February 14, 2019

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Over the last 3 weeks, the School Committee has held 4 Public Forums on Space and Enrollment with hundreds of Milton residents in attendance. Thank you to all who attended, asked questions and offered suggestions.  If you were unable to attend a forum, you can stay informed with the help of the links below:

The School committee has submitted a warrant article to the Special Town Meeting on February 25th asking for the formation of a School Building Committee. The School Committee intends to decide in the next few weeks on a course of action to address the long term needs of the system. Once this is done, the School Building Committee will contract with architects to begin the design and ultimate construction of the resulting project. We will plan additional community outreach and keep you updated on our progress.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Debate Team advisors Kacy Kalell, Kathleen Kelley, and Dana DePaul share that on Saturday, February 9, the MHS Debate Team competed at the NCFL Qualifier at Shrewsbury High School. Led by Matt Sullivan and Fritz Lalley, who finished the preliminary rounds with a record of 3-1 and made it to the run-off rounds, the team performed well.  Matt and Fritz finished 9th overall, just one place short of being an alternate team for the National Tournament. Congratulations on a strong showing!

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If you missed our talented MHS students at their recent cabaret, you can watch these impressive performers here!

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Last week the MHS  Asian Culture Club visited the Child Study class to share about the  Lunar New Year. MHS student Onn Ye Young shares the following. Lunar New Year is a holiday whose date changes every year, as it is determined by the moon. In many countries that celebrate Lunar New Year,
people celebrate with lucky red envelopes, elaborate lion dances, and seasonal dishes. This year, the Child Studies students were taught about the significance of Lunar New Year. We handed out lucky red envelopes, the children watched videos, colored  pages depicting this year’s animal, the pig, and wore the lion head and romped around the room. The Lunar Calendar goes through twelve cycles annually, each representing a different animal. You can read more at
Lunar New Year: Rituals and Legends.

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Milton High School is pleased to offer preparatory classes for the May 2019 SAT to students who are looking to improve their scores.  Students can sign up for Reading, Writing, & Language Prep, Math Prep, or both classes. All sessions will be held at Milton High School and are designed to prepare students for the May 4th SAT Exam. All details can be found here.

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Milton Junior Woman’s Club scholarship applications are now available. The club invites Milton residents graduating from high school this year to apply for scholarships to further their education. The scholarships will be awarded to qualified applicants who plan to enter schools or colleges in 2019. The scholarships are not limited to four-year accredited programs.

PIERCE UPDATES

Mr. McElhinney’s 8th grade Orion students celebrated Dr Martin Luther King’s birthday by decorating the school with their own dreams for the world, the nation and their local communities, as well as with their personal dreams. Their inspiring work can be seen throughout the halls of Pierce all month!

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The Pierce Wrestling Team wrapped up their inaugural season with a great scrimmage and lots of smiles! Thank you to all of the parents who supported the Play FORE Pierce Golf Tournament last year in support of Middle School sports. Our wrestlers are grateful!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

As part of Black History Month, Glover 5th graders studied two important leaders – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Nelson Mandela.  Students read French comics written about each figure and then watched documentary videos explaining their lives and numerous accomplishments.  Students were then given the task of comparing the two using a Venn diagram. The finished work can be found in the fifth grade hallway at Glover all month.

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Ms. Fitzgerald’s Cunningham 3rd graders enjoyed a special visit from a generous parent,  who shared traditions and customs around the Lunar New Year. Students made their own Chinese Lanterns, received “lucky” red envelopes and played their own festival music with Chinese instruments as they took turns dancing inside of the handmade dragon costume! Celebrating the Year of the Pig was an exciting way to end the week at Cunningham!

In honor of Black History Month, Cunningham 5th graders have been sharing the accomplishments of prominent black Americans during morning announcements. Today’s announcers shared information about the first African–American Congresswoman, Shirley Anita Chisholm.  5th graders  are also celebrating Black History Month by researching black activists and making posters about their lives. Students wrote summary biographies, researched quotes from their activists, made up movie titles for their activists’ lives (along with three scenes from that movie), thought about life lessons they learned from their activists, and came up with five words to describe each activist. They are writing their activists’ words on sentence strips to hang throughout the building.

Mrs O’Leary’s 1st grade Cunningham students enjoyed enthusiastically reciting I too sing America by Langston Hughes this week. You can see their efforts here.

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To celebrate Tết (the Vietnamese New Year) and the Lunar New Year Mme Brown’s Glover 1st graders learned how to say the Mandarin New Year greeting “XinNian KuaiLe” , made and decorated red envelopes that had lucky money inside, practiced writing chinese characters  and wrote their wish for their community, their family and themselves on a red dragon. Some of the wishes expressed were for good health, prosperity, and happiness as well as a wish that every child in the world could go to school.

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Did you know we have passed the 100th day of school? Our kindergarteners and 1st graders certainly do! The 100th day is a big milestone in our youngest grades and students celebrate by sharing collections of 100, playing math games around the number 100, singing songs and reading books about the 100th day of school and more. Glover students used the 100th day celebration for a fun movement break! You can see some of the 100 days adventures below! 

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We are proud to announce that the 3rd Annual BoomWriter Bee will kick off on Monday, February 25!  All students in grades 4 and 5 across the district will participate in this collaborative and engaging online writing contest. This year the BoomWriter featured author is Nick Bruel, author of the Bad Kitty series.  Children will begin by reading chapter 1 of a story written by Bruel, then write the chapters that follow. A voting process will anonymously select a winning chapter each week. At the end of the project, we will have a published book written by the pens (actually keyboards) of many of our students. All students along the way will have the opportunity to provide feedback and determine the direction of the story, thus making it a truly collaborative writing process. Stay tuned for updates as our 4th and 5th graders write their new book!

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Collicot hosted Science Fairs for students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 and Grades 3-5 on January 31st and February 7th. The cafeteria was filled with thoughtful projects in the areas of physical, life, and Earth Science both nights. There were also a record number of STEM projects represented this year! A new format was used this year and instead of awarding winners, each student received personalized feedback on their project from members of the Milton High School Science Club or alums returning to Collicot from Pierce or Milton High School. All participants received a bracelet to congratulate them for their participation. Thank you to all students and families for their participation and a big thank you to all of our volunteers from Pierce and Milton High School!

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Our next PARENT Speaker Series event is titled: Romaine Calm: Tips to Feed Your Family for Health. Registered dietician, Tara McCarthy’s talk will give parents the tools they need to give their child the nutrition they need to grow and thrive. Please join us on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30pm at MHS for this valuable discussion! 

Due to the snow earlier this week, we have rescheduled Catherine Steiner-Adair for April 11th. Please save the date!

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Just as it is important to assess the academic skills of our students, it is just as important to collect information directly from students concerning their social and emotional competencies.  One important source of this data is from student surveys. We have several surveys that are being planned in the coming weeks for Milton middle and high school students and you can read more about the following validated questionnaires promoted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education below. Thank you to MPS SEL Coordinator Laurie Stillman and head Nurse Margaret Gibbons for sharing this information.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) focuses on prevention, early detection, risk assessment, brief counseling and referral for assessment that can be utilized in the school setting. The use of this mandated and validated screening tool enables school health teams to detect risk for substance use related problems and brief intervention strategies will help to address these concerns at an early stage in adolescents. The results do not appear in student records. Nurse Leader Margaret Gibbons, who oversees SBIRT in Milton, recently sent out a letter to parents with more information. You can  find out more about the law and the process here.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the Youth Health Survey (YHS) are valuable and anonymous student surveys offered by many schools across the Commonwealth. The YRBS is administered in Milton High School and the YHS is administered at Pierce Middle School. The last time these surveys were administered were in 2015.  These surveys ask students similar questions regarding their behaviors, attitudes and emotions at home, in school and in the community. Questions about feelings of safety, behavioral health, and engagement in risky behaviors such as substance abuse are asked in this online survey. Individual responses cannot be tracked; rather a statistician compiles them for an overall picture of the school so that we can better address the social and emotional needs of our students overall.  

Since the last surveys, the Milton School District and the Town of Milton, have adopted a number of new social and emotional programs and interventions to support our youth, tailored to the results of, and needs presented in, these surveys.  We are hopeful that we may see improved results this time around.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

 

Ditch the minivan and take a chance on a Jeep! The MFE is selling raffle tickets (only 500 of them!) for a chance to win a Jeep (or $25,000 if you still need the minivan). Contact Liddie Sutter via email, reach out to any MFE board member or stop into any of our 6 schools during the school day to purchase a raffle ticket.

Save the date for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books”  on April 6th at Lombardos. The MFE has exciting plans for our libraries as we bring our libraries into the 21st century!

 M-PACE

Milton Partnership for Arts and Cultural Enrichment (M-PACE) is a program that brings art, music and drama opportunities to our MPS students at a level they might not otherwise experience. You will receive a communication from M-PACE in your excise tax bill this month. If you would like to donate, please check off the donation box at the bottom of your Excise Tax Bill. Add your donation amount to your payment. You can also mail a check in support of our students to: M-PACE, Milton Town Hall, Attn: Treasurer’s Office, 525 Canton Ave, Milton MA. Thank you for considering a donation so that we can continue to provide these enhancements for our Milton Public Schools students!  

MPS GIVES BACK

Milton Daffodil Days are almost here!  Help support the American Cancer Society in saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer through Daffodil Days. Make a donation from now until February 18th to receive fresh-cut or potted daffodils in March to brighten your day or that of others through flower delivery to cancer patients at a local cancer center, hospital, or American Cancer Society Boston Hope Lodge® community.  Place your order by clicking “register” and be sure to select your school at checkout. Pick up will be at the school you have selected. Contact Kate Lockhart for more information.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

We know that when students start the day with a nutritious breakfast, they start the day ready to learn. Some students skip breakfast at home because they are not hungry when they first wake up and any many families find it difficult for their children to get up, dressed, fed, and off to school in time. When parents rely on the School Breakfast Program, they can be assured that their child will receive a healthy breakfast every day.

The Milton Public School offers breakfast at every school, every day, for twenty minutes before school begins.  There is no need to sign up for breakfast and we have breakfast supervisors in our cafeterias each day with our students.  School breakfast is an excellent opportunity to ensure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal at the start of each day at a reasonable price as we offer a complete breakfast for $1.25. There is no charge for students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

Breakfast at MPS consists of a variety of whole grain items, egg sandwiches and grab and go items for students who may want to eat their meal a little later in the morning. Each meal includes fresh fruit, 100% juice and white milk.  All students are welcome to attend Monday through Friday and we also offer breakfast on half days.

Studies have shown that children who eat a nutritious breakfast have better behavior, better attendance, and improved grades. We are here to help you and our students and we hope that you will try school breakfast soon!  You can learn more about the benefits of school breakfast here. Please contact Director of Food Services, Jackie  Morgan, via email or phone at 617-898-1051 with any questions. 

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.  Registration is OPEN until Friday, February 22nd! There is still time to join the fun!

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting
Feb 27 School Committee Meeting at Tucker 
Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair , Pierce Science Fair, Cunningham Science Fair
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair  
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night

ART AND MUSIC

Many of our talented high school students performed at the MHS Cabaret last week. Thank you to Milton FAME for sharing these pictures with us. Be sure to follow FAME on Facebook to keep up with music news.

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

ATHLETICS

Wrestling Wins the Division II Metro Sectional Championship!

The Milton High School Wrestling Team won the 2019 Division II Metro Sectional Championship as Coach Ted Carroll wins Division II Metro Coach of the Year! Eleven Wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament at Beverly High School on Friday (2/15) and Saturday (2/16). Congratulations to Coach Carroll, Coach Smith, the Wrestling Team and Good Luck this Weekend!

Boys Basketball have clinched the tournament with a few wins on the trot! After beating Weymouth last Friday, they beat Canton on Sunday and took the season series with Walpole on Wednesday night. They are now 11-7 and will play in the Quincy Tournament next week before entering tournament play.

Support our Wildcats over the vacation! We have runners in the DIII Championships, All-States, Wrestlers in the State Finals, Hockey and Basketball Teams in tournaments. They may have no school but our student-athletes are still working hard!

For updates, scores, highlights and information, make sure to check us out on Twitter. 
Don’t forget to spend some time over the break registering for Spring Sports. The deadline to register is March 8th!  If you don’t get your registration in on time, you’ll have to sit out the first day of practice. Don’t let that happen to your athlete!

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Forbes House Museum 2019 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest is open for students in grades K-8. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 12 and the awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 19 at the museum. All details on this year’s drawing and writing topics can be found here. 

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Thayer Academy’s Parent Association is hosting a screening of the documentary Angst on Thursday, February 26 at 7:00 pm in the Center for the Arts.  Angst explores what causes anxiety, its effects, and what we can do about it. The film is appropriate for parents as well as children ages 11 years and older.  Following the screening, there will be a Q&A session with Thayer’s counselors, Jessica Matzkin and Jarvis Wyche. This is a complimentary opportunity that Thayer has invited the MPS community to attend.

Brookwood Community Farm is offering 3 different cooking classes for tweens (8-13)  over the February break.  Check out the different options available next week here.

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Milton Town Clerk Susan M. Galvin  announces that Nomination Papers for both Town Wide and/or Town Meeting Members will be available beginning January 22, 2019 in the Office of the Town Clerk. All nomination papers are due on March 12, 2019. Ms. Galvin would like to encourage all residents to consider running for office. “Citizen participation in Town government is essential to providing the residents of Milton with clear access to our Town government.”

The annual Town Election will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. To be placed upon the ballot, Town Wide candidates must obtain a minimum of 50 legible signatures from registered voters. Town Meeting Member candidates must obtain a minimum of 10 legible signatures from the precinct in which they reside. All details can be found on the Town of Milton website.

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

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The Year of the Pig begins in February, and the Forbes House Museum is celebrating with a series of fun and educational programs based on New Year’s traditions and animal symbolism in the Chinese culture. To register for any of their programs and to find out more, please  visit our website or call 617-696-1815. The museum is located at 215 Adams Street in Milton.

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The Milton Historical Society is hosting author Stephanie Schorow who will be discussing her book “Inside the Combat Zone: The Stripped Down Story of Boston’s Most Notorious Neighborhood” on Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7 pm., in the Keys Room at the Milton Public Library.

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The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! For over 30 years, the Milton Young Musicians Festival has encouraged young people with an interest in music and fostered their developing performance skills.  All participants receive feedback from trained adjudicators, and a medal at the end of the day. Recipients of the Gold Medal are invited to perform in a concert the next weekend. The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.

AMBASSADORS

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

Student: Congratulations to Tucker 4th grader Kwaku Jean Charles Asareo who emerged as the winner of the 6th Annual Tucker Spelling Bee this week. After almost 2 hours of Spelling Bee intensity, Kwaku came out on the top of a very talented field! Thank you to Rachel Spitz and Nora Sweeney who coached this group of superstar spellers.

Coach Smith is excited for Coach Carroll!

Staff: Congratulations to Coach Ted Carroll who is the MIAA D2 Metro Coach of the Year! This is a well deserved honor for our wrestling coach and we are thrilled to share this recognition with the MPS community.  

Volunteers: Three years ago, Heidi Schleicher, parent of a 6th grade student at the time, met with the Pierce PTO Leadership to propose the Pierce PTO Ski Club. Three years later, this labor of love has become an extremely popular after school opportunity for Pierce students. Mrs. Schleicher has dedicated hours to planning and leading this wonderful opportunity for our students. It is likely that few fully understand how many hours she has volunteered to make ski club a reality for our students.  Thank you to Mrs. Schleicher for giving Pierce students this incredible opportunity! Thank you also to the many parents who chaperoned, some attending several trips: Robin Gaynor, Heather Resnick, Kaitlyn Wood, Melanie Ramadan, Peter Hunt, Matt Mahoney, Erin Hellmuth, Trish Heelen, and Jamie Panucci. You can see some of the Pierce ski club at the top of today’s blog. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Cat DesRoche, Kacy Kalell, Kathleen Kelley, Dana DePaul, Sarah Slater, Kathy Mulligan, Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Sara MacNeil, Larry Jordan, Lauren Fitzgerald, Jake Smith,  FAME, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Onn Ye Young, Joyce White, Karen McDavitt, Bernadette Butler, Rina Chen, Tracy d’Entremont, Kerry O’Leary, Marie Laure Brown, Ellen Lohan, Holly Concannon, Laurie Stillman, Karen Spaulding, Nancy Warn, and Noel Vigue.

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

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 14, 2019

February 7th, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 7, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

These are busy days in the Milton Public Schools and I want to call your attention to some important events and student accomplishments that are featured in more detail in the blog post below.

Parent Speaker Series 
Our next speaker is Tuesday, February 12th at 6:30pm at Milton High School. Internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair will be speaking about The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age. This is valuable information for parents of children of all ages and as always, the PARENT Speaker Series is free and open to the public.

Black History Month and Lunar New Year 
As you will see below, our schools celebrated the Lunar New Year this week and will be recognizing Black History Month throughout February. As Principal Jette recently wrote,” Black History is celebrated throughout the month of February in communities throughout the United States, however Black History is not an isolated history , or something that can be studied over the course of only 28 days.  Contributions of African American men and women are an important thread in all American history. African Americans play an integral role in the study of our political, economic, religious, technological and artistic history, and it would be impossible to squeeze all those contributions into one month of study so we do so over the course of the year, as historical and cultural context frame the story”. In February we may have a sharper focus on Black History and will share some of  these classroom activities and events throughout the month.

School Committee Public Forums on Space 
Please consider joining the School Committee at one of three upcoming Public Forums on February 11th at 1:30pm or 7pm or on February 13th at 7:30pm. Details are below under School Committee.

Milton Foundation for Education Celebration!
Save the date for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books”  on April 6th at Lombardos. The MFE has exciting plans for our libraries as we bring our libraries into the 21st century!

Milton Partnership for Arts and Cultural Enrichment
M-PACE is a program that brings art, music and drama opportunities to our MPS students at a level they might not otherwise experience. You will receive a communication from M-PACE in your excise tax bill this month. If you would like to donate, please check off the donation box at the bottom of your Excise Tax Bill. Add your donation amount to your payment. You can also mail a check in support of our students to: M-PACE, Milton Town Hall, Attn: Treasurer’s Office, 525 Canton Ave, Milton MA. Thank you for considering a donation so that we can continue to provide these enhancements for our Milton Public Schools students! 

Scholastic Art Competition and Southeastern School Bandmasters Association
The fine arts offer a multifaceted education known to link problem-solving and creative expression with teamwork and self-confidence. As our community increases in diversity, so do the arts benefit from this richness that each culture contributes, and which can be a vehicle to greater understanding and connectedness. While the Milton Public Schools offer arts programming that begin in the elementary years and continue throughout middle and high school, the Department of Fine and Applied Arts strives to provide further opportunities to ensure positive and meaningful experiences for students, engaging them in the greater artistic community.  I am delighted to highlight two recent accomplishments of Milton’s young artists and their teachers. Please see the Arts and Music section for information on our talented musicians and visual artists who have won recent honors.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

On January 23rd, the School Committee welcomed almost 60 citizens to the Public Forum on Space held in the Cunningham/Collicot Library. A Public Forum allows the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. Dozens of citizens spoke, expressing concerns, offering ideas and engaging in dialogue with the School Committee.  The School Committee has scheduled 2 additional Public Forums on February 11th and will be attending the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting on February 13th. All Milton residents are welcome and encouraged to attend any meeting that is convenient.

Please join the School Committee on Monday, February 11th at either of these locations and times:

  • At 1:30pm at Fuller Village
  • At 7pm at the Milton High School Auditorium

Or on Wednesday, February 13th:

  • At 7:30pm at the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting at Cunningham Hall.

How can you stay informed on this issue?

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

“Technology has changed the basic construct of our relationships. It has triangulated our connections with each other, becoming the ubiquitous third party in our conversations, sometimes connecting us, but often interrupting us and ultimately disconnecting us.” Catherine Steiner-Adair in The Big Disconnect.

On Tuesday, February 12th, MPS will be hosting internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair at 6:30 PM in the MHS auditorium.  The title of the event is The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

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

In her public appearances, Dr. Steiner- Adair often covers topics such as:

  • developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life
  • insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes
  • how to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults
  • skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships

We hope to see everyone on February 12th! As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The Young Men and Women’s Group welcomed speakers to MHS last week. Both speakers were dynamic and engaging!

Boston Police Commissioner Gross encouraged the boys to hold themselves to a higher standard, work hard, and always give back to their communities.  He encouraged the YMG to empower themselves through education. He also discussed his background and how he was able to overcome the challenges of growing up with a single mom in an area of the city that had its share of challenges and how he often engaged in difficult conversations with his childhood friends due to his desire to become an officer.  His story resonated with our young men and I’m sure encouraged them to continue working hard towards their goals.

Emmy-Award winning News Anchor Latoyia Edwards lit up the room with her energy, compassion, and obvious love of speaking to young people. She shared her stories of success, and some of the challenges she has faced as a black woman in an industry where there are not many that represent her culture or heritage.  She talked about the challenges of being a mother and wife, and how she has to balance this with her professional career. Mrs. Edwards encouraged the YWG to do all they can to prepare themselves for their professional careers and to start creating their experiences now. She even offered to host YWG on a field trip to tour the NBC/NECN studios!    

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Milton High School is pleased to offer preparatory classes for the May 2019 SAT to students who are looking to improve their scores.  Students can sign up for Reading, Writing, & Language Prep, Math Prep, or both classes. All sessions will be held at Milton High School and are designed to prepare students for the May 4th SAT Exam. All details can be found here

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Milton Junior Woman’s Club scholarship applications are now available. The club invites Milton residents graduating from high school this year to apply for scholarships to further their education. The scholarships will be awarded to qualified applicants who plan to enter schools or colleges in 2019. The scholarships are not limited to four-year accredited programs. 

PIERCE UPDATES

Pierce Middle School is planning for the implementation of 1:1 Chromebooks for the 2019-20 academic school year.  Earlier this year the Milton Public Schools submitted a request to the Town of Milton to purchase nine hundred Chromebooks through capital funds for next year.  I have asked Director of Instructional Technology AJ Melanson to share the details here.

After researching districts who have implemented 1:1 initiatives at the middle school level,  Pierce has decided to change the approach for the distribution of Chromebooks if this initiative is funded.  Initially, the Chromebooks were going to be stored in core classrooms. Pierce believed this would help extend the life of the Chromebooks. Districts who implemented this approach quickly changed.  These districts reported students did not feel ownership of the Chromebooks and continuously damaged them. As a result, these districts assigned students their own Chromebook for their middle school years.  This change significantly decreased the amount of Chromebook damage. Student’s now have ownership of their devices and take appropriate care of them. Pierce will follow this lead and assign Chromebooks to students to take home throughout the school year.  At the end of each year the students will return their Chromebook to Pierce for summer storage and then have their device returned the following school year.

These additional Chromebooks will allow teachers to use technology any time a Chromebook is the best tool to help advance student achievement.  Currently, teachers compete with one another to use one of the twelve Chromebook carts available. Technology is scheduled and cannot be used on the spot when creative thoughts or ideas develop or when a professional resource is needed for a more profound understanding of a topic.  The new Chromebooks will allow teachers to improve student achievement through personalized learning, which leads towards closing achievement gaps, empowers students with student-centered learning, allows the opportunity to reinforce positive digital citizenship traits/actions, and starts to prepare students to be college & career ready.  The devices will also improve the teacher’s instructional practices allowing them to truly personalize learning, create interdisciplinary units, embed STEM into units, utilize Project Based Learning, empower students by providing multiple platforms for their voice to be heard, and most importantly provide teachers with instant access to data through formative assessments.  This data enlightens teachers with the current level of achievement of students and highlights specific areas that need to be reinforced while providing the opportunity for accelerated students to achieve at higher levels.

This exciting initiative, if funded, will help close achievement gaps, foster a higher level of thinking, empower students, and improve the overall achievement of Pierce Middle School students.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Happy Lunar New Year from Miss Smith’s Cunningham kindergarteners. This week the class welcomed Cunningham parent Baoying Qui who shared some Lunar New Year traditions and taught a Tai-Chi lesson to the class. The video of the Tai-Chi lesson can be found here.  Thank you Ms. Qui  for spending time with our kindergarteners this week.

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Art teacher Jess Gillooly shares that students in the Tucker art room have been studying African American artists such as Faith Ringgold, Kehinde Wiley, and Amy Sherald for inspiration on their self portraits. Also this week, 1st graders created pig portraits in celebration of the Chinese New Year. You can see some of their impressive work below!

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Students at Collicot enjoyed their Lunar New Year celebration with arts and crafts and a yoga session lead by professional yoga instructor. Students learned about family and community traditions around lunar celebrations and received a lucky red envelope and a clementine to bring them health and good fortune for this coming year. During the yoga session below, they learned poses that represent the 12 zodiac animals signs.

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Mrs. McCarthy’s Glover 1st graders listened to the book Henry’s Freedom Box in library with our elementary librarian, Mr. Coben. A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom, Henry’s Freedom Box is just one of the many books read during Black History Month to engage students in thought provoking discussions and activities.

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Cunningham families enjoyed a terrific Diversity Family Fun Night this week as families gathered to share a dish, a game and items representing  their family’s culture with the Cunningham community. Cunningham teachers who are a part of the Diversity Committee led cultural games and activities for the children, while the parents who are members of the Diversity Committee led low pressure and fun cultural awareness activities for the adults. 

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In preparation for the upcoming Reach for Reading Unit on Justice, Glover grade 5 students visited the Massachusetts State House this week. During their visit, they toured the site, spending some extra time in the new Senate Chambers, and had a question and answer session with Senator Walter Timilty.  This was a great way to extend the learning from the classroom and build background knowledge for students in preparation for their upcoming reading unit. Thank you to Senator Timilty for helping to engage our students in the workings of state government! 

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Happy New Year from our friends at Collicot!  

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Pierce teacher Mr. Forge is thrilled with his recent MFE grant “Real life connections to coding using Makey Makey”. He shares what the project has meant to his students here.

Students have been enthusiastic in their efforts of finding creative ways of integrating the Makey Makey circuit boards with their knowledge of coding and software applications. This video shows the construction of an interactive steering wheel that is connected to the computer via a Makey Makey device. With this device the users are able to navigate through Google Maps Street View seamlessly, simulating the driving of a vehicle with the capability of moving forward, turning left or turning right.

In the photos above is a giant controller created by students to connect to a Scratch Coding Project via a Makey Makey board. Earlier in the year students worked on their coding skills using Scratch. With the Makey Makey boards they now have the opportunity to remix their coding for the newly connected controller. Thank you to the MFE for generously funding this exciting project for our Pierce students! 

The MFE can only continue to provide these enriching opportunities for our students with your help. Please consider attending the MFE Celebration, “Beyond the Books!” on April 6th. Tickets will be available soon! 

MPS GIVES BACK

Milton Daffodil Days are almost here!  Help support the American Cancer Society in saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer through Daffodil Days. Make a donation from now until February 18th to receive fresh-cut or potted daffodils in March to brighten your day or that of others through flower delivery to cancer patients at a local cancer center, hospital, or American Cancer Society Boston Hope Lodge® community.  Place your order by clicking “register” and be sure to select your school at checkout. Pick up will be at the school you have selected. Contact Kate Lockhart for more information. 

HEALTH NEWS  

In recent years, studies have shown an upward trend in youth anxiety and depression.  In response to this trend, state education departments and school districts have put an emphasis on Social Emotional Learning (SEL).  The Milton Public Schools is no exception. I have asked Director of Health and Phys Ed, Noel Vigue to share the following about some of our efforts.

MPS has been implementing the well respected Second Step curriculum at our elementary schools, teaching students the skills they need to communicate, manage emotions, and advocate for themselves or others if they need help.  At Pierce, we look to address SEL by examining healthy relationships in health classes and digital citizenship as part of the technology curriculum. We had Jon Mattleman address, students, staff and parents (all separately) last year as part of the “Minding Your Mind” program to help recognize mental health sign and symptoms. At MHS, students have a mental health unit, as well as a conflict resolution unit, students work with an advisor twice a week, and there is the “Take 5 Room” with adjustment counselors present for students who may need extra support.

MPS can’t do this alone, our partners are our families, and we need to work together for the overall well being of students.  We’ve offered several events as part of our PARENT Speaker Series to address youth health concerns including: relationships;  drug/alcohol prevention; addiction and the teen brain; reducing anxiety in children; protecting boys’ emotions; addressing academic pressure;  digital safety and SEL in the home. On January 7th, we presented “Race to Nowhere”. In the film, a parent of an 8th grader who had committed suicide, shares that none of the signs or symptoms were present with her 13 year old.  We all need to be vigilant. This is a powerful article on suicide that I hope you will take a few moments to read. 

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.  There are 2 new classes below that you won’t want to miss!  

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Feb 7  Collicot K-2 Science Fair
Feb 7  MHS Winter Cabaret
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ Fuller Village Re: Space /Enrollment 1:30 pm
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ MHS Re: Space and Enrollment 7pm
Feb 12  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Feb 13  Pierce Global Celebration
Feb 13  School Committee at EMNA Meeting at Cunningham Hall
Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting
Feb 27 School Committee Meeting
Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair , Pierce Science Fair, Cunningham Science Fair
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night

The full 2018-19 calendar can be found here.  The recently approved 2019-2020 School Calendar can be found here. 

ART AND MUSIC

The Scholastic Art Competition is an annual event sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic talent and present their works to the world. It is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12.

For decades, Milton schools have participated in the program to provide students opportunities for exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Regional recognitions advance to the national stage where medalists and their educators are set to be celebrated at a National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

This year, Milton High School entered over 100 submissions to the Scholastic Art Competition.  Of these entries, 19 students received 39 recognitions, earning Gold Keys, Silver Keys, and/or Honorable Mentions for their artwork.  Among the winners are MHS Seniors who competed with Senior Portfolios, requiring them to include a series of eight works as well as other, individual entries.

All Gold Key winners will participate in a featured exhibit held at the Transportation Building before advancing to be considered for National recognition. 

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Last weekend, 67 Milton High and Pierce Middle School musicians travelled to Abington High School to audition for the junior and senior music festivals hosted by Southeastern School Bandmasters Association (SEMSBA).  

SEMSBA is a music educators’ organization that endeavors to raise the standard of, and to promote greater community interest in school music.  The organization was established in 1950 by local music educators; former Director of Music in Milton, Mr. Francis Tatro, was a founding member.

Each year, SEMSBA sponsors two festivals for which Milton students may audition, a junior festival for students in grades 7-9, and a senior festival for students in grades 9-12.  The audition process requires students to prepare a prescribed piece on their instrument/voicing as well a series of scales. Those who are selected for the festival prepare a program in advance, and meet at the festival to rehearse and perform in the festival concert.

Please join me in congratulating these  students who will represent Milton at the 2019 SEMSBA Junior and Senior Festivals. 

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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!

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start planning Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2019!  Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan will be Co-Directors this year and are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE.  All the details of our fun summer ahead can be found here!

ATHLETICS

Please join us in recognizing our January Athletes of the Month!

Ryan McGroarty, Senior, Wrestling

Ryan has been a 4-year starter on the wrestling team. He has been the most improved wrestler this year and one of the big reasons for this year’s team success 12-5 team record and his overall record is 11-3. He is always helping the new wrestlers, communicating with the coaches and has overall been a pleasure to coach.

Mark Guerra, Senior, Ice Hockey

The Boys Hockey Team has found it difficult this season, in an extremely tough Bay State Conference, as well as coming up against some of the best teams in the State. They have turned the corner as of late with a few great wins, and Mark Guerra has been the foundation for that turnaround.  Guerra’s record in January was 2 wins, 4 losses, and 3 ties, while facing 338 shots (saved 308 of those shots) with a save percentage of .911%. He had 7 games where he faced 30 shots or more. He had 3 games where he faced 40 shots or more. He had one game where he faced 64 shots (saved 59 of them).

We are just over a month from the start of Spring Sports! Registration opens Friday, February 8th.  More information can be found here.

Thank you to Roy Chambers for many of these terrific photos of our athletes and to Heidi Graf for the great picture of the MHS Ski Team.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Town Clerk Susan M. Galvin  announces that Nomination Papers for both Town Wide and/or Town Meeting Members will be available beginning January 22, 2019 in the Office of the Town Clerk. All nomination papers are due on March 12, 2019. Ms. Galvin would like to encourage all residents to consider running for office. “Citizen participation in Town government is essential to providing the residents of Milton with clear access to our Town government.”

The annual Town Election will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. To be placed upon the ballot, Town Wide candidates must obtain a minimum of 50 legible signatures from registered voters. Town Meeting Member candidates must obtain a minimum of 10 legible signatures from the precinct in which they reside. All details can be found on the Town of Milton website.

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

The Year of the Pig begins in February, and the Forbes House Museum is celebrating with a series of fun and educational programs based on New Year’s traditions and animal symbolism in the Chinese culture. To register for any of our programs and to find out more, please  visit our website or call 617-696-1815. The museum is located at 215 Adams Street in Milton.

The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! For over 30 years, the Milton Young Musicians Festival has encouraged young people with an interest in music and fostered their developing performance skills.  All participants receive feedback from trained adjudicators, and a medal at the end of the day. Recipients of the Gold Medal are invited to perform in a concert the next weekend. The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton.  The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.  

AMBASSADORS

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

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

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Cat DesRoche,  Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Karen McDavitt, Larry Jordan, Mary-Bianca Mattocks, Sara Smith, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Greg Forge, Ben Kelly,Paul Ajemian, James Jette, Bernadette Butler, Holly Concannon, Jess Gillooly and Laurie Stillman. 

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

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 7th, 2019

January 31, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 31, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Last week the School Committee welcomed almost 60 citizens to the Public Forum on Space held in the Cunningham/Collicot Library. A Public Forum allows the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. Dozens of citizens spoke, expressing concerns, offering ideas and engaging in dialogue with the School Committee.  The School Committee has scheduled 2 additional Public Forums on February 11th and will be attending the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting on February 13th. All Milton residents are welcome and encouraged to attend any meeting that is convenient.

Please join the School Committee for a Public Forum on Space and Enrollment in the Milton Public Schools on Monday, February 11th at either of these locations and times:

  • At 1:30pm at Fuller Village
  • At 7pm at the Milton High School Auditorium

Or on Wednesday, February 13th:

  • At 7:30pm at the East Milton Neighborhood Association meeting at Cunningham Hall.

How can you stay informed on this issue?

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

I am pleased to share this photo  of our students in our MHS Achieve Program with the work they did for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Students created posters to represent their favorite picture and quote to help them remember the positive impact Dr. King made. 

 

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Advisors Larry Jordan and Mary Bianca Mattocks accompanied  students from The Young Men’s and Women’s Groups on a field trip to the Boston Public Library this week. Students visited the American Student Assistance program at the Teen Center and received valuable training and information on securing college aide. Both the FASFA process and possible scholarships for college were discussed and explored. MHS guidance continues to support all MHS families with seminars and counseling throughout the college process. 

PIERCE UPDATES

Last week was the 13th Annual Pierce Geography Bee. The action on the stage kept the audience on the edge of their seats, as they waited for the champion to emerge. Teams cheered their representatives on and celebrated the expertise of so many of the contestants as the crowd enjoyed a great show of the geographic knowledge of their peers. 15 contestants participated in the schoolwide competition with a full auditorium to witness their expertise. Geography Bee legend Ms. Connell asked question after question until 6th grader Will Malec triumphed as the 2019 Geography Bee winner and 7th grader Moses Mann emerged as the runner up. Will takes the National Geographic Test to determine if he qualifies for the Massachusetts State Geography Bee later this Spring. Good luck, Will!  

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For the second year in a row, the Pierce staff bested the Pierce student basketball team at their annual basketball game. Congratulations to the staff and to the students who played a hard fought game. Most importantly, great fun was had by all! 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Best of luck to our Future Problem Solving Teams which will participate in the Annual Qualifying Future Problem Solving Bowl on Saturday, February 2 at Canton High School. Elementary FPS coach Justine Novak shares that each team of four students will compete and be given a futuristic scenario on Food Waste and Loss, a topic that students have been researching and discussing. Each team will brainstorm problems and solutions based on this topic, and produce a final solution stated in an action plan format.  They will have two hours in which to complete this booklet. The goals of the FPS program are to help students develop skills in divergent, flexible and innovative ways through written and oral expression. We look forward to hearing about the great experience our students have at the bowl this weekend! Not pictured is the Pierce FPS Team: From Grade 6:Victoria Lundeen, Luke Grant, Ida Zoll and from Grade 7:Tucker Korman, Ella Cantor, Jasmine Bethea, Frank Hawker,  Taylor Xu and Mudia Odion-Ukpebor.

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Marley the therapy dog visited Cunningham last week to explore ways in which she might benefit students on a regular basis. There are many ways a therapy dog provides support in a school. In the future, Cunningham  is looking forward to integrating Marley as a reading buddy to individual students and small groups, as motivational support during academic tasks, or as part of a calming strategy for students when they may need a break from classroom demands. From our visit with Marley we gathered that she is an excellent listener, has a big, warm smile, loves a soft pet and will give kisses in return. Some of Cunningham’s 5th Grade Student Council and 3rd graders  were able to meet Marley and students have given her rave reviews and hope to visit with her again soon! Thank you to Meena McWeeney and her certified DOG B.O.N.E.S. therapy dog, Marley for the visit. We look forward to seeing you both again soon!  

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Pizza, anyone? Cunningham 3rd graders are enjoying “Ms. Fitzgerald’s Pizzeria” this week as they learn about fractions in math while creating and interpreting data about their favorite types of pizza. They will all be craving pizza after their Reach for Reading  persuasive writing lesson and presentation about why their favorite type of pizza is the best type of pizza!

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This week, Tucker families engaged in a collaborative conversation about how to support students in math. While this started as a way of supporting family members volunteering in our Morning Math League, we find it also applies to helping students in their math  at home. Tucker parent and math coach, Stacey Solomon, offered a session for families who volunteer in the Morning Math League at Tucker. At the session, families engaged with a complicated math problem (similar to those found in Continental Math League) and reflected on their own approach as well as how one might support a student grappling with the problem. Through conversation, participants acknowledge the nuances of the language in math as well as the need for a back and forth interaction with complicated math problems. Ms. Solomon shared strategies that pushed all to think about how important it is for students to focus on the process of approaching and persevering through complicated problems rather than the answer to the problem.  Using visual models, re-reading, trying multiple approaches, and confirming things that students are thinking throughout the process all get at the goal of having flexible thinkers and problem solvers in all areas of learning. Thank you to Ms. Solomon and all who participated in this Morning Math session for families! 

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Mrs. Spitz’s Collicot 4th graders had a recent powerful math lesson on partial products with Math Coach Ms. Middleton and Mrs. Spitz. Students used place value concepts to multiply the numbers, making it a strategy that actually enhances number sense. This method was a follow up to the area model/box strategy that students are familiar with. Giving students multiple strategies to solve complex math problems allows them to be flexible thinkers and use the approach that best suits their learning style. 

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Glover kindergarten students have been working hard during their STEM lessons, supported by our technology specialist Jennifer Van Hill, to code the Dash and Dot Robots. Students were engaged and motivated to move their robots using iPads to numbers called out by the teacher.  You can see Dash in action here. It was a great way to incorporate technology with number recognition, a fundamental mathematics skill. Next week, the teachers will replace the numbers with sight words to continue the fun (and learning)!  

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Professor Margie Skeer speaks tonight at BID-Milton

Tonight, we invite Milton parents to join the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition to learn helpful tips about speaking to our children when they are faced with risky choices.

Professor Margie Skeer, whose passion and profession focuses on productive parent interactions with youth, will give us ideas and suggestions we all can use. You are not alone if you think that you could be doing a better job speaking with your kids, or worry that they’re not listening. Everyone can benefit from good advice from experts who study best practices.  This meeting is not just for parents who are struggling with their children. It’s meant for all those who are currently parenting—or will be parenting—teens. All community members are invited to this meeting. Please join other parents from Milton.  It’s free and will definitely be informative! Join us TONIGHT, Thursday January 31st at 7pm at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton. Refreshments will be served.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

“Technology has changed the basic construct of our relationships. It has triangulated our connections with each other, becoming the ubiquitous third party in our conversations, sometimes connecting us, but often interrupting us and ultimately disconnecting us.” Catherine Steiner-Adair in The Big Disconnect

On February 12th, MPS will be hosting internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair at 6:30 PM in the MHS auditorium.  The title of the event is The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

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

In her public appearances, Dr. Steiner- Adair often covers topics such as:

  • developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life
  • insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes
  • how to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults
  • skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships

We hope to see everyone on February 12th! As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Feb 5  Grade 5 Growth & Development
Feb 6  Early Release (Grs K-12) PD Day
Feb 6  Milton School Committee Meeting
Feb 7  Collicot K-2 Science Fair
Feb 7  MHS Winter Cabaret
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ Fuller Village Re: Space/ Enrollment 1:30 pm
Feb 11 School Committee Public Forum @ MHS Re: Space and Enrollment 7pm
Feb 12  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Feb 13  Pierce Global Celebration
Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting
Feb 27 School Committee Meeting
Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair , Pierce Science Fair
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night

The full 2018-19 calendar can be found here.  The recently approved 2019-2020 School Calendar can be found here. 

ART AND MUSIC

Congratulations to Coleman and Esme!

The Music Department is proud to announce that two students will represent Milton High School at this year’s All State Festival and Conference.  Congratulations to Esme Link (French Horn) and Coleman Rose (Tenor Saxophone) who have earned a place in the All State Honor Ensemble! These students will spend three days in rehearsal at the Boston World Trade Center in preparation for a performance at Boston’s Symphony Hall.  Esme and Coleman are both members of the junior class and participate in MHS Concert Band, Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble. Well done to these outstanding student musicians!

In addition, six Pierce students will join these Milton representatives at the festival as members of the All State Treble Chorus.  This ensemble is comprised of students in grades 4, 5 and 6, selected by audition from schools across the State . Congratulations to this year’s participants:  Lillian Heaton, Christopher Mancini, Madison Mercier, Mairead Brien, Ava Butler, Rebecca Raider. 

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start planning Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2019!  Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan will be Co-Directors this year, as Bernadette Butler has stepped down from her role with MSE after 3 years of outstanding work.  We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE and invite you to read our Opening Letter here. All the details of our fun summer ahead can be found here!

ATHLETICS

Last week we shared that MHS is becoming a Unified Sports School. You can read all about Unified Sports here and get more information on our Unified Track and Field Team that starts at the end of March. 

The MHS Boys Hockey Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats can/bottle drive on Saturday, February 2nd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Milton High School.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Town Clerk Susan M. Galvin  announces that Nomination Papers for both Town Wide and/or Town Meeting Members will be available beginning January 22, 2019 in the Office of the Town Clerk. All nomination papers are due on March 12, 2019. Ms. Galvin would like to encourage all residents to consider running for office. “Citizen participation in Town government is essential to providing the residents of Milton with clear access to our Town government.”

The annual Town Election will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. To be placed upon the ballot, Town Wide candidates must obtain a minimum of 50 legible signatures from registered voters. Town Meeting Member candidates must obtain a minimum of 10 legible signatures from the precinct in which they reside. All details can be found on the Town of Milton website.

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

The Year of the Pig begins in February, and the Forbes House Museum is celebrating with a series of fun and educational programs based on New Year’s traditions and animal symbolism in the Chinese culture. On Monday, February 18, from 10-11:30 am, representatives from the Greater Boston Chinese Cultural Association will visit the museum to help lead games, stories and arts & crafts projects for children in grades K-3 with a Lunar New Year theme. On Wednesday, February 20, from 10-11:30 am, children in grades 3-5 can learn how the Chinese convey meaning through nature imagery – including animals, bugs and flowers – and spend some time with artist Tsun Ming Chmielinski learning the art of Chinese calligraphy. Finally, on Friday, February 22, from 11-12:30 pm, bring your favorite stuffed animal friend for a special tea and scavenger hunt through the museum. To register for any of these programs and to find out more, please  visit our website or call 617-696-1815. The museum is located at 215 Adams Street in Milton.

Milton community grant applications are now available through the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The deadline for applications is Feb 15, 2019.

Summer on your brain? We are happy to welcome EMPOW Camps back to Milton this summer. All details can be found here. Early bird discount ends today!

Save the date for the 42nd Annual Milton Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for high school students living in Milton. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit entities that help Milton residents.

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

Milton Girls Softball is a recreational softball league open to girls in K-8th grade who reside in or attend school in Milton. New softball players at all ages are welcome as this is an instructional program, yet competitive enough for everyone. The season runs from mid-­‐April until mid-­‐June.

The league offers five divisions:Kindergarten Instructional Program ($80 per player); Grades 1 and 2 ($85 per player); Grades 3 and 4 ($150 per player);Grades 5 and 6 ($150 per player);Grades 7 and 8 ($150 per player). We are offering FREE pre-season softball skills clinics to all registered girls in Grade 1 through Grade 8. Clinics will be held indoors at Dirt Dawgs in Stoughton on Sunday’s starting late January until end of March. Clinics are free ($100 value), but space is limited so signup to reserve your spot! www.miltonsoftball.com

AMBASSADORS

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

Students: Milton 4th grade Girl Scout Troop #69225 recently completed a service project. The girls saw a need and they  collected children’s books and refilled and organized the little library stands around town this past week. The Girl Scouts  also tried to repair the library stand at Andrews Field to help keep the rain out of it. Troop # 69225 is made up of students from all 4 elementary schools. We are proud of these students and Girl Scouts for helping their community. Happy reading!

Students: I am happy to share some thoughts from a note we received from Kevin J Cook – US Navy (Ret.), Director of Veterans Services for Randolph & Milton. Mr. Cook shares that he delivered cards made by our Tucker students to his fellow Veterans at the Massachusetts State House during a meeting with legislators and the Governor Baker about the needs of our Veterans. Mr. Cook placed the cards on the chairs that the Veterans would sit on. When Governor Baker got up to speak, he had one of the cards in his hand and highlighted it in his remarks and let everyone know that the cards were made by our very own Tucker students. Governor Baker told Mr. Cook that he appreciated the card and would keep it in his office for everyone to see. Mr. Cook writes that “I was so proud of our students and glad I was able to share these great cards with my fellow Veterans and the Governor. He has been personally involved in supporting Veterans and their families. Your students should be proud of their work and please let them know that by their efforts, they made many Veterans feel appreciated.” Thank you to our Tucker students and volunteers who made the cards and to Mr. Cook for all he does for our Veterans. 

Staff:  I am pleased to announce that MHS Band Directors Mr. Gary Good and Mrs. Rebecca Damiani will be recognized at the upcoming Massachusetts Music Educators Association – All State Festival & Conference, where each will receive the MMEA Lowell Mason Award.  This recognition is named on behalf of Lowell Mason, a Massachusetts born musician who over the course of his career became an important figure in the advancement of music education. Recipients of this prestigious award are chosen for their contribution and leadership in music education.  Congratulations to Mr. Good and Mrs. Damiani on this highly distinguished recognition!

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, Charlene Rocher, Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Sara MacNeil, Larry Jordan, Lauren Fitzgerald, Jake Smith, Justine Novak, Nicole Lauria, Liz Spitz, Jaclyn Germano, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Laurie Stillman Karen Spaulding, Nancy Warn, Mark Harrison and Noel Vigue.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 31, 2019

January 24, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 24, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I am pleased to share some exciting news with you. Milton High School is proud to announce that they will become a Unified Champion School this Spring. I have asked Athletic Director Ryan Madden to share the details here.

The Milton High School Athletic Program, governed by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) in partnership with Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA), is focused on the inclusion of all students. This program is a comprehensive model of our Unified Schools’ strategy that combines Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement to create the greatest impact. These activities aim to help reduce bullying and exclusion, promote healthy activity and interactions, combat stereotypes and stigma, eliminate hurtful language in our school and engage people in social activities that lead to personal growth.

Milton High School looks to take the first step by creating a Unified Track and Field Team starting March 25, 2019! This Track and Field program is open to all students with and without intellectual disabilities to participate alongside one another. There are over 73 schools participating in the state of Massachusetts. Students are not paired, like in Best Buddies, but rather teammates that mentor and coach each other as they train and compete together.

Students in grades 9 thru post-graduate year may participate. The track program will run from late March to early May and will include the following events: shot put, javelin, long jump, 100 meter run, 400 meter run, 800 meter run, 4×1 relay. Each schools team must consist of equal number of students with and without disabilities who will serve as partners for the events. Beginning March 25th , practices will be held Mondays and Tuesdays from 2:30 to 3:30pm at Milton High School. Students will also compete in four meets that will generally be held on Thursdays. Two of those meets will be at home and two away. This will be followed by a district qualifier and then a State Championship for those individuals who qualify. Competition is based on students of similar athletic ability in heats/flights. All students’ performances count and potentially contribute to the team’s success, not just the fastest runners and longest throwers. 

If your child might be interested, we encourage getting a new physical as soon as possible. For more information, please visit the Unified Sports website.  An application of interest can be found here. We will also be looking for fans in the stands during our meets so stay tuned for updates!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Last night the School Committee welcomed almost 60 citizens to the Public Forum on Space held in the Cunningham/Collicot Library. A Public Forum allows the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. Dozens of citizens spoke, expressing concerns, offering ideas and engaging in dialogue with the School Committee. You can watch the meeting On Demand at Milton Access TV 1-2 days after each meeting. I also suggest watching the School Committee meeting from January 16th which contains the most recent space presentation from DRA.  You can view a PDF of the presentation here. There will be more Public Forums in the coming months as the School Committee works to identify short term (3 year) and long term (5 year) solutions to our space and enrollment issue. We will announce the dates of these meetings next week. 

How can you stay informed?

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN

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

The information session will take place in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd.  Please email Laurie Dunn with questions about kindergarten.

Preschool: Preschool pre-registration is underway. The deadline for pre-registering is TODAY, Thursday January 24th. Families who are presently residing in Milton with children age three on or before August 31, 2019 for the half day programs and children who will be four years of age on or before August 31, 2019 for half and full day programs are invited to complete the pre-registration. Please review the program overview, MPS program fact sheet and important preschool dates.  If demand exceeds availability, a lottery will be held on January 25th. Any family who has completed the pre-registration by Thursday, January 24th will be included in the lottery. Families pre-registering after January 24th will be awarded a seat based on availability or added to a waitlist. If you have any questions please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna or call 617 980 7343. For preschool special education and evaluation questions please email Jayme Szymczak.

You can see what our happy preschoolers are up to this year in this short video.

PIERCE UPDATES

Congratulations to the almost 120 Pierce students who wowed the community with their recent performances of High School Musical, Jr! Through 3 sold out shows, students acted, danced and sang their way into the audience’s hearts. The sets were impressive, the lighting and sound perfect and the crew deserves a huge round of applause.

Pierce Players would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of drama teacher and director Bill Deschenes and a host of other adults who support our Pierce Players. Bravo to all!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

On Friday, January 18th, the Tucker Community gathered in the morning to start a school-wide day of service.  Organized by the PTO, each grade level had a service project for a different organization or group of people. Throughout the day on Friday, grade levels were visited by the various groups and context was given to the projects that were being completed.  Preschool classes made cards for the Milton Fire and Police Departments and these were given to Officer Maria Poles and Fireman Malik Gibbons. Kindergarten classes were visited by Officer Nancy to presented her with tied fleece blankets and toys for the Animal Shelter.  1st graders made cards for patients at Milton Hospital and Director of Volunteer Services, Janet Evans came to collect the cards and meet the students. Our 2nd graders made cards for active service members while 4th graders wrote letters to Veterans in the community.  3rd graders made bagged lunches for clients at Father Bill’s whose mission is to support families and individuals struggling with homelessness. Julia Palmerino from Dana Farber came to speak with 5th graders about her work with the Philanthropy Office and cancer research. Following her presentation and a Q&A  session, students assembled chemotherapy bags to be available for patients receiving treatment. The bags held blankets, hats, socks, colored pencils, puzzles, coloring books, journals, pens, and water bottles. Students were encouraged to connect the work done on Friday to the works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to be community helpers in whatever ways they can going forward.  Throughout the day, students and staff could be seen working together to complete these projects with energy and enthusiasm. A big thank you to PTO leaders Meena Tondravi, Lacy Stoneburner and Stacey Solomon for their organization and commitment to this important Tucker event!

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Ms. Windwer’s Cunningham 3rd graders enjoyed playing math games this week while learning more about area and perimeter.  Working in small groups, students measured and calculated their findings, writing explanations of why they were measuring area or perimeter while showing the correct formulas they used.

***

To begin their Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration projects, 5th graders in Ms. Craven and Mrs. Bodkin’s classes read  about other influential people who were critical components of the civil rights movement. They talked about Ruby Bridges, Barbara Johns, Rosa Parks, and The Little Rock Nine and how their actions helped create a much larger movement led by MLK, Jr. This led them into a conversation about fixed vs. growth mindset. The people they read about stood up for something  they believed in and because of that, change happened. Students then created a mural which depicts other famous people throughout history whose successes came from having a growth mindset. This lesson was an excellent segue as 5th grade begins unit 4 of Reach for Reading which will focus on the essential question – “What is Justice?”

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As part of the new FOSS curriculum, Collicot kindergartners started an investigation into the unit titled Animals Two by Two. In this science unit, students will explore red worms and nightcrawlers. Let the investigation begin! 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

On January 31, at 7pm at BID Milton in the  Nangeroni Conference Room, Professor Margie Skeer will speak on the topic of  “Underage Drinking Prevention: Practical Parenting Facts and Tips for ‘The Talk’ and So Much More”. Learn why talking to your kids works, get specific tips on how to talk to your kids and observe practice role-playing. The MSAPC invites all Milton community members to attend this important, free talk and the MSAPC meeting that will follow.

HEALTH NEWS – VAPING

As we continue to share resources on vaping, our goal is prevent young people from starting to vape. While we would  like to prevent all youth from using in the first place, Director of Health and Phys. Ed Noel Vigue shares this tool from the Truth initiative that could be a great resource to help users quit.

If you need help quitting, text Quit to 202-804-9884 and begin to get support from the Truth Initiative. This 5 minute video introducing the program on NBC Today is worth watching to understand how this free service works.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

For over 20 years the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been funding initiatives that have positively altered the educational landscape of our community. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we ask ourselves: Where will it take the children of Milton? With your continued help, the possibilities are endless.

Middle Schoolers like to hop, too! Thank you to the MFE for the new Hippity Hops at Pierce.

Ask Kindergarteners what they want to be when they grow up, and the responses are adorably familiar. Ask students on the cusp of graduation that same question, and the answers get more complex. The career opportunities of the future are changing rapidly. What exciting possibilities await!

We owe it to them to keep pace: to offer opportunities which inspire curiosities and engage minds; to help our children prepare for whatever tomorrow brings; to support Milton’s incredible teachers as they suggest meaningful, forward-thinking programs and initiatives. The MFE supports all 6 of our schools with teacher grants, major initiatives, support of science in all schools and more. I hope you will  consider  a gift to the MFE today.  

The MFE has distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. Please consider a tax-deductible gift. Every dollar changes lives!

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

BUS UPDATES

With the hard work of our MPS custodians and support of all staff, as well as the cooperation and flexibility of families, we successfully navigated the winter weather early this week. Bus delays proved to be challenging for some routes while more manageable for others. Our new Remind text program got its first real workout and while it was not perfect, it did prove effective and helpful for many families. I encourage every parent whose child takes the bus to sign up for Remind. The directions can be found here.  

Remind has notified us that due to an unresolved dispute with Verizon, beginning January 28, 2019 Remind subscribers who have Verizon Wireless as their phone carrier, who normally get our Remind messages as texts, will no longer receive these messages. If you do not have Verizon wireless, your Remind updates will continue unchanged.

What can you do as a Verizon customer to continue to receive important MPS Bus updates?

To continue receiving our messages, please download the mobile app or enable email notifications—both of which are free of charge. Please read more about the Remind text program and how to sign up here. 

Please also review our Winter Weather/Snow Day communication. There are details about a 2 hour delay and how that would impact your child’s day if MPS had a delay, as well as information about the process used to open, cancel or delay school. Inclement weather is a part of life in the northeast and the better we manage these challenges as partners, the more successful our winter will be.  

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Our next PARENT Speaker is Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D, on February 12th at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium.  Dr. Steiner-Adair will speak on The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

Come hear Dr. Steiner-Adair speak about how to maintain important relationships as a family, in our ever-increasing digital world.  Dr. Steiner-Adair address topics such as:

  • Developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life.
  • Insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes.
  • How to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults.
  • Skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships.

As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 25  Pierce Movie Night
Feb 6  Early Release (Grs K-12) PD Day
Feb 6  Milton School Committee Meeting
Feb 7  MHS Winter Cabaret
Feb 12  PARENT Speaker Series: Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Feb 13  Pierce Global Celebration
Feb 18–22  February Recess
Feb 25  Special Town Meeting

The full calendar can be found here.  

ART AND MUSIC

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Glover art teacher Mr. Reynolds grew this piece of art during each art class last week and all 610 Glover students contributed as it came together. Principal McDavitt shares that it is breathtaking to see in person. 

MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT

Believe it or not, it is time to start planning Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2019!  Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan will be Co-Directors this year, as Bernadette Butler has stepped down from her role with MSE after 3 years of outstanding work.  We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE and invite you to read our welcome letter here. Please be on the lookout for more communications in the upcoming months, but if you have questions in the meantime, please contact Ms. DesRoche and Ms. Lohan via email.

ATHLETICS

The MHS Boys Hockey Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats can/bottle drive on Saturday, February 2nd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Milton High School.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Girls Softball is a recreational softball league open to girls in K-8th grade who reside in or attend school in Milton. New softball players at all ages are welcome as this is an instructional program, yet competitive enough for everyone. The season runs from mid-­‐April until mid-­‐June.
The league offers five divisions:Kindergarten Instructional Program ($80 per player); Grades 1 and 2 ($85 per player); Grades 3 and 4 ($150 per player);Grades 5 and 6 ($150 per player);Grades 7 and 8 ($150 per player)    

We are offering FREE pre-season softball skills clinics to all registered girls in Grade 1 through Grade 8. Clinics will be held indoors at Dirt Dawgs in Stoughton on Sunday’s starting late January until end of March. Clinics are free ($100 value), but space is limited so signup to reserve your spot! www.miltonsoftball.com

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

Milton community grant applications are now available through the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The deadline for applications is Feb 15, 2019.

Summer on your brain? We are happy to welcome EMPOW Camps back to Milton this summer. All details can be found here.

A reader shared this video with me, a presentation by David O’Leary, Chair of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Board.

Save the date for the 42nd Annual Milton Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for high school students living in Milton. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit entities that help Milton residents.

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

AMBASSADORS

Volunteer: Mary Claire Cantor is a Collicot parent who is instrumental in making the Collicot science fair a great success. Mrs. Cantor volunteered her time over two days to visit each Collicot classroom to demonstrate the components of a great science fair project! Mrs. Cantor talked to students about testable questions and variables. In each classroom she posed the question: What will happen if you put a can of soda in a fish tank filled with water? In this experiment she used diet soda and regular soda as her variables. Students were engaged by the demonstration and left excited to try their own projects. The Collicot community is very grateful for Mrs. Cantor’s dedication to the science fair!  

Staff: I want to take this space to recognize Mary Schofield, a long time educator in the Milton Public Schools who passed away this week. Many of us had the privilege of knowing and learning from “Miss Schofield.”  

Mary Schofield earned her amazing reputation when she was the Principal of the Glover Elementary School. She was known as a kind and compassionate person who treated everyone fairly and with respect and showed great consideration to her co-workers. Mary went on to serve as MPS Assistant Superintendent and served the district in many capacities after her retirement. Our elementary schools give a Mary B. Schofield Award to 5th graders each year, presented to two students who exemplify her character by consistently showing consideration for others and a caring spirit. Mary Schofield was a mentor to me and many others. She dedicated her life to the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools. 

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:  Ellen Lohan, Kristen Giffune, Cat DesRoche, Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Sara MacNeil, Karen Spaulding, Taylor Windwer, Rachel Schewe and Noel Vigue.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 24, 2019

January 17, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 17, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Once again on Monday, January 21st, members of the Milton community will join to celebrate the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader who fought daily to bring equality to all Americans. It is fitting that this annual event is sponsored by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association (MICA) because Dr. King would have appreciated the effort to bring all members of the community together. I have asked Barbara Wright, Head of the MHS Humanities Department, to share some history below.

The members of MICA invite every citizen to join in their annual celebration, and the Milton Public Schools is proud to be part of the celebration. Our elementary students, as well as our high school choir, sing each year and artwork from students from kindergarten through twelfth grade is displayed throughout the Concord Baptist Church.  

In a most generous gesture, MICA also recognizes and sponsors four Milton High School students to represent Milton at the YWCA’s Youth Initiative Leadership Program (known as INIT), a school-year program where students meet on weekends and work with students throughout the greater Boston area and the INIT staff to plan and implement a service project for the students at Milton High School.  In the past our students have celebrated diversity, hosted difficult conversations on race and religious inequality, and invited the entire community to come together to talk about ways our town could welcome all its members. Without the generosity of those who attend the Dr. King celebration this amazing opportunity would not be available for our students. The current INIT team – those students who won the art/essay contest last year and are currently working on their service project – are juniors Maggie Haley, Catherine Le and Alisa Lorden and senior Damauri Fox Portis.  Their project will be presented in the spring. This year’s winners, who were chosen as part of an art and writing contest, are sophomores Anna Fahy, Connor Foley, Grace Kelly and freshman Caroline Gannon.

Caroline, Grace, Anna and Conor

This year’s theme is  – Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, a sentiment Dr. King expressed the day after Bloody Sunday.  In 1965, when the Civil Rights movement was becoming more prevalent in southern cities, Dr. King and about 600 citizens (including current Georgia Congressman John Lewis who was only 25 at the time) planned a march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital in Montgomery more than 50 miles away. On the first day of the march they were attacked by Selma police and Alabama state troopers who told them they were not allowed to protest on the streets of Alabama.  Film crews videotaped the violent confrontation and within hours people from all over the United States watched. The marchers walked for their right to have a voice through voting, but their voices became more pronounced after public outcry, and within a few days there were marches in more than 30 cities throughout the United States.

In many ways those protesters – who refused to remain silent – stirred a nation into action.  It’s important to understand that in a democratic society the voices of the people are the most important, whether they gather to implement change or to celebrate.  On Monday MICA and the Milton community will use their voices to celebrate. The celebration is held at the Concord Baptist Church at 180 Blue Hill Ave, and will run from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  All are invited to attend.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

In an ongoing effort to identify potential short and long term solutions on our space and enrollment issue, the School Committee hosted an extended Citizens Speak at their meeting on January 16th. DRA also presented additional information, including cost estimates on various options, to the committee. The presentation was informative and interactive as School Committee members discussed possible solutions. I urge all Milton residents to take the time to watch the recorded version of the meeting, which is available on Milton Access TV, as are all School Committee meetings. 

On Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm, there will be an Open Forum on Space and all are invited to attend and participate. The January 23rd School Committee meeting will be held in the Cunningham School Library. Please note that unlike Citizens Speak, the Open Forum will allow the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. All are invited to attend and participate.

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN

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

The information session will take place in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd.  Please email Laurie Dunn with questions about kindergarten.

Preschool: Preschool pre-registration is underway. Families who are presently residing in Milton with children age three on or before August 31, 2019 for the half day programs and children who will be four years of age on or before August 31, 2019 for half and full day programs are invited to complete the pre-registration. Please review the program overview, MPS program fact sheet and important preschool dates.  If demand exceeds availability, a lottery will be held on January 25th. Any family who has completed the pre-registration by Thursday, January 24th will be included in the lottery. Families pre-registering after January 24th will be awarded a seat based on availability or added to a waitlist.

If you have any questions please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna or call 617 980 7343. For preschool special education and evaluation questions please email Jayme Szymczak.

You can see what our happy preschoolers are up to this year in this short video. 

PIERCE UPDATES

Each year the Milton Foundation for Education supports teachers’ creativity by offering teacher mini-grants. MFE Teacher Mini-Grants provide valuable funding so that teachers can enhance their work in the classroom. Inspired by a recent workshop, Pierce physical education teachers, Mr. O’Leary and Ms. Queally, submitted an MFE grant to purchase “Hippity Hops” for the PE classes. It has been found that hippity hops can greatly enhance fitness as they require little skill, support many components of fitness, and are just plain fun! A special thank you to the Milton Foundation for Education for supporting our teachers’ creativity.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Mrs. Chen’s Cunningham 5th graders know how to appreciate the small things. The best birthday gift? Kind words. For every student’s birthday, classmates write birthday compliments and share them with each other at the beginning of class. This well loved class tradition has helped to foster a kind and inclusive classroom.

                                  ***

Last Friday, Glover 3rd graders mixed it up at lunch in response to our Positive Behavior Incentives and Supports (PBIS) initiative, as well as our Social Emotional Curriculum.  During lunch, students were asked to move to another spot in the cafeteria, away from the typical friends they sit with, while music played. When the music stopped, students sat down.  This was repeated three times to ensure students were well mixed! Once their final spot was chosen, Principal McDavitt and Assistant Principal MacNeil facilitated the lunch, helping students to connect, ask each other questions, and find similarities.  The multiple opportunities to switch seats and make new friends created fun for all!

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Collicot 5th graders are wrapping up a fabric arts project in the art room by making their very own sock monkeys.  Thanks to generous funding by the Collicot PTO, students learned and applied the basic steps to hand sewing by threading a needle, tying a knot, using the whipstitch and adding stuffing to make these adorable monkeys. 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Do you know what youth addiction looks like?  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Milton Public Schools along with the towns of Milton, Dedham, Quincy, Randolph, Braintree, Stoughton and Canton are bringing back Drug Story Theater for a community presentation of “The Price You Pay:  Second Chances” on Tuesday, January 22nd at 6:30pm at Milton High School. 

This is a riveting play by youth about their own seduction by, addiction to, and recovery from drugs and alcohol.  It will give the audience an inside look, as well as some vital information about why getting hooked at such a young age can be so concerning.  

Dr. Joseph Shrand, Child Psychiatrist, nationally recognized expert on adolescent addiction, and founder of Drug Story Theater, will also share his experience treating youth challenged by substance use.  This is also an opportunity for parents, caregivers, community leaders and other audience members to ask questions of Dr. Shrand and the cast: What are the signs my child may be using? What can prevent this?  What can I do if my child is using? What is spice?

Photo by Scott Eisen

This play was seen in October, 2018 by Milton High 9th and 10th graders, and you could hear a pin drop.  Principal James Jette said he was “thrilled with the performance and feedback from our students.” Our showing of “The Price You Pay: Second Chances”, is a unique collaboration between Milton and the surrounding towns.  This event is free and there is ample parking available.  

TEXTILE BINS

Did you know that the Milton Public Schools  earns funds for every pound of textiles that is donated in the Bay State Textile bin in the back of each of our schools? Since June of 2014, the six schools have collectively received almost $12,000 to support enrichment activities and supplies in each school. If you are cleaning out your closets and do not know what to do with your bags of tattered clothes and textiles, we encourage you to donate them in the bin at the back of each school.  We know many of you donate your gently used clothes to important causes such as Cradles to Crayons. But what do you do with those clothes that your children have “lived in” a bit too much? Please consider placing them in the textile bins. Many items that you can not easily dispose of can be placed in the textile bins – including stuffed animals!  It’s the environmentally responsible thing to do and also  earns valuable funds for each of our six schools!

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

For over 20 years the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been funding initiatives that have positively altered the educational landscape of our community. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we ask ourselves: Where will it take the children of Milton? With your continued help, the possibilities are endless.

Super Mario starts the Monster Dash!

Ask Kindergarteners what they want to be when they grow up, and the responses are adorably familiar. Ask students on the cusp of graduation that same question, and the answers get more complex. The career opportunities of the future are changing rapidly. What exciting possibilities await!

We owe it to them to keep pace: to offer opportunities which inspire curiosities and engage minds; to help our children prepare for whatever tomorrow brings; to support Milton’s incredible teachers as they suggest meaningful, forward-thinking programs and initiatives. The MFE supports all 6 of our schools with teacher grants, major initiatives, support of science in all schools and more. I hope you will  consider  a gift to the MFE today.

The MFE has distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. Please consider a tax-deductible gift. Every dollar changes lives!

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

New classes this year:

  • Phoenix Rising Body-Mind Yoga
  • Balancing Screen Time in Elementary School
  • Ukulele for the Complete Beginner
  • Guitar for the Busy Adult

WINTER WEATHER

Even though it has been mild to date, the winter season is upon us. Please review our Winter Weather/Snow Day communication. Inclement weather is a part of life in the northeast and the better we manage these challenges as partners, the more successful our winter will be.  

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Our next PARENT Speaker is Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D, on February 12th at 6:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium.  Dr. Steiner-Adair will speak on The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

Come hear Dr. Steiner-Adair speak about how to maintain important relationships as a family, in our ever-increasing digital world.  Dr. Steiner- Adair address topics such as:

  • Developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life.
  • Insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes.
  • How to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults.
  • Skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships.

As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Jan 17, 18,19  Pierce Players
Jan 21 MLK Jr. Holiday No School
Jan 22  Drug Story Theatre at MHS
Jan 23 Milton School Committee Meeting at Cunningham
Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 25  Pierce Movie Night
Feb 6  Early Release (Grs K-12) PD Day
Feb 6  Milton School Committee Meeting

The full calendar can be found here.  

MPS GIVES BACK

Hillary Wong, MPS Dietetic Intern, would like to extend her sincere gratitude to the MHS community for supporting the recent sock drive. Due to the generosity of the students, families and faculty, the Sock It To Me Sock Drive was a huge success. The outpouring of donations from Milton High School provided 505 pairs of socks to the homeless men and women at Father Bill’s & MainSpring Homeless Shelter in Brockton and Quincy.  By donating to Father Bill’s, you have enabled them to continue in their mission to support the basic needs of families and individuals, making a difference in their lives. Thank you again for your generous support! 

FOOD SERVICES

MPS Food Services would like all federal employees affected by the shutdown to know that anyone can apply for school lunch benefits at any time. Please reach out to Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org with any questions. Application and details can be found here. 

ART AND MUSIC

Junior District Audition results are in!  Congratulations to Pierce and Milton High School students who auditioned this past weekend and were selected to perform in the Eastern District Junior Festival. These students will participate in the two-day festival sponsored by the MMEA- Eastern District in early March.  Well done to all who participated!

On Wednesday this week, MHS Senior Julia Nerenberg performed a recital on lute, marking the completion of an independent study.  Over the past semester, Julia researched the history of the lute, taught herself to read French and Italian tablature, and acquired mastery on the instrument. Julia is co-concertmaster in the MHS Orchestra and has performed on lute with the Chamber Ensemble.  You can see her performance here.   

Finally, if you did not get a chance to catch the Winter Jazz Night concert this week, please enjoy these clips by the Pierce Middle School and Milton High Jazz Ensembles: Pierce MS Jazz Ensemble: Uptown Funk , MHS Jazz Ensemble: Stormy Weather, Winter Jazz Night Finale. Thank you to MPS parent John Gillooly for the images below.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

There are several MLK Day Service Projects taking place in Milton on January 21st. It would be wonderful to see many MPS families at these volunteer events.

For the indoor service project, you are invited to donate, assemble, and distribute Blessing Bags to homeless individuals. For time, location, and sign-up, Click Here.

For the outdoor service project, you are invited to help clean up litter from the trails of the Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. For time, location, and sign-up, Click Here.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton is an important healthcare resource in our community.  Every three years, BID-Milton gathers information from people living, working, and learning in Milton, Quincy and Randolph. The information collected helps to identify strategies and programs that will improve community health.  It is important for BID-Milton to gather feedback from as many people as possible to ensure findings reflect the community-at-large. Please take a moment to take the survey online  or email Laureane Marquez  for a paper version in Spanish, Chinese or Haitian Creole.  Responses are completely anonymous and will not impact your existing health services in any way.  The survey window closes on January 31.

***

On January 31, at 7pm at BID Milton in the  Nangeroni Conference Room, Professor Margie Skeer will speak on the topic of  “Underage Drinking Prevention: Practical Parenting Facts and Tips for ‘The Talk’ and So Much More”. Learn why talking to your kids works, get specific tips on how to talk to your kids and observe practice role-playing. The MSAPC invites all Milton community members to attend this important, free talk and the MSAPC meeting that will follow.

***

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

On  Saturday, February 2nd at 7pm Milton Community Concerts and First Parish of Milton are proud to present a rare viewing of the silent film classic, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” with live improvised organ accompaniment by virtuoso organist Peter Krasinski. This concert celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Wigglesworth Memorial Pipe Organ at First Parish. Tickets (at door only) are $25/$15 seniors/Free 18 and under.  

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter is bursting at the seams with many free activities for families to do together this season.

Milton Art Center winter/spring art class registrations are open now, sign up for creative classes in book making, weaving, sewing, storytelling yoga, clay, pastels, STEAM, sewing, watercolor, painting, quilting, photography, screen printing, creative writing and more!

Summer on your brain? We are happy to welcome EMPOW Camps back to Milton this summer. All details can be found here

A reader shared this video with me, a presentation by David O’Leary, Chair of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Board

ATHLETICS

On Friday, January 18th, the Boys Basketball Team takes on Walpole High School in what will be called the “Snowbowl”. Join us in recognizing Derrick Snowden, MHS Hall of Famer, for his 30th year of service to the Milton Public Schools.  He has been one of the biggest supporters for the Milton High School Football and Basketball Teams as the “man behind the mic”!  We will also be holding a sock drive during the game. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. For free admission, we ask that you donate at least one new pair of men’s or women’s socks (wool or cotton work best).  All donations will be sent to a local homeless shelter.

December Athletes of the Month

Grace Long, Freshman, Ice Hockey: The Girls Ice Hockey Team is off to a slow start in a rebuilding year with Grace Long as one of the brightest on the team. Grace has scored 6 Goals and 5 Assists for a total of 11 points. She has played a part in a 11 of the 14 goals. Grace is a skilled player that makes her teammates better around her. She is a team player and very coachable. She has a great attitude and a leader on the team as a Freshman. Grace has double the points of the second leading scorer on the team.

Austin Wright, Senior, Wrestling; Austin is one of the senior captains. He exemplifies what it takes to be a true leader and captain. He leads by example always one of the first to practice and last to leave. He teaches new wrestlers and encourages the veterans. He has a very solid 7-4 record wrestling in a very tough weight class 138lbs. His pin in the Weymouth match was one of the most dramatic of the season and which helped the Cats of Milton beat the Cats of Weymouth, 42-36.

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

AMBASSADORS

Student: Cunningham 2nd grader Sophia Casini, who has collected thousands of pairs of socks for homeless men and women through her annual December sock drive, was invited by Governor Baker to do the Pledge of Allegiance at his inauguration. Mrs. Casini shares that it was an amazing day for Sophia and her family and that Sophia plans to continue her annual sock drive for years to come.  You can watch Sophia lead the Pledge here. Congratulations to Sophia on a job well done!

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:  Jon Redden, Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Margaret Carels, Debbie Alsebai, Ada Rosmarin, Lacy Stoneburner, Tanya Walsh, Robin Lee, Karen Hughes, Barbara Wright, Ellen Lohan, Sara MacNeil  and Noel Vigue.

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

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 17, 2019

January 10th, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 10, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

On Wednesday January 2nd, the Milton School Committee welcomed Carl Franceschi and Paul Moore from Drummy Rosane Anderson (DRA) to present preliminary findings and potential solutions on our space and enrollment issue. The presentation was informative and interactive as School Committee members discussed possible solutions. I urge all Milton residents to take the time to watch the recorded version of the meeting, which is available on Milton Access TV. The powerpoint presentation can be found here.

At the Wednesday, January 16th School Committee Meeting, there will be an extended Citizens Speak on Space as well as a follow up presentation by DRA with more details and preliminary budget estimates associated with various proposals. This meeting is at 7pm and will be held at Milton High School.

On Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm, there will be an Open Forum on Space during the School Committee meeting. All are invited to attend and participate. The January 23rd School Committee meeting will be held in the Cunningham School Library. Please note that unlike Citizens Speak, the Open Forum will allow the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members.

I have asked current School Committee member Ada Rosmarin, who was involved in the Milton School Building project that began in 2001 to share some thoughts below. Ms. Rosmarin, who is the Chair of the Facilities Advisory Committee  can be reached via email at any time.

The Glover groundbreaking ceremony

Back in 2001, my family had a 2nd grader and 4th grader at the Glover School, and a 6th grader at Pierce.  Our kids were happy, but the Milton Schools were crowded and crumbling. Through some skilled advocacy by our legislators, Milton qualified for 90% reimbursement from the State School Building Authority, Milton voters (after 3 tries) said YES, and the school building project was in full swing.  The children and staff all wore hard hats for the many groundbreaking ceremonies across town, as school by school, we renovated and rebuilt our schools. We all withstood the multiple transitions to swing space, construction noise and dirt, because we knew that our schools were going to become brand new and wonderful.  One of the strings attached to the 90% state funding was that we could only build for the current enrollment at the time.

Fast forward to 2017, my kids have all graduated from MHS and college and are all off living their lives.  I wanted to make a contribution to the town that has done so much for our family, so I ran for and was elected as a School Committee member.  

During the years between the end of our last school building project (2008) and today, our town’s population has changed.  We built the schools and they came. Seniors began selling their homes and moving on. Despite the rising cost of housing, young families moved in, attracted by the town’s beauty, amenities, its proximity to Boston, and great schools.  

Our school enrollment has grown in the last 10 years to the point that we are now housing 5 elementary schools of children in 4 elementary buildings. The School Committee worked with NESDEC, the organization that studies enrollment trends and projections, to understand our situation.  We found that not only has enrollment grown dramatically, but that it is projected to continue to do so for the next ten years.  

This year, I became Chair of the Facilities Advisory Committee to the School Committee.  We hired the architectural firm DRA to study our elementary space needs. DRA designed our six school buildings for our last building project, and they know our physical plant and town well.  Their preliminary report was presented to the School Committee last week.

DRA has made a number of recommendations of short-term and long-term options for us to consider.  Over the coming months, we will explore these options, solicit input and feedback from throughout the community, and determine a plan to provide adequate facilities in which to educate our expanding student population.  Just as others did in the past, we will all need to tighten our belts a bit to invest in our town. I hope you will share your thoughts and ideas, your efforts and time, and your positive support to make these needed changes for the future of our schools and our town. I can be reached via email at anytime at arosmarin@miltonps.org.

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN

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

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

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

The past week the members of the MHS social skills group and advisor Robin Lee visited Father Bill’s  to deliver the handmade blankets they have been working on. Students also  toured the facility and visited with residents. The trip was a success with many warm blankets now in the hands of people who can use them. In addition our students have a greater understanding of the challenges the homeless population faces while seeing firsthand one of the supports available.  

***

Artwork by Conor Foley

Artwork by Anna Fahy

On Monday, January 21st we will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day. We greatly value the Milton Public School’s partnership with MICA (the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association) especially as it relates to their annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, January 21st.  The theme this year is: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.

L-R Caroline Gannon, Grace Kelly, Anna Fahy and  Connor Foley

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade participate in the celebration with essays, poems, art projects, musical selections and more. Please join me in congratulating our four outstanding MHS students whose work was chosen to represent MHS in honor of Dr. King. We are very proud of Caroline Gannon, Grace Kelly, Anna Fahy,  Connor Foley for their excellent submissions. Please click on any of the students names or pictures for a clearer look at their work. 

***

Curious as to who in the MHS Class of 2019 has the best smile or best laugh? Who’s the most talkative, best dressed or friendliest? All of your questions will be answered here, with the 2019 Senior Class Superlatives.  

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All are invited to join the Collicot and Cunningham PTOs on Friday morning, January 11th at 8:30am for a joint informational session on lice and how to prevent it in the Cunningham/Collicot cafetorium. Camille from Close Nit Family will speak about how to check and treat for head lice. How to “Know what you are looking for.” She will also have some preventive sprays, conditioners and combs for sale during the coffee hour. You  may also find the following Lice Videos informative as well as entertaining: Lice Video Part One and Lice Video Part Two.  All parents, from any school, are welcome to attend!

***

Last week, Tucker Elementary students celebrated the success of the fall PTO Calendar Fundraiser with Tucker’s first annual Movement Day. Students participated in fitness activities in the school gym including running a Ninja Warrior-inspired obstacle course, competing in scooter races and showing off their hula hooping and basketball skills. When asking a group of third graders what their favorite part was, each student had a different answer, but they all enthusiastically declared that Movement Day was “so much fun” and “the best!”. The PTO would like to say a BIG thank you to Coach Jones for organizing this fun filled event! 

***

Sara Truog, head of the Milton Public Library  Children’s Department, visited Collicot 5th graders in preparation for the annual science fair. Mrs. Truog began by sharing a personality quiz that would help students identify topics of interest for science fair projects. She also  introduced students to some of the many online resources available for free with a library card. Students explored ScienceFlix and World Book for Kids to find inspiration for science fair projects. Collicot will hold science fairs for students in grades 3-5 on January 31st and February 7th for students in k-2. 

***

Mikey and Chris Clough with Officer Tom Wilson at the Milton Police Department.

Cunningham 2nd graders are learning about the importance of helping others in their Reach for Reading Unit 4, Lend a Hand.  Their goal is to start off the new year by helping others. During the unit, students were asked, “What is something that YOU can do independently to help someone out in the community?”.  Students brainstormed various tasks that they could do to either help out or make someone smile and came up with ideas including giving cards and treats to our mailmen, making get well cards for sick relatives, writing thank you cards to the host of playdates, and making motivational signs for high schoolers  saying “Good Luck on Exams”. Recently Mikey Clough from Mrs. Walsh’s class and his 5 year old brother Chris delivered homemade chocolate chip cookies to the Milton Police Department thanking them for their support in our community. During their visit they got a tour of the station and even got to sit in a holding cell. Connecting the Reach for Reading unit to a real life experience for students has enhanced both their learning and compassion. 

***

The MLK Celebration began at Glover last week as students in grades K-5 assembled in the Glover gym to begin the month long celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Students learned about his life and the important impact he has had on our lives through viewing real-life pictures along with the reading of “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rapport.  Students were also given the opportunity to reflect upon this years theme “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Following the presentation, students returned to their classrooms to further discuss Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and complete various projects related to the theme.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Do you know what youth addiction looks like?  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Milton Public Schools along with the towns of Milton, Dedham, Quincy, Randolph, Braintree, Stoughton and Canton are bringing back Drug Story Theater for a community presentation of “The Price You Pay:  Second Chances” on January 22nd at 6:30pm. 

This is a riveting play by youth about their own seduction by, addiction to, and recovery from drugs and alcohol.  It will give the audience an inside look, as well as some vital information about why getting hooked at such a young age can be so concerning.  

Dr. Joseph Shrand, Child Psychiatrist, nationally recognized expert on adolescent addiction, and founder of Drug Story Theater, will also share his experience treating youth challenged by substance use.  This is also an opportunity for parents, caregivers, community leaders and other audience members to ask questions of Dr. Shrand and the cast: What are the signs my child may be using? What can prevent this?  What can I do if my child is using? What is spice?

This play was seen in October, 2018 by MHS 9th and 10th graders, and you could hear a pin drop.  Principal James Jette said he was “thrilled with the performance and feedback from our students.” Our showing of “The Price You Pay: Second Chances”, is a unique collaboration between Milton and the surrounding towns.  This event is free and there is ample parking available. Suitable for 9th grade and older.  

ADULT EDUCATION

Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

There are some exciting new classes this year:

  • Phoenix Rising Body-Mind Yoga
  • Balancing Screen Time in Elementary School
  • Ukulele for the Complete Beginner
  • Guitar for the Busy Adult

WEATHER AND BUS UPDATES

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

HEALTH NEWS – VAPING

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, Vaping has become a national epidemic for teens.  In this link, there are recommendations for citizens to have an impact at the local level . According to 2017 statistics, over 25% of grade 12 students in Massachusetts are current users and may be addicted, feeling compelled to use during school hours. This trend has been on the rise across South Shore communities including Milton.  Help protect your child by educating yourself, having ongoing conversations about your beliefs and values, and support local programs that restrict access to these harmful products. For more information contact Director of Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue or Board of Health Director, Caroline Kinsella .   

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

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

The police department is currently accepting applications for the position of School Crossing Guard. Duties include directing and escorting school children and pedestrians across the street, stopping traffic as necessary. It is preferred that applicants be available for both one hour in the morning (school opening) and one hour in the afternoon (school dismissal). Positions are ten hours per week with a salary range of $16.98 to $19.15 per hour. Positions are not eligible for benefits. More information can be found here.  Any questions can be directed to Lieutenant Mark Alba via email at 617-898-4814.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Jan 10 Preschool Information Night
Jan 16  Milton High/Pierce Jazz Concert
Jan 16 Milton School Committee
Jan 17, 18,19  Pierce Players
Jan 21 MLK Jr. Holiday No School
Jan 22  Drug Story Theatre at MHS
Jan 23 Milton School Committee Meeting at Cunningham
Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night

The full calendar can be found here.  

ART AND MUSIC

L-R Lemeul Marc, Caleb Smith, Coleman Rose and Brendan Scott

Last weekend, students of MMEA- Eastern District gathered at Boston Latin Academy for the annual Senior Festival, including these 10 Milton High School Musicians: Concert Band –  Esme Link, Coleman Rose, Caleb Smith; Jazz Band –  Brendan Scott; Mixed Chorus – Annabel Botsford, Jada Farar, Paula Hogan, Penelope Holland, Luke Palmer; Orchestra – Lemuel Marc.

A round of applause for these students selected for Senior District, and a standing ovation to MHS Band Directors, Rebecca Damiani who is an MMEA-ED Board Member, and Gary Good who was a featured piano soloist in the performance!

On to the next festival: this coming weekend, 22 additional Pierce and MHS musicians will be auditioning for the MMEA-ED Junior Festival.  Best of luck to our students in their audition, and to Pierce Chorus Director Julia Hanna who is acting Treble Chorus Manager this year. 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

There are several MLK Day Service Projects taking place in Milton. It would be wonderful to see many MPS families at these volunteer events.

“Courageous Conversation towards Racial Justice” is leading a community service project to assemble and distribute Blessing Bags.  On Monday, January 21st, we will meet in the basement church hall at Church of Our Savior located at 453 Adams St., Milton from 9-11am then carpool to St. Paul’s Cathedral to distribute the bags. We need volunteers for all parts of the day.

9-11am assemble Blessing Bags; 11am  drive to St. Paul’s Cathedral; 12-12:45pm distribute Blessing Bags to homeless attendees at a mid day lunch; 12:45pm drive back to Church of Our Savior

Courageous Conversations also needs volunteers to gather these supplies before the event: gallon size ziplock bags; travel size: tissues, toothpaste, shampoo, bar soap, hand sanitizer, hand lotion; hand-feet-body warmers, gloves, white socks , toothbrushes, chapstick, feminine products, granola bars, small snacks, disposable razors for men, $5 gift cards to McDonalds, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts and small water bottles.

On Monday, January 21 from 9:30 am to 12pm (half hour or hour shifts welcome), MICA (Milton Interfaith Clergy Association) is leading a clean up of the grounds around The Boston Nature Center, a community-based urban sanctuary, serving, among many groups, the Boston Public Schools. We will be picking up litter throughout the trails.  Come dressed for the cold and wear boots. Cleaning equipment will be provided. The Boston Nature Center is at 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126 and this event is open to all ages. Please email Debbie Alsebai with questions about any of these volunteer opportunities. 

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites you to participate in the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Milton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. On Monday, January 21st  from 6:30-8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Avenue, Milton we will gather to celebrate the life and message of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Please RSVP if you are planning to attend.

***

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton is an important healthcare resource in our community.  Every three years, BID-Milton gathers information from people living, working, and learning in Milton, Quincy and Randolph. The information collected helps to identify strategies and programs that will improve community health.  It is important for BID-Milton to gather feedback from as many people as possible to ensure findings reflect the community-at-large. Please take a moment to take the survey online  or email Laureane Marquez  for a paper version in Spanish, Chinese or Haitian Creole.  Responses are completely anonymous and will not impact your existing health services in any way.  The survey window closes on January 31.

***

On January 31, at 7pm at BID Milton in the  Nangeroni Conference Room, Professor Margie Skeer will speak on the topic of  “Underage Drinking Prevention: Practical Parenting Facts and Tips for ‘The Talk’ and So Much More”. Learn why talking to your kids works, get specific tips on how to talk to your kids and observe practice role-playing. The MSAPC invites all Milton community members to attend this important, free talk and the MSAPC meeting that will follow.

***

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

***

On  Saturday, February 2nd at 7pm Milton Community Concerts and First Parish of Milton are proud to present a rare viewing of the silent film classic, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” with live improvised organ accompaniment by virtuoso organist Peter Krasinski. This concert celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Wigglesworth Memorial Pipe Organ at First Parish. Tickets (at door only) are $25/$15 seniors/Free 18 and under.  

***

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter is bursting at the seams with many free activities for families to do together this season. 

Milton Art Center winter/spring art class registrations are open now, sign up for creative classes in book making, weaving, sewing, storytelling yoga, clay, pastels, STEAM, sewing, watercolor, painting, quilting, photography, screen printing, creative writing and more!

ATHLETICS

The Girls Basketball Team earned their first win of the season with a hard fought, end-to-end battle with Notre Dame Academy from.  Kara Milliken led the way with 19 points, scoring 11 of those points in the final quarter.

The Boys Hockey Team also earned their first victory of the season over Brockton, aided by a flurry of goals in the second period.  Tyler MacNeil scored his first varsity goal in the first period to give the ‘Cats the lead, and then followed with his second that was ultimately the winning goal. Mark Guerra finished with 21 saves.

The Wrestling Team improved to 4-1-1 on the season with a blow-out victory over Wellesley High School.  Alex Paxhia got things started early with a pin and Raphael Yunger earned his first Varsity win!  They will host Newton North on Wednesday, January 16th at 6pm for their Senior Night.

Boys Basketball will host Walpole High School next Friday night, January 18th, at 6:30pm in the “Snowden” Game. Join us in recognizing Derrick Snowden, MHS Hall of Famer, for his 30th year of service to the Milton Public Schools.  He has been one of the biggest supporters for the MHS  Football and Basketball Teams! We will also be holding a sock drive during the game.  Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. For free admission, we ask that you donate at least one new pair of men’s or women’s socks (wool or cotton work best).  All donations will be sent to a local homeless shelter.

Milton High School is also happy to announce that we will become a Unified Champion School by starting Unified Outdoor Track and Field!  More information will be available soon. In the meantime, you can find out more about Unified Sports here.

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

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Margaret Carels, Debbie Alsebai, Ada Rosmarin, Lacy Stoneburner, Tanya Walsh, Robin Lee, Karen Hughes, Barbara Wright, Ellen Lohan, Sara MacNeil  and Noel Vigue.

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

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 10th, 2019

January 3rd, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 3, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Today we welcomed back over 4200 Milton Public Schools students after what we hope was a restful and enjoyable winter break. We are ready as a district to take on 2019 and look forward to continuing our journey of learning and excellence in the new year. There are several important dates that come up quickly in January and I want to call your attention to them here.

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

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

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

PARENT Speaker Series: Please join us at Milton High School on Monday, January 7th at 6:30pm for a showing of Race to Nowhere.  Race to Nowhere is a call to action for families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens. Tickets are FREE and like every PARENT Speaker Series event, this event is open to the public.  

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

On Wednesday January 2nd, the Milton School Committee welcomed Carl Franceschi and Paul Moore from Drummy Rosane Anderson to present preliminary findings and potential solutions on our space and enrollment issue. The presentation was informative and interactive as School Committee members discussed possible solutions. I urge all Milton residents to take the time to watch the recorded version of the meeting, which is available on Milton Access TV. The powerpoint presentation can be found here.

On Wednesday, January 16th at 7pm, there will be an extended Citizens Speak on Space at the School Committee meeting held at Milton High School. On Wednesday, January 23rd at 7pm, there will be an Open Forum on Space and all are invited to attend and participate. The January 23rd School Committee meeting will be held in the Cunningham School Library.

Our space and enrollment issue is one that we must solve both as a district and as a town in order to continue to maintain the excellence of the Milton Public Schools. Please email School Committee member Ada Rosmarin, Chair of the Facilities Advisory Committee with comments or questions. 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

While families enjoyed the last day of winter break, all MPS staff was hard at work on Wednesday, January 2nd for a day of Professional Development. PD consisted of Reach for Reading, collaborative grade level planning, science education, best practices for educational assistants, creative curriculum mapping, exploring google classroom, a discussion about teaching about racist language for our PMS and MHS teachers, school law updates and more. A full day of PD for the entire MPS staff is a rare occurrence and our staff used their time together wisely. Cat DesRoche, Jon Redden, Nancy Warn, Janet Sheehan and Ellen Lohan share some highlights below.

Above is a Word Cloud generated through Poll Everywhere. Teachers were asked upon arrival to answer the question at the top.

All elementary staff gathered at  Collicot and Cunningham, as teachers collaborated with grade level teams across the district.  Teams worked together on planning grade level writing projects and how to calibrate assessments of those projects. This work gave teachers an opportunity to examine student work samples and discuss grade-level expectations and goals at different points of the year.  Teachers also heard from and shared with colleagues about small group literacy stations. Literacy stations are a way to differentiate for a variety of student learners that address the many components of literacy skills. Through collaboration and conversation, teachers left the session with ways to apply new ideas in the coming weeks.  Thank you to all the presenters and teachers for a day full of good conversation and planning!

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5th grade teachers, educational assistants and service providers worked with Science Coordinator Ellen Lohan to review the new science standards in preparation for the Science MCAS 5th graders will take on computers in the spring. They also enjoyed the dissection lesson led by scientists Dr. Elizabeth Bless and Dr. Sandy Pearl.  

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Elizabeth Stordeur [pronounce Store-door] Pryor ran a workshop with middle and high school teachers yesterday that focused on strategies for teaching about the history of the n-word, race and racism in the United States. Pryor is an associate Professor of History at Smith College, where she serves as the current faculty teaching mentor for equitable and inclusive pedagogies. She has also received multiple awards for teaching. Professor Pryor’s first book looks at African Americans, travel and citizenship before the Civil War and her current research is on the history of the n-word in the United States. Two resources that were shared with staff prior to the workshop may be of interest to you.

“Tackling the N-word on Campus,” NEPR, February 28, 2018.

“Smith College Professor Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor on Teaching Racist Language,” WGBY: Connecting Points, April 2, 2018.

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Paige Tobin, Esq., of Murphy, Lamere & Murphy, P.C, spoke to all MPS employees on the topic of Sexual Harassment at School and in the Workplace. The presentation was informative and is part or our continuing education for all employees.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Collicot students have been interacting with STEM everywhere they go.  On Friday December 21, MHS students came to code with Collicot 5th graders. Additionally, 5th grade families and 3rd and 4th grade students were able to visit the first Collicot Toy Show presented by our very creative 5th grade inventors.  Students made the most of their recycled materials to put together an outstanding showing of games and toys.  Thank you to the 5th grade team and all of our supportive families for providing a very fun Friday in December.  We hope this becomes a Collicot tradition.

WEATHER AND BUS UPDATES

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

FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES

A breakfast survey was recently conducted at Milton High School and students were asked if they consumed breakfast in the morning.  We found out that 29% of our students do not consume breakfast and they stated it was because they don’t have time or they usually do not eat breakfast. Fortunately, 70% of the students do consume breakfast with 16% of them eating breakfast at school.

Don’t have time for breakfast? Did you know MHS and Pierce have a grab-and-go cart available with breakfast options? If your student prefers to bring something from home, quick and healthy options can be a granola bar, overnight oats with fruit & cinnamon, or a 5oz yogurt with granola, oats, or muesli with a side of  fruit to go.

Studies show that those who skip breakfast: have a lower nutrient and energy intake across the day (consuming more calories later in the day does not make up for the skipped breakfast); will make unhealthy choices and overeat for their next meal which is associated with strong risk of excess weight gain as the first step to obesity, metabolic disorders, diabetes, & cardiovascular diseases; and have decreased cognition and learning throughout the day.

A full breakfast at school costs $1.25 and is free to the students who qualify for free and reduced meals. MHS Dietetic Intern Hillary Wong shares more information here.  

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman wants to remind the Milton Public School community about a few important free resources in town which provide help for mental health, behavioral health, and substance use.  The New Year is a good time to reach out and get help, when needed.

Interface Referral Service – Call the William James College INTERFACE Helpline

Milton Residents can now get free referrals to help for children, adults and seniors struggling with problems such as anxiety, depression, family crises, behavioral and substance abuse problems, etc. Call  888-244-6843 for confidential resource information and/or provider referrals from a mental health professional.

Email Milton Cares for Drug & Alcohol Addiction

If you, a loved one, or a neighbor are struggling with drug or alcohol problems, Milton Cares is a new program in Milton that will confidentially and discreetly send over a team of specialists who will come to your home and provide your family with help.  A Substance Abuse Counselor and Recovery Coach will be accompanied by a plain-clothed Milton community officer to offer your family support, advice and resources for how to access life-saving medically assisted treatment, rehabilitation, or just support about how to handle a family member or friend at home struggling with addiction.  Email Milton Cares at anytime for assistance. 

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Jan 10  Preschool Information Night
Jan 16  Milton High/Pierce Jazz Concert
Jan 16 Milton School Committee Meeting at MHS
Jan 17, 18,19  Pierce Players
Jan 21 MLK Jr. Holiday No School
Jan 23 Milton School Committee Meeting at Cunningham
Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night
The full calendar can be found here.  

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

Milton community grant applications are now available through the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The deadline for applications is Feb 15, 2019.

ATHLETICS

The MHS Ski Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats can/bottle drive on Saturday, January 5th from 9am to 12pm  at Milton High School.   Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Mrs. Abdon with her family and MPS Director of Nutrition Services Jackie Morgan

Staff: Please join me in wishing Deb Abdon, a 23 year employee of the Milton Public Schools, a wonderful retirement. Mrs. Abdon has managed the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria for many years, serving thousands of healthy meals to students and staff. Her professionalism, kindness and creativity will not be forgotten. Students and staff bid a fond farewell to Mrs. Abdon on the Friday before break. We wish you nothing but health and happiness in retirement! 

Volunteers: MHS students Grace and Katherine Baker spent much of November collecting  supplies and treats to send to troops stationed overseas. Other Milton Girl Scouts assisted in collecting and packing the supplies. On Tuesday, December 11th, Girl Scout Troop #85439, Grace and Katherine shipped 9 very large boxes (over 400 pounds!) containing snacks, toiletries, games  and other goodies to the sailors serving on the USS Rushmore. They also shipped a large care package to a new Marine stationed in Norway on his first deployment. We are very proud of Grace and Katherine for organizing this effort!

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jon Redden, Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler, Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Laurie Dunn, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Laurie Stillman, Ellen Lohan, Hillary Wong, Nancy Warn, Janet Sheehan, Jackie Morgan, James Jette and Noel Vigue.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 3rd, 2019

December 20, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 20,  2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

On Wednesday of this week the Milton Public Schools celebrated our retired educators with a holiday luncheon in the MHS library. I am always happy to see so many people who have helped to shape  generations of MPS students and to have a chance to honor them. Thank you to Jackie Morgan and our food service department for a wonderful meal and to those in our greater Milton community who help me with this event. Thank you to the Milton Boosters, Mackie’s Barber Shop and Dunkin’ Donuts for their donations and a special thank you to The Tsanotelis Family and Eagle Farms for their very thoughtful donation of forty holiday arrangements and to The Resnick Family and ProForma Printing for their generous donation of many gifts for the attendees.

As we all begin a well deserved winter break, I want to wish all who celebrate Christmas a very Merry Christmas and all of our Milton Public Schools students, families and staff a Happy and Healthy New Year. We look forward to seeing staff on Wednesday, January 2nd for a day of Professional Development and all students on Thursday, January 3rd for the 1st school day of 2019. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Students in Mr. Tart’s Senior Honors English class recently entered works into the Anglo-Saxon Art Contest which took place in conjunction with their study of Anglo Saxon literature. Class captain Julie Simeone shares the 4 winning entries here. Congratulations to these talented artists!  

L-R Sebastian Wright, Melissa LaBelle, Campbell Cathcart, and Nkechinyere Onyiriuka

Sebastian Wright, a student in Mrs. White’s Culinary Arts Class, treated his classmates to a look into  his non-profit business “Milton’s Billion Backyard Bee Project” this week. Sebastian’s mom, Michelle Urbano, had the class spellbound as she described the many businesses the bees tend, as well as the type of honey and the many products procured during honey making and harvesting season. You can read more about the project in South Shore Living’s Article “The Buzz: South Shore Beekeepers spread the word about honeybees”

Curious as to how honey is made? Bees use the very flowers in your backyard to produce their honey. Worker bees carry sweet nectar in their honey stomachs back to the hive to be put in the comb. During this time, enzymes in the bee’s stomach are transforming nectar into honey. Once in the hive, the honey is dehydrated to about 17% water and is then capped with pure beeswax to be later used as food.

PIERCE UPDATES

There was fun at Pierce this week as  staff donned the most “interesting” sweater they could find  in a show of holiday spirit! 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Collicot 4th graders enjoyed a Museum of Science assembly on Electromagnetism this past week. Students were able to participate and had a very interactive session with the presenter. They learned about how electricity and magnetism as both forces and and forms of energy. Collicot 1st graders also had a visit from the MOS. Their interactive and interesting  presentation was about Magnets, Forces and Fields.

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Cunningham 5th graders recently had the opportunity to video chat with scientist Heidi Dewar. Dr. Dewar is a marine biologist who works for NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) in San Diego, and she is featured in the fifth grade Reach for Reading text book. Cunningham 5th grade teacher Rina Chen has a personal connection with her. Mrs. Chen shares how surprised she was last year to open the textbook in Unit 3 and see Heidi’s photo! The Chens have known Dr. Dewar for many years and have long been fascinated by her research. Dr. Dewar enthusiastically agreed to answer questions students had about her research, the Reach for Reading article she was featured in, oceanography, and more.  Students learned about what it was really like to tag a mola (sunfish) and a whale shark, how technology has changed the way research is done today, what to do if you are interested in becoming a scientist, and heard many fun and fascinating stories about being an oceanographer.

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Mrs. Spitz’ Collicot 4th graders were inspired by their recent Reach for Reading unit about Amazing Places. Students did research on an amazing place in the world and then presented to their classmates. Did you know the Taj Mahal is a building with a love story? Or that the Great Wall of China is one of the seven wonders of the world? How about the fact that the White House was once called the President’s palace? And who knew that the Sahara Desert was once a green oasis? Well these 4th graders know all of that and more after their research and presentations. The big question now? What amazing place would you want to visit?

Tucker was visited by storyteller Tony Toledo on Thursday, December 13th!  Mr. Toledo shared stories with students and families about his life and his adventure while traveling.  Tony used humor to help students imagine the things he has seen and involved students by having them join in with his stories! The Tucker PTO generously sponsored dinner for all in attendance.  Tony Toledo also visited Tucker during the school day hosting two assemblies, one for grades PreK-2 and one with grades 3-5. Anyone who had the opportunity to see Tony Toledo was entertained and inspired to tell their own stories!

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Ms. Hammond’s Glover 3rd graders  just finished a Reach for Reading unit centered around identifying theme.  Students learned about traditional foods while identifying book themes including kindness, compassion and generosity.  One text in particular, The Runaway Rice Cake, highlighted these themes while introducing students to a traditional rice cake enjoyed during Chinese New Year.  With the help of reading specialist Ms. Cassler, the students baked and tried a traditional rice cake from the recipe found at the back of the text.  

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Glover 5th graders shared their musical talents in Music Share during music with Ms. Martin this week. Students delight in sharing music with their classmates, using instruments or their own voices singing a favorite song. You can listen to their performances here! 

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN INFORMATION NIGHTS

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

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

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

WEATHER AND BUS UPDATES

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman shares that the The Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has launched a hotline specifically for the parents of youth and young adults in New England. This is not a referral service, but rather a resource for parents who would like support and guidance and have children struggling with drugs. They offer:

  • A dedicated phone and text Helpline for Massachusetts families (call 844-319-5999 or text HOPEMA to 55753), where parents can connect with master’s level specialists and be referred to parent coaches, who will listen to their challenges and help them develop an action plan toward their child’s recovery
  • A Partnership and Grayken Center website which highlights details on resources and tools Massachusetts families can access
  • Facebook messaging with parents who need it on the Partnership page

HEALTH AND WELLNESS – VAPING

We will continue to share resources about vaping as this is an ongoing challenge among teens  and schools in our community. Noel Vigue, MPS Director of Health and Physical Education shares CDC/Surgeon General Tip Sheet for Parents as a resource for parents/guardians. Please reach out to your child’s principal, school nurse or Mr. Vigue with any questions as we navigate together this relatively new challenge our children face. 

ART AND MUSIC

Beautiful music has greeted us each day at MHS this week. Thank you to our talented students. Wonderful way to end 2018!  Please enjoy the  Christmas Carolers, White Winter Hymnal, Absoflutely (Flute Choir), Up on the Housetop, and Jamie Merkel, Coleman Rose & Lemuel Marc, Christmas Time is Here.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Please join us at Milton High School on Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 6:30pm for a showing of Race to Nowhere.

Race to Nowhere is a call to action for families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens. Tickets are FREE and like every PARENT Speaker Series event, this event is open to the public.  

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

For over 20 years the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been funding initiatives that have positively altered the educational landscape of our community. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we ask ourselves: Where will it take the children of Milton? With your continued help, the possibilities are endless.

Ask Kindergarteners what they want to be when they grow up, and the responses are adorably familiar. Ask students on the cusp of graduation that same question, and the answers get more complex. The career opportunities of the future are changing rapidly. What the world will demand from our children, even faster. What exciting possibilities await!

We owe it to them to keep pace: to offer opportunities which inspire curiosities and engage minds; to help our children prepare for whatever tomorrow brings; to support Milton’s incredible teachers as they suggest meaningful, forward-thinking programs and initiatives. Please make a gift today.

Together we have distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. Please consider a tax-deductible gift this year. Every dollar changes lives!

UPCOMING MPS DATES

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

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

The full calendar can be found here.  

NEWS AROUND TOWN

In addition to regular hours Thursday-Sunday, the Eustis Estate will be open for a special holiday Monday December 24, 10:00-4:00. As always, Milton residents are free.

Also happening  at the Eustis Estate is Holiday Crafts and Storytime on  Saturday, December 22, 10am-2pm. Enjoy extra holiday cheer with special child-friendly activities while your family tours the Eustis Estate, which is decorated for Victorian Christmas. Join Historic New England educators in the kitchen for drop-in craft workshops to make top hats and stockings in connection with the special exhibition Head to Toe. Head upstairs to the library for holiday storytime at 12:30 p.m.

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The Milton Historical Society is hosting its Fireside Chat program on Saturday, January 12th at 10am at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. Local historian Dennis “Mike” Doyle will discuss the importance of primary and secondary sources when researching history. To illustrate its importance, he will share interesting vignettes on Milton history and some of its past residents that demonstrate both the importance and problems faced when reviewing source materials. Coffee and light refreshments will be available. Reservations are limited to 20 people. Please email  or call  617-698-0870 to reserve.

Ongoing:

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

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

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

ATHLETICS

The Girls Cross Country Team  was recently honored at the State House  for their win at the Eastern Massachusetts Division 3 Cross Country Championships.

The team enjoyed a tour of the state house, had lunch in Senator Timilty’s office, and received citations from Senator Timilty.

Wrestling beat Catholic Memorial for Coach Carroll’s first win over the Knights last Saturday! Wins by Seniors Ramsey Julmice, Austin Wright, and Elias Deaibes help the Wildcats beat CM 42-31 to open up their season! They tied a very good Walpole team in their next match and will play Boston Latin tomorrow!

Indoor Track: The boys defeated Braintree in their first meet of the season, winning 8 out of 12 events. The full results can be found here! The boys and girls travel to the Reggie Lewis Center tonight to take on Needham.

Girls Hockey: It was a Saturday night for the Graces. Grace Long and DeBenedictis bag their first Varsity goals. Long adds two more for a hat trick as the Cats pick up their first win of the young season against Framingham.

Boys Basketball: The boys went down early in the first quarter against a good Framingham side on Friday, December 14th. After picking up their defense, Earl Tucker drained a 3-pointer with 6 seconds on the clock to give the ‘Cats a 1-point victory on the road. On Tuesday, the Milton boys’ varsity basketball team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 53-52 overtime victory against Bay State Conference rival Braintree in the Wildcats’ home opener at Copeland Field House on Tuesday Dec. 18.

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

 AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Volunteers:   At their December meeting, the Milton Foundation for Education voted in seven new trustees. Please join the MFE in welcoming Winston Daley, Kate Dobin, Scott Farrell, Thuy Le, Lanita McCormick, Valerie Neville, and Erin Wright to the Board. The MFE Board and the Milton Public Schools thank these seven Milton parents for their dedication and willingness to help enrich the experience of students in all six outstanding schools here in town.

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 20, 2018

December 13, 2018

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

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

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

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

PIERCE UPDATES

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

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

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

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Rescue, Jessica and Patrick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN INFORMATION NIGHTS

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

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

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

TECHNOLOGY

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

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

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

WEATHER AND BUS UPDATES

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

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

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

HEALTH AND WELLNESS – VAPING

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

MPS GIVES BACK

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

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

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

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

INCLUSION TASK FORCE

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

THANK YOU!

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

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