December 21st 2017

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: December 21st, 2017


As we prepare to begin our winter break, I would like to wish our entire Milton Public Schools family a happy and healthy holiday season, a relaxing winter break and a wonderful New Year! At the High School, we have been treated to some beautiful music each morning this week from our talented MHS musicians. Please enjoy the gift of their music!   

Please see the next item about our first 2018 PARENT Speaker Series event on January 8th. We hope to see you and your daughters (aged 3rd grade and up is recommended) at Milton High School for this engaging and interesting speaker.


The MPS PARENT Speaker Series is pleased to welcome Rachel Simmons – Expert in Girls’ Bullying and Young Women’s Leadership.  Rachel will be presenting “Odd Girl Out: Coping with Best Friends, Worst Enemies, and Everything in Between” on Monday January 8th at 6:30 at MHS. This event is free and open to the public.  Parents/Guardians are encouraged to have their daughters (3rd grade and older) accompany them to the event.   

Then, on Saturday January 13, join us for a unique opportunity, ‘Odd Girl Out’ family breakout sessions.  There will be several Milton homes hosting sessions with a facilitator leading discussions about some of Rachel’s main talking points.  If you are interested in hosting or if you would like to be a discussion facilitator, please contact MPS Director for Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue.              

Ms Simmons has shared  Ten Tips for Girls in advance of her talk:

  • The Myth of the BFF : What if we could accept that no one friend can be everything to us? The myth of the BFF, and the hope that she’s out there, somewhere, runs deep inside many of us. But some friends are better talkers than listeners; others are crisis managers you seek out in a jam who are unreliable day-to-day. As hard as it is, having close friends who disappoint us may be for the best. It opens the door to more friends to love, develops our resilience and self-reliance, and often makes us more flexible and forgiving ourselves.  Continue reading the Ten Tips for Girls from Rachel Simmons.   


On Saturday Dec 9, 2017, three of Milton High School’s best and brightest female students traveled to Bedford, MA to enter into “The Women in Science Competition”. Juniors Sarah Hancock, Karisa Lasoff, and Claire Mandel competed against 44 other teams from 23 different school districts. This was Milton’s second appearance at the competition, and our students had a strong showing in the competition.  The competition required a vast science knowledge in multiple fields like biology, genetics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, weather, coding and problem solving as there were two design build problems presented to the students.  MHS  hopes to send more teams in the years to come to this fantastic competition. 


 Harvard Professor, Milton Times columnist and Clinical Psychologist Dr. Roberta Wegner spoke to MHS Psychology students about her profession and practice. Dr. Wegner spoke about career paths in clinical Psychology, took students through a case study of a patient, and answered student questions. Dr. Wegner specializes in the connection between psychological disorders and the biological reactions, such as stress levels and heart-rate. At left, Dr. Wegner demonstrates the connection between biology and emotions through Biofeedback, with MHS student Robert Ricciardi. Dr. Wegner showed how anxiety, meditation, and fatigue could be affect heart-rate, stress levels, and cognition.


Last week, members of The Young Women’s Group, The Young Men’s Group, and  The Calculus Project were afforded the opportunity of an all expense paid engineering field trip to Raytheon in Andover.  These students (pictured at the top of the blog this week)  had the opportunity to see the facility and speak to some of the Raytheon engineers and employees to learn about the company and STEM.


Congratulations to our 1st term MHS Honor Roll students!  High Honors, Honor Roll, Honorable Mention


Approximately 70 of our 8th grade students at Pierce participated in the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s essay contest. 8th graders from around the commonwealth were prompted to choose a political or community issue that impacts young people and determine how they would make a difference, if they were the Chief Municipal Officer for their community. We are proud to announce that Matthew Paquette, a student in Mr. McElhinney’s class, beat out thousands of students, to win the second place prize for his essay on combating racism.  Matthew will be awarded a cash prize of $250.00 and be honored for his excellence. Congratulations to Matthew and the 8th grade social studies teachers and students who finished their civics unit with this exciting essay contest. 


Cunningham students in Mrs Zoll’s and Mrs Rooney’s 3rd grades mixed engineering, math and creative problem solving this week to create some winter beauty. After studying the science behind how snowflakes are formed, they worked in pairs to create their own unique snowflakes. The groups brainstormed on symmetry, design ideas and engineering practices to create their masterpieces and shared their process and finished design with the class ​. 


Tucker Cares continued last week , with students making get well cards and flowers for patients at Milton Hospital.  Each month, the Tucker Community comes together to work on a good deed in the greater Milton Community. I received an email yesterday from Richard Fernandez, President/CEO of BID-Milton which read, “The hospital recently received cards and tissue paper flowers from the students at Tucker School to be shared with patients who are here over the holidays.  We are so grateful to the students, teachers and staff whose work will really brighten the season for our patients and their families.”Our Tucker students are leading the way with their kindness! 


Dec 25–29  Winter Recess                                          
Jan 2    Classes Resume
Jan 3    Milton School Committee
Jan 8    Rachel Simmons, PARENT Speaker Series  – Odd Girl Out                                         
Jan 10  MHS Jazz Concert
Jan 11  Preschool Information Night
Jan 15  No School-MLK Jr. Holiday
Jan 17  Milton School Committee
Jan 23  Kindergarten Information Night


Calling all future kindergarteners! 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!​   


Are you or someone you know looking for a preschool program for your three or four year old?  Milton Public Schools has a variety of programs for those children who will turn three or four on or before August 31, 2018. Mark your calendars and join us for an information evening on January 11th at 6:30pm and please review the important preschool dates.  The information session will take place at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd.  This is guaranteed to be an informative evening as preschool staff and administrators outline the similarities and differences in the programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have.  Please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, or call 617 980 7343 if you have additional questions. We look forward to seeing you  as your child begins their time in the Milton Public Schools!


I am pleased to tell you that all six of our schools were  awarded the Healthier US School Challenge Bronze award. The HUSSC: Smarter Lunchrooms  award recognizes schools who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in both nutrition and physical education, and actively work to promote a healthier school environment for children. It is a wonderful accomplishment for each of these schools and our MPS Food Service Department. 


Are you interested in teaching a Milton Adult Education course this spring?  We are currently looking for a new yoga instructor, as well as additional instructors for other courses that may be of interest to Milton residents (and neighboring communities).  To get ideas, take a look at the courses that were offered this fall. You could offer something similar to these, or try something entirely new!  Please contact Sara Warner, Director of Adult Education, with questions and/or ideas!


The Milton Public School District’s Special Education Procedures Manual ​has recently been revised and this document is posted on the district’s website. The manual is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of procedures, as well as federal and state regulations, that govern special education services. This manual has been created to assist staff, parents, and community members in understanding the special education process. Please contact the Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services, Tracy Grandeau if you have any questions.


The Milton SEPAC is pleased to announce our first in a series of Parent Speak events. On January 17th from 6:30 -8:30 pm, the SEPAC will host Glover parents in the Keys Community Room at the Milton Public Library. Join us to share experiences, ask questions, and express any concerns. We are interested in knowing what has gone well for you during the current school year as well as where improvements are needed. Parents will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the IEP process, parent rights, and other aspects of special education services. We hope to see you there. Additional Parent Speak events will be held for each school community with dates to be announced soon.

The SEPAC will hold its next Board Meeting on January 23rd from 7 pm to 9 pm in the library at Glover Elementary School.


The MFE is thrilled to announce that we have added five new Trustees. Please join us in welcoming and congratulating Bithiah Carter, Tami Carpenter, Julie Cosgrove, Erika Vogel, and Ben Zoll.

In addition, time is running out to make a tax-deductible 2017 contribution to the Milton Foundation for Education’s Annual Appeal. We are asking you to consider making a 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.


Check out the children’s events at the Milton Public Library this week.  


The Milton Music Department proudly wrapped up a busy winter concert season with nearly 20 performances this month. Check out the list of their performances this season, it’s impressive to see them in print – our students have been on the move!  

One of the MHS Christmas Carolers final performances was with the Boston Home Resident Choir.  Happy listening!


Girls Hockey has yet to lose after beating Walpole 2-0 last night.  Julia Scannell broke the Milton High School Girls Ice Hockey Point Record.  The previous record was 195 points, and Julia has now surpassed 200 points and she doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. Kat Buchanan has also recorded 2 hat-tricks while Jenna Conroy scored her first Varsity goal!

Boys Hockey tied Walpole last night 3-3.  Nolan McManus has now found the net in all three of Milton’s games.  Sophomore Bobby Carew, on the back of an amazing Cross Country Season, scored his first Varsity Goal against Framingham.

Girls Basketball grabbed their first win of the season against Framingham on Friday.  Jeanmarie Fallon scored 25 and 20 points against Framingham and Walpole, respectively.  She will look to lead her team against Notre Dame Academy Thursday 12/21 at 6:30pm.

Boys Basketball has now won their last two matches after a tough game against Natick.  They beat both Framingham and Walpole, showcasing excellent team defense, with Eddie Hassell leading the way.  He is averaging just over 16 points per game.  They will play in the Silver Lake Tournament over Winter Break.

Girls and Boys Track will look to beat Natick tonight in their first conference meet at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Wrestling plays Arlington tomorrow before going to the Lowell Tournament over Winter Break.

Please visit our website for updated rosters, schedules and articles about our star athletes!


Last call for holiday shopping with the Boosters! Shop local for some great Milton gear – Thursday and Friday at the Field House from  2:15-3:15 and Saturday 12/22 at Thayer Nursery from 12-4 pm. Questions? Please contact Patty Andresino or Maggie Oldfield Laing.


Save Your Holiday Cans! There will be a Cans for Cats event on Saturday January 6th from 9-12 pm to benefit the Milton High Ski Team.


As part of our weekly update, 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 students in the MHS Social Pragmatics peer mentor group who worked on handmade blankets this month and yesterday delivered them to Boston Children’s Hospital as part of their travel training and community service. It was an amazing experience for our students as they spread holiday cheer in the hospital.  

Staff:  As we close out 2017, I would like to recognize and congratulate members of our staff who are retiring this year. Anna McReynolds, Susan Doyle, Judy Lemelman, Betty Carrigan, Lori Henry, Mary Duggan and Annie Dutton have been essential and admired members of the MPS staff for many years, and I know you’ll join me in wishing them the very best in their well deserved retirement. We have appreciated their dedication to our students and their commitment to the Milton Public Schools.

Diane Ferrari and Maura Doherty

Volunteers: Milton Public Schools are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful friend in the Milton Residents Fund.  Through the hard work of Diane Ferrari, director of the fund and Maura Doherty, gift drive coordinator, many MPS children in need received gifts for the upcoming holiday.  Through a collaborative effort of kindness the holidays were made a little brighter for many Milton families.  Each elementary school gathered gifts through individual toy drives under the leadership of the PTOs, the middle school families donated generous gift cards and the Milton High School Key Club collected socks for children and teens.  The MHS culinary classes created gingerbread houses which the culinary club helped to decorate and funds collected from the sales of the gingerbread houses were donated to the Milton Residents Fund for the purchase of gift cards. We are very grateful for the generosity of the Milton Residents Fund and our MPS families. 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  James Jette, Jon Redden, Amy Zoll, Nicole Rooney, Marti McKenna, Larry Jordan, Tracy Grandeau, Robin Lee, Noel Vigue, Linda Stefanick, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Sara Warner, Jen Grubler, Will Korman, Dawn Sykes, Jennifer Struzziero, Jean Scarborough, Patty Andresino, Karen Spaulding, Dawn Sykes, Ryan Madden, Nancy Warn, Jackie Morgan and Holly Concannon. 

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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