From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date May 23, 2019
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Last night the Milton Foundation for Education and the Milton Public Schools community honored the 2019 MPS Teachers of the Year and as usual, the evening did not disappoint! Each of our teachers gave a heartfelt speech and were applauded by family, friends, colleagues and most importantly, their students! The MFE also recognized Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan for her years of service in the Milton Public Schools. Thank you to the MFE for recognizing our teachers and congratulations to this year’s honorees.
If you would like to see your favorite teachers when they were surprised by the MFE last week with news that they had been chosen as Teacher of the Year, you can see their shocked faces hear some of the nice things people wrote about them in the video below.
There are two more exciting MFE announcements! The spring grant cycle has just been announced and the MFE has awarded over $20,000 in grants to our teachers. Flexible seating, enrichment books, Osmo kits, handwriting tools, ceramics tools, and other STEM and language enhancements were all funded through the generous support of the MFE. The items will be in classrooms in the 2019-20 school year and we will share their impact throughout the year.
Finally, MFE Celebration 2019 is in the books and now $134,000 has been granted to enhance the libraries in all six of our schools! Look for makerspaces, materials to enhance curriculum, flexible seating and more in the upcoming school year. Our libraries are dynamic community spaces and these funds will allow us to transform our spaces to create more powerful learning experiences for our community.
On Thursday, June 13th we will celebrate Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan as she prepares for her retirement at the end of the school year. All adults in the MPS community are invited to join us for this special event at Wollaston Golf Club on June 13th at 5pm. All details can be found here.
The next School Committee meeting is on June 5th at 7pm at Milton High School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.
At 6pm on June 5th, the School Committee will honor our MPS retirees. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT
What will your children be doing in July? If they want to do cool science projects, play basketball with friends, work on their creative writing, whip up a new recipe or dozens of other fun activities, you’ll sign them up for Milton Summer Enrichment! Registration for MSE is live! To register, go to Family ID and go to ‘search programs’ and type in ‘MSE 2019’. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! For more information about MSE including the 2019 At A Glance Document with course descriptions, please visit the MSE website. Any further questions can be directed to Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
On Friday, May 17th, the Pierce and MHS Model UN Clubs joined forces to impress at the Rising Leaders Model UN conference at Northeastern. 11 Milton students won awards – and it was wonderful to have students from grades 7-10 working together to solve the problems facing the global community. Our students were impressive as they discussed Kurdish refugees, asylum seekers, water resources, and the current situation in Somalia. Congratulations to all who attended and acted with respect, diplomacy and empathy as they represented their different countries and attempted to write resolutions to solve complex problems facing the world.
Thank you to the parents/guardians, MPS staff and community volunteers who are serving on our Pierce Principal Search Committee. The list of committee members can be found here. The committee will work over the next two weeks to screen applications, interview candidates and forward semi-finalists to the next level.
Save the date for The Pierce Players presents Mary Poppins Jr. on June 6,7 and 8th! Tickets for Mary Poppins Jr. will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 24th at 5 PM and you can get them at this link. This show will likely sell out quickly – get your seats tomorrow!
We are excited to share that the Pierce Middle School has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Lowe’s Toolbox for Education! Thank you to Mr. Boguski for securing this grant for our students and we look forward to sharing the impact this grant will have on our Math Investigations classes next year.
The Pierce Student Council would like to invite all Veterans to a Veterans Breakfast on May 24th at 8:15am. Please see the note from the Student Council here: Veterans related to Pierce students, as well as local Veterans’ Organizations are welcome to attend. The purpose of getting together is to honor and thank our local Veterans for their dedication, service, and commitment to protecting our country. We will be offering breakfast, followed by some brief remarks from our Middle School students, as well as a question and answer period from attendees. Please let us know that you’ll be attending by clicking this link.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
The Southwick Zoomobile visited Collicot kindergarteners and 2nd graders last week to rave reviews. The ZooMobile is an educational outreach program that involves an educator and some of the zoo’s animal ambassadors who visit schools and cover a range of topics about animal ecology, behavior, and conservation. Students had a great time and were engaged in listening and asking questions.
The rain may have pushed Tucker Outdoor Math Day inside but even with the rain, 1st grade students, teachers and families had a blast as they joined together to engage in a variety of math activities across class groups. Teachers Caitlin Deptula, Rachel Spitz and Alex Leite, District Math Coach Maura Middleton and a large group of family volunteers facilitated stations geared for fun and learning throughout the morning. Stations included Fun and Fitness, Measurement, Bean Bag Toss, Math Racer, Bingo, Estimation Station and Patterns! Patterns!
The Museum of Science presentation on Motion, Forces and Energy to Collicot 3rd graders included demonstrations and experiments to explore how motion is a form of energy and how we can use forces to change an object’s motion. Students enjoyed seeing how the energy stored in a bungee cord could launch a student-ridden cart across the room. The highlight was certainly when students used energy and force to lift Mlle Vasconcelos using a giant lever!
MASS DOT conducted a Bike Safety training with all Glover 4th graders last week and as part of the training, every 4th grader received a bike helmet. Students learned about the importance of wearing helmets, abiding by traffic laws and patterns, and always remaining vigilant. With many f4th and 5th graders walking or biking to Glover independently each day, this was an important and educational presentation. Thank you to Vivian Ortiz and the Mass DOT for this valuable presentation.
It was May Madness at Cunningham last week as students from preschool – 5th grade enjoyed a day of fun at Cunningham Park. Students enjoyed music, games, dancing, and the company of friends on a sunny day at Cunningham Park. Thank you to the Cunningham Foundation for welcoming our students to the field.
GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION
Please scan below for your current grade level
5th, 6th and 7th Grade – There is an opportunity for 5th, 6th and 7th grade families that we would like to call to your attention. If you are interested in learning ways to help your kids make healthy choices, we have the perfect research study for you! The SUPPER Project is a research study whose purpose is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their well-being. This study is being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University and is funded through the National Institutes of Health. MPS students and their families in grades 5th-7th have been invited to participate. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at TheSUPPERProject@tufts.edu with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and your name in the body of the email. A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587. All personal data will be kept confidential and participation is limited. Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project.
5th-9th Grade: Have you wondered what the best approach is when speaking with your children about using drugs? It’s not an easy topic and many of us are at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Through a grant from the Milton Junior Women’s Club, MPS is thrilled to be able to offer parents and guardians a wonderful opportunity to attend an award-winning workshop designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs.
This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents of students in 5th-9th grade how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.
There is one more opportunity to attend the LifeSkills Parent Program on June 3, 6:30-8pm at the Pierce Library. To reserve your spot, please give a quick RSVP here. For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at 617-696-4470 x5547.
Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year is open! REGISTER HERE Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year. You must register each student separately (but can pay for them together) and you will receive a confirmation email that registration has been received for each student. If you are planning for your child to ride the bus in the 2019-20 school year, we strongly encourage you to read through this transportation letter which details the process. Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.
Bus registrations for students in grades 6 and 9 will not be complete unless residency is re-established during the re-establishment period in June. Please see below for re-establishment details. Students in grades 6 and 9 will maintain their place in the bus queue until June 14th at which time they will be moved to the bus waitlist if residency has NOT been re-established.
The Milton Public Schools Residency Policy states that “students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grades six(6) and nine(9), and during other times as determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee. Students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools but who attend an educational program outside of the town shall be required to re-establish residency on an annual basis.”
A letter has been sent via US mail to all who must re-establish residency. You can reference that letter, which contains all details here. Beginning June 3rd Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. The residency packet can be found here. Re-establishment takes place in the Milton High School Lobby during the schedule at right.
This process is one of the safeguards used by the Milton Public Schools to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the Town of Milton. Although the re-registration process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the Town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us in ensuring residency compliance.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
May is National Physical Education and Fitness month! This month long event celebrates our physical educators, recognizes the importance of physical education in students lives, looks to promote daily physical activity and raises awareness of the cognitive benefits of exercise and how it prepares the brain to learn. At Collicot, Teacher of the Year Beth Fahey celebrated with her students and their families by inviting all parents/guardians to come and participate in their students’ PE class. Over 50 parents/guardians had a blast playing together with their child and their classmates in this wonderful bonding experience centered around physical activity. If this sounds like fun, more opportunities like this are coming in June for parents/guardians of K-5 student. Volunteers are needed for field days at all elementary schools, please reach out to your school’s PTO for more information.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Please see the following note from the MSPAC: How Healthy are our Milton Youth?
The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is in the middle of updating our Community Health Assessment. The Assessment is critical for understanding what substance use challenges we face in our community and why, it helps us know if we are making a difference in our work, and it informs us about the concerns and ideas that community residents have. All of this information helps the Coalition and our partners more effectively focus our efforts.
Our assessment process includes surveys, focus groups and key informant interviews. Middle and high school students have been surveyed; focus groups of clergy and students have been completed. We will also be looking at government and local service agency reports, as well as completing one-on-one interviews. However, we will also need information from parents and guardians, mostly through an online survey that we developed with coalition members.
Look for our Parent Survey and please consider taking it. Three years ago we had over 800 parents participate. The information we gathered was amazing! All Milton residents who are the parents or guardians of at least one child in grades 6 – 12 are encouraged to participate. It will be available to take during the month of June and can be accessed on-line. The link will be distributed through the Milton Times, MPS, Facebook, the faith community and the MSAPC newsletter. More information is available at the MSAPC website.
Our Community Health Assessment is invaluable in determining how to focus the coalition’s efforts. Our last assessment, completed in 2016, led to changes in Department of Health, law enforcement and school policies, increased availability of mental health services both in and out of school, increased educational opportunities for youth and adults community wide, and more. Data is critical so that the coalition can make informed decisions about future policy changes, programming and educational opportunities, leading to the continued prevention of youth alcohol and drug misuse.
If you would like more information about our Community Health Assessment or great volunteer opportunities for youth and adults with MSAPC, please email the MSAPC.
The SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) will hold their final meeting and elections on June 5th at 7pm in the library at Glover. The SEPAC is seeking nominations and the nomination form and more information is available here.
May 23 MHS Music Awards Night
May 28 Glover Art Show, Senior Awards Night
May 29 Boosters Banquet, Tucker Art Show
May 30 Collicot Art Show
June 2 MHS Graduation
June 5 School Committee
June 6 Cunningham Art Show
June 6,7,8 Mary Poppins, Jr.
We hope you can join us at one (or more!) of the school based art shows in the coming weeks. Much like our concerts, these events showcase the talented visual artists we have throughout the Milton Public Schools. Join your school community in celebrating these student artists!
ART AND MUSIC
Our final MHS concert of the year and for our seniors, the final concert of their high school careers, was played to rave reviews this week at MHS. You can watch the entire concert here. Congratulations to these talented musicians!
The Milton Music Department’s Instrumental Lesson Program will be holding an informational session and instrument petting zoo on Tuesday, June 11th at 6pm in the Charles C Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This is open to interested students entering 4th and 5th grade and their parents/guardians. .Parents will have the opportunity to learn about the program and pre-register their students for music lessons for the upcoming school year, while students will have a chance to try out instruments at our instrument petting zoo. Please contact program directors Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good with any questions.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
Milton Community Concerts is presenting its final concert of the season on Sunday, May 26th at 3pm at First Parish of Milton. It is a drama/lecture about the life of bass-baritone Paul Robeson by British/Nigerian singer and actor Tayo Aluko. When he appeared this summer in one sold-out performance in Boston at the BCA it received a very long standing ovation. His appearances this May are in Glasgow, Scotland, Vancouver, BC, and Milton, MA. add pic and link
This year’s Memorial Day Observance is scheduled for Monday, May 27th 2019. Ceremonies will begin at the Town Green at 9:30 a.m. with the raising of the flag and placement of wreaths at the Town’s War Memorial by local Veterans from American Legion Post #114. All details can be found here.
Hundreds of runners will be lining up on Edge Hill Road on June 11 for the 42nd annual Milton 5K & 10K Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for graduating high school students and community grants that support the Milton community. Online registration is available at www.miltonroadrace.racewire.com and you can learn more about the race and the generous sponsors through the Milton Road Race Facebook.
The Milton Music Fest and Fireworks team are delighted to announce this year’s exciting program of FREE Festivities over the weekend of June 22-23rd at “The Trustees” Gov. Hutchinson Field on Adams Street in Milton across from the Forbes House Museum.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 4 PM and include Kid’s Karaoke with Jackson Blue, followed by the great dance band Booty Vortex and the tremendously popular Big Band sounds of Mark Morris and The Cat Tunes. Saturday’s festivities culminate at dark with the stunning fireworks from Atlas Pyrovision Entertainment, the group who produce Boston’s New Year’s Eve spectacular display! The fun continues on Sunday, June 23rd with Celtic Sunday starting at 1 PM including a full afternoon and evening of family fun and Irish music including performances by the Fenian Sons, Sean Brennan and the Skiffs, Gary Galway, and All Folked Up .
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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Sean Lopresti, Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen Spaulding, Rachel Schewe, Sarina Burke, Cat DesRoche, Ellen Lohan, Zeina Hamada, Dawn Sykes, Karyn Viveiros, Holly Concannon, Jon Redden, Karen McDavitt and Margaret Carels.
The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as a selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812