March 9th, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: March 9, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I know we all hope yesterday was our last snow day in the Milton Public Schools, however we will see what Mother Nature has to say as she makes the final decisions in this matter.  Including yesterday’s snow day, the final day of school is a half day, on Wednesday, June 20th. I am meeting with the principals and staff this morning and we will communicate a new date for Parent/Teacher Conferences as soon as possible.

Our next speaker in the PARENT Speaker Series will take place on Wednesday, March 28 in the MHS Auditorium at 6:30pm. Please join us as Dr. Celine Coggins along with an MPS Leadership panel, presents “What’s the Deal with Testing? Separating the Myths from What Matters”.  Testing in schools has been a fixture in the news over the past few years and almost none of the press has been positive. Added to this uncertainty have been multiple changes to the state test (MCAS to PARCC to MCAS 2.0) leaving many parents with more questions than answers.  Why all the changes? What do the scores mean? How are they used to assess my child’s learning? What’s the purpose of it all?

This event will tackle the myths and realities of testing, and spark an open dialogue on the role of testing in the Milton Public Schools.  After Dr. Coggins presentation, there will be an MPS Leadership panel open to parent/guardian questions.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There was a School Committee meeting on March 7th. The next meeting will be held on March 21st at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School. Meetings can be viewed in their entirety on demand on Milton Access Television and meeting notes and agendas can be found on the MPS website.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The MHS Drama Club  had a big win last weekend! The Drama Club entered “The Three of Us”  in the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) drama festival this past weekend and moved onto the semi-finals this upcoming Saturday! The play was written by MHS senior James DiSandro who also co-directed the play with MHS teacher Jaymes Sanchez, and played the role of ‘Dill’. The 40 plus students in the cast and crew worked tirelessly and are a testament to what teamwork and heart can accomplish. Two of the cast (Audrey Pugh as Suzy and Will Millikan as Parker) won special acting awards as did set tech (Isaac Savona) and light design (Lucas Kerry). Congratulations to these outstanding students! Stay tuned for more good news – they compete in the semi-final round on Saturday 3/10. Break a leg!  

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MHS junior Suvan Shukla has been invited to present at the 2018 UNICEF Student Summit Conference in Washington DC this weekend. He will fly to DC on Saturday, March 10th and present on Sunday, March 11th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Best of luck to Suvan as he presents, “Telling your UNICEF Story”! You can read Suvan’s recent piece about Unicef in the Milton Times

MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS

Help us expand the Pierce athletic program! The Pierce Middle School Golf Tournament to benefit Pierce athletics  is April 30th at Granite Links. Beyond the obvious health benefits, participation in school sports fosters problem solving skills, self-esteem, and social competence and decreases the likelihood students will participate in risky behavior.

The golf tournament team is working on gift baskets to be raffled off at the tournament.  Your contribution to the baskets will help to raise valuable funds to support this important effort. Visit our signup  to donate an item towards one of several baskets to be raffled off at the golf tournament.  Additionally, if you or an organization you know would be interested in sponsoring a hole at the tournament, please visit us our website or contact co-chairs Susan DiSandro or Debra MacNeil.  Please consider donating today – our Pierce student athletes thank you! 

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The Pierce Math Team with their advisors

On Thursday, March 1st, the Pierce Middle School Math Team hosted a meet for the Intermediate Math League of Eastern Massachusetts (IMLEM).  This was the fourth meet out of five that the math team will participate in this school year.  The meet consisted of five rounds (mystery, geometry – properties of circles, number theory, arithmetic, and algebra) and a team round.  Thank you to the members of the Pierce Math Team for meeting every week in order to prepare for the mathematics competitions.  Also, thank you to Ms. Pullia and Mr. Moonan for advising the team and for organizing Thursday’s competition.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Students in Mme Hamada’s 2nd grade class​​ at Collicot celebrated Black History Month by researching and writing about accomplished African-Americans throughout the month of February. They completed their projects with large posters that they worked on in small groups and the posters are proudly displayed outside of their classroom.  

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Congratulations to the many MPS elementary students who participated in the Friends of Milton Public Library’s 7th Annual Chess-a-Palooza with tournament director International Master  David Vigorito. Fifty six kindergarten through 6th grade students from the town of Milton participated in the event and the students from the Milton Public Schools performed spectacularly.  A special congratulations to the MPS winners! 

Mr. Vigorito teaches chess at all 4 MPS elementary schools as well as during Milton Summer Enrichment. We are lucky to have a such a vibrant chess program in the Milton Public Schools! 

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Glover had an exciting end to the 2018 Winter Olympics!  Mrs McDavitt issued a Glover Winter Olympics challenge before break and over 400 students participated – some even completed the entire ski slope and did 25 challenges.  As a culminating celebration, Glover  hosted Olympian Tara Mounsey for an all school assembly. Tara is the proud mom of Teddy and Liam, two Glover students and winner of an Olympic Gold in Nagano and Olympic Silver in Salt Lake City as a member of the US Women’s Ice Hockey Team. Tara brought in her medals to share with students  and in her game winning jersey, regaled all 587 students with stories of the Olympics. Tara  shared what it means to be an Olympian. She reminded students that the most important things are to take care of yourself, focus and learn as much as you can, be good people, show good sportsmanship, and more than anything, be kind. She spoke directly to our fifth graders about their leadership potential and inspired  all in innumerable ways. She talked about the importance of movement and even did a few push-ups with the crowd! It was absolutely incredible assembly  and many teachers commented to Mrs McDavitt that it was one of the most valuable and inspirational presentations they’d ever listened to. It was a true honor to have someone as amazing as Tara share her story and more importantly, her message about being kind, with all of our  Glover students and staff. 

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Congratulations to Collicot 4th grader Reagan Vaughan, for being named the official author of chapter 2 on this year’s BoomWriter Bee. Reagan was able to submit a chapter that grabbed the attention of her peers with wit and great suspense. Grade 4 & 5 Students have been  working on chapter 3 submissions this week!  

ON THE MPS CALENDAR

Mar 12  STEM Information Night Cunningham/Collicot Cafe 6pm
Mar 13  Music in Our Schools Month Chorus Concert (6th, 9-12th)  MHS 7pm
Mar 14  Music in Our Schools Month  Chorus Concert (7-12th) MHS 7pm
Mar 15  Program of Studies AP Info Night MHS 6:30pm
Mar 19  Pierce Middle School Passport to the Arts 5:30-7pm
Mar 20  Cunningham Passport to the Arts
Mar 20  Pierce MS Science Fair
Mar 20  Collicot Passport to the Arts
Mar 20  SEPAC Board Meeting
The full MPS calendar can be found here.  

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

Important 1st Grade Information:

March 12th – STEM Info Night, 6-7 pm, Cunningham/Collicot Cafeteria
This event provides parents/guardians and their kindergarteners the opportunity to learn more about the STEM component to the English Innovative Pathway, which begins in Grade One. Participants will also have the chance to work together to solve a fun and interactive STEM problem!  Current kindergarteners and their parents/guardians from across the district are invited to attend.

If you missed 1st Grade Information Night, you can find the presentation here

Please join us for the Music In Our Schools Month Concerts:
March 13- Pierce Grade 6 and MHS Choruses
March 14- Pierce Grades 7-8 and MHS  Choruses
The MIOSM Chorus concerts have a sing along portion for audience participation.  The theme this year is LEGENDS and members of the MHS jazz band will be performing with us. It is a first-time ever collaboration. The performances start at 7PM at Milton High School.  Admission is free.

SUMMER PROGRAMS

Welcome to Middle School is a 3 0r 4 day camp that takes place at Pierce in June or August to acclimate rising 6th graders to middle school. Details can be found here.  Due to the latest snow day, stay tuned for any date changes. 

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Milton Summer Enrichment  tentative dates to note:
April 3: “At a Glance” document is sent out for course planning purposes
April 13: MSE Brochure document is sent out
April 13-24: Pre-Registration – you will be able to enter student/family contact information, view courses offered but not register
April 24: 12pm Registration Opens
June 6th: 3-7 pm student schedule pick-up in MHS main lobby
June 11th: 5-7pm student schedule pick-up in MHS main lobby
June 16th: 9am-12pm student schedule pick-up in MHS main lobby
June 18th : medication drop off – MHS main lobby
June 25 – July 26: MSE 2018!

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Registration for Camp Cunningham is now open! Details and registration links can be found here. Don’t miss out on this great summer opportunity.

The very popular Camp Invention is returning to the Tucker School this summer! If you have any questions about Camp Invention, please email Camp Director Zeina Hamada.

Empow is holding two summer STEM camps at the Glover School. Tech & Design Camp (week of 8/13) and Minecraft Camp( week of 8/6) Learn more and register here!

GUIDANCE NEWS

We are pleased to present the 2018-2019 Milton High School Program of Studies.  Course selection for next year is an exciting time for students, parents and the MHS staff.  Please join us on Thursday, March 15th at 6:30 pm at MHS for our Program of Studies/Advanced Placement Information Night. We will review graduation requirements, course offerings and answer any questions you may have about our program of studies.  

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Thanh Nguyen, Julia Nerenberg, Brendan Baker, Aidan Braithwaite and Anson Yip

The  2018 Massachusetts State Champion MHS LifeSmarts Team, is raising money to travel to San Diego on April 20th  to compete for the LifeSmarts National Championship.  LifeSmarts is a rigorous consumer literacy program that is open to high-school students nationwide. Sponsored by the National Consumers League the focus of LifeSmarts is on real-world topics relevant to all teens: personal finance, consumer rights, health and safety, technology and the environment.  At the Nationals, the winning teams have the opportunity to meet other students from across the country, win individual and team awards and scholarships, and demonstrate leadership, teamwork, and their consumer smarts. Details on how to  support these talented students can be found here.

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

MHS student government is excited to be hosting the 3rd annual Putting for Patients to benefit the Jimmy Fund this Sunday, March 11th from 12-3pm. The event will take place in the field house at MHS where we will be transforming it into an 18 hole mini golf course. There will also be a long putt contest, raffle, face painting and caricaturist. It is a great event for all ages and we hope to have many families attend again this year. The cost is $10 per person with a max of $40 a family.  

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

SEPAC has a number of events scheduled for the next few months.
Understanding School Refusal in Children and Teens, March 29, 7- 9pm at the MPL
Dr. Anne Howard, A Conversation about Inclusion, May 31, 7- 9pm at Glover.
We also have Board Meetings scheduled from 7 -9pm in the library at Glover on March 20, April 24, and May 22. All are welcome to attend.

TECHNOLOGY

Educational Technology Director AJ Melanson asks the following: What trail are you and your student leaving on the internet?  The imaginary trail you leave when you post to social networking sites, shop online, even search online….leaves a trail. Some trails are visible to the public, some to businesses, and others just “friends” or followers. When your student applies for college, the military, or a job, there is a very good chance the admissions officers, business or recruiter will be searching their digital footprint. What will their footprint reveal about them? While we know a negative footprint can be detrimental, not having one at all can also be a disadvantage.  It is a very competitive world, and if students competing with your student have positive digital footprints they could have an advantage. For more information visit the following links: Norton, Internet Society Tutorials , Digital Footprint TED Talk

FOOD AND NUTRITION

We all know that a healthy breakfast is a great way to start the day. MPS offers varied and healthy choices at all 6 schools starting 30 minutes before the bell for $1.25.  As we celebrate National School Breakfast Week we encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available for school breakfast. The March elementary menu looks delicious as do the Pierce and MHS menus. Please give school breakfast a try next week!

MFE NEWS

Save the date for Celebration 2018 to benefit art in our schools. Celebration is April 28th at 6:30 pm at Granite Links. There will be food stations, auctions, raffles, MPS friends and FUN. Get ready to dance your ARTS out for our kids!  

FROM THE READERS

In April, author Michael Thompson will speak about his book Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys  Add link. He recently spoke on the subject of masculinity and you can listen to the discussion here. Thank you to School Committee member Margaret Eberhardt for sharing this information.  

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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.

Keep Calm and Get Your Irish On, a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser for the Milton Art Center being held Friday, March 16th, 7:30-10: 30 pm at the MAC at 334 Edge Hill Road.  $30 per person for Shepard’s pie, Irish Bread, refreshments, step dancers, silent auction. Get your tickets here.

The Milton Insider is the go-to app that is part of the Milton Times.  It is free to download through the iTunes Store or Google Play, and has everything for the busy Milton parent and their families.  Events are listed on a daily basis, anything that is going on around Milton from sports registrations to what is taking place at the Milton Public Library.  Do you need to reserve passes to the Children’s Museum or any of the museums that the library has passes to.  Just tap the app under events and the link is right there! Restaurants, services, fitness are all part of the Milton Insider app.  The Milton Insider also has a Facebook page and a website.  

Meet the Forbes House Foo Dogs as they visit different sites around Milton each week.  Check out photos of their visits on Facebook and Instagram @forbeshousemuseum each Friday and use the photos and your knowledge of local history and the area to try and guess where they are. Each site they visit will have something to do with the Forbes family, the museum collection, or the time period in which the Forbes’s lived here (1833-1962). Be the first to post a correct guess. Or even better – post  your own photo taken at the same site. The correct answer will be revealed the following Friday, along with a photo taken from the Foo Dogs’ next stop. Make sure you include #ForbesFooDogFriday and tag our account in your posts!  

ART AND MUSIC NEWS

Director of Fine and Applied Arts Dawn Sykes shares the following: Each year, Music Department faculty members attend the All-State Conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.  This year, the event was held at Boston’s World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel and was suitably scheduled at the beginning of a very busy month of music.  The conference theme, Reaching Every Learner was underscored with offerings that challenged music educators to reevaluate programming to broaden and deepen music education.  The conference awarded us quality professional development, valuable time to network with colleagues, and an opportunity to discuss innovative ideas for the department.

The All-State Music Festival runs in conjunction with the conference and this year, Milton sent four high school representatives to perform in the honor ensembles at the  The All-State Music Festival.  These students rehearsed alongside other selected participants for three days in preparation of a performance at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

In addition, six Pierce Middle School singers at left were selected for the MMEA All-State Treble Chorus. These students performed in the 200-member chorus at the Seaport Boston Hotel.

In one conference highlight,the MHS Cellar Dwellers performed in the Exhibitor’s Hall during the Friday morning coffee hour as a featured small ensemble.  This is the second year in a row that a Milton ensemble has performed at All-State in this setting.    In all, it was an excellent week for Milton Music!

ATHLETICS

Sports schedules for all MHS teams

Spring Athletics Registration is open.  Tryouts are Monday, March 19th.   Please be on the lookout for registration hours posted on Twitter and the website.

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: Congratulations to the 5th Annual Tucker Spelling Bee winner, 5th grader Loatchwel Joseph as well as runners up Bediako Jean Charles Asare and Zoe Guthrie! These top 3 spellers went head to head for multiple rounds in this exciting event.  We wish Loatchwel luck as he moves on to the state bee in Lynn on March 23rd! (At left are L-R Bediako Jean Charles Asare (Gr.4), Loatchwel Joseph (Gr.5) and Zoe Guthrie (Gr. 5))

Staff:  I would like to recognize the four elementary Assistant Principals/Curriculum Coordinators – Bernadette Butler (Cunningham), Cat DesRoche (Tucker), Amy Gale (Collicot) and Sara MacNeil (Glover). In addition to their countless contributions on a daily basis in their combined AP/CC roles, they meet weekly with instructional teams during common planning times and work closely with individual teachers to directly inform teaching and learning. The impact they have in every classroom is immeasurable. On Wednesday, they all ran very valuable school-based professional development for teachers. We are grateful to Milton voters who so valued this role that they voted in favor of the 2017 override which made the AP part of this position possible.  I know you will join me in recognizing these four educators as valued members of the MPS community.

Volunteers: I would like to thank the dozens of  parents/guardians who facilitate 2nd-5th grade Continental Math Leagues at our elementary schools. These volunteers work with students before school each week during a guided study time, as students work in small groups  on math word problems with a parent volunteer. Math League would not be possible without the volunteers who organize the leagues and show up each week to work with students.  

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Jackie Morgan, Jon Redden, Bernadette Moonan, Dawn Sykes, Cat DesRoche, Jennie Beliveau, Karen Cahill, James Jette, Barbara Wright, Nancy Warn, Jen Grubler, Laurie Stillman, Sean Lopresti, Amy Gale, Sara Warner, Amy Tom, Karen McDavitt, Zeina Hamada, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Holly Concannon, Christine Morrow, Heidi Vaughan, Zeina Hamada, Margaret Eberhardt , Susan DiSandro, Debra MacNeil  and Noel Vigue.

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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