From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: June 25th, 2015
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Congratulations on the conclusion of another successful school year. As we begin the summer vacation, I would like to share some research on the importance of summer reading and the value of both independent reading and modeling reading by parents and guardians. During my teaching career, I could easily identify the students who read independently at home. These children usually showed the following characteristics:
- Their vocabulary was superior
- Their oral and independent comprehension skills were outstanding
- Their “love of reading” was evident
- They were familiar with the local library and visited often
The lifelong habit of reading for pleasure is developed at a young age. By providing children with time and opportunities to read for pleasure, and by allowing children to see their parents/guardians reading at home, a true love of reading can be instilled. The following research is from a Hanover Research study released in June of 2013. Although I have shared this study in a previous E-blast, I find it to be an excellent synopsis of the benefits of summer learning and worth sharing a second time:
Best Practices in Summer Literacy Programs: There is growing concern among K‐12 educators about the effects of “summer learning loss,” or “summer slide”— terms that refer to students’ decline in academic ability during summer months when they are away from school. Research shows that during summer vacation, students lose “too much of what they learned during the school year” and “typically score lower on standardized tests after the summer break than they did before it.”
All students are susceptible to summer learning loss, but low‐income students are at greater risk, especially in reading. Findings from a 1996 meta‐analysis of 13 studies on summer learning loss indicate that low‐income students lose two to three months of reading ability during the summer, while their middle‐class peers usually make slight gains. Research also suggests that achievement loss is greatest during elementary grades. National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) reports that “more than half of the achievement gap between lower‐ and higher‐income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.” Different rates of summer loss, when repeated annually, contribute to widening achievement gaps as students enter middle and high school.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has described summer learning loss as “devastating,” and advises that summer learning gaps be addressed through the development of new summer programs. Research suggests that “high quality academic enrichment programs can decrease and perhaps eliminate summer learning loss for low income children.” Providing learning opportunities to children is typically viewed as the responsibility of school districts, but summer programs offered by traditionally non‐ academic organizations also appear poised to meet the challenge. The American Camp Association (ACA), for instance, explains that summer camps are “assuming a greater role in year‐round education and youth development, recognizing that the same ‘fun’ activities and programs they have traditionally offered can be packaged as highly effective alternative learning models.”
*Independent reading, often the centerpiece of effective summer literacy programs, has been shown to improve student achievement. Research indicates that increasing students’ reading time is crucial to improving literacy ability. In addition to allowing students ample time for independent reading, effective elementary literacy program educators:
- Ensure students read appropriately complex materials
- Read aloud to children
- Model effective reading techniques
- Tutor children one‐on‐one
- Consider children’s reading preferences
- Integrate reading into other camp activities
*Speaking and writing activities are vital to improving students’ literacy achievement. Though literacy programs typically emphasize reading, highly effective programs also facilitate meaningful discussion on relevant topics and ask students to write creatively.
*Research suggests that a typical, 12‐week summer program should provide students with at least four hours per week of literacy activities. Scientific evidence indicates that out‐of‐school time (OST) learning programs must devote a total of at least 44 hours to literacy activities in order to improve student achievement. Researchers note that programs lasting fewer than 44 hours may not be long enough to fully engage students and affect learning outcomes.
*Effective summer reading programs offer students a wide variety of high‐quality reading materials. Research suggests that offering varied reading materials to children increases their motivation to read. Furthermore, a range of materials is necessary to ensuring students read appropriately challenging texts. Many programs have addressed the need for reading materials by creating an on‐site library and/or visiting community libraries.
*Effective camp‐based summer learning programs often seek collaboration with local schools to facilitate staff development, align learning activities with school‐ year curricula, and attract more participants to the program. Experts encourage summer learning programs to access educational expertise by cooperating with local schools. Teachers can provide opportunities for staff development and help make learning activities engaging and relevant.
*Youth organizations should approach partnerships with schools strategically by evaluating prospective partners, anticipating school personnel concerns, and marketing their summer learning program.
*Program evaluation is an essential component of effective summer learning programs that strengthens program quality when conducted properly. The suggested guidelines for a comprehensive assessment of summer literacy programming include quantitative data analyses and qualitative surveys or focus groups.
*Summer literacy programs can obtain easy‐to‐use guides and other useful materials from web‐based resources. ReadWriteThink, Reading Rockets, and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) offer free, evidence‐based resources that can help program staff improve student achievement.
I hope that you have found this information helpful. Please check the main website for summer work for each grade level at Milton Public Schools (www.miltonps.org) We are looking forward to seeing everyone return, safe and healthy on September 2nd, 2015. Please enjoy the summer season.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE
There has been one School Committee meetings since my last E-blast, held last night at 7 pm in the Milton High School library. I will summarize this meeting in my next E-blast. School committee summer meetings will be held on July 8th, 29th and August 26th.
The following item was submitted by Barbara Wright, Humanities Department Head.
Author Alice Hoffman to Visit Milton High School — Milton Public Schools will work in conjunction with the Milton Library Foundation in welcoming world renowned author Alice Hoffman to Milton High School. Ms. Hoffman, a resident of the Boston area and author of both adult and young adult novels, is the keynote speaker at the Milton Library Foundation’s annual Gala October 22nd, 2015 and has graciously agreed to meet with students earlier that afternoon at Milton High School. Students at both Pierce Middle School and Milton High School will incorporate some of Ms. Hoffman’s books into their fall curriculum, including our sixth grade writing program, Advanced Placement Literature classes and creative writing classes at both the middle and high school. All students at both Pierce Middle School and Milton High School will be encouraged to read Ms. Hoffman’s works via our summer reading program as well. Parents are also encouraged to read Ms. Hoffman’s works as well, and join the Gala celebration hosted by the Milton Library Foundation. More details will follow in September regarding this exciting opportunity.
* * *
I would like to briefly recap the summer programming options for Milton Public School students:
Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) is a program located at Milton High School from July 6th to August 6th and is directed by Cunningham Principal Jonathan Redden and Pierce Middle School Nurse Barbara Perry. Click below for more details:
Camp Cunningham is a Milton Community Schools program located at Cunningham/Collicot Elementary Schools from July 6th to August 14th and is directed by Camp Cunningham Supervisors Susan Gionfriddo and Karen Nee. Click this link for more details: http://www.miltoncommunityschools.org/
* * *
Please note that the School Year Calendar was revised on June 10, 2015. Click the link below to download a copy of this calendar: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/2015-2016schoolyearcalendarRevisedandapproved061015final.pdf
* * *
The following article was submitted by Dr. Nick Fitzgerald, Milton High School English teacher:
“In the winter of 2011, I visited the Milton Historical Society Archives at the Milton Library to start research for my doctoral dissertation. In the Milton High School file, I found a broadside poster that announced a lecture series hosted by the Milton High School Association. One of the speakers was Frederick Douglass. I found this interesting, because we had just introduced Frederick Douglass’s narrative (titled: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass) into our sophomore curriculum. I was, therefore, very interested in the fact that Douglass had visited Milton at some point in his career.
When he visited, I imagine that he would already have garnered a fair amount of celebrity, so I am guessing that it was a big deal – and perhaps controversial. At the time, I wanted to have the broadside copied, framed, and displayed in the lobby of Milton High School. The best I could do was to grab a digital picture of the broadside.
When the Milton High School Diversity Committee began planning their February 2015 event to address issues of race (“50 Years Later, Why the Struggle for Civil Rights is Still Relevant”), I brought it to the committee’s attention that Frederick Douglass had visited Milton in the 19th century. They were interested, so they displayed the black and white copy I had made at the event. At that point, I believe Assistant Superintendent Dr. Glenn Pavlicek started doing some independent research about Douglass’s visit.
Sensing some enthusiasm about the visit, I tried once again to have the broadside professionally copied, framed, and hung at the high school. This time I was more successful, but only because I stumbled into the help of Annie Davis and Amy Morgan Link. Ms. Davis is a professional archivist who was enthusiastic about the project. She introduced me to Amy Morgan Link, the new president of the Milton Historical Society. Together, they were able to have a professional scan done of the broadside, which they sent to me. I had it printed and framed, and now it is hanging in the foyer.
On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, I would like to thank Ms. Morgan Link and Ms. Davis for their invaluable help. We could not have done it without them.”
As the Superintendent of the Milton Public Schools, I would like to invite the public to stop by the lobby of Milton High School to see this historical document, which we hope will hang proudly for at least another 100 years. Thank you to Mr. Fitzgerald for his diligence on this issue.
* * *
As I mentioned in our last E-blast, we have an innovative Pre-K program here at Milton High School and we still have some openings for the afternoon session. This wonderful program operates from September to June each year on the Milton High School campus. High school students who are interested in careers in education enroll for Child Study courses, taught by two certified high school teachers. Preschool children come to the classroom three days a week and engage in a typical Pre-K curriculum, with assistance from the high school students.
The openings are for the Monday-Wednesday-Friday session (11:10am – 2:10pm) for the school year. The cost is $1,200.00 per child per year. To register, or for more information, please contact Eileen Mullen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Marti McKenna, Family Liaison coordinator at 617-696-5040 ext. 5588
* * *
The following item was submitted by Pierce Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding:
The students at Pierce Middle School are really looking forward to just one thing – summer vacation! Thoughts of lazy beach days, summer camp, sleeping late and no homework are the constant thoughts of our middle schoolers these days. But when they return in September, there will be a nice surprise – an additional 191 books in the library, courtesy of the annual Anne Lawrence Memorial book donation. The donation fund was set up by the Lawrence family in honor of Anne Lawrence, grandmother to 8th grader Jordan Lawrence and mother to Judy Lawrence. During her life, Anne Lawrence was a school librarian and this is the way the family has chosen to honor her memory. This also marks the 3rd year of book donations to the school, making the total donation total to Pierce 424 books (92 of which were much needed French books and French dictionaries, donated last year). This is actually the 7th year of the book donation which started in 2008 and ran for 4 years at Glover, when Jordan attended school there. Next year, books will be donated to the high school each year as well. In any case, there are lots of new books to be read after summer vacation. Enjoy!
PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS
The following item was submitted by Michelle Connolly of the Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)
SEPAC Announces Election Results for 2015-2016 Executive Board: Chairperson: Michelle Connolly; Vice Chairperson: Amanda Serio; Secretary: Shannon Gallagher; and Treasurer: Doug Connolly. Members-At-Large: Norah Ferry, Ann Finnegan, Clare Keating, Linda Mancini, Amy Masferrer, Dana Royster-Buefort and Jen Grubler. This year promises to deliver an even stronger agenda so that we may fulfill our mission to:
- Provide families support, information and training on the special education process, and laws that govern their child’s right to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment
- Network and share resources to better support our children’s needs,
- Work in partnership with the school district to create and improve positive outcomes for students with disabilities, and
- Promote education, communication and programs within our community
We encourage those of you who are not members to join, and those who are members to volunteer and become more involved! It’s free, and your input is essential for the SEPAC to advocate and educate on issues that matter most to you. If you have not done so already, please check out our website for a link to an online parent survey: www.miltonsepac.org. Please contact us with any questions/concerns at email@example.com (or by filling out a request form on our website under Contact Us).
The MFE Jeep raffle is back! Only 500 Tickets Will Be Sold. Tickets Are $100 Each. Every ticket gives you a chance to win a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sport or $20,000 in cash. Tickets Are available at each school or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be drawn June 27th at the “We Are Milton” event.
Would you send your quarterback into the game without his jersey? Would you want to see your point guard playing in her blue jeans? The Milton High School uniform brings our teams together and instills pride in all of us Wildcat fans.
There’s a MHS team playing without proper uniforms and we’re asking for your help to support this group of students who add a vital dimension to Wildcat pride.
The Wildcat Marching Band was revived in 2010 under the direction of our dedicated music teachers, Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good. Five years later, the MHS marching band is thriving. We think it’s time to make a modest investment in these student musicians. This would be the first time since the 1970s that we have seen uniforms on the MHS marching band.
So far, the band has performed in hand-me-down tracksuits. They are certainly not flashy but they served a purpose. To replace them, Milton Friends and Advocates for Music Education are asking for your support in a fundraising campaign to outfit the Wildcat Marching Band with a previously owned uniform set that will provide performers with pants, jacket, gloves, shako hats and a decorative plume.
A new uniform with accessories costs approximately $400 per uniform.
We think that we’ve found a smart alternative that will save approximately 75% percent, bringing the average cost per uniform to $100. These funds will have to be raised outside of the school budget.
Help us meet our goal of $10,000 with an individual or corporate contribution. New uniforms will put the Wildcat Marching Band on sartorial par with their peers and make them eligible for certain competitions and parade appearances. Their numbers have been growing and last year the Wildcat Marching Band competed in a regional MICCA competition where they received the highest rating in their division for musical performance.
Thank you for your support. Let’s keep MHS musicians marching forward!
NEWS AROUND TOWN
We Are Milton presents the 3rd Annual Music Fest & Fireworks. This two-day event will be held on Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th. The Music Fest will run on Saturday from 3pm to 10:30pm. Musical guests include Will Macmillan, The Neville Sisters, John Lucas, The Jenna Lotti Band, The Joel Hiller Band, Ward Eights, New York Police Pipes, the Eight Tracks, and Drums, Zip Zap and the Zops, & MAC Open Mic Review. Celtic Sunday will be from 1pm to 8pm and will feature Pauline Wells with DEVRI, Erin’s Melody, Gaelic Storm, Patsy Whelan & Paul Kenny and the Fenian Society of Boston. This weekend of music and fireworks will be held at Governor Hutchinson Field, Adams St. in Milton. There will be Kids Karaoke, Jackson Blue from Hot 96.9, Touch A Truck. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.wearemilton.org
MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
The following item was submitted by Sara Truog, the Milton Public Library’s Children’s Librarian:
Summer is here – and so are fun things for kids to do at the Milton Public Library! Don’t forget: registration for our annual Summer Reading Challenge is open now. To learn more, check out the Children’s page at www.miltonlibrary.org . In addition to our regular story times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of July 5 – 11:
Monday, July 6, 2015 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Ed the Wizard, All Ages
The Milton Public Library welcomes magician Ed the Wizard for his exciting program, Every Hero Has a Story! Learn about Ed’s Hero, Dumbledore, and how he provided the inspiration Ed needed to become Ed the Wizard. Starting at 4 Privet Drive, experience the power of inspiration, how to improve your own reading skills, and learn how to become your own Super Hero as we visit classes from Divination through Potions. All ages welcome. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Fun en Français, Gr. 1
Get ready to enter the French language program in the Milton Public Schools! Led by beloved Tucker first-grade teacher Mr. Alex Leite, this program is for children entering first grade in fall 2015 who will be in the French program. Mr. Leite will introduce students to foundational French vocabulary such as greetings, personal expressions, counting, colors, and the alphabet through fun activities like songs and games. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Crafternoon for Tweens, Ages 10-13
Kids aged 10-13 are invited to join Miss Sara (Children’s Librarian) and Lilly (Teen Librarian) for crafting fun. Each week we’ll be making something different, using such materials as recycled materials, hardware, jewelry and more! Registration is required.
Thursday, July 9, 2015 from 2:30-4:00 pm
Readers’ Theatre Club, Grades 2-4
Readers’ Theatre is a type of drama performed by “readers” who read from a script and do not have to memorize lines. Performed with minimal costumes, sets and props, readers’ theatre can be not only a great introduction to theatre for kids, but it’s also a great way to practice one’s oral reading skills, build confidence, and have fun with friends at the same time! This summer, Miss Sara is leading a Readers’ Theatre Club for students entering grades 2-4. Each week participants will play theatre games, tackle different scripts based on well-known children’s books, and make crafts to supplement the stories we’re telling together. The Club will meet six times over the course of the summer, and each meeting will culminate with a performance for family and friends. Students must be fluent readers who have completed first grade. Registration is required.
Friday, July 10, 2015 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
Yoga Woga, Ages 3-5
Yoga Woga is back. Children ages 3-5 are invited to come to this fun time learning yoga with Jill Pokaski Azar, certified yoga instructor. Registration is required (separate sign up for each session). Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Friday, July 10, 2015 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Lego Club, Ages 6-12
Come build with the library’s Lego collection! Each month we’ll build on a different theme. At the end of the hour, your creations will go on display for all library visitors to enjoy. Ages 6-12 welcome. Registration is required.
Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.
To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:
The Milton Art Center is now registering children, teens and adults for summer session art classes. Some children’s classes begin on June 29th and courses run throughout the summer. Please click here for course descriptions and dates: http://www.miltonartcenter.org/
Congratulations to the following athletes, who were recently named to the Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic team: Colette O’Leary (girls track), Kingston Iwuala (boys track), the Boys 4×100-meter relay team of Koby Osazea, David Perkins, Ludwig Frederique and Derek Perkins; Colin Rooney (baseball) and Jason Turner (baseball)
* * *
Please note the following timeline for registration for fall sports at Milton High School:
July 21 – August 26, 2015 – FamilyID Fall Sports Registration
- Fall Sports Sign-ups at FAMILY ID.COM – if you are a returning MHS student-athlete from 2014-2015, you can sign into Family ID with your username and password. If you are new to Milton HS or did not play a sport at Milton HS in 2014-15, you must create a new FAMILY ID account.
- Milton HS Athletics https://www.familyid.com
- You must complete the online NFHS Concussion Course and print the certificate (both student-athlete and parent/guardian) www.nfhslearn.com
- You must have an updated physical exam (DATED WITHIN THE LAST 13 MONTHS)
- You must complete the online registration before you can come into MHS Athletic Department for your Fall Sports CLEARANCE CARD
- Call FAMILY ID directly at (888) 800-5583 with any Family ID registration questions
August 19-21, 2015 – OBTAIN YOUR MHS CLEARANCE CARD
- Time – TBD
- Bring in your UPDATED PHYSICAL EXAM and COPY of the NFHS Concussion Course Certificate (of both student-athlete and parent/guardian)
August 24, 2015
- Milton HS Football Practice Tryouts
- Time – TBD
August 27, 2015
- All other Milton HS Fall Sports Team practice tryouts: boys & girls soccer, field hockey, boys & girls cross country, volleyball, and golf
- Milton Public Schools UniBank LINK
- Be sure to choose the correct sport under ATHLETIC FEE – FALL 2015
Students: A group of Milton High School students left Milton on June 20th to volunteer for a service project in Warfield, Kentucky. These young people are part of a larger group of high school students from Milton and Quincy who are taking part in the Appalachia Service Project offered through St. Agatha’s Young Church Ministry. I would like to recognize Andrew Archieri, Shareen Alsebai, Julia Biagiotti, Natalie Carroll, Francesca Coyne, Madeline Crehan, Maeve Doyle, Timothy Looney, Erin McCarthy, Shannon Middleton, Lily Sbarra and Hailee Sullivan. These young people will be volunteering to perform home repairs and provide companionship to residents of central Appalachia.
Staff: I would like to thank the following staff who are retiring from the Milton Public Schools: Mary Ellen Burke, Collicot 1st Grade; Nathan Randall, MHS History; Elaine Lovett, MHS Family/Consumer Studies; Ludmila Nivoroshkin, PMS World Language; MaryLou Bradley, Tucker Nurse; Karen Clasby, District Special Ed Director; Jeanne Roulleau, PMS World Language; Pat Kurpeski, Collicot Kindergarten; Kathy Roche, PMS Special Education Teacher and Maureen McClain, Glover School. We are very grateful to these individuals for their commitment to the Milton Public Schools. I wish them well in their retirement.
Staff: I would also like to recognize Margaret Gibbons, our Milton High School nurse and the head nurse for the district. Ms. Gibbons also serves as president of the Milton Educator’s Association. The word “caring” characterizes Ms. Gibbons’ entire life. She cares for the medical needs of each of our Milton students. She also skillfully represents her membership, our teachers, administrators and staff. Ms. Gibbons started her career in Milton in September of 1984, starting out at the Cunningham Elementary School as a nurse. She has been a pleasure to work with since that time. Ms. Gibbons epitomizes the professionalism of the Milton Public Schools educational system and I am grateful for all she does.
The Milton Public School system is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the provision of quality educational programs for all students. The Milton Public School system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, age or sexual orientation.