From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: Monday, May 1st, 2017
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
In my last E-Blast, I stated that May 1-5 was Teacher Appreciation Week, since we had seen that week listed on several websites. After my E-Blast was published, I was informed that some schools celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week during the first full week of May, which is May 8-12.
While Milton Public School teachers and staff should be recognized every day of the school year, here in Milton, this formal recognition has turned into a two-week celebration! Please take time to recognize and thank a teacher!
Members of our Junior class were recently honored at last week’s Scholastic Honors Night with a long-standing tradition at Milton High School, the Junior Book Awards. Students from the Class of 2018 are given a book by a teacher, administrator, college admissions office or a Milton School Committee member. Books are named for institutes of higher education and are awarded according to criteria assigned by the college or university. Please join me in congratulating the following members of the Class of 2018!
Claire Casey – Boston College
Peyton Carvalho – Boston College
Edward Taugher – Boston College
Kelsey Foran – Boston University—English
Dominik Hyppolite – Boston University—Music
Teresa McDonald – Boston University—Education
James Eder – Brown University
Abigail Lang – Bryn Mawr College
Shoilee Banerjee – College Of William and Mary
Joshua Kackley – Columbia University
Tanvir Islam – Cornell University
Ryan Au – Curry College
Shane Berry – Dartmouth College
Christopher Caputo – Dartmouth College
Courtney Dunn – Emmanuel College
Sean Bentley – Emmanuel College
Domenic Jancaterino – Harvard University
Timothy Karoff – Harvard University
Sawyer Flanagan – Lesley College
Annie Wong – Lesley College
Ornbella Ebongue – Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Taylor Snellen – Providence College
Hue-Ninh Nguyen – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Julie Le – Smith College
Nicholas Daly – St. Lawrence University
Grace Varela – Suffolk University
Sean Ehrlich – University Of Massachusetts, Amherst
Caroline Mcgillivray…University Of Massachusetts, Boston
Josephine Cousineau – University Of Rhode Island
William Jrolf – University Of Vermont
Eva Chow – Wellesley College
Mackenzie Caputo – Wheelock College
James Le – Williams College
Griffin Mclaughlin – Yale University
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL NEWS
The following item was sent to us by Noel Vigue, Director of Physical & Health Education and Laurie Stillman, Social Emotional Learning District Facilitator:
Dear Milton Public School Parents:
Supporting the social and emotional health of our students is an important aspect of the work of the Milton Public Schools. As part of this work, when necessary, we reach out to families to make them aware of issues that may be of concern. We are writing to alert you about a controversial Netflix TV series that many adolescents (including middle school youth) are actively following. The series is entitled, Thirteen Reasons Why (released March 31, 2017) and it contains disturbing, sometimes violent and graphic content that parents should be aware of and be prepared to address with their children.
The story, based on the 2007 novel by Jay Asher, is about a high school student who dies by suicide, leaving behind 13 tapes detailing why she took her own life. The Netflix series contains graphic scenes of suicide and sexual assault/rape, in addition to depicting other destructive behaviors such as online bullying and substance abuse. Most concerning is that the program does not portray effective alternatives or avenues for desperate youth to get help. We are concerned that the take-away message is potentially that suicide is a reasonable choice when faced with depression, isolation or trauma.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the series. We also recommend that you ask your child, directly, if he or she has seen or heard of Thirteen Reasons Why. If so, you may want to engage your child in dialogue about their reaction to the subject matter. If they have not seen it, and they want to, we encourage you to watch the program first and determine if it is appropriate. As a supplement to the 13 episode series, the producers do provide a “14th episode” titled “Beyond the Reasons” which has the actors, the show writers and mental health counselors reflect on the essence of the show and address the issues it raises. This is a 30 minutes synopsis; parents may want to start here. If you determine that the series is appropriate, you may want to watch it with them. You can also turn on parent controls by using this Netflix link https://help.netflix.com/en/node/24805 should you want to limit the programs they watch.
The most important message to convey to your child is that if they are experiencing mental health challenges such as anxiety or depression, or suicidal thoughts, they should speak to a trusted adult to get support and help. That adult will hopefully be a family member, but your child should also be aware that the Milton Public Schools-at all levels- have many trained and supportive staff, as well as protocols to help keep your child emotionally and physically safe. Principals, teachers, adjustment counselors, and nurses want to help your child in whatever ways they can. Let your teen know that feelings of depression are common, and that they can be alleviated by seeking out a trusted adult who cares. Parents should not be hesitant, or feel embarrassed, about reaching out to the schools for help on behalf of their student.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth; about 5,000 American teens take their lives each year. It is a significant public health problem that can have a “contagion” effect. Because youth today so frequently watch shows alone on their personal devices, or secretly stream programs with their friends, it is imperative that we know what they are doing and have conversations with them about these important health subjects.
Here are some resources if you want to know more:
Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (talking points) https://www.save.org/13-reasons-why/
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the Samaritans Statewide crisis help line at 1-877-870-4673 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Today may have been a grey weather day, but the sun shone brightly over Granite Links Golf Club, as members of the Milton Public Schools community joined together to either support, sponsor and/or play golf at the Science from Scientists fundraiser. For those who are still interested in contributing and supporting this amazing STEM program for all our fifth-grade students, please contact Bernadette Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org A special thank you to tournament chairs Bernadette Butler and Suzanne Murphy.
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, pregnancy/parenting status, marital status, sexual orientation, homelessness, 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, hiring and firing of staff, 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, 617-696-4812