November 30th E-Blast

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: November 30th, 2017

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

It may seem that the school year has just begun, but believe it or not, Kindergarten Registration for September 2018 is upon us! As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. After you pre-register, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Kindergarten Information night on Tuesday, January 23rd at Milton High School. The final step is to attend Kindergarten Registration (by appointment on February 13th, 14th, 15th) with your completed registration packet that you will receive on January 23rd at information night. Details and links are found here – Welcome to Kindergarten. Questions? Please email Laurie Dunn. We look forward to meeting the class of 2031!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has not been a School Committee meeting since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held on December 6th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.  A full video of each meeting can be found on Milton Access TV and minutes from October 4th and October 25th are available for review.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

On Thursday November 30th , the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Schools to Careers program invited local entrepreneurs and legislative leaders to “Go Back to School” at MHS. Our guests attended two 30 minute classes and engaged students by answering thoughtful questions and sharing  information about their chosen careers and their personal career paths. Attendees shared that they saw creative, energetic  and innovative teaching and were hosted by well spoken, engaging and knowledgeable students. Thank you to BID Milton Hospital’s CEO Richard Fernandez, Milton Town Manager Michael Dennehy and Katie Howard from South Shore Hospital for sharing their time and talents with our students.

L-R Back Michael Dennehy, Richard Fernandez, Katie Howard, Sean Conway, Will McCurdy, Domenic Jancaterino, Sawyer Flanagan, MHS Principal James Jette
L-R Front Hue-Ninh Nguyen, Nethania Marc, Ryan Au

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Educational Technology Director AJ Melanson shares details about  MHS Grades live grades.    

MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS

The Pierce Middle School’s Green Team, led by community volunteer Beth Neville and Pierce science teacher Jeff Stoodt, had a robust fall in the garden. Student gardeners planted crocus, tulips and daffodils in the Pierce garden by the granite school sign and harvested carrots, parsley, beets, eggplants and green beans for students and staff. They enjoyed homemade carrot bread and veggie pizza made with vegetables they had grown. They learned why their pumpkins didn’t grow as much as expected (the borers got into the vines and made them weak) and why their watermelons and cantaloupe were yellow inside and not ripe (they were planted too late in the spring).​ They’ve begun planning for spring by picking out vegetables and flowers to plant from catalogues, in the winter they’ll start the seeds indoors  under grow lights in the science room and in the spring they’ll plant the outdoor garden, along with pansies and other flowers in the front garden. Gardening is always in season at Pierce!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

As part of Reach for Reading Unit 2, the thematic approach to literacy posed a big underlying question to some Glover 5th graders: “What is the power of the sun?”

While discussing alternative energy sources, the topic of solar energy came up for Ms Cardiasmenos’ 5th graders. Students read several informational texts on solar power which sparked a conversation resulting in an interdisciplinary investigation around town.

The class decided to start noticing collection and use of solar energy in their neighborhoods and school. Students immediately recognized Glover’s gym roof covered in solar panels and wanted to investigate. As a homework assignment students surveyed their own neighborhoods and generated fractions (numerator = household with visible solar panels; denominator = number of properties surveyed). We are very grateful to both Bill Ritchie from Milton’s Consolidated Facilities for sharing data on Glover’s solar panels and Elementary Science Coordinator Linda Stefanick who shared some Vernier computer probes so the students could collect information about the solar cells and see how they work using both artificial light and sunlight.

Their research and conclusions helped fifth graders review place value for math and key vocabulary and concepts from Reach for Reading (solar, watt, kilowatt, megawatt, etc.). It also has them thinking and making direct connections from their reading to their school, town and planet.  Ms Cardiasmenos shares, “We are very excited about the connection between the Reach for Reading program and the student interest in solar energy that has come from this. My 5th grade class has been really energized by both the content and the community response they received.”

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The Tucker School holds monthly “Chants and Cheers” community circles to recognize hardworking  students and classes, award Tiger Stripes, and build community. Classes “adopt” a college or university  at the beginning of the school year and  learn (and then  share) about “their’ college or university throughout the year.  Check out the BC Eagles and Middlebury Panthers showing their college pride!

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A friendly reminder to all elementary families that report cards will be sent home via backpack on Tuesday, December 5th and conferences will be held on Thursday, December 7th. The implementation of our new Standards Based Report Card has allowed for all teachers to analyze the strengths and challenges of each student with regards to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Teachers no longer provide families with numeric or letter grades, but rather with a mark that indicates “progress toward” individual standards. We have found this to be a more effective way of reporting to families what a child knows and is able to do. Please review the letter to families that accompanies the report card and our current list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Our Elementary Assistant Principals/Curriculum Coordinators will be presenting standards-based report card information to the School Committee on December 6th at 7 pm. You can watch their presentation live on Channel 22 (Comcast) or 15 (RCN).

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

MHS Small Ensembles Concert December 5th at 7 pm  

Early Release K-12 December 7th 

Parent/Teacher Conferences K-5th grade  December 7th  – Some suggestions as to what to ask at P/T Conferences

MHS Winter Concert December 12th at 7 pm

PARENT Speaker Series
Upcoming Speaker Rachel Simmons is an expert in Girls’ Bullying & Young Women’s Leadership.  Rachel will be presenting “Odd Girl Out: Coping with Best Friends, Worst Enemies, and Everything in Between” on Monday January 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm.

Please join Milton Early Childhood Alliance and MPS for a Story Walk featuring Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! children’s book in English, French, and Spanish.  Visit the back playground of Tucker Elementary School, 187 Blue Hills Parkway, daily now through early December, and enjoy this terrific story posted along their fence.

Winter break will be here before you know it! School Vacation Camps are at two locations  – Cunningham/Collicot and Tucker – and registration is open December 1st-15th.  

GUIDANCE NEWS

Please join the Guidance Department for our annual College Information/Post Secondary Planning night, taking place at Milton High on Wednesday, Dec 6th at 6pm.  The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process: Financial Aid, Standardized Testing, Supporting your senior throughout the year, NCAA Requirements, Overview of the College Application Process, and Naviance . All sessions, with the exception of Elimination of Class Rank,  will start at 6pm and run in 30 minute intervals. Students & Parents/Guardians are invited to attend any sessions during that window. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, Dec 6th at 6pm. This workshop is open to all parents, guardians and students in any grade level.   

ART/MUSIC NEWS

There are exciting results from the Senior District Auditions this past Saturday.  Of the 45 students who auditioned, the following MHS students were accepted to this year’s festival: Ryan Au, Viola; James DiSandro, Tenor; Esme Link, French Horn; Caleb Smith, Alto Saxophone.

Also, the following students were accepted to the festival as well as earning qualifying scores to audition for the All State Festival to take place in March: Annabel Botsford, Alto; Penelope Holland, Soprano; Dominik Hyppolite, Bass; Jada Farar, Alto; Sawyer Flanagan, Snare Drum; Nathania Marc, Violin; Kaleigh Pentland, Alto; Coleman Rose, Tenor Saxophone; Benjamin Scott, Euphonium; Grace Varela, Alto.

These festivals are sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association and serve to enrich school music programs by offering students additional opportunities to perform challenging literature with guest conductors.  Congratulations to these outstanding musicians!

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Our Milton High School singers and musicians are performing all over Milton this weekend. You can hear the Brass Choir and Saxophone Quintet on Sunday December 3rd at the Eustis Estate and the MHS Christmas Carolers will be at Caroling on the Common on Saturday December 2nd and at Thayer Nursery on Sunday December 3rd for their Holiday Boutique.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Thank you to the Fruit Center who has generously donated $6390 to the six Milton schools as part of 2017’s School Shopping Week! We are grateful to the many families who shopped at the Fruit Center and in turn thankful to the Fruit Center for their continued support.

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Pass us your soccer uniforms…and we’ll pass them onto children all over the world! Drop off your used soccer uniforms and equipment in collection bins located in the lobbies of The Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce Schools and at 34 Cliff Rd. Any donations of clean t-shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. We will also happily accept uniforms from other sports. Please contact Madame Brown at 617-696-8125 with any questions.   

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There are many holiday season giving opportunities within Milton Public Schools:

Got Socks?
The Milton High School Key Club is collecting socks for children in kindergarten through middle school.  The socks will be donated to the Milton Residents Fund who will distribute them to families in need along with other gifts.  We will take new socks of any kind for this age group. The collection will run through December 8th at MHS.

Project 351
Please consider supporting Pierce Middle School 8th Grader Dominique Thomas’ Project 351 Food Drive  this Saturday, December 2nd from 8-10am at 106 Blue Hills Parkway. Non perishable items preferred.  Thank you for your support!

Sophia’s Socks for the Homeless
Cunningham 2nd grader Sophia is on her third year of collecting socks for the homeless. If you are interested in donating NEW socks please click here for more information. Sophia will be collecting socks at the Cunningham School until  Friday 12/1. She would greatly appreciate your donation.

Fr Bill’s and MainSpring
Pierce Middle School will be holding a drive for Fr. Bill’s and MainSpring in December, in hopes of gathering much needed goods for families in need as they transition into new housing and hopeful futures.   

Milton High School Athletics in Partnership with Curry College
The Curry College Hockey Team’s Annual Teddy Bear Toss fundraising event will be held on Saturday, December 2nd when the Colonels take on the Johnson and Wales University at 4:50 pm. 

FOOD SERVICES

For those families who use My School Bucks to deposit funds into their child’s account, we wanted to alert you that My School Bucks is increasing their transaction fee from $1.95 to $2.49. You are able to add funds to multiple children for one transaction fee. You can read the entire My School Bucks communication here. We also accept checks made out to Milton School Food Service Program for prepayment.  Please include your child’s full name on the memo section of your check.  We have a locked mailbox in each school’s main office and also a locked mailbox in the cafeteria for checks.  Any checks left before school will credited to your child’s account that day. Please email Director of Nutrition Services Jackie Morgan with any questions.

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

Each year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE)surveys families of students with an IEP in selected school districts to determine how well your child’s school is communicating with you and promoting your engagement in your child’s education. It’s Milton Public School District’s turn this year. The web-based survey is now open ​ for all families of students with IEPS. You can complete the survey online or using a mobile device,

Your participation in this survey will help our school district to improve family engagement for all students. Please note that paper copies will also be mailed to parents/guardians without computer access or email addresses.  Translated versions are available and will be sent to parents as well.  If you would like a paper copy, please contact Tracy Grandeau at 617-696-5040, ext 5572/5574. Thank you for taking the time to complete this quick survey!

MFE NEWS

Recently you received an important letter from the Milton Foundation for Education asking you to make a gift to our Annual Appeal. We are asking you to consider making a year-end tax-deductible gift to this important fund. Together we have distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. Please consider making a year-end tax-deductible gift today. For more information, please go to our website.  We feel beyond fortunate to work with such incredible schools, passionate teachers, and an amazing community. Thank you for your support.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton Art Center Holiday Artisan Fair  takes place on Saturday, December 9th from 10-4pm. We are featuring over 20 local artists including Pierce Middle School student Maggie Mannion who sews skirts and pillow cases.

The Forbes House Museum is hosting a Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 16th, from 11-3 pm. 

What’s happening for kids at the Milton Public Library?

ATHLETICS

Save your cans! The MHS boys Hockey Team will be holding a Cans for Cats event on Saturday, December 2nd near the woodshed area behind the high school from 9 am – 12 pm. No early early drop off please and thank you for your support!

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: Please join me in congratulating MHS senior Ryan Au who is a candidate for the Eversource Energy Foundation Scholarship through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Ryan’s performance on the PSAT in his junior year has allowed him this great opportunity.  Good luck Ryan!

Staff:  I would like to recognize the over 40 veteran staff members in the district who are mentoring our new staff members. The mentors meet regularly with their mentees to help our new staff become acclimated and settled into their jobs. They continue to meet all year working to problem solve and plan for the school centered exercises they will encounter from September to June. The mentors are supported by the Mentoring Leadership Team, educators April Allegrezza, John Radosta, Deb Fidrocki and Genevieve Martland who choose mentors, organize orientation, offer mentoring classes and supports and facilitate meetings. The mentoring program is one of the tools that we use to welcome new staff and keep those staff members teaching in our district. I am grateful to the mentors from all six schools who  are so giving of their time to our new staff and couldn’t be happier with  the effort that they make on behalf of MPS

Volunteers: A big thank you to Pierce parent Heidi Schleicher who last year began the Pierce Ski & Board Club and this year has continued to grow the club to 90 students! For five Thursdays this winter, students will take buses to Nashoba Valley for skiing, snowboarding and lessons and arrive back to Pierce (tired and happy!) at about 9 pm. Opportunities like this would not be possible without the enthusiastic efforts of our volunteers and we appreciate all that Ms Schleicher has done to bring this exciting club to Pierce.

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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