Milton Public Schools

May 5th E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - May• 05•17

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Friday, May 5th, 2017

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

National Nurses Week will be held from May 6th to May 12th this year, and here in the Milton Public Schools, we are very fortunate to have some of the most dedicated and hardworking nurses in each of our school buildings. Please join me in thanking not only our amazing school nurses, but also all those who work in the nursing profession. Many thanks to Maureen LeBlanc at Glover Elementary School; Jeanne Sgroi at Collicot Elementary School; Alison Joyce  at Cunningham Elementary School; Kerri Joyce at Tucker Elementary School; Barbara Perry at Pierce Middle School; MaryJane Walsh, our Support Nurse who covers shifts district-wide; and Margaret Gibbons, the Milton High School nurse and the District Head Nurse. These nurses are truly amazing.

I would also like to share the news that our district recently completed a Coordinated Program Review (CPR). The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) evaluated the district in three areas: Special Education, Civil Rights, and English Learner Education. The findings will be made public on the DESE website.  The district has fully implemented all areas required for special education services and most of the criteria required for Civil Rights and English Learner Education. For those areas partially implemented or not yet implemented, the district has started their corrective action plan. The full report of findings can be read here.  I would like to acknowledge and thank Tracy Grandeau, Janet Sheehan, Alyssa Buchanan and Charlene Roche for their leadership and exhaustive attention to detail during this review.

Finally, as I mentioned in my last E-Blast, it is never too late to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Many of our schools start their celebrations on Monday. Please consider writing a note or making some other gesture to show your child’s teacher that you appreciate them.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast. The meeting is summarized below. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, May 17th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.

May 3rd:  This meeting began with the recognition of the 2017 Boston Globe Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Milton High School Art Teacher Karen Hughes noted that the following students were recognized in this prestigious art competition: Honorable Mentions were received by Nicholas Crowley- Photography, Amy Dai- Photography, Sarah Lam- Art Portfolio & Photography, Eleni Minias- Art Portfolio, Sydney Nguyen- Photography, Hannah O’Toole- Photography, Rebecca Scott- Photography, Morgan Smith-Photography and Rosalind Smith- Photography. Silver Keys were received by Adriana Estevez-Photography and Sydney Nguyen- Photography. Six Gold Keys were received by Sarah Lam- Photography & Printmaking, Morgan Smith-Photography, two submissions and Rachael Tomaszewski- Art Portfolio & Photography.

In addition, Ms. Hughes noted that Rachael Tomaszewski won a Silver National Medal for her entire Art Portfolio titled: A Family Portrait; and Sarah Lam won two individual National Medals: a Gold Medal for her Print titled: All Eyes on You, and a Silver Medal for her Photograph titled: Fog.

Next, at this meeting, Ms. Murphy and Dr. Fisher came to discuss next year’s Milton High School World Language Educational Trip to Italy. The tour company, safety protocols and cost were discussed. They also approved a Milton High Boys Crew Team field trip to Connecticut for a competition.

As noted above, Tracy Grandeau, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services, gave the committee an update on the recent Coordinated Program Review. As part of the Chair’s report, Dr. Donahue reviewed a list of subcommittees and the members who serve on them. The committee approved two vendor warrants before adjourning.

* * *

Please click here to view the MPS FY18 Budget Presentation made on Thursday night at Town Meeting:

CURRICULUM NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Butler:

Students in our elementary schools are working on their final unit in general science for the school year! Our Collicot and Tucker students are learning about Life Science, while our Cunningham and Glover students are learning about Earth and Space science.

As part of their life science unit, second graders will be learning all about mealworms and what they need to live. Second graders at Collicot recently began their mealworm investigation and learned so much!  After making observations of live mealworms in the classroom using hand lenses, students had the opportunity to draw, write, and share what they noticed about mealworm body parts and the way they move.  Students were quite surprised to see a mealworm in the process of shedding its skin as well!

The second grade scientists will continue to observe the mealworms over time to watch changes in the life cycle, and to learn more about the needs of these living things.   Students will be practicing observation skills, reading nonfiction texts, writing in science, making predictions, and collecting and analyzing data over the course of this mealworm investigation!

The pictures below show second grade scientists in action in Madame Hamada’s second grade classroom.

mealworm2 mealworm1

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The following item was sent to us by Dawn Sykes, Director of Fine Arts and Family Consumer Studies:

Here is a brief sample of one group of our talented music students. Please click on the link below to see a brief video of our strings ensemble, performing Fandango. https://youtu.be/2Ug81b4Qiy0

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The following item was submitted by Dr. Angela Burke, Technology Director:

In the Milton Public Schools, we do not limit ourselves to utilizing one type of device to build technical literacy. We take pride in having access to a variety of devices to serve a variety of purposes.

Here you see scholars at the high school utilizing iPads in an art classroom. The iPads can be used in a variety of ways. In this instance, the scholars are searching for images to compare how people are portrayed in the media based on the format of the photograph. They find two images of the same media highlighted figure and discuss what the photographer did differently to depict this person. They discussed everything from the lighting to the angle, which can make a person appear more powerful than a standard close up head shot. This art teacher, Kassandra Aloe, also used the iPads in her Visual Literacy Class to re-cast The Matrix. She says the most common use in her 2D Studio art class is to have scholars access Google Classroom.

tech2 tech1

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The following was submitted by Elementary Curriculum Coordinators: Cat DesRoche, Amy Gale and Meredith Kempf:

What do the subjects of Math, Science, STEM, Social Studies and Language Arts all have in common? Reading! All can agree on the importance of reading instruction at early ages in many topics. In the Milton Public Schools, students at the elementary level are engaged in a variety of reading experiences throughout their week. Among these practices is the Interactive Read Aloud. Different from a traditional read aloud, an interactive read aloud is a teaching practice where the teacher thoughtfully picks a book, determines points in the book where some learning can happen (tricky words, understanding what is happening in the text, or having students talk to a neighbor) and then connects how those strategies can be used in the students’ everyday reading.

While this practice happens frequently throughout students’ school week, there are things parents/guardians can do at home to support this type of thinking about books! Whether you are reading to your student, your student is reading to you or you are just checking in on your student’s understanding of independent reading, consider some of these questions:

Prompts to grow thinking about nonfiction:

  • Find the sentences that tell you what this section is mostly about.
  • What is the author’s opinion?
  • What do you know about this topic after reading this material?
  • What seems important here?
  • What do you think is the main idea? What facts support that?
  • What do you think the author is trying to say about this topic?
  • What idea can you back up with the most detail?
  • What did you learn after reading that?
  • What are some words you are learning?

Digging deeper in nonfiction:

  • Is there another topic you could research after learning about this topic?
  • What questions do you have after reading this text?
  • How does this relate to other topics you have learned about?
  • What structure does the author use to make this easy to understand?
  • Is there anything you would have added to make this book more interesting or easier to understand?

Prompts to grow thinking about fiction:

  • What are you wondering about?
  • What do you predict will happen? Why and how? (have them use what they know about the inside of the character)
  • What questions do you have?
  • What are you thinking now?
  • What are you envisioning in this part?
  • What is this story or part really about?
  • What is making you think that?

Digging deeper in fiction:

  • What will your character learn? Or has learned?
  • How will the main character change?
  • Try asking yourself and answering a question about fairness (or power) in your book.
  • How is the problem getting worse/better?
  • What does your character really want? What gets in his or her way?
  • What questions can you ask of the book to think more deeply?
  • What do you know about this topic after reading this material?
  • Describe the setting. Imagine how the story would be different in a different place.
  • Is your character changing? How?
  • Do you think there is any symbolism in this setting?
  • What is the main problem? Describe your character’s reaction to the problem.
  • What is the author’s message?
  • What is your theory about your character?
  • Think about your characters. What effects do your characters have on each other?
  • Of all the details you told me, what’s the most important one?

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The following item was submitted by Amy Gale, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator:

The Milton Public Schools, in partnership with our friends at BoomWriter, are proud to offer a unique summer learning opportunity. BoomWriter will run virtual summer camps for students entering grades 3-6 taught by Milton Public Schools’ educators. Now children can participate in authentic BoomWriter projects at home over the summer. In addition to submitting daily chapter entries for voting, students will receive online lessons in writing, daily personalized feedback and a copy of the published book sent directly to their home. Milton Camps will run over the following weeks. You can sign up and pay directly on the teacher’s BoomWriter site (links listed below).

Katie Callahan, Reading Specialist
www.boomwriter.com/c/callahan
Students entering grades 3 and 4
-July 17th-21st
-July 24th-28th
-July 31st-August 4th
-August 7th-11th
-August 14th-18th

Ellen Lohan, Grade 5 Teacher
www.boomwriter.com/c/Lohan
Students entering grades 5 and 6
-July 17th-21st
-July 24th-July 28th

Nicole Young, Grade 3 Teacher
www.boomwriter.com/c/Young
Students entering grade 4
-June 26th-June 30th
-August 7th -August 11th

Amy McDavitt, Grade 4 Teacher
www.boomwriter.com/c/mcdavitt
Students entering grades 5 and 6
-June 26th – June 30th
-July 10th – July 14th

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The following item was sent to us by Amy Tom, MHS Science Department Head:

Here are some photos of a cow heart dissection that our Anatomy & Physiology students completed during lab.  Students were responsible for identifying various structures and carefully had to work through the dissection to be able to preserve all structures for assessment. The Anatomy & Physiology teachers would like to thank Kinnealey Meats who donate the hearts to our anatomy classes each year.  We truly appreciate their generosity!

heart3 heart1

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The following item was submitted by Glover Principal Karen McDavitt:

I wanted to share this video I made of our Fourth and Fifth Grade Concert yesterday. It was absolutely amazing. We are so fortunate to have such gifted music educators in Colleen, Gary, and Debra. I couldn’t believe my ears. https://animoto.com/play/ooIBQqihT3AmBOA31xyUgw

For me, the magic came at the end.  The fifth graders remained on the risers as the families began leave. The K-2 students began to get ready to stand. Slowly, I began to hear “This Little Light of Mine” rising from the fifth graders. It caught on in a ripple effect and soon, the entire fifth grade was singing with all of their collective hearts. They sang verse after verse, including “At Glover School, I’m gonna let it shine”. When that song ended, they spontaneously moved into another song about walking to freedom, all the while accompanied by Ms. Martin on guitar. By the time the third song ended, I turned around and the gym was empty. They had literally sung everyone out.

It was poignant beyond words…their swan song. They then erupted into a happy birthday chorus for Karim Camara and I was so moved by their unity and the pure joy with which they sang. They were no longer “performing”. They were singing to sing…together.  I left the gym that morning feeling so grateful for these amazing fifth graders. As they prepare to exit Glover, they serenaded all of the other Glover kids as they exited the gym. It was magic. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

I am always proud to be principal of such an amazing school, with such incredible students, families, and staff, but this was absolutely one of the most amazing moments. It was so special, I had to have it stand alone in its own video: https://animoto.com/play/qyreZlESG1BxWixGtrwxjg

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The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) awarded Pierce Middle School an $8,000 grant to host a Clean Energy Day for selected students. The event took place on April 26th and featured hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities for the students. Through the program, local clean energy businesses were invited to partner with six schools across Massachusetts to host the events.

Approximately 100 Pierce students attended the event, which began with pizza in the cafeteria then transitioned to the auditorium for keynote speakers, from the clean energy industry and will speak to students about what clean energy is, their role in the clean energy field, and what their educational journey has been.  Students will then transition to break out sessions facilitated by Pierce teachers and volunteers from the clean energy industry.

MassCEC is a state economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies, and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.

MassCEC helps clean energy companies grow, connects students with clean energy careers, supports municipal clean energy projects, and invests in residential and commercial renewable energy installations, creating an innovative and robust marketplace for the clean energy industry. This funding program builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to support the Commonwealth’s vibrant clean energy innovation sector with MassCEC’s ongoing investments in workforce training for high school students and internships for college age students. Clean Energy Day awards were also made in Auburn, Brockton, Fitchburg, and two schools in Boston.

 

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MSE NEWS

The following was submitted by Bernadette Butler and Cat DesRoche, MSE Co-Directors:

Registration for the 2017 Milton Summer Enrichment continues online. Click here for the link.

(Though many of the courses are filling up, we still have a variety of offerings.)  Courses are filled on a first come, first serve basis. As courses fill, they will be removed from the drop down menus and will no longer be available to register, we cannot add children to courses that are full!

Registration issues or questions should be directed to MSE Directors Bernadette Butler and Cat DesRoche (mse@miltonps.org).  We will still have two drop in times for assistance with registration: May 10, and May 17 from 3:30-5:00 in both the Tucker School Main Office and the Cunningham School Main Office, where you can register in person from courses that are still available and pay with a check.

New this year: All families will be required to physically pick up their child(ren)s schedule prior to the start of MSE from the MSE Directors. Directors will communicate pick up times once registration begins. Thank you…we are looking forward to a great summer!

FAMILY LIAISON NEWS

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

PRESCHOOL UPDATES: In January, Milton Public Schools held a Preschool Information Night where parents and caregivers were provided an opportunity to learn in detail about the variety of preschool programs offered for the upcoming school year 2017-2018. Families interested in enrolling their child(ren) in one of the six programs were asked to complete a pre-registration form.   A deadline was established in the event demand exceeded space available.  Prior to the deadline, one hundred and twenty-six pre-registrations were completed and a lottery was required for four of the six programs.  Since the deadline an additional thirty-five families have pre-registered, bringing the total of pre-registered preschoolers to one hundred and sixty-one.  As of today, one hundred and twelve students have been registered to attend a MPS preschool program for September.  Those not selected in the lottery were placed on a waitlist should an opening become available.  Preschool screening was held at the Milton High School Library on April 5th.

If you are interested in learning specific details including the similarities and differences of each preschool program please visit: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/2017-2018PreschoolOverview.pdf

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

The following item was sent to us by MHS teacher and Best Buddies advisor Kelly Losi:

Tonight is not only Cinco de Mayo, it’s Wildcat Fun Night! Please note that Milton High School’s Best Buddies chapter will be hosting a Wildcat Fun Night tonight from 6-8:30 pm at Glover Elementary School for all students K-5. Cost is only $10 per child. Feel free to send your children and spread the word!

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The following item was sent to us by Noel Vigue, Director of Health and Physical Education:

Mark your calendars for an event you don’t want to miss. Milton Public Schools would like to invite all families of elementary and middle school children to a special presentation of the film SCREENAGERS: GROWING UP IN THE DIGITAL AGE.  Sponsored by the Milton PTOs.  Screenagers is about the impact of the digital age on children and how to help them minimize harmful effects and find balance. This film is NOT available online or ONDemand, (from the filmmaker) “it was clear to me that the film needed to be shown in public spaces, to bring together kids, parents, educators, health providers and policy makers for conversations that can lead to change in our homes and communities.”  For more information visit www.screenagersmovie.com

  • WHEN: MONDAY JUNE 5, 2017 6:30pm
  • WHERE:  Milton High School Auditorium
  • FREE admission
  • Running time: Approx. 65-minutes for the film then a 30-minute moderated discussion

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The following items were sent to us by Jackie Morgan, Food Service Director:

Block Grants: Putting School Meals on the Chopping Block

Background: In 1946, the federal government made a promise to America’s families that students will always have access to healthy meals at school. Congress specifically designed the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs to be entitlement programs. Participating schools are “entitled” to a federal reimbursement for all meals served. Federal regulations and nutrition standards for these programs ensure meals and student access to them are consistent from state to state.

Fixed- sum block grants would eliminate these federal guarantees and the promise that America’s students will have consistent access to the nutrition they need to succeed. Block grant proposals cut funds for school meal programs and nullify crucial federal mandates, including nutrition standards and student eligibility rules for free and reduced price meals.

Block Grants Restrict Student Access to School Meals:

Block grants break the promise that America’s students will have consistent access to the nutrition they need to succeed.

Thanks to entitlement status, school meal programs always have the necessary funding to meet students’ nutritional needs. Funding fluctuates annually with the number of student meals served. When a natural disaster strikes, school enrollment increases, or a factory closes, the number of students receiving free and reduced price meals increases. Schools can serve more students knowing their reimbursement will rise to cover the added cost.

Fixed-sum block grants eliminate that guarantee, putting America’s most vulnerable students at risk. Block grants provide a finite amount of funding each year. If circumstances change mid-year, states do not receive additional funds to cover the cost of serving meals to students in need. For more information, call (301) 686-3100 and ask for the Government Affairs and Media Relations Center.

In a September 2015 report, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warned that: “block grants that are smaller than the funding that current legislation would provide would probably eliminate access to nutrition programs for some children and reduce it for others. Such grants would also leave the programs unable to respond automatically to economic downturns.”

Block Grants Slash Funds for School Meals:

The 2016 House-proposed block grant pilot would have slashed funds for school meal programs through an immediate funding cut and the elimination of annual adjustments, which help schools keep pace with rising costs. The proposal could have resulted in a crippling 12% funding cut after three years, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Cash-strapped school districts would be forced to cover meal program losses at the expense of academics. Further cuts would also impact hiring practices in school cafeterias nationwide.

History demonstrates that block grants shrink available funding over time, severely limiting a program’s ability to serve Americans in need. A CBPP analysis of 13 major housing, health, and social services block-grant programs reveals that combined funding for the programs declined by 26 percent — or $13 billion in 2016 dollars — from 2000 to 2016. Notably, when adjusted for inflation, funding under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant has plummeted by 32 percent, despite population growth.

Block Grants Abolish Crucial Federal Standards:

Block grants void federal rules that ensure the uniformity and consistency of school meal programs across the nation. States could set their own rules on which children are eligible for free or reduced price meals, restricting access for low income children currently enrolled in the program. States could abandon all federal nutrition mandates, and under the proposed pilot, states would be required to only serve one “affordable” meal a day to students, threatening recent national progress in expanding student access to healthy school breakfasts.

Block grants could void Buy American mandates and impact USDA Foods assistance for school meal programs, which have supported America’s farmers and introduced students to a wide variety of healthy US grown foods.

* * *

I would also like to remind our families that today is School Lunch Hero Day! Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, The Milton Public Schools nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate. To celebrate their hard work and commitment, Milton schools will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day on May 5. This day, celebrated annually since 2013, was designated by The School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series. School Lunch Hero Day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to 30 million of America’s students each school day.

All across the school district, school nutrition professionals will be honored with thanks, cards, and recognition from students, school staff, parents, and the community. The importance and nutritional value of school meals are well documented. For many children, school breakfast and lunch are the most important and nutrient-rich meals of their day. Get the details about School Lunch Hero Day at www.schoollunchheroday.com. To learn more about the school nutrition program for Milton Schools, visit www.miltonps.org

Please see these photos. Today was an amazing day for the Milton School Food Service Staff!!! Our staff all wore School Lunch Hero shirts and were adorned with cards, posters, standing ovations and lovely breakfast spreads from our amazing administration, faculty and students.

lunch1 lunch2 lunch3

SEPAC/SPECIAL EDUCATION NEWS

Challenger League is finally underway! The first game is scheduled to be played on Sunday, May 7. A link to registration is below. It looks like there are some veteran players reporting in as well as some new additions. Please check out and like the Challenger FB page @ Milton Challenger Team. Please pass this information along to all the potential Challenger players out there. http://miltonnationalll.com/Registration/

MFE NEWS

Save the Date! The Teacher of the Year celebration will be held on Wednesday, May 24th at 6pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. We will notify the Milton Public School community when this year’s Outstanding Teachers are named!

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

I am so grateful to all of those who helped to make the Chip in Fore Science Golf fundraiser such a success. Please see the list below, which recognizes all sponsors and volunteers. Special recognition goes to our Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Butler, and Cunningham parent Suzanne Murphy, for chairing this very important fundraiser.

$4k Sponsor
Analym – mwaterman@alnylam.com

$1k Sponsors
D&D Painting – http://declantf@yahoo.com
Cunningham PTO & Collicot PTO – cunninghampto@gmail.com and collicotpto@gmail.com
Glover PTO & Tucker PTO – tuckerptomilton@gmail.com and Gloverpto@gmail.com
Bay Pointe Capital – davidmokeefe@gmail.com
LLM Designs – leilamitchell@llmdesign.com
Milton Yoga – sean@miltonyoga.com
Lopez the Florist – larry_curran@comcast.net
Sullivan Insurance – sulins@aol.com
WCI/Walker Family – amonterisi@wci-corp.com
Bowline Built – cac2083@gmail.com
Selectman David T. Burnes – dtburnes@yahoo.com
South Shore Plating Company – KKoski@foley.com
Kevin Grassa – K.grassa@whitridge.com

Air Cannon Hole Sponsor:
Elliott Physical Therapy – delliott@elliottphysicaltherapy.com

$500 Sponsors
Vesper – crowley@vespermems.com
Weymouth Club – sgold23554@aol.com
Milton Police Charitable Foundation – mcimildoro@mpdmilton.org
Moran Environmental – tlevesque@moranenvironmental.com
Downey Burke – pam@downeyburke.com

$250 Sponsors
Seamans Media – eric@seamansmedia.com
Fruit Center – mdwyer@fruitcentermarketplace.com
American Provisions – matthew@americanprovisions.com
Marc & Emily Duffy – emilyzofia@yahoo.com
Elaine Craghead – ecraghead@comcast.net
Novara – falconicompanies@gmail.com
State Representative Bill Driscoll – info@billdriscolljr.com
State Senator Walter Timilty –contact@timilty4senate.com

Volunteers/Helpers:
MPS Administrators
Cunningham PTO for serving as the 501-c3 and our bank –
Helped with details leading up to event: Meaghan Light – meaghan.light@gmail.com
Helped with details leading up to event: Jack Carpenter – jackcarpenterframes@gmail.com
Organized Games: Mike Ghelli – michael.ghelli@gmail.com
Helped with details leading up to event: Sheila Hume Sacco – humeteach@yahoo.com
Created Social Tiles: Chris Crummey – chris_crummey@yahoo.com
Day of Volunteer: Jane Gannon – jane.gannon@ge.com
Day of Volunteer: Stephanie O’Keefe – sastruck1@aol.com
Let us borrow Green and Tee Signs and gave advice: MPS Boosters – tmccarthy@miltonboosters.com

* * *

I am happy to report that the fundraiser to honor Glover Art Teacher Caitlin Clavette was a success. Thanks to the generosity of the Milton community and the hard work of Aprile Burnes, Nichole Gimbrone, Elizabeth Thomas, Laura O’Melia and Jessica Gillooly, enough contributions were collected to purchase TWO display towers per elementary school. Please see the photos below of the new display boards and note that the upper corner has a plaque to honor Caitlin. In addition, there was additional funding, which was contributed to the Caitlin Clavette Foundation. Thank you to all who donated!

artboard4 artboard3

SEL NEWS

The following item was submitted by Laurie Stillman, District Social Emotional Learning Facilitator:

May is Mental illness Awareness Month. A mental illness or behavioral health disorder refers to a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feelings, behavior or mood in such a way that prevents them from functioning well in social, school, work or family situations. Depression, chronic anxiety, autism, eating disorders, and substance addictions are common examples of mental illness, and they can affect people of all ages.  Mental illness is extremely prevalent; most of us have a close family member or friend who is impacted:

  • One in five people in the U.S. suffers from a mental health disorder
  • Depression is the world-wide leading cause of disability
  • Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the country
  • Substance abuse affects about 8% of the population

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes. It is sometimes viewed differently because there are no specific medical tests for most of these brain disorders, and thus there are misconceptions that these emotions and behaviors are a matter of personal weakness, bad decisions, or lack of control.

One of the most important things we can do as a society, as a school community, and as family members is to reduce the stigma—or negative misconceptions- that surround mental illness. The shame associated with stigma prevents many people from admitting they have a problem and seeking out care. Indeed, it is estimated that only about 30-40% of people who need mental health treatment, and only about 10% of people with a substance abuse problem, get help.

Let’s begin by talking more openly about mental illness. Let’s support those friends and families that are struggling. Let’s speak up when someone is being taunted or being treated poorly because of their challenge. And let’s educate ourselves about getting help before the condition gets more difficult to treat.

If your child has symptoms of depression, school anxiety or other behavioral health condition that affects learning, contact your school’s guidance or adjustment counselor or nurse for assistance and referral. Find out what plans and programs at school might help. Talk to your child’s teachers about the best approach and resources for supporting your struggling child. We are here to help.

The Milton Public Schools Family Resource page has a helpful list of resources as well. Visit http://www.miltonps.org/partnerships-resourcepages.php.  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition’s website is also filled with valuable resources. www.milton-coalition.org

FROM THE READERS

After reading the item above about our students’ incredible success in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art contests, some of you may find this article interesting. Please click here to read an article about art education.

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Also, one of my colleagues from Teachers As Scholars, Henry Bolter, regularly sends out poems to his fellow educators. I thought I would share this month’s poem with my readers:

The Trees (Philip Larkin)

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In full-grown thickness every May
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

For several weeks, Milton Interfaith Clergy (MICA) has been planning an initiative entitled, “It’s Time to Talk About Hate.” Please watch for the conversation guidelines, developed for parents/guardians to discuss acceptance and  tolerance with their children. These guidelines will be coming out within the next week.

* * *

CONCERT NOTICE:  “Bernstein: An (almost) 100th Birthday Bash”, Saturday, May 20th at 7pm, First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue.  Milton Community Concerts presents The Bostonians in a program celebrating the prolific and popular composer Leonard Bernstein. Tickets are available at the door: $20 general, $10 senior (65 and over), Free for 18 and under. Visit miltoncommunityconcerts.org for more information.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

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

Spring has sprung at the Milton Public Library! Fun family activities including 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 May 14 – 20:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 from 7:15 – 7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11

Join the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. No registration is required.

Friday, May 19, 2017 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Free Play Friday, Ages 0-5 (with caregiver)

Drop by and enjoy puzzles, games and activities in the Story Hour room. The room will be open for two hours in the morning for you to enjoy with your little ones (ages 0-5). In partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance.

Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Mad Science: Science of Magic, Ages 6-11

Come have a magical time with Mad Science of South Boston! Children will be introduced to the science of magic through demonstrations and activities, and they’ll even learn a magic trick to take home. For ages 6-11; registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

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 Children’s Room 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.

ATHLETICS

For those of you who are not aware, the indoor track at the Copeland Field House is open every weekday morning when school is in session from 6am to 7:30am for walkers. I recently received a thank you letter from two of the women who use the track and it reminded me not only of what a fantastic facility we have in the Copeland Field House, but of how lucky we are, as a district, to be able to share this resource with the community at large. For more information about the early-morning walkers, please contact rentals@miltonps.org for details.

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The following update was sent to us by Eric Karjel, Athletic Director:

Baseball did well this week, earning a hard fought victory over Weymouth last night with Andrew Steele on the mound.

Softball bounced back from three straight 1-run-losses in dramatic fashion, by beating Natick 11-10 on Wednesday, with a walk-off from Jenna Conroy.  They then beat Weymouth 11-0 last night.

Boys Lacrosse will look to earn their first victory against Silver Laker on Friday night, while Girls Lacrosse dominated Weymouth 17-2 mind-week.

Boys Tennis beat Framingham 3-2 on Wednesday.  Check out the website – miltonwildcats.com – to read the great recap thanks to Coach Ajemian.

Girls Tennis has improved in recent weeks, and they will look for their first win against Walpole on Monday.

The Crew team was in Malden on Saturday to race against Thayer Academy, Vermont Academy, and Mystic Valley Regional Charter School. We won every race!!! Our athletes left everyone in the dust.  Check out the results on the Athletics Website.

Rugby was handed their first loss last night, dropping to 3-1.  Marshfield beat the Wildcats 26-17.  They will look to bounce back next week against Oliver Ames.

Girls Outdoor Track beat Wellesley 78-58 and Walpole 122-26.  Boys Track lost 76-60 to Walpole, while losing 86-30 to Wellesley.  The Boys and Girls are off to Norwell for a Freshman/Sophomore Meet This Saturday.

Hopefully we get some better weather next week as we enter the final stretch of regular season games!

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For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here: http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/

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: Milton High School has an award-winning school newspaper called “Elephant in the Room,” which is published every month. The following students, who are part of the newspaper staff, are attending a journalism conference at Boston University today to learn more about student journalism. I would like to thank and recognize Liam Connolly, Jevon Bernard, Zawadi Dore-Tyrell, Andrew Flaherty and Patrick Davoren for their work on the paper this year, along with their faculty advisor, Michael Young, and the rest of the staff of Elephant in the Room. Keep up the good work!

Staff:  As I mentioned in my introduction, I would like to honor ALL of our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week (and every day!) – as well as ALL of our school nurses. We are so fortunate to have such incredible employees here in the Milton Public Schools.

Volunteers: I would like to thank and recognize all of those who donated and/or participated in the recent Science From Scientists golf tournament. We had a very successful day. I will send the fundraising totals in an upcoming E-blast.

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

 

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