January 16, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 9, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There is no reason to leave Milton in the coming weeks to experience engaging and enjoyable theater and music. Our students and staff are prepared to entertain you – please consider supporting their endeavors!

Tonight at Milton High School, our Pierce and Milton High School musicians will wow you at the MHS/Pierce Jazz Concert at 7pm in the Charles Winchester Auditorium at MHS.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is coming to Pierce! Pierce Players productions are always a hit and enjoyed by theater goers of all ages. Come see our Pierce Players in action on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7pm, Friday, Jan. 24 at 7pm and Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2pm in the Pierce Auditorium. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 13th at 12pm. Admission is $10 and all details and ticket link can be found on the Pierce Players website.

MHS Theater invites you to An Evening of One Act Plays: The Women of Lockerbie/These Shining Lives on Thursday, January 30; Friday, January 31;  and Saturday, February 1  – all at 7pm.  Tickets are available at the MHS Theater website.

The Women of Lockerbie: A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland, looking for her son’s remains that were lost in the crash of Pan Am 103. She meets the women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the U.S. government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families. THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE is loosely inspired by a true story, although the characters and situations in the play are purely fictional. Written in the structure of a Greek tragedy, it is a poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate.

These Shining Lives: In this drama centering around Catherine Donahue and her three coworkers / friends, the new financial independence of women working in the post-war 1920s is both liberating and exciting. The women earn a comfortable living painting watch faces glow-in-the-dark. This new vision of freedom is shattered when one by one the women begin to fall ill to mysterious ailments. THESE SHINING LIVES chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance. Catherine and her friends are dying, its true; but theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spiritsor endanger the lives of those who come after them.

On February 13th, please join us for the MHS Cabaret, and be entertained by our students and staff alike. These talented performers will leave you wanting more!

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The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites all to their Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. There are service projects happening from 9-11am at St Michael’s Episcopal Church, 112 Randolph Avenue, Milton. For the indoor service project, volunteers are invited to donate, assemble, and distribute Blessing Bags to homeless individuals. Please bring supplies to donate if you are able and willing. The full list of needed supplies, as well as the RSVP, can be found by clicking here.

In the evening, we will gather to celebrate Dr. Kings life from 6:30-8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Avenue, Milton.  Join the MHS Gospel Chorus,  MPS Elementary Singers, MHS Diversity Groups, MICA Scholarship Winners,  members of Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice and more as we come together as a community around the theme for this year: The Challenge of Change.

All are welcome to volunteer in the Day of Service activities and join in the Celebration as we remember and honor the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

These are busy days in the Milton Public Schools with grade specific Information Nights, two upcoming PARENT Speakers, concerts, theater productions, activity fairs, budget meetings and more all on the MPS calendar in the coming weeks. There are many options for staying “in the know” at the Milton Public Schools. Please refer to our Milton Public Schools website, district calendar, Facebook page, Twitter account, your Principal and PTO communications and of course this weekly update to stay informed and aware of all that is happening in your child’s school and our district.

Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. Holiday
Jan 21 PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole-“Vaping and our Youth”
Jan 22 Milton School Committee
Jan 23,24,25 Pierce Players
Jan 23 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 28 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, Tucker School Library
Jan 29 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, Collicot/Cunningham Library
Jan 30, 31 Feb 1 MHS Winter Production – One Act Plays
Feb 4 Parent Speaker Series, Jon Mattleman – Secret Lives of Teens & Tweens
Feb 5 Early Release Day for Students
Feb 5 Milton School Committee
Feb 6 Milton Activities Fair – Tucker Gym
Feb 12 Budget Meeting 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium

Are you looking for activities for your elementary school age children? Please join the Milton Public Schools on February 6th, 2020 in the gymnasium of the Tucker School, 187 Blue Hills Parkway from 5:30-7:00pm. Representatives from a variety of athletic programs, after school activities, musical instrument lessons, theater, acting and future engineers opportunities, and Milton Summer Enrichment will be on hand to answer questions. In addition, a representative from the Milton Public Library will be on hand to register students for a library card and outline all the amazing MPL programs offered.
If you have any questions or need additional information please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison.

The 2019-20 calendar can be found here. The School Committee voted recently on the 2020-21 school year calendar. The approved calendar can be found here. 

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION NIGHTS

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.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on January 22nd, 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website. 

MPS Budget Meetings: Along with members of the Milton School Committee, MPS Administrators recently presented budget requests for Fiscal Year 2021 to the Warrant Committee. As we navigate the process of presenting the school budget to the Warrant Committee and eventually to Town Meeting, we want to keep the MPS community informed as to the process. To that end, we are holding three School Budget Presentations in the coming weeks. Each of these presentations is open to all Milton residents, please consider attending the meeting that best fits your schedule. Please join us on one of the following dates to discuss the projected MPS budget for the 2020-21 school year.

January 28, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Tucker School Library
January 29, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Collicot/Cunningham Library
February 12, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Milton High School Auditorium

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Our PARENT Speaker Series is midway though the 3rd year of bringing interesting and valuable speakers to parents and guardians in Milton and beyond. We are thrilled with the success of the PARENT Speaker Series and want to recognize the community organizations that help to fund the series. The PARENT Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Public Schools, Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, MPS Parent Teacher Organizations and Special Education Parent Advisory Council. We have two compelling speakers in the coming weeks and I hope you will consider making time to attend one or both of these valuable presenations.

On Tuesday January 21st at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium, Mary Cole, MPH, CHES presents “Vaping and Our Youth: Strategies for Prevention”. 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). In conjunction with the speaker, you may find these links helpful:  Teen Vaping: What You Need to Know and CDC/Surgeon General Tip Sheet for Parents. 

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On Tuesday, February 4th, we will welcome Jon Mattleman presenting “The Secret Lives of Teens/Tweens” at the MHS auditorium, starting at 6:30pm. Jon will help provide new ways of understanding and engaging with teens/tweens, effective strategies you can implement immediately and leave you with more confidence, courage, and patience in your parenting skills. Jon is a mental health counselor and trainer with 30 years of experience working with children, teens, young adults, parents and families. His dynamic presentations have been well received by thousands of parents throughout New England. We welcome his return to Milton after presenting “Minding Your Mind” at Pierce Middle School in 2017.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS 

Congratulations to our MHS students who attended the  All American Model United Nations Invitational this past weekend and were award “Best Delegation” All American!

Pictured (L to R): Sophie Kasiba, Anderson Korman, Jonathan Waldmann and William McElroy. Not shown but participated: Kiera Glazer, Honu Panerio-Langer and Iris Trafton

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MHS student Rejeila Sami Firmin shares the following about a recent field trip for the Young Men and Women’s Group.

Seniors in the Young Men and Women’s Group took an eye-opening trip to the Boston Public Library on December 18th to learn more about the college process. The students visited the Teen Center as well as the ASA Education and Career Planning Center.

As seniors, the members had already been to many different kinds of college informational sessions like tours, fairs, and meetings with counselors. However, this trip provided so much more. David Vera, Education Advisor at the Boston Public Library asks, “How many of you have actually taken the time to sit down and write a list of your skills?” In a room full of 20 seniors, not one raised a hand.

As the session carried on, Vera continued to ask the seniors simple questions about themselves, and immediately provided a plan for them. Vera advised the seniors to take advantage of social media, build themselves a portfolio, and begin working in the field they wish to pursue. At the end of the meeting, students made follow-up appointments and arranged to meet with Vera before Winter Break.

Young Women’s Group member Michelle Gauvin says, “I really liked how he talked about different options other than a 4-year college. A lot of people talk badly about community college but David talked about how you can save a lot of money that way.” Leila Stella, another member of the Young Women’s Group continues, “He gave us good advice for our futures and how we’re going to create a pathway for ourselves. He also reassured us that all our journeys are going to be different so we shouldn’t doubt ourselves and I really feel like that’s what a lot of young adults need to hear.”

The trip accomplished the goal of giving the seniors a new outlook on the college process through allowing students to ask individualized questions and beginning the discovery of their different career pathways. Due to the success of the first trip, the Young Men and Women’s Group plan to bring the sophomores and juniors in March of 2020.

PIERCE PAGES 

8th grade Pierce social studies classes enjoyed a field trip this week to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute  for the US Senate. Students participated in a Senate simulation playing the role of Senators from various states, political parties, with differing political views. Students debated the topic of immigration and voted on various clauses and a bill. Thank you to Representative William J. Driscoll Jr., Democratic Representative, 7th Norfolk,  who addressed students on his journey to political office.

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We are happy to share the great effort and results by Pierce Middle School wrestling this weekend at the Boston City Championships! Congratulations to Will Doyle – 1st, Colt Osinski – 3rd, Owen Crowley – 1st, Reese Lyte – 3rd, Nathan Auguste – 3rd, Vinny Thill – 3rd, Mack Poles – 1st and Griffin White – 1st.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders  are currently studying “Pebbles, Sand, and Silt”. In this unit, students are learning that rocks can be described by their properties. Students learn that properties are like categories, and that scientists sort rocks according to color, shape, texture, weight, luster, and pattern. Students were excited to use magnifying glasses to observe and compare physical properties of rocks. Students were captivated with the Rock of the Day- GRANITE. They examined its properties and discussed how this speckled rock is used in everyday life (stairs, countertops, curbstones, etc…) Our students rock on in grade 2!

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Collicot 5th graders serve as student leaders and have jobs around school that they work on during recess. Students use their recess time to empty recycle bins, organize books in the library or help administrators and Ms. Barker in the office. Some 5th graders have chosen to volunteer in our kindergarten classrooms and join students during centers. Below our 5th graders support kindergarten students during center time in Mrs. Bullard’s class.

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Tucker students are enjoying morning Yoga with Ms. Nicole as part of the winter enrichment offerings offered at Tucker. Other classes include Robotics, STEM Stories, Basketball, Girls and Boys Grade 5 Empowerment Group and more.

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Joel Christian Gill, Associate Professor of Illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, visited Cunningham this week. Mr. Gill is a cartoonist and author who creates comics to tell the stories of unheralded figures from black history. In his presentation to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, he spoke about his development as an artist and storyteller and shared samples of his work, from a picture book about Bessie Stringfield, an African-American pioneer for women in motorcycling, to a graphic novel about Henry “Box” Brown, an enslaved person who escaped by mailing himself in a crate from Virginia to Philadelphia. After the presentation, Mr. Gill treated the 5th grade classes to a workshop where students gained confidence as artists, learned tips about telling stories through the medium of cartooning, and created comics of their own.

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The Cunningham and Collicot PTOs held a parent/guardian coffee last week and Cunningham and Collicot adjustment counselors Jaclyn Germano and Elizabeth Caruso gave an informative and well attended  presentation focused on building confidence in children starting at a young age. They discussed the science behind the development of a child’s brain and provided parenting tips, family activities and other resources including bedtime books and videos. If you missed this valuable presentation, please take a moment to view the presentation and watch the Ted Talk linked in the slides.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY 

The Milton Public Schools is looking for ways to support those in our community who have deployed members of the military in their family. If you feel you could help us discern the best ways to provide support, we welcome your involvement (staff, parent/guardian, community member) as we consider a path forward. Please email Superintendent Gormley to join this informal group.

If your family needs support at any time, for any reason, please email our Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna. 

MPS PRESCHOOL 

Preschool pre-registration is open and will close on January 23rd. Children attending a MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2020.The link to pre-register for Preschool can be found here. The following links will bring you to important information regarding our preschool programs. Preschool Presentation 2020-21; Preschool Overview 2020-21; Preschool Fact Sheet 2020-21; Preschool Important Dates 2020-21; Preschool Tuition and Financial Aid 2020-21

CURRICULUM HIGHLIGHT – VISUAL ARTS

I have asked Dawn Sykes, Fine and Applied Arts Director to share information about our visual arts curriculum here.

Milton’s visual arts program encourages students to develop creativity and expressive awareness. In art classes, students gain powerful tools for learning artistic modes of problem solving, bringing an array of expressive, analytical, and developmental skills to all situations. Furthermore, visual arts programming heightens cultural traditions while encouraging self-realization and self-discipline.

In the elementary grades, students receive 45 minutes of art instruction per week where they build skills and experiment with making art. Lessons are grounded in the elements and principles of design, include exploration of materials, and the study of cultures and art from around the world. As students progress through the grades, they refine observational skills, learn to think abstractly, and make decisions to portray meaning in their art. Students in the fifth grade who show special interest in art-making may participate in Artistic Creative Enrichment (ACE), a program that allows for greater exploration of materials and techniques for more personalized artwork.

Students in middle school may elect to take visual art classes where they continue to learn about the creative process, and are encouraged to seek deeper personal solutions to artistic challenges. As well, they learn specific techniques traditionally used in art making. Along with the basic skills used in drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, and ceramics, students study a variety of artists and art movements. Also, students continue a deeper study of the elements and principles of design, and how to employ them to create successful compositions. In middle school, particularly dedicated students may continue with ACE Designation as a supplemental component to the class.

Finally, in high school, students are offered a wide variety of art experiences to explore their creative potential and to develop accompanying skills. In addition to increasing awareness of visual concepts, students refine technical skills as well as develop exploratory and experimental approaches to self-expression. Students are enabled to organize and direct the focus of their work through independent study, goal setting, creative problem solving and personal reflection. Expanding on concepts presented in prior years, the high school program aims to forge interdisciplinary connections between cultures, past artistic endeavors and the individual’s personal concepts. Courses in traditional art-making processes of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, ceramics, and sculpture are offered as well as digital photography and a study of visual concepts in film. Students may also elect to study AP Studio Art.

Our purpose is to foster attitudes, understanding, skills, and enjoyment so that each individual’s artistic potential may be developed. In developing their potential, students realize that participation in the Arts adds a richness to life.

TECHNOLOGY

We are looking forward to the first-ever elementary school Digital Citizenship Day.  All Milton Public School elementary students will take part in two to four engaging digital citizenship lessons during this exciting day.  The lesson topics will include but are not limited to, digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying, and creating passwords.

The ready to teach no teaching experience needed lessons will be delivered by family volunteers.  Each class will need two to four volunteers. The lessons will be shared with the volunteers on Tuesday, January 14th.  If the volunteers need support in preparing for the day an optional training session will be offered to all of the volunteers on Tuesday, January 21st at 6:30 pm in the Collicot/Cunningham cafeteria.

The  dates of each school’s Digital Citizenship Day are as follows:

  • Collicot – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
  • Cunningham – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
  • Glover – Tuesday, February 11th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm
  • Tucker – Thursday, February 13th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm

If you would like to volunteer please complete the Google Form for your student’s school: Collicot’s Google Form; Cunningham’s Google Form; Glover’s Google Form;Tucker’s Google Form  If you have any immediate questions please email  AJ Melanson, MPS Educational Technology Director.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

Over two days in December, teams of 5 or 6 teachers from each elementary school gathered at Cunningham Hall to build understanding of how to promote trauma-sensitive school environments.  This opportunity is one piece of a new partnership with STRIVE- Supportive Trauma Interventions for Educators.  Dr. Neena McConnico, Director of the Child Witness to Violence Project, and Courtney Bailey, Clinical Coordinator the Child Witness to Violence Project, led participants through a series of interactive activities and reflection exercises.  The overall goals of STRIVE are to:  Improve socio-emotional regulation for children and improve student-teacher interactions; 2).  Integrate a cultural lens that acknowledges inequities in exposure to adverse childhood experiences in order to create inclusive learning environments for students; 3). Promote trauma-sensitive school environment by leveraging existing data and coordinating partnerships to build institutional capacity of public schools that serve minority and disadvantaged youth.  We look forward to furthering this partnership and continuing to build capacity in our district to ensure the success of all of our students

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

CELEBRATION 2020 is coming soon! Save the date for April 4th, 202o at Granite Links. Details and tickets in the coming weeks. In the meantime…

Are you interested in being among the first to have a 1/500 chance of winning a 2020 Jeep Wrangler or $20,000 cash? 2020 MFE Jeep Raffle tickets are hot off the press! Email Liddiefb@gmail.com to purchase a ticket or with any questions.  The winner will be drawn 4/4/20 at Celebration. The Milton Foundation for Education’s Celebration and Jeep Raffle raises money in support of all  six Milton Public Schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is conducting a comprehensive program review of the Special Education programs in Milton. A component of this review is input from various community stakeholders. We are  seeking interested community members who would like to participate in a 1 hour focus group. The goal of the group is to hear from community members about their experiences in special education. Information gathered will be integrated into our Program Review and will help guide future planning for Special Education.

The focus group for community members is Tuesday, February 4, 2020 from 4-5pm and the group will meet in Milton High School room 209. Please reach out to let us know if you are able to come, so we plan for appropriate space. if you have already RSVPed, you are all set. Please confirm your attendance by emailing Susan Maselli.

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Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council invites you to SEPAC monthly meetings. Mark your calendars: Meetings start at 7pm at Glover Elementary School on 2/5/20, 3/4/20, 4/1/20, 5/6/20, 6/3/20.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

MPS Head Nurse Kim Coughlin shares that all schools are reporting students testing positive for flu.  These resources may be helpful for families: CDC “Flu: What to do if you get sick” link  and “Healthy Habits to prevent flu”.  As a reminder,  students should be fever-free for 24 hours without medicine before returning to school. 

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Milton High School staff and students – Do you want to avoid the lunch lines? Want to have more time to relax and eat your lunch? There’s an App for that!

This week, our new app, WebMenus, will be launching and will allow you to preorder your sandwich, salad or Power Pack just in time for your lunch period! You will be able to order your lunch up to a week ahead of time or before 9:30 AM for the day of.

  • Download the WebMenus app on your Apple or Google device. (Or order straight from your computer desktop at Milton School’s Foodservice Webpage  – look for the link on the top left corner of the food service page).
  • Enter your name; pick up date, email, and cell phone number (if you’d like a text confirmation).
  • Customize your sandwich, salad, or Power Pack.
  • During your lunch period, pick up your order at the cooler on the TOP SHELF before stopping by the cashier. It will have a label with your full name and order on it.

That’s it – no lines to wait in, more time to eat! Just go right to the cashier for payment.

*Please be aware that orders that are not picked up will still be charged to the student/faculty’s account. Please direct any questions you may still have to Milton’s Foodservice Department 617-898-1051

ATHLETICS  

Boys Hockey won in convincing fashion last night, beating Newton north 6-0. Goals from Bobby Carew, Rob Ricciardi, Owen Radley, Jack Vaughn, Ronan Robinson and John Carey.

The Girls Hockey Team won their second game, beating Newton North 4-1, with goals from Cheistina Sweeney (2), Kat Baker and Grace DeBenedictis. They will play at 6pm on Saturday before the Boys play at 7:40pm in a double-header. It is also Youth Hockey Night!

The Boys Basketball Games has not been for the faint of heart lately, as they rebounded from an overtime loss to Newton North with a 3-point victory (65-62) over Randolph last night to improve to 5-4 on the season.

All schedules can be found on our Athletics website.

IN THE COMMUNITY

The film In Their Shoes was created to amplify the unheard, disempowered, and often vilified populations in the drug crisis –  the easiest targets caught in the most difficult cycles.  All are invited to a screening and discussion of the film on Thursday, January 30th in the student lounge of Quincy College. All details can be found here.  

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter has information for families about many activities for children in the coming weeks.

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There is much fun to be had this season in the Children’s Room at the Milton Public Library! Cool family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular story times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of January 26th.

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The Milton Historical Society is hosting its annual Fireside Chat program on two separate occasions. The first chat is on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at 10 a.m., and second on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at 7 p.m., both at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. Reservations are required as there is a 20-person limit at each sitting. Coffee and light refreshments will be available. Reservations only to EJPen@comcast.net.
Suffolk Resolves House Curator Diann Strausberg will bring Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson to life using Hutchinson related items in the society’s collection.

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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.

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The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition recently  took a deep look at youth and drugs, alcohol and mental health issues in Milton in 2019. This included surveys of hundreds of teens and preteens, a survey of over 500 parents, interviews with key stakeholders, focus groups, and data from BID Hospital Milton and our ambulance service. Milton youth demonstrate a lot of strengths and use of illegal substances has decreased generally since MSAPC last examined this issue. However, we still face challenges. Come and hear the results of this community assessment ( on January at 6:30pm at Milton Hospital) and what we can do as a community in order to continue to move misuse rates in a positive direction. The 2016 release of the last community assessment led to amazing collaboration across town departments focused on decreasing youth alcohol and marijuana use and increasing the focus on behavioral health.

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Please consider supporting Brookwood Community Farm or joining as a member. Over the past few years, a variety of elementary school students have visited the farm with their class, walking the fields, learning about how plants grow and more, all at the base of the Blue Hills.

YOUTH SPORTS 

It’s only January but many spring sports registration sites are up and running – or will be soon! If you are considering a town spring sport for your child, now is the time to explore options and register. Milton has many sports options for your child, including: Milton Youth Lacrosse;Milton Girls Softball ;Milton American Baseball ;Milton National Little League.

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:

STUDENTS: Glover 4th grader, Cole Robinson, has loved koala bears since the age of two, when a family friend gave him a koala stuffed animal from Australia. He has been devastated (as have many of us) by the news coming out about the bush fires in Australia and was inspired to take action.

Along with his friends Jack Queally, Owen Burnes, Patrick O’Leary, Emmett Sullivan and Charlie Heavey, Cole has begun to raise funds to support those impacted. Last week, Cole and friends organized a Hat Day at Glover. Students were invited to wear their hats all day in school in exchange for a donation, in any amount, to Cole’s fundraising efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of the Glover community, over $3000 was raised in the Hats for Koalas fundraiser! All funds raised are going to a carefully researched animal hospital in Australia that is currently treating hundreds of injured koalas. We are grateful for our student leaders, Cole, Charlie, Jack, Owen, Patrick, and Emmett for helping to bring this project to fruition. Thank you to all who participated to help make their charitable efforts a success!

STAFF: Thank you to Geralyn Comer, Carolyn Brandi, Amanda Brink, Kate Elovich, Sheila Arens, Cassi Driscoll,Anne-Isabelle Jungels, Amy Gale, Jackie LaMonica, Fatim Kramer and Jennifer Fitzsimmons. This group of K-2 teachers dedicated a recent Saturday to science professional development and I appreciate their commitment to their students.

During this professional development series, teachers investigated how to use FOSS science to help students explore science in a hands on manner, beginning with inquiry. Teachers participated in conversations about the importance of sense-making discussions in the primary science classroom and met in grade level teams to prepare for upcoming science units considering these two important ideas. Our students and staff continue to benefit from robust professional development.

VOLUNTEERS: Congratulations to Katherine Touafek of Schools to Careers who has been named the NRCC Paul Smith Volunteer of the Year 2019. The award is presented to a volunteer who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the NRRC (Neponset River Regional Chamber) and its members – exemplified by the late Paul Smith, Sr. – selfless giving of time, talent and materials to help fellow members succeed. Many of our students participate in the successful Schools to Careers field trips and seminars and we are grateful to Katherine for her work with Schools to Careers.

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: Noel Vigue, Caitlin Deptula, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Bernadette Butler, Josh Coben, AJ Melanson, Karen McDavitt, Ryan Madden,  Ellen Lohan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Susan Maselli, , Jackie Morgan, Kim Coughlin, Bill Deschenes, Margaret Carrels, Tanya Walsh, Dr. Karen Spaulding, Kevin Black , James Jette, Dawn Sykes, Jaclyn Germano, Elizabeth Caruso, Melissa Augustyn, Barbara Wright and Rejeila Sami Firmin.

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: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

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