December 19, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 19, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we have had several days of impactful winter weather already this month, below is a reminder about how we approach inclement weather at the Milton Public Schools. Snow days are a necessary part of life in the northeast and the better we manage them as partners, the more successful our winter will be.

The safety of students and staff is paramount and we do not want to have students, parents and staff on the roads when the conditions are unsafe. In addition, we need to be sure our sidewalks, crosswalks and buildings are ready for our students and staff to have a safe and successful school day.

Before and during inclement weather, I consult with the relevant town departments, MPS administration and superintendents from neighboring districts. I also monitor weather forecasts, including those provided by the Town of Milton. At times, the decision is clear and we are able to call a snow day the evening before school. Often, however, the forecast is difficult to predict with any certainty for Milton and those decisions are best made in the early morning (by 5:00am). When we experience inclement weather, there are three options that I consider: a full school day; a 2 hour delay; complete cancellation of school.

If we have a full school day:

  • The day will proceed as a regular day with breakfast, Before School, after school activities, etc. all taking place.
  • Please be aware that even with a full school day, there can be traffic delays for our buses due to weather.

If we have a 2 hour delay:

  • Your child’s school day will start 2 hours later than a regular day.
    MHS – 9:50 start and dismissal at 2:19. MHS will be open for arrivals
    starting at 9:35.
    Pierce – 9:57 start and dismissal at 2:26. Pierce will be open for
    arrivals at 9:40.
    Cunningham/Collicot – school will start at 10:20 and end at 2:49.
    School will be open for arrivals at 10:05 am.
    Glover/Tucker – school will start at 10:50 and end at 3:19. School will
    be open for arrivals at 10:35.
  • Busses will run on a 2 hour delay, please be aware that some busses
    could be running behind as they navigate the snow.
  • There will be no Before School program or before school activities at any school.
    After School Enrichment, after school activities and evening school based activities will proceed as planned.
  • There will be no breakfast served at any school.
  • Lunch will be served at every school.

If school is cancelled due to inclement weather:

  • All after school and evening activities will also be cancelled.

This school year, we will be utilizing the Remind app system for bus delay notifications. I urge all families with children who take the bus to join the messaging system for the specific route(s) their student(s) ride. Families can join more than one route. All details on opting in to Remind can be found on the MPS Transportation page. Please email our Transportation Department at bus@miltonps.org with any questions.

MHS Principal Jette recently shared this AAA Tips for Driving in the Snow with me and I share it with you here in the hopes you will read and also share with your student drivers.

When possible, we will communicate the decision to cancel or delay the evening before school. When the forecast dictates waiting until morning, we will communicate the decision to cancel or delay by 5:15 am. Please refer to our website, as well as check your email and voicemail as we will communicate this news via email, phone and website.

Please have plans ready for your children in the event of either a delay or cancellation in the case of inclement weather. I appreciate your patience and understanding this winter as we work to make the most informed decisions on behalf of MPS students, families and staff.

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 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
Jan 21 PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole-“Vaping and our Youth”

The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

The School Committee voted last night on the 2020-21 school year calendar. The approved calendar can be found here. 

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.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on January 8th, 2020 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

Last week, students involved in computer science-based classes at Milton High School participated in CS Ed week, a week dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take an interest in computer science.  MHS student Tyler MacNeil shares this summary of the week below.

Students in Mrs. Jarboe’s AP Computer Science Principles class were asked to visit the middle and elementary schools to do a presentation to some of our elementary  and middle school students at each school. The older students wanted to show younger kids that anyone can participate in computer science, and to encourage them to take an interest in computer science courses.
MHS students who presented were hopeful that students from Pierce and the elementary schools were able to be actively engaged in their activities and that they would consider learning more about computer science.

AP Computer Science A students also participated in an infiltration day. Students visited MHS classrooms to present  on a topic that related to Computer Science and the class they  ‘infiltrated.’ 3D Design was one of the classes infiltrated. Students presented on 3D printing and  showed their peers how to code 3D designs using BlocksCad. The designs were then printed in the new  library Maker Space. You can see the full list of CS Week events here.

***

Sophomore and Juniors: Please save the date for the 2nd annual HerUniverse Conference  at Curry College. The event will be on Friday, May 15th, 2020, from 8:00am – 1:00pm.

Held at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, HerUniverse is a free conference for young women (currently in their sophomore or junior year of high school) who aspire to work in the tech industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore different fields of technology through speakers, presentations, and hands-on workshops. Topics will include subjects from cybersecurity, programing robots, and more! Students can register at HerUniverse Registration.

PIERCE PAGES 

There is another Community Teen Skate Night at Shea Rink this Friday, December 20th from 8-10pm for middle school students. There will be music and local MC/DJ, Matt McAuliffe, will surely make it a fun night!

Admission is $5 a the door. Skate rentals will be available for $6 and the snack bar will be open for refreshments. Drop your middle schooler for some fun and get some last minute shopping done while they enjoy a fun night out with their peers!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Thanks to Glover parents, Thao and Tuan TranPham, Glover fourth and fifth graders have the opportunity to participate in a before-school enrichment Speech and Debate Club. Each week, students complete assignments, learn about effective speakers and presentation techniques, and give speeches in front of their peers. Speaking and listening skills are reinforced through peer critique as well as adult feedback. The students are really enjoying this experience! Enjoy this speech about the influence of Nelson Mandela given by Sebastien TranPham.

***

Gracie the therapy dog has been visiting  classrooms at Collicot this fall. Gracie and her owner Ginny are a registered therapy dog team through Dog B.O.N.E.S. As a team, Ginny and Gracie visit assisted living facilities and schools in the area to provide therapeutic contact and bring a little joy to the elderly and the young. Students at Collicot have enjoyed getting to pet Gracie, talk to her, and read her books. The students have also practiced how to interact with dogs. They have learned how to approach and pet a new dog as well as the importance of asking, “May I pet your dog?” This therapeutic opportunity has been both calming and uplifting for all. We’re looking forward to more Gracie visits in the new year!

***

BOKS Fall Session has officially wrapped at Glover! Thanks to Ellen Stoddard and her crew of amazing helpers, our students culminated their weekly exercise sessions with the annual “running of the halls” at Glover. You can see the Glover fun here.

***

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.

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT 

Director of World Languages Dr. Martine Fisher, Collicot Assistant Principal Zeina Hamada and Cunningham Principal Jon Redden recently hosted visitors from New Hampshire who are interested in implementing language immersion programs in the state of New Hampshire. Our NH guests included the Commissioner of Education, Manchester Superintendent of Schools, New Hampshire teachers and professors from Plymouth State University and St. Anselm College.

After splitting up and visiting  Holliston and Brockton in the morning, our guests
joined together and spent the afternoon at Cunningham and Collicot. Our two schools on one site provides for a variety of classrooms to visit and observe. We were pleased to share the details of our immersion program, challenges we have faced, solutions that have worked and the overall success of our  30 plus year old French Immersion program in Milton. This sharing of knowledge across districts and states only serves to enrich educational opportunities for all of our students.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Help your kids make choices that will support their well being. Participate in the SUPPER Project to learn how! We now have 53 Milton families enrolled, and 3 more pending enrollment. Sign up now to get your family involved.

Milton Public School families have been given an opportunity to partcipate in a study being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University. This study is funded through the National Institutes of Health. There are five openings left in the study for 5th-7th grade students and their parent/guardian.

Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and in the body of the email include your name and the name of your child’s school.  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.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

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!

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Up next in our PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole, MPH, CHES presents “Vaping and Our Youth: Strategies for Prevention” on Tuesday January 21st at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium.

Learn more about what e-cigarette and vape products are, why they are harmful, how the tobacco and vaping industry are targeting kids, and how to protect our kids from this latest trend. Mary Cole is the Program Coordinator of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Mary has her Masters in Public Health from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

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.

ART AND MUSIC

Milton Pop Up Art Show – Last Chance! If you missed the boat last weekend, be sure to stop by Friday night. The Art Show is at  1700 Dorchester Ave, December 20th, 3-9pm. Admission is free! Proceeds benefit our MPS Art and Music Programs.

***

Congratulations to our Senior District audition winners! These students have been invited to and will participate  in the Eastern District Senior Festival in January. Congratulations to these talented students.

 ATHLETICS  

Bobby Carew recently signed his National Letter of Intent to run Cross Country and Track at UMass Amherst. He is now the fourth signing this year, following Ava Duggan (XC/Track Northeastern), Grace Sullivan (XC/Track, Bryant) and Matthew Cormier (Gymnastics, Penn State). Congratulations to these student athletes!

Winter sports are in full swing. All game schedules can be found on our  MHS Athletics website.

  • Boys Basketball is 1-1 after beating Framingham to open the season, while both Boys and Girls Track beat Braintree to start 1-0 as well.
  • Wrestling split over the weekend and look forward to a busy winter break schedule.
  • Girls Hockey bounced right back after losing their opener with a 2-1 win over Framingham for Coach Lodi’s first Varsity win.
  • Boys Hockey played out a 5-4 tie after a back-and-forth game with Framingham and then tied Braintree 3-3 last night.

The MHS Ski Team will be hosting the first Cans for Cats bottle and can drive of 2020 on
Saturday, January 4th from 9 a.m. to noon at Milton High School.

IN THE COMMUNITY

DECEMBER:

There are activities at the Milton Public Library for children of all ages throughout the winter break. 

JANUARY: 

The next Milton Community Concert, “Rockin’ With Renaissance Men”, will be on Saturday evening, January 18th at 7pm at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. This is a free benefit concert, with donations of any amount going to support the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

***

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.

ONGOING:

Milton Youth Lacrosse spring registration for grades 3-8 is open! New players welcome. For those with need for financial aid please email miltonyouthlacrosse@gmail.com. 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.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue,  Zeina Hamada, Maureen Butler, Karen McDavitt, Karen Cahill, Dr. Martine Fisher, Jessica Jarboe, Tyler MacNeil and James Jette.

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

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