December 13, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 13,  2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

In this time of thanksgiving and reflection, each of our principals recently shared with me a volunteer in their community who has positively impacted both students and staff. Please join me in recognizing the following individuals, all of whom no longer have  (or never had) children in the Milton Public Schools but continue to volunteer their considerable talents. They are true volunteers sharing their passions, time, talents and skills to improve every aspect of the Milton Public Schools.

Pierce Middle School Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding recognizes Beth Neville for her years of work creating Pierce’s Outdoor Classroom and working with Pierce’s students and staff.

MHS Principal James Jette thanks Jeannie Graham for her years of service working in Milton High School’s Guidance Office.

Glover Principal Karen McDavitt acknowledges Peggy Rusnock for sharing her gardening skills and talents with the Glover Community over the years and taking responsibility for seasonally making the front of the Glover come alive.

Tucker Principal  Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai recognizes Senior Citizen volunteer, Olimbia (Bee) Filipski, for her unbelievable volunteer work in the Tucker Library.

Cunningham Principal Jonathan Redden thanks Marie Mignosa who takes responsibility for coordinating Cunningham Elementary School’s wonderful Annual Veteran Day Remembrance.

Collicot Principal Holly Concannon is grateful to Margo Tansey for serving for over five years on Collicot’s School Site Council and offering a unique perspective to the Collicot School Improvement Plan.

Milton’s  entire Leadership Team gives thanks to  former School Committee Member Leroy Walker and Milton Police Sergeant Jack Richman for sharing their expertise, time, dedication and commitment in leading the district’s Safety and Security Committee over the past six years.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The Milton School Committee Facilities Advisory Committee has created a document to share the current and future space and enrollment challenges we face as a district. We urge you to please take a moment and read through these two pages. Our space and enrollment issue is one that we must solve both as a district and as a town in order to continue to maintain the excellence of the Milton Public Schools. Please reach out to School Committee member Ada Rosmarin, Chair of the Facilities Advisory Committee with comments or questions.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Six Milton High School students attended the Women in Science Competition last weekend at Bedford High School.  Thirty-eight teams competed across twenty-one districts. Juniors Catherine Le, Clarissa Waldmann, and Onn Ye Young  and seniors Sarah Hancock, Karisa Lasoff, and Claire Mandel made up the two teams representing Milton High School. The competition was made up of four rounds where students had to test their knowledge across various science disciplines, trivia regarding female scientists and their work in astronomy, and two building events.  Congratulations to our junior team who placed 4th and our senior team who placed 5th!

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

Many of our students attended an in house field trip this week and met with a wide variety of health care professionals from area hospitals, including BID – Milton Hospital, South Shore Hospital, Steward Norwood Hospital, MCPHS (MASS College of Pharmacy & Health Services) and others. Presenters included nurses, pharmacy techs, laboratory techs, therapists (PT/OT/Respiratory), radiologists,  EMTs, CNAs, and PAs and our students experienced hands on demos and informative exhibits.

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

PIERCE UPDATES

On Saturday, PMS teachers Melissa Augustyn and Lauren Hoyt accompanied Pierce students to the December Invitational Model United Nations Conference.  They share highlights from the day here.

The December Invitational Model United Nations Conference is only open to award winners from November’s Middle School Model UN, plus an additional two delegates from each school. These elite delegates have the opportunity to work together once again in a crisis simulation. At DIMUN 2018, students represented members of the European Council navigating a dispute with Russia. Pierce  sent 6 delegates: Hoku Panerio-Langer (8th Grade) Kiera Glazer (8th Grade) Iris Trafton (8th Grade) Ava Regan (7th Grade) Sam Boucher (7th Grade) and Colin Glazer (6th Grade). Hoku Panerio-Langer, once again, received the highest honor / top prize of “Best Delegate.” Iris Trafton won “Best Public Speaker.” Overall it was a fun and wonderful day full of diplomacy, negotiation, and learning.

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The Starlab (shown here in the Cunningham gym) is used in all of our schools.

The Starlab, an inflatable planetarium, returned to Pierce Middle School this week as 7th graders spent time viewing the night sky and learning more about the chemical makeup of stars. Thanks to our knowledgeable 7th grade science teachers , Ms. Meleedy, Ms. Clancy and Mr. O’Rourke, students learned more about some of the constellations that can be seen when we look up in the sky in Milton and some strategies to help find them in the night sky.  The 7th grade recently finished a unit on Planetary Science and they are just beginning their second unit of the year on Chemical Interactions. As we kick off the new unit, students begin by learning about elements. With this trip to the Starlab, students are learning about the elements that make up stars and the chemical reactions that are taking place as we look up in the night sky.  The Starlab was purchased for the district by the Milton Foundation for Education and is used across the grades to support a wide range of curriculum. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Rescue, Jessica and Patrick.

All MPS K-5 classes were invited to watch a live national webcast this week featuring the authors of Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship. This excellent new picture book about a girl with disabilities and her service animal is based on the experiences of one of the authors, a double amputee. The webcast  featured the authors, accompanied by their real-life service dog Rescue, and the illustrator discussing the book and answering questions at an elementary school in Westwood. They spoke about “the role of service dogs, overcoming adversity, accepting differences, and demystifying life with a physical disability.”

As not all classes were able to watch the live webcast, we would like to share the link to watch with your children, either as a follow up or as a first watch.  

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Science abounds in first grade! Mrs. Gale’s Collicot 1st graders measured with non-standard units in math, created diagrams about steps in a process in writing, explored code.org during tech time and using syringes to study how air can be used to move something in science.  These budding scientists were bubbling with curiosity and excitement! 

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The Glover staff was sporting their new Kindness t-shirts last week – In a world where you can be anything, BE KIND. What a great message to spread to our students and beyond!

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As part of the ongoing effort to connect each child and family with athletics and activities, the Tucker Basketball League completed its second season on December 6th! 4th and 5th  grade girls and boys make up the four teams that play each other each Thursday evening at the Tucker School. Thirty two students play each week with instruction, guidance and encouragement from family and friends.  Tucker parent, Winston Daley takes the lead in this effort with assistant coach, Jason Greene, by offering his expertise in basketball and fostering a love and knowledge for the sport. Acting as the official for each game, Coach Daley’s leadership has inspired an energy that lasts long after each game has ended.   The Tucker Tigers demonstrated sportsmanship and commitment during their season this fall!

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Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders completed an Animal Research project in conjunction with the Reach for Reading animal unit. Students paraded through the school as their animal and shared an animal fact with peers in a short presentation. 

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN INFORMATION NIGHTS

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY

Director of Instructional Technology AJ Melanson shares 12 Screen-less Gift Ideas from Delaney Ruston, MD. With every passing year finding presents for your children that don’t involve some sort of attention-demanding tech becomes more and more difficult.

A new phone. A new video game. There’s always something else that, if you buy it, can ultimately create friction between you and your child when you are trying to support less screen time. Then, there’s the problem of making this screen – less gift, which can be seen as a compromise for some kids,  fun. After all, what good is a screenless present, if your child isn’t going to use it?

So to make this holiday a little easier on  parents, Dr. Ruston created a list of more than a dozen great gifts that can really help you make this holiday season a win for both you and your child! Click here to read about the 12 screen-less gifts.  

WEATHER AND BUS UPDATES

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Adults who report having or feeling a purpose in life tend to be happier and more fulfilled.  Purpose also helps to foster self-confidence, positivity, good relationships, and satisfaction with life and work.  The same is true for children. When children find purpose, or a meaningful goal in life, they can better weather the tough times.  Yet a Stanford psychologist found that only 20% of youth have found something meaningful to dedicate themselves to.

There are ways that we, as parents, can help our kids find their purpose.  Modeling purposeful behavior is a place to start. They might not have the same interest, but kids will notice that their parents are motivated by something that has meaning to them. MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman shares advice for parents here. 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS – VAPING

We will continue to share resources about vaping as this is an ongoing challenge among teens and schools in our community. Noel Vigue, MPS Director of Health and Physical Education shares Vaping: What You Need to Know and How to Talk to Your Kid as a resource for parents/guardians who want to talk to their children about vaping. Please reach out to your child’s principal, school nurse or Mr. Vigue with any questions as we navigate together this relatively new challenge our children face. 

MPS GIVES BACK

Last week our PTOs, Pierce Student Council and MHS Key Club wrapped up the MPS Giving drive with an impressive collection of  books, toys and gift cards. Thank you for your generosity in helping Milton families in need! We have heard from some families who would still like to participate so with that in mind, we wanted to share that you can drop off Target gift cards, up to $25 in value, at any elementary school until Friday, December 14th. These cards will be given to MHS teens in need this holiday season.

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Pass us your soccer uniforms and we’ll pass them on to children all over the world! Drop off your used soccer uniforms (and equipment) in collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce schools and at 34 Cliff road. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. Note that uniforms from other sports will also be gratefully accepted. Collection dates are November 26- December 21  and we thank you for your support! For more information, please call Madame Brown at 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public Schools and Milton Soccer.

ART AND MUSIC

Audition results are in!  Congratulations to these six Pierce singers selected for the 2019 All-State Treble Chorus: Lillian Heaton; Christopher Mancini; Madison Mercier; Mairead Brien; Ava Butler and Rebecca Raider.

Comprised of students from across Massachusetts, the Treble Chorus will rehearse and perform at the MMEA All-State Festival in March.  They will work under the direction of Marianna Parnas-Simpson, a prestigious music educator known for her expertise working with children’s choirs.  Click this link to learn more about the festival and mission of the organization: MMEA All-State Treble Chorus 2019. Again, congratulations to these Pierce singers, and to their Director, Ms. Julia Hanna!

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Our final concert of 2018 is tonight at 7 pm at MHS. Come relax and enjoy the  MHS Small Ensemble Concert. You will enjoy this respite from the holiday hustle and bustle!

Our student musicians are performing at many events around Milton during this holiday season. Be sure to see them at one of these holiday events.

INCLUSION TASK FORCE

Thank you to all who voted for the new Inclusion Task Force logo. With 126 votes, option 1 (at left) was the clear winner with 43.7% of the votes! Thanks to Cunningham teacher Lindsay Shanahan for drawing all of our logo options and to everyone who voted. The Inclusion Task Force works to increase awareness of and opportunities for inclusion of students with disabilities in general education settings throughout the district and in community settings. We welcome parents, educators, and community members to join the task force. Please email Elementary Inclusion Specialist Maureen Butler with any questions. 

THANK YOU!

The Forbes House Museum would like to recognize the Milton High School music department for helping us fill the house with festive holiday music this past weekend! Specifically, thank you to string ensemble members Sam Higgins, Barron Clancy , Grace Dwyer and Milan Smith, pictured at right, for the elegant chamber music they played as a backdrop to Merry Historic Milton. Thank you also to Emma Bears, Penelope Holland, Owen Murphy, Mary Kate Mylod, Jianna O’Brien and Roisin Queally who sang Christmas carols during our Open House, even singing a couple tunes accompanied by our 19th-century melodeon. What a treat!

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Thank you to Milton resident and friend of the Milton Public Schools Beth Neville who recently donated two important pieces of equipment to our fine arts department. Ms. Neville donated a custom made light box that was custom designed to do stained glass, and can be used for designing mosaic glass pressed into cement or clay.  It has many other uses as it is great for tracing designs, or any time you need a transparency drawing. The department also received a book press, a heavy but small item, which will assist students with book binding projects. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Despite gloomy skies and the constant threat of rain, well over 700 runners took part in this year’s Monster Dash. This year the race celebrated its 20th anniversary in style with special guests from the Trailside Museum, bouncy houses, and science activities galore! Most importantly, the event raised over $20,000 that went directly to fund science activities and materials in all six Milton public schools. The Milton Foundation for Education thanks everyone for participating and an extra thank you to the student and staff volunteers who helped make this year’s race one to remember! Please keep an eye out for our annual appeal letter that should be arriving in your mailbox soon. 

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Please note that Wednesday, January 2nd is a Professional Development Day for staff and there is no school for students. School will resume on Thursday, January 3rd.

Dec 13  Milton High School Small Ensemble Concert
Dec 24 – Jan 2 Winter Break
Jan 9   Milton School Committee Meeting
Jan 10  Preschool Information Night
Jan 16   Milton High/Pierce Jazz Concert
Jan 17, 18,19  Pierce Players
Jan 21 MLK Jr. Holiday No School
Jan 23 Milton School Committee Meeting
Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night

The full calendar can be found here.  

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Eustis Estate has holiday events all month long. Please visit their events page for all of the details on these terrific events!

The Department of Public Works would like to remind residents that this week, December 12-13, was the last pickup week for yard waste until the spring. Christmas tree and wreath pickup will be on January 9 and 10, on your trash day. Only trees and wreaths will be collected – no leaves or yard clippings. To view the full yard waste schedule through June 2019, click here.

ATHLETICS

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

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: I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kim O’Leary and Dr. Maureen Butler for covering the Assistant Principal/Curriculum Coordinator positions this fall at Tucker and Cunningham, respectively. Ms. O’Leary and Dr. Butler  stepped in to fill these important roles and contributed their energy, creativity and knowledge to our schools, while also continuing their important work in the district as Tucker’s Reading Specialist and MPS’s Elementary Inclusion Specialist. It is great to have committed, dedicated educators who are ready and willing to step in when needed.  Their familiarity with the school and community helped make it a seamless transition. As we welcome Cat DesRoche back to Tucker and Bernadette Butler back to Cunningham, we owe Ms. O’Leary and Dr. Butler our heartfelt appreciation.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler, Karen McDavitt, Sara MacNeil, Maureen Butler, James Jette, AJ Melanson, Zeina Hamada, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Laurie Stillman, Marie Brown, Christie Chiappetta and Jen Meunier.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 13, 2018

December 6, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 6,  2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week we celebrated Inclusive Schools Week in the Milton Public Schools. This year’s theme is Kaleidoscope of Friends because “education takes on a beautiful shape when all children belong and are valued as contributing members of the school community”. 

The students across the Milton Public Schools have celebrated this week with many fun activities and events. Thank you to MPS Inclusion Specialist Maureen Butler for sharing these district wide highlights. 

Jersey speaks to Tucker 4th graders.

In a wonderful example of school to school collaboration, Tucker is thrilled to be including the Celebrating our Differences program for 4th graders this year following the successful Cunningham COD model. Over 5 sessions throughout the year, students celebrate differences in our community. Students have multiple opportunities to walk in the shoes of individuals who experience different learning styles, physical limitations, visual impairment, and hearing loss. This year a new unit on autism will be introduced at both Tucker and Cunningham. Community volunteers work alongside parent coordinators, classroom and special education teachers to present hands on experiences for the 4th grade students. Tucker 4th graders recently had the opportunity to experience navigating obstacles and playing basketball in wheelchairs thanks to a visit from the amazing and generous group Paralyzed Veterans of America, New England Chapter. As part of the physical limitations session, Inclusion Specialist  Mrs. Maureen Butler spoke to students about cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries and limb differences. Students then had the opportunity to meet Cunningham 3rd grader Jersey Baxley, who spoke to the students about his experience living with cerebral palsy. It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved! 

The Milton Parks & Recreation Gym Buddies program enjoyed a trip to Plaster Fun Time this week. We’ve had a great fall with art nights, bowling, music classes, and more! Gym Buddies is an inclusive recreational program that pairs individuals with disabilities with typically developing high schoolers for for unique activities and events throughout the year. Our goal is to provide a safe space where individuals from Milton of all ages and abilities come to socialize and make new and lasting friendships.

Glover’s Compassion Promise

Cunningham will complete the week with an assembly on kindness and inclusion on Friday. Cunningham students share what inclusion means to them in this short video.  

Glover students read the Compassion Promise this week – watch them here – nice job! 

Collicot students participated in many different lessons around varied abilities.  Each day, Mrs.Hodgkins’ grade four students educated the school through morning announcements.  They presented five disabilities and highlighted the many wonderful accomplishments of people with disabilities, including Rick Hoyt, Frida Kahlo, Sudha Chandran and more.  Collicot students learned about communication disorders, autism, physical disabilities, as well as hearing and visual impairments. Mme Esra’s 1st graders enjoyed the Robert Munsch book below about how a girl in a wheelchair saved her brother by getting him to the emergency room on time on her wheelchair. The students related to the challenge the young girl faced in saving her brother.

We need your help choosing a new logo for the Inclusion Task Force. Please vote here for your favorite logo!  The Inclusion Task Force works to increase awareness of and opportunities for inclusion of students with disabilities in general education settings throughout the district and in community settings. We welcome parents, educators, and community members to join the task force. Please email Inclusion Specialist Maureen Butler with any questions. 

It is wonderful to see the Milton Public Schools celebrating an inclusive culture this week but more importantly embracing inclusion practices throughout the year!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The Milton School Committee Facilities Advisory Committee has created a document to share the current and future space and enrollment challenges we face as a district. We urge you to please take a moment and read through these two pages. Our space and enrollment issue is one that we must solve both as a district and as a town in order to continue to maintain the excellence of the Milton Public Schools. Please reach out to School Committee member Ada Rosmarin, Chair of the Facilities Advisory Committee with comments or questions. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Join us TONIGHT for an MHS guidance event, College Information/Post Secondary Planning night at Milton High on Thursday, Dec 6th  at 6pm. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process: Financial Aid, Standardized Testing, Supporting your senior throughout the year, NCAA Requirements, Overview of the College Application Process, and Naviance. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, Dec 6th at 6pm. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in any grade level.    

PIERCE UPDATES

I am very happy to share news that Pierce Math Investigations teacher Mr. Kevin Boguski has been chosen as a finalist for the Khan Academy LearnStorm Keep Going, Keep Growing program. Mr. Boguski’s students have learned so much, celebrated enthusiastically and reflected deeply through the growth mindset activities. This program is rooted in growth mindset- an important Social Emotional Learning competency.  Congratulations to Mr. Boguski and his talented and hard working students!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Glover students in grades K-2nd welcomed a visual artist and letter designer Jessica Hische, who wrote her first children’s book “Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave”, which is now a New York Times best seller.  During the presentation, Jessica shared her story and encouraged Glover students to promise that tomorrow, they will try new things, do their best, and be brave. 

Collicot 5th graders have multiple opportunities to participate in service projects in their own school throughout the year.  Students help during kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade recess and lunch, assist in the library, and work with classroom teachers organizing supplies and recycling. Students also organize our lost and found and work with students in the younger grades during reading groups. Our 5th graders lead by example in giving back to their community. Below are 5th graders who recently volunteered in Mrs Giffune’s kindergarten class.

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

Above you can see 3rd graders dissecting owl pellets this week. By dissecting owl pellets students were able to identify bones and learn about the predator/prey relationship of owls and smaller animals.

The Trailside Museum will come to Collicot later in December and to Glover and Cunningham in the Spring. Visits were funded by the MFE’s Monster Dash-Sam’s Fund which supports science enrichment in all six public schools.

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN INFORMATION NIGHTS

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

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

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

WINTER WEATHER

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

The safety of students and staff is paramount and we do not want to have students, parents and staff on the roads when the conditions are unsafe. In addition, we need to be sure our sidewalks, crosswalks and buildings are ready for our students and staff to have a safe and successful school day.  Before and during inclement weather, I consult with the relevant town departments, MPS administration and superintendents from neighboring districts. I also monitor weather forecasts, including those provided by the Town of Milton. At times, the decision is clear and we are able to call a snow day the evening before school. Often, however, the forecast is difficult to predict with any certainty for Milton and those decisions are best made in the early morning (by 5:00am). When we experience inclement weather, there are three options that I consider: a full school day; a 2 hour delay; complete cancellation of school.

If we have a full school day, the day will proceed as a regular day with breakfast, Before School, after school activities, etc. all taking place. Please be aware that even with a full school day, there can be traffic delays due to weather.

If we have a 2 hour delay:

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

If school is cancelled due to inclement weather:

  • All afterschool and evening activities will also be cancelled.

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

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

BUS UPDATES

The MPS Transportation Department is pleased to share that we will begin using Remind to utilize text messages to notify subscribed families and students to last minute significant delays or interruptions in bus service. This system will be used for major mechanical issues, weather related delays, road closures or other unavoidable last minute major interruptions, not minor delays.  You do NOT need to have a smartphone to receive the text messages.

Families will need to OPT IN and SUBSCRIBE to this service. You will NOT automatically begin receiving updates by having a bus pass.  We would encourage Pierce Middle School and Milton High School students to subscribe as well.

To subscribe to the MPS Transportation text update system please follow these steps:

  • In the phone number box of your text message app, type in the phone number 81010
  • In the message box, type the following code @mpsbusinfo and send
  • You will receive a text confirming that you have subscribed
  • You can stop receiving updates at any time by texting back @leave

Please note that the system cannot receive texts back nor are the emails monitored from the Remind App.  The best way to communicate with the transportation department is through email at bus@miltonps.org.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

There are a lot of expectations that the holiday season is an occasion filled with joy and fun, as well as beloved family and friends.  However, for many, the season can also be filled with sadness and stress. Indeed, it may be a time spent grieving a loved one, being around people with whom you may have complicated relationships, struggling with financial concerns, or feeling lonely.  If you are feeling this way, you are not alone. The holiday blues are not so uncommon because life is not always easy, and these special times often force us to confront or reflect on these challenges in new or more intense ways.

Laurie Stillman, MPS Social Emotional Learning Facilitator, shares these tips offered by Ken Duckworth, MD who is the medical director of the National Alliance for Mental Health.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS – VAPING

In our efforts to keep your children safe and to keep you informed, I want to bring to your attention the use of E-Cigarettes, Vape Pens or Juul Pods. As many of you may know already, the popularity of these devices are creating many challenges for schools throughout the country in addition to compromising the health and safety of our students. Principal Jette recently sent a letter to the MHS community and I share it with you here. 

In addition, Noel Vigue, MPS Director of Health and Physical Education shares Teen Vaping: What You Need to Know as a resource for parents/guardians to learn the facts and figures about vaping. As you speak with your child about vaping, the document at left and found in this link contains valuable information and talking points. Please reach out to your child’s principal, school nurse or Mr. Vigue with any questions as we navigate together this relatively new challenge our children face. 

MPS GIVES BACK

Our district wide MPS Holiday Giving Drive ends this week and the deadline for dropping gifts and gift cards to any school is 9am on Friday.  This year, we are partnering with the Milton Residents Fund, My Brother’s Keeper and Pierce’s Families Helping Families in a district wide Holiday Giving Drive with the goal of supporting our Milton neighbors and friends who may need some assistance this holiday season. All details on what is being collected and where it can be dropped can be found on the Sign Up Genius.    Our PTOs and student organizations at the middle and high school level are supporting and coordinating this effort and we thank you for your generosity!

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Pass us your soccer uniforms and we’ll pass them on to children all over the world! Drop off your used soccer uniforms (and equipment) in collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce schools and at 34 Cliff road. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. Note that uniforms from other sports will also be gratefully accepted. Collection dates are November 26- December 21  and we thank you for your support! For more information, please call Madame Brown at 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public Schools and Milton Soccer.

***

In their Troop to Troop project, MHS students Katharine and Grace Baker are working to coordinate local Girl Scout troops in the annual collection and delivery of supplies requested by US military service men and women serving overseas.  Items such as hats, socks, blankets, insect repellent, sunblock and more are requested by our overseas troops. Grace and Katherine are currently working with a 22-year-old Navy gunner’s mate from Quincy named John Ross McEvilly who is currently deployed on the USS Rushmore, stationed in Bahrain.  The Girl Scout troops have donation boxes at Ulin Rink, Pierce Middle School, the Starbucks in East Milton Square, Milton Public Library and Ginger Betty’s and they welcome your support and donations through December 7th. You can read more details of their initiative here.

Sophia gets a big donation from the Fruit Center!

Cunningham 2nd grader Sophia started doing a sock drive for the homeless when she was just 4.  This is her 4th year and she hopes to be able to deliver over 1000 pairs of warm socks to Boston’s homeless men and women. It’s easy to donate – drop your socks into the donation bin in the lobby of Cunningham or the front porches of  3 Phyllis Lane or 178 Lyman Road by Wednesday, December 12th. Tune in to Fox25 tonight to see Sophia and her Sock Drive spotlighted. 

ART AND MUSIC

Our winter concert series is in full swing! Over the past few weeks we have enjoyed the MHS Cabaret, the MHS Winter Concert and two Pierce concerts. Still to come is the MHS Small Ensemble Concert on December 13th at Milton High School. Thanks to Wildcat News, you can watch and listen to the MHS concert in its entirety here.  We are also happy to be able to share these recordings of the two Pierce concerts.

Our student musicians are performing at many events around Milton during this holiday season. Be sure to see them at one of these holiday events

SEPAC/SPECIAL EDUCATION

SEPAC will be holding its next board meeting on December 12th from 7 to 9 in the library at Tucker Elementary. The meeting will begin with a Parent Speak in which parents are welcome to provide feedback regarding their experience of special education services in Milton Public Schools.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Dec 6  College Information Night
Dec 12  Milton School Committee Meeting
Dec 13  Milton High School Small Ensemble Concert
Dec 24 – Jan 1  Holiday Break
Jan 9 2019  Milton School Committee Meeting
Jan 10 2019 Preschool Information Night
The full calendar can be found here.  

NEWS AROUND TOWN

This weekend:

Enjoy extra holiday cheer on Saturdays (December 8 and 22) with special child-friendly activities while your family tours the Eustis Estate, which is decorated for Victorian Christmas. Join Historic New England educators from 10am-2pm  in the kitchen for drop-in craft workshops to make top hats and stockings in connection with the special exhibition Head to Toe. Head upstairs to the library for holiday storytime at 12:30 p.m. This is included with museum admission which is free to Milton residents

Enjoy some Christmas Cheers at the Eustis Estate on Sundays (December 9and 16) from  5:30 – 7:30pm. Enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. Explore the 1878 mansion, which has been lavishly decorated for Christmas, while live holiday music fills the halls. Light refreshments, including wine and cider, will be served. All holiday events at the Eustis Estate can be found here.

Join us for this great family event.

Caroling on the Common, Sunday December 8th 4-6pm. There is something for everyone at the fun family event! 

***

On Friday, December 7th, Merry Historic Milton, co-sponsored with Fiduciary Trust, is an exclusive progressive tasting event through three historic mansions in town: the Forbes House, the Eustis Estate and the Wakefield Estate, with transportation provided between sites. Join your neighbors for a jolly evening of local sightseeing, live music, and festive food and drink. Last year, the event sold out! To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit our website. 

Sunday, December 9th is the “Home for the Holidays” Open House at the Forbes House from  1-4pm Take a break from shopping and enjoy some family time with carols led by Milton High School students and a short melodeon concert (a melodeon is a 19th-century reed organ), re-enactors sharing holiday traditions from the Civil War era, a working model train traveling through a Charles Dickens village, a make-your-own hot chocolate bar, a visit by a Victorian Santa and a scavenger hunt – a whole new way to explore the house.  Admission is $5/person, $20 max/family, and FREE for members.

***

The Milton Historical Society is hosting its annual holiday open house on Sunday, Dec 9th from 1-3 pm at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. Emma Green will provide entertainment with seasonal musical selections. Light refreshments available. For more information about the Milton Historical Society, or to become a corporate sponsor or a member, please visit our website.

Next Weekend:

Join us on Saturday December 15th from 5-7pm  for an enchanting family-friendly holiday lantern stroll and joyous Christmas carols at the Eustis Estate. Decorate a lantern with your own designs, then join a parade around the property. The Milton High School choir leads a sing-along of festive winter songs. Warm up with hot chocolate, coffee, and treats, and explore the decorated museum.  Admission is $5-$10 add link

Ongoing:

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

Join the Teen Cook Book Club!

ATHLETICS

Congratulations to our November Athletes of the Month! 

Ava Duggan, Junior, Cross Country

This was Ava’s first season of cross country and she helped lead the team to many victories all season long. She started as the 2nd runner on the team in all dual and tri-meets. By the end of the season, Ava was the 1st runner at big meets like Eastern Mass, All-States, and Regional’s.

Season highlights include;

  • 2nd runner for the team at dual and tri-meets
  • 4th place at the Bay State Invitational
  • 7th place at the Bay State Conference Meet
  • 2nd place at the Eastern Mass D3 Championships – Personal best of 18:52 in the 5K
  • 23rd place at All-States Meet
  • 48th place at Regional’s

Emily Dobrindt, Junior, Swim

Emily was a member of the first team to go to States three years ago. Emily was a strong leader throughout this season (record of 6-3). This year at States, the swim team placed 4th out of 18 teams that participated.  

State Meet highlights include;

  • Member of the 7th placed 200 Medley Relay
  • Member of the 4th placed 400 Freestyle Relay
  • 5th on the 100 Butterfly with a lifetime best of a 59.61
  • 2nd on the 500 Freestyle with another lifetime best of 5:13.61

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

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: I received a note last week acknowledging MHS teachers and SADD advisors Karen Hughes and Robin Lee and MHS Head of Guidance Karen Cahill who did an excellent job collaborating with the organizers of Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse to get so many Milton students involved. Approximately 12 students volunteered their time and many more students ran and walked. The organizers shared that our MHS staff  were a pleasure to work with and how impactful it is to get young people involved given the prevalence of the opioid crisis in Massachusetts.

They also sent a very special thank you to Cunningham/Collicot Senior Custodian John Muir,  who was an invaluable team member with his working knowledge of the Cunningham/Collicot grounds, was a pleasure to work with, and one of the reasons that everything went so smoothly on race day. 

I know how hardworking, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative our MPS staff is and I am always happy to share when it is recognized in the community. Thank you to Karen, Robin, Karen and John and thank you to John Mulcahy and Brenda McDonough for taking the time to acknowledge them.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, Karen McDavitt, Sara MacNeil, Maureen Butler, James Jette, AJ Melanson, Bridget Renehan, Zeina Hamada, Ada Rosmarin, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Karen Cahill, Dawn Sykes, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Laurie Stillman, Marie Brown, Ellen Lohan and Rachel Schewe.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 6, 2018

November 29, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: November 29, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

While in many ways it feels that the school year has just begun, we are in the beginning stages of welcoming our preschool and kindergarten classes for September 2019!

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

Then on January 24th 2019 at 6:30 pm, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Kindergarten Information Night.  As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Preregistration will be live on our website on Monday, December 3rd. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2019 to start kindergarten in September 2019. 

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

***

On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, I wish all who celebrate a very Happy Hanukkah. Hanukkah begins in the evening of Sunday, December 2nd and continues through Monday 10th.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

At last nights School Committee meeting, MPS Director of Data and Analytics Vy Vu presented the 2017-18 MCAS & Assessment Presentation to the committee. You can view the presentation here. You can also find detailed MCAS information in our September 2018 MCAS communication to families and in the full DESE report.

School Committee meetings can be viewed On Demand in their entirety, at your convenience, on Milton Access TV.

MPS GIVES BACK

For many years, the Milton Public Schools has partnered with the Milton Residents Fund to ensure that any MPS families in need would be supported with gifts and gift cards during the holiday season. You may know this program as Snowball or the Giving Tree or a similar name. This year, we are partnering with the Milton Residents Fund, My Brother’s Keeper and Pierce’s Families Helping Families in a district wide Holiday Giving Drive with the goal of supporting our Milton neighbors and friends who may need some assistance this holiday season. Details can also be found on the Sign Up Genius.  Gifts, books and gift cards are all being collected and  may be dropped at the 6 schools. Details of school collections and what is being collected at each school  can be found here. Our PTOs and student organizations at the middle and high school level are supporting and coordinating this effort.

***

Pass us your soccer uniforms and we’ll pass them on to children all over the world! Drop off your used soccer uniforms and equipment in collection bins located in the lobbies of the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce schools and at 34 Cliff road. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. Note that uniforms from other sports will also be gratefully accepted. Collection dates are November 26- December 21  and we thank you for your support! For more information, please call Madame Brown at 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public Schools and Milton Soccer.

***

In this season of giving, I am happy to share these images from some recent MPS giving efforts.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Last week, 11 of our MHS students from SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) travelled to Gillette Stadium for Norfolk DA Michael Morrissey’s annual TEAM RIVAL Conference. The Milton SADD students were awarded a check for $1500 for last years work and their dedication and commitment to making smart choices and saving lives!  Team Rival is a challenge between rival schools with students competing in 4 different areas for points. We are proud of these students who work to help classmates make positive choices throughout high school. 

***

In their Troop to Troop project, MHS students Katharine and Grace Baker are working to coordinate local Girl Scout troops in the annual collection and delivery of supplies requested by US military service men and women serving overseas.  Items such as hats, socks, blankets, insect repellent, sunblock and more are requested by our overseas troops. Grace and Katherine are currently working with a 22-year-old Navy gunner’s mate from Quincy named John Ross McEvilly who is currently deployed on the USS Rushmore, stationed in Bahrain.  The Girl Scout troops have donation boxes at Ulin Rink, Pierce Middle School, the Starbucks in East Milton Square, Milton Public Library and Ginger Betty’s and they welcome your support and donations through December 7th. You can read more details of their initiative here

***

Save the date for the upcoming MHS guidance event, College Information/Post Secondary Planning night at Milton High on Thursday, Dec 6th  at 6pm. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process: Financial Aid, Standardized Testing, Supporting your senior throughout the year, NCAA Requirements, Overview of the College Application Process, and Naviance. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, Dec 6th at 6pm. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in any grade level.    

PIERCE UPDATES

On Saturday, 22 Pierce students participated in the UNAGB‘s Middle School Model UN conference in Boston. This is the largest middle school conference in the region and over 600 students from across the state participated. Pierce students represented delegations from all around the world:  Niger (Africa) France (Europe) and Japan (Asia). Iris Trafton (8th grade) was awarded the title of Best Negotiator for her performance as a solo delegate in the Security Council. Hoku Panerio-Langer (8th grade) and David Russell (7th grade) were awarded the highest honor of Best Delegation for their representation of Niger. It was an awesome day where students collaborated, learned and shared, and embraced the spirit of the diplomacy and problem-solving of the real United Nations.

***

Congratulations to all of Mrs. Magill’s students who showed perseverance and stuck with the coding competition over the 10 days in November! Particular congratulations go to Jack McAnulla who completed all 20 Qualifier Missions, Julia Magnum and Alexa Adams who both completed 14, Michael Sullivan, James Troiano, Conor Walsh, Casey Olsen, and Eric Ma who all completed 12, Rogan Pater and Ryan Fulton who completed 11, and Ben Caledonia and Henry Fallon who completed 10.

With our top scores, we have been  invited to attend the live finals at the University of New Hampshire! We have been given 4 spots which will be filled by Jack McAnulla, Julia Mangum, Alexa Adams, and Conor Walsh. Continue to wish us luck at the competition on Saturday, December 15th. All are welcome to attend to cheer us on.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

They are taking flight on Edgehill Rd!  

***

Tucker 5th grade ACE students and Ms. Sweeney’s third grade class had the exciting opportunity to participate in the South Shore Arts Centers’ Artist in Residence (AIR) program. For 15 years, the AIR program at SSAC has provided free educational outreach for thousands of students. Students visited with Marcia Ballou, a master painter and collage artist. Marcia’s artwork is an explosion of color depicting natural habitats densely filled with flora, insects, and animals. During the field trip students were exposed to interdisciplinary educational methods that help build critical thinking skills, STEAM, and visual art learning objectives. Our other Tucker 3rd graders will visit in the coming weeks!

***

Collicot teachers Mme Kramer, Mme Theobald and Mme Nguyen collaborated on a Digital Album chromebook project with their students. 4th grade students visited 2nd grade students and worked diligently on creating their project. Our sibling pairs in these grades especially enjoyed the collaboration. 

***

Also collaborating were Cunningham 1st and 3rd grade teachers Kerry O’Leary and Amy Zoll whose students created a biography project featuring female athletes. Students created a power point presentation and presented their athlete to the 1st and 3rd graders. A standout slide from the presentations says “It is important to celebrate women athletes because women have STRONG hearts and STRONG bodies just like men.”

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

The Milton Public Schools invites you to an important presentation by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: TALK SAVES LIVES on December  5, at 7pm in the MHS Library. 

Suicide can be prevented. The Talk Saves Lives presentation will cover what we know about this leading cause of death, the most up-to-date research on prevention, and what we can all do to fight suicide. Participants will learn the common risk factors for suicide, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, our loved ones and those in our community safe.  Please join us at this important presentation.

This event is sponsored by the  Milton Public Schools, Milton Commission on Disability, Milton Board of Health and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

***

Volunteer Help Wanted! There is a opportunity to help with an important initiative this winter.   The Milton Public Schools and Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition are seeking a professional with public relations skills to help us implement a parent campaign to reduce underage drinking.  If you are an experienced P.R. professional, and willing to help promote this campaign, please email  Laurie Stillman

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Next up in our PARENT Speaker Series, the documentary “Race to Nowhere” will be shown at the MHS auditorium Monday, January 7, 2019 at 6:30pm. The film “highlights the unintended consequences of our pressure-cooker culture and education system.  An eye-opening call to action, the film challenges our current assumptions about how to best prepare young people for the future.” 

ART AND MUSIC

Milton High School’s Winter Concert is TONIGHT Thursday 11/29 at 7pm at MHS. Admission is free to the public. The evening of music features the Milton High School Mixed Chorus; Milton High School String Orchestra; Milton High School Concert Band; Milton High School Select Chorus and the Milton High School Jazz Ensemble. Come enjoy a night of music that’s guaranteed to warm you inside and out! 

***

On Saturday, November 17th, Milton High School hosted auditions for the Eastern District Senior Festival.  A team of MHS faculty, staff, parents and students facilitated the audition of over 1,000 student musicians for selection to this year’s Senior Festival Concert Band, Jazz Band, Mixed Chorus, and Orchestra.  Several Milton High musicians auditioned for the festival, as well, and the following students were accepted to perform: Jada Farrar – Chorus, Alto and Luke Palmer – Chorus, Bass. The following students were accepted to the festival as well as earned qualifying scores to audition for the All State Festival taking place in March: Annabel Botsford – Chorus, Alto; Paula Hogan – Chorus, Soprano; Penelope Holland – Chorus, Soprano; Esme Link – Concert Band, French Horn; Lemuel Marc – Orchestra, Trumpet; Coleman Rose – Concert Band, Tenor Saxophone; Brendan Scott – Jazz Band, Bass Trombone; Caleb Smith – Concert Band, Alto Saxophone.

The junior and senior festivals are sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, and serve to enhance school music programs by offering students additional opportunities to perform challenging literature with guest conductors.  This year’s senior festival will take place on January 4th and 5th at the Boston Latin School.

Congratulations to these outstanding musicians on a remarkable accomplishment, and many thanks to the incredible students who made the day run smoothly, to the parent members of FAME who provided concession items and services, and to the dedicated Music Department Faculty who organized and managed the event!

AFTER SCHOOL ENRICHMENT

Students in After School Enrichment used their creativity to show how  thankful they are for their community. 

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Nov 29  MHS Winter Concert
Dec 4  Pierce Winter Concert Grade 6
Dec 5  Pierce Winter Concert Grades 7 & 8
Dec 6  Early Release (Grades K-12) PT Conf Grs K-5 only
Dec 6  College Information Night
Dec 12  Milton School Committee Meeting
Dec 13  Milton High School Small Ensemble Concert
Dec 24 – Jan 1  Holiday Break
Jan 9 2019  Milton School Committee Meeting
Jan 10 2109 Preschool Information Night
The full calendar can be found here.  

HEALTH NEWS

Noel R. Vigue, MPS Director of Health and Physical Education shares the following resource about speaking with your children about vaping. It contains valuable information as we navigate this relatively new challenge our children face. 

***

Head Nurse Margaret Gibbons shares the following: The school district has been informed by the Milton Board of Health that there are three confirmed cases of “pertussis” in our middle and high school, none at the elementary level.  However, because pertussis is a highly communicable disease that is spread through the air when an infected person sneezes, talks or coughs want to keep all our parents/guardians aware with accurate information on this illness.

Pertussis (whooping cough) is caused by bacteria.  Although adolescents and adults may have a mild cough illness with pertussis, the disease can cause serious problems in young children or infants.  Pertussis usually begins with cold-like symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing and dry cough. The cough lasts for a week or two and then slowly gets worse.  The next stage, which may last from four to six weeks, is marked by uncontrollable coughing spells often followed by vomiting. Vaccinated children and teens may have milder symptoms that look like bronchitis.  

The bacteria that cause pertussis live in the nose, mouth and throat and are sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks.  The first symptoms usually appear 7-10 days after a person is exposed although sometimes people do not get sick for up to 21 days after their exposure.  Although DtaP vaccine usually provides adequate protection against pertussis, the effects of the vaccine can wear off over time leaving most teens and adults susceptible to the disease.  Antibiotics are given to close contacts of confirmed cases to help prevent further illness.

Parents/guardians should be aware and alert for a prolonged cough illness with your child and contact your health care provider in this instance.  Your child may need to be tested and /or treated. School is not the only potential exposure. Sports teams, after school activities, mall shopping, public transportation, and even attending church services can expose all to contagious disease.  This is a good time to remind your child about proper cough etiquette, hand washing and not sharing water bottles or drinks. If you have questions or concerns please contact your school nurse or health care provider.

TECHNOLOGY

Think back ten years. Did you own a smartphone? Unlike today where 95% of all teens have a smartphone, in 2008 52% of teens had a basic cell phone (not a smartphone).  Only 38% of teens had sent a text message to a friend and 88% of teens preferred using a landline to communicate with friends. Times have certainly changed!  

The article Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take by Benjamin Conlon brilliantly captures the role smartphones play in the lives of our students.  

Whether you have a student in kindergarten or high school, please take a moment to read this piece to further understand the profound impact smartphones play in a student’s life. I promise that it is worth your time.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

This weekend:

Visit Santa Claus at the Eustis Estate this Saturday, December 1st from 12-2pm. Take a photo with Santa and see the 1878 mansion decorated for Christmas. Enjoy cookies and cider in our cozy kitchen. Before or after meeting Santa, join us for a drop-in craft workshop beginning at 10am. Historic New England educators will show you how to make your own wrapping paper and pop-up cards. Craft activities are recommended for families with children ages 5 to 12.

Enjoy some Christmas Cheers at the Eustis Estate on Sundays (December 2, 9, and 16) from  5:30 – 7:30pm. Enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. Explore the 1878 mansion, which has been lavishly decorated for Christmas, while live holiday music fills the halls. Light refreshments, including wine and cider, will be served. All holiday events at the Eustis Estate can be found here.

Next Week:

On Friday, December 7th, Merry Historic Milton, co-sponsored with Fiduciary Trust, is an exclusive progressive tasting event through three historic mansions in town: the Forbes House, the Eustis Estate and the Wakefield Estate, with transportation provided between sites. Join your neighbors for a jolly evening of local sightseeing, live music, and festive food and drink. Last year, the event sold out! To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit our website.

***

Sunday, December 9th is the  “Home for the Holidays” Open House at the Forbes House from  1-4pm Take a break from shopping and enjoy some family time with  carolers and a short melodeon concert (a melodeon is a 19th-century reed organ), reenactors sharing holiday traditions from the Civil War era, a make-your-own hot chocolate bar, and a special activity for kids focusing on one of the best parts of the season – gathering with loved ones. Admission is $5/person, $20 max/family, and FREE for members.

***

The Milton Historical Society is hosting its annual holiday open house on Sunday, Dec 9th from 1-3 pm at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. Emma Green will provide entertainment with seasonal musical selections. Light refreshments available. For more information about the Milton Historical Society, or to become a corporate sponsor or a member, please visit our website.

Ongoing:

The Rotary Club of Milton Announces the 2018 Memorial Tree Program. Donate a light for the Memorial Tree, which will be placed inside the Baron Hugo Gazebo on the Town Green. The Lights will be turned on and the names of all remembered will be read at the gazebo in front of the Town Hall at 7pm on Friday, December 7, 2018.  Contributions will be used for community Rotary Club services, such as Student Foreign Exchanges, Servicemen’s Packages, Elimination of polio worldwide – “Polio Plus” and High School Scholarships.

Please make a request for the Memorial Tree Lighting by November 30, 2018 by writing Frank Giuliano, 61 School Street, Milton, MA 02186. Recommended donations: Memorial light $15, Sponsor Memorial Light $50, Patron Angel Light $100, and Memorial Star $1000

***

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

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Victorian Christmas at the Eustis Estate runs on Thursday – Sunday from November 29th through January 6th. Explore the 1878 mansion while it’s lavishly decorated for Victorian Christmas, thanks to the help of local garden clubs. Visit during regular hours, between 10am. and 4pm. Regular admission prices apply. Plan your visit or call 617-994-6600.

ATHLETICS

Good luck to all of our student athletes trying out for winter sports!

The MHS Girls Basketball team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can and bottle drive on Saturday, December 1st , 9 am – 12pm at Milton High School.

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

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:

SADD Advisor Karen Hughes and members Gwyneth Sauter and Grace Baker, pictured with Laurie Stillman, accept the award on behalf of SADD.

Students:  Congratulations to this year’s Thanks for Giving celebration awardees,  especially our very own Milton High School group Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). These deserving students were nominated by the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and honored at the celebration hosted annually by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, Karen McDavitt, James Jette, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Karen Cahill, Karen Hughes, Robin Lee, Dawn Sykes, Jackie Morgan, Laurie Dunn, Marti McKenna, Kerry O’Leary, Amy Zoll, Jake Smith, Laurie Stillman, and Jess Gillooly. 

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November 29, 2018

November 15, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: November 15, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we approach Thanksgiving week in the Milton Public Schools, I would like to take this opportunity to say how thankful I am for the staff, students, families and volunteers who make the Milton Public Schools the outstanding district it is.  I am thankful to work alongside a dedicated staff, to witness first hand our engaged, empathetic and hardworking students and to see our volunteers in action throughout all of our schools. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones.     

Last week, in honor of Veterans Day, our schools paid tribute to those who have served in the military. Veterans were invited in to our schools, students wrote letters, drew pictures, sang songs and sent care packages. The connections made between students and Veterans is priceless and these events are an important part of the Milton Public Schools. 

MPS GIVES BACK

For years, the Milton Public Schools has partnered with the Milton Residents Fund to ensure that any MPS families in need would be supported with gifts and gift cards during the holiday season. You may know this program as Snowball or the Giving Tree or a similar name. This year, we are partnering with the Milton Residents Fund, My Brother’s Keeper and Pierce’s Families Helping Families in a district wide Holiday Giving Drive with the goal of supporting our Milton neighbors and friends who may need some assistance this holiday season. Details can also be found on the Sign Up Genius. Our PTOs and student organizations at the middle and high school level are supporting and coordinating this effort. 

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Our next speaker is Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA who will present Stressed Out! Reducing Anxiety in Children. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four, 13-18 year olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. This presentation will introduce preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring. Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and special educator and a consultant to schools nationwide. Jessica has over 17 years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in public school systems.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Forty Milton High School students  were inspired when they connected with premier business leaders last week  at a Business, Finance and Marketing Seminar offered through our ongoing partnership with School to Careers (STC).  STC’s mission is “action + inspiration + direction” is a recipe for students who ask the question; “How do I connect with my future dreams”? Katherine Touafek, Director of the School to Careers program works between the two communities to develop mentoring and opportunities for students.  

Last week’s keynote speaker, Michelle Cully, had a message that resonated with students.  The 10 panelists spoke on such topics as: Creating a vision; building your social skills, surrounding yourself with confident like minded people; and to work on your “elevator pitch” (a 30 second speil to relate trust, reliability and knowledge).

Milton High school is hosting a Health and Medical Seminar in December. Over 200 students will be visiting to learn about the unlimited opportunities available for every type of student. We are so grateful for our partnership with STC and appreciate these ongoing opportunities for our students to experience the “real world” while still in high school.

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Save the date for the upcoming MHS guidance event, College Information/Post Secondary Planning night at Milton High on Thursday, Dec 6th  at 6pm. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process: Financial Aid, Standardized Testing, Supporting your senior throughout the year, NCAA Requirements, Overview of the College Application Process, and Naviance. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, Dec 6th at 6pm. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in any grade level.    

PIERCE UPDATES

Milton Public Schools strives to ensure all students are college and career ready.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.”  Plus, more than seventy-eight percent of Milton High School alumni report they submit seventy-five to one hundred percent of college assignments electronically.

With this information in mind,  along with the successful implementation of BYOD at MHS, Pierce Middle School is planning for the implementation of 1:1 Chromebooks for the 2019-20 academic school year.  The Milton Public Schools has submitted a request to purchase nine hundred Chromebooks through capital funds for next year. If this request is funded, Pierce will be a 1:1 school next year.  Unlike BYOD, in this 1:1 environment, the new devices will be stored in a Chromebook cart in all of the core subject classrooms for students to use during class time. The Chromebooks will stay inside each classroom and not be available for students to use at home.  Currently, Pierce has twelve Chromebook carts. These carts will be available for the World Language and elective teachers. Read more about this initiative here.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Our 3rd graders visit Plimoth Plantation as an interactive field trip aligned with what they are learning this year in school. Students draw on information from local historic sites, historical societies, and museums. In 3rd grade, students learn about the history of Massachusetts from the time of the arrival of the Pilgrims. The field trip to Plimoth Plantation gives our students a chance to learn more about life in the 17th century, as they  visit several villages and learn  more about what the Wampanoags ate and wore for clothing back in the 1600-1700s. Last week was Cunningham’s turn, all the schools will visit Plimoth Plantation this year for this rich look at history. 

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The cold weather is not keeping these 1st graders from getting their gardening done! This week, Mrs. McClain’s Cunningham 1st graders learned  about bulbs from our D.I.G. (Discovery in Gardening)/ Outdoor Classroom parent volunteers. Students planted bulbs and planned for the spring – when warmer weather will send them back out to the Cunningham garden!

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Tucker School held it’s sixth annual Book Character Day on Friday, November 9th. Students and faculty members dressed as human or animal characters from a favorite book. Students kicked off the day with a special Community Circle where they learned new ways to earn Tiger stripes by caring for our library and books. Then students celebrated their love of literacy by sharing their favorite titles with book buddies from other grades and classrooms. This day was a great way start to start November, Family Literacy month. Check out our Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy and more!

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Mrs. Spitz’s Collicot 4th graders were all thumbs up and smiles as they reached for success during their Reach for Reading centers. 

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Thank you to our Glover 5th graders who served as tour guides for a recent School Committee visit. Seeing the building through the eyes of students made for an interesting and authentic tour.

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It’s not over after Hamilton has sung! Tucker announces a new Bonus Raffle: A Night on the Town featuring dinner at MJ O’Connors, 1 night stay at the Park Plaza including valet parking and breakfast for two. There are still over $3,000 in prizes. Take a chance to win!! Tickets can be purchased until November 30th at www.tuckerpto.com/raffle

 ART AND MUSIC

Join us for a night of music, humor and song  at the MHS Cabaret, tonight at 7pm at Milton High School.  Only $5 admission for a wonderful night of entertainment.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Nov 15  MHS Fall Cabaret – TONIGHT
Nov 17  Eastern District Sr. Auditions
Nov 19  Waking up White Author Presentation
Nov 21-23  Thanksgiving Day Recess
Nov 26  Jessica Minahan, Stressed Out-Reducing Anxiety in Children
Nov 28  Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 29  MHS Winter Concert
Dec 4  Pierce Winter Concert

The full calendar can be found here.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Did you know that you can influence your child’s prospects for successful employment and a higher income later in life?  You can because the skills that employers value and reward most often can be taught and fostered by parents. MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman shares the following.

The skills that I am referring to are not necessarily cognitive skills; they are attitudinal and behavioral.  They include such traits as diligence and collaboration. Employers lament that the young workforce does not exhibit these important personal qualities, and they hope that teachers and parents do more to foster them.  Other characteristics that employers value in their employees include: A strong work ethic ; Great verbal communication abilities; Good teamwork and collaboration; A positive attitude and adaptability; Ability to listen and learn

These qualities can be taught, modeled, practiced and reinforced with children by adults, in both the classroom and at home, and they are part and parcel of social emotional learning.  While we tend to focus on rewarding our children when they get good grades in their academic studies, we would do well to also acknowledge, develop and praise our children when these non-cognitive desired behaviors and attitudes are being displayed.  Afterall, we want our children to become successful adults in the broadest sense of the word. And some of the most critical predictors of success, based on numerous studies, show that strong social and emotional skills are an important part of the formula.

SPECIAL EDUCATION/SEPAC

The SEPAC will be hosting a Basic Right’s Workshop on November 28th at 7:00 in the library at Tucker Elementary School. We will also hold a brief board meeting at 6:30 prior to the presentation. Both are free and open to the public. 

TECHNOLOGY

Director, Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue shared this article about cell phones and sleepovers with me and I think many parents/guardians will find it worth reading.

FOOD SERVICE

Ready to pedal for their smoothies!

This week our  Smoothie bikes launched at breakfast at the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria and it was a huge success! Students gathered and volunteered to make smoothies and were grouped into two teams. The focus of this event was to have them exercise and make their own smoothie while biking.  The students were in a relay race in teams of six to fill and spin the smoothie bikes. It was very exciting and the resulting breakfast smoothies were gone in the blink of an eye with even more students asking for smoothies. All children are encouraged to participate in the breakfast program as it is a great way to consume fruits and protein while also getting exercise and being prepared for the day ahead. Smoothies will now be a part of breakfast at Cunningham and Collicot Elementary schools. The cost of breakfast is $1.25; however, if your child receives free or reduced lunch, they also qualify for free breakfast and the smoothies as part of a meal with a whole wheat muffin, 1% milk and 100% fruit juice. There is no need to sign up, just drop your child off for breakfast and have them join in the fun!  Want to try the HealthBarn smoothie at home? Here’s the recipe!

There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools. You’ll be serving healthy food to kids and be home when your kids are home due to the school schedule – what’s better than that?! This can be a great opportunity for parents and retirees and food service experience is a plus, but not required. The starting pay for the food service substitute position pays $15.05 per hour and substitute jobs often lead to permanent jobs. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514) for more information.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

This weekend:

Brookwood Community Farm  will hold a Thanksgiving Sale on Sunday, November 18 from 11-2pm. Pick up locally grown veggies for your Thanksgiving Feast! Brookwood’s annual sale includes pre-ordered Harvest Boxes, Turkeys & Pies! This year enjoy kids activities, free warm drinks, self-guided scavenger hunt and more!

Also at Brookwood Farm there will be an Apple Pie Class with Chef Clare Garland on Sunday, November 18 2:30-4:30. Make your own perfect pastry crust and take home a delectable unbaked apple pie! Learn from pastry chef Clare Garland from the Ashmont Grill. Ages 14+.

Next Week:

I encourage you to read this note from Debbie Alsebai,  one of the members of Courageous Conversations towards Racial Justice.  Courageous Conversations is hosting educator Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself In The Story of Race , a book widely considered to be an essential text on how to unpack racial privilege in the American context. Please join many of your friends and neighbors  for a conversation with Debby Irving,  Monday, November 19th 6-9pm at Milton High School. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, all trash and recycling will be picked up on Wednesday, November 21. Please set out your bins, barrels, and carts by 7am on Wednesday. There will be no waste pickup on Friday, November 23.  For questions or to report a missed pickup, please call DPW at 617-898-4900 ext. 1.

Later in November:

Celebrate the Season at the Forbes House Museum, 215 Adams Street on Saturday, November 24, join the fun at the Lower Mills Merchant Holiday Stroll. The museum is joining over 20 local shops, restaurants, and small businesses in the historic Dorchester Lower Mills, Milton Village, and Central Avenue area to kick off the holiday season! Complimentary trolley service is provided throughout the evening. Come explore the Forbes House while enjoying festive decorations, drinks and treats. Bring the
family to try a scavenger hunt and check out the working model train.The museum will also be hosting a pop-up shop for The Petal Peddler’s Shop, a small local artisan business based in Milton. The Shop specializes in handcrafting beautiful flowers from unique papers including sheet music, book pages and maps.

The Milton Historical Society presents local author, furniture conservator and scholar Robert Mussey Jr. to discuss his book he co-authored with Clark Pearse, “Rather Elegant Than Showy: The Classical Furniture of Isaac Vose.” The lecture will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 7pm  at the Milton Public Library, 476 Canton Ave. The event is free and open to the public. The library is also a co-sponsor.   Although virtually forgotten for approximately 200 years, Milton Village native Isaac Vose built a substantial business empire in Boston and made furniture for the most prominent Boston families.

Ongoing:

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

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

Friend of MPS, Milton resident and Community Advocate Diane DiTullio Agostino suggests that we all take a moment to register with Smart 911. Registering for this underused resource can help your family if you need to call 911.

ATHLETICS

Milton High School would like to congratulate two students on signing their Division I Letters of Intent!

The Milton High swim team did great at the South Sectionals at MIT on Sunday!

  • Joe Pezzini broke the meet record with a personal best time of 102.01 in the 100 breaststroke and also won the 200 IM.
  • Andrew Tran, Christian Bartkiewicz, Sebastian Yunger and Ethan Dobrindt all took home medals and the boys finished 3rd!
  • Eliza Callahan had a personal best time and recorded a state cut in the 200 IM.
  • Rose Gillooly, Emily Dobrindt, Elle Anthony and Madison Crummey shaved off 3 seconds of their best time in the 400 freestyle relay to tie for 8th place.

Division III Eastern Massachusetts Cross Country Championships Recap!

  • The girls’ team (Elise, Ava, Ella, Anna, Grace S., Grace D., and Clodagh) won their race and will go onto All States next weekend!
  • Ava Duggan stayed with the top runner during the entire race, coming in 2nd place with a PR of 18:52
  • Elise O’Leary stayed strong the entire race, coming in 4th place overall
  • Ella Affanato placed 13th, running a faster time this week than at the BSC race two weeks ago
  • Anna Cakouros shaved 27 seconds off of her BSC time at Wrentham, placing 19th overall. She came in ahead of 2 Walpole runners which helped secure the win
  • Grace Dwyer came in 25th place, running a tough race the entire course
  • The boys’ team (Bobby, C.J., Ross, Fritz, Stephen, Dieter, and Hayden) came in 6th place, a 3rd place improvement from last year!
  • Bobby Carew placed 3rd in 16:18. This qualifies him to compete at the All-State meet as an individual!
  • The dynamic freshman duo of Ross Tejeda and Christopher Sullivan placed 25th and 26th.  There were only 4 freshmen in the entire top 50 of the race and Milton had 2!
  • Fritz Lalley shaved 13 seconds off his time from last year.
  • Stephen Affanato was our 5th runner and cut over 30 seconds off his time from last year.

The Football Team will travel to Braintree for a 10:00am start in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Game.

Girls Cross Country travel to Stanley Park on Sunday for States!

The Cheer Team will go to States at Worcester State University on Sunday!

The Swim Team now has 10 swimmers headed to States on Sunday at Harvard University!

Winter Registration is open and tryouts begin the Monday after Thanksgiving. Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Students: There are two outstanding groups of high school students to recognize this week:
Students of the Quarter
are recognized as students who are making a contribution to the MPS community. Each department nominates two students who deserve commendation for the previous marking period.  These students may have shown marked improvement, may have done a significant project or may have shown outstanding effort. Students of the Quarter receive a certificate and their pictures are posted in a wall case near the main office.  Because of these individuals, Milton High School continues to be an outstanding school. It is a pleasure to recognize these students.

National Honor Society students are selected by faculty after careful consideration of their scholarship, leadership, service and character. National Honor Society is a great achievement; congratulations to all ten new members and to our officers for 2018-19.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, Karen McDavitt, James Jette, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Karen Cahill, Dawn Sykes, Jackie Morgan, Joyce White, Marti McKenna, Liz Spitz, Taylor Windwer, Maureen McClain, Eileen Keaney, Laurie Stillman, Iyamidé Olukosh and Ben Kelly.  

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November 15, 2018

November 8, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: November 8, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The Wait Until 8th campaign in the Milton Public Schools is off to a robust start. One of the leading digital safety experts in North America, Katie Greer, is a proponent of the Wait Until 8th campaign and writes, “This is such a fantastic, organic campaign that is creating pressure of a different kind that communities can get behind. It’s taking the pressure off of parents to conform to getting their kids smartphones at a super young age, and allowing parents to come together to make an informed choice about when their kids can have their own. Oftentimes parents admit that this choice isn’t theirs, but it’s forced upon them, so if enough in the community vow to hold off until 8th grade, then the decision is put back in the hands of the parents, who know their kids best. The research backing the Wait Until 8th Campaign (around addiction and the complexity of these devices) is broad, and I wish more communities would adopt this fantastic campaign.”

Pew Research Center released the following alarming statistics: The average age a student gets a smartphone is 10 years old; children are spending between 6 and 9 hours a day on media; 95% of teens have smartphones ; 45% of teens say they are online “almost constantly” ; 24% report social media has had a negative effect on their life.  You can still sign the “Wait Until 8th” pledge, even if you want your child to have a basic phone that calls and texts or a “smart” watch (with phone and GPS capabilities). The basic phone and “smart” watch avoid many of the distractions and dangers of the smartphone.  

Find your smartphone alternatives and parental controls here. The link also provides more information on why Milton Public Schools supports waiting until students are in 8th grade to provide them with a smartphone.

Having spent my career as an educator, I know that if  parents/guardians sign the Wait Until 8th pledge and delay giving their children a smartphone, your children will read more for pleasure which will have a direct and positive correlation to improving their academic achievement and increasing their vocabulary.  By banding together as a community, this campaign will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike. Childhood is too short to waste on a smartphone. Take the pledge here!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last blog post. The School Committee held their meeting and site visit at Glover on November 7th. The focus of the successful Glover site visit was space, facilities, enrollment, SEL and PBIS. School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access Television at any time.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Did you hear the people sing?  Because the cast of Les Mis hit all the right notes!  Last weekend, Milton High School welcomed over 2,500 audience members to the fall musical production of LES MISÉRABLES.  In an incredibly successful four-show run, audiences were transported to 19th century France to follow the heartbreaking, life story of Jean Valjean (Prisoner #24601).  An inspiring performance of whirlwind of emotion prompted those in attendance to declare,“ Best musical, yet!”

Thanks to Wildcat News you can see and hear some of the Milton Public Schools talent on display last weekend. A round of applause to Directors Kevin Black, Katherine Encarnacao, Preston Pero and the team of incredibly dedicated parents and guardians who made the production such a success!  Congratulations to the cast, crew and orchestra on 4 amazing performances!

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Save the date for the upcoming MHS guidance event, College Information/Post Secondary Planning night at Milton High on Thursday, Dec 6th  at 6pm. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process: Financial Aid, Standardized Testing, Supporting your senior throughout the year, NCAA Requirements, Overview of the College Application Process, and Naviance. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, Dec 6th at 6pm. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in any grade level.    

PIERCE UPDATES

Coding to win!

Over the last 4 weeks, students in Mrs. Magill’s computer classes have been able to work on the Cyber Robotic Coding Challenge Bootcamp in preparation for the actual competition which started Monday, November 5th. In Coding Bootcamp,  students learned how to control a robot on the screen by using block code. We have had 119 students who completed 10 or more Bootcamp missions and the Pierce Middle School is in 3rd place out of 28 schools for overall points  in the Qualifiers! We hope to score enough points to move on to the Finals. We had a visit from the people who run the coding competition on Tuesday 11/6. They spoke with some of our 7th graders to find out what they liked about the competition and get suggestions for future competitions and we were happy to hear they were impressed with the students’ work so far. Wish us luck on the road to the finals!

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Running for Senate in  2038? Maybe!

8th graders at Pierce were treated to a great Midterm Election week experience as each team experienced a senate immersion program at the Edward Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.  Two teams explored the issue of Immigration Reform while another team focused on a path forward for the Patriot Act. Students heard from State Representative Bill Driscoll before swearing in as United States Senators.  Each student was given a Senate profile, heard from experts on the issue – and debated what action should be taken. All staff returned impressed by the poise and active participation of our 8th graders and students returned appreciative of the experience.  Thank you to the Pierce PTO for helping make this amazing opportunity a reality.  

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The Pierce Student Council held its 2nd Annual Peace March on Friday, November 2nd. Over 60 children and 20 plus adults began in the back lot, readied their signs, and marched to Town Hall- all in the name of peace. Thank you to the Milton Police Department for supporting us, our students were made to feel so special by our men and women in blue. Members of Student Council learned first-hand what it takes to plan such an event, including acquiring a permit and reaching out to local organizations to join them. The event was entirely student driven and designed. A special thank you to Mr. Dolan, Mr. Smith, and Ms. Percuoco, our Student Council advisers for supporting these student leaders!  

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Our 6th graders are enjoying Mr. Romeo’s Lego Robotics PASS Class.  Many of these students have limited robotics experience, but they are exploring the materials and teaching themselves how to build and program the robots. We hope to see this PASS Class is grow and into a program that extends the work with the competitive teams happening at some of the elementary schools. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Thank you to the Tucker Trainers !

We would like to recognize our parent volunteers for their outstanding efforts and valuable time spent organizing the before-school exercise program BOKS (Build Our Kids Success) at our elementary schools. In addition to the Tucker Trainers, Sita Cochran, Zee Mutyora, Meena Tondravi, Keith Schleicher, Brendan Bartlet, Gail Trachtenberg, Kim Johnson and Andrea Butterfield Robert (some of whom are pictured at left), thank you to Heather Bergin and Eric Kelly for running a terrific fall program at Collicot!

BOKS is a before-school exercise program that launched in October 2009. BOKS is a grassroots program, lead by parent volunteers that looks to get kids moving, teach simple nutrition lessons and reinforce healthy behaviors taught in health and physical education classes.  It’s a wonderful example of school community working to help students be their best.

School districts across the country are seeing the results and looking to provide more opportunities for students to be physically active and help prepare their brains to learn, Milton is no exception.  Standardized test findings from BOKS builds the case that physical activity engagement can actually support learning and that increased physical activity involvement positions children to be more ready and alert for learning experiences.  BOKS is a great example of some of the initiatives that we are exploring, as we look to find more options for students to be physically active and improve academic performance. Thank you to all our BOKS parent/guardian volunteers for providing this opportunity.  If you’re interested in learning more or volunteering for BOKS, please contact MPS Health/PE director Noel Vigue.

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Mrs. Hyde’s Cunningham 4th graders got a taste of election day excitement this week as they worked on their Classroom 312 ballot initiative –  Should students turn in a lost BAM? What’s a BAM?  BAM stands for BeAMazing! Students in Ms. Hyde’s class get small pompoms(BAMs) for acts of kindness, working hard, and generally just being amazing. Occasionally a BAM falls on the floor and the students all have different opinions on what someone should do if they find a “lost BAM.” Since the question has come up several times in class, Ms. Hyde turned it into a ballot initiative and modeled some democracy in action. Students considered the question, came up with pros and cons, tried to persuade others to see their perspective, and then voted. It was a 10-12 result with the “No on 1” vote winning. So now we have new classroom legislation that students are not required to turn in a lost BAM. They can attempt to find the owner and keep it if the owner cannot be found. Democracy in action! 

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At Collicot they are saving paper one morning at a time!  In Ms. Tran’s Kindergarten classroom, students practice various skills every morning such as drawing shapes, writing numbers, and spelling sight words. In order to cut down on paper waste, worksheets are put into plastic sleeves. Students can then complete work with dry erase markers and wipe it clean with a pom pom for the next day. Art teacher Mrs. Bernini also used transparencies that were used for overhead projectors in artwork for Veteran’s Day.

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It’s not over after Hamilton has sung! Tucker announces a new Bonus Raffle: A Night on the Town featuring dinner at MJ O’Connors, 1 night stay at the Park Plaza including valet parking and breakfast for two. There are still over $3,000 in prizes. Take a chance to win!! Tickets can be purchased until November 30th at www.tuckerpto.com/raffle

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Nov 8  Early Release (Grades K-12), PT Conferences Gr 6-12 Only
Nov 12  No School Veterans Day
Nov 15  MHS Fall Cabaret
Nov 17  Eastern District Sr. Auditions
Nov 19  Waking up White Author Presentation
Nov 21-23  Thanksgiving Day Recess
Nov 26  Jessica Minahan, Stressed Out-Reducing Anxiety in Children

The full calendar can be found here.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Dr. Casey Corcoran

Thank you to all who attended Dr. Casey Corcoran’s presentation this week. Dr. Corcoran was engaging and presented thought provoking and valuable information.  In addition to hearing from Dr.
Corcoran, audience members were treated to a skit presented by 3 members of the PMS peer leadership team. Caroline Duffy, Mallory Hughes and Emily King were part of a group of students who attended a training through  DOVE on healthy relationships and abuse prevention this summer. These students did a great job soliciting 8 volunteers from the audience, presenting the scene as well as leading a brief discussion following the skit. It was a very powerful example of skills-based health education (advocacy for self, friend, family or community, interpersonal communication, and decision-making).  

Our next speaker is Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA who will present Stressed Out! Reducing Anxiety in Children. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four, 13-18 year olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. This presentation will introduce preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring. Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and special educator and a consultant to schools nationwide. Jessica has over 17 years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in public school systems.

MPS GIVES BACK

Many of our Glover students participated in the Create the Change Day in Boston this past weekend. This was an amazing opportunity to give back to the greater community and kids in need with families joining  Project Giving Kids for the third annual Create the Change Day Boston at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center.  Projects will benefit local nonprofits including Hope and Comfort, Rosie’s Place, MSPCA, Room To Grow, and more.  

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Cunningham 2nd grader Sophia started doing a sock drive for the homeless when she was just 4.  This is her 4th year and she hopes to be able to deliver over 1000 pairs of warm socks to Boston’s homeless men and women. It’s easy to donate – drop your socks into the donation bin in the lobby of Cunningham or the front porches of  3 Phyllis Lane or 178 Lyman Road.

Have a new or gently used winter coat you would like to pass on to someone in need? You can drop it to the collection bin in the lobby of Cunningham. It will be dry cleaned and given to someone who can use a warm coat this winter!

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3rd grade Collicot students in Ms. McDermott’s class were inspired to serve their community by Unit 1 in Reach for Reading, which focused on kindness. They decided to make quilts in class and donate them to children in need. The texts that inspired them were “The quilt maker’s journey” and ” The quilt maker’s dream.” Students were so motivated, they gave up their recess to make the quilts! 

SPECIAL EDUCATION/SEPAC

The SEPAC will be hosting a Basic Right’s Workshop on November 28th at 7:00 in the library at Tucker Elementary School. They will also hold a brief board meeting at 6:30 prior to the presentation. Both are free and open to the public. 

HEALTH NEWS

Does your student need a flu shot? You’re in luck! Our Annual Student Flu Clinic is Wednesday, November 14th from 3-5pm (please no early arrivals) at the Pierce Cafe (enter and exit through the cafe in the front of the building). All students in Grades 3-12, accompanied by their parent/guardian are welcome and encouraged to get their flu shot at the clinic. Please bring your insurance card.

TECHNOLOGY

Milton Public Schools strives to ensure all students are college and career ready.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.”  Plus, more than seventy-eight percent of Milton High School alumni report they submit seventy-five to one hundred percent of college assignments electronically.  

With this information in mind,  along with the successful implementation of BYOD at MHS, Pierce Middle School is planning for the implementation of 1:1 Chromebooks for the 2019-20 academic school year.  The Milton Public Schools has submitted a request to purchase nine hundred Chromebooks through capital funds for next year. If this request is funded, Pierce will be a 1:1 school next year.  Unlike BYOD, in this 1:1 environment, the new devices will be stored in a Chromebook cart in all of the core subject classrooms for students to use during class time. The Chromebooks will stay inside each classroom and not be available for students to use at home.  Currently, Pierce has twelve Chromebook carts. These carts will be available for the World Language and elective teachers. Read more about this initiative here. 

FOOD SERVICE

There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools. You’ll be serving healthy food to kids and be home when your kids are home due to the school schedule – what’s better than that?! This can be a great opportunity for parents and retirees and food service experience is a plus, but not required. The starting pay for the food service substitute position pays $15.05 per hour and substitute jobs often lead to permanent jobs. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514) for more information.

FUNDRAISING

We are once again lucky to be partnering with the Milton Fruit Center for Schools Shopping Week November 5th-11th. All six Milton Public Schools will be benefiting from the Fruit Center’s generosity.  Here’s how you can participate:

Download a shopping voucher for your school below (you’ll need Adobe Reader). Print as many you’d like and share them with friends, family and neighbors.

Present your voucher when you make purchases at the Fruit Center Marketplace from Monday, November 5th through Sunday, November 11th. Shop as often as you’d like during that week. The Fruit Center Marketplace will donate 20% of the total purchases back to your school so stock up on your favorite Fruit Center items and help out your school! 

Collicot    Cunningham     Glover     Tucker     Pierce Middle School     Milton High School

NEWS AROUND TOWN

This weekend:

The Bradley, Eustis, and Wakefield Estates will show off their fall colors during the  2nd Annual Blue Hills Great Estates Fall Foliage Weekend.

Comfort Zone Camp is having a Holiday Family Day program in Weymouth on Saturday, November 10th from 12-4pm. Comfort Zone supports families who have experienced the death of a loved one.   

Next weekend:

Brookwood Community Farm  will hold a Thanksgiving Sale on Sunday, November 18 from 11-2pm. Pick up locally grown veggies for your Thanksgiving Feast! Brookwood’s annual sale includes pre-ordered Harvest Boxes, Turkeys & Pies! This year enjoy kids activities, free warm drinks, self-guided scavenger hunt and more!

Also at Brookwood Farm there will be an Apple Pie Class with Chef Clare Garland on Sunday, November 18 2:30-4:30. Make your own perfect pastry crust and take home a delectable unbaked apple pie! Learn from pastry chef Clare Garland from the Ashmont Grill. Ages 14+.

Later in November:

I encourage you to read this note from Debbie Alsebai,  one of the members of Courageous Conversations towards Racial Justice.  Courageous Conversations is hosting educator Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself In The Story of Race , a book widely considered to be an essential text on how to unpack racial privilege in the American context. Please join many of your friends and neighbors  for a conversation with Debby Irving,  Monday, November 19th 6-9pm at Milton High School. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Milton Historical Society presents local author, furniture conservator and scholar Robert Mussey Jr. to discuss his book he co-authored with Clark Pearse, “Rather Elegant Than Showy: The Classical Furniture of Isaac Vose.” The lecture will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 7pm  at the Milton Public Library, 476 Canton Ave. The event is free and open to the public. The library is also a co-sponsor.   Although virtually forgotten for approximately 200 years, Milton Village native Isaac Vose built a substantial business empire in Boston and made furniture for the most prominent Boston families.

Ongoing:

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

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

ATHLETICS

The Football Team is in the South Sectional Semifinals.  They play @ Dighton Rehoboth on Friday November 9th at 7pm.

The Swim Team has several students swimming in the sectional tournament at MIT on Sunday, 11/11. The results from last week are available here.  

The Cross Country Team travels to the Wrentham Development Center on Saturday for their Regional Meet.

We are happy to announce our Milton High School Athletes of the Month for October!

Jared Carney Senior, Golf

Jared was voted a Bay State Conference First Team All-Star.  He shot a 73 (Tied for 3rd) at the Bay State Conference Tournament; he shot a 79 at MIAA D2 South Sectional Championships and he qualified for D2 State Championships at Marshfield Country Club where he finished tied for 27th out of over 200 golfers in Division II.  He was also a part of the Milton High School Golf Team that won the Division II Team Sportsmanship Award for 2018!  

Mary O’Connell Senior, Field Hockey

Mary just missed out on being named Athlete-of-the-Month for September, receiving an honorable mention nod. Since then, she has been voted a 1st Team All-Star for Field Hockey in the Bay State League. She faced over 400 shots this year and her saving average was 87%, increasing in the month of October. She had an incredible season this year, keeping the team in close games right until the end. In her coach’s words, “she was the heart of the field hockey team”.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Cummings, Senior, Boys Soccer; Megan Kelly, Senior, Volleyball

Look for a fall sports wrap up in the coming weeks.  Winter Registration is open and tryouts begin the Monday after Thanksgiving. Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Students: It is my pleasure to announce that Hokulani Panerio-Langer has been chosen to be this year’s Project 351 8th grade ambassador.  Hoku will participate in a year of service and leadership with other 8th graders chosen from the 351 towns and cities in Massachusetts.  Hoku has a genuine intellectual curiosity that is rarely seen in students her age. She so earnestly wants to learn everything that she can, both in her classes and about the world around her. She is kind to all her peers and radiates a positive influence to all.  Hoku always tackles a challenge, in fact she actively enjoys opportunities to learn, to help others, and to work hard. Last year, in the Model UN club, she was a star. She won several awards at conferences, including “best delegate,” (the highest honor) as a seventh grader at a conference with high school students! Hoku is a student with strong academic aptitude and a willingness to work hard.  She is truly genuine in all that she pursues and will make an outstanding Project 351 Ambassador. Congratulations, Hoku! 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, Karen McDavitt, James Jette, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden,  Karen Cahill, Joe Dolan, Jake Smith, Dawn Sykes, Jackie Morgan, Joyce White, Marti McKenna,  Kevin Black, Deanna McGill, Lisa Veldran, Emily Hyde and Margaret Gibbons.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November 8, 2018

November 1, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: November 1st, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Adults and children are questioning and bewildered by the murders of eleven worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, and the murders of two elderly African American people at a grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky, by an individual who first attempted to enter a nearby church. As partners in your children’s education, we are committed to providing them with the time and resources necessary for them to begin to make sense of the hate-based tragedy that is sadly becoming increasingly a part of the national and global discourse that surrounds them.

Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit, international, educational, and professional development organization, contends that as “hate” becomes an “issue of global concern,” we, as Americans, “must consider what these troubling events suggest about the current state of the country and the future of this diverse democracy.” In keeping with its mission to “engage students…in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism…to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry,” Facing History and Ourselves reminds us that “If we don’t make the time to talk about these events, we risk normalizing them.”

Among the many suggestions they offer, they encourage us first to reflect upon how we, ourselves, have been affected by the tragedy and how we are processing it. They also explain that media coverage in the aftermath of murder is complex and ever-changing. We must take this into account as we engage our students, and find ways to teach them that facts can change. Our classrooms must be safe spaces for children to share their feelings, and most importantly, as educators, we should discuss with our students “positive ways” they as individuals and we as a community can respond to promote “inclusive norms and values.”

In our schools and classrooms, this work has already begun and is ongoing. We are committed to educating our staff and students with educational opportunities that provide this time, so that we never “risk normalizing” hatred and murder.  Discovering Justice is a literacy-based social studies curriculum that is taught in every one of our elementary classrooms. This curriculum provides students with the tools to understand sophisticated ideas such as democracy, tolerance, rights, responsibilities, and the connection between rules and law through literature. Our 4thgrade curriculum specifically fosters the e pluribus unum (“out of many, one”) ideals by teaching students to recognize the strength of our national diversity. At the Pierce Middle School, representatives from the Anti-Defamation League are currently training 7thand 8thgrade students to visit 6thgrade classrooms and present lessons specifically focused on teaching and promoting tolerance. On Friday, November 2nd, the Pierce Middle School Student Government will lead its 2ndAnnual March for Peace. Finally, students’ experience both in and out of the classroom at Milton High School is rich with opportunity to celebrate the school’s diversity. Directly and indirectly, students engage topics in their humanities classes meant to identify and mitigate social bias and prejudice and scrutinize information they consume via a variety of media. The plethora of after school clubs and activities at Milton High afford students the opportunity both to learn about new social groups and find comfort in groups of peers with similar backgrounds and experiences.

In addition to the continued work we do in our schools, students and families can also seek support from the Milton community at large. School Committee Member Ada Rosmarin has shared the following suggestions posted by the Fred Rogers Center:

  • When children feel angry and afraid, it helps them to “look for the helpers” so that they can see that there are people who will help keep them safe.
  • Children need to know that it is alright to feel sad, angry or afraid, and that talking to a grownup can help them feel better.
  • When possible, limit children’s (and our own) access to televised reruns of the event. Children may have a hard time distinguishing between what is real and pretend and what is happening in real time versus what is a repeat of past events. They may think that there is more than one event or that it continues to happen.
  • Children often seek outlets for their anger and fear. Drawing about their mad feelings and playing about their fears is one way that they express themselves. Using a puppet to talk about things can sometimes make it easier.
  • Spending time together as families and community can be a healing experience, so take some time to be together with family, friends, and neighbors.

Milton’s Interfaith Clergy Association and Rabbi Alfred Benjamin from Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills offer the following invitation:

In the aftermath of the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites, indeed calls, all in our community to gather in witness and solidarity with our Jewish neighbors on Saturday, November 3 at 11:45 am at Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills. This will be our local expression of the global Jewish advocacy group, AJC’s #ShowUpForShabbat campaign, calling on both Jews and non-Jews to fill synagogues this coming weekend.

We will gather at the entrance to the synagogue, located off Lodge Street in Milton, for a brief statement of purpose led by representatives from MICA and local leadership and then form a wide arc of protection and love around the front of the building. When the synagogue’s Shabbat service concludes at 12 noon we will be welcomed with songs, readings and prayers.  Everyone will then be invited inside for the traditional blessings offered over wine and challah bread that conclude the service.  Light refreshments will also be served.

Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills and the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association issue this invitation and call as a statement of defiance and resolve.  Defiance against those who seek to sow fear in the Jewish community and resolve that the America we believe in is a country that respects and embraces diversity.

Please note backpacks or large purses will not be allowed in the building. Ample parking is available nearby at St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, 350 Reedsdale Road.

As AJC CEO David Harris declared in the hours after Saturday’s tragedy, “The community of conscience must stand as one, whether in the face of the hate-motivated attack against a black church in Charleston, which took nine lives, or a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which took eleven lives. We are determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division. That’s our America.”

We in the Milton Public Schools are proud of our growing diversity.  It defines us. When we read and hear about the hate-driven murders of innocent citizens like those in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, or in Pittsburgh just last week, we are not only saddened and shaken because these events tear at the fabric of our collective humanity, but also because we know that individual students and families in our school community, because of their backgrounds, share a personal connection with the victims of these atrocities. We work daily to promote a system of schools that not only mentors and counsels students through challenges they face in the wake of hate-based violence, and provides space and time for them to process, but also one that educates students to be proactive, positive agents for change.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

On November 6th, at Pierce Middle School, Casey Corcoran will present Healthy Relationships: Talking to Your Kids about the Birds, the Bees, AND the Butterflies with Casey Corcoran.  This presentation will focus on concrete strategies, conversation starters, and resources that parents and caregivers can use with their kids to promote healthy relationships. As the Center for Disease Control points out, “unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.” Casey previously worked at the Boston Public Health Commission as the director of the Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships Initiative. He received his M.A.T. from Trinity College and is a certified batterer/dating violence intervention counselor. I hope you will join us at Pierce for this important presentation. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

There has not been a School Committee meeting since my last blog post. The next School Committee meeting and site visit will be at Glover on November 7th. The focus of the Glover site visit will be space, facilities, enrollment, SEL and PBIS. All are welcome to attend. School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access Television at any time.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Students on the School to Careers field trip had the opportunity to visit Boston Children’s Hospital on Thursday, October 25.  MHS teacher Larry Jordan accompanied the students and writes the following. Our students were able to hear from a panel of 11 employees from Children’s Hospital. Employees represented different departments in the hospital and their careers ranged from social work, family support, finance, nursing and operations.  The panelists discussed their career path, courses that can be helpful for those interested in careers in health care, and what their daily responsibilities are. Our students were engaged and thankful for the opportunity to participate in this learning experience.

MHS student Arianna Simpson shares that “the experience of visiting Boston Children’s Hospital expanded my knowledge of the Medical Field. The amazing panelists shared specifics about how they accomplished their career paths as well as the work it took to accomplish their current job. Through their sharing of different professions, each panelists described how their original dream job was not what they ended up pursuing. In fact, the panelists mentioned how through all the great times and not so nice times, they felt extremely happy about where they currently are today. I would definitely recommend this eye-opening event to the younger scholars because it allows you to see where you can be, as well as the different things you can do in the medical field”. 

***

Save the date for the upcoming MHS guidance event, College Information/Post Secondary Planning night at Milton High on Thursday, Dec 6th  at 6pm. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process: Financial Aid, Standardized Testing, Supporting your senior throughout the year, NCAA Requirements, Overview of the College Application Process, and Naviance. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, Dec 6th at 6pm. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in any grade level.

PIERCE UPDATES

The 1st Annual March for Peace, November 2017

The Pierce Middle School Student Council will be leading its 2nd annual “March For Peace” on Friday afternoon, November 2nd, starting in the school’s back parking lot at 2:45.  We are asking for your support by showing up and marching with us as we celebrate the theme of the day: Peace and Love. This is not a protest, nor a political statement, but rather a gentle reminder that we live in a world where all humans can coexist peacefully.

Please help us by spreading the word, showing up, and walking from Pierce Middle School, up to the Town Hall Gazebo (with a police escort) and listening to our Town’s youth share their words of wisdom through song and brief messages. Light refreshments will be served after the event. 

8th grader teacher Erin Power shared her student  Sophie Kosiba’s poem with me, and I think it’s appropriate to share with you this week. The poem is Sophia’s version of Maya Angelou’s, “A Brave and Startling Truth,” which she wrote for the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations. The United Nations came into being in 1945, following the devastation of the Second World War, with one central mission: the maintenance of international peace and security. The UN does this by working to prevent conflict; helping parties in conflict make peace; peacekeeping; and creating the conditions to allow peace to hold and flourish.

***

The inaugural  season of the Pierce Volleyball team ended with 8 wins and 3 losses. The team capped off the season with a great game against the Pierce staff!  Thanks to Coach Rhodes and all who supported the Play FORE Pierce Golf Tournament which made our Volleyball team possible. 

***

The Pierce 8th grade is busy planning for the 8th grade Washington DC trip! This year we have more students than ever before signed up to go.  We are thrilled about that as it is important to us that everyone who wants to go-does go. That said, we now have a lot of fundraising to do for the DC Scholarship Fund. This fund provides critical support to families in need so that their children can participate in this amazing opportunity and have lifelong memories too.  

Our first Pierce Movie Night in support of the DC Scholarship Fund will take place on Friday, November 2, at 6:30 PM. We will be showing the movie, “Black Panther”. The suggested donation to attend is $10.00. This night is open to Pierce Middle School students only. This is a drop off event and there will be  a small concession stand. If this night is successful, we will plan another Pierce Movie Night the following month. Finally, if you would like to donate directly to the Pierce Middle School DC Scholarship Fund, you can just send in a check made out to the Pierce PTO with “DC Scholarship” in the notes section.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

A few weeks ago we shared that Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders built their own town, called Walshville, which contained many of the buildings and businesses found around Milton. Over the past few weeks, real life “Walshville” residents have been invited to visit the classroom and share about their jobs and roles within the community. The 2nd graders have been thrilled to welcome “their” person into the classroom. In addition to those pictured, the 2nd grade got a visit from Miss Sara the MPS librarian and will welcome Tim the mailman, Mrs. Doyle from the Nutshell and the Milton Animal Control Officer. Thank you to all who visited Walshville!

Aidan Stock from Collicot asks his question.

On Thursday October 25, our 4th graders from each elementary school were treated to a special field trip to Gillette Stadium for the New England Revolution 4th Grade Fitness Day!  It was a brisk fall day with sunny blue skies as our students took their spots on the field. They were lead through a series of exercises by the Revs training staff and then ate their lunch in the stands while listening to Revs goalkeeper Matt Turner and defender Jalil Anibaba, speak about the importance of staying healthy with proper exercise and nutrition.  Some students were randomly selected to ask the players questions. It was a day they won’t forget with the players personally answer their questions and giving autographs. Thank you to our PTOs for their support.

 ***

It’s not over just because Hamilton has sung! Tucker announces a new Bonus Raffle: A Night on the Town featuring dinner at MJ O’Connors, 1 night stay at the Park Plaza including valet parking and breakfast for two. There are still over $3,000 in prizes. Take a chance to win! Tickets can be purchased until November 30th at www.tuckerpto.com/raffle

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Nov 1, 3, 4   MHS Les Miserables
Nov 6  Parent Speaker Series-Casey Corcoran
Nov 7  Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 8  Early Release (Grades K-12), PT Conferences Gr 6-12 Only
Nov 12  No School Veterans Day
Nov 15  MHS Fall Cabaret
Nov 17  Eastern District Sr. Auditions

The full calendar can be found here.

MPS EVENTS – Les Miserables

Les Miserables is here! There are four shows: Thursday, November 1 at 7pm; Saturday, November 3 at 2pm and 7pm; and Sunday, November 4 at 2pm.  Tickets ($10) are available at the door and at the MHS main office during school hours. They are also available online until two hours before the performance begins. This promotional video tells you all you need to know – and won’t want to miss – about Les Mis! 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

District’s SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman, has adapted an informative article, appearing in the South Shore’s Youth Connection newsletter, to help parents understand how promoting Resilience and Grit in their children are key predictors for their success. I hope you also find the content as beneficial as I did. You can read Laurie Stillman’s important article here. 

TECHNOLOGY

YES! You can still sign the “Wait Until 8th” pledge, even if you want your child to have a basic phone that calls and texts or a “smart” watch (with phone and GPS capabilities). The basic phone and “smart” watch avoid many of the distractions and dangers of the smartphone.  

Find your smartphone alternatives here.  The link also provides more information on why Milton Public Schools supports waiting until students are in 8th grade to provide them with a smartphoneBy banding together as a community, this campaign will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike. Childhood is too short to waste on a smartphone. Take the pledge here

FUNDRAISING

We are once again lucky to be partnering with the Milton Fruit Center for Schools Shopping Week November 5th-11th. All six Milton Public Schools will be benefiting from the Fruit Center’s generosity.  Here’s how you can participate:

Download a shopping voucher for your school below (you’ll need Adobe Reader). Print as many you’d like and share them with friends, family and neighbors.

Present your voucher when you make purchases at the Fruit Center Marketplace from Monday, November 5th through Sunday, November 11th. Shop as often as you’d like during that week. The Fruit Center Marketplace will donate 20% of the total purchases back to your school so stock up on your favorite Fruit Center items and help out your school!

Collicot    Cunningham     Glover     Tucker     Pierce Middle School     Milton High School

***

We are now in the last week of our fair trade fundraiser to benefit the Band. Sincere thanks if you have already placed an order but if not, now is the time to purchase a variety of fair trade holiday gifts and other fair trade products! Please consider making a purchase as we are a self-funded group that has doubled in size over the past three years. We rely on fundraisers and donations to run the program. The Marching Wildcats will receive 25% of product sales.

Please go to FairTradeCaravans.com; Log in to our fundraising event with “Participant Code” MarchingWildcats to participate in the fundraiser; Fill your shopping cart ; Check out and include your Fundraising Representative – the name of your student or staff member that will help us get your order to you (use Rebecca Damiani if you don’t know a member of the band or email Ms. Damiani if you  have questions). All orders will be delivered to MHS the week of November 26th. Thank you for your support!

 From production to purchase, fair trade is model of ethical, sustainable trade that puts people and planet first, so please share this fundraising opportunity with your friends and family!

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Almost 1000 runners came out for the 20th Annual Monster Dash last Sunday. The Monster Dash supports science in our 6 schools and is held each year in loving memory of Sam Cichello. In addition to the 5k, families enjoyed the fun run, kids activities, science experiments, and more. We look forward to the science enrichment that will benefit our students from the proceeds of the Monster Dash. Thank you to the MFE and to John Gillooly for some of the terrific photos below. 

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Tonight:

Milton Historical Society’s  is offering “Till We Meet Again – Songs of World War I” on Thursday,  November 1st.

Next weekend:

The Bradley, Eustis, and Wakefield Estates will show off their fall colors during the  2nd Annual Blue Hills Great Estates Fall Foliage Weekend.

Comfort Zone Camp is having a Holiday Family Day program in Weymouth on Saturday, November 10th from 12-4pm. Comfort Zone supports families who have experienced the death of a loved one.   

Later in November:

I encourage you to read this note from Debbie Alsebai,  one of the members of Courageous Conversations towards Racial Justice.  Courageous Conversations is hosting educator Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself In The Story of Race , a book widely considered to be an essential text on how to unpack racial privilege in the American context. Please join many of your friends and neighbors  for a conversation with Debby Irving,  Monday, November 19th 6-9pm at Milton High School. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

 

Brookwood Community Farm  will hold a Thanksgiving Sale on Sunday, November 18 from 11-2pm. Pick up locally grown veggies for your Thanksgiving Feast! Brookwood’s annual sale includes pre-ordered Harvest Boxes, Turkeys & Pies! This year enjoy kids activities, free warm drinks, self-guided scavenger hunt and more!

Also at Brookwood Farm there will be an Apple Pie Class with Chef Clare Garland on Sunday, November 18 2:30-4:30. Make your own perfect pastry crust and take home a delectable unbaked apple pie! Learn from pastry chef Clare Garland from the Ashmont Grill. Ages 14+.

The Milton Historical Society presents local author, furniture conservator and scholar Robert Mussey Jr. to discuss his book he co-authored with Clark Pearse, “Rather Elegant Than Showy: The Classical Furniture of Isaac Vose.” The lecture will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 7pm  at the Milton Public Library, 476 Canton Ave. The event is free and open to the public. The library is also a co-sponsor.   Although virtually forgotten for approximately 200 years, Milton Village native Isaac Vose built a substantial business empire in Boston and made furniture for the most prominent Boston families. 

Ongoing:

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

The Commission on Disability needs you! Whether you’re a parent, teacher or a student over the age of eighteen, Milton needs you to serve on the Commission to assist those who are living with disabilities enjoy all that Milton has to offer.  As a Commissioner or even as a Friend of the Commission, your eyes and ears are needed to bring awareness to:

  • accessibility needs for all people with various disabilities, not just those in need of ramps
  • unsafe sidewalks and roadways to prevent disabling incidents from occurring
  • reach out to family, friends and neighbors to assist with their needs.

Commissioners may call in to the once a month meetings which are under two hours. Friends of the Commission may submit their thoughts, needs or concerns to the Commission and volunteer to help with anything from picking up a small bag of groceries to shoveling a walkway.  Please contact Diane DiTullio Agostino, Chair of the Commission on Disability, via phone  617-698-8232 or email with questions. 

ATHLETICS

It’s a big weekend of MHS Tournament Events in the coming days.  Cheer qualified for States at their Bay State League competition on Tuesday.  Swim will compete in their Sectionals on Sunday.  Football beat Westwood so they will host Hopkinton on Friday.  Weather does not look good, so anticipate changes. See below for events this weekend.

Thursday 11/1: Volleyball @ Apponequet Regional HS 5:15pm

Friday 11/2: Girls Soccer @ Medfield HS 3:00pm, Football v Hopkinton HS 7:00pm

Saturday 11/3: Cross Country @ Wrentham Development Center, 1:15pm Girls, 1:45pm Boys

Sunday 11/4: Swim Sectionals @ Wellesley 9:30am, Boys Soccer @ Nauset HS 5:00pm

Go ‘Cats!

The MHS Boys Basketball team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive on Saturday, November 3rd,  9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Milton High School. 

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

 

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Students:  Will Korman, Chair of the MFE Board, reached out on behalf of the Monster Dash team  to thank the MHS student leaders for stepping up and populating not just one or two, but all three of the  water stations during last weekend’s race. Runners were pleased with the stops and as importantly, at the end of the race the area around each station was virtually spotless! These outstanding young men and women are a tribute to the Milton Public Schools and our town. 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, James Jette, John Gillooly, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Rebecca Damiani, Nick Fitzgerald, Karen Cahill, Joe Dolan, Erin Power, Tanya Walsh, Jake Smith, Laurie Stillman, Christie Chiappetta, Debbie Alsebai, Ellen Lohan, Will Korman, Amy Tom, Jen Rhodes, Dawn Sykes, Joyce White, Ada Rosmarin, Rabbi Alfred Benjamin, Larry Jordan, Arianna Simpson and Kevin Black.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November 1, 2018

October 25th 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 25, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Earlier this summer, Governor Charlie Baker declared that October 22-26 would be STEM Week in Massachusetts schools. Our science coordinators, principals and teachers ran with the idea and as you’ll see below, our schools were awash in STEM activities this week. Our K-12 curriculum has a strong STEM component on a daily and weekly basis and it was interesting to see a concentrated week of STEM cooperative activities, challenges, speakers, field trips and more. Please enjoy these highlights!

Our administrative team participated in their own STEM challenge to kick off the week. Students enjoyed seeing their principals and teachers working in small groups, just like they do!

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Pierce 8th graders heard from Pierce parent Mr. Thomas Angus, who works for MassDEP, and presented on the topic of human health and ecological risks from toxic chemicals at old industrial sites and contaminated rivers. This was a valuable and interesting presentation for our 8th graders, as evidenced by the rapt audience and well thought out questions.

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Students in MHS Engineering 1 utilized the Engineering Design Process to lead the Gile Rd preschool class through designing, building, testing, and redesigning a sail for a zipline sailboat.  Sailboats ran on two drinking straw “pontoons” which were carried on fishing line. The sailboats were propelled by a hair dryer. Results were determined by measuring how far the sailboat traveled.  

Students in Child Development drew two ideas for their sails, then decided on which one to build.  Students in Engineering helped the preschoolers capture their ideas and the results of their test. The preschoolers then used what they learned to redesign and improve the sails.  The students tested their new sails and saw the boats went farther than they did the first time!

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Sedna Darkey is a MHS alumna who graduated in 2007.  She has since graduated from the University of Hartford with a BS in Chemistry and gone on to work in varying roles at Batelle Worldwide, the MWRA, Smithers Viscient, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and Immunogen.  Ms. Darkey shared her journey from communications major to chemist with Mr. Damiani’s biotechnology classes. We were extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful alumna come back to share her story with our students.

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At Pierce, Ms. Magill’s  STEM students kicked off their participation in the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition this week by beginning work on the pre-competition boot camp.  Look for updates as the competition continues.  

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ASE  joined in the first statewide STEM week. ASE supervisors, teachers and students planned special activities that emphasize the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in our lives.  ASE 2nd-5th grade learned about chemistry with M&M’s (and got a little treat as well) and recreated an oil spill and learned how environmental disasters affect natureASE Kindergarten students were intrigued and waited patiently to observe the raisins dance. This simple and fun experiment can be done at home! ASE Pre-K learned about life cycles with apples.  Students were fully engaged in this great, simple and fun activity.

 

As part of our Schools to Careers program, a group of interested MHS students took a field trip to Boston Children’s Hospital today to learn about a career in nursing. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

There has not been a School Committee meeting since my last blog post. The next School Committee meeting and site visit will be at Glover on November 7th. All are welcome to attend. School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access Television at any time.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

The 20th Annual Monster Dash is this Sunday! Online registration closes FRIDAY at 10:00 pm. Early bib pick-up on SATURDAY, 1:00 – 4:00 pm at Cunningham Hall and if you miss online registration, you can register in person on SATURDAY, 1:00 – 4:00 pm at Cunningham Hall.  Join the fun on Sunday, October 28th at 10am at Cunningham Hall. Each of the elementary schools has a Monster Dash team – Join your school when you sign up!

Ghosts & Goblins who benefit from smaller crowds to reduce sensory input are invited to join the SEPAC in partnership with the MFE for a sensory friendly hour at the Milton Monster Dash. Families are strongly encouraged to register in advance either online, with the form that came home from school, or on Saturday 10/28 from 1-4 at Cunningham Hall.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

On November 6th, Casey Corcoran will present Healthy Relationships: Talking to Your Kids about the Birds, the Bees, AND the Butterflies with Casey Corcoran.  This presentation will focus on concrete strategies, conversation starters, and resources that parents and caregivers can use with their kids to promote healthy relationships. As the Center for Disease Control points out, “unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.” Casey previously worked at the Boston Public Health Commission as the director of the Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships Initiative. He received his M.A.T. from Trinity College and is a certified batterer/dating violence intervention counselor.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

What a night! While many folks were celebrating another Red Sox win last night at Fenway Park, Milton High School students were watching a “championship performance” over at the Boston Opera House in downtown Boston. Last night, 60 Milton High School students and 6 chaperones traveled to the Boston Opera House to see a performance of Hamilton sponsored by the Marilyn Rodman Theatre for Kids Foundation. Mr, Jette shares the following: “Marilyn Rodman knew theatre could have a profound effect on kids, so she encouraged her husband Don to send kids to a show instead of yet another sporting event. In 2001, Don sent 2,000 kids to see South Pacific, and they never looked back”. You can read more about the Rodman Foundation here.

Well, thanks to Mr. Rodman and the foundation, 60 MHS students were blessed with a riveting performance of Hamilton. Albeit 3 hours long, the performance itself had our students on the edge of their seat and focused on every word and innuendo of the cast. This show was informative yet very entertaining and had our students salivating for more. I have been to many shows myself and several performance with our students over the years but Hamilton by far is one of my favorites. The music, dancing, and acting and the message inspired our students to learn more about history. One student even commented, “It gave me a new interest in history” and another student stated, “The creator was so innovative that he made our founder fathers oblivious to race”.

As expected, our students were well behaved and so appreciative of the opportunity. What a great night!

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Among the over 600 participants, there was a strong showing of SADD students who came to support the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition walking team on October 20th for the Mikes 5k to Crush Substance Abuse.  Pictured L-R  – Jean Peterson (Milton Health Dept), Caitlin Heelan (MHS Senior)), Laurie Stillman (MSAPC Director), Elizabeth Thomas (MSAPC member), Caroline Kinsella (Health Dept Director), Molly Baker (Senior). Laura Sauter (SADD President), Michael Johnson (Senior), Bruce Talanian (MSAPC member)

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Last weekend the students in the MHS Debate class and Debate team beginners, competed in their first Massachusetts Public Forum Debate at Walpole High.  Shout outs to freshman Bradan O’Loughlin, who competed maverick (by himself) and won two out of three debates and freshman team Ciara Fitzgerald and Nina O’Loughlin who won all three of their debates!  Out of the eight Milton teams competing they had nine wins. All of these students were first time debaters and a bit nervous walking in; walking out they were elated and proud. Our teacher advisors Kathleen Kelley, Dana DePaul and Kacy Kalell  share that “watching the transition of confidence was awe-inspiring”.  The future is bright for MHS Debate!

PIERCE UPDATES

Pierce recognized LGBTQ Spirit Day on Friday, October 19th.  The Pierce GSA organized Spirit Day by encouraging staff and students to wear purple – a color from the Pride Flag that represents the “human spirit”- to show their support for the LGBTQ community. Pierce is proud to have taken part in this national movement, which is described by GLAAD as “the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.” The students of the GSA, along with co-advisors Mrs. Kelli Prodanas and Ms. Liz Hallisey, would like to thank the Pierce community for their support and participation.

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The Pierce Middle School Student Council will be leading its 2nd annual “March For Peace” on Friday afternoon, November 2nd, starting in the school’s back parking lot at 2:45.  We are asking for your support by showing up and marching with us as we celebrate the theme of the day: Peace and Love. This is not a protest, nor a political statement, but rather a gentle reminder that we live in a world where all humans can coexist peacefully.

Please help us by spreading the word, showing up, and walking from Pierce Middle School, up to the Town Hall Gazebo (with a police escort) and listening to our Town’s youth share their words of wisdom through song and brief messages. Light refreshments will be served after the event. 

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The Pierce 8th grade is busy planning for the 8th grade Washington DC trip! This year we have more students than ever before signed up to go.  We are thrilled about that as it is important to us that everyone who wants to go-does go. That said, we now have a lot of fundraising to do for the DC Scholarship Fund. This fund provides critical support to families in need so that their children can participate in this amazing opportunity and have lifelong memories too.  

Our first Pierce Movie Night in support of the DC Scholarship Fund will take place on Friday, November 2, at 6:30 PM. We will be showing the movie, “Black Panther”. The suggested donation to attend is $10.00. This night is open to Pierce Middle School students only. This is a drop off event and there will be  a small concession stand. If this night is successful, we will plan another Pierce Movie Night the following month. Finally, if you would like to donate directly to the Pierce Middle School DC Scholarship Fund, you can just send in a check made out to the Pierce PTO with “DC Scholarship” in the notes section.

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Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated in Pierce  Spanish classrooms with parent presentations by Mr. Aaron Navas, Mrs. Pilar Alcaide, Mr. Carlos Quiñones and Ms. Mannie Fernandez. These parents represent four different Spanish speaking countries, Nicaragua, Spain, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, respectively.  Parents discussed aspects of their culture including food, phrases, songs, dances, athletes, academics, geography and history. It was an interesting and engaging event for all involved! Muchisimas gracias to everyone who made these presentations possible.

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Maybe Squash is your next sport? You’ll never know unless you try! Milton Academy is offering another introduction-to-squash clinic exclusively for MPS high school and middle school students. No experience necessary. Morgan Poor, Boy’s Coach at Milton Academy, will provide instruction. Throughout the sessions, the kids will learn the rules of the game, do various drills that teach different elements of the game and eventually play games and matches. Racquets, eyeguards and balls will be provided. All participants need their own non-marking court shoes.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Did your elementary school child come home this week talking about broccoli and edamame? You can thank Director of Nutrition Services Jackie Morgan and Health Barn USA and their healthy lifestyle “Try it, You’ll Like it” school assembly. Students at Cunningham, Collicot, Tucker and Glover enjoyed fun, engaging and  hands on assemblies all week. Students learned about the importance of trying new foods from the five food groups presented in the USDA MyPlate. After discussing eating breakfast, exercise, types of food and healthy eating, they enjoyed student volunteer tasters, making smoothies on the “smoothie bikes” and sharing their new “name” (be sure to ask your child their name). Every student sampled a variety of healthy food – the aforementioned broccoli and edamame, as well as melon, cheerios, peppers, tomatoes and the “smoothie bike blended”  smoothies!

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Elementary school students rocked the summer reading challenge, “Libraries Rock”.  The Milton Public Schools, in partnership with the Milton Public Library, challenged students to log in the minutes they spent reading over the summer. Almost 2000 K-5 students across the town registered for the challenge. The goal was set at 500,000 minutes.  Students not only met, but surpassed the goal with flying colors, logging in 1,134,142 minutes!

During library class all students who logged in minutes received an ” I rocked my summer reading challenge” bookmark.  Top readers from each elementary school had their names entered into a grade-wide raffle with the raffle winner receiving  a $25 gift card to Barnes and Nobles thanks to the generosity of the PTOs from each elementary school.

The Summer Reading Challenge is a partnership initiative between the Milton Public Schools and the Milton Public Library.  A special thank you to Sara Truog, Assistant Director, and her dedicated team of librarians, for their hard work and commitment to this program.  We would also like to thank Cunningham, Collicot, Tucker and Glover PTOs for their generous support of the Summer Reading Challenge.

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The Tucker School has a fun raffle calendar happening his fall. Enter for a chance to WIN over $2,300 worth of local prizes plus a Bonus Raffle of tickets to see HAMILTON if you purchase your calendar by 10/25! Raffle tickets can be purchased online.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Oct 28  MFE Monster Dash
Nov 1, 3, 4   MHS Les Miserables
Nov 6  Parent Speaker Series-Casey Corcoran
Nov 7  Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 8  Early Release (Grades K-12), PT Conferences Gr 6-12 Only
Nov 12  No School Veterans Day

ART AND MUSIC

Les Miserables has thrilled audiences around the world since its 1985 London premiere, proving to be one of the most enduring theatrical productions in history. Next week, the Milton High School drama department will present Les Miserables, School Edition, in the Charles Winchester Auditorium in four performances over three nights. Les Miserables is directed by Kevin Black and tickets are available at the high school during school hours or online at anytime.  Thursday, November 1 at 7pm; Saturday, November 3 at 2pm and 7pm; and Sunday, November 4 at 2pm. Tickets are $10.00 and are now available online at and at Milton High School. Above is a link of the recent sitzprobe. In opera and musical theatre, a sitzprobe (from the German for seated rehearsal) is a rehearsal where the singers sing with the orchestra, focusing attention on integrating the two groups. It is often the first rehearsal where the orchestra and singers rehearse together.

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The Milton High School Marching Band competed at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association Division festival in Wakefield this past Saturday. The festival brought in high school marching bands from Massachusetts as well as New Hampshire and the students were treated to a performance by the UMASS Lowell Marching Band. The Wildcats, led by student drum majors and captains Colleen Conley, Sarah Hancock, Claire Mandel, JJ Hainline and Paula Hogan performed their show “Memories of Ireland” and received 3 star ratings across all categories for an overall rating of 3 stars. The Marching Wildcats will continue to perform selections from their halftime show at the remaining home football games as well as at the Town Veteran’s Day Ceremonies. Check out some clips from the festival here

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We are over halfway through our Marching Wildcats Fair Trade Fundraiser  to benefit our Band. Please consider purchasing some fair trade holiday gifts or everyday items and we will receive 25% of product sales!

Please go to FairTradeCaravans.com; Log in to our fundraising event with “Participant Code” MarchingWildcats to participate in the fundraiser; Fill your shopping cart ; Check out and include your Fundraising Representative – the name of your student or staff member that will help us get your order to you (use Rebecca Damiani if you don’t know a member of the band or email Ms Damiani if you  have questions). All orders will be delivered to MHS the week of November 26th. Thank you for your support!

Order Delivery – All orders will be delivered to Milton High School the week of November 26th. From production to purchase, fair trade is model of ethical, sustainable trade that puts people and planet first, so please share this fundraising opportunity with your friends and family!

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Mrs. Van Allen and the Collicot ASE students are working on creating beautiful and easy to make lanterns to join the 1st annual Collicot lantern walk. Join them and the PTO to make a lantern after school this Thursday October 25th 3:05-4:00 beside Collicot. They will be there rain or shine. Be sure to bring a 1 or 2 liter plastic bottle with the top ½ cut off. Other supplies will be available and children must be accompanied by an adult. The walk will take place this Friday October 26 at Cunningham Hall. Activities start at 5:30 with a bake sale, music, fall fun and light distribution inside the hall. The stroll begins at 6:45.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

This weekend:

Get your Dash on at the 20th Annual Monster Dash on Sunday October 28th! 

Milton Rx Drug Take Back Day is on Saturday October 27,  10am – 2pm at the Milton Police Station, 40 Highland Avenue. Unused medications thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused, or illegally sold. If medications are flushed, they can contaminate the water supply. Do your part to curb the opiate crisis and dispose of unused medications at the Rx Drug Take Back Day.

 

There is a terrific opportunity for students to be introduced to tournament chess run by International Master David Vigorito , as well as for experienced players to participate in a competitive event for established players at the Milton Scholastic Chess Tournament on Saturday, October 27th 9am- 2pm at the Milton Public Library.

Forbes House Museum will host  a Halloween Pirate Party on Sunday, October 28th from 3-5pm. When the Forbes brothers set sail to China in the 1800’s, they kept a wary eye on the sea to avoid pirates. But now the pirates have taken over and they’re throwing a Halloween Party at the Forbes House! Join us for pirate-themed games, activities and treats! Costumes are encouraged. Tickets are  $5 per person ( child; adults, members) and pirates are free!

Next weekend:

The Bradley, Eustis, and Wakefield Estates will show off their fall colors during the  2nd Annual Blue Hills Great Estates Fall Foliage Weekend.

Milton Historical Society’s  is offering “Till We Meet Again – Songs of World War I” on Thursday,  November 1st.

Later in November:

Comfort Zone Camp is having a Holiday Family Day program in Weymouth on Saturday, November 10th from 12-4pm. Comfort Zone supports families who have experienced the death of a loved one.   

Waking Up White: And Finding Myself In The Story of Race , written by educator Debby Irving, is a book widely considered to be an essential text on how to unpack racial privilege in the American context. Hosted by Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice, join us for a conversation with Debby Irving, Monday, November 19th 6-9pm at Milton High School.

Brookwood Community Farm  will hold a Thanksgiving Sale on Sunday, November 18 from 11-2pm. Pick up locally grown veggies for your Thanksgiving Feast! Brookwood’s annual sale includes pre-ordered Harvest Boxes, Turkeys & Pies! This year enjoy kids activities, free warm drinks, self-guided scavenger hunt and more!

Also at Brookwood Farm there will be an Apple Pie Class with Chef Clare Garland on Sunday, November 18 2:30-4:30. Make your own perfect pastry crust and take home a delectable unbaked apple pie! Learn from pastry chef Clare Garland from the Ashmont Grill. Ages 14+.

Ongoing:

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children on an ongoing basis.

ATHLETICS

On behalf of the MIAA Golf Committee, the Milton High School Golf Team has been chosen as the recipient of this year’s Division 2 Sportsmanship Award for Fall Golf. This award will be presented at the State Championship Match on Tuesday, October 30th at Marshfield Country Club.  It has been a great week for the Golf Team, with Jack Boylan knocking down a hole-in-one, and Jared Carney earning a trip to the State Finals. Congratulations to Coach Ben Kelly for another tremendous year!

Pictured L-R Stephen Affanato, Hudson Smith, Dieter Werner, Patrick Kennedy, Hayden Kelley, Fritz Lalley, and Bobby Carew.

In the Boys Cross Country invitational this past weekend, Milton won the freshman team division at Saturday’s Brown Invitational.  Christopher Sullivan placed 1st (13:22). Ross Tejeda was 2nd (13:23). John Carew was 3rd (14:16). In the Varsity race, Bobby Carew led the team as usual. He placed 2nd overall running a new personal best of 15:48.

The Girls Cross Country Team also did well. Elise O’Leary, Ella Affanato, Anna Cakouros, Grace Sullivan, Grace Dwyer, and Clodagh Corcoran came in 4th overall. Grace Dwyer and Anna Cakouros both broke 20:00 in the 5K for the first time.   In the sophomore race, Maggie Mitchell, Bronwen Mandel, and Ilisa Risal all came in the top 30.

The Swim Team won yet again, beating Newton North to improve to 5-2 on the season! They host Weymouth at the Egan Center on Friday for their Senior Day Meet!

Volleyball beat Weymouth 3 sets to 1 on Tuesday to improve to 9-8 and secure a spot in the tournament.

Football lost a tough game over the weekend to Newton North.  However, they earned the #2 seed and will host Westwood on Friday, October 26th at 7pm here at Brooks Field, Milton High School.  Tickets are $3/students and $5/adults and senior citizens. There is no re-entry, no bags, and no pets allowed in the stadium.

Girls Soccer will host Walpole on Thursday, October 25th at 7pm for their Senior Night.

Boys Soccer dropped their game against Weymouth on Senior Night but will look to punch their ticket to the tournament with a win over Falmouth or Catholic Memorial in the next coming days.

Field Hockey beat Brookline on their Senior Night and they will wrap up their season this week against Walpole and Weymouth.

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

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Students and Staff:  Congratulations to MHS Golf Team and their Coach, MHS Assistant Principal Ben Kelly who have been chosen as the recipient of this year’s Division 2 Sportsmanship Award  for Fall Golf. These awards are presented at the state championship final of every MIAA sponsored sport to a worthy team in each division of competition. The awards are presented to those teams who have demonstrated a sincere commitment to the highest ideals and objectives of sportsmanship during their season of play. Not only did our MHS Golf Team have a terrific season, they clearly did so while displaying excellent sportsmanship. Congratulations to the team and Coach Kelly!

Volunteers: A huge shout out and thank you to Diane Ferrari, who is retiring from her position as Program Coordinator of the Milton Residents Fund.  Ms. Ferrari has been a true friend to the Milton Public Schools over her 15 years overseeing the Fund. The Milton Residents Fund and its programs provide critical support and assistance to MPS students and their families, throughout the academic year, over the summer and at the holiday season.  Ms. Ferrari has been a valuable resource to our students and their families needing support from the Milton Residents, which is a relationship that grows in importance for our students each year. On behalf of the entire Milton Public Schools community we want to sincerely thank Ms. Ferrari for her dedication to our families and wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, Karen McDavitt, James Jette, Liz Hallisey, Kelli Prodanas AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Rebecca Damiani, Marti McKenna, Martha Sandoval, Kathleen Kelley, Karen Cahill, Joe Dolan, Jake Smith, Laurie Stillman, Tina Greene, Christie Chiappetta, Ellen Lohan, Amy Tom, Paul Damiani, Dawn Sykes, Jackie Morgan, Christine Blagrove and Kevin Black.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October 25th 2018

October 18, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 18, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Students rehearse for Les Miserable.

Les Miserables, Claude-Michele Schonberg and Alain Boublil’s powerful musical, has thrilled audiences around the world since its 1985 London premiere, proving to be one of the most enduring theatrical productions in history. This November, the Milton High School drama department will present Les Miserables, School Edition, in the Charles Winchester Auditorium in four performances over three nights.  Middle school students will be previewing the show at Pierce on October 31st. Les Miserables is directed by Kevin Black and tickets are available at the high school during school hours or online at anytime. Choose your show! Thursday, November 1 at 7pm; Saturday, November 3 at 2pm and 7pm; and Sunday, November 4 at 2pm. Tickets are $10.00 and are now available online at and at Milton High School.

Anna Hoey and the cast rehearse.

The musical, based on Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 novel, is the epic story of one man’s quest for justice and another man’s unyielding commitment to the law.  Building upon the foundation of Les Miserables’ beautiful music and evocative lyrics, the Milton High School production will bring life to Victor Hugo’s colorful characters who never fail to captivate audiences:  The heroic Jean Valjean (junior Rowan Leggett); Inspector Javert (senior Caridad Smith); the tragic Fantine (senior Jada Farrar and Junior Maeve Bentley sharing the role); the waif and later beautiful woman Cosette (7th grader Greta Cardoza and Senior Penelope Holland respectively); the lovestruck Marius (sophomore Luke Palmer); the revolutionary firebrand Enjolras (freshman Gabe Winkler); the street urchin Eponine (sophomore Anna Hoey and senior Paula Hogan sharing the role); and the treacherous Madam and Monsieur Thenardier (seniors Audrey Pugh and Annabel Botsford sharing the role); along with a dynamic ensemble of student actors supported by an orchestra of student and professional musicians and a talented crew.

Les Miserables, School Edition, is the exclusively licensed production of Les Miserables for high school students by Music Theater International.  While slightly abridged and edited for school productions, the play retains the powerful story of the original production and includes material that may not be appropriate for younger audience members. I hope you will join me at MHS in November as we celebrate our young performers and enjoy a classic musical production. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The School Committee will be holding upcoming meetings in each of our schools, with the goal of involving more parents, touring each school and hearing the school’s Site Council Presentation. Please consider attending your own school’s date or another school that may interest you. The first school visit for the School Committee was last night when they visited Milton High School and heard from staff, students  and parents. It was a successful evening for all involved. The next site visit will be at Glover on November 7th. All are welcome to attend. School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access Television at any time.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Mrs. Cardiasmenos’ Glover 2nd graders are getting ready for the Monster Dash! Look for them in their bright orange t-shirts, which will be decorated in class tomorrow. Kids will decorate as they choose – spooky, fall, science or with whatever strikes them. Thank you to our parent volunteers for purchasing the shirts and helping to decorate tomorrow. We can’t wait to see the finished product!

The 20th Annual Monster Dash is only 10 days away! The Milton Monster Dash is organized by the MFE, a non-profit group that funds innovative programs and opportunities that are beyond the reach of the Milton Public School’s budget.  All proceeds of the Monster Dash benefit the Sam Cichello Memorial Fund which was created in 1999 in loving memory of Sam Cichello, a Tucker Elementary School student who died following a playground accident. To honor Sam’s love of science, proceeds of the Monster Dash-Sam’s Fund support science enrichment in all six of Milton’s public schools. Join the fun on Sunday, October 28th at 10am at Cunningham Hall. Each of the elementary schools has a Monster Dash team – Join Team Cunningham, The Tucker Running Club, the Glover or Collicot Teams and run with your school friends.  Join your school’s team when you sign up! 

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The MFE is thrilled to announce that we have allocated $60,000 from Celebration 2018 to the Fine Arts Departments of all six schools. The schools will be able to purchase new instruments for the elementary schools, ipads for the middle school arts curriculum, and a host of items for the high school including digital sewing machines, photography equipment, and an entire new kitchen for the culinary arts department. With these items, students in all grades across multiple disciplines will have increased opportunities to develop artistic literacy, and build 21st century skills. The Department Fine and Applied Arts is extremely grateful!

Joyce White,  Culinary , Arts/Fashion Design Teacher, shares the following:  The Culinary Arts program has certainly gotten good use out of the existing, well loved equipment that the MFE grant is replacing.  The new induction ovens will provide direct heat and allow students to create better and more consistent products. The new refrigeration units are energy efficient and will support safe storage, and the demonstration table will enhance student learning and optimal performance.  I am a longtime fan and supporter of MFE and am very happy to be have the Culinary Arts Department as one of the grant recipients. Students, for many years to come, will benefit from the professional and updated kitchen equipment. Additionally, the grant covered the cost of digital sewing machines, which will help beginners master the art of sewing, and advanced students get as crafty as they can imagine. Thank you to all who  are involved in organizing the MFE Celebration, year after year. Save the date for this year’s celebration on Saturday, April 6th. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS enjoys a thriving partnership with  Schools to Careers. Schools to Careers offers real world/job field trip opportunities for students, with the hope to spark their interest and get them thinking, “Looks interesting, I might like to do that”.

During October, MHS will be sending 30 students to Boston Children’s Hospital and 40 students to MIT.  In November, Canton HS will host a Business, Marketing and Finance Program that some of our students will attend.  In early December MHS will host the Health and Medical Seminar for the second year; and finally later in December we will end 2018 with a visit to AccuRounds. In February we will visit  Norwood Hospital, March brings a visit to Meditech and in May students will go to Siemens.

Enthusiastic participation by our students reflects well on Milton High School and our teacher chaperones insure that students behave responsibly.  The STC events are great opportunities for our students and it is much appreciated that teachers volunteer as chaperones. We look forward to a successful year of Schools to Careers for the MHS student body.

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It was a successful night last night at MHS for College Funding 101. Special thanks for Todd Weaver, Strategies for College, Inc for presenting what can be stress inducing but valuable information. Todd will be presenting a condensed version of this information during our College Planning night on Thursday, December 6th. More details to come on this upcoming event. Thank you to Todd for sharing his presentation here. 

PIERCE UPDATES

The Pierce Cross Country Team competed in their final home meet this week with an impressive showing. These young runners work hard most days after school with Coach O’Leary and their commitment to the sport is paying off! Over 70 girls competed in the meet against Scituate. Some of our team highlights: Congratulations to Emily Rowley Grade 6 – First place overall and Marilyn Roche Grade 8 – Sixth place overall. Other runners who did well: Sarah Grace Chave 10th, Elana Pukel 11th, Bella Fiske 12th and Samantha McGilvray placed 13th.
There were also over 50 boys competing in the race against Scituate. Congratulations to Alec Carew Grade 7 – Third place overall, Ari Lloyd-Faber Grade 8- Fourth place overall and Colin Troung Grade 7 – Eighth place overall. Other runners who did well: Marc Leimkuehler placed 12th, William Hartford 14th, Harlan Lundrigan 15th and Cal Chisam 16th. Overall a terrific day for our Pierce runners! 

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Our STEM students recently  visited the Cape Cod Canal. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers engaged Pierce STEM students in a number of activities to help them understand the importance and impact of this engineered waterway.   

 

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The spring clinic filled up fast!

Maybe Squash is your next sport? You’ll never know unless you try! Milton Academy is offering another introduction-to-squash clinic exclusively for MPS high school and middle school students. No experience necessary. Morgan Poor, Boy’s Coach at Milton Academy, will provide instruction. Throughout the sessions, the kids will learn the rules of the game, do various drills that teach different elements of the game and eventually play games and matches. Racquets, eyeguards and balls will be provided. All participants need their own non-marking court shoes.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

New Spanish and Hispanic American Literature hit the shelves in our elementary schools! Just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month, elementary students are diving into new Spanish language and Hispanic heritage books, thanks to a grant from the Milton Foundation for Education. Spanish teachers Christina Brown, Cristina Jauregui, Laura Serna, and Jen Taber researched and selected high-interest Spanish language books, as well as Hispanic heritage books in English. These diverse books represent the many Hispanic cultures of the world and include titles that will be used in both Spanish and library lessons to teach about the great contributions of famous Hispanics.  Students are able to select the new Spanish books during library classes, and Spanish teachers can enhance their lessons with vibrant new read-alouds, engaging more students, and making connections to other disciplines. The books allow students to engage in meaningful reading in the target language and to access cultural learning through literature. These exciting new collections are housed in the elementary libraries, where they are available for the enjoyment and enrichment of all staff and students.

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Collicot 1st grade  students from Madame Bourass-Elzein’s class with new folktales and fairy tales from the Magic of Reading in French grant: Eleanor Baker, Francesca Decourcey, Fiona Fahy, Maeve Hegarty, Belle Kelley, Claire McDonnell, Emily Morrow, Colin Mulcahy, Sloane Spaulding, Benjamin Wollacott, and Gillian Young

Through a grant written by elementary librarian Josh Coben, The Consulate General of France in Boston has awarded grants to the four elementary schools in the Milton Public Schools. The library for each school received up to $1,000 worth of French books to support a pedagogical project as part of the Consulate’s “Magic of Reading in French” initiative across New England. Collicot Library has brand-new volumes of folktales, fairy tales, and fables, powerful traditional stories that serve as cultural touchstones and appeal to students of all ages. Glover’s project focuses on poetry, the genre where the joy of words takes center stage. Through poetry, students delight in the interplay of sound and meaning as they increase reading fluency and expression. Cunningham and Tucker have acquired new collections of high-interest graphic novels, books that draw in readers at all levels through their vibrant images and manageable blocks of text. The visual storytelling supports comprehension, encouraging young readers to tackle more challenging material and sustain their reading for longer periods. With all four grants, we look forward to expanding French literacy skills and building enthusiasm for French language and culture. Vive la lecture et merci Monsieur Coben!

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October 9th was National Fire Prevention Day and we are so fortunate to have the MFD visit each school for fire safety education for our youngest students. Below Glover and Tucker students are joined by some of MFD’s finest! Thank you firefighters!

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It was another round of Walk to School Wednesdays at Cunningham, Glover and Tucker. Students Walked and Wheeled on a beautiful day!

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Glover kindergarten teachers visited every student’s home during the early release day  as part of our 1647 Home Visit Family/Community engagement initiative. Teachers stopped by houses to drop off Glover bracelets, pencils, and a personal invitation to the Lantern Walk next Friday. It meant the world to both teachers and families to make this powerful connection.  

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The Tucker School has a fun raffle calendar happening his fall. Enter for a chance to WIN over $2,300 worth of local prizes plus a Bonus Raffle of tickets to see HAMILTON! Raffle tickets can be purchased online.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Oct 18  SEPAC Board Meeting
Oct 22  Special Fall Town Meeting
Oct 24  5th Grade Information Night
Oct 25  District Wide Diversity Event
Oct 28  MFE Monster Dash
Nov 1, 3, 4   MHS Les Miserables

STEM WEEK

Governor Baker has announced the first STEM Week in Massachusetts will take place the week of October 22-26th. The MFE Monster Dash,  which supports science in our schools, will be a great finale to STEM Week on Sunday October 28th. As a district, we have STEM activities planned all week to highlight the rich ongoing K-12 STEM curriculum.

There is an opportunity for families to visit the labs at Bridgewater State University On Wednesday, October 24th,  during STEM Week. The Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) invites you to Open Lab Night 2018, an event for the entire community, especially K-12 students.

Open Lab Night features hands on activities and demonstrations in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geography and astronomy. The new BSU maker space will also be open for tours and demonstrations. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Parking is available in the Bridgewater State University Parking Garage.

PBIS

As I shared last week , we are implementing a systematic approach to student behavior in our elementary and middle schools called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS).  PBIS requires the buy in of the entire school community. Each school has a hardworking group of educators who form the PBIS Lead Team. This team organizes assemblies, prepares classroom lessons and supports teachers in the day to day coordination of PBIS in our schools. Please join me in recognizing these teams of PBIS leaders who attended a 3 day PBIS Professional Development this summer and are ensuring the success of PBIS in our schools.  

Tucker: Nora Sweeney, Kelly Griffin, Bonnie Johnson, Maura Middleton, Kirsten Driscoll, Elaine McNeil- Girmai and Nathania Onyeagoro. Glover: Nicole Grant-Heal, Sarah Whitten, Bridget Renehan, Heather Morris, Amanda LeFort, Kristin Collins, Lea Franklin, Melissa Craven, Moira Donohue, Deb Muse, Elizabeth Bowen, Sara MacNeil, Karen McDavitt. Cunningham: Kerry O’Leary, Emma Segall, Jon Redden, Maureen Butler, Robyn Greene, Simona Gizdarska. Collicot: Elizabeth Caruso & Laura McDermott,  Simona Gzardska, Caroline Mannion, Alison McGrath, Amy Gale, Holly Concannon, Zeina Hamada. Pierce: Dr. Karen Spaulding, Michelle Boissonneault, Kelly Dearing, Janis Gordon, Erica Benjamin, John Zitz, Melissa Augustyn, Jon Perez, Dr. Nick Fitzgerald, Kara Sheridan, Meaghan Ohrenberger, Kyle Alves, Christine Blagrove, Sarah Murphy, Danielle Huebner,Lisa Veldran, Myriam Franciser, Kristen Fraine, Zakia Jarrett, Allison Meleedy and Erin MacCurtain.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Save the date for the next speaker in the PARENT Speaker Series.

On November 6th, Casey Corcoran will present Healthy Relationships: Talking to Your Kids about the Birds, the Bees, AND the Butterflies with Casey Corcoran.  This presentation will focus on concrete strategies, conversation starters, and resources that parents and caregivers can use with their kids to promote healthy relationships. As the Center for Disease Control points out, “unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.” Casey previously worked at the Boston Public Health Commission as the director of the Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships Initiative. He received his M.A.T. from Trinity College and is a certified batterer/dating violence intervention counselor.   

TECHNOLOGY

Referring to children in our tech-driven culture, Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, shares in her book The Big Disconnect that they are, “Still on the learning curve in their interface with the adult world and in so many ways in relationships, their capacity to connect through tech often outstrips their capacity to manage the emotional voltage it can deliver.  Or to recognize the potential danger of exposing themselves to others who would use social networking to do them harm.” 

What can we do as a district to support families around technology and social media? The Wait Until 8th campaign hopes to answer that question. Over the next few weeks, we will hold informational coffees with Educational Technology Director AJ Melanson at each of the elementary schools. You are welcome to attend any of the coffees and we look forward to seeing many parents/guardians for these casual, roundtable discussions.  

Collicot/Cunningham Coffee  – Friday, October 26th, 8:30am  in the cafe
Glover Coffee – Monday, October 29th, 9am
Tucker Coffee – Friday, November 2nd, 9am

SEPAC/SPECIAL EDUCATION

The SEPAC’s (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee)  next meeting will be on October 18th from 7- 9 pm in the Pierce Middle School library.  This meeting is open to all.

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Ghosts & Goblins who benefit from smaller crowds to reduce sensory input are invited to join the SEPAC in partnership with the MFE for a sensory friendly hour at the Milton Monster Dash. Families are strongly encouraged to register in advance either online, with the form that came home from school, or on Saturday 10/28 from 1-4 at Cunningham Hall. 

ART AND MUSIC

The Glover art room was abuzz with excitement this week as Glover Special Educator Bridget Renehan hosted a “Paint Night” as a special treat for Gym Buddies participants. There were plenty of happy artists who went home with their creations! 

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The MHS Marching Band is raising money to support the band. Through Sunday, November 4th, you will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of fair trade holiday gifts and other fair trade products and the Marching Band will receive 25% of product sales!  Please go to FairTradeCaravans.com; Log in to our fundraising event with “Participant Code” MarchingWildcats to participate in the fundraiser; Fill your shopping cart ; Check out and include your Fundraising Representative – the name of your student or staff member that will help us get your order to you (use Rebecca Damiani if you don’t know a member of the band or email Ms Damiani if you  have questions). All orders will be delivered to MHS the week of November 26th. Thank you for your support!

NEWS AROUND TOWN

This weekend:
Run or walk Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse On October 20th! This is our second annual 5K to raise money for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. We are running in memory of Mike Mulcahy, a proud Miltonian and lover of the outdoors, who passed away in December 2016 after a heroic battle against addiction. Mike wants us to CRUSH substance abuse! Free t-shirts to the first 200 registrants, please register in advance here.  Race day registration starts at 9am at the Cunningham School Cafeteria and the 5k begins at 10am. We will follow the route of the Milton Road Race through the beautiful town of Milton.

Next weekend:                           
There is a terrific opportunity for students to be introduced to tournament chess run by International Master David Vigorito , as well as for experienced players to participate in a competitive event for established players at the Milton Scholastic Chess Tournament on Saturday, October 27th 9am- 2pm at the Milton Public Library.

Forbes House Museum will host  a Halloween Pirate Party on Sunday, October 28th from 3-5pm. When the Forbes brothers set sail to China in the 1800’s, they kept a wary eye on the sea to avoid pirates. But now the pirates have taken over and they’re throwing a Halloween Party at the Forbes House!Join us for pirate-themed games, activities and treats! Costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $5 per person ( child; adults, members) and pirates are free! 

November:
Milton Historical Society’s  is offering “Till We Meet Again – Songs of World War I” on Thursday,  November 1st.

Waking Up White: And Finding Myself In The Story of Race , written by educator Debby Irving, is a book widely considered to be an essential text on how to unpack racial privilege in the American context. Hosted by Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice, join us for a conversation with Debby Irving, Monday, November 19th 6-9pm at Milton High School.

Ongoing:
The Town of Milton is offering a new online form for Block Parties.  These forms are designed to allow residents to apply for applications online saving time and effort. If a resident is planning an event they may simply go on to the Town Website, find the form they wish to use, open it, and fill in the information about their event. Town Hall will receive your application instantly and the resident will receive an email notification that their application was received and is being processed. Once approved, the resident will be notified via email. Residents will no longer need to print out an application, write in their information, and bring it to Town Hall. Everything needed to review and approve an application will now be done electronically. Our first online form that we have launched this month is the Block Party Request Application form. 

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

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Care Dimensions is a local non-profit Hospice organization which supports children, adolescents, and families with anticipatory grief and bereavement. They offer bereavement support groups, family nights, school and organization support, 1:1 counseling, special events and child, teen, and family programming. 

ATHLETICS

The MHS Volleyball Coaches and the 8 Senior players from senior night on Tuesday

We already have 4 teams qualified for the MIAA State Tournament. Football will await seeding on Sunday after their final regular season game. Volleyball and

MHS Varsity Golf at The Country Club

Girls Soccer have clinched while Golf punched their ticket last night with a win over Walpole. Boys Soccer has their work cut out for them entering the final stretch of the season, needing a few more victories. Swim has already had many students make the cut for sectionals. Boys and Girls Cross Country will look to their final few races for chances to qualify for the regional and national competitions.

When Milton met Needham Friday night in a football game with huge conference and playoff implications, everyone expected a shootout between two of the best offenses in the state. But it was the defenses that shined as the Wildcats beat the previously undefeated Rockets 22-14 to take over sole possession of first place in the Bay State Herget and the #1 seed in Division 4 South with just one game to play before the playoffs. It was a great night, with the Seniors honored from the Football Team, Cheer Squad, and Band. Thank you to Roy Chambers for many our football game pictures.

We thank Fox 25 Boston for their phenomenal coverage and make sure to check out the highlights on MPS Facebook or the @Milton_Athletics_ Twitter account!

We are excited to announce that we already have 2 students committing to                       Division 1 schools in the fall, with at least two more students with options. Wait until November 9th for signing day to see what schools they will be attending!

Registration for Winter Sports will open on November 1st with tryouts beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving.

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

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Congratulations, Jack!

Students:  Congratulations to MHS junior Jack Boylan on his “hole in one”  during last week’s match at The Country Club in Brookline. Jack and 5 other members of the team have since gone on to qualify for post season play. Good luck to Jared Carney, Jack Boylan, Ben Ryan, Jack Curley, Luke Calcagno, and Michael O’Toole. Exciting time for the MHS Golf Team! 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil- Girmai, Karen McDavitt, James Jette, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Rebecca Damiani, Joyce White, Dawn Sykes,  Martine Fisher, Amy Tom and Kevin Black.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October 18, 2018

October 11, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 11, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As a district, we are implementing a systematic approach to student behavior in our elementary and middle schools called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS). I have asked Social Emotional Learning Facilitator Laurie Stillman, with input from our principals, to share an overview here.

 When school faculty and administrators proactively change their everyday student disciplinary practices from an emphasis on correcting or punishing “bad” or unwanted behaviors to strategically explaining and praising good behaviors, amazing things can happen!

This approach is called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and the Milton Public School System has prioritized adopting this framework in its Strategic Plan.  With a grant that was secured by Pierce Middle School Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding, 45 elementary and middle school faculty and administrators attended an intensive three-day PBIS professional development session this past summer.  The session, conducted by the May Institute, a nationally renowned behavioral health consulting firm, demonstrated new techniques for managing school and classroom environments, and ways to tailor strategies to benefit children with a wide range of behavioral challenges.

The key to PBIS is prevention, not punishment. It seeks to proactively and consistently set out rules, routines and expectations for positive student behaviors in every school zone, and praise students when positive behaviors are exhibited. The approach uses the basic psychology tenet that humans learn best when they are rewarded for desirable behaviors.  

While PBIS may take on different forms in each school, the underlying approach is similar: schools develop and reinforce a clear set of expectations based upon the behavioral goals identified by the school’s administration and faculty.  The framework is used in the classroom as well as the schools’ common areas, such as in hallways, the cafeteria and on the playground. There is now a PBIS planning and implementation team in each elementary school and at the Pierce Middle School as well.  Staff are embracing these techniques, and some are already noting a difference in their school climate and student behaviors. Collicot teachers recently demonstrated their safe and unsafe walking behavior for students. 

Pierce Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding shares that it was particularly powerful  this past summer to see a gathering of approximately 45 MPS educators from the four elementary schools and the middle school with their principals for three full days.  Why were we there? To learn more about the power of coordinating school-wide efforts to ensure that all students not only know expected behaviors, but are given the support to learn and practice them. To be clear, PBIS is not a curriculum. It is a focused effort to work as a community to foster and recognize positive behaviors.  Data are used systematically to reflect on the degree to which those positi