March 29, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: March 29, 2018


Thank you to Dr Celine Coggins who presented “What’s the Deal with Testing? Separating the Myths from What Matters” at Milton High School last night and to the MPS leadership team who participated in a round table discussion on the topic. The information was valuable and I am pleased to share that a video of the presentation will be available shortly. Thank you to Dr Coggins for sharing her expertise with the MPS community.

Our next speaker comes up quickly as we present Michael Thompson, Ph.D.:“Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys” on Thursday, April 5th at 7pm. Author Rachel Simmons spoke directly to parents/guardians of girls in January and now Dr. Thompson will speak to parents/guardians of  boys.  

Parents may ask about their own children or boys in general – “What’s the matter with my son?” “Why is he an underachiever in school?” “Why won’t he talk to me?” “Why are boys so violent?” Educators and parents in the United States are engaged in an important debate about the way we raise and educate boys. In early adolescence most boys begin to attach their sense of status to mastery and achievement. They are subjected to a powerful “culture of cruelty” which may require boys to adhere to a narrow ideology of masculinity: avoidance of feeling, avoidance of anything feminine, fear of personal weakness. The result may be a boy who is or appears closed and often angry. Dr. Thompson gives suggestions to teachers and parents about how to support a boy in the early years of school and how to help a boy remain emotionally open in adolescence. This presentation is for parents/guardians only.


Ornella, Halle, Kennedi, Milan, Jadin and Smith

Ornella, Kennedi and Smith compete in the quiz bowl

MHS seniors Ornella Ebongue and Jadin Jones, juniors Milan Smith, Kennedi Van Allen and Smith Charles and sophomore Halle Armstrong recently  competed in the 7th Annual Tenacity Challenge hosted by Bedford High School.  This was Milton’s first time competing, and our students did well, placing in the top half of the 32 teams for 3 of the 4 events. This year’s theme was Hate Speech vs. Free Speech, and the four judged categories were literary analysis of a novel, historical debate presentation, creation of a mural and a science and math quiz bowl.  Our students had a great time and look forward to competing again next year. A special thanks to Ms. Hughes, Mr. LoPresti and Ms. Davis for supporting our team throughout the process.  



Pierce 7th grade students Fiona Kelley, Meghan Riordan, and Fiona McCarthy wrote a poem in response to the Parkland school shooting. I share their 17 lines here:

Though we have them in mind, they fall to the ground,

Their bodies still and quiet, without a sound
Seventeen lives that slipped from our grasp.

The breaths that they breathed no longer fill our air,
Striking the hearts of many with mind- numbing despair.
Our desolate tears stain the Earth.  
A mournful community rises from the melancholy and sorrow,

Filled with hope to build a better tomorrow
We earnestly vow to put an end to these tragedies.

Though so many chapters have been mercilessly torn out,

We open the book once more, our minds clear of doubt.
A dense layer of anguish surrounds our nation,

But despite the panic and despite the fear,
We strengthen and we advance, wiping away our burning tears.

An undercurrent of peace and longing for a new beginning hangs in the atmosphere,
Sweeping away the unsettling stench of distress.

Our peaceful battle will come to an end, finishing with a relieving success.


Our Pierce students were all in for World Down Syndrome Day this week with crazy socks found all over the school. Even Wonder Woman (aka Dr Karen Spaulding) got in on the action! 


At the Glover School, they are incorporating proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create a positive school environment. The goal is to establish the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students at Glover to achieve social, emotional, and academic success. The staff works hard to recognize “Glover Kids” who are responsible, respectful, safe, and kind. When Glover Kids are caught doing something fantastic, they are publicly recognized for their act on the Kindness Tree. Each Friday, names are “picked” off of the tree and read aloud on the loudspeaker. The entire Glover community has embraced this PBIS initiative: the nurse gives recognition to students who are patient and brave, the custodial staff acknowledges classrooms left neat and tidy at the end of the day, the cafeteria staff commends students who go out of their way to help others and say thank you, teachers celebrate students for positive behavior, strong work ethic, kindness and more. Adorning the tree is a recognition given to individual students, individual teachers and staff, and classes as a whole. This focus on positive behavior has fostered recognition of all Glover students who work so hard every day to make good choices. This video captures many Glover Kids and the positive impact each has had on our school community.


Lilly from Cunningham gets a letter from Andrea!

Andrea from Los Robles gets a letter from Lilly!

Last spring Cunningham/ Collicot Spanish teacher Senora Jauregui was approached by Ronan Kelly, one of her students, asking if she could find him a pen pal in Spain. That got her thinking – could we launch a project for all interested 4th and 5th graders? In September of this year, Senora Jauregui contacted the head of the languages department at Los Robles school in Pozuelo (a town just outside of Madrid, Spain) where her nieces go to school.  The Spanish school was very excited about the project and apparently so were Sonora Jaurequi’s students – almost 120 4th and 5th graders from both Collicot and Cunningham  were interested in participating in the pen pal project! Just before the February break, our students received the first letters from their friends at Los Robles and this week our students are mailing their letters to Spain. Students were excited to receive the letters and to read about what children their age do in a different country. Our students have written some amazing letters in Spanish sharing a little bit about themselves with their new friends from Pozuelo. We hope this is the beginning of some wonderful new friendships!  


During a visit from Science from Scientists last week, Mrs. Chen’s  5th grade class learned about the six fundamental simple machines: (1) the inclined plane, (2) the wedge, (3) the screw, (4) the lever, (5) the wheel and axle, and (6) the pulley. Students learned that any mechanical device is made up of one or more of these simple machines. Students took what they learned about simple machines and used a combination of simple machines to design and build Rube Goldberg devices designed to ring a bell. Teams used supplies provided by the Scientists along with their own desks to create some fun, complex, bell-ringing machines! 


Tucker was abuzz this week with an amazing Passport to the Arts show. Students shared their thoughts on how art makes them feel and what value it brings to their lives. 


Mar 29  SEPAC-Understanding School Refusal in Children/Teens, Dr. Ryan Ruth Conway
Mar 30  No School-Good Friday
Apr 4  Early Release Day Gr. K-12, PD Day
Apr 4  Milton School Committee
Apr 5  Michael Cain presents: Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys
Apr 11  Pierce MS Clean Energy Event for Students
Apr 11  Milton School Committee

On Monday, April 9, MPS Diversity Committees from across the district will be gathering at MHS at 6pm for a powerful discussion about increasing participation and diversity in the arts, music, athletics, extracurriculars, and community opportunities. All are welcome to attend this event.

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition needs  parents to provide their insight and input to help shape an upcoming Parent Responsibility Campaign. The Milton Public Schools are key partners who are very invested in this project, and we need parents to help come up with an effective and successful campaign. If you want to learn more or help out, join a discussion  on Wednesday April 11 at 7pm at Milton Town Hall. This planning committee will meet for a short period of time, ending in June. Please let us know if you can attend. Please visit our website full of resources and information, and to sign up for our newsletter. 

5th grade parents/guardians – MPS is hosting the 5th grade Growth and Development program on Thursday, April 12th at 6:30pm at Glover. This program is for parents/guardians only and is in advance of the Growth and Development curriculum your children will have at school this spring. ​ You’ll have an opportunity to preview the video and ask questions to MPS staff. The video is different than what has been shown in the past.  Through extensive research, a review of best practices, consultation with site council parents/guardians, teachers, principals, nurses and Dr. Guglietta, we’ve updated our curriculum to include a new video and a blended learning environment. Contact Health and Wellness Director Noel Vigue with any questions.   

Spring is here which means April break is not far behind. Milton Community Schools is once again offering April Vacation Camps EAST (held at Collicot/Cunningham) and WEST (held at Tucker). Get all the details on EAST and WEST

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 and new dates can be found here.

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 (until 12pm on April 24th)
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: 9-12pm Student Schedule Pick-up in MHS main lobby
June 18th : Medication Drop Off – Milton High School main lobby
June 25 – July 26: MSE 2018!


Calling all golfers! Please consider registering for our upcoming golf tournament, in support of athletics at Pierce. Join us at Granite Links on April 30th and enjoy a great day with friends and family, while raising much needed funds to expand athletics at Pierce Middle School.  Register as an individual or with 3 of your closest friends and/or colleagues. We hope to see you there!


Please join the Milton SEPAC TONIGHT for our next event: Understanding School Refusal in Children and Teens. On March 29th at 6:30 in the Keys Community Room at the Milton Public Library, Dr. Ryan Ruth Conway will share information about warning signs and strategies for managing this increasingly common issue.

Our FCSN presentation, “An IEP for My Child”, (originally scheduled for March 13th) has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 10th from 7-9pm in the Glover Library. Join us  to learn about the Individual Education Program (IEP). This presentation will explain the document, its development, how to articulate a vision, write measurable annual goals, monitor a child’s progress and understand how the document will support a student. Attendees will also have the opportunity ask questions about any aspect of IEPs.


MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman shares that while many people mistakenly think that the smoke that is emitted from marijuana is not dangerous, a new study shows second hand smoke from marijuana is harmful.  While second hand smoke from cigarettes has been proven to be very harmful, there have not been studies regarding marijuana smoke. But a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association , showed that the second hand smoke from “pot” is three times worse than tobacco smoke. The main problem is that it constricts the arteries and blood flow longer than cigarettes do and this can lead to a stroke or heart attack. These changes can happen in as little as one minute of exposure, whether or not the marijuana is smoked in paper or pipes.  As marijuana becomes legalized, it is important to be aware of emerging studies so that you and your children are sure to fully understand their health impacts.  


The Cunningham staff shared this short article they are reading entitled  “Breaking the Attention-Seeking Habit: The Power of Random Positive Teacher Attention”.  It’s a short, interesting read and a look into what our teachers are reading.


The Milton Foundation for Education enhances the Milton Public Schools in a myriad of ways. They just distributed over $17,000 in grants to teachers in all 6 schools! It will be exciting to see the impact in our fine arts programs with money raised from Celebration 2018! 

Come celebrate with the MFE  as we raise money to support fine arts programs in all 6 Milton Public Schools.  Join your Milton friends on Saturday, August 28th at Granite Links starting at 6:30pm for a night of friends, music, food and fun all to benefit fine arts programs from K-12th grade. Tickets are $95 and can be purchased HERE and can sell out quickly so be sure to get in on the fun now!  


The Girl Power Running Program is starting again soon! Girl Power is a FREE parent run program made possible by the generosity of Cunningham Park, parent volunteers  and a grant from BID – Milton. Girl Power provides a “come when you can” , low pressure, confidence and self esteem building activity that encourages girls to work towards a goal at their own pace and comfort level while supporting one another. Each week a woman that embodies “girl power” will visit to share how she set a goal, worked hard and did her best. We will start with a walk/jog, at your own pace, over a one mile loop and we’ll slowly increase our mileage with the end goal, for those who wish, of participating  in the Milton Road Race on Tuesday, June 12. Please email Heather Bergin with any questions. All details for Girl Power can be found here

Is trash pickup delayed a day? Parks and Rec have a new program? Any MPD updates? Want to be in the know? Subscribe to receive town emails, you can customize what news you want and manage preferences easily.  

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.

Got a little gal or guy who wants to play t-ball? Milton American Baseball T-Ball registration is still open for players who are between 4 and 5 years old. The T-Ball program is held at Cunningham Park, and gets young players introduced to the game with skills stations. The season starts with a parade on April 21st and there are 6 sessions – April 22, 29, May 6,  20, June 3, 10. No baseball on Mothers Day or Memorial Day Weekend. If you are interested, you can register here.  For questions about T-Ball and other baseball programs please email Milton American.

What is Circle-S? Circle-S is a unique and exciting, FREE support group serving children whose siblings have a disability. Children (age 6-18) come with their parent and enjoy a pizza supper, and join other “typical sibs” who face similar experiences of living with a brother or sister with special needs. Parents have the opportunity to meet and make connections with other parents in a safe, confidential environment. They can speak honestly about the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs, while also raising a “typical” child. Starts April 23rd (note date change from flyer) in the Collicot/Cunningham Library.

The Milton Playground Planners are holding an Indoor Yard Sale on April 7th from 9am-3pm at Cunningham Hall. Only  $5 admission and you can shop for gently used baby and kids clothing, toys, baby gear, kids shoes and more. 100% of proceeds go towards playground renovations.  

Hitting the library this week? You can find what’s happening for kids right here.

On Saturday, April 7th, 1-4pm, the Forbes House Museum will be participating in Park Day, the Civil War Trust’s annual hands-on preservation event. Thousands of volunteers across the country will participate as Park Day celebrates its largest year ever with over 155 historic sites in 32 states. Here at the Forbes House, we’re looking for volunteers to help with grounds maintenance, picking up branches, sticks and trash and planting late-spring bulbs. There will also be outdoor family-friendly activities that afternoon centered around the theme of preservation, including a tour of the grounds and a time capsule craft. All Park Day activities are free. Regular Saturday tours will be running as usual at 11am and 2pm. Museum admission is $10/adults, $8/seniors and students. 


In celebration of Music and Art in our Schools Month, our Band and Strings concerts have taken place over the past week. Both were impressive showcases of the musical talent found at MPS. Please take a few minutes to enjoy some beautiful music!

There is amazing art being created everyday in our elementary schools. Cunningham/Collicot art teacher Laurel Bernini shares a sneak peek in this quick slideshow

Glover had a wonderful K-2 Music Showcase last Friday. Mr. Ragusa and Ms. Martin did an incredible job showcasing all that our youngest musicians have learned over the course of the year, 

In lieu of the two evening MIOSM chorus concerts cancelled due to the most recent snow days, Pierce will host a Sing Along Concert on Wednesday, April 4th at 10:30am. The featured ensembles include the Pierce choruses and Milton High School’s Gospel Choir, Do ReMigos Boys Chorus, Pretty Sharp Girls Chorus and Mixed After School Singers.  This year’s sing along theme is The Songs of Legends with musical accompaniment by Milton High School’s instrumental ensemble, TONAL UNIVERSE.  Families are encouraged to attend!  


The MHS Rugby team will  be “Working at the Car Wash” this Saturday! The team will be hosting a double event on Saturday March 31st, just in time for Easter.  CAR WASH & TULIP SALE, Cunningham/Collicot driveway, 3/31, 9am-12pm 


Drop your cans at MHS  on the way to the car wash and support the MHS Golf Team. There is a CAN FOR CATS fundraiser on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 9am-12pm for the benefit of the MHS Golf Team.



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: Over the past two weeks our Collicot 5th Graders enthusiastically collaborated to reach out to the seniors in two of Milton’s senior residences – Winter Valley and Unquity House. In the first of a two-part project, the 5th graders created 300 personalized puzzle books and decorative cookies to bring on their visits to give to all of their new senior friends. On their first visit at Winter Valley, students met in small groups and interviewed a senior. They learned about how they grew up, what school was like for them, what their most memorable historical events were in their lives, as well as about what their families are like and what they most value in life. Not only did they learn about another generation, they competed with some serious Bingo players in the later portion of the visit! Next up is visit will take place at Unquity House on Monday, April 9th. Students are looking forward to another fantastic visit with the residents of Unquity House. 

Staff:  I  would like to recognize Glover staff members Melissa Craven, Bridget Renehan and Morgan Hodlin for bringing Light It Up Blue Day to Glover on April 2nd. Under their direction, student leaders in 4th and 5th grade created posters to increase Autism Awareness, made announcements over the loudspeaker to promote understanding of individual differences, and will greet every Glover student with an Autism Awareness badge to wear proudly on Monday. Every April, Autism Speaks kicks off World Autism Month beginning with World Autism Awareness day on April 2. Don’t forget to wear blue on Monday!  

Volunteers:  Please join me in thanking retired teacher Margo Tansey for her volunteer work at the Collicot School. Mrs Tansey is the community representative for the Collicot Site Council and meets monthly with the Site Council to develop and implement school goals. In addition, Mrs Tansey has helped coordinate Collicot’s  Junior Achievement program and currently volunteers in Collicot kindergarten classes to support literacy centers. Mrs Tansey is a valued member of the Collicot Community and we are grateful for all that she does to enhance Collicot.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Laurie Stillman, Noel Vigue, Will Korman, Martine Fisher, Karen McDavitt, Jean Scarborough, Dawn Sykes, Kaurel Bernini, Bernadette Butler, Jon Redden, Cat DesRoche, Noel Vigue, Jen Grubler, Cristina Jauregui, Rina Chen, Pam Dorsey, Susan DiSandro, Sam Bullard, Heather Bergin, Karen Spaulding, Holly Concannon, Meaghan Ohrenberger, Sean Lopresti and Barbara Wright. 

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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