA waiver is not extended in December students’ accounts will then be charged accordingly. Meals will remain free for our free and reduced students. All meals will be eaten at home.

Additional food resources can be found here. MPS families in need of support at any time are encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

TECHNOLOGY 

There are many Technology resources available to families and students. Please see below for support.

Family Technology Support Help Center website:  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact.

Student Technology Boot Camp: This student boot camp was created to help prepare students for remote learning. Students should go through all of the modules to become more comfortable with all of the platforms/applications that will be used throughout the 2020-21 school year. Each module will include important topics your student will be expected to use.

MPS Family Tech Support Group: A technology minded group of MPS parents and guardians invite you to join the private MPS Family Tech Support Group Facebook group. See their note below:

  • We’ve created this group as an unofficial resource for families looking for answers to technology questions during this school year.
  • We encourage you to visit the Family Technology Support site provided by the district as a first step. We hope that families can be a resource for other families as we all endure this most unprecedented of school years.
  • Let’s all be nice to each other. This group will be moderated and there will be no second chances. This is a place to help solve problems, not create new ones. This should be a place to find answers, not lob criticism at each other or the Milton public schools in general.
  • We will not tolerate any posts that are contrary to the spirit of this group.

TRANSPORTATION 

Please see below for an update from our Transportation Department. All updates can be found on the Milton Public Schools Transportation webpage.

No student will be allowed to board a bus in the morning or at dismissal without a hard copy of their bus pass in their possession.  Students MUST wear a mask at all times on the bus, may ONLY ride on their assigned bus, and MUST sit in their assigned seat as printed on their pass. Students should not share or use each other’s personal items on the bus.

Bus routes and schedules are posted on the Milton Public Schools website, but are rough estimates at this time due to the significantly changed ridership and changing of school schedules.  Please plan to be 15 minutes early to the stop in the morning until the schedule settles in, at which time we will work to update the website.  In the afternoons, please plan to be at your child’s stop approximately 5 minutes after school dismisses until we establish afternoon timing.

All remaining bus passes for registered elementary students were delivered to school on Wednesday morning for distribution in backpacks.  If your child received a pass and you no longer wish to have your child ride the bus, please email bus@miltonps.org to withdraw from the bus.  It is critical that we know how many seats are open this year.

Bus passes for 6th graders living more than two miles from school who registered for the bus were delivered to Pierce for distribution as well, please email bus@miltonps.org of you received a pass and do not plan to have your student ride.

We have begun processing registrations for students in grades 6-12 who are not guaranteed ridership and will be assigned seats until they reach the capacity set by the state and DESE for Covid safety, prioritizing students who live more than 2 miles from school.  We will be unable to accommodate all registered riders. Notifications will go out by early next week if your registered student has a seat on the bus.

Please forward transportation questions to Rachel Schewe at bus@miltonps.org.

SCHOOL SPECIFIC INFORMATION 

A great way to stay abreast of what is happening at your child’s school is through the school’s webpage. These sites are linked on the MPS homepage and can be found at these links.

Social media is also a good way to stay in the loop while getting a peek into your child’s day. Be sure to follow your school’s accounts.

A Note from the Milton PTOs

The 6 Milton PTOs have asked me to share this with you. I hesitated to share this but I do want to acknowledge and thank them for their support.

It is our pleasure to congratulate James Jette on his appointment as interim Superintendent of Milton Public Schools. His choice to step into this role during such a stressful and unprecedented time, speaks to his dedication and commitment to our community. In addition to his many accomplishments and various roles within the Milton Public Schools, it is his positive attitude, thoughtful approach to situations, and tireless work ethic that gives us complete confidence in his ability to lead our district. We support Superintendent Jette and look forward to working with him this year and hopefully for many years to come.

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Our MPS staff was welcomed back by the PTOs and families last week with coffee, treats, and kind messages.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted us to rethink how we can deliver the engaging programming, new learning opportunities, and supportive relationships that our families count on. To that end, MCS is launching a virtual enrichment program that will be offered to students K- 5th grades, with a variety of fun and interactive 45 minute sessions taught by our After School Enrichment (ASE) Specialists.

We are excited to share these offerings with you and encourage you to read through these exciting course offerings! 

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following information.

Welcome back! All families with a student in Special Education should have received the following information from The Office of Pupil Personnel Services. If you have not, please email me at smaselli@miltonps.org.

  • Courier mail copy of Parent Safeguards.
  • This recently published letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  • Our first official Special Education newsletter of the year. Please note information regarding the reopening of school, what to expect for IEP services and who is your building contact. Chairs and Liaisons are reaching out to parents directly to talk about individual student needs. We ask for patience while they contact each family. This process has been dependent on building schedules, staffing, and individual building needs based on student and staff selections, and has taken longer than anticipated, so we appreciate your patience.

A Parent Outreach Opportunity:  You are invited to participate in a parent series that will focus on how parents can support their children as they navigate through their Hybrid/Remote learning schedule. This series will focus on identifying strategies on how parents can set up their home working environment to support at home learning, how to support your child planning and organizing their workload, behavioral strategies to increase independence with remote learning, and strategies to monitor your child’s social and emotional well being. Tuesday, Oct 15th at 630 with BCBA, Caroline  Mannion. Please register at this link. 

We are looking forward to a great year!

ANTI-RACISM ACTION TEAM 

The Milton Public Schools invites parents, guardians, and staff to apply for positions on the new Anti-Racism Action Team. This group will be charged with drafting an Anti-Racism Action Plan to guide the district’s work moving forward in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, with a particular focus on anti-racism. After the Action Plan is reviewed by our staff and community, the Action Team will present to the School Committee. The Action Team will continue to play an important role in supporting implementation, as well as monitoring and reporting quarterly to the School Committee.

The staff application for the Action Team can be found here and the parent/guardian application is found here. The deadline to apply is September 21, 2020.

 SOCIAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH

As I shared last week, the social-emotional health of our students will be paramount as we reopen our schools. I have asked our district wide team of Adjustment Counselors to share resources with you in the coming weeks. This installment is from Pierce Adjustment  Counselor Kelly Dearing.

The start of this unconventional school year brings with it the need to develop new routines and establish effective coping strategies that will give your student the emotional support they need to be healthy, happy, and engaged in learning.

  • As parents and guardians, communicate clear expectations and keep firm boundaries. This is an essential step to establishing a positive school routine and giving children the structure they need to be successful.
  • Collaborate with your student to develop a daily time management plan. What works for us as adults is not always what works best for children and adolescents. Encourage them to talk to you about how you can best support them with their learning.
  • Schedule plenty of self-care activities along with the academic part of the day. Fresh air, physical activity, safely maintaining social relationships and a regular sleep schedule will go a long way toward emotional well-being and engagement in school work.
  • Practice mindfulness. It really works! Long, slow deep breaths send messages to our brain that allow us to feel more relaxed. Reminding ourselves throughout the day of the things in our lives that we are grateful for helps us shift and reframe our negative thoughts into manageable, positive ones.

Ask for help if you need it. You are not in this alone! Please remember that we are here and excited to support you and your student in the year ahead.

***

Our Adjustment Counselors are available as resources for your family. Please reach out to your principal or Adjustment Counselor for support at any time.

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

***

All updates on Family Resources – food, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC 

The Milton Applied Instrumental Lesson Program is currently registering new students! If your student is in 4th grade or above and would like to begin learning an instrument, please fill out the form found here: Beginner Registration Form The deadline for filling out the form has been extended to Friday,  September 25th. Once you fill out the form, a lesson teacher will be in touch with you.

Continuing students should contact their lesson teacher directly to set up your lesson time.

Not sure which instrument to play? Take a look at these instrument demonstration videos provided by one of our vendors, Needham Music: Instrumental Demos- Needham Music

More information about the lesson program  including rates and instrument rentals can be found here: ALP Beginner Information

If you have any questions, please email Rebecca Damiani at rdamiani@miltonps.org.

ATHLETICS 

Please see the following from MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.

New Athletic Seasonal Structure: The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) worked with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) to develop a new athletic structure, with some changes to Fall sports, as well as to include a new 4th/floating season, for the 2020-21 academic year, which can be found here.

Football, (Fall) Cheer, and Volleyball have been moved to the new floating season, detailed in the link found here. All other fall sports (B/G Soccer, B/G Cross Country, Field Hockey, Swim and Golf) will start tryouts on Monday, September 21st.  Tryout schedules will be available on the MHS Athletics Website at a later date.

High School Registration: Registration is OPEN! Please visit the Athletics Website for information on how to register for fall sports, or click here.  All student-athletes must pass in a hard-copy of a current valid physical (completed within the last 13 months, no exceptions) during the registration period to the Athletic Director. Emailed and scanned copies sent over the summer will not be accepted.  Physicals should be dropped in the Athletic Director’s mailbox in the MHS front office by the student, or mailed to the school at 25 Gile Road, Milton, MA 02186, Attn: Athletic Director.  *No student-athlete may participate in tryouts without a valid physical handed into the Athletic Director, per MA State Law.*

4-Season Student-Athletes: The MIAA voted to allow student-athletes to participate in all four sport seasons during the 2020-2021 academic year.** Students who intended to sign up for Football, Volleyball, or Cheer may also play a different fall sport, with Athletic Director’s approval, without losing eligibility for Football, Volleyball or Cheer in the floating season. In other words, students may play 4 sports this academic year.

**Students who intend to play 4 sports must have a conversation with the Athletic Director prior to the start of tryouts. Approval will be granted on a case-by-case basis. The intention of this rule is to allow students an opportunity to play another sport if they choose, without displacing students on current teams. Depending on numbers, this opportunity may only be available for non-cut sports.

Schedules: Schedules will not be released until the end of the week. The Bay State Conference is working to create schedules within a smaller geographical regionagainst fewer opponentsto limit exposure across school districts.

Middle School: There will be no interscholastic competitions at the Middle School this year. There may be pass classes, and intramural sports depending on how the start of the academic year goes and gym space and availability. Information will follow when plans are confirmed.

Google Form FAQ: There were several great questions asked on the Google Form back in June regarding High School Athletics. Please visit the FAQ, linked here, for many questions and answers.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions by contacting Ryan Madden, Director of Athletics, at rmadden@miltonps.org.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

Thank you to MPS parent Andrew Russell for sharing this resource with the MPS community.

The Museum of Science is partnering with WGBH and Representative Marjorie Decker of Cambridge to host a town hall on Children’s Mental Health in the time of COVID. The event is free and open to the public and timed well with the start of school. Representative Decker is the House Chair on Mental Health and Substance Use and she has compiled an excellent panel for this event.

Details are in this flyer and the registration link can be found here. 

***

Join the Milton Art Center  for a wonderful nature-inspired virtual open house filled with artwork, activities, and fun for all ages on Saturday, October 3 from 10-11am

Teacher Camille DeMarco will walk students through how to create an environmental art piece inspired by artist Andy Goldsworthy’s work. This is the perfect activity to get outside and enjoy this beautiful fall weather and create art! Drop into Zoom for an exciting free virtual experience filled with creative family fun!

The event is free. Please register here by Oct. 1 for the zoom link.

The Milton Art Center is offering in person classes through the end of October and Zoom online art classes, to view: Milton Art Center children’s classes.

***

Please see below from Kevin J Cook, USN (Ret.), Director of Veterans Services for Milton and Randolph.

The Veterans Services offices in Randolph & Milton announces Operation CarePax. We will be organizing an effort to send care packages to our troops in Afghanistan.  I have been provided the mailing addresses of two units deployed to Afghanistan until FEB 2021 and we would like to make sure they get support during their deployment. We would like to ask the residents of our communities to assist with donations.    There are 80 soldiers (60 males and 20 females)  combined in the two units.

We will have collection dates for each community at the Veterans Services offices at the end of the month. Our goal is to send one group of care packages each month (SEPT, OCT & NOV) with the NOV packages arriving just in time for the Holidays. I will be outside our offices on the scheduled collection dates & times to accept donations. Please follow all appropriate COVID-19 guidelines when dropping off donations for the troops.

We are asking for donations of new, sealed items to keep our troops safe.  Please no homemade treats as troops can only accept items that we can be sure are safe.  Donations to help with the cost of postage are requested also as each USPS military box costs $19.60 to ship (flat rate for boxes going overseas)

Homemade cards and notes are great and we want to include them in all boxes. The troops appreciate cards and personal notes. All details can be found here.

***

The Milton Public Library offers many children’s programs virtually every week.  See all the fun offerings here.

***

Brookwood Community Farm is continuing to accept folks joining our 2020 CSA using SNAP benefits at a rate of $40/month.  This $40 is added back to their account immediately through HIP.  If forms are filed quickly, the member will receive a share every other week from now through the week before Thanksgiving.  Pick up at the farm is preferred but if transportation is a barrier, Brookwood will find a partner to deliver the share. Please print out the form and call or email to alert us that it is coming.  Farm phone 339-502-0826.  Email president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org.  The form can be found at the bottom of this page.

AMBASSADORS

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

I want to take this space to say thank you to all stakeholders in the Milton Public Schools. 

The partnership of MPS staff, the Milton School Committee, many Town of Milton departments, parents/guardians, students, and the Milton community as a whole has been crucial in reopening our schools. If any one of these stakeholder groups had not been “all in” in this endeavor, we would not be in the position we are now. With all hands on deck, we have begun the school year poised for a safe and enriching school year for all of our Milton Public Schools students. On behalf of our students, thank you for all of your efforts on their behalf.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 17, 2020

September 10, 2020

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 10, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I am pleased to share that last night, the School Committee finalized the appointment of Karen Cahill as Interim Principal of Milton High School. Mrs. Cahill has served as the Guidance Counselor Department Head since 2013 and has been a valuable member of the leadership team in those seven years. Prior to that she was a Guidance Counselor at MHS and a math teacher at Pierce.

Karen is extremely intelligent, hard working and a consummate professional. She is revered by all students, staff and parents/guardians. She possesses all of the necessary skills to be a successful Principal. I have complete confidence in Karen Cahill to lead Milton High School during these challenging times.

Mrs. Cahill will be surrounded by our outstanding Vice Principals, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Mackinaw, and a very knowledgeable and supportive Leadership Team that includes the Department Heads at Milton High School. Finally, and equally as important, Mrs. Cahill will be supported by an incredibly skilled administrative team in Maureen Kennedy, Brad Spindle and Meghan Connors. Mrs. Cahill knows every aspect of the Milton High School routine and schedule  (she has been the mastermind behind the very complicated MHS daily schedule for the past seven years) and I am thrilled she has accepted this appointment. Milton High School is in excellent hands with Karen Cahill and the rest of MHS Leadership Team.

***

September is always a busy month in our schools, never more so than this year. Since Monday, August 31, the 1st day of school of all teachers and staff, we have been engaged in multiple days of Professional Development, collaboration and planning, in anticipation of welcoming students back on Wednesday, September 16.

There are comprehensive updates being sent from each school this week. If you are not receiving emails from your child’s school, please email the administrative assistant to make any necessary changes to contact information. Contact information for school personnel and recent updates sent are linked below in each school section of the blog.

We are so grateful to Michael Lynch and the team at Milton Access TV for their assistance throughout the year and especially with our Return to School videos linked below. We are lucky to have the wonderful local resource in Milton!

Wondering what your child’s school looks like? The good news is that it looks much the same as it did last year, with happy teachers, student displays and colorful walls. The differences are important though, allowing for safe social distancing, mask wearing and  increased cleaning and hygiene protocols to ensure the safest possible back to school experience for our staff and students. Please take a moment to watch the videos below with your child.

Welcome back to school!

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATES 

The Milton community is making a great effort to Protect the Paw!

Protect the Paw is our MPS effort to energize the Milton community around making decisions that will allow our students and staff to begin the school year in the safest possible environment. Small decisions that we all make every day can have a big impact on the health and safety metrics in the Town of Milton.

A key component of a safe return to school is a daily health screening, every day, for all students and staff.

Each day, families and staff will be asked to attest to a series of questions about health symptoms. Once you answer the questions, there is a protocol to follow if any questions are answered in the affirmative.

The Milton Public Schools Commitment to Care holds each of us responsible to help keep our students, staff and community safe. Please read through the MPS Pre Screening Checklist here and contact Director of Nursing Kim Coughlin with any questions.

***

#MPSanywhere: Have you begun setting up a space in your home for at home and remote learning? We would love to see it! Send us a picture of your #MPSanywhere work space and we will share it with the MPS community. Email your picture to sokeefe@miltonps.org or drop it into this folder.

#MaskupMilton: We want to see your mask style! Send us your mask selfie and we’ll share it with the MPS community. Email your picture to sokeefe@miltonps.org or drop it into this folder. Can you tell who’s behind the masks below?

***

Our MHS and Pierce History teachers have a message for our students! Check it out here and see their smiling faces below.

***

The Return to School Milton website continues to be the hub for all Return to School information. Our FAQs are updated regularly and you can often find answers to your questions here.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on September 23 , 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

The Milton School Committee last night presented a quarterly update to the MPS Strategic Plan. You can view the presentation here. We will share the updated Strategic Plan in an upcoming blog post.

***

On August 26, the Milton School Committee voted to approve four policies. You can read the details below. Each of these policies is important and I encourage you to take the time to read through them.

  • Face Covering Policy – All students and staff will wear a face covering
  • Remote Learning Policy – Sets guidelines and best practices for Remote Learning
  • Immunization Policy – Seasonal influenza vaccine for the current flu season (July-June) must be received annually for anyone 6 months of age or older by December 31st.
  • Covid Policy– Pursuant to this policy, the Superintendent is generally empowered to deviate from MPS policy to maintain the health and safety of the MPS community, while maintaining academic standards of the highest level possible.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

September 16: 1st Day of School for Grade 1-12 Students
September 17/18: School Based Kindergarten and Preschool Orientations
September 21: 1st Day of School for Kindergarten and Preschool

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

TECHNOLOGY 

Family Technology Support Help Center website:  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact.

Student Technology Boot Camp: This student boot camp was created to help prepare students for remote learning. Students should go through all of the modules to become more comfortable with all of the platforms/applications that will be used throughout the 2020-21 school year. Each module will include important topics your student will be expected to use.

Milton High School BYODWhat is BYOD? Milton High School’s 1:1 device initiative titled Bring Your Own Device. Students will be encouraged to bring their own device, other than a smartphone, to school on a daily basis. Students who do not have a device can loan a Chromebook from Milton Public Schools at no cost. All details on BYOD can be found here. 

Can we borrow a Chromebook? Yes. All MPS families will be afforded the opportunity to borrow a Chromebook from MPS.  Families borrowing a device will be able to pick up their device during set dates and times  before school starts.

Do I need earbuds?  We have purchased dedicated earbuds with a microphone for each student and they will be distributed by your school during the 1st days of school. Students are welcome to use their own headphones if they prefer.

If I want to purchase a device is there something specific I should get? If you would like to purchase a device for your MPS student to use at home (elementary) or all the time (MHS)  we have recommended minimum tech specs.  Please note that Pierce students will be assigned a device as part of a Pierce 1:1 device initiative started last year. This link is to the MHS Bring Your Own Device flyer. The bottom left corner of the flyer is a link to these minimum tech specs.

MPS Family Tech Support Group: A technology minded group of MPS parents and guardians invite you to join the private MPS Family Tech Support Group Facebook group. See their note below:

  • We’ve created this group as an unofficial resource for families looking for answers to technology questions during this school year.
  • We encourage you to visit the the Family Technology Support site provided by the district as a first step. We hope that families can be a resource for other families as we all endure this most unprecedented of school years.
  • Let’s all be nice to each other. This group will be moderated and there will be no second chances. This is a place to help solve problems, not create new ones. This should be a place to find answers, not lob criticism at each other or the Milton public schools in general.
  • We will not tolerate any posts that are contrary to the spirit of this group.

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following information.

Please see the recently published letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as our first official Special Education newsletter of the year.

The COVID-19 Compensatory Services and Recovery Support for Students with IEPsdocument can be found here.page3image3447573248

We are looking forward to a great year!

TRANSPORTATION 

Due to restrictions on the capacity of buses, some changes were required to our bus procedures.  We are still transporting all students in Grades K-6 who live more than two miles from their school and we will be filling other available seats (up to the limited capacity) with those who signed up last spring for transportation, are in the hybrid model,  and are still interested in taking the bus.

All Riders:

  • Masks are mandatory for all riders.
  • Students may only sit one person to a seat.  The only exception to this is that two siblings will share a seat.  In order to provide maximum ridership, siblings MUST sit together, to a maximum of two to a seat.
  • Bus seats will be marked indicating on which end of the bench students may sit (we will be alternating aisle and window seats).  Seats will also be numbered, odd numbers behind the driver, even numbers on the door side.
  • Bus passes will indicate not only the route and stop, but also the student’s cohort and the seat number to which they are assigned.
  • Buses will follow similar routes to those used last year but, owing to reduced ridership, some stops may be skipped depending on the cohort day as no students from those stops may be riding every day.   Final schedules will be posted on the website. add link

Elementary Students: All students who live two miles or more from school have been placed on buses.   We are contacting others who indicated that they wish to have their children ride to confirm they are still interested.   At this point, it appears we will be able to accommodate all elementary students who wish to ride the bus.  We hope to have these passes in the mail by the end of this week.

Middle and High School Students: 

Grade 6 (more than 2 miles away): Students in grade 6 who live more than two miles away and are registered to ride the bus may start riding immediately. These passes will be mailed home at the end of this week.

Grade 6 (less than 2 miles away) and all Grade 7-12: In order to assure students get home in time for afternoon remote sessions, we will be prioritizing those students who live more than two miles from their school for any Pierce and MHS available seats.

It will take a few more days to survey those who signed up last spring to determine their continuing interest and place them on routes.  It is not clear that everyone who requested a seat on these buses will get one.  Parents and guardians in this group should make other arrangements for Wednesday through Friday of next week. We will update on additional bus seats available going forward for this group next week.

Please refer to the Milton Public Schools Transportation webpage for all updates.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

Please see the most recent communication from the MHS Leadership Team, highlighting important upcoming dates, new student orientation, building protocols and more.

Milton High School Contacts: 
Principal Karen Cahill, Vice Principals Mr. Ben Kelly and Mr. Brian Mackinaw.
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Maureen Kennedy and Mr. Brad Spindle and Ms. Meghan Connors
MHS School Nurse Christine Walsh
MHS Athletic Website
MHS Website

PIERCE PAGES 

Pierce Principal Bill Fish sent two important updates to families this week and last. Please see the links below for cohort information, weekly schedule updates, building protocols and more.

Pierce Middle School Contacts:
Principal Mr. William Fish and Assistant Principals Dr. Nick Fitzgerald and Ms. Janice Mazzola
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Sandy Wyse and Mrs. Susan Higgins
6th grade welcome activities will take place during the school day during the 1st weeks of school
Pierce School Nurse Barbara Perry
Pierce Webpage
Pierce PTO email contact
Pierce PTO Facebook page

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Glover Elementary School Contacts
Principal Mrs. Karen McDavitt and Assistant Principal Mrs. Sara MacNeil
Administrative Assistant Ms. Deb Woods
Glover Nurse Maureen LeBlanc
Glover Webpage 
Glover Twitter account
Glover PTO FB Page
Glover PTO email contact 
Glover Supply List
Glover September 7 Communication 

Collicot Elementary School Contacts
Principal Mrs. Holly Concannon and Assistant Principal Ms. Ellen Lohan
Administrative Assistant Ms. Joanne Barker
Collicot Nurse Jeanne Sgroi
Collicot September 8 Communication
Collicot August 19 Communication
Collicot Webpage
Collicot PTO email 
Collicot PTO Facebook page
Collicot School Supply List 

Cunningham Elementary School Contacts
Principal Dr. Jon Redden and Assistant Principal Mrs. Bernadette Butler 
Administrative Assistant Ms. Erica Cadigan 
Cunningham Nurse Alison Joyce
Preschool Updates
Cunningham Webpage 
Cunningham PTO email 
Facebook Page
Cunningham School Twitter 
Cunningham School Instagram
Cunningham School Supply List 
Cunningham September 10 Communication

Tucker Elementary School Contacts 
Principal  Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai and Assistant Principal Ms. Kristen Driscoll
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Eileen Keaney
Tucker Nurse Kerry Joyce
Tucker Webpage 
Tucker  PTO email contact
Tucker  PTO Facebook page
Tucker School Supply List

Community Schools Updates 

Please see these important updates from Community Schools about virtual after school enrichment options.

ANTI-RACISM ACTION TEAM 

The Milton Public Schools invites parents, guardians and staff  to apply for positions on the new Anti-Racism Action Team. This group will be charged with drafting an Anti-Racism Action Plan to guide the district’s work moving forward in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, with a particular focus on anti-racism. After the Action Plan is reviewed by our staff and community, the Action Team will present to the School Committee. The Action Team will continue to play an important role in supporting implementation, as well as monitoring and reporting quarterly to the School Committee.

The staff application for the Action Team can be found here and the parent/guardian application is found here.

FOOD SERVICE 

We are excited to share the fall Food Service plan with you today! All details can be found in this link.

Students will have two options  – grab and go (several breakfasts and lunches) as they leave school on their in-person days or once a week pick up (at MHS near the field house doors behind the school)  of multiple breakfasts and lunches on Wednesday.

Due to an extension by the USDA, all meals will be free to all students through December 2020. If a USDA waiver is not extended in December students accounts will  then be charged accordingly. Meals will remain free for our free and reduced students. All meals will be eaten at home.

Additional food resources can be found here. MPS families in need of support at anytime are encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH

As I shared last week, the social emotional health of our students will be paramount as we reopen our schools. I have asked our district wide team of Adjustment Counselors to share resources  with you in the coming weeks. This 1st installment is an update from MHS Adjustment Counselor Jennie Beliveau, who also served as Co-Chair of Return to School Wellness Subcommittee.

This summer, the Wellness Subcommittee of the Return to School Task Force met weekly and was made up of MPS staff members as well as community members. The community volunteers ranged in all areas of expertise including mental health, social emotional learning, advocacy, and social injustice work. The goal of this subcommittee was to make recommendations to the larger task force on how to best support both staff members and students social emotional wellness with the transition of returning to school. One thing was made very clear through all of our conversations – the social emotional well being of our students and our staff is most important. If staff and students are not feeling safe and supported, it will be impossible for us to reach our full potential as educators and students. With this in mind, recommendations were made and plans put in place. During the professional development week, there were several presentations and training to provide both education and support to staff. This included tele-health training for counselors, trauma informed care training for all staff, and a whole day of collaborative work around social emotional learning. Staff have also been encouraged to participate in yoga and mindfulness sessions that were scheduled into our professional development to make sure that we are engaging in our own self-care. Staff are prepared to make the students as safe, confident, and eager to learn when they return to school next week. Whether students are engaged in hybrid or remote learning, we are all part of this amazing Milton community and will make this year a great year together!

***

Our school based Adjustment Counselors are available as resources for your family. Please reach out to your principal or Adjustment Counselor for support at anytime.

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

***

The William James College INTERFACE Referral Service is a confidential outpatient mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for Milton residents and public school students. Callers are matched with licensed outpatient mental health providers from their extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the specialty needs, insurance or fee requirement, location and availability needs of the caller.  For more information, visit their Facebook page @InterfaceReferralService or list the website at this link. 

This free service has been made possible to Milton residents thanks to the generous support of the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Town of Milton Police, Public Schools and Public Health Department, Mike’s 5K, and Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

All updates on Family Resources – food, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 

The Milton Public Library is a valuable partner to the Milton Public Schools and we are happy to share this communication from them below.

As you prepare to start a new school year, please remember that the Milton Public Library can be a partner in your student’s learning. However, library use in the COVID-19 world looks a little different than it has in the past. We are ready to welcome you to the MPL, with the following caveats:

  • Masks are required while inside the Library
  • Visits are limited to 30 minutes
  • No more than 20 patrons can be inside the building at a time
  • Public computers are not available for use

For these reasons, we cannot host tutoring sessions inside the Library for the foreseeable future, and kids will not be able to spend an entire afternoon with us as they have in the past.

What we can do is support your student as they work on projects, conduct research, and read for fun:

  • Books, audiobooks, and DVDs may be checked out and returned Monday – Saturday
  • Our online resources can be accessed 24 hours a day at www.miltonlibrary.org
  • Discover a wealth of virtual programming for kids and adults at www.miltonlibrary.org/events/upcoming-events/
  • Print services are available by emailing miprint@ocln.org
  • Our wi-fi works both inside and outside our building
  • Wi-fi hotspots and Chromebooks are available for checkout via our Library of Things: call 617-898-4964 to reserve

As your community hub, we are working hard to adapt in this constantly changing environment. Come and find out how we can help by visiting the Library in person, or arrange for curbside delivery by calling 617-898-4954. We are ready to serve you!

The Milton Public Library

ART AND MUSIC 

Although it will look different this year, we are  running the Applied Lesson Program remotely for the foreseeable future.

The Milton Applied Instrumental Program is now registering new students in grades 4 and above. Information for beginning students can be found here: ALP September 2020  If you are interested in registering your student for lessons please fill out this form by September 24th:  ALP Beginner Form 2020 Once you have filled out the form, the program directors or a lesson teacher will be in touch with you to set up a lesson time. Please contact Rebecca Damiani with any questions at rdamiani@miltonps.org.

ATHLETICS 

Please see the following from MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.

Tryouts for the Fall Sports Season will start on Monday, September 21. Registration will open the week of September 14. Please check the Athletics Website for more information. All sports except Volleyball, Football and Fall Cheer are currently on for this fall. Volleyball, Football and Cheer have been moved to the “floating season” as described by the MIAA in the latest release, in conjunction with DESE/EEA guidelines. Please see the Milton HS Athletics Twitter for information as it is released (@MHS_Wildcats_).

While we await more guidelines, we advise all student-athletes to get their paperwork in order for when registration opens. Registration information can be found on the Athletics Website, or linked here. Please make sure your student-athlete has a valid physical (within 13 months) for registration. Physicals expire immediately after 13 months.

This is still a very fluid situation. More information will follow in the next week with schedules and tryout information.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

More news from the Milton Public Library:

With the start of school in Milton being pushed back, we at the Milton Public Library are pleased to report that the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge has been EXTENDED until September 16! More time to log your minutes, write reviews of the books you read, and complete activities.

This also means that we are going to push back the drawings, to give all of our readers time to earn as many tickets as possible. Drawings for all of our cool summer reading prizes will take place on September 12.

The MPL offers fun and FREE virtual programs for kids almost every day of the week – and we’re adding a few extra to keep kids busy in the first half of September while you’re waiting for school to start. Keep an eye on our program calendar for information about how to register for crafts, STEM activities, story times, book club, and more!

In addition, there are many children’s programs being offered at the library virtually between September 20 -26. See all the fun offerings here.

***

The Forbes House Museum invites you to the Autumn Illumination Festival on Friday, September 11 from 6-8pm.

Join us on the front lawn of the Forbes House Museum for a concert by Boston-based Kings of Ghost Town, featuring original acoustic music that blends bluegrass and contemporary composition by Danny Erker and Evan Murphy. Enjoy original poetry by Dorchester-based Anna V.Q. Ross, inspired by her family and current events. These artists have been turning to their work to find hope, purpose, and connection; this event is a way to share those positive feelings with the rest of us. Audience members will receive battery-operated candles to help illuminate their space as night falls.

This event is free and advance registration required. Limited seats available per COVID-19 restrictions. For more information visit our website. For those unable to attend in person, the event will be streamed live on Facebook.

Thank you to the Mass Cultural Council for funding this event through its Festivals Program.

***

Brookwood Community Farm is continuing to accept folks joining our 2020 CSA using SNAP benefits at a rate of $40/month.  This $40 is added back to their account immediately through HIP.  If forms are filed quickly, the member will receive a share every other week from now through the week before Thanksgiving.  Pick up at the farm is preferred but if transportation is a barrier, Brookwood will find a partner to deliver the share. Please print out the form and call or email to alert us that it is coming.  Farm phone 339-502-0826.  Email president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org.  The form can be found at the bottom of this page.

AMBASSADORS

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

Students: At long last, Milton High School student Sam Higgins’ performance on “From the Top” will be broadcast this week!  You can find a local station that broadcasts the show (#385) at this link. 

If the broadcast schedule is not convenient, you can listen to the show online. It can be found  at this link. 

Congratulations to Sam!

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 10, 2020

September 3, 2020

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 3, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I write to you today in the midst of my eighth day as your Superintendent. To say they have been a busy eight days is an understatement. If you did not have a chance to read my email to Milton Public Schools parents and guardians this week, I invite you to read it here.

I have received hundreds of emails this week and I have not been able to respond individually in all cases. To all who have written with words of encouragement and congratulations, thank you. It means a lot to me to have heard from you. To all who have written with suggestions and comments, please know that they have been read and shared with the appropriate people.

Superintendent James Jette

Some of you have emailed me this week to ask if the district will now switch to a remote model. The short answer is no. Superintendent Gormley, with the full support of the MPS Leadership Team (of which I was a part of as the Principal of Milton High School) put forward a Hybrid/Remote Choice Model to the Milton School Committee on August 13. At their meeting on August 13, the School Committee voted 5-1 to begin the year in the Hybrid/Remote Choice Model. Unless health experts and metrics dictate a change , or Governor Baker mandates a model change for Milton or the State, the Milton Public Schools will begin the school year in the Hybrid/Remote Choice Model.

On Monday of this week, the teachers and staff of the Milton Public Schools began the 20-21 school year. All week, teachers and staff have been engaged in meaningful Professional Development, team building, planning and collaboration. They will continue this work next week, in a hybrid model, with some time spent working remotely and some spent in our school buildings.

On September 16, we will welcome our first students into our buildings. While we will work this fall to address content gaps that exist due to our time out of school, our primary focus in these early days will be on your child’s well being. Tending to their social emotional health while focusing on building strong interpersonal relationships will be paramount. We know that children learn more when they feel safe and protected and we will work with you to help all of our students feel comfortable and ready to learn.

We are actively planning and preparing for a successful and joyful Return to School! I wish you and your family a restful and relaxing Labor Day weekend and I look forward to partnering with you in the weeks and months ahead.

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATES 

We are ready to Protect the Paw!

Protect the Paw is our MPS effort to energize the Milton community around making decisions that will allow our students and staff to begin the school year in the safest possible environment. Small decisions that we all make every day can have a big impact on the health and safety metrics in the Town of Milton.

A key component of a safe return to school is mask wearing for all MPS students and staff. Last week, the School Committee finalized the MPS face covering  policy. All students and staff will be wearing a mask and the details on the newly approved mask policy can be found here. Please see our Masks 101 guide here.

***

 Cohort information has been or will be emailed:

  • Elementary: Week of August 31
  • Pierce: Week of August 31
  • MHS: Schedules and cohort by September 15

All students have been confirmed as either in the Hybrid or Remote model. At this time, in order to make final plans for the opening of school, there will be a pause on changes to model choices. If a parent/guardian needs to move from Hybrid to Remote due to a medical issue, they should contact their child’s principal. All other change inquiries will be considered after September 30.

In person start and end times for each school under the hybrid choice are as follows:

  • ​Pierce and MHS: 7:50-12:00
  • Cunningham and Collicot: 8:15-11:15
  • Glover and Tucker: 8:35 – 11:35

Leaving time for dismissal, travel home and lunch, remote learning will take place each afternoon for all students:

  • Pierce and MHS: 1:10 -2:45pm
  • Cunningham and Collicot: 1:00-3:00 pm
  • Glover and Tucker: 1:20-3:20pm

The school day for all remote students is generally the same

***

The Milton School Committee voted to approve four policies last week. You can read the details below. Each of these policies is important and I encourage you to take the time to read through them.

#maskupmilton

  • Face Covering Policy – All students and staff will wear a face covering
  • Remote Learning Policy – Sets guidelines and best practices for Remote Learning 
  • Immunization Policy – Seasonal influenza vaccine for the current flu season (July-June) must be received annually for anyone 6 months of age or older by December 31st.
  • Covid Policy– Pursuant to this policy, the Superintendent is generally empowered to deviate from MPS policy to maintain the health and safety of the MPS community, while maintaining academic standards of the highest level possible.

***

#MPSanywhere: Have you begun setting up a space in your home for at home and remote learning? We would love to see it! Send us a picture of your #MPSanywhere work space and we will share it with the MPS community. Email your picture to sokeefe@miltonps.org or drop it into this folder.

#MaskupMilton: We want to see your mask style! Send us your mask selfie and we’ll share it with the MPS community. Email your picture to sokeefe@miltonps.org or drop it into this folder. Can you tell who’s behind the masks below?

The Return to School Milton website continues to be the hub for all Return to School information. Our FAQs are updated regularly and you can often find answers to your questions here.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on September 9 , 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

TECHNOLOGY 

Milton High School BYODWhat is BYOD? Milton High School’s 1:1 device initiative titled Bring Your Own Device. Students will be encouraged to bring their own device, other than a smartphone, to school on a daily basis. Students who do not have a device can loan a Chromebook from Milton Public Schools at no cost. All details on BYOD can be found here. 

Can we borrow a Chromebook? Yes. All MPS families will be afforded the opportunity to borrow a Chromebook from MPS.  Families borrowing a device will be able to pick up their device during set dates and times  before school starts.

If I want to purchase a device is there something specific I should get? If you would like to purchase a device for your MPS student (Pierce students will be assigned a device as part of a Pierce 1:1 device initiative started last year) we have recommended minimum tech specs.  This link is to the MHS Bring Your Own Device flyer. The bottom left corner of the flyer is a link to these minimum tech specs.

Family Technology Support Help Center website:  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact.

Student Technology Boot Camp: This student boot camp was created to help prepare students for remote learning. Students should go through all of the modules to become more comfortable with all of the platforms/applications that will be used throughout the 2020-21 school year. Each module will include important topics your student will be expected to use.

Screentime and Blue Light: Well before the pandemic put everyone in front of a screen for hours on end, it was debated whether blue light being emitted from devices causes eye issues.  Here are some resources to help educate families on blue light.
Harvard Medical; WebMD; Research Progress; Blue Light & Sleep – Forget What You Know; Best Blue LIght Glasses for Kids

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Please see below from Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli.

Welcome back to our families in Special Education!

Once you hear from your child’s Principal regarding their cohort assignment you can expect to hear from your Team Chairperson to discuss how your child’s special education services will look in your selected model of school attendance (hybrid or remote). Following that discussion you will receive a comprehensive document summarizing the discussion and outlining how services will be provided of your child.

Please note that as school reopens, we anticipate lots of questions and concerns regarding students and learning and missed instruction/services as a result of COVIID-19 both in general and special education.

With DESE guidance, the considerations we are using to guide these discussions include:

  • General Education Recovery Support: May be made available to students with disabilities and students without disabilities who need it to address educational and social-emotional needs and reorient them to learning.
  • COVID-19 Compensatory Services: For students with IEPs to remedy skill or knowledge loss or lack of effective progress due to delayed, interrupted, suspended, or inaccessible
  • IEP services because of the emergency suspension of in-person education related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • New IEP Services: To address new areas of disability-related need for students with IEPs.
  • At this link,  you will find Special Education FAQ that is driving our practice during this time.

Finally, your child’s team chair will address compensatory services with you within the Team Process and we encourage you to reach out with any concerns. Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time.

***

Notification of Student/Child Find: In accordance with Federal and State regulations, the Milton Public Schools provides special education programs for eligible students designed to meet the needs of children attending not only public schools, but also those attending private school at private expense as a Milton resident.

Milton provides all residents with an opportunity to participate in the public schools program using a continuous and systematic effort to identify children in need of special education services. Please continue to read the 9/1/20 Notification of Child Find here. 

***

What is the McKinney-Vento Act? The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (“Act”), 42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq., is a federal law that is designed to ensure that homeless children and youth have the same access as other children to public education, including public preschool programs. Please see the full McKinney-Vento Public Notice on the 2nd page here.’

ANTI-RACISM ACTION TEAM 

The Milton Public Schools invites parents, guardians and staff  to apply for positions on the new Anti-Racism Action Team. This group will be charged with drafting an Anti-Racism Action Plan to guide the district’s work moving forward in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, with a particular focus on anti-racism. After the Action Plan is reviewed by our staff and community, the Action Team will present to the School Committee. The Action Team will continue to play an important role in supporting implementation, as well as monitoring and reporting quarterly to the School Committee.

The staff application for the Action Team can be found here and the parent/guardian application is found here.

TRANSPORTATION 

Given the significant restrictions placed on the number of students who can ride a bus at any given time (33% of normal capacity), we are recommending that parents/guardians of students who do not qualify for transportation under state law should plan to make other transportation arrangements as the number of available seats beyond those required by law will likely be very small, if available at all. State law requires that transportation be provided for students in grades K to 6 who live 2 miles or more from school.

The Milton Public Schools will run three bus runs in the morning and afternoon as it has done in the past- Middle/High School; Collicot/Cunningham; Glover/Tucker.

MPS will follow the guidance set forth in MA DESE’s Fall Reopening Transportation Guidance (July 22, 2020). Measures include:

  • Masks- All staff and students on the bus, regardless of age, are required to wear masks at all times.
  • Distance- Students should be seated no more than one student per bench, alternating sides for each row, which allows students to maintain approximately 3 feet of physical distance. Children from the same household may sit together and in closer proximity (e.g., two students per bench).
  • Ventilation- Keep windows open at all times during operation, unless not possible due to extreme weather conditions.
  • Seat assignments- Students should be assigned to a single bus and a particular seat.

Please email bus@miltonps.org with questions.

PIERCE PAGES 

Pierce Principal Bill Fish sent two important updates to families this week. Please see the links below to stay up to date.

FOOD SERVICE 

Thank you to the MPS family who left this special note of thanks for our food service staff. We appreciate it!

We have so enjoyed seeing many of our families at our weekly meals to-go pick up every Wednesday at Tucker and MHS from 8-9am and 5-6pm.  Our Wednesday summer pick ups will continue through September 9.

When school resumes, all students will have the opportunity to pick up grab and go meals as they leave school each day and we will also continue a weekly pick up option on Wednesdays beginning on September 16. All weekly meal pick ups will continue to be free through December 2020.

Additional food resources can be found here. MPS families in need of support at anytime are encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

The William James College INTERFACE Referral Service is a confidential outpatient mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for Milton residents and public school students. Callers are matched with licensed outpatient mental health providers from their extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the specialty needs, insurance or fee requirement, location and availability needs of the caller.  For more information, visit their Facebook page @InterfaceReferralService or list the website at this link. 

This free service has been made possible to Milton residents thanks to the generous support of the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Town of Milton Police, Public Schools and Public Health Department, Mike’s 5K, and Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

***

Our school based Adjustment Counselors are available as resources for your family. Please reach out to your principal or Adjustment Counselor for support at anytime.

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

***

All updates on Family Resources – food, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

NEW MPS STAFF

Every August we welcome new staff to the Milton Public Schools. This year is no different and we are grateful to our MPS Mentor Team who has welcomed our new staff and will work to support them throughout the year. To our new MPS teachers and staff, welcome to  the Milton Public Schools!

Some of our new MPS staff are pictured below and we will share more new faces with you in the coming weeks.

ART AND MUSIC 

Although it will look different this year, we are  running the Applied Lesson Program remotely for the foreseeable future.

The Milton Applied Instrumental Program is now registering new students in grades 4 and above. Information for beginning students can be found here: ALP September 2020  If you are interested in registering your student for lessons please fill out this form by September 24th:  ALP Beginner Form 2020 Once you have filled out the form, the program directors or a lesson teacher will be in touch with you to set up a lesson time. Please contact Rebecca Damiani with any questions at rdamiani@miltonps.org.

SCHOOL SPECIFIC INFORMATION

The 20/21 school year started on Monday, August 31 for staff, and will begin on Wednesday, September 16 for grade 1-12 students and on Monday, September 21 for our kindergarten and preschool students. On Friday, September 4 and Monday, September 7, the Milton Public Schools is closed for Labor Day weekend.  Follow our MPS Facebook page and MPS Twitter account for news and information throughout the year. The full MPS calendar can be found here.

MILTON HIGH SCHOOL
Assistant Principals Mr. Ben Kelly and Mr. Brian Mackinaw.  An Interim Leadership Team for the 20-21 will be announced soon.
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Maureen Kennedy and Mr. Brad Spindle and Ms. Meghan Connors
MHS Athletic Website
MHS Website

PIERCE
Principal Mr. William Fish and Assistant Principals Dr. Nick Fitzgerald and Ms. Janice Mazzola
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Sandy Wyse and Mrs. Susan Higgins
6th grade welcome activities will take place during the school day during the 1st weeks of school
Pierce Webpage
Pierce PTO email contact
Pierce PTO Facebook page

GLOVER
Principal Mrs. Karen McDavitt and Assistant Principal Mrs. Sara MacNeil
Administrative Assistant Ms. Deb Woods
Glover Webpage 
Glover Twitter account
Glover PTO FB Page
Glover PTO email contact 

COLLICOT
Principal Mrs. Holly Concannon and Assistant Principal Ms. Ellen Lohan
Administrative Assistant Ms. Joanne Barker
Collicot Webpage
Collicot PTO email 
Collicot PTO Facebook page

CUNNINGHAM
Principal Dr. Jon Redden and Assistant Principal Mrs. Bernadette Butler 
Administrative Assistant Ms. Erica Cadigan 
Preschool Updates
Cunningham Webpage 
Cunningham PTO email 
Facebook Page
Cunningham School Twitter 
Cunningham School Instagram

TUCKER
Principal  Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai and Assistant Principal Ms. Kristen Driscoll
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Eileen Keaney
Tucker School Supply lists
Tucker Webpage 
Tucker  PTO email contact
Tucker  PTO Facebook page

COMMUNITY NEWS 

Sign up to give blood at Milton’s Boston Childrens Hospital Blood Drive!

Last September MPS held its first Milton Goes Gold month in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness. We raised funds and awareness in support of our young friends impacted by childhood cancer.

This year, we are unable to have a full Milton Goes Gold month but we invite you to sign up to give “liquid gold” – lifesaving blood – at one of two community blood drives. Due to Covid safety precautions, walk-ins are not allowed but you can sign up to give on September 19 here and September 24 here. Thanks for helping to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

***

Great news from the Milton Public Library!

With the start of school in Milton being pushed back, we at the Milton Public Library are pleased to report that the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge has been EXTENDED until September 16! More time to log your minutes, write reviews of the books you read, and complete activities.

This also means that we are going to push back the drawings, to give all of our readers time to earn as many tickets as possible. Drawings for all of our cool summer reading prizes will take place on September 12

The MPL offers fun and FREE virtual programs for kids almost every day of the week – and we’re adding a few extra to keep kids busy in the first half of September while you’re waiting for school to start. Keep an eye on our program calendar for information about how to register for crafts, STEM activities, story times, book club, and more!

In addition, there are many children’s programs being offered at the library virtually between September 13 -19. See all the fun offerings here.

***

The Forbes House Museum invites you to the Autumn Illumination Festival on Friday, September 11 from 6-8pm.

Join us on the front lawn of the Forbes House Museum for a concert by Boston-based Kings of Ghost Town, featuring original acoustic music that blends bluegrass and contemporary composition by Danny Erker and Evan Murphy. Enjoy original poetry by Dorchester-based Anna V.Q. Ross, inspired by her family and current events. These artists have been turning to their work to find hope, purpose, and connection; this event is a way to share those positive feelings with the rest of us. Audience members will receive battery-operated candles to help illuminate their space as night falls. 

This event is free and advance registration required. Limited seats available per COVID-19 restrictions. For more information visit our website. For those unable to attend in person, the event will be streamed live on Facebook.

Thank you to the Mass Cultural Council for funding this event through its Festivals Program. 

***

Brookwood Community Farm is continuing to accept folks joining our 2020 CSA using SNAP benefits at a rate of $40/month.  This $40 is added back to their account immediately through HIP.  If forms are filed quickly, the member will receive a share every other week from now through the week before Thanksgiving.  Pick up at the farm is preferred but if transportation is a barrier, Brookwood will find a partner to deliver the share. Please print out the form and call or email to alert us that it is coming.  Farm phone 339-502-0826.  Email president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org.  The form can be found at the bottom of this page.

AMBASSADORS

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

The six Milton PTOs asked me to include the following statement and I am happy to do so here:

We wanted to take a moment to express our sincere appreciation for Superintendent Mary Gormley’s years of service to our children. We are not sure anyone has worked harder to make the Milton Public Schools the top-notch school system that it is today – 46 years of passion, dedication, empathy, kindness, and tenacity. Sometimes we wonder if she actually ever slept – responding to parent emails at all hours, attending every event she could where an MPS student had a chance to shine whether inside the classroom or out – a sporting event, a Pierce Players show, an end of year award ceremony, one of our amazing band concerts, and even most recently – reading Charlotte’s Web virtually to a group of elementary students every week during the pandemic. It is not easy to be a public figure in this town – especially when you oversee the education and well-being of thousands of students.

It is your time now Mary – we wish you the absolute best in your well-deserved retirement and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your hard work and pure, unabashed dedication to providing the best for our children!

The MHS PTSFO, The Pierce, Tucker, Glover, Cunningham, and Collicot PTOs

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 3, 2020

August 20,2020

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week’s post is the first of my weekly Thursday blog posts for the 2020-21 school year. If you are new to the Milton Public Schools, I welcome you to what I hope will be a multi-year partnership as we work together toward the common goal of providing an excellent and equitable education for each one of our 4497 current Milton Public Schools students.

In a typical year, I would be reminding families and staff of important upcoming dates, as well as sharing interesting summer program updates, fun summer reading pictures and logistical details. While the beginning of this school year is vastly different, much of the logistics of opening our schools remains the same.

There will be Principal emails and welcoming activities, the much anticipated classroom and cohort assignments, new school supplies to purchase, and 1st days of school for all of our students and staff. Each of these will look and feel differently than they have in the past and it is our job – parents/guardians, administrators, teachers and staff – to work together to make our new (and temporary) normal feel welcoming and safe for our students.

In the coming days, you will hear more about Protect the Paw, our MPS effort to energize the Milton community around making decisions that will allow our students and staff to begin the school year in the safest possible environment. Small decisions that we all make every day can have a big impact on the health and safety metrics in the Town of Milton.

In addition, we’ll share education and resources about masks, hand hygiene, technology support, social emotional well being, MPS building safety measures and more as we prepare for our students and staff to return to school.

I know that by working together we can achieve the goal of a safe return to school and I look forward to partnering with you in the weeks and months ahead.

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATES 

The Return to School Milton website continues to be the hub for all Return to School information. You can read details on our Hybrid/Remote Choice model, which is how we will begin the school year. If you have not chosen Hybrid or Remote for your child, please email your child’s principal ASAP to make this choice. Cohorts and schedules are being developed now.

Transportation: Given the significant restrictions placed on the number of students who can ride a bus at any given time (33% of normal capacity), we are recommending that parents/guardians of students who do not qualify for transportation under state law should plan to make other transportation arrangements as the number of available seats beyond those required by law will likely be very small, if available at all.

State law requires that transportation be provided for students in grades K to 6 who live 2 miles or more from school.Please email bus@miltonps.org with questions.

Our FAQs are updated regularly and you can often find answers to your questions here.
What is the 1st day of school? Can I make a cohort request for my child? Can we borrow a Chromebook? These answers and many more can be found in the FAQs.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on August 26, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

SCHOOL SPECIFIC INFORMATION

The 20/21 school year starts on Monday, August 31 for staff, on Wednesday, September 16 for grade 1-12 students and on Monday, September 21 for our kindergarten and preschool students. On Friday, September 4 and Monday, September 7, the Milton Public Schools is closed for Labor Day weekend.  Follow our MPS Facebook page and MPS Twitter account for news and information throughout the year. The full MPS calendar can be found here.

You will find school specific contact information below. School based welcoming activities will be shared by each Principal in the coming weeks.

MILTON HIGH SCHOOL 
Principal Mr. James Jette and Assistant Principals Mr. Ben Kelly and Mr. Brian Mackinaw
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Maureen Kennedy and Mr. Brad Spindle and Ms. Meghan Connors
MHS Athletic Website
MHS Website

PIERCE
Principal Mr. William Fish and Assistant Principals Dr. Nick Fitzgerald and Ms. Janice Mazzola
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Sandy Wyse and Mrs. Susan Higgins
6th grade welcome activities will take place during the school day during the 1st weeks of school
Pierce Webpage
Pierce PTO email contact
Pierce PTO Facebook page

GLOVER
Principal Mrs. Karen McDavitt and Assistant Principal Mrs. Sara MacNeil
Administrative Assistant Ms. Deb Woods
Glover Webpage 
Glover Twitter account
Glover PTO FB Page
Glover PTO email contact 

COLLICOT
Principal Mrs. Holly Concannon and Assistant Principal Ms. Ellen Lohan
Administrative Assistant Ms. Joanne Barker
Collicot Webpage
Collicot PTO email 
Collicot PTO Facebook page

CUNNINGHAM
Principal Dr. Jon Redden and Assistant Principal Mrs. Bernadette Butler 
Administrative Assistant Ms. Erica Cadigan 
Preschool Updates
Cunningham Webpage 
Cunningham PTO email 
Facebook Page
Cunningham School Twitter 
Cunningham School Instagram

TUCKER
Principal  Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai and Assistant Principal Ms. Kristen Driscoll
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Eileen Keaney
Tucker School Supply lists
Tucker Webpage 
Tucker  PTO email contact
Tucker  PTO Facebook page

UPDATE ON MPS ANTI-RACISM WORK

The Milton Public Schools invites parents, guardians and staff  to apply for positions on the new Anti-Racism Action Team. This group will be charged with drafting an Anti-Racism Action Plan to guide the district’s work moving forward in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, with a particular focus on anti-racism. After the Action Plan is reviewed by our staff and community, the Action Team will present to the School Committee. The Action Team will continue to play an important role in supporting implementation, as well as monitoring and reporting quarterly to the School Committee.

The staff application for the Action Team can be found here and the parent/guardian application is found here.

The job description on the new senior leadership position, Director of Educational Equity,  as well as dates for community conversations among parents, staff, and community members about diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism in MPS will be included in an upcoming blog.

We have created a new section on the MPS website, highlighting recent, ongoing, and upcoming work related to building an anti-racism school district. The pages will continue to be updated as our work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging expands and accelerates in the months ahead.

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Please see below from Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli.

Many thanks to the staff and families who made our ESY program such a success. I appreciate the positive feedback and will continue to address any issues that arose.

By now you have indicated your preference for your student’s return to school. A few notes: Students with a level of need 3 or 4 will attend school daily until the all school dismissal time (before lunch, time varies by school). Students with a level of need 1 or 2 will attend a hybrid schedule in an assigned cohort. Long term planning includes consideration for level 4 students to attend school in person for a longer day.

As we move into fall, your team chair will be in touch regarding inclusion schedules for students who attend daily to address how those inclusion services will be provided, given that we are trying to minimize cross exposure. There are several options to discuss, and this will be a work in progress as we return to the classroom.

Our next special education parent coffee will be on Friday, August  28 at 9:30. Join the Zoom Meeting here: ID: 77697687517; Password: r4l6LDl26s

We would also like to welcome two Team Chairs to our department.

  • Gabriela Diller will be the new Team Chair at Milton High School. She begins this fall and you can reach her at gdiller@miltonps.org
  • Holly St. Peter joins us at Pierce Middle School as the 6th grade Team Chair. She can be reached at hstpeter@miltonps.org. Tracy Grandeau will continue to chair all of grades 7 and 8 and the specialized programs for grade 6

PIERCE PAGES 

Pierce Principal Bill Fish recently sent an update to all Pierce families which you can read below.

After several months of uncertainty and questions around what the district’s plans for reopening school would look like, we now have a decision. I realize that families have weighed a variety of factors to inform the decision to have their children return to school in person or remotely. I respect every family’s choice.

We all desperately want to get back to normal. However, the reality is that this school year will be quite different than any other year. We will have teachers and students working and learning both in school and remotely. When we are in school, we will be wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing between one another. School days, bell schedules, and class periods will be altered significantly from what we once knew. There will be new sets of procedures and protocols to facilitate the day. There will be challenges, but a commitment to safety, well being, and learning will remain at the center of our work.

A great deal of information has been shared with families regarding the district’s school reopening plan. The district’s full reopening plan can be found here. I will remain in contact with families in the coming weeks to provide you with ongoing updates relative to the opening of the new school year. I hope you find the general information below helpful.

You can read Principal Fish’s full update here.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

I hope you were able to visit the recent Sensory Sidewalk at Tucker. The pictures below do not do it justice – it was a creative and fun way to get our students moving.  Thank you to Inclusion Specialist Maureen Butler for adding this to the Tucker summer calendar and thank you to our student chalk artists, Max Mitchell and Rose Gillooly as well as to Tucker art teacher Jess Gillooly for their contributions to the Sensory Sidewalk.

***

Great news from the Milton Public Library!

With the start of school in Milton being pushed back, we at the Milton Public Library are pleased to report that the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge has been EXTENDED until September 16! More time to log your minutes, write reviews of the books you read, and complete activities.

This also means that we are going to push back the drawings, to give all of our readers time to earn as many tickets as possible. Drawings for all of our cool summer reading prizes will take place on September 12

The MPL offers fun and FREE virtual programs for kids almost every day of the week – and we’re adding a few extra to keep kids busy in the first half of September while you’re waiting for school to start. Keep an eye on our program calendar for information about how to register for crafts, STEM activities, storytimes, book club, and more!

FOOD SERVICE

We have so enjoyed seeing many of our families at our weekly meals to-go pick up every Wednesday at Tucker and MHS from 8-9am and 5-6pm. Thanks to a just received waiver from the USDA, we are able to continue our grab and go meals on  Wednesdays through the beginning of school.

When school resumes, all students will have the opportunity to pick up grab and go meals as they leave school each day. Students who apply and qualify for free and reduced meals will receive to go meals for free or at the reduced price. The Free and Reduced meal application can be found here.

Additional food resources can be found here. MPS families in need of support at anytime are encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

All updates on Family Resources – food, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link. 

TECHNOLOGY 

Elementary Families: If you have not had a chance to take the technology survey emailed to all elementary families on Wednesday, the MPS Return to School Technology Subcommittee asks that you and your student(s) complete this Elementary Technology Survey.  Please complete the first five questions and then ask your student to complete the remainder of the questions.  Younger students may need help completing the survey.   Thank you for your help and support.

Secondary Families: In an effort to improve students’ remote learning experience, we ask that you have your student(s) check their MPS Gmail account to take a short technology survey that was emailed to them on Wednesday.  Thank you for your help and support.

***

We invite you to visit the Milton Public Schools new Family Technology Support Help Center website.  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact. 

ATHLETICS

Please see below from MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.

As many of you may have heard, DESE and the MIAA have released their guidelines and recommendations for returning to Athletics. Just like the EEA and DESE guidelines for return to school, they are guidelines, not official plans. There is still work to do in our Athletic District 7, Bay State Conference, and Milton Public Schools to finalize a plan for returning to athletics.

I would ask for patience while we make these decisions. We will be receiving input from our Athletics Return-to-School Task Force, and making a recommendation to the Superintendent in the next two-three weeks. If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ryan Madden, Director of Athletics, at rmadden@miltonps.org. Registration information will be sent to families ASAP. You have not missed registration.

In the meantime, I would urge you all to have your son/daughter get a physical. The State has not waived the requirement for a valid physical to play sports, meaning students will not be able to play without a valid physical within 13 months.

Also, be sure to check out our Twitter (@MHS_Wildcats_) for our summer-long countdown of our #MHSTop32 Moments in MHS History. Number one will be revealed today!

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on August 20,2020

August 4, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: August 4, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Thank you to all who watched both our Return to School presentation to School Committee and the Family Q&A session last week. These events were recorded by Milton Access TV and can be watched at the links above. Your questions, comments and suggestions continue to inform the work of our Return to School Task Force and MPS Administrators. All updates on a safe return to school can be found at www.returntoschoolmilton.com.

As this situation rapidly evolves, we continue to revise our plans. Yesterday, we were advised by medical professionals that eating in classrooms is not advisable as students will be unmasked while eating and should be more than six feet apart. As this poses a significant challenge in terms of space, we have decided to rethink our hybrid model (at the elementary and middle school level, the high school plan remains the same) to allow for students to eat at home rather than in school. You can find the details on these adjusted hybrid models below.

We recognize that this is a stressful and disconcerting time for MPS families, students and staff. Please know that all decisions made in this constantly changing landscape are carefully considered and made with the overall health and best interest of our students and staff at the forefront of all conversations. There are no easy decisions here as we work together toward a safe return to school for the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools.

On Wednesday, August 5th at 7pm, we will present our In-Person, Hybrid and Remote plans to the Milton School Commitee for them to vote on an anticipated plan to begin the school year.  At this meeting the Milton School Committee will also vote on a revised school year calendar based on DESE’s recent reduction of school days to 170. We anticipate that the first day of school for students will be September 16th and the first day of school for staff will be August 31st. These dates are not final until the School Committee vote tomorrow night.

The link to attend the School Committee meeting on August 5th can be found here  and you can watch the meeting on Milton Access TV,  Comcast channel 22 or RCN channel 15.

On Monday, August 10th, we will submit the plan approved by the Milton School Committee to DESE for final review.

We will continue to update you. Please contact the Return to School Task Force anytime at this link. 

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATES 

Revised Elementary Hybrid Plan

  • Students will be divided into two cohorts (groups A and B). We are still working to ensure equitable access to instructional time for students in our High Needs groups.
  • Groups A or B attend for 3 hours in person daily. Each day, the cohort is dismissed at 11:30 (Collicot/Cunningham) or 12:00 p.m. (Glover/Tucker).
  • In-person instruction in the morning will be core-content focused: prioritization of math and language arts (English and French). Live remote instruction in the afternoon with the classroom teacher(s) will also be core-content focused.
  • Students who attend in-person in the AM participate in specialists and independent work time in the PM.
  • Students who attend remotely in the AM participate in remote instructional blocks with classroom teacher(s) in the PM.
  • In this model, every student who opts for the Hybrid model will receive daily instruction from their classroom teacher(s) either in-person or remotely.
  • Lunch will be “Grab and Go” for students.

In this model, all specialists (PE, Art, Music, Instructional Technology, Spanish) will be conducted remotely on a set schedule.

Revised Pierce Hybrid Plan 

The current draft of the revised hybrid model at Pierce is as follows:

  • Students will be divided into two cohorts (groups 1 and 2). We are still working to ensure equitable access to instructional time for students in our High Needs groups. 
  • Each group will attend school in person for approximately four hours a day on alternating days.
  • The in-person school day will end at noon each day. Grab and go lunch will still be available for students.
  • The hybrid model includes in-person sessions every other day; “at home” work will be assigned during the at-home learning days.
  • Learning at home will consist of practice, extensions, and application working from well-coordinated extended assignments and student-directed activities assigned by teachers.  Work will be a blend of independent and collaborative learning activities.
  • Afternoon sessions will be remote, live and include the full class roster.

The schedule above represents our current thinking on how each day school will be organized. Pierce staff will continue to work to refine the details of the schedule to ensure that we optimize time on learning and ensure student support structures.

The Milton High School Hybrid Plan remains the same at this time and can be viewed here. The In-Person and Remote models at all levels remain unchanged and can be viewed here. 

Return to School Survey Updates

In our last update we shared the results of our Family Survey. These results were primarily quantitative and, therefore, easier to share quickly. In case you missed the results of the Family Survey, they can be found here.  MPS  currently has 4493 registered students and 2876 families. 2360 families completed the survey. These results are being used by our subcommittees to inform their recommendations to the Superintendent and our Return to School Task Force.   Importantly, we asked a question about mental health supports and all families who indicated a possible need and provided a contact, will be contacted by their principal or adjustment counselor. If you feel your child is in need of mental health support, please contact your child’s principal to connect with resources. You can view the results  of the Family Survey here.

***

We issued a Student Survey at the end of June, asking three open ended questions about students’ experiences with remote learning. These results took much longer to synthesize and interpret as almost 1500 students gave 4400 individual written answers. Student’s thoughts about remote learning have been summarized and the entire summary can be found here. A synopsis is below.

All qualitative responses were broken down by age group and summarized to highlight key themes. Responses ranged across many topic areas. Many commented on specific school subjects, assignments, online application and games. Others described the process and organization of classes, keeping track of assignments, grades, platforms, and the use of technology. Many noted their interactions with classmates and teachers, while others mentioned their home environment, their own motivation, and the overall workload. This summary document also features relevant quotes from students and families that expressed key ideas.  Overall:

  • Students (and families) struggled to organize the various lessons, meetings, platforms, communications, websites, and all other manner of communications from the schools. Especially in the middle and high school grades there were requests for more structured scheduling and consistent communication channels across the curriculum.
  • Students wanted and needed more one-on-one and small group contact with their teachers, especially for explaining assignments and providing timely feedback.
  • There was no consensus on large on-line sessions – some liked them others found them overwhelming.
  • Across all the grades students appreciated group projects and assignments that were not screen-based.
  • Students wanted to be able to interact with their peers remotely. They wanted some fun activities.
  • Finding motivation and keeping focus was challenging for many. When asked what would make learning from home better, there were many suggestions made by students across all the age groups.
  • Across all grades students often reported feeling that they were doing busy-work and they sought more interactive assignments, assignments tied to current events, and for high school students many wanted to be graded.
  • Remote learning was especially difficult for the PreK-2 age group and required much more parent involvement in the learning process.

More detailed summaries of the responses to each question, as well as quotes from our respondents are included here. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on August 5, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

UPDATE ON MPS ANTI-RACISM WORK

We have created a new section on the MPS website, highlighting recent, ongoing, and upcoming work related to building an anti-racism school district. The pages will continue to be updated as our work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging expands and accelerates in the months ahead.

Here are a few other updates on our anti-racism work:

  • At its July 29 meeting, the Milton School Committee unanimously approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to create a new senior leadership position, Director of Educational Equity. For details about the position, read the press release.
  • We are finalizing the Request for Quotes for an external organization to conduct a district-wide Equity Audit. We will hire a consultant with deep experience conducting audits for public sector organizations, in order to assess equity and inequity in policies, programs, practices, resources, curriculum, and other aspects of the school district.
  • Later this week, MPS central office leaders, principals, and assistant principals will participate in a virtual workshop hosted by the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC). The session will focus on family and community engagement in the context of Covid-19, led by Dr. Karen Mapp, Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Master’s Program.
  • We will host a series of Community Conversations with families, educators, and community members to discuss issues related to race and racism, as well as the broader work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Our goal is to foster meaningful discussions with diverse groups of participants, in order to inform our anti-racism work moving forward. Additional details and a schedule of Community Conversations will be announced shortly.
  • MPS will invite parents, educators, and community members to apply for positions on the new MPS Anti-Racism Action Team. The team will drive the development of a comprehensive Action Plan to guide the district’s anti-racism work, building on the MPS Reform Platform presented by the Milton Anti-Racist Coalition (MARC). Details about the application process and timeline will be announced shortly.

SUMMER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

All MHS  summer assignments can be found at this link. In addition, the link for the summer reading challenge that all high school students will complete can be found here.

***

Pierce Summer Reading: This year’s approach to summer reading will focus on a school-wide read of Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson. Our goal is to provide a common book for students, staff and faculty to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall.  The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community.  By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Please see this  link to learn more about Harbor Me.

Pierce Summer Math Enrichment: All rising or current Pierce Middle School students, as well as their parents, are encouraged to enroll this summer in the free online self-paced course titled How to Learn Math: For Students offered through the math education department at Stanford University. You can find a description and enrollment link for this course, which will address math myths, growth mindset thinking, the valuable role that mistakes play in mathematical development, and much more, here. Please also see this link for additional resources, enrichment activities, games, and puzzles.

***

The MPS At Home Learning website is available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!

We hope you are enjoying your summer reading! 

Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” All details can be found here.

Registration is open for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one here. For more help, view this slideshow or contact Sara Truog at struog@ocln.org.

The Challenge will run through September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities. Happy reading!

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Be sure to tune in to the Today Show on Wednesday, August 5th  between 10-11am to see rising 5th graders Daniel and Max talk about their dog treat business and their donations to the Milton Food Pantry. These two charitable entrepreneurs have been busy! You can read their story in this Patriot Ledger article.

TRANSPORTATION

Families with students registered for transportation for the 2020-2021 school year received ridership surveys last week.  Please complete the applicable surveys as soon as possible as the Transportation Department moves forward with state guidelines for the fall.  Please email questions to bus@miltonps.org.

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

We want to clarify our position on masks, as we realize guidance has been shifting: Will everyone in school need to wear a mask?

Yes. Milton Public Schools will require teachers and all students, in grades pre-K to 12, to wear 3-ply surgical (not cloth) masks at all times, with the exception of outdoor “mask breaks” during recess and at points in the day when students can socially distance. These guidelines are more stringent than those set by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Exceptions will be made for those who cannot wear masks due to medical conditions, disabilities, and other health and safety factors.

Please note the change in the guidelines to 3-ply surgical (lightweight blue/white masks) from either surgical or cloth masks. MPS will have surgical masks on hand as needed.

***

Recently leaders from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and AASA, The School Superintendents Association met to discuss school reopening and this joint statement was released July 10th AAP News- Back to School .   While emphasizing the importance of returning to school, they also stressed the need for safety while recommending physical distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene and classroom disinfection.  Milton Public Schools has made safety a priority and incorporated these principles in our back to school plans.  Information for parents can be found here: Return to School during COVID 19 or by visiting MPS COVID19 Information and Return to School Milton.

We would like to remind parents that up to date Physical Exams are required for entrance to MPS (any grade), Kindergarten, 4th grade, 7th grade and 11th grade.  Up to date immunizations are required for entry to MPS.  Immunization requirements for School Entry.

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

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

We have openings in our Food Service Department. If you are interested in flexible hours and working at MPS food service this school year, please email Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

All updates on Family Resources – food, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link. 

TECHNOLOGY 

We invite you to visit the Milton Public Schools new Family Technology Support Help Center website.  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact. 

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

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

Central Office is staffed every day and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on August 4, 2020

July 27,2020

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Below you will find a draft of the Milton Public Schools Initial Return to School plans –  In-person, Hybrid, Remote – at each level. These plans will be submitted to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on Friday, July 31. On Monday, August 10, the MPS detailed plan for the anticipated return to school model will be submitted to DESE and shared with the MPS community.

Returntoschoolmilton.com continues to be the hub for all information about Milton’s safe return to school. Please visit the website and the FAQs often. Questions sent through the “Contact Us” form on the website are often answered in the FAQ section.

Please review the plans and note the opportunities below to hear the plans presented to School Committee, to submit questions, and to attend a Q&A session about a safe return to school for Milton.

MPS INITIAL REOPENING PLANS

Please see the Milton Public Schools Return to School (RTS) Presentation:
Guidance, Process, and Draft Plans at this link. This presentation contains the guiding principles and the Initial Return to School plans –  In-person, Hybrid, Remote – at each level.

IMPORTANT DATES THIS WEEK

Monday, July 27: MPS Initial Return to School Plans shared with all MPS families

Tue-Thur July 27-30: Submit your questions about MPS Initial Return to School plans on this form

Wednesday, July 29: Watch the School Committee meeting at 7pm to hear a full presentation of the plans.

Thursday, July 30: Watch the 2nd MPS Return to School Q&A from 5:45-7pm. There will be a very short presentation of plans followed by the Q&A. If at all possible, we encourage you to read through the plans and/or watch the School Committee presentation before the Q&A.

Friday, July 31: MPS submits Initial Return to School Plans to DESE for review.

Wednesday, August 5:  School Committee vote on Superintendent’s Return to School plans

Monday, August 10: MPS detailed plan for the anticipated return to school model due to MA DESE and MPS community.

MA DESE GUIDANCE

We continually receive guidance from the MA Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) and these guidelines inform all decisions made in Milton about a safe return to school. We encourage you to read through these documents, which can be found at anytime on the DESE website  and are linked at www.returntoschoolmilton.com under additional guidance.

RESOURCES IN OUR COMMUNITY

We are lucky to have a vast pool of expertise in Milton, ranging from medical and mental health professionals to logistics and technology experts and everything in between. Several Milton residents have publicly shared thoughts on reopening schools and we share them with you here.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on July 27,2020

July 21, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: July 21, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The Return to School Task Force and MPS Administrators have been working every day toward a safe return to school. Since we last wrote to you on July 9th, we have shared updates on our Return to School website, via text and at our Q&A session. Please read through this section to remain up to date on our RTS efforts.

As a Task Force, we are working very hard to ensure that our families and students of color are represented. Thank you to the BIPOC who have already reached out and been welcomed onto our subcommittees and Core Team! We continue to prioritize this as we are committed to making the safest and most equitable recommendations possible on behalf of all students in the Milton Public Schools. If you are interested in joining us in this critical work, particularly if you are a volunteer of color, please reach out to your building principal or directly to Ada Rosmarin and Karen McDavitt, Co-chairs of the Return to School Task Force.

Important Upcoming Return to School Dates

  • Monday, July 27th: MPS Initial Return to School plans – In-person, Hybrid, Remote – emailed to all MPS families
  • Monday-Thursday, July 27-30th: Submit your questions about these plans in a link provided on Monday. 
  • Wednesday, July 29th: Presentation of Initial Return to School plans to the School Committee. We will send a link to view the School Committee meeting in the Monday email with MPS Initial RTS Plans. Please watch this meeting to hear a live presentation of the three plans. This meeting will be recorded and available to view later on Milton Access TV. 
  • July 30th: Return to School Q&A 5:45-7pm. Details to join Zoom Webinar or view on another platform will be sent in the Monday email. The Q&A will be a very short presentation of plans followed by the Q&A. If at all possible, we encourage you to read through the plans and/or watch the School Committee presentation on Wednesday night. 
  • July 31st: MPS Initial RTS Plans (In-person, Hybrid, Remote) due to MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
  • August 10: MPS detailed plan for the anticipated return to school model due to MA DESE and MPS community.

Return to School Updates

  • On July 10th, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education(DESE)  issued a list of Frequently Asked Questions about planning a safe return to school. You can read the document here .
  • Thank you to all who attended the July 16th Parent/Guardian Zoom Webinar with MPS administrators and members of the Return to School Task Force. We reached our capacity of 500 attendees, and apologize to those who were unable to log in. We have upgraded our account to accommodate 1000 attendees and will offer additional viewing opportunities prior to our next Return to School Q&A. The Q&A was recorded and can be found here.
  • On July 17th, DESE provided districts and schools with additional information on protocols for responding to specific COVID-19 scenarios this fall, including in school, on the bus, or in community settings. Please note that CDC protocols related to this topic may be released in the coming weeks, and this guidance may be updated accordingly. The full DESE guidelines on protocols can be found here. 
  • We have continued to update our FAQs in response to questions asked on our contact us form as well as at the Q&A. The FAQ is date stamped, please check back often for updates.
  • Last week, on July 15th and 17th, we sent texts through our communication system, with a reminder about the Q&A and RTS info. If you DID NOT receive those texts and would like to receive RTS updates via text when they are sent, please enter your cell phone number here. 

Our Family Survey closed last week and while the qualitative analysis will take some time, we can share some quantitative information here. MPS  currently has 4493 registered students and 2876 families. 2360 families completed the survey. These results are new and will be used by our subcommittees to inform their recommendations for best practices. You can view the quantitative results here.

At any time, please reach out to the Task Force with questions, comments or concerns through this comment form.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on July 29, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

MPS DRAFT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR DISTRICT WIDE EQUITY AUDIT 

We are seeking feedback from the community on this MPS Draft Equity Audit Request for Proposals (RFP) to select an external consultant that will conduct an equity audit of the entire district.

We are seeking an organization with deep experience in anti-racism work to help us assess where we are and chart a course for reform moving forward. We appreciate any feedback you have so we can ensure that the RFP reflects the needs of the district and the community. If you would like to provide feedback, please do so by Friday, July 24 here:  Draft RFP Equity Audit Feedback Form

SUMMER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

All MHS  summer assignments can be found at this link. In addition,  the link for the summer reading challenge that all high school students will complete can be found here.

***

Pierce Diverse Book Giveaway:Calling all incoming 6th, 7th and 8th grade students! Stop by Pierce Middle School on Friday, July 24th, from 9am-12pm to pick up free books with a broad range of diverse characters and authors. All books are based on students’ interest with characters that are their age dealing with the same middle school issues they are. Books will be distributed as long as supplies last, so come early. Thank you to the Daley Family for their diverse Little Free Library project highlighted below in our Elementary section for this donation of diverse books to our Pierce students.

Pierce Summer Reading: This year’s approach to summer reading will focus on a school-wide read of Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson. Our goal is to provide a common book for students, staff and faculty to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall.  The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community.  By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Please see this  link to learn more about Harbor Me.

Pierce Summer Math Enrichment: All rising or current Pierce Middle School students, as well as their parents, are encouraged to enroll this summer in the free online self-paced course titled How to Learn Math: For Students offered through the math education department at Stanford University. You can find a description and enrollment link for this course, which will address math myths, growth mindset thinking, the valuable role that mistakes play in mathematical development, and much more, here. Please also see this link for additional resources, enrichment activities, games, and puzzles.

***

The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!

***

It’s not too late to sign up for summer reading! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” All details can be found here and you won’t want to miss this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration is open for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one here.  Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered. For more help, view this slideshow or contact Sara Truog at struog@ocln.org.

The Challenge will run through September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities. Happy reading!

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

We have received many questions about face coverings and how parents can get students prepared to return to school wearing a mask.  As more people wear cloth face coverings, children will get used to seeing them and not feel strange about wearing them.  We encourage families to start getting kids used to masks now, well in advance of the start of school in a comfortable, safe environment.  Please review some strategies suggested in this  Mask Toolkit  link and reach out to your pediatrician or school nurse with any questions or concerns. More MPS specific information about masks can be found in our Return to School FAQs.

MSAPC

This Behavioral and Mental Health Resource Guide, compiled by the MSPAC, is an easy to use reference, replete with hotlines, mental health resources, support groups, culturally competent care, social services and more.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

This is week three of Extended Year Programming for our students in special education. We appreciate everyone’s patience while we have problem solved.

  • If you are having trouble accessing ESY services, please let us know. We know there have been some technical issues.
  • If your child is attending in person, we ask you to be sure students arrive with masks on.
  • Our next Parent Coffee will be Thursday, July 24 at 9am. Please join us for any questions or concerns related to this summer or fall. If you had a chance to participate in the parent forum on 7/16/20, I was able to provide some updated information from the Department of Education related to fall guidance, and will answer any additional questions during the coffee.
  • Link to join the Parent Coffee: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78455570074?pwd=MUp6MWloS0JKTGduNDlMcFY2WnJoQT09
    Meeting ID: 784 5557 0074
    Passcode: UKE4SD
  • If you have not had a chance to meet Mark Harrison, the new Assistant Director for Pupil Personnel, he will be joining  the coffee and it’s a great time to say hello.

As always, please be in touch with your questions or concerns. You can reach Susan Maselli via email at smaselli@miltonps.org

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

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

We have openings in our Food Service Department. If you are interested in flexible hours and working at MPS food service this school year, please email Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

MHS Adjustment Counselors will be available this summer to provide additional support to our MHS students as needed. Our goal has been, and continues to be, supporting our students social and emotional health. MHS Adjustment Counselors will have office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Friday, August 21 and will  schedule a phone call or Google meet with students. Please contact counselors via email:  Jennie Beliveau @ jbeliveau@miltonps.org; Mary Bianca Mattocks @ mmattocks@miltonps.org, and Ken Adelman @ kadelman@miltonps.org.

The Interface Helpline is also available all summer Monday-Friday from 9-5. This service provides free referrals for mental health support and can be reached by calling 888-244-6843. Additionally, attached are great mental health resources that are available for all of our students and families.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Principal Jette at jjette@miltonps.org at any time.

PIERCE PAGES 

Pierce Principal Fish recently sent a letter to all Pierce staff and families. You can read the entire letter in the link here or below.

As I reflect on my first year as the principal of Pierce, there is a great deal to be proud of as a school community. From implementing one-to-one computing to revamping our master schedule, we have brought about necessary and important changes for our students’ learning and school experiences in a relatively short period of time. However, when I think about our efforts in a broader context, there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done. Racial injustice is a reality for many of our students, staff, and families, and our school and district have a responsibility to use its platform and resources to equip our educators and students with the tools and support necessary to combat these injustices in our community and society. As a principal, parent, and member of the Milton community, I am committed to leading this work in our school community.

Please continue reading Principal Fish’s letter here.

***

Some local (and not so local!) celebrities wanted to congratulate and wish our Pierce 8th graders the very best. Thanks to Pierce’s Ms. McEvoy for putting this together and to all who contributed along the way!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

As part of the Tucker community calendar students are accessing diverse reads during our 4 book swap days. We are utilizing our Little Free Library and highlighting the diverse reads added by the Daley Family, as part of their efforts highlighted below. Diverse reads are available at all of our elementary schools in our Little Free Libraries.

Little Free Library Support: In addition to our regular Little Free Library titles,  we are excited to now have diverse reads that can be swapped and savored by Milton families. Inspired by Sarah Kamya and her Little Free Diverse Libraries project, MPS parents Winston and Nicole Daley have launched “Little Free Diverse Libraries – Milton” in our town. Their goal is to fill the “Take One, Leave One” libraries throughout Milton with books written by diverse authors, to promote anti-racist literature, celebrate a wider spectrum of characters, and support Black-owned bookstores.  They have now purchased almost 700 books and placed them in 17 Little Free Libraries in Milton. There has been tremendous support from individuals and families willing to share resources and donate. There is a  Little Free Library at each elementary school and the Pierce Middle School, at every playground and next to the Milton Public Library. To learn more or to donate,  please follow @littlefreediversemilton on Instagram, Venmo @Winston-Daley or email winston.daley@gmail.com.

***

This year, Tucker’s Girl Scout troop 72131 worked on “Be a Leader” painted rocks. The rocks were on display this past Monday for all Tucker students to view and to leave a message or painted rock of their own. The rocks share how they have been or will be a leader in their community.

Are you enjoying your summer reading? Send us your summer reading picture and we will share it with the MPS community! Send all pictures to sokeefe@miltonps.org. 

TECHNOLOGY 

During the week of August 3rd all elementary families who borrowed a Chromebook from Milton Public Schools will be required to return the device(s) to their school.  Please plan to deliver the borrowed Chromebook(s) to your school during one of the following dates and times:

Collicot – Monday, August 3rd, 8-10 am & Wednesday, August 5th, 12:30-2:30 pm at the cafeteria entrance in the back of the school

Cunningham – Monday, August 3rd, 12:30-2:30 pm & Wednesday, August 5th, 8-10 am at the cafeteria entrance in the back of the school

Glover – Tuesday, August 4th, 8-10 am & Thursday, August 6th, 12:30-2:30 pm at the right side door closest to the gymnasium 

Tucker – Tuesday, August 4th, 12:30-2:30 pm & Thursday, August 6th, 8-10 am at the right side door in the faculty parking on the front right of the school

All families are asked to return both the Chromebook and charger.  Please make sure the Chromebook is completely charged when it is returned.  Finally, you will be asked to turn the device on to show that it still works properly, and wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe that will be provided.  Thank you for your help with this process.

***

It is with great excitement that the Milton Public Schools shares with you the new Family Technology Support Help Center website.  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact. 

STAFF NEWS

A note from Mark Harrison, Assistant Director for Pupil Personnel Services, follows below.

As you may have read in Superintendent Gormley’s blog post on June 4th, 2020, I recently accepted a new position within the Milton Public Schools. I am excited to now be serving as the district’s Assistant Director for Pupil Personnel Services.

Prior to joining the Milton Public Schools as the Team Chair of Milton High School in November 2018, I taught in Westwood, Wellesley, and Wayland for over ten years. As Milton High School’s Team Chair for the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with the high school’s students, families, staff, and administrators; the elementary and middle school’s Team Chairs; and Ms. Susan Maselli, the district’s Director for Pupil Personnel Services. I look forward to establishing new relationships across the district when school reopens in the fall.

I am pleased to announce that Ms. Gabriella Diller has been hired as the next Team Chair at Milton High School. Ms. Diller has worked at Boston Prep for the past seven years, five years as a special education teacher, and the last two as the Assistant Director for High School Support Services. She is certified in Moderate Disabilities (5-12) and English (8-12)
and is a graduate of Boston University. We are so pleased to welcome her to the team at MHS!  She will assume her new role on August 31, 2020 and can be contacted at gdiller@miltonps.org.

If you need to contact me at anytime, I can be reached at mharrison@miltonps.org.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Emergency Rental Assistance Fund: The Town of Milton has established a $100,000 emergency rental assistance fund to assists tenants who have lost employment or otherwise suffered income losses as a result of the COVID-19 related economic closures.

The Town will partner with Metro Housing Boston to administer the Program. The Program will provide financial assistance to eligible households who owe back rent or don’t have the ability to make their next scheduled rent payment and are at risk of losing their housing. All details can be found here.

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway is open this Saturday, July 25 from 9:15-11:15am.  

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here.

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

Join Courageous Conversations Milton Community Forum on Police and Race Relations with Milton Chief of Police John King and Moderator Mark Conrad. This event will take place on Wednesday, July 29, 7-8:30pm. This is a virtual event on Zoom, please register here.

***

Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a free Parent Café: Getting Ready for Kindergarten.  Will your child be attending Kindergarten in the fall? Then, our free Parent Café is for you! Join us on July 23, 2020, 7:30 PM via Zoom. Email cpcmecasld@verizon.net to receive meeting link and password.

***

Milton Soccer Registration is open for children entering grades K-8 through August 1st. Please click on this link: Milton Soccer Website for more information and to register your child. Milton Soccer intends that no child be denied the opportunity to participate in the soccer program due to family financial problems. Portions or all of player registration fees may be waived if situations warrant such action. Requests can be made during registration and questions can be sent to registrar Heather Montgomery at hjmontgomery@me.com.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

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

Central Office is staffed every day and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on July 21, 2020

July 9, 2020

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

At the School Committee meeting last night, the members and I heard incredibly powerful, emotional testimony from numerous parents and others about difficult and sometimes traumatic experiences in the Milton Public Schools. The testimony was painful to hear, and certainly even more painful to deliver. The School Committee and I were moved, outraged, heartbroken, and most importantly, motivated by these personal accounts. No parent, child, or staff member should ever feel unwelcome, stereotyped, mistreated, disrespected, underestimated, or discriminated against in the Milton Public Schools. The stories underscore the urgent need for us to accelerate and deepen our work to become a more welcoming, inclusive, equitable school system.

Above all, it is clear that we must expand our ongoing equity and cultural competency work to include a sharper focus on anti-racism. Our commitment to ensuring safe, welcoming learning environments for all learners – including closing access and achievement gaps – is already embedded as one of the six core goals of our Strategic Plan, and we have a great deal of excellent work on which to build. However, the nationwide call for greater awareness and change to eradicate racism, injustice, discrimination, violence, and oppression, as well as recent events that have occurred here in Milton, serve as powerful reminders that we must be more intentional in our efforts to build an anti-racism school system. Above all, we must equip our students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills to navigate the complex issues of race and racism in our society, and ultimately, to make a positive difference in their communities and in the world.

At the School Committee meeting last night, I announced two immediate steps to advance this work: 

  1. Establish the Milton Public Schools Anti-Racism Action Team, which I will co-chair, comprised of the existing Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Equity & Cultural Competency, as well as additional community and parent members and staff to be named; and
  1. Charge the Action Team with developing an Anti-Racism Action Plan for the Milton Public Schools, to present to the community and the School Committee, which includes immediate and longer-term recommendations across all aspects of the district, from pre-K to 12, including policy, practice, curriculum, resources, and more.

The School Committee expressed its full support for these actions and affirmed its commitment to partnering with the administration and the community in the work of becoming an anti-racism school district. The Committee also voted unanimously in support of a statewide resolution, proposed by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, stating a collective commitment to anti-racism work in school districts throughout the Commonwealth.

We are deeply indebted to the community groups, parents, guardians, and staff who urged, educated, and challenged us to be more proactive and comprehensive in our ongoing work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. In particular, we extend our thanks to the Milton Anti-Racist Coalition (MARC) and to Citizens for a Diverse Milton for their leadership on these critical issues. We fully embrace and share MARC’s vision for an “excellence-with-equity, anti-racist educational system.” The MPS Reform Platform that MARC submitted to me and the School Committee provides valuable findings and recommendations for effecting change, and it will serve as the starting point for the Action Team’s work in developing the Action Plan. 

Last night, I also announced that we already are taking a critical step forward to implement one of the recommendations in the MARC platform. We will be  seeking feedback from the community on a Request for Proposals to select an external consultant that will conduct an “Equity Audit” of the entire district and serve as our lead partner in this work. We are seeking an organization with deep experience in anti-racism work to help us assess where we are and chart a course for reform moving forward. 

I encourage you to read the statement I presented to the School Committee and the community last night for additional details about our plans and my own personal reflections.

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE

Please click on this link and take this important and anonymous survey about MPS Return to School and continue reading for more information.

The Return to School Task Force and MPS Leadership Team are working through the latest guidance from MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as we prepare for September, taking into consideration the health, safety, and well-being of students and staff, equity and student engagement, special education, family partnerships and support, reimagining our classrooms, technology needs, professional development, and staff and student support. To stay up-to-date on all state and district developments, please be sure to visit our website frequently. On this website, you will find a “Contact Us” tab. At any time, you can reach out to the Task Force through this comment form

Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey C. Riley has released the state’s Initial Fall Reopening Guidelines which emphasize the priority of having students physically present in classrooms for the benefit of education and mental health. The state is asking school districts to create a plan that covers three scenarios: fully in-person, hybrid (combination of in-person and remote), and fully-remote. Read the full guidelines, as well as several supporting documents shared by DESE here and on our Return to School Website

We continue to conduct feasibility studies in each building, “pressure testing” each classroom (and other spaces, such as gym, library, cafeteria, outdoor spaces, etc.) to determine how many students and staff members, given current guidance, could safely be present in each available space. 

As we prepare for next school year, your thoughts, questions, and concerns are important to us. We are seeking input from all stakeholders on a variety of topics and the data collected will be critical as we consider and plan for various scenarios. Please take a few minutes to complete this anonymous survey. The purpose of this survey is to gather information about individual family needs and interests with regard to a return to school, to solicit reflections on remote learning to inform future plans, and to remind families of the supports in place to help those in need. Your responses will be used to help formulate plans for a safe return to school. 

Please complete one survey per family. Deadline for survey submission is Wednesday, July 17. 

We will also be holding Return to School Q&A Zoom meetings throughout the summer. Stay tuned for dates and times.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee will be on July 29, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

SUMMER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

Join us for a MPS Virtual Summer Experience! All students K-5 (there are a few options for 6th grade, too!) are invited to join the fun and learning this summer at MPS Virtual Summer Experience! Do you want to:

  • Get moving each day?
  • Make some healthy snacks?
  • Buff up your language skills?
  • Get a jump on your summer reading?
  • Learn American Sign Language?
  • Work on some art projects?
  • Have fun virtually with friends and teachers?

If you answered yes to any of the above, MPS Virtual Summer Experience is for you! Classes start July 13, registration is now open at this link. All details can be found here. Email virtualsummer@miltonps.org with any questions. 

***

Diverse Readings and Discussions for ChildrenAs always we recommend previewing texts and videos in advance to ensure they are a fit for your family.

  • Little Free Library Support: In addition to our regular Little Free Library titles,  we are excited to now have diverse reads that can be swapped and savored by Milton families. Inspired by Sarah Kamya and her Little Free Diverse Libraries project, MPS parents Winston and Nicole Daley have launched “Little Free Diverse Libraries – Milton” in our town. Their goal is to fill the “Take One, Leave One” libraries throughout Milton with books written by diverse authors, to promote anti-racist literature, celebrate a wider spectrum of characters, and support Black-owned bookstores.  With the prolonged closures of schools and libraries impacting students’ access to books, they are also hoping to directly distribute books to children for summer reading. In just 2 weeks they’ve received almost $5,000 in donations, purchased almost 300 books and placed them in 17 Little Free Libraries in Milton. They have also secured a donation of 230 books from Houghton Mifflin. There has been tremendous support from individuals and families willing to share resources and donate. There is a  Little Free Library at each elementary school and the Pierce Middle School, at every playground and next to the Milton Public Library. To learn more or to donate,  please follow @littlefreediversemilton on Instagram, Venmo @Winston-Daley or email winston.daley@gmail.com.
  • Build up your child’s personal library virtually and in print: There are many suggested titles and booklists that support diversity and inclusion. Here are a few of note.
  • Watch and Discuss Together:

***

All MHS  summer assignments can be found at this link. In addition,  the link for the summer reading challenge that all high school students will complete can be found here.

***

Pierce Summer Reading: This year’s approach to summer reading will focus on a school-wide read of Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson. Our goal is to provide a common book for students, staff and faculty to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall.  The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community.  By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Please see this  link to learn more about Harbor Me. If you have not yet picked up your child’s copy of Harbor Me, you can do so on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of this week or any day next week, between 8am and 3pm at Pierce.

Pierce Summer Math Enrichment: All rising or current Pierce Middle School students, as well as their parents, are encouraged to enroll this summer in the free online self-paced course titled How to Learn Math: For Students offered through the math education department at Stanford University. You can find a description and enrollment link for this course, which will address math myths, growth mindset thinking, the valuable role that mistakes play in mathematical development, and much more, here. Please also see this link for additional resources, enrichment activities, games, and puzzles.

***

The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!

***

It’s not too late to sign up for summer reading! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” All details can be found here and you won’t want to miss this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration is open for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one here.  Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered. For more help, view this slideshow or contact Sara Truog at struog@ocln.org.

The Challenge will run through September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities. Happy reading!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services Susan Maselli shares that this week  we began summer special education services for students in Milton. 12 groups of students participated in in-person learning and fun and over one hundred students began remote academic services. More than 30 out-of-district students resumed services in person or remotely as well.

Special thanks to staff and families for their patience and exceptional efforts. We appreciate all the work families have done helping students prepare to return to school, and we’re glad to see so many who were able to successfully wear masks and face shields.

We will host a mid summer parent/guardian check-in, and welcome parent/guardian input on their student’s experiences at anytime along the way.

As always, please be in touch with your questions or concerns. You can reach Susan Maselli via email at smaselli@miltonps.org

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

MHS Adjustment Counselors will be available this summer to provide additional support to our MHS students as needed. Our goal has been, and continues to be, supporting our students social and emotional health. MHS Adjustment Counselors will have office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Friday, August 21 and will  schedule a phone call or Google meet with students. Please contact counselors via email:  Jennie Beliveau @ jbeliveau@miltonps.org; Mary Bianca Mattocks @ mmattocks@miltonps.org, and Ken Adelman @ kadelman@miltonps.org.

The Interface Helpline is also available all summer Monday-Friday from 9-5. This service provides free referrals for mental health support and can be reached by calling 888-244-6843. Additionally, attached are great mental health resources that are available for all of our students and families.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Principal Jette at jjette@miltonps.org at any time.

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In early March, MPS students, families and staff enjoyed an evening with the Harlem Wizards! Thank you to Milton Access TV for filming and compiling the  Harlem Wizards event. You can watch the fun here.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Each year Tucker students join together for a special evening to celebrate our diversity and community through song and dance. You can tell each grade apart as they always wear a unique color to show their teamwork. Although we were not able to hold our annual event this year, the spirit of the event lives on in the form of unique summer opportunities hosted by Tucker faculty members and sponsored by the Tucker PTO. The exciting summer calendar kicked off Monday, July 6 with an opportunity to pick up Unity Night t- shirts outside of Tucker to wear and represent the community spirit of Tucker. A special shout out of thanks goes to our student designer, fifth grader Samara Solomon-Sanneh, who created the design following a contest this past winter!

TECHNOLOGY 

It is with great excitement that the Milton Public Schools shares with you the new Family Technology Support Help Center website.  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides the following information:

PlusPortal: Support instructions; Tutorials; Mobile app information

Google: Information & tutorials on; Google Classroom; Google Calendar; Google Drive; Google Keep & Tasks

Clever: Information & login instructions

Guardian Monitoring: Information on how to monitor online activity at home

Who to Contact: List of MPS staff to contact with help on specific issues

STAFF NEWS

Congratulations and welcome to Allyson McHugh who has been appointed as the English Department Head at Milton High School. Ms. McHugh joins the Milton Public Schools with outstanding accolades from the Waltham Public Schools where she has served as both the Grade 6-12 ELA Director and the ELA Director of the Changemaker Academy, a program within the Waltham Public Schools.  Ms. McHugh was the unanimous choice of the Screening Committee for this position as she comes with a wealth of experience as a coordinator and leader, she is knowledgeable, skilled and extremely gifted. Waltham’s Assistant Superintendent describes Allyson as “a team player and go-getter.” She has a great sense of curriculum development with a strong desire to focus on diversity and equity. We look forward to working with Allyson McHugh in her new role as the English Department Head.”

Congratulations and welcome to Magen Slesinger, our new Director of PreK-12 Fine Arts (Music, Fine Arts and Consumer Studies).  Ms. Slesinger comes to us after five years as Coordinator of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts for the Watertown Public Schools. Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai writes that “We are so excited to have identified Magen for this role. Magen stood out for her commitment to the arts, equity and school culture experience. Her experience in the music field as well as her experience as a Coordinator in Watertown will support the excellent programming for  Arts that has already been established in MPS.” I know you will join us in welcoming Magen Slesinger to the Milton Public Schools.

ART AND MUSIC

We are pleased to share MHS student Sam Higgins’ recent  interview on CS Music. Sam recently won the 2020 Classical Singer Competition, Classical High School Division!

MSAPC 

On July 15 at 8pm, the Improbable Players will perform for the MPS community via Zoom.

“Teens at Milton High School were moved watching the Improbable Players last year and we are thrilled to be bringing them back with their updated virtual performance called ‘The Group Chat’,” said Laurie Stillman, Director of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MSAPC).  The performance will take place on July 15th, 2020 at 8pm and is sponsored by the Milton Public Library, the Milton Health Department along with MSAPC.  Improbable Players is a theater troupe made up of young people in recovery. Their performances, based on real life, include a talk back session in which audience members can ask questions of the actors about the play and about their struggles with addiction.

“The Group Chat” follows four friends during their first year out of high school.  As one friend begins to use alcohol to deal with stress, the other friends in the group struggle to understand the true nature of addiction and how they can help.  This play explores how addiction can affect relationships, how to talk to someone you love when you feel concerned about their use of drugs and alcohol, and ultimately, the different pathways to recovery.

Ideal for teens and the adults who care about them, the audience will be able to log on to the performance through Zoom to watch and then interact with the members of Improbable Players.  The link and instructions will be widely advertised and also available on the MSAPC website, milton-coalition.org as well as the events page of the Milton Public Library at www.miltonlibrary.org.   This performance is made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

***

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has opened registration for Youth Leadership Trainings to be held later this summer.  Registration is free, space is limited, and registration will close on July 15.  More information and the registration link can be found at www.milton-coalition.org.

The trainings will be focused on creating a healthier Milton by fostering youth skills in such areas as community planning, advocacy, public speaking, and civic and political engagement.  We plan on using dynamic trainers who specialize in youth development.  Trainings will be online unless the public health situation allows for in person trainings.

Our goal is for Milton to develop a group of diverse youth who can effectively use their voices to speak out for themselves and their peers in order to improve their community.  Youth need to be involved in decisions that impact them and we believe they have important contributions to make.

Why is the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition interested in Youth Leadership?  Because youth are the experts on what is needed in Milton to support their well-being and to make healthier choices, including around substance use.

All teens who are interested in making a difference are encouraged to sign up.  All teens welcome; priority given to those entering grades 8 and 10,  IF we need to limit numbers.  Community service hours available to those who complete the series.  Exact dates and times are to be determined but will likely be afternoons or evenings in August.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway is open this Saturday, July 11 from 9:15-11:15am.  

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here.

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a free Parent Café: Getting Ready for Kindergarten.  Will your child be attending Kindergarten in the fall? Then, our free Parent Café is for you! Join us on July 23, 2020, 7:30 PM via Zoom. Email cpcmecasld@verizon.net to receive meeting link and password.

***

Milton Soccer Registration is open for children entering grades K-8 through August 1st. Please click on this link: Milton Soccer Website for more information and to register your child. Milton Soccer intends that no child be denied the opportunity to participate in the soccer program due to family financial problems. Portions or all of player registration fees may be waived if situations warrant such action. Requests can be made during registration and questions can be sent to registrar Heather Montgomery at hjmontgomery@me.com.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

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

Central Office is staffed every day and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on July 9, 2020

June 23, 2020

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There must be a profound recognition that parents are the first teachers and that education begins before formal schooling and is deeply rooted in the values, traditions, and norms of family and culture.  Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

As Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot writes and as I have often said, parents are their children’s first teachers.  However, never did we imagine that you would take on such a central role in your children’s schooling.  No one could have predicted how COVID-19 would compromise our very lives and sense of well-being.  No one could have imagined the challenges for both families and educators in an environment of remote learning.  Finally, no one could have envisioned the sense of loss that many have endured.  And yet, together we have persevered through uncertainty on behalf of our students.  Thank you for partnering with us.

In the midst of a pandemic that kept us physically apart, we have also faced painful truths about institutional racism in our nation and within our own school community.  Many of our educators and families felt pain as we faced some difficult truths about ourselves and our school community in the arenas of social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Today marks the close of our school year.  To truly move forward, we must reflect on our past, revisit systems in place, and engage in healing and repair.  I commit my energy and my leadership to engage with families, educators, and others in our community to prepare a safe place and space for teaching and learning.  Further, I commit to look inward and engage with others to address educational inequities and racial injustices. Thank you for your willingness to engage with us as we repair, heal, and grow.  We must each play an active role in this work.  Our children, our future, depend on it. 

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATE

Within days we anticipate prescriptive guidance from Governor Charlie Baker and Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley about the reopening of schools in the fall. The Return to School Task Force and I will communicate with MPS staff and the MPS community regularly throughout the summer. I will update you as soon as I receive this guidance.

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE 

Over the next 10 weeks, please look for our updates in this blog space, via email, on social media, and on the Return to School Milton website. We will also provide  printed copies at the weekly to-go food pick ups at MHS and Tucker and at the special education in-person services. We will keep you updated on the work of our subcommittees, including Teaching and Learning, Facilities, Health and Wellness, Family Outreach, Technology, as well as our Beyond the School Day groups. Information on the subcommittees and their members can be found here.

We also invite your feedback – at any time – on our website through this contact us link. Please let us know what is on your mind so we can address the concerns of the MPS community.

The Return to School Task Force recently surveyed community members and staff and the results of these valuable check-ins are informing our work in many ways. We are interested in ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in this process and to that end, we are asking for your assistance in helping us get these questions into the hands of your children.

Students in the early elementary grades will likely need support from you to complete the questions. Please feel free to scribe the answers your children give. All other students should be encouraged to answer honestly and independently.

Our goal is to ensure that representative student voices are elevated and heard as we work to craft a comprehensive plan for a safe return to school in the fall. The student check-in can be found at this link.

Please bookmark our Return to School Task Force website at www.returntoschoolmilton.com and visit it often as developing information coming out of the work of the Return to School Task Force will always be posted here. The Return to School website can also always be accessed through www.miltonps.org.

SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES 

Special Education: Please see this communication on Milton‘s ESY Programming for Special Education from Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services. The current summer school dates of service continue to be July 6th through August 14th.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee will be on July 8, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

The Milton School Committee would like to share two recent press releases that were issued to media outlets.
Please see the June 17, 2020 press release here.
Please see the June 12, 2020 press release here.
The Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan can be found here.

FOOD SERVICE

Summer is here and we are happy to announce that our food service weekly to-go bags and produce boxes will be available throughout the summer! 

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26th. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

The MHS  Departmental Book Awards are now live on the website, as well as one final batch of Student Spotlights. Congratulations to our students on their accomplishments!

Student Spotlights: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and school-building closure, many of our Milton High School students are going above and beyond in their classes and their community. The students below have been nominated by MHS Staff members for their dedication, perseverance and service. Students are recognized via email by Mr. Jette, and their spotlight narratives can be found here.

Departmental Book Awards: Each spring before Final Exams, Milton High School departments nominate one member from the junior, sophomore and freshman classes to honor their outstanding academic achievement in the curriculum area. In a typical year, these Book Awards are presented in front of the entire class and serve to inspire others to complete the academic year – and their entire high school careers – with great effort and energy in the classroom.  Congratulations to our 2020 Departmental Book Award Winners!

All MHS  summer assignments can be found at this link. In addition,  the link for the summer reading challenge that all high school students will complete can be found here.

***

MHS wants to promote life-long healthy habits for our students, staff, visitors, and the community by getting into the habit of drinking water instead of sugary drinks. MHS is fundraising to replace their old water fountains with new hands-free water filtration systems, both to reduce the use of plastic to reduce the number of high-touch surfaces and the spread of germs. This goal is even more important considering our experience with COVID 19.

Help students and staff stay hydrated with good-tasting, filtered water throughout the school day by contributing or sharing this donation campaign to your family, friends, professional colleagues or social media page so we can reach our goal! Every little bit helps us get to our goal! To make a donation, please go to: https://tapwaterwatch.com/campaigns/milton-high-school/. On behalf of the Milton High School community, thank you in advance for your consideration!

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce said goodbye to their 8th graders last week with special deliveries of completion certificates, awards, and some special Pierce 8th grade swag! This week, they celebrated with a year end video, including some special shout outs.  Pierce also celebrated their award winners last week. You can take a look in the videos below.

We will miss our 8th graders! Good luck at MHS!

Congrats to our Pierce award winners!

Pierce Summer Reading

The goal of this summer’s all school read, Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, is to provide a common book for students and staff to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall of 2020.  The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community.  By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Students and staff are all receiving a copy of the book through a partnership with the Milton Public Library and the Milton Public Schools.

Click HERE to learn about Jacqueline Woodson.
Click HERE to listen to Jacqueline Woodson talk about Harbor Me.
Click HERE to listen to an excerpt from Harbor Me.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!

***

Our elementary schools celebrated some milestone grades over the last week with K and 5th grade parades and events. Our students and teachers were so happy to see each other, even from a distance!

***

Let the summer reading begin! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” To learn more, read this flyer and watch this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration begins this week for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one at https://miltonlibrary.beanstack.org. Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered.

The Challenge will run from June 18-September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities.

Join us online for the Summer Reading Kickoff Event, featuring Sciencetellers, on Thursday, June 18, 4:00-5:00 PM. To register, contact the MPL Children’s Department at 617-698-5757 or michild@ocln.org. Happy reading!

ART AND MUSIC

Caleb Smith’s 24 Hour Bike Ride last weekend rasised over $8000 for music in our schools. The ride was captured by 2020 Milton High School grad and photographer extraordinaire, Nikolai Zychowicz. Visit his website to check out his beautiful work.

STAFF NEWS 

Please join me in congratulating Christie Chiappetta on her appointment to be the K-8 Science Coordinator for the Milton Public Schools. Christie joined the Milton Public Schools in 2013 as the Secondary Science Coordinator at the Pierce Middle School. In this role Ms. Chiappetta worked closely with teachers to strengthen and enhance the Middle School science curriculum. Her teaching experience and success in her administrative role combine to qualify her to assume the responsibility of overseeing and leading MPS’ elementary and middle school science curriculum.

Glover School Principal Karen McDavitt states, “we are thrilled to welcome Christie to the elementary level as she embarks on a journey as the K-8 Science Coordinator for the district. We look forward to learning from her and growing our program under her dutiful watch.”

 A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain current physical exams for incoming 4th, 7th and 11th grade students.  This should include up to date immunization records for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade, unless a religious or medical exemption applies.  All other immunization requirements for school entry will remain the same. All students must have an updated physical exam to enter grades 4, 7 and 11. Per the new requirements, the immunization record will need to demonstrate:  School Immunization Requirements  Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Kim Coughlin, Director of Nursing Milton Public Schools at kacoughlin@miltonps.org


MSAPC 

We have a terrific FREE opportunity for all MPS Pierce and MHS students! Join Ivy Watts to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond.

Has your world been turned upside down because of COVID-19? Are you missing your friends or feeling sad that you are missing out on experiences you would have been having? Are you feeling angry, confused, or even numb? Are some days just too overwhelming? You are not alone.

Several of us may have lost meaning, connection, motivation, or sense of purpose. Several of us are struggling with the uncertainty of what the future will look like for the activities and friendships that we cherish. To help promote self-care during this time, Ivy Watts, Mental Health Empowerment Speaker & former DII athlete & All-American, has created a course called, Mental Health Support For Students During COVID-19 And Beyond. The videos, audio, and written content that fill these modules aim to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond. Despite what is happening in the world with COVID-19, your mental health and your story still matter!

Want to dive in? Head to this link: bit.ly/milton-mentalhealthmodules to get started! At the bottom of this page, choose “Subscription For One” and create a username and password unique to you, to gain your free, lifetime access to the modules! You can use your login information to access the modules whenever and wherever on your phone or laptop! If you lose the direct link, you can use coupon code “Milton” to access the course for free. If you ever have any issues accessing the course, reach out to Ivy Watts directly at ivy@beautifullysimplyyou.com

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And another opportunity for parents/guardians!

On June 24th at 7:30 pm, MSAPC presents Kristin Wason, who will lead a discussion on current treatments of alcohol and opioid disorders. The primary message is hope; recovery is possible. Kristin Wason is a Milton resident and an addiction treatment practitioner with years of experience as a clinician and as a consultant to community health centers. She will provide an overview of the risk factors and brain changes that contribute to developing a substance use disorder. She will also share local resources and best practices when it comes to treatment.

This is the final webinar in the series. Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT

As a parent/guardian of a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) for the next school year or if you presently have a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) who attends an educational program outside of town, you are required to complete the  Re-establish Residency Packet found here.  A letter was sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

Please visit our Student Registration page for all details on re-establishing residency.

Re-establishment packets were due by  June 12. If you have not yet submitted, please submit your packet to the following email: residency@miltonps.org.

If you are unable to upload the required documents, please put all necessary documents in a sealed envelope and place in the lockbox which is located outside the main entrance of Milton High School.

Please email Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator at sburke@miltonps.org with any questions.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will be open this Saturday, June, 27th from 9:15-11:15am.  

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here. 

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses.

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Forbes House Museum will host a  Virtual Voyage on June 28th!

The museum’s traditional spring fundraiser has been refashioned as an online event with music, trivia, highlights from the collection, and an auction. The theme connects the event to the Milton Reads book selection “Voyage of Mercy,” by Stephen Puleo, about Captain Forbes’s humanitarian relief mission to Ireland at the height of the Great Famine. In keeping with the purpose of that 1847 voyage, and in recognition of the increased community needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Virtual Voyage is giving 10% of all ticket sales to the Milton Food Pantry. The event will include guest appearances by both Captain Forbes and Father Mathew, the two main heroes in the remarkable true story of America overcoming social, religious and political differences to send 800 tons of provisions to Ireland.

Forbes House Museum has partnered with Lower Mills Tavern, local artists and musicians to create a very special community experience. Tickets and more information can be found at our website. You can also go directly to the online auction site to bid on original artwork, themed baskets and fund-a-need opportunities. Thank you for your support!

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The Milton Art Center has added  in person art classes this summer, in addition to the online summer art classes for children ages 5-12. Classes featuring illustration, clay, painting, printmaking, fairy camps, mixed media, needle felting, macramé, identifying and drawing birds and trees, journaling, and an art installation class based on a Ugandan folk tale, How the Crane got it’s CrownCheck out our website for a class that your child would enjoy!

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Staff: We recently highlighted the retirees for the 2019-2020 school year and have since had two more employees who have decided to retire.

Hahn Nguyen: Ms. Nguyen began her career in the MPS in 2001 as a long term substitute. She taught French Immersion at Glover and Cunningham before moving to Collicot in 2007.

We wish Hahn health and happiness as she retires from the Milton Public Schools after a long and successful career.

Ginger DeCristoforo: Ms. DeCristofaro began her career with the Milton Public Schools in 1999 as a paraprofessional. She began her career working with one student as a 1-1 aide and followed that student through to high school.

She was truly dedicated to her position. In addition to working as a paraprofessional, Ginger also worked many years as the After School Enrichment Supervisor at Glover Elementary School and later became an instructor at the Cunningham After School Enrichment Program. We wish Ginger many years of continued happiness.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

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

Central Office is staffed every day and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on June 23, 2020