Milton Public Schools

November 14th Eblast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Nov• 14•12

From the Desk of the Superintendent:

We are very fortunate in the town of Milton to have an incredible resource — the Milton Public Library. Together with our schools, our library contributes to literacy in thousands of different ways. Through the years there have been dozens of partnership and collaborations with  the library staff, but today, I would like to highlight some of the more recent programs.

At Milton High School, there has been great participation in the library’s “One Book, One Town — Milton Reads” program.  Every ninth-grade student has read To Kill a Mockingbird, and more than 100 students participated in the group book discussions sponsored by the library.  Also, members of the MHS Dramatics Society worked with the Milton Players to perform dramatic readings of the novel. One of this year’s projects is to ensure that every student has a Milton Public Library library card. We have already started the process, with the Milton Public Library creating library cards for our Freshmen. Emily Calkins from the Milton Public Library has been working with Milton’s youth population, and will be speaking to every English class at Milton High School by the end of the year.  As juniors and seniors start the process of research papers, teachers introduce them to the resources at the Milton Public Library. Some teachers take their students to the library, others give students a tutorial on the Milton Public Library’s on-line options.

We have also worked with Ms. Calkins this past spring to coordinate our summer reading program, and she worked to get the summer reading books into the hands of MHS students. She also purchased electronic copies of the summer reading titles so students could download the book to their Nooks, Kindles, Ipads, etc.

Our Pierce librarian, Jessica Royster, has also been working with the Young Adult librarian at the Milton Public Library. Together, they have been working on getting students at Pierce Middle School signed up for library cards, to supplement the books and materials at the Pierce school library.

Our elementary school collaboration is also in an exciting phase. A new project Community Partners for Student Success was approved recently. This means that the staff of the Children’s Department of the Milton Public Library and the Elementary School Librarian at the Milton Public Schools will collaborate to support student learning and enhance students’ information and literacy skills by conducting demonstrations of and tutorials for all elementary students on the resources available for children through the Milton Public Library.

The Community Partners for Student Success project involves every elementary student receiving a Milton Public Library card and subsequent instruction from both the Elementary School Librarian, Lori Henry, and the Assistant Children’s Librarian, Sara Truog, on the role of the Milton Public Library in providing a foundation for lifelong learning and on the resources available for children using their Milton Public Library card.

By collaborating, Lori and Sara will expose the elementary students to the appropriate resources and services available at the Milton Public Library in the context of the standards of the Milton Public Schools.

Elaine Weischedel, Milton Public Library Children’s Librarian, will oversee the project and continue to work with Lori Henry to develop additional opportunities for collaboration between the Milton Public Elementary Schools and the children’s room of the Milton Public Library. The targeted population is all 1,972 elementary school students in the Milton Public Schools

The Milton Public Library has always been a very welcoming place for our students. Whether they are in preschool, elementary, middle or high school, the library staff has worked hard to find adequate space and resources to help our children.  We are grateful to the following staff of the Milton Public Library: Interim Director Dan Haacker, Jean Hlady, Shirley Pyne, Elaine Weischedel, Sara Truog, Rita Fontinha, Emily Calkins, Hilda Mahon, Sylvia Mitchell,  Diane Dunn, Sally Lawler, Terri Hall, Patti Reilly, Phyllis Idell, Maryann Barry, Maura Sargent and Catherine Stapleton and we look forward to our highly productive relationship with the Milton Public Library to continue for years to come. – Mary C. Gormley

Please note, today, November 14th is an early release day to allow for parent/teacher conferences. In addition, there will be NO SCHOOL on Wednesday, November 21st, Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd for the Thanksgiving holiday.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast. Below is an update of that meeting:

November 7th: The meeting began with a NEASC presentation by Milton High School principal James Jette and head nurse Margaret Gibbons. The pair spoke about the recommendations made by the NEASC committee and both the prioritization and implementation of those recommendations. The collaborative time issue, recently passed by the School Committee, was one of the recommendations that is currently being implemented. This entails adding five early release days into the current Milton High School calendar. Those dates for 2013 are: January 9th, February 6th, March 6th, April 3rd and May 1st. School will start at its regular time: 7:50 am, and dismissal will be at 11:16 am. Two to four buses will transport students to each side of the town at dismissal (East Milton and West Milton). Teachers will meet from 11:45 a.m. until 2:45 p.m.  Mr. Jette outlined several of the other initiatives being worked on by the high school team and updated the committee on what is being done to achieve the goals.  

Next, there were two very exciting announcements from the Pierce Middle School. First, Dr. Karen Spaulding, principal of Pierce Middle School, talked about a recent effort to introduce sports teams at Pierce. This effort is being supported by School Committee member Leroy Walker and Athletic Director Steve Traister, along with funding and input from Steve Shapiro of Pinnacle Learning; and the Milton Foundation for Education. They submitted a self-funded proposal, with a nominal user fee, which would provide boys and girls basketball; spring track team for boys and girls and cross-country next fall.  Dr. Spaulding talked about feedback from parents, which she described as “overwhelmingly positive.”

The second announcement was the introduction of a new math/science enrichment program called ISTEM (Investigations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) which would be targeted to students with an aptitude for these subjects. The class would be offered to students who placed in the Advanced category on the most recent math MCAS, and these students would be asked to selct this as one of their exploratory subjects. This program would also be offered at no additional cost to the public.

Assistant Superintendent John Phelan made a presentation about the new accountability data being used by the state to measure MCAS results. The former AYP designation is being replaced with a new value called PPI, which stands for Progress & Performance Index. Based on the Spring 2012 MCAS, the Milton Public Schools have attained Level One status, which is a significant achievement. The new state-wide goal for all districts is to reduce proficiency gaps at all levels by half by 2017. This is the charge for the district, each school, and each subgroup. There was discussion about the new system, including how extra credit works. Mr. Phelan previewed a chart which showed how Milton compares to other Bay State League towns, and other comparable districts.

As part of the Chairman’s Report, members gave their Superintendent’s Evaluation, which will be released when it is completed. Members voted to authorize Chairman Pavlicek to sign a letter requesting a municipal audit to include the school department. They also voted on a MASC resolution; and authorized the chairman to sign the schools’ End of Year report for the warrant committee. They approved the Capital Committee/Technology proposal and also voted to terminate negotiations with the current solar power company.

The next School Committee meeting will be November 28th.

CURRICULUM NEWS

We urge all parents and guardians to make every effort to attend conferences. Today, November 14th, is an Early Release Day (conferences in the afternoon) and Pierce Middle School will hold Evening Conferences. The Elementary schools will also have afternoon conferences on the Early Release Day and hold Elementary Evening Conferences on November 15th.

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 As noted above, there will be five early dismissal days in 2013 for Milton High School students ONLY.

The dates are as follows: January 9, 2013, February 6, March 6, April 3 and May 1. School will start at its regular time: 7:50 am, and dismissal will be at 11:16 am. Two to four buses will transport students to each side of the town at dismissal (East Milton and West Milton). Teachers will meet from 11:45 a.m. until 2:45 p.m.

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 Primary Source, a partner of the Milton Public Schools, will be hosting a FREE Global Read on November 28th from 3-4pm online for those who are interested in reading global titles and want to read with other teachers, students, and community members. They have invited everyone to read The Queen of Water, by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango, a coming of age story that takes place in Ecuador and is appropriate for grades 7 and up. After reading, join us for a live conversation with the author. Register for the free online discussion at: http://primarysource.org/queenofwater

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 We are very proud of the most recent class of inductees to Milton High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society. These students were inducted last week during a ceremony at Milton High School. Congratulations to the new members Reardon Baker, Christian Farrar, Simone Greaves, Vivian Leung, Dan Madden, Deanna Maher, Eliza Trickett, Meghan Wilson and Timothy Vhay.  The students were selected by the Faculty Council of the NHS, based on consideration of the student’s scholarship, leadership, service and character. Also, congratulations to the new National Honor Society officers: President Ailsa Jeffries, Vice President Aria Perkins, Treasurer Pat Adley, Secretary Camille Van Allen, Public Relations Officer Dan Halloran and Historian Amanda Liberty. Many thanks to the NHS advisors, Vernon Nelson and Pamela Billings.

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The following item was submitted by Tucker First Grade teachers Caitlin O’Brien and Cassi Kelble.  

 In the first grade STEM program the past few weeks, we used our  engineering skills to build our very own cars. First, we brainstormed and researched the important steps needed to build a car, including  all the materials we may use.  We researched cars and watched a PowerPoint on how Mr. Decker built his very own car. We used what we  learned to build our own cars. We then brought in a ramp to test our cars.  We raced the cars down the ramp and measured how far it traveled.  Once our car went a certain distance, we recorded our data. After each car, we discussed characteristics of successful and unsuccessful designs to help determine important features that we may need  on our cars.  After the race, everyone went back to their design and began editing, making necessary changes to increase the distance  traveled. We then tested our car a second time, recorded data, and made  changes again. We raced our car one more time to test our final model.

Throughout the whole process we asked ourselves important questions: Did it stay straight? Did it stay together? How far did  it go? Did it seem to move slowly or quickly? What on our cars helped it to move better? Were some cars slimmer? Did some cars have more or  less weight? How were the wheels positioned?

These were some of the crucial questions that lead to the most successful car designs in our  room. The designs and creations were very impressive! The first graders had a wonderful time following the engineering process, racing  their cars, and working together to make the best car they could!

 

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The MHS Robotics Team needs our help. On  December 15th,  MHS Robotics Team is hosting the First Tech Challenge right here at Milton High. We need around 30 volunteers to make the meet a success.  This is a wonderful opportunity for MHS and our students.  If you and you child are curious about robotics, please come and show your support.  If you can volunteer, please email Marilyn Decker, the science director at MDecker@miltonps.org.  The robotics team participates in the First Tech Challenge program  and this is one of the major qualifying tournaments for Massachusetts.  The state champion goes on to compete at the national championship in St. Louis.  Students who participate in FTC are eligible to receive thousands of dollars in scholarships and it is a great opportunity for students to learn about robots first hand.  We have corporate support from PTC, a Needham based technology company.

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 The following item was submitted by Robin M. Tagliaferri, Executive Director, Forbes House Museum.

 Greetings from the Forbes House Museum! It is almost Thanksgiving, and we are happy to release the 2013 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest question and topic! You are most welcome to share the PDF (which contains full submission guidelines) with fellow educators and students. We recently completed a new project, the China Trade Trail! Visit our website to see this new collaboration, which we hope to build upon in the next year.

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 Milton High School, Milton Academy and two Boston Public High Schools will partner to work with Axis of Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching students alternative approaches to conflict resolution, using both domestic and international current events as their teaching tool. Teachers from all four schools will participate in three days of professional development, and then bring the curriculum back to their own classrooms. On the second day of training, student representatives from all the schools will come together to participate in a day-long examination of the curriculum, which includes role-playing, group discussions and analysis. The Modern World Cultures teachers will represent Milton High, and they will in turn use the curriculum in their own classrooms upon completion of the training.

“The Axis of Hope program will unite teachers and students from four different schools… a group that, without this opportunity, would never get a chance to meet,” said Barbara Wright, Humanities Department Head at Milton High School. “It’s exciting to be part of this initiative because these kinds of relationships do not happen every day.  We look forward to understanding the curriculum and then bringing it back to our own classrooms.”

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Members of the Milton Fire Department visited Tucker Elementary School last week to help students learn about the dangers of smoke and fire. The firefighters brought along a demonstration trailer to provide first-hand advice on how to both prevent and respond to fires in the home. Lt. Mitch Sumner showed the Tucker kindergarteners how a smoke detector works and talked about several safety tips in the home before inviting the class into the trailer to go over more safety information. The demonstration trailer was provided by The Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program, a state initiative to provide resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and life safety education programs in grades K-12. It contains a stove, a microwave, electrical outlets, mock fireplace and smoke detectors so that firefighters can instruct student on fire-prevention techniques.

The mission of the program is to enable students to recognize the dangers of fire in the home. Among the lessons the Milton firefighters taught the class were:Stop, Drop, and Roll; Making and Practicing Home Escape Plans; Reporting Fires and Emergencies; Crawl Low Under Smoke; Kitchen Safety and Holiday Safety.

 

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 Parents and guardians should be aware that the Milton Public Schools has a section on the website where we post community flyers. To view these flyers, click here and scroll down to “Outside Program Flyers.”

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 The district calendar has been updated online.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The culminating event of Milton Reads! 2012, the Milton Public Library’s town-wide read of To Kill a Mockingbird, will be an evening of reflection, song, and celebration. This event promises to be inspiring and uplifting. It takes place Thursday, November 15th, at First Parish Church, 535 Canton Ave., Milton, at 7 P.M.  The event is free.

Suitable for families, the event will feature Milton High School students reading passages from the text, a presentation by Milton resident Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and a performance by Joyful Voices of Inspiration gospel choir. A reception will follow the program, and everybody is invited to submit their suggestions for next year’s book.

“Many community organizations have jumped into this program, and that was a goal,” explains Frank Schroth, a library trustee who initiated the program. “We hoped to foster community through a shared cultural experience, reading the same book.And we are thrilled with the response!”

The Friends of the Library has sold 140 copies of the book; the book and related works and films have been fully checked out of the library. The entire 9th grade of Milton High School read the book, and about 100 students have participated in the various programs, book groups, and film showings. Additional participating groups have provided programming and support. Among these are First Parish Church, Artspace Milton, Milton Historical Society, Citizens for a Diverse Milton, Milton Kiwanis, Milton Players, Milton High School Dramatics Society, Fuller Village, Milton Council on Aging, and Friends of the Milton Public Library.  The Milton Library Foundation awarded a generous grant to the program via a proposal submitted by library staffer and committee member Shirley Pyne.

“The Milton Library staff has been helpful in all dimensions,” says Schroth. “This timeless classic with its themes of race, justice, gender, and coming of age in a small town remain as relevant today as when it was written. We are grateful to all the organizations for their support and look forward to seeing everyone on November 15th.

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Volunteers are needed to help Cradles to Crayons folks this weekend.  On Saturday, November 17th, they’ll need plenty of help, sorting the items at Cunningham Hall from 10 am to 2 pm.  If you cannot help, this group is still looking for donated items of new or gently used items, particularly boys and girls coats, children’s clothing, gloves, shoes, boots and sneakers (children’s sizes), baby supplies, books, and baby equipment.

Collected items can be dropped off on either Friday afternoon, November 16th (look for the storage units at Cunningham Hall ) or Saturday November 17th during the sorting event from 10 am to 2 pm. Note: Milton Public School Students are eligible to receive community service credits for volunteering for this event. Questions on this event should be directed to Kathy Fagan at  Kathy@cradlestocrayons.org  or via cell phone at 617-438-2592.

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The Milton Historical Society and the Trailside Museum are co-sponsoring a special program on Massachusetts Native People on Sunday, November 18th at 2 pm at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Avenue, Milton. Join Dr. Jack Dempsey, writer, editor and film maker from “Ancient Lights” – a collaborative celebration of Ancient Crete and Early America, and explore how Native peoples of the area conceived of the natural world around them, how their life on the land endured and changed over time, and the particular ways in which Massachusetts coastal peoples responded to the arrivals of Europeans here.  This program is suitable for families.

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 Milton’s DPW director Joe Lynch submitted the following item:

During Thanksgiving week, normal trash and recycling collection will take place on Monday (11/19), Tuesday (11/20), and Wednesday (11/21). There will be no trash collection on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday (11/22). There will be a one-day delay for collection routes that normally occur on Thursdays and Fridays. Regular Monday thru Friday collections will return beginning on November 26th.

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Please note, the Second Annual Teens in Need Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, November 24th from 7 to 11:00 pm at the Milton Woman’s Club on Reedsdale Road. Milton residents will be getting together to take part in some raffles, enjoy a night out, and most importantly raise much-needed funds for fellow residents who are high school students in need of some support.

Milton Teens in Need is a grass roots aid organization aimed at providing financial assistance to teenagers throughout our community. Our partnership with Karen Cahill  and Lisa Spinelli (Milton High School Guidance) help ensure that we are targeting students who are truly in need and all funds raised go directly to students and families. Last year, this group raised approximately $7,000 and have spent close to $4,500 on students who could not afford such things as college application fees, graduation outfits costs, all night party tickets, AP exam fees, prom tickets and during the holiday season, – much-needed gift cards.

Ritie Muse and Karen DeLuca, both with Teens in Need, ran  a Prom Dress Swap Night at the Hoosic Club for all Milton High School students who wanted to drop off a dress to donate and pick one up for themselves to wear. This low-cost night was a hit with all students who were attending a junior or senior prom. This is a great way to give students a cost effective way to attend these important events.

Raffles will include a Flat Screen television, iPad, and more. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. If you are unable to attend, but would like to send a donation,please make checks payable to: Milton Student Activities Fund and mail it to: Milton Teens in Need c/o Karen DeLuca, 84 Indian Spring Road, Milton MA 02186

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 The following item was submitted by Sara Truog, Assistant Children’s Librarian at the Milton Public Library

Children in grades 1-5 are invited to come to the Milton Public Library on Saturday, December 1st from 10 am to 12:15 pm to meet some lovable therapy dogs who just love being read to! We’ve been hearing great things about this program at other libraries, and now we’re going to bring it to Milton.

Children may sign up for one of two sessions, depending on which time works best for you: 10-11am, or 11:15-12:15 pm.  Each youngster will get to read at least one book to one of our trained canine volunteers. Bring a favorite book with you, or choose from our shelf.  Registration is required.  If this kickoff event is a success, we’ll be making Reading Dogs! a regular program in 2013 – so don’t miss out!

Check our online calendar for more events, and don’t forget our regular preschool story times, which continue through the month. Registration for our events can be done online at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

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The Milton Historical Society cordially invites the public to attend their annual Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 2nd from 1-3 pm at the historic Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Avenue, which will be festively decorated for the holiday season. Light refreshments will be served. To learn more about the Milton Historical Society, check the web site: www.Miltonhistoricalsociety.org

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Milton Youth Soccer is asking residents to turn in their outgrown or last season’s soccer uniforms, and they’ll pass them on to children in Nicaragua and Cambodia. Drop off soccer uniforms (and equipment) in collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot/Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce schools and at 34 Cliff Road. Any donations of clean T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. Note that uniforms from other sports will also be gratefully accepted. Collection dates are November 12th through December 7th.

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

Don’t Miss A Fantastic FREE Workshop! The Milton PAC (Parent Advisory Council) is proud to host an informative and important workshop titled “An IEP For My Child,” on Thursday, November 29th from 7 to 9pm at the Pierce Middle School Library. All Milton parents and guardians who are interested in learning more about their child’s educational rights and the IEP (Individualized Education Program) process are strongly encouraged to attend this interactive learning session.

The presenter will be Jennie Dunkley, a veteran special education consultant and advocate, and senior trainer for the Federation for Children with Special Needs. The workshop will take attendees step-by-step through IEP development, including how to create a vision for your child, how to use evaluations to write measurable goals, and how to measure your child’s progress. For more information about “An IEP For My Child,” contact PAC Board Member Bernadette Murphy Bentley at berbentley@comcast.net.  Have questions about Milton PAC? Visit www.miltonpac.org or email Jerry Vitti, PAC Chair at gvitti@hfihealthcare.com. We hope to see you at our next meeting!

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The following item was submitted by Milton High School English teacher Nick Fitzgerald.

 Sixteen AP teachers from Milton High School attended the MAAP Conference on October 24th at Stonehill College.  The teachers were: Nick Fitzgerald, Kara Yifru, Tom Shaw, Jessica Parsons, Dyanne Crowley, Sheila Walsh, Billy Donovan, Nancy Warn, Syd Malaxos, Kristin Masciarelli, Amy Starzynski, Ben Kelly, Cathy Queally, Jeny Gonzalez and Mary Lou Markarian. The MAAP Conference was planned by AP teachers from five member districts - Milton, Pembroke, Taunton, Brockton, and Holbrook.  These teachers received support from the superintendents in each of these districts as well as the teacher association presidents.  Both Mary Gormley and Margaret Gibbons attended the conference.  Overall, there were 100 teachers from around Massachusetts that attended, with some traveling from as far away as Holyoke. From Milton, Nick Fitzgerald, Kara Yifru, Jessica Parsons, and Tom Shaw met several times over the summer with teachers from these other districts to plan the event.

The event featured four primary pieces.  In the morning, we invited a guest speaker, Keith Motley, the Chancellor of UMass Boston. Chancellor Motley spoke of the importance of collaboration in education.  During the remainder of the morning, teachers met in small groups with teachers from other districts who teach the same subjects. Kara Yifru, Jessica Parsons, and Tom Shaw led groups for their respective subjects, Biology, Statistics, and Physics, respectively.

In the afternoon, the 15 teachers from Milton met with Mary Gormley, James Jette, and Margaret Gibbons to discuss plans to make the high school AP program more efficient and effective.  Milton was recently ranked in the top 10 of Massachusetts high schools for the size of its AP program.  The teachers and the leadership were able to share several suggestions to make Milton even more successful than it currently is.

Finally, the event closed with a moving video testimonial that extolled the importance of the AP program at Milton High.  The video featured several present and past Milton High students addressing the importance of AP.  Senior Patrick Adley put the video together with a teacher from Brockton.  Featured in the video was MHS graduate Jessica Brennan, Seniors Courtney Driscoll and Isabelle Smith, and Juniors Chris Dsida, Martin Rebrovic, and Corina Delerme.

MAAP is a teacher-led collaborative with several academic and professional goals.  First and foremost, it hopes to strengthen the participating districts’ AP and IB (International Baccalaureate) programs by exploiting the benefits of multi-district collaboration.  District leaders and teachers want to increase AP and IB participation, ensure academic rigor, and raise the number of high AP and IB test scores.  It plans to accomplish these goals by providing teachers and students with opportunities not currently available in individual districts.  For example, AP and IB teachers within the Partnership will share lessons and best practices, and ideally have opportunities to observe lessons in other districts.  Ultimately, teachers hope to provide students with additional opportunities to master AP and IB content and prepare for their exams outside of the regular school day and with teachers from other participating districts.  District superintendents have pledged their professional and financial support for this unique Partnership.

The earliest members of this Partnership isolated their districts’ AP and IB programs as a starting point for collaboration. However, the Partnership’s ultimate goal is to develop and strengthen collaboration among participating districts that extends beyond AP and IB programs.  Professional collaboration for all teachers and academic achievement for all students will be the Partnership’s ultimate objective.  The October 24th Conference was “Our One Thing” for the 2012-2013 school year and our first step in meeting this objective.  The Partnership brought together AP and IB teachers from across Massachusetts for a shared professional development opportunity that was planned entirely by teachers.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

The following item on the State of the MHS Athletic Program Finances was submitted by Matthew J. Gillis, Assistant Superintendent for Business

The MHS Athletic Program is a voluntary, extracurricular, $750,000 program and approximately 65% of that revenue comes from user fees, gate receipts and fundraising. That fundraising is done by parents, students and administrators. Athletic funding as a portion from the school’s budget appropriation is $265,358 or 0.75% from the school’s total $35.4 million dollar budget. All parties contribute in the fundraising, but sustaining nearly $500,000 in fundraising and fees each year the last few years has become a challenge, which is why one-time funds are included in the FY13 planned revenues. When combining the one-time fund balance and administrative fundraising, 18% of the budget is being relied upon by school staff that typically has limited experience in fundraising. Selling advertising, the indoor and outdoor banners, having talent shows, walk-a-thons, and comedy nights are not always sustainable methods to generate revenue.

The value of our athletic programs goes well beyond the FY12 per pupil cost of $700 per participant. Students learn life lessons that are not able to be learned as well in a traditional classroom setting. The value of teamwork, preparation, personal effort, playing a role, leading a team, and competing are all lessons learned differently in a competitive setting. Learning how to handle winning and losing is also something better grasped through competitive endeavors.

On average, as evidenced in several studies, student athletes have better GPAs, better attendance, and score about 11% higher on SATs. Student athletes are significantly less likely to drop out of school, and are significantly less likely to engage in the use of drugs and/or alcohol and less likely to become teen parents than students who spend no time in extracurricular activities. The lessons learned in high school athletics are carried forward through life as these students are more likely to graduate college and excel in the workplace. Several studies have found the majority of CEOs surveyed played high school sports.

Athletics also give many students an extra reason to look forward to going to school each day. Based on the results from the studies above, they literally and figuratively play a critical role in the development of high school students and graduates. We should discuss funding the programs in a more consistently sustainable method to ensure the programs and their results do not erode when fund raising recedes.

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 In my last E-blast, I mentioned how Milton parent Jim McCabe has recently agreed to head up our Banner Sales campaign. As described in the above article by Mr. Gillis, the revenue from the Banner Sales program is critical to our high school sports program. This is a huge undertaking and we are so pleased to have Mr. McCabe on board. He is the father of a three-season athlete and is familiar with Milton High’s exceptional athletic programs. Anyone who would like to assist Mr. McCabe, particularly those with sales experience, should contact him at james.mccabe1@comcast.net.

The Banner Sales program is responsible for selling and maintaining the large, colorful banners that can be seen in the Copeland Field House, Brooks Field, and along the entranceways and parking areas on the Milton High School campus. The banners instill a sense of community pride, both for our athletes and for the family, business or non-profit who purchases them. This is a fantastic and highly visible way to show our Milton High School sports teams that our community is behind them.

 

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Milton resident Kyle Pina visited Tucker Elementary School and Pierce Middle School last week to accept a donation of protein bars collected by Milton Public School students. PFC Pena was accompanied by his grandmother, Doris Kelly, who is a long-time crossing guard at the Tucker school. He personally thanked some of the students who helped to collect the bars. The protein bar drive was one of several initiatives undertaken to assist members of the military.

PFC Pina attended Glover Elementary School and Pierce Middle School. He is the son of Wanda White and Joe Pena, and grandson of Manuel and Dominica DePena. He recently completed basic training at Parris Island and is currently stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

 

United States Marine Kyle Pina, PFC, and his grandmother, Doris Kelly, display the boxes of protein bars collected by Tucker students as part of a drive to help support the troops

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CONSOLIDATED FACILITIES UPDATE

The following item was submitted by Consolidated Facilities Director William F. Ritchie. 

The Consolidated Facilities Department is a newly-formed department that supports all the maintenance, repair, engineering and cleaning operations at 22 school and town buildings.  There is approximately 900,000 square feet of space and the department assumes responsibility for the overall planning and execution of all building repairs.  The current department consists of William Ritchie, Director, Robert Mayhew, Operations Manager, Diane Colligan, Office Assistant and Maintenance workers, Paul Casey (DPW background) , Dave Hawes (roofing background), Jim Curly (machinist background), Joe Matterazzo (Master Electrician), as well as Jim Egan (HVAC Technician) and Filipe Depina (general maintenance) from school facilities.

The Facilities Department was very busy last month assisting the schools with storm-related clean up.  During and after the storm, the department focused it is efforts around removing leaves in the parking lots, cleaning storm drains, picking up small branches and the clearing roof drains.  Due to power failures, the department had to reboot energy management systems and lighting panels.  All in all, we fared very well and school was only delayed one day.

Our biggest capital project that is currently underway is the Exterior Duct Systems at Milton High School.  All of the exterior HVAC duct systems located on the roofs are being replaced with new insulation and a state-of-the-art protective coating that is warrantied for up to ten years.  The CFD anticipates up to fifteen years of service life with periodic inspections and minor in-house repairs. Due to the scope of the project it will phased into three separate time frames: Fall of 2012, Spring and Summer of 2013.  The budget cost of the project with a contingency plan is $680,000.

Last month, the CFD took advantage of a MassSave Bright Opportunities program that offered free, four foot, 28-watt light bulbs to all public and commercial buildings that qualify.  These new lamps use 12.5 % less energy and will last 60% longer than traditional lamps. The CFD ordered 10,500 light bulbs for all town buildings that qualified for the program with a savings of $21,000.  Our school custodians started to install the light bulbs in the buildings a few weeks ago and it is anticipated the bulbs will be completely installed within a few months.

Facilities and energy management are on-going tasks that never stop bringing both new challenges to protect the town’s investment in our facilities and opportunities for cost savings. The School Committee’s Facilities Sub Committee, meets monthly and I serve on that committee with Lynda Lee Sheridan and Matthew Gillis from the school department, citizen volunteers John Kibbee, Rick Malmstrom, and Joe Murphy. Challenges and solutions discussed and in that meeting are often transferable to other town departments.

Energy Tip for the month of November: To save energy, turn off equipment and lighting when not needed.  Make sure that your thermostat is turned down during off hours and holidays.

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

The Milton Community Schools has been working this fall with Emily George, an educator from the Massachusetts Audubon Trailside Museum, to bring an exciting new program to Milton elementary students. Nature Explorers was piloted at the Glover and Tucker After School Enrichment programs starting in October. Each week students learn about and experience up close some of the residents of the Trailside Museum.  The students are taught about our native wildlife, food chains, animal adaptations and conservation through stories, games and activities. In December, they will travel to the museum. Community Schools will expand Nature Explorers to all four elementary schools for the Spring ASE session. Watch for the Winter ASE schedules, coming home by backpack express in mid-December.  It will contain many other after school educational and enrichment opportunities.

MILTON’S 350th ANNIVERSARY

The 350th Committee invites the community to Milton’s 350th Anniversary Gala, commemorating a year of celebrations. The event will be held Saturday, November 17th  from 7 to 11:30 pm at the Milton Hoosic Club. Appetizers and a pasta bar will be on hand, as well as a Montillio’s cake, music and dancing. Tickets are $35 per person and can be reserved by emailing:  milton350thgala@gmail.com

ATHLETICS

The following “Fall Tidbits” were submitted by Athletic Director Steve Traister.

Cheerleading: The Milton High School cheerleaders were led by the senior captains Maddie Richards and Amanda Pages. Coach Jessica Parson’s squad competed in the BSC competition on November 1st at Braintree and finished second at an invitational competition at Triton Regional High School in October.

Cross Country: The boys’ team led by Captains Peter Eberhardt and Nick Orlando finished with a record of 3-8; the girls’ team had a 4-7 record and was led by captains Molly Dempsey and Sinead O’Connor. Coach Dale Snyder coached both the boys and girls squads.

Field Hockey: Coach Jamie Donovan’s team finished with a record of 7-10-2. The team was led by senior captains, Nicole Regan, Bailey McDonnell and Monica Riordan.

Football: Coach Jim Bowes football team currently has a record of 5-5 after beating Dedham Friday 42-14 after having won four games in a row. They have been led by the play of senior captains Kareem Patterson, Connor Reagan, Andrew Hunt and James Linehan. The team will finish the season on Thanksgiving at Braintree. If they win their last game, they will finish with a winning record for the first time in eleven years.

Girls Soccer:  Coach Brian Borde’s team finished with a record of 5-11-2. The captains were Nicole Ruffo, Molly McDonough and Nicole Cremmen. With a lot of young players that contributed this year, Coach Borde is optimistic about next season.

Boys Soccer:  Coach Mike Madden’s team had a 8-9-1 record and qualified for the MIAA Division 2 state tournament.  Senior captains Roy Butlin, Brendan Kelly and Nick Savage led the team this year. The boys’ won their preliminary round game against Norwell and lost to a tough Hingham last Sunday.

Volleyball: The Volleyball team had a record of 6-12 and qualified for the MIAA State Tournament. The girls played well but were knocked out of the tournament by a good Westborough squad last Saturday. Tri Captains Caitlin Griffin, Camille Van Allen and Christine Murphy led Coach Robin Lee’s team this year.

Golf: Coach Ben Kelly’s team finished with a record of 5-8. They were led by captains Ryan Clarke and Colin McCabe. The team also took second place honors at the Bay State Conference Tournament last week in Framingham. With McCabe and Marc Giammarco making first team all conference team. McCabe also competed in the MIAA Division 2 South Individual Tournament.

Crew:  Coach Milos Nikolic’s fall crew team enjoyed a great season. The teams had a highly successful race at the South Shore Invitational two weekends ago. The crew captains for the fall were Kayla Drummond, Anne Statham and Daniel Nabi.

Winter sports begin on Monday, November 26th. The dates and times to register are from 2-4 pm as follows: November 13th – 16th; November 19th – 20th; November 26th.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers and members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their outstanding accomplishments below:

Students:  All fifth grade students at Tucker participate in Community Service, but two Tucker sisters have taken the idea of community service to a new level. Vanessa and Alyssa Lorden have been collecting redeemable bottles and cans for more than a year and have been donating 100% of the proceeds to local charities including the Animal Shelter, Disabled American Veterans and the Jared Mitchell fund. They have partnered with the Milton Fruit Center and Abby Park to redeem their bottles and cans and continue to look for donations of bottles and cans from any individual or business interested. They also make their own jewelry and donate those proceeds to various charities. They even track their efforts on their blog: http://aandvmakeadifference.wordpress.com

Staff: This year’s Forbes House Museum Essay Contest question was developed by our own Owen McElhinney of Pierce Middle School, who gave up a Sunday to sit with the Forbes House crowd and help them choose a developmentally appropriate and relevant question. Robin Tagliaferri called it “the best question in recent years!”

Volunteer: Although I mentioned him above, I would like to especially thank Jim McCabe, who recently agreed to head up our Banner Sales campaign. This is a huge commitment and quite an undertaking. Revenue from the Banner Sales program is absolutely critical to our high school sports program. Anyone who would like to assist Mr. McCabe, particularly those with sales experience, should contact him at james.mccabe1@comcast.net.

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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