April 5th, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: April 5, 2018


I hope you can join me tonight at 7pm for the next speaker in the PARENT Speaker Series.  Best selling author Dr. Michael Thompson will be presenting :“Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys” . 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. Dr. Thompson will speak to parents/guardians and give 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 and all in the Milton community are invited to attend. 


The next School Committee meeting will be held on April 11th 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.

At the recent School Committee meeting on April 4th, information was presented on 1st grade and Kindergarten enrollment numbers.

First Grade Placement / Program Choice: For the 2018-2019 school year, we had planned on having 16 first grade classes – 10 English Innovation Pathway classes and 6 French Immersion classes.   Due to both the increased enrollment in this year’s Kindergarten and parental program choice preferences, we need to increase the number of classes to 11 English Innovation and 6 French Immersion.  The classes are distributed as follows:  Collicot and Glover, 3 English and 2 French each; Cunningham, 3 English and 1 French; Tucker, 2 English and 1 French.  One of the English classes at Cunningham and one at Glover will be co-taught classes.

With this distribution, we have small waiting lists for French at Cunningham, Glover and Tucker, but we have available seats in French at the Collicot.  Following our usual placement procedure, we have held a district wide lottery for those on the waiting lists and will offer parents and guardians the option of moving to Collicot in order to enroll in French Immersion.  Those who opt to move will maintain their positions on waiting lists in their home schools in case seats open between now and the beginning of the school year.

Initial placement letters will go out this week.  Offers to those on waiting lists will begin shortly and will continue until either all available seats are filled or until the waiting list is exhausted.   This process typically lasts for a few weeks as parents and guardians make their decisions.

Kindergarten Enrollment / Placement: For the 2018-2019 school year, we again have a large incoming Kindergarten population that will require us to have 16 Kindergarten classes:  5 at Glover (one of which is co-taught), 4 each at Collicot and Cunningham, and 3 at Tucker.  Students will be placed in the schools in their home districts with the “split districts” being used to equalize class size.   Additionally, those families who have requested placement outside of their home districts will have their requests considered, if class sizes permit.   School assignment letters will be sent out  at the beginning of May.


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

Team members teach a lesson

The MHS LifeSmarts team has been hard at work preparing for the LifeSmarts National Championship in San Diego. The team has undertaken academic preparation as well as the task of raising funds to attend. The National Consumers League, the corporate sponsor of the  LifeSmarts program, will provide the team with some funds for travel expenses if they share some knowledge with our younger students. To that end, LifeSmarts team members taught a kindergarten class at Cunningham a lesson about being Healthy and Fit” using the characters Timon and Pumbaa from the Disney’s The Lion King. The team has also presented lessons on “Going Green” to our elementary students. The team has further funds to raise and they are asking for your support – in any amount  – to help them reach their goal of competing in San Diego, CA on April 20. Support from the Milton Community is greatly appreciated! Please make your checks payable to MHS Student Activities/LifeSmarts. Checks can be dropped at the MHS anytime during school hours or email Mike Goodless to make other arrangements.


Pierce Junior Team- Tucker Korman, Frank Hawker, Taylor Xu, and Jasmine Bethea

Good luck to our MPS Future Problem Solvers who head to the state competition at Clark University this weekend.  Students will be using a six step problem solving strategy to address the topic of Cloud Storage.  In the afternoon, they will be preparing and performing skits of their action plans. The Pierce middle division team invited to to the State Bowl (Anderson Korman, Ian Lundeen, and Henry Synnott) will miss the competition for a good reason – they’ll be on their way  to Washington DC with much of the Pierce 8th grade! Good luck as well to our 5th grade competitors – Victoria Lundeen from Glover, Ida Zoll and Maggie Mullen from Collicot, Dillon Simmons and Zoe Guthrie from Tucker and Alyssa Ruiz and Niamh N. Guilderson from Cunningham. We know these young problem solvers will represent MPS well!


We ARE all Wonders!

March was Kindness Month at Cunningham  with a variety of focuses each week. The month began with the 5th grade  Student Council reading “We’re All Wonders” to each class. The weeks that followed focused on kindness to self, kindness to peers, kindness to family and neighbors and kindness to the community. 

Thank you notes

Students took part in activities like thinking and writing about positive qualities they have within themselves, pairing up with a peer from a different class or grade for partner activities, writing postcards to people that keep them safe outside of school and collecting goods to be donated to the Milton Community Food Pantry.  Throughout the entire month, the lobby turned into Cunningham’s very own Kindness Galaxy with over 550 stars recognizing students for their acts of kindness. We wrapped up Kindness Month with an assembly featuring pictures, videos and a presentation depicting all of the acts of kindness that were captured throughout the month as well as the big reveal that Cunningham students collected a total of 655 items to be donated to the Milton Food Pantry!


During Tucker Unity Night this week, the MHS auditorium was filled with both students and families celebrating the unity and diversity of Tucker School. The evening opened with musical guests Brother Dennis Slaughter and Tucker ASE Supervisor Ms. George Marie Jasmin singing We are the World  (the theme for the evening) with the crowd joining in. The theme was then represented in choreographed dances by grades PreK-5, and in songs that represented cultures around the world. We also heard from 5th grade student speakers Odia Iyamu and Kevin Gomes on what their culture and being part of the Tucker Community means to them.  It was a great opportunity to celebrate the gifts and talents within the Tucker community. A special thanks goes to our amazing choreographer Miriam Lundgren, the Tucker PTO & Diversity Committee and the Tucker faculty for their support.


How do you know if your lizard is right-brained or left-brained? Did you know Coca Cola can clean pennies? Do you know how to make rainbow milk? Glover Kids do! Glover hosted two very successful STEAM Nights last week as students and their families were invited to school to view beautiful artwork displays during Passport to the Arts and spend time engaging in exploration and inquiry during our Science Fair. Check out this  video that captures our amazing artists and scientists in action! 


I’m pleased to share the link to Dr. Celine Coggin’s talk “What’s the Deal with Testing? Separating the Myths from What Matters”. Thank you to Dr. Coggins for sharing her expertise with the MPS community.

For any who missed it, we also have video of Dr Ruth Potee’s talk “Under Construction: What Every Parent Should Know about the Tween/Teen Brain and Substance Use”.


Apr 5  Michael Thompson presents: Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys
Apr 11  Pierce MS Clean Energy Event for Students
Apr 11  Milton School Committee
Apr 12  5th Grade Growth and Development Parent Information Night
Apr 12  MHS and PMS Jazz Concert
Apr 16-20  April Recess

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 Campaign. The Parent Campaign will feature a multi-pronged approach that targets parents as partners in keeping our youth healthy by reducing underage drinking and the misuse of other drugs. The Milton Public Schools are key partners who are very invested in this project, and we need parents to help develop 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 just 4 times, ending in June. We hope to get at least 1 or 2 parent representatives from each of the schools. Please email us to RSVP or with any questions using the subject line Parent Campaign.

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!


Summer is coming! The MSE 2018 Brochure with At a Glance Course Offerings is available to view and it will automatically update with and edits or changes to the schedule. Pre-registration is April 13-24 and registration opens April 24th at noon. 



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 friends or colleagues. We hope to see you there!  


The Milton SEPAC and the Federation for Children with Special Needs presents, “An IEP for My Child”. Join us Tuesday, April 10th from 7-9pm in the Glover Library to learn about the Individualized 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.


Mary and Kim say – Come work with us!

Join our team! There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs in our food services department. We are hiring immediately for substitute positions at all schools. You’ll be serving healthy food to kids and be home when your kids are home due to the school schedule –  what’s better than that?! This can be a great opportunity for parents and retirees and food service experience is a plus, but not required. The food service substitute position pays $12.95 per hour.  Please email or call (617-696-5040 X 5514)  Jackie Morgan  for more information. ​


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, April 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!  


There are some great programs offered for teens this month at the Milton Public Library. 

 The Kiwanis Club of Milton is collecting new or gently used shoes in support of micro-enterprise vendors. There are pick up locations all over Milton.

 The Forbes House is hosting an upcoming author talk on Wednesday, April 25th at 7pm at the Milton Public Library. Ellen Alden will be speaking about her book, “Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke.”  

The Eustis Estate has some fun upcoming programs. Join them for Future Retro Film Series: American Graffiti on Wednesday, April 18 at 7pm and Italian Job (1969) on Wednesday, May 2 at 7pm. They also have Future Retro Family Programs on April 20/21 and May 5 from 10am-2pm. 

The Girl Power Running Program is starting again soon! Girl Power is a FREE parent run program and 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. Please email Heather Bergin with any questions. All details for Girl Power can be found here.

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.  


In celebration of Music in our Schools Month and Youth Art Month, all six schools enjoyed very successful Passport to the Arts shows over the last 4 weeks. Students proudly shared their own curated work and the work of their friends and classmates. Thank you to MPS art teachers Jess Gillooly, Laurel Bernini, Sue Hoy, Star Baylon, Stephanie Sherman,Robyn Thompson,  Karen Hughes, Kassandra Aloe, Kelly Griffin, Maggie Randall and Joyce White for sharing their love of the visual arts with our students and families. Glover Principal Karen McDavitt has assembled a video wrap up of the month for all to enjoy!

Our rescheduled Pierce/MHS concert took place at Pierce as planned during the recent early release day. If you missed it, check it out here.


Check out sports schedules and scores for all MHS teams

Boys and Girls Lacrosse are both off to 1-0 starts after beating Stoughton and Hanover respectively.  Boys Lacrosse have worked tirelessly over pre-season and their hard work was on display in a confident opening game performance, winning 9-4.  The Girls won 13-8 but the score line flattered the guests as the Wildcats dominated for most parts of the game.  

Weather has been a factor early in the season as Softball, Baseball, Track and Tennis matches have all been postponed thus far. Rugby will open with Needham on Monday.

Have some cans taking up space? The golf team is hosting a Cans for Cats on Saturday, 4/7 at MHS from 9am- 12pm.


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 Pierce 8th graders Caroline McHugh and Tiffany Tran who are receiving recognition for their service to others with the John F. Kennedy Make a Difference Award. Tiffany is being recognized for her Global Community Project. Tiffany and her mother traveled to Vietnam (the birthplace of Tiffany’s parents) and assisted those less fortunate, including blind residents, children and at-risk animals. Caroline’s service is locally based as she volunteers regularly at the Quincy Food Pantry and Room to Grow by rallying her friends to help and by assisting with food basket assembly and delivery and various tasks at Room to Grow. Thank you to these two MPS students for giving back locally and globally.

Staff:  Cunningham 4th grade teacher Amy McKay has been selected to become one of only 20 Massachusetts DESE Math Ambassadors.  Math Ambassadors will collaborate with neighboring districts to share their work and resources, will play a key role in leading the development of 4th-8th grade standard-aligned tasks and will work on improving the mathematics experience for all MA students.  Ambassadors will be supported by the STEM Education Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Thank you to Mrs. McKay for lending her experience and expertise to this effort to benefit our students. 

Volunteers: If it’s spring it’s time for Challenger Baseball which prompts me to give a big thank you to Jerry Vitti, Becky Padera and JP Plunkett who run this hugely successful program.  The Challenger Division of Little League is back for a sixth season and enables boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5-18, or up to age 22 (if still enrolled in high school) to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Interested in signing up to play or help out? All the details are here. Play ball!  

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Michelle Kruezer, Jon Redden, Bernadette Butler, Karen Spaulding, Bernadette McEvoy, Dawn Sykes, Karen McDavitt, Noel Vigue, Cat DesRoche, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Jaclyn Germano, Mike Goodless, Justine Novak, Nicole Laurie and Thuy Nguyen.

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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