Milton Public Schools

Superintendent’s Eblast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Dec• 04•12

From the Desk of the Superintendent:

With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to go over some of the new state regulations regarding food in the schools. Our Food Services Director, Jacqueline Morgan, submitted the following item to keep our parents and guardians updated. – Mary C. Gormley

Healthy Students/Healthy Schools

The “Act Relative to School Nutrition,” signed into law on July 30, 2010, requires the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to establish standards for competitive foods and beverages sold or provided in public schools during the school day. The goal of the standards is to ensure that public schools offer students food and beverage choices that will enhance learning, contribute to their healthy growth and development, and cultivate life-long healthy eating behaviors. The standards are part of the Commonwealth’s broad-based, collaborative initiative to reduce childhood obesity and prevent its complications in childhood and later in adulthood.

The standards apply to competitive foods and beverages defined below, sold or made available in public schools. These are foods and beverages sold or provided in:

  • School cafeterias offered as à la carte items
  • Vending machines
  • School stores and snack bars

The standards apply to competitive foods and beverages sold or provided to students 30 minutes before the beginning of the school day until 30 minutes after the school day ends. However, foods and beverages sold in vending machines must comply with the standards at all times. The standards do not apply to foods and beverages sold as part of a federal nutrition program such as the School Breakfast Program, School Lunch Program, or the Child and Adult Care Food Program (all of which follow USDA national guidelines). The standards also do not apply to foods or beverages sold or provided at booster sales, concession stands, and other school-sponsored or school-related fundraisers and events. School districts have the discretion to go beyond these standards and establish local policies that apply to all settings and/or at all times to promote a healthy school environment throughout the entire day.

The Health and Wellness committee meets monthly to discuss information that is relative to the health and safety of our students.  We have school committee members, principals, adjustment counselors, school nurses, administration and members of our community including parents and the Milton Hospital.  This committee created the Milton Schools Wellness Policy that was mandated six years ago from the federal government.  It addresses four main components: Nutrition education, physical activity, foods available on campus and other school based activities.  The policy is updated annually and approved by the school committee.  This year with the new state nutrition law the committee voted to amend the policy to adopt the new law and also voted to remove all food and food celebrations in the classrooms of all of our schools.  This does not include individual snacks brought in from home.  The committee also worked with the CATZ program to bring exercise opportunities for our staff before school and worked with recess aides in our elementary schools.

Additional information regarding the new state nutrition bill can be found at:  www.mass.gov/dph/healthierschools

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

The most recent School Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, November 28th. Below is a summary of that meeting:

The meeting began with Citizen’s Speak. Hugh Stringer came to speak about an article in the Milton Times which addressed the achievement gap. He would like to eliminate the terminology, which he said had racial overtones. Mike Maholchic with the Rotary Club of Milton spoke about two opportunities for MPS students — the International Exchange and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Conference. Cynthia Guise and Chris Navin spoke on behalf of the Citizens for a Diverse Milton, also to express their views on the achievement gap issue.

Next, a collaboration between the Milton Public Schools and the Milton Public Library was discussed. Lori Henry, MPS Elementary School Librarian and Elaine Weischedel, Milton Public Library Children’s Librarian, are working together to to ensure that every student receives a library card and subsequent instruction from librarians on how to make the most of the library’s resources. Ms. Henry has delivered more than 400 applications from students who had previously not had a library card.

Also, Anacristina Kenney and Anne Gatnik came to speak about the Milton Foundation for Education’s Celebration for Education. As co-chairs of this year’s Celebration to be held on March 9, 2013, they announced that the theme would be “Live Wire,” and funds would be earmarked for technology in the classroom.

The School Committee voted to approve the new 2012-13 School Year calendar, which reflects the addition of five half-days added to the high school schedule. The calendar can be viewed here:

http://www.miltonps.org/documents/Schoolcalendar12-13.pdf

There was an update from the MASC/MASS Conference by Becky Padera; the annual report was submitted; and the Superintendent’s Evaluation from FY12 was discussed, but a vote was tabled until revisions could be incorporated into the document.

Assistant Superintendent John Phelan presented an update on the Proficiency Gap task force, which has been formed to address the proficiency gap. A list of recommendations, which included interventions for students, was presented to the school committee.

The Finance Subcommittee gave an update on the status of the Full Day Kindergarten grants. The state has revised the guidelines for eligible communities and there is some concern that Milton may no longer be eligible for this grant. If the town were to lose the grant, the tuition for this program could increase as much as $700 to $800 per child. School Committee members agreed to write a letter to the DOE to emphasize the importance of this grant to the district.

The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 5th.

CURRICULUM NEWS 

Pierce Middle School will hold its annual Information Night on Tuesday, December 4th at 5:30 pm at the Pierce Auditorium.

Parents/guardians of current 4th and 5th grade students are invited to the Pierce Middle School on Tuesday night to learn more about the enriching programs Pierce has to offer. Dr. Karen Spaulding, principal, will be joined by curriculum coordinators, next year’s 6th grade guidance counselor, and other Pierce administrators to describe the Pierce curriculum, extra-curricular opportunities, and ways for your student and you to become involved. There will be time at the end of the evening for parents/guardians to ask questions.

* * *

Last month, our grade 4 and 5 students participated in the first Continental Mathematics Meet of the year. Continental Math experiences are designed to both maximize student opportunities to participate and to improve their problem solving capabilities. Milton students participated with other students on the same grade level from schools all over the United States. National results will be available in early December. Many Milton students earned five out of six points on the Meet. Grade 4 students Emma Scapicchio, Cunningham School, and Oliver McKay, Glover School, earned a perfect score of six points and are the top scorers for the District.  Congratulations to all who participated. Please note the dates for upcoming meets:

Meet 2:    December 6th, Grades 4 and 5

Meet 3:     January 10th, Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5

Meet 4:     February 7th, Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5

Meet 5:     March 14th, Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5

Test your skills with sample problems from the November Meet:

Grade 4:

I am a two-digit number less than 50.  If you put me in groups of 5, then there are 2 left over.  The sum of my digits is 6.  

Who am I?

Grade 5:

Six students are in a race.  Betty is 22 yards ahead of Alice.  Dan is 15 yards behind Betty.  Edith is 11 yards ahead of Dan.  Carl is 11 yards ahead of Betty and Fred is 20 yards ahead of Dan.  Carl is leading Fred by ____________yards.

* * *

There is a fantastic program called DonorsChoose, which is a web-based program that matches potential donors with projects in need of funding. Many of our teachers and administrators have used this site to get funding for classroom projects.

As of this month, seven of our Milton Public Schools DonorsChoose projects have been funded since June 2012, including a Solar System Activity tub requested by Mrs. MacElhaney at Pierce; a video camera requested by Mrs. Mahon at Pierce; a writing center for Mrs. McClain at Glover; and a classroom rug for Ms. Moonan at Cunningham. Other teachers have also funded classroom needs through this program.

To see how this website works, and to check to see if your child’s classroom is in need of special-project funding, please visit www.donorschoose.org

* * *

We are pleased to share a new resource for girls who are interested in science. Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change, in partnership with the Simmons College Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Biology, presents: “SHOW ME THE SCIENCE,” a Science Club for Girls in grade K-6.

Show Me the Science is a “reverse science fair” event where adults present to youths and families. Girls from K-6th grades and their families experience hands-on science through fun and engaging demonstrations and activities designed by corporate and university partners to explore the physics of paper airplanes, viscosity of yogurt, how you can use chocolate to determine the wavelength of light, and more. Live animals are known to make an appearance.

This event will be held December 8th at Simmons College.  Local Scientists and Engineers will have interactive booths where you can experience fun, hands on activities and demonstrations. This event is free and open to girls in grades K-6 and their families and is a great way to spend the afternoon!
For more information check out http://www.scienceclubforgirls.org/

* * *

We have great news from our music department! Twenty-three Milton High School musicians and singers have been selected to perform at the Senior Eastern District Music Festival at Boston Latin School on January 5. Picked following competitive auditions, the students will take part in band, chorus, jazz and orchestra performances with other top high school musicians from throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

The highly competitive district auditions drew 965 students from across the region to Milton High School, which hosted the November 17 try-outs for the sixth consecutive year, under the direction of the Music Department of the Milton Public Schools, according to Dr. Noreen Burdett, Director of Fine and Applied Arts for the Milton schools. The eastern regional chapter of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association sponsors the annual festival.

Out of the 23 musicians who were selected for the district festival, 12 received scores that qualified them to audition for the All-State music festival.

Milton High School students selected for the Senior Eastern District Festival are:

Band: Dawn Barrett (clarinet), Simon Eder (French horn), Bethany Knight (flute), Rebecca Simms (tuba), Christine Stafford (clarinet). Chorus: David Cleckley (bass), Monika Cormack (soprano), Andrew Flynn (tenor), Bailey McDonnell (soprano), Kevin Mehdizadeh (tenor), Andrew Mowe (tenor), Jacqueline Ruscito (soprano), Garrett Sager (bass), Shaina Toon (alto), Eliza Trickett (alto), and Christian Urbina (tenor). Jazz: Will Hess (trombone). Orchestra:  Kali Guise (cello), Kristen Ingraham (snare drum), Aminzie Marc (cello), Lily Moerschel (cello), Rose Moerschel (violin), and Phil
Wikina (snare drum).
Students recommended for All-State auditions were: Simon Eder, Rebecca Simms, Andrew Flynn, Bailey McDonnell, Andrew Mowe, Garrett Sager, Eliza Trickett, Will Hess, Kali Guise, Kristen Ingraham, Lily Moerschel, and Rose Moerschel. District will be held Jan. 4-5 at Boston Latin High School.

* * *

We are also very pleased to announce that Milton High student Andrew Mowe has been selected to the All Eastern Division Honors Chorus, a regional performance group made up of students from Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and American schools in Europe.  He was selected based on his high score at last year’s Massachusetts All State audition.

“Milton High School has had only five students accepted to the Eastern Division Festival in the past 35 years,” said Dr. Noreen Diamond Burdett.  “Andrew is so deserving of this great honor.  He is very hard working, dedicated, enthusiastic, and a strong leader.  He is Co-President of the MHS Chorus.  He belongs to four after/before school MHS singing groups–Do-Re-Migos, the Gospel Choir, the Milton Afterschool Singers, and the MHS Carolers.  He had a leading role in Footloose and Hairspray.  He is very humble and down to earth – a great team player through and through.”

The Eastern Division Festival will be held in Hartford, CT in April.

* * *

The following item was submitted by Milton Rotary member Michael Maholchic, who is spreading the word about Rotary programs for our students.

Milton Rotary offers several programs for students and youth. The Rotary Club, a worldwide organization of business and community leaders, dedicated to “Service above Self” is uniquely positioned to offer these programs, which can change the lives of those who participate. Through them, young people can earn scholarships, travel on cultural exchanges, or help a community through a service project.

The first program is Rotary Youth Exchange If you are a Milton resident between the ages of 15 and 19, in the upper one third of your academic class, and want to be a world traveler, the Rotary Club of Milton could give you a ticket for a great experience you will remember your whole life. In 2013-2014 we will be offering two exchanges – a long term and a short term. The initial application form is on our webite, miltonrotary.org.  We have extended the application deadline to December 31, 2012.

The long term exchange means the Milton student we select will attend secondary school overseas for one year, for a minimal cost (approximately $2,500) with room, board, and schooling provided by the host Rotary club.

In the short-term exchange the Milton student will go overseas for about three weeks during the summer vacation, staying with a Rotary family abroad that also has a teenaged student.  At the end of the stay the foreign teenager will spend about three weeks with the Milton student’s family.

Currently we have sent Milton High student Emma Pred-Sosa and Catherine Ashur, both of Milton to Japan and France, respectively, and are hosting Pauline Eugene of Belgium and Adriano Barbosa of Brazil.  We have hosted students from Bolivia, Chile, Ukraine, France, Thailand and Brazil over the past eleven years.  Having foreign students in Milton makes a richer educational experience for all our children, and teaches them about the world as no other way can.

The second is Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), which is Rotary’s leadership training program for young people.  Next spring it will be held at Cape Cod Sea Camps from April 19, 2013 – April 21, 2013. There will be over 100 participants teaching communications and teamwork skills.  During the year participants seek to work on community service projects. RYLA participants can be Milton residents who are sophomores or juniors in high school.  Our deadline for application for this program is March 1, 2013.For more information, please contact Michael Maholchic at 617-698-3990 or michael.maholchic@gmail.com.

UPCOMING EVENTS 

Do you need some time to go shopping and do errands?   Maybe you need some time to go out to dinner?  Perhaps you need some quiet time to relax?  If so, then you need some fantastic high school students to watch your children while you do this.  Bring your children to Wildcat Fun Night at the Tucker School gym on Friday, December 7th from 6:00-8:45 p.m. and leave the fun to us!  The event is run by the Milton High School Music Department, TRI-M Honor Society and will include Sports, Karaoke, Arts & Crafts, Musical bean bag toss and Musical Chairs. Snacks/water/juice will be on sale. The cost is $10 per child.

MFE

Who’s going to be behind the wheel on March 10th? The Milton Foundation for Education presents the 2013 Jeep Raffle! Only 500 tickets will be sold and somebody’s going home in a brand new Jeep Wrangler. Why not you? 500 Tickets will be available for $100 each. Winning tickets will be drawn at our LiveWire Celebration for Education event on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 10:00pm at the Boston Marriott Quincy. Prize: 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport from Planet Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram two-door, with manual transmission ($23,190 MSRP) OR $18,000 cash. Contact Co-Chairs Patti Elliott at (617) 291-3172 or Eileen Heller (617) 775-0149 to purchase tickets!

* * *

Save the Date! The Milton Foundation for Education will hold its annual Celebration for Education on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at the Boston Marriott in Quincy. This year’s theme will be “Live Wire.” More details to follow.

NEWS AROUND TOWN 

The Milton Parks & Rec department is running its Snowball League again this winter. This basketball program is open to students in Grades 3-8 and runs on Saturdays and Sundays at the Copeland Field House at Milton High School. For more information, www.TownofMilton.org

* * *

In addition, the Middle School ID program is running several events this winter, including a Winterfest Dance on January 12th, a trip to Coco Key Water Resort on January 21st, a Valentine’s Dance on February 2nd, and a Green Dance on March 2nd. Tickets can be purchased Tuesday, December 11th from 6:30 to 8 pm; Thursday, December 13th from 6:30 to 8 pm; and Tuesday, December 18th from 6:30 to 8 pm. For more info:

http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Recreation/recreation?textPage=1

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY NEWS

The following events will be taking place at the Milton Public Library:

Teen Room: 

December 4th from 6:30-8 p.m. Anime & Manga Club The monthly meeting of the library’s teen anime and manga club. Join us for Japanese snacks, anime, crafts and more! This month, we’ll also make origami gift boxes. This program is open to grades 6-12 and is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

December 7th at 3 p.m. After-school movie Join us for an after school movie and snacks! See the choices of movies on the library’s website and cast your vote here, then join us at 3 on Dec. 7 to watch the movie. Grades 6-12 only, please. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

December 8th from 2-4 p.m. “Come in Character” Party! Pull out your best literary-themed costume and wear it to the Milton Public Library on December 8th from 2-4 p.m. for a “Come in Character” party for teens. This celebration of our favorite stories and the characters we love will feature a book-themed trivia game, a costume contest with prizes, and craft and activities inspired by favorite books, including The Hunger Games, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and more! The event is planned and hosted by the library’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG is a group of junior high and high school students who meet monthly to plan events, help select materials for the library, and contribute to the library’s teen blog. Costumes from all fandoms (book, anime, comics, movies and more!) are encouraged but not required. This event is for students in grades 6-12 only. Admission is free. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Children’s Room:

Saturday, December 15th at 11 am. Holiday Film Shorts Fest, All ages

Let’s start the holiday season with a morning of movie magic!  Children of all ages and their families are welcome to join Miss Sara for popcorn and a showing of two holiday film shorts: Dr. Seuss’s animated classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and the Peanuts favorite “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”  No registration required.

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.

VISUAL ARTS

Milton Art Center will be hosting “Off the Wall – Small Works Holiday Sale,” on Saturday, December 8th through Sunday, December 23rd. The Opening Reception  will be held on Saturday, December 8th, from 5 to 8pm. Since our Small Works Big Impact sale in the spring was such a huge success, by popular demand, we are offering it again for the holidays!

Are you looking for a unique gift for someone special this year?  The Milton Art Center’s Gallery 334 walls will be filled with amazing original works of art from our local artists. All artwork will be available for sale at very affordable prices and ready to take home at time of purchase. So stop in, support your favorite local artist and your community art center, and take your favorite piece of art off the wall and home! Don’t hesitate, 42 works of art sold  within  two weekends at last spring’s Small Works Big Impact sale. Support your favorite local artist and your community art center this holiday!

ATHLETICS

We are happy to report that the varsity football team defeated Braintree for the first time since 2007 by a score of 24-7 on Thanksgiving Day. The Wildcats finished the year on a five game win streak to post their first winning season since 2001. Congratulations to the team!

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: Collicot fifth grade students Shea Flanagan, Edward Enyedy, and Jackson Humphreys recently led an effort to help victims of Hurricane Sandy by initiating a “Helping Hands for Sandy” campaign at the Collicot School. The boys hung posters around the building and updated requests as they followed the news to identify most needed items. The boxes were overflowing thanks to the generosity of families. When asked what they learned from this experience, Edward noted, “Don’t just say I’m happy I’m not one of the victims. People always need help.” After sorting items at the Flanagan home, the Humphreys Family delivered clothing, blankets, toiletries, and other items to New Jersey over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Also, as I mentioned above under “Curriculum” — Grade 4 students Emma Scapicchio, Cunningham School, and Oliver McKay, Glover School, earned a perfect score in Continental Math of six points and are the top scorers for the District. Congratulations!

Staff: I would like to congratulate our own Gary Good, music teacher at Milton High, who was recently notified that he has been selected to be the conductor for the Sr. SEMSBA Band for the festival in April. This is a huge responsibility and we are very proud of Mr. Good. What an honor!

Volunteer: For those of you who have not heard of the “Meet the Artist” program in our elementary schools, we now have a new way to showcase the work of this incredible program. One of our parent volunteers, Kofi Hamilton, designed a website dedicated to this parent-driven art education program. Please visit  https://socialistr.com/meet-the-artists to see the results of our hard-working and artistic parents and students. Thank you to Mr. Hamilton and all the Meet the Artist volunteers.

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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