February 23, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: February 23, 2018


L-R MHS Principal James Jette, MSAPC’s Laurie Stillman, Health Department Director Caroline Kinsella, Dr Ruth Potee, MPS Phys Ed &Health Director Noel Vigue and Asst. Supt. Janet Sheehan

We’re grateful to be able to share the link to Dr. Ruth Potee’s presentation “Under Construction: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Teen/Tween Brain and Substance Use”. If you get the opportunity, I can’t recommend this enough, and strongly urge you to watch this presentation soon.

A number of MPS faculty members found Dr Potee’s presentation compelling and we believe every parent/guardian and faculty member should make the time to watch. Dr Potee delves into adolescent brain development and understanding the major transformations that take place during the teen years, and how learning and decision making are significantly impacted when the right or wrong decisions are made during this time period.  Thank you to Milton Cable TV who videotaped the presentation.  It is clear, with excellent sound and  in “On Demand” format, which means you can watch it at any time , stop and start as needed and come back to it when it is convenient.  Please, do watch it!  We think you will be glad that you did.

Thank you also to the sponsors of our PARENT Speaker Series – BID Hospital – Milton, MSPAC, SEPAC, Milton PTOs, Milton Public Schools, The Isabel Joyce Piliavin Charitable Trust, and the MCC – without whom our PARENT Speaker Series would not be possible.


Milton residents received their excise tax bills last week and we hope you’ll take a moment to read this letter from Milton Partnership for Arts & Cultural Enrichment (M-PACE).  Please consider a donation to M-PACE when you pay your excise tax bill so our MPS students can continue to experience the cultural events made possible by M-PACE.  In the past month alone,  due to the generosity of Milton tax payers and M-PACE, our MPS 8th and 11th graders attended a performance of Thurgood and our sophomores attended a performance of Macbeth.  


Before February break began, Milton High School’s environmental science classes hosted a guest speaker, Meg Tabacsko, from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA). The presentation, “Down the Drain,” was an interactive presentation for students to determine what creates wastewater, and what happens to that waste.  Ms. Tabacsko overviewed the entire wastewater treatment process, and applied the work to the Boston Harbor Project and Deer Island, both topics in the curriculum.  Thank you to Ms. Plunkett and her environmental science students for hosting this presentation. 


Our spring SAT prep courses at MHS begin in March. Details can be found here.

The MHS Key Club is collecting items for the Milton Animal Shelter between March 6th-12th. 


Calling all Pierce golfers!  Is golf your thing? Or maybe you’re looking for a fun project this spring?  If so, we need YOU!  We are looking for a group of parents to help out with the first ever Pierce Middle School Golf Tournament on April 30th at Granite Links.  We have a great cause to raise money for – expanding the athletic teams at Pierce!  We have two Pierce parents who have stepped up to chair the event, now we need YOU to make it happen.  If you are willing to help in some way, please contact co-chairs Susan DiSandro or Debra MacNeil to get involved.  Our Pierce student athletes thank you! 


The Cunningham School held a very successful Family Diversity Night right before February break. Families brought items representing their culture and learned a lot about their peers. The children in attendance read books from our Reading About Diversity program with Cunningham teachers and did activities with the Cunningham staff members in attendance. Adults met with a parent representative on the Diversity Committee, participated in a thought-provoking activity and engaged in some great discussion.


The Glover art room has been bustling with 3rd graders working on mixed media portraits of Abraham Lincoln in honor of Presidents Day.  Students collaged text from the Gettysburg Address to represent the flag’s stripes. stamped on the stars and some students added even added a mini pocket speech. 

In honor of Black History Month, Glover kindergarteners have been working on still-life paintings inspired by African-American folk artist Clementine Hunter.  





Also in celebration of Black History Month, our Cunningham and Collicot kindergarteners and 1st graders are drawing and painting shape patterns for Kente cloth along with reading The Spider Weaver and Anansi the Spider.  The 2nd grade is painting and collaging a mural of the class community together on a fence, inspired by the book The Other Side. 



Feb 26  School Resumes
Feb 28  Milton School Committee 7pm
Mar 1    Grade 5 Information Night 6:30 PM Pierce Auditorium
Mar 3    Minority Educators Job Fair  9:30am -12:30 pm MHS Field House
Mar 6    First Grade Information Night 6:30 pm at MHS
Mar 7    Early Release Day Gr. K-12/PD Day
Mar 7    Milton School Committee 7pm
Mar 8    After School/Evening P/T Conferences
Mar 12  STEM Information Night 6pm


5th Grade Families – Pierce Middle School would like to invite you (students are welcome too!) to come to Pierce to learn all about the enriching learning opportunities your child will experience as a middle school student next year.  Please join us on Thursday, March 1st  at 6:30pm in the Pierce auditorium for 5th Grade Information Night so we can tell you all about it!  Please email Pierce Principal Dr. Karen  Spaulding  if you have any questions.


On  Saturday, March 3, 2018, from 1-4pm, join us at MHS for a film  and discussion entitled: The Impact of Native Mascots in Massachusetts. There will be a film screening of “More Than A Word” and discussion will follow. Organized by the Massachusetts Native Peoples Working Group, the goal of this event is to educate communities about the use and impact of native mascots, foster relationships among those interested in addressing native mascots and build consensus on next steps. In addition to the film, a panel of speakers will frame the issue and lead a discussion among attendees. Native and non-native individuals are welcomed and encouraged to attend.


For the 2nd consecutive year, Milton Public Schools is coordinating and hosting a Minority Educator Recruitment Fair  at The Copeland Field House at MHS on Saturday, March 3, from 9:30am – 12:30pm. There is a shortage of African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian educators, and the Minority Educator Recruitment Fair  helps to encourage those individuals to pursue a career in education. Representatives from South Shore public school districts will meet with potential employees in an effort to find the most qualified minority teacher and administrator candidates. Resumes will be accepted at the event, applications will be distributed, and interviews will be held.  


Last week we received a letter from ConPRmedtidos, the organization we donated the funds raised from the student run Hurricane Relief concert held at MHS in October.  They have confirmed receipt of our check of $7390.66 and the funds will be put to good use.  Thank you to all who helped to make the concert a big success!


Ben Kelly (MHS vice-principal), Michelle Kreuzer (K-12 Mathematics Director), AJ Melanson (Educational Technology Director), Linda Stefanick (Elementary Science Coordinator) and Amy Tom (HS Science Department Head) recently attended the Learn Launch Institute  two day conference titled “Across Boundaries.”  Educators, investors, EdTech companies, and students collaborated together to focus on EdTech across education today.  Multiple sessions connected EdTech’s role in education through the lens of personalized learning for students and various levels of academic achievement that could be showcased from this pedagogy, coupled with the infusion of technology.  These sessions were beneficial as we are continuously looking for a variety of ways technology can be used across grade levels and disciplines, and insight for how districts are currently using a 1:1 technology device program. 


The Milton SEPAC will host their next Parent Speak event on March 6th for parents of high school students who receive special education services. Parents will have the opportunity to share their experiences, express concerns, and ask questions they may have about parents’ rights or the IEP process. We hope you’ll join us for this event which will be held in the conference room at the Milton Public Library from 6:30-8:30pm.


Classes for the spring 2018 Adult Education session are filling up!  If you are interested in taking one, please visit our website for course details and information on how to register. Questions?  Please contact Sara Warner.


Milton’s Board of Selectmen will be hosting an informational session on the subject of air traffic affecting the Milton community and the actions that are being taken to help mitigate the issue. This forum will be held by the Board of Selectmen at their meeting on Wednesday, February 28th at 7pm at the Milton Council on Aging, 10 Walnut Street.

A presentation by Milton’s Massport Community Advisory Committee representative, Cindy Christiansen, will be followed by a question and answer session.  The informational session is scheduled to be approximately 90 minutes in length.  If you have any questions, please contact the Selectmen’s office at 617-898-4843.


The Milton Public Library has some fun events for kids the week of March 4th.  


Girls K-5 – Grab your favorite (adult) dance partner and join the Girl Scouts for their Sweetheart Dance on Friday, March 9th.


Save the date for a fun night out in support of the Milton Public Library. A live Beatles Tribute Band, along with craft beer, wine, and cheese will accompany Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield as he discusses his critically acclaimed book, “Dreaming The Beatles,” at Milton Academy’s Kellner Performing Arts Center on Thursday, March 15, from 7-9pm. Tickets are $50.00 and may be purchased online at the Milton Library Foundation’s website


The Town of Milton, the Neponset River Watershed Association, Sustainable Milton, and local organizations are partnering to organize a town-wide cleanup on Saturday, April 28th, from 9am – 12pm. Please join us in celebrating Earth Day by helping clean up around town! Sign up for a neighborhood cleanup or a  Neponset River cleanup.


Save the Date for the fifth annual Milton Music Festival and Fireworks on June 23-24 at Hutchinson’s Field.  If you’d like to give some input to what you will see/hear/eat that weekend, please take this short survey.


The Milton High School Cellar Dwellers had an outstanding performance at the 50th Annual Berklee High School Jazz Festival on Saturday, February 10th. The band performed for a panel of judges comprised of Berklee Faculty and received 6th place for their performance in their class. Drummer Billy Liddell was awarded the Judges’ Choice Award in recognition of his excellent performance. After their performance, the students were able to attend workshops, concerts and competition performances by other ensembles from all over the country. The day concluded with an evening concert featuring jazz legend Ellis Marsalis, his son Jason Marsalis and a Berklee faculty member. During this concert, the audience witnessed Ellis Marsalis receive an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music.  The Cellar Dwellers would like to thank all of those who came out to support them in this festival.  


Sports schedules for all MHS teams

Congratulations to Tom Shaw and his Girls’ Indoor Track Team! For the third year in a row, the Girls’ Track team won the Division III Indoor State Championship. They won this year by 1 point over both Sharon High School and Tewksbury High School. The Girls’ Indoor Team has an excellent “track record”. Kudos to the coaches and team members!

Congratulations are also in order for Smith Charles as he accomplished the equivalent to Hockey’s Hat Trick (three successes). Smith Charles had a very special day as he won the Division III State Title in the 55 Dash, Long Jump and High Jump. Pretty amazing!


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:

I would like to recognize Collicot students Rafeal and Ariella Corcoran, who along with their parents Casey Corcoran and Margie Skeer,  held a very successful, very quickly organized bake sale in an effort to raise funds for gun violence prevention and research. The Corcoran/Skeer family raised $1250 which will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.  

In the wake of the recent school shooting in Florida, when many of us are struggling to respond in meaningful ways, I commend the Corcoran/Skeer family and all in the MPS community who supported the bake sale in an effort to move this conversation forward.

In an effort to ensure that all MPS families have this important information, please again see our recent security communication and information from Maria Trozzi about speaking with children about safety in our schools and world. 

I wish you all a safe, happy and productive end to February break and look forward to seeing students, faculty and staff on Monday, February 26th.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Sue Hoy, Amy Tom, Mike Dennehy, Tracy Grandeau, James Jette, Bernadette Moonan, Jon Redden, Maria Trozzi, Dr. Karen Spaulding, Dr Glenn Pavilcek, Holly Concannon, Jon Redden, Star Baylon, Laurie Stillman, Noel Vigue, Sara Warner, Mike Zullas, Kathy Fagan, Hillary Waite, Dawn Sykes and Ryan Madden. 

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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