January 18th, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: January 18th, 2018


I was pleased to see so many Milton Public Schools students and families attend and participate in the community wide Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration this past Monday evening. Our elementary through high school students sang and shared their poems and artwork as the Milton community looked on. Thank you to the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association for their sponsorship of this wonderful event.


There has been one School Committee meeting, on January 17th, since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held on February 7th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School. All School Committee meetings can be viewed on demand on Milton Access Television.


More good news from our Debate Team as 10 members participated in a National Tournament in Lexington, MA this past weekend. All of our students did extremely well, with one of our teams (Senior captains Jack Cullen and Domenic Jancaterino) making it to the first round of finals. February and March will be busy months for the team with another national tournament being held at Harvard, 3 local tournaments, and the state tournament all coming up!


Suessical starts tonight! Come see our talented middle school students in one of their  performances on January 18th, 19th and 20th in the Pierce auditorium. Tickets can be purchased starting at 6:15 at the door. Learn more about the cast and crew and see some rehearsal sneak peeks on the Pierce Players website. Our MPS 5th graders were lucky to get a sneak preview today!


On Monday, February 5th, Pierce Middle School will have live grades!  The goal of the live grades is to create an open line of communication between teachers, students, and families in order to best support your child’s learning and growth.  The ability to view grades through your PlusPortals account provides families more information about what occurs in the classroom, helping you become better equipped to support your child’s strengths and areas of growth.  Continue reading here.


Last week at Cunningham, the 5th grade Student Council continued the ongoing anti-bullying curriculum with a student led assembly. With the help of Mr. Redden and Adjustment Counselor Jaclyn Germano, the 5th graders wrote a book, filmed videos depicting bullying situations and solutions and led the all school assembly. Cunningham has a school wide, consistent message of kindness and empathy as well as specific lessons aimed at teaching the differences between the terms “rude, mean and bullying” and “tattling and reporting”.  Staff has shared videos, vocabulary, book recommendations and discussion questions and this school wide consistent discussion and education is proving effective.   


At Collicot, many students are “Reading with Malcolm” as they participate in the second quarter of the Readbowl competition to crown the National Reading Champions.  Read With Malcolm is a youth literacy initiative founded by New England Patriot, Malcolm Mitchell. During the month of January, students will log independent reading minutes as part of a national competition. Mrs Spitz’s 3rd graders were featured on Malcolm’s page today because of their great nonfiction reading lesson. Many of our classes are having fun while logging extra reading minutes each week!  Our teachers also enjoyed this clip of Malcolm as a college student sharing his love of reading.

Mrs Spitz’s class is going for 1st and goal with their reading!


Jan 18-20  Pierce Players Performances of Suessical Jr.
Jan 23  Kindergarten Information Night 6:30pm MHS Auditorium
Jan 30  PARENT Speaker – Minding your Mind Program PMS 6:30  
Jan 31 No School K-12 Teacher PD Day
Feb 7 Milton School Committee
Feb 8 PARENT Speaker – Dr Ruth Potee 6:30 MHS Auditorium


It is time to register your child (5 years old on or before 8/31/18) for kindergarten for September 2018. 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.  Questions? Please email Laurie Dunn. We look forward to meeting the class of 2031!​    


Online preschool registration is open until January 25th.  If needed, a lottery will be held on January 26th and parent notification letters with placement status will be sent no later than February 5th. We have several different preschool programs described in the Preschool Information Night presentation.  Please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, or call 617-980-7343 if you have additional questions.  


The Glover Elementary School and Pierce Middle School were recently awarded a Safe and Supportive Schools grant for $20,000.  The purpose of this competitive grant program is to provide funding to develop and implement action plans that organize, integrate, and sustain school and district-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments and coordinate and align student support initiatives.  This work is intended to help schools create safe, positive, healthy and inclusive whole-school learning environments and make effective use of a system for integrating services and aligning initiatives that promote students’ behavioral health (e.g., social and emotional learning, bullying prevention, trauma sensitivity, dropout prevention, truancy reduction, children’s mental health, foster care and homeless youth education, inclusion of students with disabilities, substance use prevention, positive behavioral approaches that reduce suspensions and expulsions, and other similar initiatives).  This grant was open to all districts in the Commonwealth, and the Glover/Pierce proposal was one of only seven funded in Category B (the implementation phase)!  The two schools teamed up last year under a similar grant to assess their work in creating Safe and Supportive Schools and are teaming together once again to continue their efforts by implementing the action plans they authored last year.  Work associated with this grant will include family outreach, exploring positive behavioral interventions, and integrating support services for students.


Do you have a MHS student interested in applying for volunteer or paid Red Shirt Positions this summer at MSE? The link to apply is now open.  The deadline for applications is February 16th.


Please join us for the next Speaker Series event – Jon Mattleman – Just Talk About It – on January 30th at 6:30 PM in the Pierce Middle School Auditorium.

This interactive presentation is an introduction to adolescents’ mental health, which is designed to train attendees on how to recognize the warning signs of stress, anxiety, depression and crisis.  In addition, self-harm, suicide, and the emotional impact of social media will be explicitly addressed.  Participants will discuss ways to assist others to cultivate positive coping skills and the ability to ask for help.  Crisis intervention is emphasized by learning the signs of suicidal ideation and risk, and how to encourage those at risk to seek help. For more information on the Just Talk About It presentation, please visit the Minding Your Mind website. 


Last Saturday, there were 6 small breakout sessions held in homes around Milton as parents, daughters and facilitators used talking points from Rachel Simmons’ talk last week to spark further discussion. Thanks to all who hosted, facilitated and attended!


Milton SEPAC is excited to present “What Matters Most”, An Evening of Heartfelt Storytelling with Carrie Cariello on January 25th, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm  at Abby Park, 550 Adams Street in Milton. Carrie will be joining us for the second time to share stories about her life raising five children, one of whom has autism. She is a writer, blogger, and speaker who presents regularly around the country to teachers, parents, and students. Hearing her talk will feel like a good conversation with a friend and parents of children with or without autism will be able to relate to her funny and touching stories of the struggles of raising kids. Admission is free, all are welcome, light apps will be served and there is a cash bar. We hope you will join us for this informative and enjoyable evening.


I thought you might be interested in this video on teaching that Pierce science teacher Jeff Stoodt sent me about America’s teacher shortage. We are lucky at MPS to have so many engaged and excellent educators.  

Physical Education and Health Director Noel Vigue, shared the following article entitled Measuring Screen Time is the Key to Reducing Screen Time.


At Milton Public Schools, we offer breakfast in every school for thirty minutes before the school day begins – students come into the cafeteria before the morning bell.  We have traditional cafeteria service  in all of our schools, we offer grab and go carts at our middle and high school and we are now piloting breakfast in the classroom at the Tucker Elementary School with three grades. We have also placed full breakfast meals with our middle and high school nurses if children come to their offices and are hungry after the bell. We hope you will consider trying out our school breakfast program!  


The MHS Class of 2019 FUNDrive will be held this  Saturday, January 20th , from 9am-2pm at the high school’s front entrance. Clean out your closets and help the MHS Class of 2019 at the same time! If you would like to drop off in advance, we will be accepting donations (gently used clothing, shoes, textiles, household items, etc) that are boxed or bagged through January 19th at the MHS Main office during school hours. All details can be found here. The class of 2019 thanks you!


Courageous Conversations is holding bystander intervention training to address implicit and explicit racism and bias in our everyday lives.  Please follow this link to register in advance.

It’s Chess-a-Palooza time at the Milton Public Library.

See what’s happening for kids  at the Milton Public Library next week and the week after.  

Dreaming of spring? Well then register now for Milton spring sports! Softball, baseball, Lacrosse.

Please see the Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter, filled with many free activities for families to do together this season. 

The Forbes House Museum presents their newest exhibit – Massachusetts Help to Ireland During the Great Famine. Come see artifacts and historic accounts at the opening reception on Saturday, January 27th, 4-6pm $10/person.


Please enjoy this video of the Tucker 4th and 5th grade chorus performing for friends and family.


Girls Basketball had their work cut out for them on the second night of a back-to-back against a very good Quincy team, after beating Weymouth by a point in the night before.  It took OT to settle this one, with Jeanmarie Fallon finishing with 14 points and some more clutch 3-point shooting from Meghan Kelly! Final score was 49-41 Milton!

Boys Basketball climbed back from 15 down late in the third quarter to beat Weymouth 49-48, with Eddie Hassell scoring a season high 26 points.  They will look to make it two wins out of two on Friday, as they take on Norwood.

Girls Hockey took a 1-0 lead over Weymouth into the 2nd period, and then the flood gates opened. Kat Buchanan earned yet another hat-trick, with the ‘Cats eventually winning 5-0 on the night.

Boys Hockey also took care of business against Weymouth, winning 4-2, with goals from O’Toole, Noonan, McDougall, and Allen, bouncing back nicely after falling to North Attleboro over the long weekend.

Boys and Girls Track had a bye week last Thursday, and they take on Wellesley tonight.

The Wrestling Team grabbed wins over Monument and AMSA in the Quad over the weekend, while falling to Newton North on Tuesday night. Micah Allen is 3-1 in his last three matches, while Alex Merrill and Alex Caputo have both picked up a few more wins.

The Ski Team participated in their 1st Giant Slalom competition of the season last week.  The Wildcats were led by rookies Nikolai Zychowicz  (32nd & 42nd) and CC Madigan (43rd & 43rd). Strong performances were turned in by Kyle Loria, Thomas Baltay, Geroge Laing , Conor Lynch, Isabella DeFilipo, Alex Boursican, Laura O’Hanlon, Molly Strout, Nora Kleiman, Giselle Nevile, Zerian Atic and Finuala Boursican.

Sports schedules for all MHS teams.


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 four Cunningham 5th graders who give up their recess time to teach small groups of students in Mrs O’Leary’s 1st grade class. Mrs O’Leary shares that these students are amazing with her young class – patient, thoughtful and loving towards all the children.  It’s students like Dory O’Toole, Sophie McFadden, Emily Rowley and Nicole Dowdall who make the Milton Public Schools so special.  In addition, Nicole has been coming to school early to help her own 5th grade teacher who is injured.  She wrote the agenda, got the book club books set up, organized materials for a science lesson and delivered the mail. Nice job, Nicole!  

Staff:  Please join me in acknowleding the staff members from Cunningham and Tucker who are working  together all year around early literacy standards and initiatives. This work is funded by a grant the  Cunningham and Tucker Schools applied for and received from the state. The teachers have already attended one regional and one state literacy conference and will continue to collaborate together and with other districts from around the state in order to bring new and innovative ideas in early literacy to our district. Thank you to Tara Kostek, Caitlin Deptula, Kim O’Leary, Alex Sewall, Sarah Slater, Kerry O’Leary, Kelsey McGill and Nicole Rooney for their commitment to our youngest students.

Volunteers: ​​Jean Graham has volunteered in the guidance department at Milton High School for the past several years.  Mrs. Graham has taken on the role of  College Applications Coordinator, ensuring  that all transcripts, letters of recommendation and other necessary forms are submitted to colleges on time for all of our students. To date, Mrs. Graham has submitted over 2000 transcripts for the graduating class of 2018!  Mrs. Graham’s attention to detail, follow through and coordination of deadlines with the guidance staff and the students guarantees that our materials are submitted on time to every college our students are applying to. Please join me in thanking Mrs Jean Graham for her time and dedication to our high school students.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Dr Karen Spaulding, Jon Redden, Jaclyn Germano, Jeff Stoodt, Holly Concannon, Liz Spitz, Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler, Noel Vigue, Jackie Morgan , Kerry O’Leary, Tracy d’Entremont, Karen Cahill, Jennifer Struzziero, Ryan Madden, James Jette, Kathleen Haley, Kacy Kalell, Dana Depaul, Kathleen Kelley, Cynthia Guise and Jen Grubler.

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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