October 26th E-Blast

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: October 26th, 2017

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I hope that you will join the Milton Public Schools community this Sunday at the 19th Annual Monster Dash, a 5K road race held each year in memory of Tucker Elementary School student Sam Cichello who died following a playground accident in 1999. Funds from this race help the Milton Public Schools science coordinators undertake hands-on science lessons, train teachers and partner on a number of educational projects. The Monster Dash is organized by the Milton Foundation for Education, a non-profit parent group that funds innovative programs and enrichment opportunities that are beyond the reach of the school system’s budget. The MFE supports Sam’s Fund to raise money in support of science enrichment in all of Milton’s public schools. Please see below for a note from Sam Chichello’s family.

“We are eternally grateful to our friends and sponsors who give each year to the Monster Dash in Sam’s memory along with the members of the Milton Foundation who donate so much of their time in planning , coordinating and growing this event. We also want to thank all the wonderful kids and families who come out each year and inspire us with their joy and energy. We hope the many science programs the race supports in the Milton Public Schools will bring the same joy and creative spirit to our kids in the schools and foster dreams, curiosity and a passion for learning as they grow up.”  Chris, Tony, Bridget, Teresa & David Cichello

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Milton Public Schools are very fortunate to have a partnership with Maria Trozzi, one of the foremost experts in the country on resilience as families, schools and communities face crises.  Ms. Trozzi is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, the Director of the nationally known Good Grief Program, and Program Director of Joanna’s Place, an organization dedicated to supporting families and promoting resilience in children who are facing some of life’s most stressful events. While Ms. Trozzi  has supported our schools over the years during times of crisis, she most recently presented at the district’s PARENT Speaker Series. We are asking parents/guardians to follow the links below and consider the free services provided by Maria Trozzi and Joanna’s Place if your child or children are in need of support at this time.  The next support group will be held at the Collicot School on Mondays for 8 weeks for children who have siblings with significant special needs. Circle-S will start on Monday, October 30th and be held for eight  weeks on Monday evenings from 6-8:00 pm. The Circle-S program will provide a family-focused support group for parents of children with disabilities and their “typically-developing” siblings between the ages of 6 and 18. Dinner will be served and the program is free. The program is being sponsored by Joanna’s Place.  For more information and to register see the Circle S flyer.

There are two more Circle groups starting this winter. Please visit Circle I (Illness) and Circle G (Grief) for more information.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting, on October 25th, since my last E-blast. I will update in the next E-Blast. The next meeting will be held on November 9th at 7:00 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

This past spring the Pierce Middle School received a grant for Northwestern University’s FUSE Program.  FUSE is a new kind of interest-driven learning experience developed by researchers and educators in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. The program engages pre-teens and teens in science, technology, engineering, arts/design, and mathematics (STEAM) topics while fostering the development of important 21st century skills. FUSE is based on extensive research on interest development and interest-driven learning.  This past summer Pierce Middle School Science Coordinator, Christie Chiappetta, and Pierce Technology teacher, Deanna Magill, attended a training to prepare for implementing this engaging, innovative program.  Ms. Chiappetta has been working closely with Ms. Magill not only to support the implementation of FUSE, but also to consider the ways in this student-interest driven model can be replicated in other classrooms.

The core activities in FUSE Studios are a set of challenges. Each challenge uses a leveling up model from gaming and is carefully designed to engage teens in different STEAM topics and skills sets. FUSE currently has dozens of challenges in areas such as robotics, electronics, biotechnology, graphic design, Android app development, 3D printing and more. New challenges are always in development.

“Every time I walk into Ms. Magill’s classroom I am blown away!  All of the students are fully engaged, diligently working, and having fun working on their challenge,” states AJ Melanson, Milton Public Schools Instructional Technology Director.

Teachers in FUSE play a new kind of role- they facilitate instead of instruct. FUSE challenges provide a new way to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and math in a fun and relaxed way.

FUSE teacher Deanna Magill stated, “I was a little worried about the Facilitator role at the beginning because as a teacher you are used to being in control of the learning. After doing this for two months though, I cannot imagine doing things differently. Seeing the excitement in the students when they get the marble to go through the track they made for Coaster Boss or they get the LED to light up for the first time on LED Color Lights is the best feeling.”

Some of the FUSE challenges include: 3D You, Coaster Boss, Cookie Customizer, Crystal Ball, Dream Home, Electric Apparel, Eye Candy, Game Designer, How to Train Your Robot, Jewelry Designer, Keychain Customizer, LED Light Colors, Mobile App Designer, Party Lights…

Here are what the students are saying about FUSE:

“It is my favorite part of the day!”

“So far, it has been my favorite class. I love how it’s interactive!”

“It is a really fun class because you get to design anything you want”

“Thank you for letting our school use this program I love it.”

“I enjoy learning in a different way!”

“It is so fun and it is now my favorite class!”

“Fuse is so amazing. I really think all computer classes should do fuse.”

“This class should be mandatory because FUSE is so great and it would teach kids so much if they were in this class like me.”

“Students were frustrated at the beginning of the year because I was not giving them the answers to how to complete the challenges, I would constantly refer them back to the FUSE website to watch the video again or have them ask a classmate who had already worked on that challenge. They are much more willing and able to persevere when something becomes hard which is a big step in the right direction,” said Ms. Magill. Learn more about Fuse  and see Fuse in action at Pierce

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All four of our Elementary Schools are enjoying a robust session of BOKS (Building Our Kids Success) this fall. BOKS is a before school physical activity program that  prepares children for a day of learning and is an important step in helping children gain an appreciation of the benefits of exercise and healthy choices that will last a lifetime. BOKS was inspired by Dr. John Ratey’s book “Spark”. Dr. Ratey, of Harvard Medical School, states that “exercise is the single most powerful tool that we have to optimize the function of our brains.” Classes are filled with team-oriented games and provide plenty of opportunity for play, since the program focuses on fun! A typical BOKS class is 40 minutes long.  If your child is not in the fall BOKS session at Cunningham, Collicot, Glover or Tucker, look for individual school sign ups for the next session later in the year!  Learn more by visiting BOKS. 

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On Saturday, October 21st , the Milton Wildcat Marching Band competed in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor Association’s Marching Band (MICCA) Festival held at Wakefield Memorial High School. After five years of increased student participation, the marching band competed for the first time in Division Three, a classification for 56-70 member ensembles. In Saturday’s performance, the band earned a three-star overall rating in the categories of Percussion, Visual Performance, Colorguard and General Effect. The highlight of the evening, however, was the highest possible, five-star rating in the  category of Music! This is our first time achieving five-star rating in any category. The Wildcat Marching Band is led by Senior Drum Majors Isaac Savona, Shoilee Banerjee and Dylan MacLeod, Senior Colorguard Captain Kelia McCullough, and Senior Percussion Captains Sawyer Flanagan and Billy Liddel. Congratulations to these fine musicians and their directors, Rebecca Damiani, Gary Good, and Grace Marinilli.  You can catch their show, “The Music of Chuck Mangione,” at all remaining home varsity football games. 

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

Milton High School proudly presents the musical Pippin on November 2nd at 7:00 pm and Nov 4th at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium, Milton High School, 25 Gile Road.

With an infectiously unforgettable score from musical theatre giant Stephen Schwartz, Pippin is the story of the young Frankish prince, son of King Charlemagne, who seeks fulfillment in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power, but who ultimately finds happiness not in extraordinary endeavors, but in the un-extraordinary moments that happen every day.

The cast includes Grace Varela as the Leading Player, James DiSandro as Pippin, Brendan Cullen as King Charles, Jada Farrar as Fastrada, Connor Withington as Lewis, Ana Hoey as Berthe, Paula Hogan as Catherine, Luke Palmer as Theo and an ensemble that sings, dances and performs exciting circus tricks to tell this delightful story. Directed by Kevin Black and choreographed by Katherine Encarnacao.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in the MHS main office, at the door or online and we also invite you to meet our talented cast. For more information call 617-696-4470.

 GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

The following was sent in to us by Milton High School Visual Art Teacher Karen Hughes:

On Sunday, October 15th, nine students dedicated to the SADD chapter at Milton High School went to their second annual Team Rival Peer Leadership Conference at Gillette Stadium hosted by Michael Morrissey, Norfolk County District Attorney. Our SADD chapter competes every year against Braintree and Weymouth to gain points and have a perfect score of 100 points. We are 30 points shy of our 100 point goal, which would allow our chapter to earn  $1500 to promote healthy choices in our school. We need MHS students, faculty and staff  to help us meet this goal!

The Distractology Challenge is the area we need 100% participation and it is a quick survey that students can take to learn about distracted driving.. Along with learning from the survey and helping our school earn $1500, EVERY student who takes it will receive 1 hour of Community Service!

Learn more about the event at Gillette Stadium and  take the Distractology Survey.

Pictured L-R: Annabel Botsford, Milan Smith, MHS Visual Arts Teach Karen Hughes, Isobel Ouellet, Gwyneth Sauter, Adriana Ramondi, Kelsey Foran, Molly Baker, Alyssa Foster, Ancil Ramkissoon, and Norfolk County DA Michael Morrissey

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING 

The following item was sent to us by Laurie Stillman, District SEL Facilitator

Questions  you might ask at your child’s Parent-Teacher Conferences:

Parent-Teacher Conferences are a good time to meet to discuss your child’s growth and development in the classroom and at school.  However, the time allotted is short and precious; so it is important to do everything you can as a parent to make it extremely valuable and productive. Taking a few moments to prepare for how you will make the most of your time together can really help to support your child’s learning.  Research affirms that parents who are engaged in student learning help to foster successful student outcomes.

The questions below are designed to ensure that you are really focused on your child’s growth and development, and how both you and your child’s teacher can work together to support these goals.  They were created by a respected social and emotional learning company, Panorama Education.

How is my child doing academically in this class? Key Questions:

  • Is my child achieving proficiency in what he/she should know and be able to do?  How do you know?
  • Does my child respond well to feedback on his/her work?
  • Does my child give up on hard problems?

 How is my child doing socially and behaviorally in this class?  Key Questions:

  • Is my child making a strong effort in class?
  • How well does this teacher’s approach to classroom management work for my child?
  • When my child is feeling pressured, how easily can he/she stay in control?
  • How comfortable is my child in asking for help from his/her peers?

What next steps can I take to support my child’s success in this class?  Key Questions:

  • What are the best ways for me to learn and keep up with the content of what my child is learning?
  • How can I increase conversations with my child about what he/she is learning in school?
  • How can I help my child understand the content he/she is learning in school?

PAC/SPECIAL EDUCATION NEWS

Ghosts & Goblins who benefit from smaller crowds to reduce sensory input are invited to join the Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) in partnership with The Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) for a sensory friendly hour at the Milton Monster Dash from 9-10:00 am.   

HEALTH NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Margaret Gibbons, Director of Nurses:

Milton School Nurses are planning the Annual Student FLU CLINIC for students AND parents on Tuesday, November 7th at Pierce Middle School from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian as permission forms must be completed.  There is no cost for this flu shot, but please bring your insurance card. This flu clinic is a joint collaboration between the Milton School Nurses and the Milton Board of Health. We want to keep everyone healthy this flu season!

FROM THE READERS

For an interesting article on standards based report cards sent in by Amy Gale, Collicot Assistant Principal and Curriculum Coordinator, please read Standards -Based Grading Made My Kid Average.

MFE NEWS

The following item was submitted by the Milton Foundation for Education:

Monster Dash is only THREE days away!  We hope that you will join us for the 19th Annual Monster Dash 5K and Kids Fun Run in loving memory of Sam Cichello and supporting science enrichment in all six Milton Public Schools. Online Registration will close at 4:30 pm on Friday October 27th and the first 500 registered runners for the 5K will get our great race bag and coveted t-shirt with the award winning design by nine year old Lia Duran of Tucker Elementary School.  Pre-registered runners can pick up their numbers and bags on Saturday October 28th at Cunningham Hall from 1-4:00 pm.  Registration and bag pick up will open at 9:00 am on race day, October 29th, at Cunningham Hall.  The kids activities will get started at 10:00 am with the costume contest at 10:15 and the 5K will kick off at 11:00.  The registration link is open now. Don’t forget your costumes -we hope to see you at this fantastic family friendly town wide event!

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Please click on any link below for more information

The Milton Commission on Disability is in search of new members.

A complete listing of Milton Public Library events.

Prescription Drug Take Back Day

ATHLETICS

The following was sent to us by Athletic Director Ryan Madden:

The Girls Soccer Team has qualified for the D2 State Tournament once again.  They will play Carver Thursday and then North Quincy on Saturday, before awaiting their seeding for the tournament next week.

The Boys Soccer Team will look to qualify for the D2 State Tournament tomorrow against Catholic Memorial.  They play CM on Thursday, and will look to retain the Town Line Cup against North Quincy on Saturday

The Volleyball Team has qualified for the D2 State Tournament beating Braintree 3-0.  They are 10-8 and have Archbishop Williams and Marblehead left to play.

The Girls Cross Country Team now has 27 consecutive wins and finished this season 10-0!  They just don’t know how to lose!

The Football Team qualified for the D4 State Tournament, capturing the #2 seed with a win over Norwood this past weekend.  They take on North Quincy on Friday night at 7 pm.  Parking will be at a premium, so car-pooling is highly encouraged for students and families.  Tickets will be sold at the door, $10 for adults and $7 for students.  This is an MIAA Tournament Game, so student-athletes will not enter for free.

Winter Information: Winter Sports Registration will open November 1st online.  Family ID Registration must be completed for each sport, each season. Tryouts begin November 27th.

Sports schedules for all MHS teams 

The following item was sent to us by Milos Nikolic, Friends of Milton Crew:

Milton Crew had a solid performance last week at the Head of the Charles regatta (HOCR). They gave their best shot to race against teams from all around the world. Excellent job!

The boys varsity four took the 41st place out of 86 boats and the girls varsity four took the 68th place out of 84 boats. The boys boat automatically qualified for the next year Head of the Charles Regatta as they finished in the top 50%. The girls boat will enter the HOCR lottery to an entry for next year.

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The Rugby Team  will be hosting a Cans for Cats event on Saturday, November 4th from 9:00 am- 12:00 pm ONLY. Drop off location is down near the wood shed/dumpster/in back near the Field house area and not the front of the school. Please note that cans dropped off before 9:00 am and after 12:00 pm  unfortunately often end up  as trash and do not benefit the hosting team. Please drop of only between 9:00 am -12 PM. The Rugby Team thanks you for your support and cooperation!

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: I would like to recognize the Collicot Garden Club students who visited the community gardens on Edge Hill Road this past Monday.  After a Fall clean up, the students made 15 beautiful bouquets of flowers to be delivered to a local hospice.  Please join me in applauding these young and thoughtful students.

Staff:  We are so grateful to Sergeant Jack Richman of the Milton Police Department for all that he does to keep us safe in the Milton Public Schools. Last week, he came back to school after a lockdown drill at Glover to recognize one student who demonstrated unbelievable leadership during the drill at the Glover School.  Please join me in recognizing Sergeant Richman as he led all six schools through successful lockdown drills last week.  

Volunteers: As we look forward to enjoying the Monster Dash on Sunday, I would like to thank the Board of Trustees of the Milton Foundation for Education who donate countless hours to their work at the MFE in support of all six Milton Public Schools. These community leaders are part of what makes Milton such a vibrant and caring community. Please join me in thanking Will Korman, Rachel Schewe, Karyn Viveiros, Leslie Collins, Pete McLoughlin, MaryJane Walsh, Angela Rue–Van Allen, Liddie Sutter, Courtney Affanato, Henry Bell, Jeanne Conley, Caroline Dodero, Margaret Eberhardt, Greg Gordon, Regine Jean-Charles, Amy Carleton Mills, Karly Rizzo, Ray Sambrano, Allen Schweitzer and Nora Vernazza.

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, marital status, sexual orientation, 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, employment, 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:  Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812. 

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