May 23, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Last night the Milton Foundation for Education and the Milton Public Schools community honored the 2019 MPS Teachers of the Year and as usual, the evening did not disappoint! Each of our teachers gave a heartfelt speech and were applauded by family, friends, colleagues and most importantly, their students! The MFE also recognized Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan for her years of service in the Milton Public Schools. Thank you to the MFE for recognizing our teachers and congratulations to this year’s honorees.

If you would like to see your favorite teachers when they were surprised by the MFE last week with news that they had been chosen as Teacher of the Year, you can see their shocked faces hear some of the nice things people wrote about them in the video below.

There are two more exciting MFE announcements! The spring grant cycle has just been announced and the MFE has awarded over $20,000 in grants to our teachers. Flexible seating, enrichment books, Osmo kits, handwriting tools, ceramics tools, and other STEM and language enhancements were all funded through the generous support of the MFE. The items will be in classrooms in the 2019-20 school year and we will share their impact throughout the year.

Finally, MFE Celebration 2019 is in the books and now $134,000 has been granted to enhance the libraries in all six of our schools! Look for makerspaces, materials to enhance curriculum,  flexible seating and more in the upcoming school year. Our libraries are dynamic community spaces and these funds will allow us to transform our spaces to create more powerful learning experiences for our community.

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On Thursday, June 13th we will celebrate Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan as she prepares for her retirement at the end of the school year. All adults in the MPS community are invited to join us for this special event at Wollaston Golf Club on June 13th at 5pm. All details can be found here.  

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting is on June 5th at 7pm at Milton High School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.   

At 6pm on June 5th, the School Committee will honor our MPS retirees. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Summer fun at MSE!

What will your children be doing in July? If they want to do cool science projects, play basketball with friends, work on their creative writing, whip up a new recipe or dozens of other fun activities, you’ll sign them up for Milton Summer Enrichment! Registration for MSE is live! To register, go to Family ID and go to ‘search programs’ and type in ‘MSE 2019’. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! For more information about MSE including the 2019 At A Glance Document with course descriptions, please visit the MSE website.  Any further questions can be directed to Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

On Friday, May 17th, the Pierce and MHS Model UN Clubs joined forces to impress at the Rising Leaders Model UN conference at Northeastern.  11 Milton students won awards – and it was wonderful to have students from grades 7-10 working together to solve the problems facing the global community.  Our students were impressive as they discussed Kurdish refugees, asylum seekers, water resources, and the current situation in Somalia. Congratulations to all who attended and acted with respect, diplomacy and empathy as they represented their different countries and attempted to write resolutions to solve complex problems facing the world.   

PIERCE UPDATES

Thank you to the parents/guardians, MPS staff and community volunteers who are serving on our Pierce Principal Search Committee. The list of committee members can be found here. The committee will work over the next two weeks to screen applications, interview candidates and forward semi-finalists to the next level.  

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Save the date for The Pierce Players presents Mary Poppins Jr. on June 6,7 and 8th! Tickets for Mary Poppins Jr. will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 24th at 5 PM and you can get them at this link. This show will likely sell out quickly – get your seats tomorrow!

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We are excited to share that the Pierce Middle School has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Lowe’s Toolbox for Education! Thank you to Mr. Boguski for securing this grant for our students and we look forward to sharing the impact this grant will have on our Math Investigations classes next year.

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The Pierce Student Council would like to invite all Veterans to a Veterans Breakfast on May 24th at 8:15am. Please see the note from the Student Council here: Veterans related to Pierce students, as well as local Veterans’ Organizations are welcome to attend. The purpose of getting together is to honor and thank our local Veterans for their dedication, service, and commitment to protecting our country.  We will be offering breakfast, followed by some brief remarks from our Middle School students, as well as a question and answer period from attendees. Please let us know that you’ll be attending by clicking this link.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

The Southwick Zoomobile visited Collicot kindergarteners and 2nd graders last week to rave reviews. The ZooMobile is an educational outreach program that involves an educator and some of the zoo’s animal ambassadors who visit schools and cover a range of topics about animal ecology, behavior, and conservation. Students had a great time and were engaged in listening and asking questions. 

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The rain may have pushed Tucker Outdoor Math Day inside but even with the rain, 1st grade students, teachers and families had a blast as they joined together to engage in a variety of math activities across class groups.  Teachers Caitlin Deptula, Rachel Spitz and Alex Leite, District Math Coach Maura Middleton and a large group of family volunteers facilitated stations geared for fun and learning throughout the morning. Stations included Fun and Fitness, Measurement, Bean Bag Toss, Math Racer, Bingo, Estimation Station and Patterns! Patterns! 

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The Museum of Science presentation on Motion, Forces and Energy to Collicot 3rd graders included demonstrations and experiments to explore how motion is a form of energy and how we can use forces to change an object’s motion. Students enjoyed seeing how the energy stored in a bungee cord could launch a student-ridden cart across the room. The highlight was certainly when students used energy and force to lift  Mlle Vasconcelos using a giant lever! 

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MASS DOT conducted a Bike Safety training with all Glover 4th graders last week and as part of the training, every 4th grader received a bike helmet. Students learned about the importance of wearing helmets, abiding by traffic laws and patterns, and always remaining vigilant. With many f4th and 5th  graders walking or biking to Glover independently each day, this was an important and educational presentation. Thank you to Vivian Ortiz and the Mass DOT for this valuable presentation. 

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It was May Madness at Cunningham last week as students from preschool – 5th grade enjoyed a day of fun at Cunningham Park. Students enjoyed music,  games, dancing, and the company of friends on a sunny day at Cunningham Park. Thank you to the Cunningham Foundation for welcoming our students to the field.  

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Please scan below for your current grade level

5th, 6th and 7th Grade – There is an opportunity for 5th, 6th and 7th grade families that we would like to call to your attention. If you are interested in learning ways to help your kids make healthy choices, we have the perfect research study for you!  The SUPPER Project is a research study whose purpose is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their well-being. This study is being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University and is funded through the National Institutes of Health. MPS students and their families in grades 5th-7th have been invited to participate. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at TheSUPPERProject@tufts.edu with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and your name in the body of the email. A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587. All personal data will be kept confidential and participation is limited. Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project.

5th-9th Grade: Have you wondered what the best approach is when speaking with your children about using drugs? It’s not an easy topic and many of us are at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Through a grant from the Milton Junior Women’s Club, MPS is thrilled to be able to offer parents and guardians a wonderful opportunity to attend an award-winning workshop designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs.

This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents of students in 5th-9th grade how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.

There is one more opportunity to attend the LifeSkills Parent Program on June 3, 6:30-8pm  at the Pierce Library. To reserve your spot, please give a quick RSVP here.  For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at  617-696-4470 x5547.

BUS INFORMATION

Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year is open!  REGISTER HERE   Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year. You must register each student separately (but can pay for them together) and you will receive a confirmation email that registration has been received for each student.  If you are planning for your child to ride the bus in the 2019-20 school year, we strongly encourage you to read through this transportation letter which details the process.  Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

Bus registrations for students in grades 6 and 9 will not be complete unless residency is re-established during the re-establishment period in June. Please see below for re-establishment details.  Students in grades 6 and 9 will maintain their place in the bus queue until June 14th at which time they will be moved to the bus waitlist if residency has NOT been re-established.

RESIDENCY

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

A letter has been sent via US mail to all who must re-establish residency. You can reference that letter, which contains all details here. Beginning June 3rd Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. The residency packet can be found here. Re-establishment takes place in the Milton High School Lobby during the schedule at right.

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

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

May is National Physical Education and Fitness month!  This month long event celebrates our physical educators, recognizes the importance of physical education in students lives, looks to promote daily physical activity and raises awareness of the cognitive benefits of exercise and how it prepares the brain to learn.  At Collicot, Teacher of the Year Beth Fahey celebrated with her students and their families by inviting all parents/guardians to come and participate in their students’ PE class. Over 50 parents/guardians had a blast playing together with their child and their classmates in this wonderful bonding experience centered around physical activity.  If this sounds like fun, more opportunities like this are coming in June for parents/guardians of K-5 student. Volunteers are needed for field days at all elementary schools, please reach out to your school’s PTO for more information.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Please see the following note from the MSPAC: How Healthy are our Milton Youth?  

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is in the middle of updating our Community Health Assessment.  The Assessment is critical for understanding what substance use challenges we face in our community and why, it helps us know if we are making a difference in our work, and it informs us about the concerns and ideas that community residents have.  All of this information helps the Coalition and our partners more effectively focus our efforts.

Our assessment process includes surveys, focus groups and key informant interviews.  Middle and high school students have been surveyed; focus groups of clergy and students have been completed.  We will also be looking at government and local service agency reports, as well as completing one-on-one interviews.  However, we will also need information from parents and guardians, mostly through an online survey that we developed with coalition members.  

Look for our Parent Survey and please consider taking it. Three years ago we had over 800 parents participate.  The information we gathered was amazing! All Milton residents who are the parents or guardians of at least one child in grades 6 – 12 are encouraged to participate. It will be available to take during the month of June and can be accessed on-line.  The link will be distributed through the Milton Times, MPS, Facebook, the faith community and the MSAPC newsletter. More information is available at the MSAPC website. 

Our Community Health Assessment is invaluable in determining how to focus the coalition’s efforts.  Our last assessment, completed in 2016, led to changes in Department of Health, law enforcement and school policies, increased availability of mental health services both in and out of school, increased educational opportunities for youth and adults community wide, and more.  Data is critical so that the coalition can make informed decisions about future policy changes, programming and educational opportunities, leading to the continued prevention of youth alcohol and drug misuse.

If you would like more information about our Community Health Assessment or great volunteer opportunities for youth and adults with MSAPC, please email the MSAPC.   

SEPAC/SPECIAL EDUCATION

The  SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) will hold their final meeting and elections on June 5th at 7pm in the library at Glover. The SEPAC is seeking nominations and the nomination form and more information is available here.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

May 23 MHS Music Awards Night
May 28 Glover Art Show, Senior Awards Night
May 29 Boosters Banquet, Tucker Art Show
May 30 Collicot Art Show
June 2 MHS Graduation
June 5 School Committee
June 6 Cunningham Art Show
June 6,7,8 Mary Poppins, Jr.

We hope you can join us at one (or more!) of the school based art shows in the coming weeks. Much like our concerts, these events showcase the talented visual artists we have throughout the Milton Public Schools. Join your school community in celebrating these student artists!

The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

ART AND MUSIC

Our final MHS concert of the year and for our seniors, the final concert of their high school careers, was played to rave reviews this week at MHS. You can watch the entire concert here. Congratulations to these talented musicians!   

The Milton Music Department’s Instrumental Lesson Program will be holding an informational session and instrument petting zoo on Tuesday, June 11th at 6pm in the Charles C Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This is open to interested students entering 4th and 5th grade and their parents/guardians. .Parents will have the opportunity to learn about the program and pre-register their students for music lessons for the upcoming school year, while students will have a chance to try out instruments at our instrument petting zoo. Please contact program directors Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good with any questions.

 NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

Milton Community Concerts is presenting its final concert of the season on Sunday, May 26th at 3pm at First Parish of Milton. It is a drama/lecture about the life of bass-baritone Paul Robeson by British/Nigerian singer and actor Tayo Aluko. When he appeared this summer in one sold-out performance in Boston at the BCA it received a very long standing ovation. His appearances this May are in Glasgow, Scotland, Vancouver, BC, and Milton, MA. add pic and link

This year’s Memorial Day Observance is scheduled for Monday, May 27th 2019. Ceremonies will begin at the Town Green at 9:30 a.m. with the raising of the flag and placement of wreaths at the Town’s War Memorial by local Veterans from American Legion Post #114. All details can be found here. 

Hundreds of runners will be lining up on Edge Hill Road on June 11 for the 42nd annual Milton 5K & 10K Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for graduating high school students and community grants that support the Milton community. Online registration is available at www.miltonroadrace.racewire.com and you can learn more about the race and the generous  sponsors through the Milton Road Race Facebook.

The Milton Music Fest and Fireworks team are delighted to announce this year’s exciting program of FREE Festivities over the weekend of June 22-23rd at “The Trustees” Gov. Hutchinson Field on Adams Street in Milton across from the Forbes House Museum.

Saturday’s festivities begin at 4 PM and include Kid’s Karaoke with Jackson Blue, followed by the great dance band Booty Vortex and the tremendously popular Big Band sounds of Mark Morris and The Cat Tunes. Saturday’s festivities culminate at dark with  the stunning fireworks from Atlas Pyrovision Entertainment, the group who produce Boston’s New Year’s Eve spectacular display! The fun continues on Sunday, June 23rd with Celtic Sunday starting at 1 PM including a full afternoon and evening of family fun and Irish music including performances by the Fenian Sons, Sean Brennan and the Skiffs, Gary Galway, and All Folked Up .

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Sean Lopresti, Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen Spaulding, Rachel Schewe, Sarina Burke, Cat DesRoche, Ellen Lohan,  Zeina Hamada, Dawn Sykes, Karyn Viveiros, Holly Concannon, Jon Redden, Karen McDavitt and Margaret Carels. 

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 a 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 May 23, 2019

May 16, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date May 16, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

With just a little more than 4 weeks left in the school year, I wanted to call your attention to two town wide events that have come to represent the end of the school year and the beginning of summer in Milton. Many of our MPS students and families enjoy these events and I hope you will be among them.

Hundreds of runners will be lining up on Edge Hill Road on June 11 for the 42nd annual Milton 5K & 10K Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for graduating high school students and community grants that support the Milton community. Online registration is available here and you can learn more about the race and the generous  sponsors through the Milton Road Race Facebook.

The Milton Music Fest and Fireworks team are delighted to announce this year’s exciting program of FREE Festivities over the weekend of June 22-23rd at “The Trustees” Gov. Hutchinson Field on Adams Street in Milton across from the Forbes House Museum.

Saturday’s festivities begin at 4 PM and include Kid’s Karaoke with Jackson Blue followed by the great dance band Booty Vortex and the tremendously popular Big Band sounds of Mark Morris and The Cat Tunes. Saturday’s festivities culminate at dark with the stunning fireworks from Atlas Pyrovision Entertainment, the group who produce Boston’s New Year’s Eve spectacular display!

The fun continues on Sunday, June 23rd with Celtic Sunday starting at 1 PM including a full afternoon and evening of family fun and Irish music including performances by the Fenian Sons, Sean Brennan and the Skiffs, Gary Galway, and All Folked Up.

Dance to live music and enjoy great food and beverages that will be available for purchase from fabulous vendors. This year’s delicious food options include the Wahlburgers and Montilio’s food trucks!  

If you would like to help support this great community event, please consider joining the Milton Music Fest and Fireworks signature sponsor, the Copeland Foundation, in support of this FREE wonderful event. To learn what “thank you opportunities”  are available to donor friends, please email We Are Milton or call We Are Milton at 617-433-7273.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Last night, May 15th, the School Committee met at Collicot Elementary School for a presentation by the Collicot Site Council. The School Committee held it’s annual School Choice Open Hearing and voted that Milton will not be a school choice district for the FY20 school year. Milton is not currently a school choice district.

The next School Committee meeting is on June 5th, 2019 at 7pm at Milton High School. Before the meeting, we will honor this year’s retirees at a reception in the Milton High School lobby at 6pm. This year’s retirees include Debbie Abdon, Constance Catinella, Mary Jill Markarian, Patricia Leahy Murtagh, Ann McGonagle, Janet Sheehan and Dr. Louise Thomson.

Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.   

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Help us make the 19th annual MFE Teacher of the Year Awards celebration a success! We will recognize the extraordinary contributions made by our teachers in the Milton Public Schools on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6pm at MHS. Stay tuned for the big announcement of which deserving teachers will receive this recognition.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Earlier today we celebrated our Calculus Project seniors during a ceremony at Milton High School. The Calculus Project (TCP) is an initiative to increase the number of low income, African American and Hispanic American students who enroll in and successfully complete Calculus Honors or Advanced Placement Calculus by the time they graduate high school. As part of TCP, students are invited to participate in summer enrichment courses in mathematics that run between and parallel to honor and college preparatory level courses in mathematics. TCP students are also able to access tutoring sessions with mathematics teachers after school hours during the school year and attend field trips throughout the year. The seniors we honored today are members of the 1st group of Calculus Project students, many of whom have been involved in the project since the summer of 2014. Please join me in congratulating Micah Allen, Jasmine Opara, Sage Blue, Jordan Pascal, Tylah Briscoe, Kaylyn Pean, William Craig, Tae-lor Pina, Elias Deaibes, Usama Shakeel, Janelle Descopins, Rebecca Simpson, Abigail Fay, Milan Smith, Deianeara Johnson, Kennedi Van Allen, Lauren Kelly, Maya Whigham, Mark Labelle, Jaleigha Williams, Trinity Lopes, Tiye Williamson and Theodora Ogamba for their dedication to and success in our advanced mathematics curriculum. Our students can be seen at the top of today’s blog and you can watch the 30 minute ceremony below.

PIERCE UPDATES

On Thursday, May 9th, forty 7th grade girls attended the Girls STEM Meetup at Avon High School.  This day long STEM conference was organized by the Schools to Career Partnership and sponsored by the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).  Students participated in small group sessions with experts in the STEM field learning about their educational experience, career path and specific projects they have worked on.  They also participated in hands on STEM challenges. Some of the guest speakers for the event included an engineer specializing in ecosystem restoration, civil and chemical engineers working on issues surrounding groundwater, and a software engineer.

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Three students attended the Massachusetts State Science Fair on May 11th at  Worcester Technical High School. 8th graders Jayme Lo and Lok Ye Young presented a design engineering project , Hydraulic Powered Arm, which included a base and several attachments to support different types of tasks.  Neave Martin presented her project How Does Plastic Affect the Growth of Plants? Neave, a seventh grader, advanced to the State fair after receiving an honorable mention at the Regional V Science Fair. We are incredibly proud of these hardworking scientists! 

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The Pierce Student Council would like to invite all Veterans to a Veterans Breakfast on May 24th at 8:15am. Please see the note from the Student Council here: Veterans related to Pierce students, as well as local Veterans’ Organizations are welcome to attend. The purpose of getting together is to honor and thank our local Veterans for their dedication, service, and commitment to protecting our country.  We will be offering breakfast, followed by some brief remarks from our Middle School students, as well as a question and answer period from attendees. Please let us know that you’ll be attending by clicking this link.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

It was a busy day at Collicot last Friday for Junior Achievement. 85 parent and family volunteers were in classrooms all day at every grade level facilitating the JA curriculum. Students were excited and many of our enthusiastic volunteers said they would not hesitate to do it again next year. Our Junior Achievement day culminated with our weekly Collicot Cardinal certificates for students who have followed the Collicot Code of respect, responsibility and hard work. 

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The Milton School Food Service Program is partnering with EvanLee Farms to provide sustainable gardens to our schools and last week we installed the first indoor “Grow Rack” at Tucker School. 2nd graders planted romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, micro mix, kale and basil.  Students will harvest the greens in three weeks and they will bring it to our kitchen so we can serve these healthy, (very!) locally grown items at lunch. This program will be expanding to Collicot, Cunningham and Glover next year and we look forward to sharing the growth at Tucker in the weeks to come.

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This week, twenty two 4th and 5th grade Glover and Tucker Safety Patrol students, enjoyed a field trip to the Milton Police Department.  Students were greeted by Lieutenant Mark Alba of the MPD and Lt. Alba discussed the importance of being a member of a school’s Safety Patrol and related it to the work that each member of the MPD provides on a daily basis. The students were given a full tour of the station and even got a chance to meet some of the officers on duty; including one of the most important members, Chase, the Canine Hero!  Thank you to the MPD for giving our students a wonderful learning experience and thank you to the Safety Patrol students for their dedication this school year to Tucker and Glover.

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As part of the new 5th grade Project Lead the Way curriculum, Cunningham 5th grade students have been spending time using the app Tynker for coding to create a dinosaur ecosystem. Students have been working collaboratively to build off each other’s designs and the completed ecosystems have been impressive to explore. The next step for students is to use Tynker to create a model to show how an illness can spread through a school setting.

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Please scan below for your current grade level

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

5th, 6th and 7th Grade – There is an opportunity for 5th, 6th and 7th grade families that we would like to call to your attention. If you are interested in learning ways to help your kids make healthy choices, we have the perfect research study for you!  The SUPPER Project is a research study whose purpose is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their well-being. This study is being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University and is funded through the National Institutes of Health. MPS students and their families in grades 5th-7th have been invited to participate. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at TheSUPPERProject@tufts.edu with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and your name in the body of the email. A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587. All personal data will be kept confidential and participation is limited. Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. 


5th, 6th and 7th Grade – School supplies already? Yes! The Pierce PTO has partnered with Yubbler to bring quality, economical school supplies to Pierce families. All supplies are delivered right to your house! All details, links and coupon codes can be found here.

5th-9th Grade: Have you wondered what the best approach is when speaking with your children about using drugs? It’s not an easy topic and many of us are at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Through a grant from the Milton Junior Women’s Club, MPS is thrilled to be able to offer parents and guardians a wonderful opportunity to attend an award-winning workshop designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs.

This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents of students in 5th-9th grade how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.

There is one more opportunity to attend the LifeSkills Parent Program on June 3, 6:30-8pm  at the Pierce Library. To reserve your spot, please give a quick RSVP here.  For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at  617-696-4470 x5547.

SEPAC/SPECIAL EDUCATION

Please join the SEPAC on May 21st at 7pm at the Glover library for a presentation on Simple Strategies to Help Anxious Kids. Janine Halloran will share five simple coping skills to try, including creative ways to encourage deep breathing, creating a calm down space and how to create a coping skills toolkit. This presentation is free and open to the public.The SEPAC will also be holding a board meeting prior to the presentation from 6- 7pm which is open to anyone who would like to attend. 

MPS SUMMER

Registration for Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) is live! To register, go to Family ID and go to ‘search programs’ and type in ‘MSE 2019’. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! For more information about MSE including the 2019 At A Glance Document with course descriptions, please visit the MSE website.  Any further questions can be directed to Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan.

BUS UPDATES

Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year is open!  REGISTER HERE   Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year. You must register each student separately (but can pay for them together) and you will receive a confirmation email that registration has been received for each student.  If you are planning for your child to ride the bus in the 2019-20 school year, we strongly encourage you to read through this transportation letter which details the process.  Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

Bus registrations for students in grades 6 and 9 will not be complete unless residency is re-established during the re-establishment period in June. Please see below for re-establishment details.  Students in grades 6 and 9 will maintain their place in the bus queue until June 14th at which time they will be moved to the bus wait list if residency has NOT been re-established.

RESIDENCY

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

A letter has been sent via US mail to all who must re-establish residency. You can reference that letter, which contains all details here. Beginning June 3rd Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. The residency packet can be found here. 

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

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman and MPS Director of Health and Phys. Ed Noel Vigue share the following.

A new study reveals a link between adolescent marijuana use and depression. Marijuana is the most widely used drug by adolescents worldwide.  While it has been known for some time that regular cannabis (marijuana) use by adolescents can lead to psychosis, such as schizophrenia, later on in life, there has been few or no studies about adolescent use and the drug’s effects on depression and anxiety.

An April 2019 published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has concluded that there is a link to depression and suicidality-but not anxiety.  Here are the key findings:

  • Question: Is adolescent cannabis consumption associated with risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidality in young adulthood?
  • Findings: In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies and 23,317 individuals, adolescent cannabis consumption was associated with increased risk of developing depression and suicidal behavior later in life, even in the absence of a premorbid condition. There was no association with anxiety.
  • Meaning: Preadolescents and adolescents should avoid using cannabis as use is associated with a significant increased risk of developing depression or suicidality in young adulthood; these findings should inform public health policy and governments to apply preventive strategies   

Recently, The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds hosted a podcast “Cannabis and the Teen Brain”. The guest was Jodi Gilman, Ph.D.; Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School with the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH.) Dr. Gilman’s research is on the effects of alcohol and cannabis on young adult and teen brains. The podcast overviews issues, concerns from across the nation. You can listen to the 30 minute MGH Clay Center Podcast “Cannabis and the Teen Brain” and access additional resources here.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

There are three upcoming sessions where members of the community can share their ideas about the proposed teen center. All details can be found here. Join us so your voice can be heard!  

UPCOMING MPS DATES

May 21  MHS Spring Concert
May 22 MFE Teacher of the Year Celebration
May 23 MHS Music Awards Night
May 28 Glover Art Show, Sr. Awards Night
May 29 Boosters Banquet, Tucker Art Show
May 30 Collicot Art Show
May 31 Cunningham Art Show

The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Join the Food & Nutrition Services Team!  Food Services is now hiring on call and part-time positions for school year 2019-2020.  The position allows you to be at home when your family needs you and at school during the day when our students need you! The hourly rate is $15.05 an hour. Please call 617-898-1051 for more information.

ART AND MUSIC

The Milton Music Department’s Instrumental Lesson Program will be holding an informational session and instrument petting zoo on Tuesday, June 11th at 6 PM in the Charles C Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This is open to interested students entering 4th and 5th grade and their parents/guardians. .Parents will have the opportunity to learn about the program and pre-register their students for music lessons for the upcoming school year, while students will have a chance to try out instruments at our instrument petting zoo. Please contact program directors Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good with any questions.

ATHLETICS

Last week the Unified Track season finished with Senior Day and a strong meet against Hingham. Thank you to all who attended and cheered on our student athletes!

The MHS Softball Team will be hosting a Car Wash Fundraiser this Saturday, May 18th, from 9am to noon, at the Cunningham School.  Cost will be $10/car.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

Saturday, May 18  12-3pm is Family Fun Day at the Eustis Estate. Join us for a day of retro backyard fun at the Eustis Estate in honor of the special exhibition, Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard. Play lawn games, make pinwheels, go on a StoryWalk, and enjoy live music outside from the Heavenly Fire Steel Band of Dorchester. Snacks available for purchase and picnics are encouraged. Included with museum admission. Free for Milton residents. Pre-registration not required. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information. Rain date Sunday, May 19.

On Saturday, May 18 at 3:00 pm, the Forbes House Museum hosts author and collector Richard Mellin. Rich will discuss the history, symbolism and forms of the popular blue-and-white “Canton” porcelain. His book “Collecting Canton: In Pursuit of the Best” will be available to purchase at a 20% discount. House tours will be offered beforehand starting at 2:00 pm.

On Sunday, May 19, visit the Forbes House Museum for its free Lincoln Day Celebration! Winners of the Lincoln Drawing and Essay Contest and their immediate families are invited to an awards ceremony starting at 1:00 pm. Afterwards, everyone is invited to an Open House from 2:00-4:00 pm. Meet costumed reenactors and play Civil War era games. Write letters of gratitude to servicemen and women. View the Lincoln drawing contest winners on display inside the museum. Enjoy the grounds and mansion. Snacks, drinks and Ice Creamsmith treats available for purchase.

Milton Community Concerts is presenting its final concert of the season on Sunday, May 26th at 3pm at First Parish of Milton. It is a drama/lecture about the life of bass-baritone Paul Robeson by British/Nigerian singer and actor Tayo Aluko. When he appeared this summer in one sold-out performance in Boston at the BCA he received a very long standing ovation. His appearances this May are in Glasgow, Scotland, Vancouver, BC, and Milton, MA.

AMBASSADORS

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

Staff: I would like to take a moment to recognize the teachers behind the Calculus Project, celebrated above under the Milton High School heading. This program would not be possible without the enthusiasm and dedication of our hardworking mathematics department who have all supported these students. I especially want to recognize Kelly Conaty, Jennifer Meunier, Claire Ritten who have been dedicated to the program from inception; Sophia Pompilus, Kate Capasso and Rob Moray who work with many of our current students and James Moonan and Mary Shapiro who have been valuable team members in the past. Also, thank you to Mathematics Director K-12, Michelle Kruezer, for her careful sheperding of the program through the years.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Ryan Madden, Christie Chiapetta, Sean Lopresti, Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen Spaulding, Rachel Schewe, Laurie Stillman, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Cat DesRoche, Ellen Lohan, Zeina Hamada,  Michelle Kruezer and Catherine Lee.

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 May 16, 2019

May 9, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date May 9, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week we are celebrating our dedicated teaching and school staff during Teacher Appreciation Week.  We are lucky to have 6 enthusiastic school communities who have offered their thanks with meals, notes, decorations, flowers, treats and more. The teachers, paraprofessionals, food service employees, school nurses, custodians, administrative assistants, administrators and curriculum coordinators who comprise the staff of the Milton Public Schools are among the best in Massachusetts and we are thrilled to see them celebrated by MPS families and students. Thank YOU for taking the time to say Thank You to these dedicated individuals.  

***

I am pleased to inform you that Pierce Middle School Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding has been appointed to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources. Dr. Spaulding joined the Milton Public Schools in 2008 as the Assistant Principal of Pierce Middle School and later became the Principal of the Cunningham Elementary School. In 2012, Dr. Spaulding returned to Pierce Middle School as Principal.

I want to recognize and thank the members of our two important Screening Committees for their valuable participation in the process. The Screening Committees included parent/guardian representation along with representatives from the Milton Educators Association, Citizens for a Diverse Milton, Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council, Milton School Committee and Milton Public School administration.

I am sure that you join me in congratulating Dr. Karen Spaulding and wishing her success in this new position.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

At the next School Committee meeting on May 15, 2019, the Milton School Committee will hold its annual School Choice Hearing.  This hearing will take place at 7pm in the Collicot Elementary School Library. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.   

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

In honor of Teacher Appreciation week, MHS hosted their first ever Future Teacher Signing Day ceremony celebrating Massachusetts’ next generation of educators. 11 students from the Class of 2019, who intend to pursue a career in education, were recognized in a  ceremony that emphasized educators’ importance and the impact they can have on children’s lives.

Massachusett’s Teacher Association President Merri Najimy, MA State Senator Walter Timilty, Head Nurse Margaret Gibbons and Superintendent Mary Gormley were on hand to share a few words with the future teachers and the audience.  Each of our future educators signed a letter of intent acknowledging the commitment they are making to the field of education and their communities. Each student talked about their decision to pursue a career in education, and recognized an educator who has influenced them.

Congratulations to Eve Brearley, Isabelle Driscoll, Grace Finnegan, Ailish Flynn, Deianeara Johnson, Katherine Kates, Chandler Laing, Celia Mahoney, Conor McAuliffe, Gwyneth Sauter and Milan Smith for choosing to pursue a career in education! You can watch the 30 minute ceremony here. 

***

Students from the MHS Earth Club recently volunteered to help out at the annual neighborhood brook cleanup. They picked up trash from around the brook as well as around various areas of the high school grounds. Students had a great time enjoying the outdoors and helping out the community!  

***

9th grade students in  Modern World Cultures classes at MHS recently attended  a live performance of The Pianist of Willesden Lane at Fontbonne Academy’s CSJ Center.  250 MHS students were graciously invited to attend this free performance by Fontbonne, the Early College of Boston.  Our students experienced a story of determination and courage despite a world refugee crisis in 1938 based on intolerance, anti-Semitism and bigotry.  

In The Pianist of Willesden Lane,  Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek performs some of the world’s most beloved music as she shares her mother’s riveting true story of survival. Ms. Golabek told our students the story of her own mother – Lisa Jura – who, as a young teenager escaped Austria prior to World War II and lived in England with other Jewish refugees throughout the war.  Her grandparents had to make a decision to send only one of their three daughters to safety, and young Lisa was chosen in part because of her amazing talents as a pianist. Ms. Golabek told the story through music, imagery and monologue. Our Milton students were mesmerized by both the story and the music, as Ms. Golabek is an internationally known pianist who was able to weave her story together through her piano performances throughout the play.

Students also received the book The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen of which the play is based and teachers received on-line classroom resources from Facing History and Ourselves and the Hold Onto Your Music Foundation to encourage discussion and learning.  

The Pianist of Willesden Lane is infused with hope and invokes the life-affirming power of music. The production made its way to Fontbonne and to students of the community after critically acclaimed, sold- out runs in New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, and London. Thank you to  event sponsors Frances and Robert Birmingham and numerous benefactors who made the benefit a reality for our MHS students and staff who were invited to attend.

PIERCE UPDATES

Four students from Pierce and one student from Collicot have advanced to the International Future Problem Solving Competition held on June 6-9th at UMASS Amherst.  These students will be participating in a unique FPS tradition called the Memento Exchange. Students will have the opportunity to meet other students from all around the world and exchange mementos from their respective home region.  If any local businesses have small decals, patches, pencils, pens, etc that students could bring to trade, we would love to represent the town of Milton and surrounding areas at competition. Please contact Nicole Lauria, Pierce FPS Coach to donate items to the FPS team.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Cunningham 3rd-5th graders are enjoying Mindfulness Mornings in the library each day this month. These drop-in sessions are available to students from 8:05-8:20. Students take just a few minutes participating in seated and walking mindfulness sessions to center themselves with deep breathing, stretching and quiet meditation before going on to their homerooms. Students are sharing that they feel energized and ready to start the day after their Mindfulness Morning.

Thank you to Jaclyn Germano and Alysa Buchanan for offering this opportunity to our students and to Mary Beth Callahan for introducing the practice of mindfulness to our educators 3 years ago in an after school professional development. Mary Beth Callahan  has been teaching mindfulness to her preschoolers for several years and it has been seen as effective as students transition from preschool to kindergarten and continue this practice at Cunningham. The Cunningham PTO has also been very supportive of the mindfulness efforts at Cunningham and has provided a year long subscription to MindYeti.com for grades 2-5 to use in the classroom as a transition and calming strategy since 2016.

***

Over the past few weeks, Cunningham 3rd and 4th graders have read and learned about the Quilts of Gee’s Bend. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend are quilts that were created by a group of women and their ancestors who either live or had lived in an isolated part of Alabama, along the Alabama River, known as Gee’s Bend. These quilts represented their lives and stories and even some of their fondest memories. After reading and learning about Gee’s Bend in both French and English classes, the students were paired up and asked to collaborate in order to create their own quilts.  

***

On Thursday, May 2nd Collicot held its annual celebration of  One Book One School – the Jennifer Kelly Project. Collicot staff and One Book One School Committee organized amazing activity centers for Adventure Night around allergies and movement, including running a difficult course, making one’s own avenger, making teal bracelets (teal is the color representing allergies) and playing matching games and a Kahoot Trivia game. School nurse Mrs. Sgroi , assisted by parents, organized an activity center for students and parents to receive Epipen training and learn what to do in case of an allergic reaction or emergency.  The Allergy Avengers author Todd Civin and illustrator Jay Boucher were on site signing books. Families donated allergy safe food for the Milton Food Pantry and all enjoyed the evening, the 10th and final year of One Book One School – The Jennifer Kelly Project.

***

On Friday, May 3rd, Tucker 5th graders showed off their talent at Milton High School during their Talent Show. Students showcased everything from comedy to dance, tae kwon do to violin. Under the direction of Tucker parents Katie Manning and Star Baylon, students were asked to submit their talents in early April, attend a series of talent screenings, participate in the dress rehearsal then shine at the performance on May 3rd. The following students performed in the ‘Tucker’s Got Talent’ Fifth Grade Talent Show: Khaliyah Johnson-Cornett, Lia Duran, Cole Fletcher, Anthony Guglietta, Osagie Odion-Ukpebor, Raegan Hopkins, Grace Porter, Abby Scheller, Zariah Daley, Alden Goodman, Alle Tuozollo, Xiomara Quinones, Channing Howse, Aamir Taylor, Christian Louis, Nate Codio, Fedor Myshkin, Reed Anthony, Justin Pires, Bediako Jean-Charles Asare, Christian Pascal, Nayeli Thayer, Arianna Wright, Delia Henry, Georgia Manning, and Lulu Baylon. Thank you to Katie Manning, Star Baylon, all the students and families for a fantastic night!

***

Walk and Wheel Wednesday was a big success at Glover this week! Thank you to the families and staff who helped us have a successful Walk to School Day!

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Please scan below for your current grade level

Pre-K  – Parent Café – “Getting Ready for Kindergarten!”  Tuesday, May 14th. The Milton Public Schools, in partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance, will offer a free Parent Café to parents/guardians of children entering kindergarten in fall 2019, “Getting ready for kindergarten!”. We hope you will be able to join us for the session being  offered on Tuesday, May 14th from 9- 10 am at Cunningham Hall.

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

5th, 6th and 7th Grade – There is an opportunity for 5th, 6th and 7th grade families that we would like to call to your attention. If you are interested in learning ways to help your kids make healthy choices, we have the perfect research study for you!  The SUPPER Project is a research study whose purpose is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their well-being. This study is being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University and is funded through the National Institutes of Health. MPS students and their families in grades 5th-7th have been invited to participate. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at TheSUPPERProject@tufts.edu with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and your name in the body of the email. A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587. All personal data will be kept confidential and participation is limited. Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. 

5th, 6th and 7th Grade – School supplies already? Yes! The Pierce PTO has partnered with Yubbler to bring quality, economical school supplies to Pierce families. All supplies are delivered right to your house! All details, links and coupon codes can be found here.

5th-9th Grade: Have you wondered what the best approach is when speaking with your children about using drugs? It’s not an easy topic and many of us are at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Through a grant from the Milton Junior Women’s Club, MPS is thrilled to be able to offer parents and guardians a wonderful opportunity to attend an award-winning workshop designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs.

This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents of students in 5th-9th grade how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.

There is one more opportunity to attend the LifeSkills Parent Program on June 3, 6:30-8pm  at the Pierce Library. To reserve your spot, please give a quick RSVP here.  For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at  617-696-4470 x5547.  

MPS SUMMER

Registration for Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) is live! To register, go to Family ID and go to ‘search programs’ and type in ‘MSE 2019’. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! For more information about MSE including the 2019 At A Glance Document with course descriptions, please visit the MSE website.  Any further questions can be directed to Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan.

BUS UPDATES

Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year will be open May 15th – June 14th.  All registration will be done online and this link to register will be live on May 15th.  Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year.  If you are planning for your child to ride the bus in the 2019-20 school year, we strongly encourage you to read through this transportation letter which details the process. Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

RESIDENCY

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

A letter has been sent via US mail to all who must re-establish residency. You can reference that letter, which contains all details, here. Beginning June 3rd Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. The residency packet can be found here. 

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

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

K-12 Director of Phys Ed and Health Noel Vigue shares that during the 2017-18 school year, we started to notice a new trend in teen behavior that came on like a tsunami (silent and sudden) – Vaping/E-Cig use.  Milton isn’t alone in this issue, many towns throughout Greater Boston and Massachusetts have been dealing with teen vape/e-cig use. During the spring of 2018, to help address this, Milton Public Schools offered an evening program for parents/guardians called PREP (Prevention Resources & Education for Parents) regarding vaping/e-cigs that addressed the effects and consequences of gateway/trendy drugs use. It provided caregivers strategies on how to use effective communication skills when talking with children about alcohol, tobacco/vape, and other drug use and focused on the importance of establishing clear rules and consequences at home regarding substance use.  During May 2018, we also brought in professionals from Caron Treatment Centers to speak to MHS students in small groups to help educate about the dangers of vape/e-cig use and to promote resiliency and drug resistance skills. Over the summer, we updated our health education curriculum at Pierce and MHS to include the latest health information regarding vaping/e-cig use and opioid misuse/abuse. Our health educators and school nurses have been on the cutting edge of this disturbing trend.

In August 2018, Principal Jette addressed all MHS students regarding drug use (including vape/e-cigs).  We brought in Drug Story Theater to present their evidence-based performance regarding drug use education/prevention in September 2018 to grade 9 and 10 students and a community presentation during January 2019. Throughout the school year 2018-19, we’ve provided prevention education for parents/guardians regarding vaping/e-cig use in the Superintendent’s blog.  Students in grades 7 and 9 go through brief intervention interviews with school nurses regarding drug/alcohol use and responsible decision-making. We recently installed a vape detection system in all student bathrooms at MHS to deter student use.

Through a generous grant from BID-Milton, we are currently implementing the Botvin LifeSkills Training program for all 5th grade students throughout the spring of 2019.  This evidence-based drug resistance program provides education and skills for students to continue to make healthy choices. We coupled this with Stanford University’s Vaping Prevention lessons.  We’re excited to say that we’ve seen great results through student surveys. The LifeSkills program is funded for the next two years.

Also, with funding from Milton Junior Women’s Club, we are offering two parent/guardian LifeSkills workshops, to help educate and provide parenting skills around drug use prevention.  The first session was on May 6th and the next session will be June 3rd at Pierce Middle School at 6:30pm. Lastly, as part of our PARENT Speaker Series, we will be bringing in Mary Cole to speak to parents/guardians about vaping/e-cig use this fall 2019.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Noel Vigue, K-12 Director of Health & Physical Education.

This short video from PBS Vaping Cost One Teen His Health and Dreams is worth watching with your child.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

I am proud to share that Dr. Spaulding and Principal McDavitt received wonderful feedback on their presentation at this week’s Safe and Supportive Schools Commission meeting in Sturbridge. Thank you to Dr. Spaulding, Principal McDavitt, MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman and countless others who have made Social Emotional Learning an important piece of every conversation we have here in the Milton Public Schools! 

UPCOMING MPS DATES

May 15  Milton School Committee Meeting
May 21  MHS Spring Concert
May 22 MFE Teacher of the Year Celebration
May 23 MHS Music Awards Night
May 28 Glover Art Show, Sr. Awards Night
May 29 Boosters Banquet, Tucker Art Show
May 30 Collicot Art Show

The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.
The 2019-20 calendar has been amended and can be found here.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Join the Food & Nutrition Services Team!  Food Services is now hiring on call and part-time positions for school year 2019-2020.  The position allows you to be at home when your family needs you and at school during the day when our students need you! The hourly rate is $15.05 an hour. Please call 617-898-1051 for more information.

ART AND MUSIC

The Milton Music Department’s Instrumental Lesson Program will be holding an informational session and instrument petting zoo on Tuesday, June 11th at 6 PM in the Charles C Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This is open to interested students entering 4th and 5th grade and their parents/guardians. .Parents will have the opportunity to learn about the program and pre-register their students for music lessons for the upcoming school year, while students will have a chance to try out instruments at our instrument petting zoo. Please contact program directors Rebecca Damiani  and Gary Good with any questions.

ATHLETICS

Unified Track Meet

Milton High School will host its final home meet of the regular season today at 3:00pm. Last week, the Wildcats competed against Westwood’s Unified Team. It was a great event! Please click here for a video showcasing the team!

April Athletes of the Month

Andrew Possi, Junior, Baseball

Andrew is the starting shortstop for the varsity baseball team. He bats third in the order every game. During April Andrew batted .455 (10-22) with a .636 On Base Percentage (11 walks). He has 6 doubles and 7 RBI. In addition, he has played terrific defense at shortstop and also helped Milton beat Braintree yesterday for the first time in 10 years!

Olivia DiManno, Junior, Lacrosse

Olivia is the Girls Lacrosse leading scorer right now with 22 goals as well as the most forced turnovers (16), ground ball pickups (38), interceptions (11) and draw controls (27) on our team. She has truly stepped up as an upperclassman leading her entire team, setting a positive attitude within the team, and keeping our team focused and on track. She is also putting a lot of work in off the field as well, as she was just inducted into National Honor Society, is about to take AP exams this week and next and carries a heavy course load.

June 12th Grades 5-8 Athletics Night

On June 12th, at 6:30pm, Milton High School will host an Athletics Information Night in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium for students in grades 5-8 and their parents/guardians.  You will get to hear from the Director of Athletics about the sports programs that Pierce and Milton High School offer. Coaches and captains for the fall sports will also be in attendance. This meeting is vital for parents/guardians of students in the 8th grade who will be at MHS in the fall.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

Join us for a Birding Walk at Eustis Estate,  1424 Canton Avenue – Saturday, May 11 8:30- 9:30am. Explore the grounds of the Eustis Estate and look for spring’s birds. May is the ideal time to spot a variety of migratory species and the property is filled with features that birds like, including a pond, meadows, an orchard, tall trees, and chimneys. Learn about the interesting species that thrive in these unique habitats. Admission to the house is included so visitors are welcome to explore inside after the tour. Advance tickets recommended. Be prepared for wet, uneven ground and some uphill terrain. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information. $5 Historic New England members an $15 for non-members.

Saturday, May 18  12-3pm is Family Fun Day at the Eustis Estate. Join us for a day of retro backyard fun at the Eustis Estate in honor of the special exhibition, Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard. Play lawn games, make pinwheels, go on a StoryWalk, and enjoy live music outside from the Heavenly Fire Steel Band of Dorchester. Snacks available for purchase and picnics are encouraged. Included with museum admission. Free for Milton residents. Pre-registration not required. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information. Rain date Sunday, May 19

Milton Community Concerts is presenting its final concert of the season on Sunday, May 26th at 3pm at First Parish of Milton. It is a drama/lecture about the life of bass-baritone Paul Robeson by British/Nigerian singer and actor Tayo Aluko. When he appeared this summer in one sold-out performance in Boston at the BCA he received a very long standing ovation. His appearances this May are in Glasgow, Scotland, Vancouver, BC, and Milton, MA.

Save the Date for the Milton Music Festival and Fireworks, June 22 and 23 on Hutchinson Field. Details coming soon at WeAreMilton.org.

AMBASSADORS

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

Students: Milton High School recently celebrated Scholastic Honors Night and I share Principal Jette’s words here and join him in congratulating these exemplary students. Scholastic Honors Night is an evening to recognize and honor students for their high academic achievement, excellent leadership skills and civic responsibility. The students who were honored exemplify and embody all that we hope for in every Milton High School student. They are intelligent, hard working, goal oriented and self  motivated; they exude a commitment to academic excellence that should serve as a blueprint for others to follow. Moreover, these individuals make the school and community a better place. These prominent members of the school community will be the leaders of tomorrow, and I am certain that they will continue to succeed in life and make their families, Milton High School and the Milton community very proud. The entire ceremony can be watched here. All photos below can be enlarged. 

 

Students: Congratulations to the students from MPS who were chosen selected as a winner in this year’s Lincoln Essay and Drawing Contest. These students will attend an awards ceremony on Sunday, May 19th at the Forbes House Museum. All winning drawings will be on display inside the museum and the first place winners in grades 6-8 will be asked to read their essays during the ceremony.  

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Ryan Madden, Sean Lopresti,  Noel Vigue,  Rachel Schewe,  Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Jaclyn Germano, Alysa Buchanan, Bernadette Butler, Cat DesRoche, Zeina Hamada, Karen McDavitt, James Jette, Rebecca Damiani and Maureen Kennedy. 

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 May 9, 2019

May 2, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date May 2, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There is an opportunity for 5th, 6th and 7th grade families that I would like to call to your attention. If you are interested in learning ways to help your kids make healthy choices, we have the perfect research study for you!  The SUPPER Project is a research study whose purpose is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their well-being. This study is being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University and is funded through the National Institutes of Health. MPS students and their families in grades 5th-7th have been invited to participate. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at TheSUPPERProject@tufts.edu with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and your name in the body of the email. A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587. All personal data will be kept confidential and participation is limited. I hope you’ll take a moment to read through the details and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. 

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Next week we will celebrate our dedicated teaching and school staff during Teacher Appreciation Week. We are lucky to have 6 enthusiastic school communities who will offer their thanks with meals, notes, decorations, treats and more. Please be on the lookout for information from your PTO as to how you can help recognize these dedicated individuals.

Last week we celebrated our Administrative Assistants, who serve as the 1st face you see upon entering a school and work tirelessly each school day to ensure a smooth and successful day for staff, students and families, alike. Please join me in recognizing Brad Spindle, Moshi Doane and Maureen Kennedy at MHS, Susan Higgins and Sandy Wyse at Pierce, Deb Woods at Glover, Patty Johnson at Cunningham, Joanne Barker at Collicot and Eileen Keaney at Tucker. I am grateful every day that these professionals are a part of the Milton Public Schools. 

Next week we will also acknowledge the school nurses at each of our schools who care for your children daily, offering everything from a bandaid and change of clothes to support during life changing illnesses.  Thank you to Kim Coughlin at MHS, Barbara

We are ready for Super Lunch Hero Day!

Perry and Pam Noonan at Pierce,  Alison Joyce at Cunningham, Maureen LaBlanc at Glover, Jeanne Sgroi at Collicot, Kerri Joyce at Tucker and Head Nurse Margaret Gibbons for all they do to promote the health and wellness of all MPS students.

Tomorrow we will celebrate our Super Lunch Hero Staff with school based celebrations. Our food service staff is a big part of the daily routines at all of our schools and valued members of our community. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The School Committee met last night for a reorganization meeting after the Annual Town Election on April 30th. Sheila Varela will serve as Chair of the School Committee for the coming year and Dr. Elaine Craghead will serve as Vice Chair. Dr. Kevin Donahue, Ada Rosmarin, Betty White and Margaret Eberhardt will continue to serve as SC members. Thank you to Dr. Donahue for his two years of service as SC Chair. We are grateful to these Milton residents who give endless time and effort to our schools.

The next School Committee meeting is May 15th  at 7pm at Collicot Elementary School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.   

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

L to R: Franklin Ollivierre III, Grace Kelly, Lauren Kelly, Ronald Kindle Jr.

Four Calculus Project students from Milton High School attended a STEM Day conference on Saturday, April 20th, hosted by the Boston University National Society of Black Engineers (BU NSBE) Chapter.  The event was held at the BU Photonics Center. Students toured the College of Engineering and participated in hands-on and engaging STEM workshops and college preparatory activities. The event was focused on encouraging students to pursue STEM careers and fields and our students had a great time at the event.   

 

PIERCE UPDATES

On Friday, April 12th approximately 20 Pierce Middle School student leaders attended the Anti-Defamation League’s 25th Annual Youth Congress. This year’s theme was “Leaders in Action” and had 1,480 students from around New England in attendance. Students “explored what it means to cultivate the courage, commitment, and community to stand up and speak out against hate and injustice (adl.org).” Students had the privilege of hearing keynote speaker, Holocaust Survivor George Elbaum, share his story, and then  participated in breakout groups to engage in action planning to make their schools and communities “safer and more inclusive, and ensure that hate never goes unchecked (adl.org)”. A special thank you to Ms. Huebner, our ADL Peer Leaders advisor!

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The raised garden beds for vegetables, flowers, and pollinator perennials were ready for planting when the student-members of the “Green Team” came back from April break- thanks to the efforts of some Pierce community members. On a beautiful April Saturday morning three Pierce Middle School parents and three PMS scholars raked leaves, pulled up weeds, and cultivated the garden beds at the Outdoor Classroom to get it prepared for seed planting. Snow peas were planted first, followed by lettuce and radish seeds.

Students at Pierce Middle School are welcome to join the after school “Green Team” that meets on Thursday afternoons under the direction of teacher Mrs. Hupp. Students learn about pollinators, nutrition, wild bird habits and nests, and tree identification. The garden in front of the Pierce Middle School granite sign is the work of the student gardeners and the plantings were paid for by a grant from the Milton Garden Club. More good news – we’ve just learned that Pierce has received another $350 from the Milton Garden Club to further enhance the Outdoor Classroom. These funds will be dedicated to establishing our pumpkin patch! Pumpkin patches offer rich learning opportunities and, of course, a little fun in the fall. Thank you as always to our Outdoor Classroom “Fairy Godmother”- Beth Neville, Milton resident. If your child would like to join the Green Team, please email the Green Team teacher advisor Mrs. Hupp.

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Four students from Pierce and one student from Collicot have advanced to the International Future Problem Solving Competition held on June 6-9th at UMASS Amherst.  These students will be participating in a unique FPS tradition called the Memento Exchange. Students will have the opportunity to meet other students from all around the world and exchange mementos from their respective home region.  If any local businesses have small decals, patches, pencils, pens, etc that students could bring to trade, we would love to represent the town of Milton and surrounding areas at competition. Please contact Nicole Lauria, Pierce FPS Coach to donate items to the FPS team.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

The 2nd Annual Tucker and Glover Community Dinners took place just after April break. These dinners provide an opportunity to share good food and stories and have meaningful conversation with old and new friends from both schools.  The project is sponsored by the Tucker and Glover joint Diversity Committees and is adapted from a nation-wide model, The People’s Supper. This year’s dinners were as successful as the inaugural year, with new connections, new friends,  endless laughs, and future play dates on the calendar. Thank you to our parent hosts and especially to Rosaura Cruz and MaryAnn Dakkak for spearheading the Community Dinners. We hope to use these opportunities to grow and build our community while celebrating our diversity. 

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As part of the Reach for Reading curriculum, Kindergarten teachers district-wide have been immersed in reading, writing and talking about potential careers.  As part of Unit 7, ‘On the Job’, Tucker students and teachers gathered together to discuss the unit’s stories and hear from family and community members about their respective jobs.  In addition to hearing from these guests, students have done their own writing after interviewing a family member about their career. These readers and writers are exceptional researchers and have thoroughly enjoyed this Unit of Study!  

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Congratulations to these students, who have qualified for the BoomWriter Bee International Finals. The Finals will kick off in early June and will end by the time school is out. Last year, Milton’s own Reagan Vaughn won the International Finals and the grand prize of $2500. Good luck to these finalists!  

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This year 5th grade students at all schools had the unique opportunity to participate in a frog dissection. The dissection lesson was taught by trained PhD scientists, Dr. Sandy Pearl and Dr. Elizabeth Bless of SEED Education. The dissection provided students the opportunity to observe how organs in the body fit together in a way that no virtual or pictorial model can achieve. By examining a frog, we learn about our own bodies and can see how the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, bones, etc all fit together to create one beautifully complex animal. As you can see, students learned a great deal and had a lot of fun dissecting frogs!  

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May 1st was walk to school day at Collicot and Cunningham. Staff, parents and students had a great time walking to school together on a bright spring day. Thank you to the Milton Police Department and the many volunteers from both schools for organizing a fun and safe morning for the almost 1300 students who walk, bus, bike and ride to  Cunningham and Collicot each day. 

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Collicot students are full of energy as students enjoy the start of spring CASS (Collicot After School Classes).  CASS classes provide an opportunity for Collicot staff to channel an interest, talent or hobby and offer students classes such as Kickball, Floor Hockey, Pokemon Club, Soccer Scrimmage, Basketball, Handbuilding with Clay, Kickback Color and Draw, Cardinal Connection, On your mark..get set..GO!, Zumba, Puzzle Club, Walking Club, Nail Art and Math Olympics.  CASS classes run for 6 weeks, 3 times a year and create a before or after school experience for almost 200 students to enjoy.  

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Please scan below for your current grade level

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

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

5th, 6th and 7th Grade – School supplies already? Yes! The Pierce PTO has partnered with Yubbler to bring quality, economical school supplies to Pierce families. All supplies are delivered right to your house! All details, links and coupon codes can be found here.

10th, 11th and 12th gradeThe Milton Public Library has an exciting paid summer  internship opportunity open to rising high school juniors, seniors, and those entering freshman year of college. The intern will work closely with library mentors & staff to design & deliver a connected learning project. This exciting opportunity includes expenses-paid travel to Chicago & Washington, D.C. Applications are due by Friday, May 3rd and we encourage our students to explore this terrific opportunity!  

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Have you wondered what the best approach is when speaking with your children about using drugs? It’s not an easy topic and many of us are at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Through a grant from the Milton Junior Women’s Club, MPS is thrilled to be able to offer parents and guardians a wonderful opportunity to attend an award-winning workshop designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs.

This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents of students in 5th-9th grade how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.

There are two opportunities to attend  these  LifeSkills® Training Parent Program. – May 6 or June 3, 6:30-8pm  at the Pierce Library. The sessions are identical so you need only attend one. To reserve your spot, please give a quick RSVP here.  For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at  617-696-4470 x5547.  

MPS SUMMER

Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) is right around the corner! The At a Glance Document with course descriptions is available,at MSE At a Glance Document.   Registration went live at 12pm on May 2nd. To register: Go to Family ID ; ‘search programs’ and type in MSE 2019. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! Please check the MSE website for updates!

BUS UPDATES

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

RESIDENCY

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

Beginning June 3, 2019, Sarina Burke, Milton Public Schools Residency Coordinator will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours.   Re-establish Residency packets will be mailed in May to families who must reestablish and packets must be submitted no later than June 14, 2019 to ensure a student’s placement in Grades 6 and 9 or in an educational program outside of the district.

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

A panel of distinguished Milton leaders joined Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition at their April 23rd  meeting at Milton Public Library for a presentation on their organizations’ efforts to address substance use in our community.  Panel participants (l-r) included: Mr. James Jette, Principal of Milton High School; Police Chief John King; Ms. Caroline Kinsella, Milton Health Department Director; Ms Marlene Lemieux, Director of Case Management and Social Work at BID Hospital Milton; and Sarah Callahan, Chair of the Milton Board of Selectmen’s Youth Task Force. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Susan Maselli would like to welcome you to a Spring Parent Coffee. This informal meet & greet will be an opportunity to connect with families and staff. The coffee will be Wednesday, May 15th at 9:30am at Milton High School. Please RSVP by May 7 by phone (617-696-4470 x 5572) or email. 

UPCOMING MPS DATES

May 2  District Wide Diversity Event – Implicit Bias
May 2  Scholastic Honors Night
May 6, 7, 9  Town Meeting
May 13, 14, 16  Town Meeting
May 15  Milton School Committee Meeting
May 21  MHS Spring Concert

The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.
The 2019-20 calendar has been amended and can be found here.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Join the Food & Nutrition Services Team!  Food Services is now hiring on call and part-time positions for school year 2019-2020.  The position allows you to be at home when your family needs you and at school during the day when our students need you! The hourly rate is $15.05 an hour. Please call 617-898-1051 for more information.

ATHLETICS

Thanks to MHS student-athlete Bailey Dolgon for sharing this video about MHS Unified Track. Next meet is today at 3:30 at Brooks Field. Come on out and show your support!

The MHS Girls Tennis Team is hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive fundraiser on Saturday, May 4th from 9-12. at Milton High School.

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

 NEWS AROUND TOWN

Kevin Cook from Veteran’s Services has asked us to share that volunteers will be planting flags on Veterans graves on Saturday, May 4th from 8am-12pm  at Milton Cemetery. They are looking to get as many volunteers as possible to assist us with honoring our Veterans. Volunteers should meet at the duck pond and flags will be distributed there. We are hoping to have a good turnout from MPS students and families!

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

The 2019 SHINDIG! is on May 4th from 6-11 PM at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. The Shindig! is a family event that was created to celebrate the life of Tucker Elementary school grad Michael McHugh who died last year at age 13 from a rare pediatric cancer.  Last year’s event was completely sold out, so get your tickets early!

ArtWeek Milton is here! From April 26 – May 5, your favorite local nonprofits are coordinating for a week of interactive arts and cultural activities.

The Milton Art Center is hosting an Artisan Market on Sunday, May 5 from 10-4 featuring many local Milton-based artists including two students in MPS – Zach Trachtman of @stinkyclean and Maggie Mannion.  Diana Flawlessly YOU and I Saint Germain Studios will be just a few of the local artists. You’ll also find Burke’s Blooms- Milton, Milton’s Billion Backyard Bee Project, Inc., Janice Hanbury Fahy, Mercedes Harris | Graphic Design, Holly Nichols Illustration, Square Thread Winitzer Design, Stoneburner Bookbinding & Preservation, Assembly Required, Jon Baring Gould, Thomas Reale,  and many others.

The Forbes House Museum is hosting a special event on Saturday, May 4, from 2-5 pm with a Chinese Calligraphy workshop led by Chinese-American artist Rayna Lo. Rayna Lo grew up in Chicago, IL with parents who steered her toward a corporate career. Only recently has she turned to calligraphy as a way to express her true artistic self and connect with her cultural heritage. Rayna will guide you through traditional Chinese brush calligraphy techniques to create a framed work of art to take home, based on the character for “Phoenix.” To learn more and to purchase tickets go to the Forbes House Museum website.

The Town of Milton has announced changes to the Pay-As-You-Throw Program. On March 27, 2019, the Select Board approved changes in Milton’s Pay-As- You-Throw program for trash. The changes reaffirm the Town’s goal to reduce trash while fairly distributing the cost of waste disposal. All details on the new program can be found here

Milton Community Concerts is presenting its final concert of the season on Sunday, May 26th at 3pm at First Parish of Milton. It is a drama/lecture about the life of bass-baritone Paul Robeson by British/Nigerian singer and actor Tayo Aluko. When he appeared this summer in one sold-out performance in Boston at the BCA he received a very long standing ovation. His appearances this May are in Glasgow, Scotland, Vancouver, BC, and Milton, MA. 

AMBASSADORS

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

Students and Volunteers: Thank you to the Glover families who formed the Glover School clean up crew in honor of Earth Day and the town wide clean up.  The Glover grounds have never looked better thanks to you! We appreciate the Stoddard, McClutchy, Begley, Gobourne, Armstrong, Harrington, Kiefer, Klopfenstein, and Duffy families and thank them for the hours they spent cleaning up the edges of the creek and planting beautiful flowers. 

Staff:   Please join me in congratulating Pierce teacher Deanna Magill who was accepted to attend the Junior Botball Pathfinders Institute in Indiana this summer. Infosys Foundation USA hosts the Pathfinders Summer Institute, an intensive week of in-person professional development in Computer Science and Making at Indiana University, Bloomington from July 14-19. Over 700 K-12 public school teachers will convene at the Pathfinders Summer Institute for high-quality hands-on training. Ms. Magill was accepted into this prestigious program and will bring back her new knowledge and expertise to share with Pierce and MPS colleagues. We look forward to sharing her experience with you later in the summer.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Ryan Madden, Sean Lopresti,  Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Dawn Sykes, Karen Spaulding, Ellen Lohan, Rachel Schewe,  Holly Concannon, Laurie Stillman, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Bernadette Butler, Cat DesRoche, Zeina Hamada, Sarah McNeil, Michelle Kruezer, Nicole Lauria, Catherine Lee and Amy Gale.

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 May 2, 2019

April 25, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date April 25, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Last summer, after an extensive and thorough search, we welcomed Susan Maselli to the Milton Public Schools as our new Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services. By all accounts, Ms. Maselli has hit the ground running, engaging effectively with all stakeholders. She has asked me to share the following updates with you below.

As I approach the end of my first year in Milton, I wanted to reach out and share an update from the Office of Pupil Personnel Services.

Much of my fall and winter was spent getting to know our students, families and faculty. Thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome! I have met with students, teachers, parents, administrators and community members to become more familiar with all aspects of my role in Milton.

First, I would like to welcome you to a Spring Parent Coffee. This informal meet & greet will be an opportunity to connect with families and staff.  The coffee will be Wednesday, May 15th at 9:30am at Milton High School. Please RSVP by May 7 by phone (617-696-4470 x 5572) or email.

Second, I want to share some planning for the remainder of this year and into next.  The opportunities outlined below are possible due to the redistribution of current district resources and do not have a fiscal increase on our current budget.

As many of you know, the Glover Elementary School has long housed the majority of our co-taught classrooms. Next year, we will expand this program to include a strand of Collaborative Classrooms at Cunningham Elementary School. As with the Glover co-taught classrooms, the Cunningham Collaboratives will also be comprised of a general and special education teacher. The Glover Co-Taught strand will continue to support curriculum access and the remediation of students with language-based learning needs in an inclusive model, while the Cunningham Collaborative strand will allow for a hybrid of co-taught experiences and explicit skill building for functional academics for students who benefit from smaller group instruction interspersed throughout their school day. This program model compliments the already successful ICLP model at Cunningham.   

In addition to our co-taught classrooms, Glover will continue to host and support our students who benefit from social emotional and therapeutic supports provided within the STEP Program.

Collicot will continue to house both our NECC (New England Center for Children) Partner Classroom and the district’s two Cooperative ABA Classrooms. These programs continue to support our youngsters with Autism and related disabilities.

Pierce Middle School students will see new supports as well. The district is expanding the NECC Program with an additional NECC Partner Classroom at Pierce for our students in grades six through eight. REACH will continue at Pierce.  The middle school will also see additional flexibility for student scheduling with regard to co-taught and supportive classroom resources at all grades and the expansion of language based supports for students with SLD as well.

Work at Milton High School will focus on addressing the needs of students who benefit from co-taught instruction for the rigorous academic content as well as ongoing supports in academic (disability relegated) remediation. This will include vocational and post-secondary planning for our older students. The inclusion specialist role, created by the district a few years ago, is expanding to address three explicit areas of greater needs: supports for students who struggle with positive behavior in school; supports for students who struggle with attendance and school refusal; and supports to facilitate increased inclusion opportunities for students who struggle to maintain positive connections to peers as the academic content increases in complexity.  

Finally, we will be offering a new Parent Series.  These informal forums will provide parents and guardians access to hot topics in special education including “How to make the most of your IEP meeting” and “Transition Planning: Nuts n’ Bolts”.

With growth, comes the opportunity for discussion and questions, so I again invite you to the Parent Coffee on May 15th. Please RSVP by May 7 by phone (617-696-4470 x 5572) or email. While I have met some families, I have many to still meet and I look forward to seeing you on May 15th.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Last night, following a presentation by the Facilities Advisory Committee, the Milton School Committee voted to recommend to the School Building Committee the construction of a new K-5th elementary school as the best educational option for the district. That meeting can be watched On Demand at Milton Access TV.

The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday,  May 1st at 7pm at Milton High School.  This is a reorganization meeting after the town wide election on April 30th. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.  

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

40 of our MHS students are just back from a whirlwind trip to England and France. MHS junior Caitlin Lydon shares the following.

This April vacation I was able to travel to Europe with 46 other students and faculty members. We explored London, Normandy, St. Malo, and Paris in just ten days, and this fast paced exploration gave everyone on it the travel bug. In London, we saw Piccadilly Circus, The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Camden Market, and some even visited Brick Lane where street artists such as Banksy capture the people’s attention. In the London Eye, students watched the sun go down on the city of London. The group also visited Speaker’s Corner where students and chaperones had the chance to participate in a real life discussion on how different cultures view the United States. It was the most amazing thing, seeing every single person engaged in a simple discussion, a trip highlight.

We then traveled to Normandy, France where we put our toes into the waters of Omaha beach and visited the American Cemetery, a solemn place, in which the minute I turned a corner and saw the thousands of white crosses, I began to cry. It is a place which every American needs to go. From there we headed to St. Malo, a port city in France, where history is rich, and students were given the chance to explore the town by foot, another highlight. Soaking in the beauty of the small town is something I will cherish forever.

Our last destination was Paris, where we witnessed history happening before our eyes, the day we arrived in France, Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames. Arriving in Paris days after this tragedy was emotional, but we all became hopeful as we walked up as close as we could to the Cathedral that Notre Dame will be repaired. Everyone’s dreams came true in Paris as we witnessed the Eiffel tower light up and sparkle while on a boat cruise on the river Seine. We then experienced another piece of history as a group of us walked through the Palace of Versailles as well as the Louvre. And on our final night, some ventured out and climbed the Eiffel Tower, and others sat on the grass in front of it and soaked in the view. This trip has forever changed my life, I am so grateful to have not only visited these places, but experience it with fellow students and faculty members.  Everyone learned something about not only the places but also each other.

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Congratulations to the 55 students who all passed the 2019 DELF Exams and to their teacher, Ms. Pons! The DELF Exam (Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française) is an official qualification awarded by the French Ministry of Education certifying specific levels of fluency in French. This certification, which is officially recognized by the European Consortium for Foreign Languages and 180 countries around the world, constitutes the equivalent of the American TOEFL. It is used for school records, as well as college and job applications.

Our students qualified at level B1 or/and B2. At the B1 level, students are able to understand, maintain a discussion and give opinions. They are capable of dealing with situations likely to arise in daily life. At the B2 level, students reach a degree of independence that allows them to construct arguments, defend opinions, explain viewpoints and negotiate. Congratulation to these students! 

PIERCE UPDATES

Get Out the Vote! Our 8th grade students have been learning about voting and the importance of exercising your civic duty in advance of the town wide election this coming Tuesday, April 30th. They have met with town officials and have been actively promoting a higher voter turnout by helping to increase awareness of the election with personalized flyers. They were displeased to hear of low turnout in the last town election and know we can do better. Listen to our 8th graders and please VOTE on Tuesday, April 30th.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

The 5th grade Safety Patrol at Cunningham was on duty this week facilitating small group discussions about sidewalk safety and parking lot safety and then leading our 2nd graders on school grounds walks to practice what they had discussed. Our Safety Patrol helps out all year with arrival and dismissal, special events and safety related activities and we appreciate the excellent job they did this week with our younger students.

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To celebrate Earth Day, the Glover student leadership “Green Team” mentored by Ms. Hammond and Ms. Whitten, challenged families to Go Green over April break.  Families were given a game board and asked to take part in earth friendly activities while capturing these challenges through photographs, illustrations, poems, and stories.  Students returned from April break with their game boards which are displayed around Glover. Look for our Glover families at the town wide Clean Up Day on Saturday morning. Way to GO GREEN Glover! 

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A few weeks ago we shared that many of our 4th and 5th graders across the district are engaged in a Pen Pal exchange with schools in Spain. The program at Collicot was recently featured in a Patriot Ledger Article and we share it with you here.  

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Tucker students had a great opportunity during P.E. classes over the last few weeks to experience the Kindred Colors program. This unique program explores how earth toned natural objects mirror the variety of skin tones in the world and how skin has an amazing function and vital importance for human beings. Thank you to Coach Jones for bringing this program to our students.

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It’s one of the best times of year at Cunningham  – time for the Cunningham May Madness Calendar! Calendars are on sale now and there is one more week to meet their goal of 2,ooo calendars sold. Thanks to generous sponsors, all of the money from calendar sales goes right to Cunningham to fund field trips, enrichment, teacher grants and more. Calendars are $10 and total prize money for the month is $5750!  You can purchase calendars online here or from your favorite Cunningham student. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

One of the best days of the year in the Milton Public Schools is the day the MFE surprises our Teacher of the Year recipients with the news that they have been chosen as the 2019 TOY from their school. These outstanding educators are not expecting this honor and are stunned to hear the news – in front of their excited students! Will you take a moment to nominate a deserving teacher today?

The Milton Foundation for Education invites you to nominate that special teacher as Teacher of the Year. Our teachers are second to none, which is what makes this event so special to us. We are currently seeking nominations for teachers who promote achievement in our children and garner the respect of colleagues, students and parents alike. We look forward to hearing from you and learning more about the amazing teachers who inspire Milton students every day. Nominations don’t have to be long fancy letters- we take them in any forms. In the past, we have heard feedback that parents thought they had to write long nominations and that prevented them from writing us a quick note about how much they love a certain teacher. So short and sweet is perfect and we always love quotes from students!

Nominations are due Monday, April 29 and guidelines can be found here and a full list of past winners is here.  We look forward to seeing you at the big TOY celebration at MHS  on May 22!

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Please scan below for your current grade level

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

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

5th, 6th and 7th Grade – Interested in Learning Ways to Help Your Kids Make Healthy Choices? We have the perfect research study for you! The SUPPER Project is a research study whose purpose is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their well-being. This study is being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University and is funded through the National Institutes of Health. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team  with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and your name in the body of the email. A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587. All personal data will be kept confidential. Participation is limited. 

5th, 6th and 7th Grade – School supplies already? Yes! The Pierce PTO has partnered with Yubbler to bring quality, economical school supplies to Pierce families. All supplies are delivered right to your house! All details, links and coupon codes can be found here.

5th-12th Grade – 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  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, eye guards and balls will be provided. All participants need their own non-marking court shoes. The waiver to participate can be found here

10th, 11th and 12th gradeThe Milton Public Library has an exciting paid summer internship opportunity open to rising high school juniors, seniors, and those entering freshman year of college. The intern will work closely with library mentors & staff to design & deliver a connected learning project. This exciting opportunity includes expenses-paid travel to Chicago & Washington, D.C. Applications are due by Friday, May 3rd and we encourage our students to explore this terrific opportunity!  

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Parents and Guardians of students in grades 5 – 9 have a wonderful opportunity to attend the award-winning workshop, LifeSkills® Training Parent Program. LifeSkills is designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs. This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.

There are two opportunities to attend – May 6 or June 3 at 6:30pm – at the Pierce Library.  For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at  617-696-4470 x5547. Thank you to Milton Junior Women’s Club for funding these workshops.  

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Before the April break, as part of our PARENT Speaker Series, Catherine Steiner-Adair presented “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”.  It was a poignant presentation, with many beneficial takeaways for families. At the end of the evening, Catherine offered up “8 Simple Steps to Strengthen Family Connections Every Day”. We share these steps with you and hope they can provide some positive outcomes.   

MPS SUMMER

Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) is right around the corner! The “At a Glance Document” with course descriptions is available at  MSE At a Glance Document. Pre-registration is available now to pre-register.  Go to Family ID; then “Find A Program” and type in MSE 2019. You will see a Pre-Registration Option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! Registration will go live at 12pm on May 2nd. Please check the MSE website for updates!

BUS UPDATES

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

RESIDENCY

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

Beginning June 3, 2019, Sarina Burke, Milton Public Schools Residency Coordinator will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours.   Re-establish Residency packets will be mailed in May to families who must reestablish and packets must be submitted no later than June 14, 2019, to ensure a student’s placement in Grades 6 and 9 or in an educational program outside of the district.

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

SPECIAL ED/SEPAC

The Milton SEPAC talk and meeting for tonight has been postponed. Stay tuned for a new date.

DONATE LIFE MONTH

Collicot students (L-R) Daniel and Thomas and their mom Johanna. Thomas received a living donor kidney transplant from his aunt.

April is National Donate Life Month and The Milton Public Schools has partnered with members of our community to bring this information to our community.  In early April we were honored to support Donate Life Information Night when members of our community shared stories and information around organ donation. We shared the personal story of Laura O’Melia, MPS parent and director of transplant nursing in the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, and some thoughts from Gretchen Duffy, MPS parent and a nurse coordinator for the heart transplant program at Tufts Medical Center. 

Juliene Mitchell, MPS parent and Tufts Kidney Transplant Program Referral and Network Manager shares that some organs and tissues can be donated while the donor is alive. Nearly 6,000 living donations take place each year. That’s about 4 out of every 10 donations!  

Most living donations happen between family members or close friends. Some people become altruistic living donors by choosing to donate to someone they don’t know. Check out these famous living organ donors:

Oscar Robertson previously played for the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks. He was named the “Player of the Century” by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2000, and served as the third president of the NBA Players Association. In 1997, his daughter, who had lupus, was in need of a kidney. She would not live much longer without a transplant. Robertson, being a match, stepped up and became a living donor to her. Since then, he has become an honorary spokesman for the National Kidney Foundation.

Edwin Jacob “Jake” Garn served as a U.S. Senator representing Utah from 1974 to 1993.  Garn became the first sitting member of the United States Congress to fly in space when he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as a Payload Specialist during NASA mission STS-51-D.  In 1986 Senator Garn donated a kidney to his 27-year-old daughter, Susan Garn Horne, who was experiencing progressive kidney failure as a result of diabetes.

We thank you for taking the time to listen and learn more about organ donation and hope you will consider registering to be an organ donor at this link.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Students had a blast during April Vacation Camp at the Tucker and Cunningham sites. Campers enjoyed a variety of fun and engaging activities; they created beautiful spring designs, experimented with different ingredients, kept active with gym and outdoor play and even made delicious ice cream sandwiches. We had a special visit from Mad Science, and campers learned all about dry ice. Thank you to our supervisors Liz Macomber, Angie Van Allen, Barbara Roye, Susan Gionfriddo and Karen Nee for making April camp a success and a fun place for our campers! 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

District SEL Coordinator Laurie Stillman shares that a new PEW Social Trends Research report indicates that anxiety and depression is a growing trend amongst youth, and 70% of teens see it as a major problem. Nearly 30% of teens feel “tense or nervous about their day.”  Teens of all backgrounds are increasingly noticing these mental health issues in their communities. The main reason for the growing problem: academic pressures to get good grades and wanting to achieve their post-graduation goals. Those who have college aspirations express the most pressure.  Both boys and girls are struggling, but girls do so more frequently. Unsurprisingly, students in households with lower incomes (below $75,000) face additional stress about paying for college.

Interestingly, academic pressures were expressed much more frequently as a contributor to stress and depression than “socially fitting in”, “looking good”, or being accomplished at sports or other activities. Yet, many students wished they had more friends. Girls expressed greater concerns about their appearance in the study, and lower income children felt financial pressures.  

Another interesting study finding: Parents are more likely to say they don’t spend enough time with their teens then teens are to say the same about their parents.  Most teens (65%) say they spend the right amount of time with their parents, yet 45% of parents who live with their teens say they spend too little times with their children. Dads more frequently express this concern.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Apr 25  MHS Faculty/Student Spring Cabaret
Apr 30  Town Elections
May 1  Milton School Committee Meeting Reorganization Meeting
May 2 District Wide Diversity Event
May 2  Scholastic Honors Night
May 6  Town Meeting Begins

The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.
The 2019-20 calendar has been amended and can be found here.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Full house for breakfast at Glover.

Begin the day the right way with School Breakfast. Mornings can be really crazy: the alarm doesn’t go off…the kids don’t want to get up…there’s no time to eat breakfast before the bus comes…or they’re just not ready to eat.  Sometimes children aren’t hungry right after waking up, and it’s hard to find food they like to eat that is also healthy. If morning meals are difficult for your family (and even if they’re not!), let the School Breakfast Program help you out. A great breakfast program is offered at school every day.  School breakfast will give your child a healthy start to the day and it is affordable at just $1.25. If you qualify for free and reduced price lunch, you also qualify for a free breakfast, with no additional paperwork.  All of our schools offer breakfast 20 minutes before the start of school. There is no need to sign up, just show up – make sure your kids begin the day the right way with School Breakfast!

FROM THE READERS

The Office of the Attorney General would like to invite you to a webinar on Identity Theft & Scams Prevention. This presentation will outline the different types of scams and how to best avoid them. Additionally, it will also explain what identity theft is and what to do when it happens to you. It is important that all residents of Massachusetts are given the tools necessary to identify a scam so that their information and money are never exposed. This webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 7th  at 10:30am and you can register here.

ART AND MUSIC

The MHS Chorus hit it out of the park last night with their rendition of the National Anthem at Fenway Park! Thank you to Chorus Director Johnny Nichols for securing this experience for our talented students.

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

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 The Milton Art Center, Gallery 334 is hosting a teen art show, Adolescent Chaos, May 10-June 21, with an opening reception  May 10th from 7-9pm. Interested teens, Grades 9-12, are asked to submit one work of art that illustrates the theme. The application form is available at the MAC website and please address questions to the Curator, Anna Garrity.

ATHLETICS

Boys Lacrosse earned their first win of the season, and first under Milton Alum, Coach Dennis Lynch, by beating Stoughton High School over the school vacation.

The Softball Team is 4-2 after beating Fontbonne last night. They have a very young team with lots of talent.

Baseball has made headlines with their victories over Framingham and Needham to start the season.  After a loss to #3 ranked Braintree, the Wildcats won the Sullivan Tourney in Quincy. They beat North Quincy and Foxboro to retain their title from last season.

Unified Track is looking forward to their second meet of the season tomorrow.  They will travel to Weymouth HS for a 3:30 start.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

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

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

The 2019 SHINDIG! is on May 4th from 6-11 PM at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. The Shindig! is a family event that was created to celebrate the life of Tucker Elementary school grad Michael McHugh who died last year at age 13 from a rare pediatric cancer.  Last year’s event was completely sold out, so get your tickets now!

ArtWeek Milton is coming! From April 26 – May 5, your favorite local nonprofits are coordinating for a week of interactive arts and cultural activities. The Forbes House Museum is hosting a special event on Saturday, May 4, from 2-5 pm with a Chinese Calligraphy workshop led by Chinese-American artist Rayna Lo. Rayna Lo grew up in Chicago, IL with parents who steered her toward a corporate career. Only recently has she turned to calligraphy as a way to express her true artistic self and connect with her cultural heritage. Rayna will guide you through traditional Chinese brush calligraphy techniques to create a framed work of art to take home, based on the character for “Phoenix.” To learn more and to purchase tickets go to the Forbes House Museum website.

The excitement is building as the 7th season of Milton’s Challenger Baseball League gets underway. We are off to a great start with a record number of players already signed up. The team is like a “Field of Dreams” where everyone, regardless of age or ability has the opportunity to create friendships around the team sport of baseball. Watching a Milton Challenger Baseball game is a  fantastic experience where the enjoyment of being part of a team is captivating for all. Many of our past volunteers from the last six years have grown up and are in college. We need to replenish our buddy team and are looking for volunteers (13 and up) who would love to take on this motivating position to help the players. Please email Jerry Vitti at 617-281-4566 to volunteer. The 1st game is this Sunday – Play Ball!

The Town of Milton has announced changes to the Pay-As-You-Throw Program. On March 27, 2019, the Select Board approved changes in Milton’s Pay-As- You-Throw program for trash. The changes reaffirm the Town’s goal to reduce trash while fairly distributing the cost of waste disposal. All details on the new program can be found here

AMBASSADORS

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

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

Students: More good news for our Future Problem Solvers! We’ve just learned that two of our students have been invited to compete as individuals at the International FPS Conference in June. Congratulations to Ida Zoll and Victoria Kirkham who will join the Pierce Team at UMASS Amherst in June. We look forward to hearing about our student’s experience as they move forward in the competition.

Staff:  Please join me in congratulating Louise Thomson, Special Education teacher at Milton High School, and Jill Markarian, 8th Grade Science teacher at the Pierce Middle School, in being named the Norfolk County Teachers Association Service and Honor Awards recipients for 2019.  The NCTA Honor Award is given to individuals who demonstrate significant contributions in three areas: Educational Service; Community Service; Association Service.

Louise and Jill have given over 35 years of service to the Milton Public Schools combined and will be honored at the NCTA Banquet to be held on Tuesday, June 4th at Lombardo’s in Braintree. Congratulations to our outstanding recipients!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Ryan Madden, Sean Lopresti,  Noel Vigue, Juliene Mitchell, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Laura O’Melia, Dawn Sykes, Karen Spaulding, Caitlin Lydon, Kathleen Kelley, Ellen Lohan, Rachel Schewe, Martine Fisher, Holly Concannon, Laurie Stillman, Sarina Burke, Martha Sandoval, Jackie Morgan, Bernadette Butler, Sarah McNeil and Susan Maselli.

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 a selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 25, 2019

April 11, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PIERCE UPDATES


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

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

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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Science and spring go hand in hand at Glover!  

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

DONATE LIFE MONTH

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

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

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

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

MPS GIVES BACK

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

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

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

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

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

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

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

MPS SUMMER

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

BUS UPDATES

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

RESIDENCY 

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

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

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

SPECIAL ED/SEPAC

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

UPCOMING MPS DATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

ATHLETICS

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMBASSADORS

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

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

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

2018 TOY Celebration at MHS.

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

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 11, 2019

April 4th, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

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

We are also excited to share that on April 11th, MPS will be hosting internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award-winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair at 6:30 PM in the MHS auditorium.  This session will resonate with adults with children of ALL AGES who want to learn more about how to navigate the social and emotional impact technology has on families. For more information regarding Dr. Steiner-Adair please click here.  

THE MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

PIERCE UPDATES

The Pierce Math Team.

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

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

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DONATE LIFE INFORMATION NIGHT

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

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

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

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

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

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

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

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

MPS SUMMER

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

BUS UPDATES

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

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Apr 6  MFE Celebration for Education
Apr 10  Milton School Committee Meeting
Apr 11  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Apr 15–19  April Recess
Apr 24  Milton School Committee
Apr 25  MHS Faculty/Student Spring Cabaret
Apr 30  Town Elections
May 1  Milton School Committee Meeting 
May 2  Scholastic Honors Night
May 6  Town Meeting Begins

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

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

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

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

ATHLETICS

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

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

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

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMBASSADORS

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

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

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

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

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

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 4th, 2019

March 28, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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

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

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

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

DONATE LIFE INFORMATION NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

TONIGHT at MHS:  Please join us tonight, Thursday, March 28th at 6:30pm at our Program of Studies/Advanced Placement Information Night. During this evening presentation we will review graduation requirements, course offerings and answer any questions you may have about our program of studies.   The presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium. We are committed to taking comprehensive steps to ensure you have the information to make an informed decision about courses for next year.

***

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

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

***

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

PIERCE NEWS

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

***

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

***

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

 

Math Kangaroo at Tucker

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

***

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

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

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

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

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

*** 

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

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

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

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

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

WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL

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

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

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

FOOD AND NUTRITION

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

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

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

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

UPCOMING MPS DATES

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

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

***

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

ATHLETICS

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

***

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

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

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMBASSADORS

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

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

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

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

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Cat DesRoche, Ryan Madden, Jaclyn Germano, Christie Chiappetta, Ada Rosmarin, Karen Spaulding, Becky Padera, Jim Bowes, Amy Gale, Jackie Morgan, Melissa Craven, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Maureen Butler, Jon Redden, Amy Gale, Laura O’Melia and Barbara Wright.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 28, 2019

March 21, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

We are pleased to present the 2019-2020 Milton High School Program of Studies. Course selection for next year is an exciting time for students, parents and the MHS staff.  We hope all involved engage in thoughtful conversations about different offerings, possible career paths and post-secondary plans.  It is a time for students to think about topics or areas that inspire them and spark a passion for learning. Our goal is to develop lifelong learners and fully prepare our students for the many opportunities that exist beyond Milton High School. MHS parents and guardians can read the full course selection letter here. Please join us Thursday, March 28th at our Program of Studies/Advanced Placement Information Night. During this evening presentation we will review graduation requirements, course offerings and answer any questions you may have about our program of studies.   The presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium. We are committed to taking comprehensive steps to ensure you have the information to make an informed decision about courses for next year.

PIERCE UPDATES

Congratulations to our  Future Problem Solving teams and students who are moving on to the regional competition in Worcester on March 30th! FPS provides students with a way to critically think about relevant topics that will impact the future.  Teams of four students learn a six-step problem solving process which they then apply, along with their research on specific topics, to solve social and scientific problems. A “future scene” prompts students to explore challenges as they refine their critical and creative thinking skills, focus on one problem area to solve, produce solution ideas, generate criteria to evaluate their solutions, and develop an action plan.  Students advancing to the State Bowl on March 30th at Worcester State University will be partaking in competition regarding the topic of “Coping with Stress.” Students have been researching the difference between negative stress and good stress (eustress) in order to come up with relevant strategies to cope with stressors given a future scene.

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

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Way to go. Vincent!

 

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

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Justice Maldonado and her son Ben.


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

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

 

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

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

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

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

WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL

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

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

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

MPS SUMMER

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

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

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

SEPAC

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

UPCOMING MPS DATES

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

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ATHLETICS

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

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMBASSADORS

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

Elizabeth and Lauren present to families.

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

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 21, 2019

March 14, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

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

PIERCE UPDATES

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

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

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

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Congratulations to Madison and Nathan!

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

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

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

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

NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH

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

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

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

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

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

Last year they “Rocked Their Socks” at Pierce!

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

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

WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL

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

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

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

MPS SUMMER

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

FIRST GRADE INFORMATION

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

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

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

FOOD SERVICES

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

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

SEPAC

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

UPCOMING MPS DATES

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

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

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

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

Pierce Grade 6 Chorus

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

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

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

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

ATHLETICS

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

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

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMBASSADORS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 14, 2019