From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 12, 2019
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
- 1.1 GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION
- 1.2 UPCOMING MPS DATES
- 1.3 SCHOOL COMMITTEE
- 1.4 HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
- 1.5 PIERCE PAGES
- 1.6 INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
- 1.7 CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT
- 1.8 SPECIAL EDUCATION
- 1.9 MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
- 1.10 MPS GIVES BACK
- 1.11 ART AND MUSIC
- 1.12 EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
- 1.13 ATHLETICS
- 1.14 IN THE COMMUNITY
- 1.15 AMBASSADORS
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Several years ago I met young man in the Milton High School library who was attending one of our Milton School Committee meetings. I approached him and he introduced himself as Calvin Hennick – at that time he was writing for the Boston Globe. Calvin had a young son and had just moved to Milton. His wife is a Boston school teacher and I told Calvin how happy his son and family would be at Tucker Elementary School in just a few years. I have followed Calvin and his son’s journey at the Tucker and just last year Calvin asked Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai to help him begin a robotics club for Tucker students. Calvin’s daughter is a kindergartener at Tucker and his son is in third grade.
I am thrilled to share that (as you hopefully already know) Calvin Hennick is presenting to the MHS community next week as part of our PARENT Speaker Series. Calvin has recently been featured in the both the Boston Globe Magazine and book section of the Sunday Globe.
I am sure that you join me in congratulating Milton Public School parent and author, Calvin Hennick. I hope that you will be able to attend Calvin’s presentation on December 16th. Details are below.
Mr Hennick is featured on the cover of this week’s Boston Globe Magazine: Raising a black son in America. Calvin Hennick thought he could somehow shield his child from the ugly truth of racism just a little longer. But a very public incident at Fenway showed he was wrong. “There are many reasons I’m filled with self-doubt,” Hennick writes. “This is one of them: I am white, and my wife is black, and I have nothing to teach my son about how to be a black man in America.
In his talk at MHS on December 16th, Mr Hennick will explore historical expectations of men and boys, unpacks how those expectations have already changed and continue to evolve, and suggests ways that parents can prepare their sons to meet the challenges of today’s world. His memoir “Once More to the Rodeo” was named as one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2019 and Winner of Pushcart’s 2019 Editor’s Book Award. This will be a night not to be missed.
GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION
On Tuesday, January 7th, 5th grade parents/guardians are invited to the Pierce library at 6:30pm for the 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night.
Please join us for Preschool Information and Pre-Registration Night on January 9, 2020 at 6:30pm.Children attending a MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2020.Preschool staff and administrators will highlight programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have. This information session will take place in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium, Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. All details can be found here.
On January 23rd, 2020 at 6:30 pm, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Kindergarten Information Night in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Pre-registration can be found online here. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2020 to start kindergarten in September 2020. All details on registering for Kindergarten can be found here.
On Tuesday, February 25th, in the MHS Auditorium, parents and guardians of current kindergarten students are invited to 1st Grade Information Night to learn about our two first grade programs: the English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will also explain the Assignment Plan, Lottery (if needed) and the Timeline. The night will end with a Q/A session. We will also hold a STEM Information Night on March 2nd, in the Collicot/Cunningham library, for current kindergarten families to preview an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity.
UPCOMING MPS DATES
Dec 12 Early Release Day for Students-Conferences Grs K-5 Only
Dec 16 PARENT Speaker Series – Calvin Hennick
Dec 18 Milton School Committee Meeting
Dec 23-Jan 1 Winter Break
Jan 2 Classes Resume
Jan 7 5th Grade Health & Development Information Night
Jan 8 Milton School Committee
Jan 9 Preschool Information Night
Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. Holiday
We have had our 1st snow day of the 2019-20 winter season. The last day of school is now June 17th, 2020. Please click this link for the Milton Public Schools procedures for inclement weather as it pertains to school delays and cancellations.
Save the date for Milton Summer Enrichment 2020! MSE 2020 will run from July 6-31st, 2020. Look for details after the new year. For a peek at last year’s MSE details, check out our MSE webpage.
Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, December 18th at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
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. Our Keynote Speaker was Dr. Kim Dever, OBGYN & VP of Medical Affairs at South Shore Hospital and a Milton High School graduate!
Presenters included nurses, pharmacy techs, laboratory techs, therapists (PT/OT/Respiratory), a dietician, radiologists, EMTs, CNAs, administrators and more and our students experienced hands on demos and informative exhibits. A full list of speakers can be found here.
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.
On Friday December 13th, 9th and 10th grade students at MHS will be attending a program about alcohol, marijuana, and vaping prevention presented by the Improbable Players, a theater company of young professional actors who are in long-term recovery. “I’ll Never Do That!” has been welcomed in schools for over 34 years. It’s a light-hearted play with a spectrum of scenes that explore stereotypes and issues about substance abuse and depicts a family and how they deal with drinking (including other substances) in their family. Noel Vigue, Director of Phys. Ed and Health, shares the following.
After the performance, the actors share their own stories and engage in a question/answer session with the audience. Students are encouraged to talk among themselves and with you, about the issues raised. MHS administration will share resources available in the community.
Parents can play an active role in supporting your children through these years when they or their friends may be experimenting with substances. We would encourage you to use this program as an opportunity to have a conversation about alcohol and drug use in our community. Think about a few issues you may want to discuss regarding alcohol and drug use to bring up with your student in the days following the presentation.
Led by Deanna Magill, four Pierce students participated in the New England Region Cyber Robotics Coding Competition. Hannah Lukasse, Jack McAnulla, Mason Pellegri, and Conor Walsh were recognized as finalists in the competition which was held at the University of New Hampshire. The team of Conor Walsh and Jack McAnulla finished in second place! In addition, there 65 members of the 103 Club (students who complete all 103 missions in the school competition) in New England, and only three of them are from MA – and all three are from the Pierce Middle Schools! Congratulations to Orla Crosse (who was unable to attend the competition), Jack McAnulla and Mason Pellegri for being part of the 103 Club!
The Cyber Robotics Coding Competitions are robotics and coding tournaments where students compete to showcase their STEM skills. The competitions are interactive, fun, and exciting, providing students and educators with the opportunity to learn how robots work, to build coding and robotics skills with virtual 3D robots, and to expand their knowledge and skills. Congratulations to Hannah, Jack, Mason, Conor, Orla and Ms. Magill!
The deadline for registration for the 8th grade DC trip is December 15. Instructions to register: Go to https://www.nationsclassroomtours.com/; Click on Register/Pay at the top of the page; Enter our Tour ID 35672001; complete the necessary information.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Inclusive Schools Week was acknowledged across the Milton Public Schools last week. Inclusive Schools Week celebrates the progress schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors. Students read books about diversity and inclusion, watched videos to celebrate people with living different disabilities, and had meaningful discussions about ways they can be more inclusive in their schools and communities. They also created art projects and wrote pieces about what they can do to promote inclusion, enjoyed fun lunches together and created colorful bulletin boards throughout their schools.
Collicot and Cunningham students in Mrs. Allegrezza’s music classes recently celebrated the end of term one by performing individual and group performances for their classmates during a special activity called “Music Share.”. We hope to share a compilation of some of the many acts performed at Collicot and Cunningham in next week’s blog, but for now, please take a minute to enjoy this beautiful and expressive piano solo performed by Collicot 4th grade student, Thinh Tran.
In a joint initiative between Glover’s PTO and Glover’s Diversity Committee, Glover has worked to bring diverse authors to Glover and Tucker Schools. Thanks to Glover parent and literary agent, Sara Crowe, the schools have been visited by many incredible and acclaimed authors, including Varian Johnson, Veera Hiranandani, and Jessica Hische. The first author of the 2019-20 school year, Megan Frazer Blakemore, visited Glover and Tucker on December 4. She is well-known for her Frankie Sparks series as well as The Firefly Code. Prior to her visit, a group of 40 Glover Kids met as a book club to talk about her book and complete exciting activities to share with her. During her visit, the Book Club had the opportunity to meet with her one of one and talk a bit more about the process of narrative writing as well as the specific content of her books.
Next up in Glover’s Diverse Reads Book Club, they will be reading The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon and will be skyping with her on January 29. In February, they’ll be reading Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly and she will be skyping with readers on March 12 at the Milton Public Library. We are also looking forward to reading and skyping with authors Kwambe Mbalia and Lesa Cline-Ransome, author of Finding Langston and Before She Was Harriet.
The Tucker community invites all MPS parents and guardians to join them for their Second Annual Tucker Talk on December 14th 8:30-11:30am at the Tucker School Library, 187 Blue Hills Parkway, Milton.
Wee the People present: The ABCs of Racism: Starting the Conversation about Race and Racism with Kids. This interactive workshop will explore the barriers that prevent adults from talking about race and racism with kids, examine the social science of race awareness in children, and identify strategies to start the conversation with kids about the complexities of race, racism, and racial differences.
You can learn more on the Wee the People website. This session is for adults. Free childcare is provided. All MPS elementary school parent/guardians are welcome to attend. Please RSVP if you are able to attend as it will help us plan ahead for light refreshments to be served.
Tucker Talk is sponsored by Tucker PTO, Celebrate Milton and the Tucker Diversity Committee.
The focus was learning fun painting techniques while also emphasizing that all are welcome in our school, in Ms. Tran’s painting CASS class at Collicot last week. Students painted many different papers and used the painted paper to cut out letters to collage the words “All Are Welcome Here”. Students researched different languages to make signs with the same message. The students created signs in Spanish, French, Hebrew, Polish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.
Mrs. Chen’s Cunningham 5th graders enjoyed a Minecraft dance party during this week’s Computer Science Education Week. Look for more pictures and information about CS Ed Week in next week’s blog.
Tucker students recently had a visit from Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, authors of the children’s book Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship. Jessica and Patrick were injured in the Boston Marathon bombing and their award winning children’s book is a heartwarming children’s story about the friendship between a young girl named Jessica and her new service dog Rescue. Students enjoyed an animated read aloud from Jessica’s husband Patrick Downes, witnessed some of Rescue’s therapy skills in action, and had an opportunity to ask questions to the authors. It was a wonderful experience for all at Tucker!
In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, the Milton Public Schools Speech Language Pathologists have compiled a list of fun interactive games that work on vocabulary and language skills. Try some out with your family or use them as inspiration for those on your gift-giving list.
It’s always the most wonderful time of the year in Elementary Physical Education! Students have the opportunity to collaborate with peers and learn while moving, in a fun, yet challenging environment. Our goal is to develop physically literate students who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity. Quality physical education programs help to improve physical competencies, health-related fitness, self-responsibility, cognitive abilities and foster enjoyment of physical activity.
Physical education is an integral part of a student’s educational path in MPS. Physical education contributes, primarily through movement experiences, to the total growth and development of all students. Student experiences are designed to meet the appropriate level of development and help students to become skillful movers who are physically fit. We provide opportunities for children to develop their potential for movement mastery in a variety of ways, not just within the context of games. By challenging children to think, to operate creatively within limits of their own abilities, to solve problems, to share thoughtfully, and show consideration for others, our programs provide meaningful experiences to the total education of all students.
During December, elementary students work on several climbing skills in PE class. Under the supervision of their physical educator, K-2 students learn about safety, body alignment, patience, self-awareness, and communication skills. Students in grades 3-5 work on developing the same competencies as above and practice working on muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, coordination, resiliency, and developing a growth mind-set.
SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is a parent driven organization that supports the families of Milton who have children with special needs. SEPAC can provide links to essential services, state and federal laws, programs, meetings and community events. Our goal is to improve communication and increase membership so that we may effectively advocate and advise the school district on special education issues, initiatives and policies. Our vision is to have our website be a comprehensive resource, you can also contact SEPAC by email directly.
SEPAC is offering an OPT IN for their listserve. Use this link to sign up and receive their ongoing news and supports!
The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is still looking for parental input in our Parent Survey. If you have not done so, and have a student in special education, please complete this brief survey.
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
The MFE is thrilled to share that science items funded by proceeds from the Monster Dash in loving memory of Sam Cichello, will be in your child’s classroom soon! Look for a Sunspotter Telescope, Earthquake Engineering Project tools, Convection Boxes and Vernier Sound Sensors all coming soon to Pierce! MHS and elementary resources are also coming soon and we look forward to sharing them in action in our classrooms.
The Milton Foundation for Education depends on the support of our community to make a difference in the Milton Public Schools. We are a non-profit, volunteer-run charitable organization that relies on your financial support. Every level of charitable giving on behalf of our schools makes a difference.
Our sincerest gratitude to the many of you who have given in the past. Some of the many opportunities your generous support has made possible include: Discovering Justice, Science from Scientists, wireless internet in all six schools, Biotech Lab, peaceful playgrounds, SMART boards, STARlab, Wildcat Wellness Center, artists-in-residence, anti-bullying initiatives, mentoring programs, enhanced libraries, and much more.
Thank you for your support of the Milton Foundation for Education during their 2019 Annual Appeal! Give online here or, if you prefer, mail a check to: Milton Foundation for Education, P.O. Box 223, Milton, MA 02186. As a 501c(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax deductible.
Need a quick and easy holiday gift? Get an EARLY MFE Jeep raffle ticket.
Email Liddie Sutter to purchase your ticket.Tickets are $100 and are limited to 500 sold so get yours now!
MPS GIVES BACK
Drop off your used soccer uniforms (and equipment) in collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce and at 34 Cliff Road. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps and uniforms from other sports will be gratefully accepted. For more information, call Madame Brown @ 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public Schools and Milton Soccer.
It’s easy to donate to Sophia’s Sock Drive – drop your socks into the donation bin in the lobby of Cunningham or the front porches of 3 Phyllis Lane or 178 Lyman Road. Thank you for helping Sophia to deliver new socks to those who need them!
The Pierce Student Council is holding a Sock Drive to Benefit the Boston Rescue Mission. Their goal is to have 1,000 pairs of adult socks (about one pair per student at our school) to donate by the December 15th deadline. All donations will be given to the Boston Rescue Mission. Please consider donating to this very worthy cause! Donations can be dropped at Pierce during school hours.
ART AND MUSIC
Milton Pop Up Art Show – Part 2! If you missed the boat last weekend, be sure to stop by Friday night. The Art Show is at 1700 Dorchester Ave, December 13th, 4-9pm. Admission is free! Proceeds benefit our MPS Art and Music Programs.
Our MHS musicians will be out and about in Milton this weekend, spreading some holiday cheer! Catch them at the dates below.
12/13 Merry Historic Milton at the Eustis Estate & Forbes House – Jazz Combo & String Ensemble
12/14 Holly Jolly Sing Along & Lantern Parade at the Eustis Estate – Christmas Carolers
If you are a registered nurse in MA and would like to see if school nursing is for you, consider applying for a per diem position in Milton Public Schools. For more information, please contact Kim Coughlin, Director of Nursing or call 617-696-4470 x5537.
We are hiring for substitute positions in food services at all schools. 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 is $15.05 per hour. Please email Jackie Morgan or call 617-696-5040 X 5514 for more information.
Winter sports started last week. We look forward to sharing updates as games begin!
All game schedules can be found on our MHS Athletics website.
IN THE COMMUNITY
The Milton Art Center is holding Secret Elf Workshops! Your elves will create personalized gifts for loved ones, and enjoy holiday music, snacks, and a festive atmosphere. The $50 fee includes materials for several projects.
Sign up here for Dec. 14, 9am-Noon.
The Milton Art Center Holiday Artisan Fair on Saturday, December 14, 10am-4pm, is one of the premier Holiday markets in the Boston area. There are 20+ merchants selling unique, hand-crafted items including artwork, pottery, jewelry, home goods, soaps, candies and more. Shop local, enjoy the holiday cheer! The Milton Art Center is located at 334 Edge Hill Road.
We’ve decked the halls of the Forbes House and you’re invited to enjoy an afternoon of traditional holiday funat the Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 14th from 1-4pm. There will be Victorian re-enactors (Santa too!), a working model train in a Dickens’ Village setting, ornament crafts, caroling, live music played on an 1853 melodeon, and a make-your-own-hot-chocolate bar. Plus, an architecture activity will have you and your family exploring the house in a whole new way. Admission: $5/person; $20 max/family. Members are FREE.
Join us on Saturday, December 14th, 5-7pm, for an enchanting family-friendly holiday lantern stroll and joyous Christmas carols at the Eustis Estate. Decorate a lantern with your own designs, then join a parade around the property. The Milton High School choir leads a sing-along of festive winter songs. Warm up with hot chocolate, coffee, and treats, and explore the decorated museum. Appropriate for children ages 5 to 12. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Most of the event is outdoors (weather permitting), so dress warmly. In the event of bad weather, all activities will be indoors. Family (member and non-member): $25; Historic New England member adult: $5; Non-member adult: $10; Member and non-member child: $5. Advance tickets recommended. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information.
On Sunday, December 22, from 5-7om , enjoy a magical evening of music and holiday cheer at the Eustis Estate. Explore the 1878 mansion, which has been lavishly decorated for Christmas, while live holiday music, provided by the Milton Public schools music department, fills the halls. Light refreshments, including wine and cider, will be served. Historic New England member: $20; non-member adult: $25; Student (13-) member and non-member: $15
Advance tickets required.To purchase tickets, please visit our website or call 617-994-6600 for more information.
The Town of Milton is preparing a climate change vulnerability assessment. The assessment’s goal is to identify hazards climate change pose to Milton, our points of vulnerability to these hazards, and our points of strength as we work to mitigate their effects.
To that end, the Town will be hosting a public listening session before our assessment to get a better idea of resident priorities and mine their collective knowledge. All members of the Milton community are invited to the Climate Change Vulnerability Listening Session on Thursday, January 9th 6:30-8:30pm at the Milton Library, Keys Community Room.
Milton Youth Lacrosse spring registration for grades 3-8 is open! New players welcome. For those with need for financial aid please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Indoor practices begin in January!
Environmental Coordinator for the Milton Department of Public Works Hillary Waite share the following: The winter season is sprinkled with holidays, celebrations, gifts and delicious foods. It can also be wasteful. According to the EPA, household waste in the U.S. increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, totaling about 1 million extra tons of waste. What can people concerned about their environmental footprint do to make seasonal celebrations more sustainable? More information can be found here.
As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition. Please read about some of their accomplishments below:
STAFF: I would like to acknowledge our Milton High School Guidance Staff, led by Director of Guidance Karen Cahill, for what I understand was an excellent College Information/Post Secondary Planning night last week. I received several emails praising both the information shared and the way in which it was presented. Thank you to Scott Devlin, Leonice Bernard, Lisa Spinelli, Rich Guarino, Karen Cahill and Administrative Assistant Colleen MacDougall for preparing and presenting an informative and engaging evening for our parents and guardians. We are lucky to have a top notch guidance department at Milton High School.
STUDENTS: The Milton Youth Hockey 5th grade team took the gold at Lake Placid this past weekend! Congratulations to the team with students from all of our elementary schools, who swept the competition.
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: Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Noel Vigue, Deanna Magill, Bernadette Butler, Zeina Hamada, Maureen Butler, Bill Fish, Holly Concannon, Caitlin Deptula, Susan Maselli, Karen McDavitt, Rina Chen, Joyce White and April Allegrezza.
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