September 15th E-Blast

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Tomorrow night, we will host our first home football game of the season! The Wildcats will take on Quincy High School, with kickoff at 7pm. The Milton Boosters’ “Friday Night Under the Lights” event will feature food, drinks, face painting and sign making. Come join the fun!

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I have spoken and written a great deal about Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in recent months. I would like to share a recent communication I received from Dr. Thomas Scott, Executive Director, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents on this topic:

After months of planning, we’re getting ready for a public launch of our statewide campaign, exSEL: Excellence through Social-Emotional Learning! We invite you to participate in this important initiative.

As stated in previous email updates, MASS is proud to be one of the founding organizations in a new coalition – representing more than 5,000 Massachusetts superintendents, School Committee members, elementary and secondary principals, and educational collaboratives – to promote social-emotional learning in schools throughout the Commonwealth. MASS, MASC, MSSAA, MESPA and MOEC along with Teachers21 and Rennie Center have been working to develop a coalition which can promote an agenda which alerts key stakeholders and policymakers of the social emotional needs of our school communities.

Here are two important updates: Our website is now LIVE! Visit www.exselmass.org.

The site contains the coalition’s key messaging about the need for SEL, the benefits of SEL, and the coalition’s recommendations for expanding SEL statewide.  We invite you to join the conversation. The site features a Discussion Forum, in which educators and others can post questions, ideas, resources, and more. To participate, simply register and login to the site. Also check out the advocacy toolkit, with practical tips for school and district leaders for building support for SEL in your community.

  • Follow us on Twitter @exSELmass, and consider Tweeting about the initiative, for example: “Follow @exSELmass to support social-emotional learning for Massachusetts students! Learn more at exSELmass.org. #SEL”
  • Sign up for e-news updates from exSEL here for the latest news and announcements.

Together, we will make this work a top priority in Massachusetts, and make a powerful difference in the lives of our students. We hope to support and complement the great work so many districts are doing on behalf of our students and school communities.

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We are very fortunate to have an amazing event which focuses on Social Emotional Learning right here in Milton. Please note the upcoming event, Safeguarding our Kids in Risky Times for Parents and Guardians of Students K-12, which takes place on October 4th and is co-sponsored by the Milton Public Schools and the School Committee’s Health and Wellness subcommittee, along with BID-Milton and Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Scroll down to “Upcoming MPS Events” for more info on this important event.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. As part of the Superintendent’s Report, five MPS employees were introduced to the School Committee. Glover Principal Karen McDavitt, Athletic Director Eric Karjel, K-12 PE/Health Director Noel Vigue, Tucker Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Catherine DesRoche and K-12 Fine Arts and Family/Consumer Studies Director Dawn Sykes. The Committee voted to approve the creation of the position of PE/Health Director, approved the FY18 Budget Calendar and approved the fourth-quarter report. Ms. Varela gave an update from the Transportation and Traffic Safety Subcommittee Report and Dr. Donahue gave a report from the newly-named Strategic Planning Committee.  The committee then adjourned to Executive Session.

CURRICULUM NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Guidance Director Karen Cahill:

The National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) is pleased to announce its 2016 Boston Performing and Visual Arts College Fair on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. at Boston University – Fuller Building. This program is an important resource for the fine arts students interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs of study in the areas of music, theatre, dance, visual arts, graphic design, film production, and other related disciplines.

Students will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from colleges, universities, conservatories, festivals, and other educational institutions with specialized programs in the visual and performing arts. Attendees of these free events will learn about educational opportunities, admission and financial aid, portfolio days, auditions and entrance requirements, and much more. A workshop on Navigating the Audition/Portfolio Process will be offered from 6:10 p.m to 6:50 p.m at the College of Fine Arts – Theatre Lab.

All participants are encouraged to register prior to attending this event. This will make navigating the fair and collecting information from multiple colleges and universities much easier. By registering, students can print a bar coded confirmation to be used on-site at the fair as an electronic ID. Register prior to attending these events at www.gotomypvafair.com

For more information, please visit the web site at www.nacacnet.org/pva or call us at (800)822-6285.

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

Parents and guardians, please take note of a very important MPS event on an issue impacting young children and teens across our nation. This forum, Safeguarding our Kids in Risky Times for Parents and Guardians of Students K-12, is co-sponsored by the Milton Public Schools and the School Committee’s Health and Wellness subcommittee, along with BID-Milton and Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

When: Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Where: Milton High School Auditorium

Please join us for an evening filled with information on substance use awareness, prevention and skill building for the entire Milton community, but especially for parents of children in K -12.

It’s never too early or too late to start talking to your children about these difficult topics

5:30-6:30 Exhibit Hall Open

  • Learn to recognize signs of use in your teen’s bedroom with the interactive exhibit ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’
  • Pick up information materials at the vendor materials and more
  • Purchase a $5 medication lock box compliments of BID – Milton
  • Refreshments served

6:30-8:30 Expert Speaker Panel

  • Hear about the results of the Milton Youth Assessment
  • Learn how drugs and alcohol impact the development of the teenage brain
  • Pick up tips and guidance on talking to your kids from experts

We hope to see you there!

SEPAC/SPED NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Tracy Grandeau, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services:

Mary Gormley, Superintendent, of the Milton Public Schools was informed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of an upcoming Coordinated Program Review that will be taking place this school year. As part of this Coordinated Program Review, Department staff will visit the Milton Public Schools during the week of November 17, 2016 and December 5, 2016. Such visits are routinely conducted by the Department to satisfy federal and state requirements for the periodic review of specific education programs and services in schools throughout the Commonwealth.  The Department is reviewing several programs during a single visit in order to use Department and school staff’s time most efficiently and to encourage strong connections among the programs.

The Department’s Coordinated Program Review will address the following programs: Civil Rights, Special Education, and English Learner Education. After reviewing school district procedures for these programs, a Department team will make its onsite visit, during which it will review individual student records, interview administrators, teachers and paraprofessional staff, survey parents and observe instructional spaces. After the onsite visit it will prepare a report for the superintendent and school committee, with detailed findings for each program.

Using a scale of ratings ranging from “Commendable” to “Not Implemented,” the report will rate the implementation of each requirement reviewed by the Department. Where requirements are found not implemented or only partially implemented, the district must propose to the Department corrective action to bring those areas into compliance with statutes and regulations. Districts and schools are encouraged to incorporate the corrective action into their district and school improvement plans and professional development plan. The school district will be provided with technical assistance from the Department in developing a corrective action plan.  Both the Department’s report and the corrective action plan are public information and will be available to the public upon request. Program Review Final Reports are also available on the Department’s Internet website at <http://www.doe.mass.edu/pqa/review/cpr/reports/>.

Any member of the public may request to be interviewed by telephone by a member of the Department’s visiting team. Those wishing to be interviewed should call the superintendent’s office  at (617) 696-5040 no later than September 30th  to leave their name and phone number, or they may call the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at (781) 338- 3739.   A member of the visiting team will contact each person desiring an interview within two weeks after the completion of the onsite visit.  If an individual is not comfortable communicating in English or requires some other accommodation, the Department will make arrangements to communicate appropriately with the individual.

FAMILY LIAISON NEWS

The following item was submitted by Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison:

Milton Public Schools is committed to creating a strong partnership between family and school. When families and schools work in partnership, studies show an increase in student achievement. One opportunity families and schools have to connect is through a visit to your child’s classroom.  Each school in the district will be holding an open house over the next couple of weeks to provide parents an opportunity to meet their child’s teacher, see their classrooms and learn about the curriculum.  Parent attendance helps to foster a strong connection with your child’s teacher and sends a great message to your child.

BE SURE TO MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

  • Milton High School – Thursday, September 15th beginning at 6:30
  • Collicot Elementary School – Thursday, September 29th from 6:30-8:00pm
  • Cunningham Elementary School – Tuesday, September 27th from 6:30-8:00pm
  • Glover Elementary School – Wednesday, September 28th from 6:30-8:00pm
  • Tucker Elementary School – Thursday, September 22nd from 6:30-8:00pm

Just a reminder that open houses are not intended for individual conferences. You will have an opportunity to discuss your specific child’s progress during Parent-Teacher conferences later in the fall.  Stay tuned for specific dates and times.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have about the upcoming school year or if you are in need of a resource. My contact information is: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, 617-980-7343 or mmckenna@miltonps.org .

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The following item was submitted by Food Service Director Jackie Morgan:

Our school cafeterias are meeting new federal nutrition standards for school meals, ensuring that meals are healthy and well-balanced and provide students all the nutrition they need to succeed at school. Now is a great time to encourage your kids to choose school lunch!  Our lunch price will be $2.00 in Elementary Schools and $2.25 for middle and high school.  This price is for a complete meal including milk.

School meals offer students milk, fruits and vegetables, proteins and grains, and they must meet strict limits on saturated fat and portion size. School lunches will meet additional standards requiring:

  • Age-appropriate calorie limits
  • Larger servings of vegetables and fruits (students must take at least one serving of produce)
  • A wider variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes
  • Fat-free or 1% milk (flavored milk must be fat-free)
  • More whole grains
  • And less sodium

We’re always working to offer our students healthier and tastier choices. School meals are a great value and a huge convenience for busy families too!

All of our Elementary Schools have adopted a computerized Point of Sale payment system for all school meals/snacks and water purchased in the cafeteria. We are encouraging every student to use their own personal lunchroom account.

Elementary student’s line up for lunch by homeroom and each child will be asked to tell the cashier their name. At the middle and high school students will use a pin number.   It is strongly recommended that all students use their prepaid lunch accounts, as this will make the lunch lines move faster and ensure the security initiative implemented by the Elementary School Administration.  Even occasional lunch buyers are being encouraged to open an account.

We encourage parents to deposit money into the student’s account. Monies paid into a student account can be used for the purchase of breakfast and lunch meals, alternative meals, milk and snack. (We will be limiting one snack per day for each child in elementary ) We will be accepting cash at the end of the line or you can place it in an envelope with your child’s first and last name on the envelope and place it in the prepaid box first thing in the morning .  Please include the student’s full name and grade on the check in the memo section or envelope so it is deposited into the correct account.  This system allows students to charge only if there is money in their account.

If your student has qualified for free or reduced price lunches or breakfast, this information is securely contained within the system and the meal will be processed just as it is for all other students.  There is no need to be concerned for a potentially uncomfortable situation for the student.  Also, if your child qualifies for free or reduced meals they can always add additional money to their account for snacks or second entrees.

We will have locked mailboxes in each schools main office for parents and or students to drop off their checks. We will also have a locked mail box in the cafeteria.  We are encouraging all students to deposit their checks in these boxes before the start of lunch so all money will be on account before the start of lunch.  This helps keep the lunch line moving smoothly.

We offer breakfast each day at all of our Schools. It is $1.25 for paid children and free for students who qualify for the free or reduced meal program.

We are also accepting payments on line at www.myschoolbucks.com.  You will need your child’s eight digit unique ID number to set up an account.  You can email jmorgan@miltonps.org for this number.  When setting up your on line accounts remember to sign up for the low balance email alert as well.  This will help you manage your child’s account and you will be able to see the last thirty days of transactions.

MFE NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Amy Flanagan with the Milton Foundation for Education:

The Milton Foundation for Education invites you to get those sneakers and costumes ready for Monster Dash 2016! This annual community event is held in loving memory of Sam Cichello to support science enrichment in our elementary schools. It brings more fun, surprises and people together every year, and this one promises to be a doozy.

The spooktacular 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run will take place on Sunday, October 30 at Cunningham Park. There will be prizes for the best costumes, loads of fun science activities, t-shirts for the first 500 runners, and more. All of the action starts at 9am. There is also a kid’s artwork competition. See your design on the Monster Dash shirts! Entries are due September 28th. Find out more and register now at miltonfoundationforeducation.com.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The following item was sent to us by Heather Bergin, organizer of the Girl Power running program:

Girl Power is an amazing running program for girls. This is a FREE program thanks to a grant from Beth Israel Deaconess/Milton Hospital. The program will meet at the Cunningham Park tennis courts on Mondays and began on Sept 12th. The group meets at 3:45 for warm ups and group meeting and our run begins at 4:00. This is NOT A DROP OFF program. Each girl should be accompanied by an adult, oftentimes one adult will be responsible for more than one girl but again it is NOT drop off. The purpose of this program is to provide a low pressure, confidence and self esteem building activity that encourages girls to work towards a goal at their own pace and comfort level while supporting one another. Each week a woman with “girl power” will visit to share how she set a goal, worked hard and did her best. We will start with a walk/jog, everyone go at their own pace, one mile loop. I will be asking for parent and caregiver volunteers to stand at designated spots along our route for safety purposes. Some adults run with their girl but you do not need to be a runner! Again I will need volunteer help along the course.

  • WHAT: GIRL POWER running program- each week we will meet to stretch, chat about our goals, how to support one another and how to be one’s best self then walk/jog increasing distances with an end goal of participating in the Monster Dash 5K, October 30th.
  • WHO: school aged girls
  • WHEN: Mondays, beginning September 12 at 3:45
  • WHERE: Cunningham Park tennis courts
  • GOAL: to train for and participate in the Monster Dash 5K on Sunday, October 30
  • REMINDER: this is NOT a drop off program. Adult supervision and help makes this program possible.

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The following item was sent to us by our friends at Brookwood Community Farm:

Milton Early Childhood Alliance and the Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation invite the public to a free Story Tour at Brookwood Farm!

  • Watch Lois Elhert’s book, Growing Vegetable Soup, come alive as you and your child experience the book first hand on a working farm!
  • See how Brookwood Farm grows and harvests fresh foods and utilize the same tools used in the children’s book.
  • Learn about the critters that live on the farm and how they eat off the land.
  • Work with your child to plant their own seeds to take home and watch grow.

Please Note: For families with children 3-8 years old. Parents/caregivers are expected to stay and supervise their child at all times. And Registration is required by emailing cpcmecasld@verizon.net or calling 617-696-2262.

Where: Brookwood Community Farm, 11 Blue Hill River Rd., Canton
When: Saturday, September 17th from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Registration is required – please see above. – For information due to inclement weather, call the Blue Hills Event line at 617-698-1802, ext. 3

For more information, please call Milton Early Childhood Alliance at 617-696-2262, or email cpcmecasld@verizon.net

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Please note the following item about one of our MPS parents, Elizabeth Thomas!

During the month of September, Milton resident Elizabeth Thomas will show photos of her homeland – Dominica – in the Wotiz Gallery at the Milton Public Library. Mrs. Thomas is a budding photographer and she made a trip back home to Dominica in the Caribbean after a 20-year hiatus. Ms. Thomas has taken a few photography classes at the Menino Art Center, and has also studied the subject online.

Filled with excitement, nervous and with anxious anticipation, she once again walked the streets she did as a child, reconnected with long lost relatives and explored the island she loves so much.  During her two-week visit with her family – seeing the island with renewed eyes with her children on their first visit – she was able to capture about 2,000 photos. She will be sharing a small portion of these images with the public so that they can also see how special the “Nature Isle” is.

The Milton Public Library is located at 476 Canton Avenue and for more information about displaying your art at the library, contact Jean Hlady, Adult Services Librarian, at (617) 698-5757, x. 3.   Please come and enjoy these beautiful photos during the month of September.

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The following item was sent to us by Sara Truog, Children’s Librarian at MPL:

Fall wouldn’t be complete without fun family activities at the Milton Public Library! Books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular storytimes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of September 25 – October 1:

Friday, September 30, 2016 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
Yoga with Jill, Ages 3-5

Children ages 3-5 are invited to come to this fun time learning yoga with Jill Pokaski Azar, certified yoga instructor. Registration is required (separate sign up for each session). Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
Reading Dogs, Grades 1-5

The Reading Dogs are back!  Kids currently in grades 1-5 who need to practice reading aloud are invited to come meet and read to some lovable therapy dogs who are great listeners.  Each child will have the opportunity to read at least one book to one of our canine volunteers.  Bring a favorite book with you, or choose from our shelf.  Registration is required.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services. To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:

http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=MILTONPL

ATHLETICS

The following update was sent in by our Athletic Director, Eric Karjel:

Girls Soccer: The Girl’s Soccer team is off to a great start as they are 3-1 in Bay State play. The team had an impressive 6-1 win over Newton North this week. Leading the way was Junior Chae Diani with 1 goal and 5 assists. Senior Alyssa Lum and Sophomore Eliza O’Donnell added 2 goals apiece. The team followed that game up with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Walpole.

Boys Soccer: The Boys Soccer team has become battled tested versus the best of the Bay State. This week they rallied from down 3-0 to tie it up at 3-3 only to lose late 4-3 vs visiting Newton North to fall to 0-3 on the year. The team then dropped a hard fought game to Walpole 4-2 to fall to 0-4. Josh Madden and Dermerzier Beauplan scored for the Cats. The team is making strides and hopes to get in the win column this Friday vs. Wellesley.

Football: The football team had a late rally last Friday night in Needham to pull out a 28-24 thriller vs. a strong Needham squad. Sr. Captain Koby Osazee took the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to put the Cats up early. Osazee added a TD run in the 3rd quarter and Smith Charles also found the end zone to tie the game at 21. Trailing 24-21 QB Owen Keaney hit Osazee for a 31 yard TD score to pull out the season opening win for the Cats! The Cat’s host their home opener this Friday versus Quincy High School.

Golf: The Golf team dropped 2 competitive matches last week to Brookline and Wellesley. This week they entered conference play and came away with 2 wins over Braintree and Weymouth to run their record to 2-0 in league play and 2-2 overall. Low scorers for the Cats have been Dylan McDougall, Jared Carr, Jared Carney, and Jack Boylan.

Girls Cross Country: The Girls XC team sprinted past both Norwood and Framingham in a tri-match 15-50. Milton took the top 8 spots in the race led by Bridget Mitchell 1st, Colette O’Leary -2nd, and Elise O’Leary 3rd. This week the Cats continued their domination with 3 wins in a quad meet as they beat Dedham, Needham, and Brookline. The Cats took 1st through 5th place versus all three teams with Mitchell 1st, C. O’Leary 2nd, E. O’Leary 3rd, N. Negassi 4th, and Genevieve Connelly 5th.

Boys Cross Country: Last week the Boys XC team split their tri-match defeating Norwood 20-43 and losing to Framingham 25-30. Milton’s top 3 finishers were Kyle Dempsey, Bobby Carrew, and Nick Villard. This week in a quad meet, they beat Dedham, while dropping races to Needham and Brookline, to run their record to 2-3. The Cat’s top 3 finishers were Villard, Carrew, and Dempsey.

Volleyball: The Volleyball team started their season with a 3-0 win over Braintree and then lost to Natick 3-1 on Friday and to Newton North 3-0 this week. The team evened their record this week at 2-2 with a hard fought win over Walpole 3-1 in their home opener in Copeland Field House.

Field Hockey: The Field Hockey team got off to a great start last week on the home turf of Brooks Field. The team had back to back shut-outs by their goalie Sr. Captain Devin Coulter 2-0 over Braintree and 1-0 over Natick.  In the Braintree game Soph. Bella Calcagno and Jr. Caroline Bligh scored goals. In the Natick game Sr. Captain Elena Kapolis scored the game winner. The team’s record fell to 2-2 this week as they lost 2-1 to Newton North as well as to Walpole.

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here: http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/month/09-28-2016/

AMBASSADOR PAGE

Student –I would like to recognize Pierce seventh-grader Sebastian Wright, for his work on educating the community on the importance of bees. Sebastian has been a very vocal advocate for protecting bees, and recently invited Pierce Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding and Assistant Principal Ms. Anna McReynolds to visit his backyard hives. Congratulations to Sebastian for working hard for something he believes in!

dr-spaulding-and-ms-mcreynolds-on-a-hive-dive-with-7th-grade-student-sebastian-wright

Staff – Many of you may have already heard the news by now, but our long-serving Pre-K teacher, Eileen Mullen, will be retiring next week. Ms. Mullen has been a teacher with the Pre-K program since 1996 and has been a teacher for nearly 29 years. Our Pre-K program is an innovative on-site preschool located at Milton High School which pairs 4 and 5 year olds with high school students who have enrolled in Child Study courses. Ms. Mullen instructs both the preschoolers and the high school juniors and seniors as part of this program. We wish her all the best in her retirement!

Volunteers – I would like to publicly thank and recognize this year’s PTO presidents:

Glover Elementary: Christine Sullivan: cac2083@gmail.com and Sarah-Kate Sullivan: aspensk@yahoo.com

Collicot Elementary: Alyson Zukowski: alysongrout@hotmail.com and Rebecca Stover: stover.rebecca@gmail.com

Pierce Middle School: Karyn Vivieros: karyn.viveiros@comcast.net and Trish Heelen, Treasurer: heelen@aol.com; Christine Paxhia: cpaxhia@hotmail.com and Kristen LaCasse: kristen.lacasse@comcast.net

Milton High School: Tricia Sullivan: trishsull@hotmail.com

Tucker Elementary: Michelle Schweitzer: mich_dev76@hotmail.com and Tracy Troiano: tracytroiano@gmail.com

Cunningham Elementary: Stephanie O’Keefe: sastruck1@aol.com and Robyn Quinn: robynleequinn@gmail.com and Erin Burke, Treasurer: erinbenedict@hotmail.com

The Milton Public School system is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the provision of quality educational programs for all students.  The Milton Public School system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, age or sexual orientation.

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