April 26, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: April 26, 2018


These 1st graders were excited when their teacher, Mrs O’Leary, won last year. Who will win this year???

We are lucky in Milton to have some of the very best educators and staff at all six of our schools. The Milton Foundation for Education Teacher of the Year Award  is a wonderful and meaningful way to show our excellent teachers and administrators that we notice and acknowledge their dedication to our students, the creativity they employ daily and their leadership within their communities. It is easy to nominate a teacher or administrator. This simple online form will include your letter of support for your nominee. The most difficult part is likely nominating just one candidate! The deadline for submissions is TOMORROW, April 27th. Details on past winners and nominating guidelines can be found here. 


In advance of our next  speaker – Katie Greer, a national expert in Internet/digital safety and technology – MPS Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue shares this article about               “Homework Strategies in the Digital Age“.  Ms Greer will speak to parents/guardians on Wednesday, May 9th at 6:30pm at MHS and will be focusing on elementary and middle school children and their use of technology in our digital world with topics such as cell phones, apps, social media, group chats, interactive gaming, cyberbullying and sexting.  



As was communicated earlier in the year, the Milton Public Schools has been working for the past year and a half to create a strategic roadmap and a set of actionable strategic initiatives.  As part of that process, the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee to the Milton School Committee will present draft goals and objectives for the Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan at the regularly scheduled School Committee meeting on May 2nd at 7pm.  As the participation of key stakeholders in this process is critical to its success, we are sending this special invitation in the hopes that you will take a moment to watch the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee’s presentation on May 2 or view the posted presentation after the meeting.  In addition, we will be sending a link to a survey to elicit feedback on the draft goals and objectives and to identify those of you who would like to support (or continue to support) this important work.  Please look for a follow up communication on May 3rd with information about how you can access the survey and provide your insight and feedback related to the draft goals and objectives.  We thank you as always for your continued support of the Milton Public Schools.


Several Milton High School students participated in Classics Day at the College of the Holy Cross on Thursday, April 12th. Students competed in a costume, trivia, and art competition all focusing on Greek and Roman history, mythology, and language. This year was the college’s 46th year of hosting high school students from around the Northeast at an event where they can come together and appreciate their study of Latin in a fun and competitive manner.


1st  place and State Champions in Business Decision Making category: Nuasheen Chowdhury, Karisa Lasoff and Domenic Jancaterino

On Monday, April 9th,  MHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competed in the FBLA State Leadership Conference at Bentley University.  The students gained valuable business, life and career insights from industry leading executives. They participated in leadership activities, networked with future business leaders from across the state, and competed in business events.  Yvonne Nequist, MHS teacher and FBLA Advisor shares her congratulations to all of our student leaders who qualified to attend and has asked me to recognize the following students who earned top honors as State winners and are invited to compete on a National level at the National Leadership conference in Baltimore at the end of June.  I am happy to do so as it is gratifying to see that our student’s hard work and effort has paid off. These students are the impressive future leaders of America. Please consider supporting these students as they prepare for the National Leadership Conference at the end of June.

1st  place and State Champions in Business Decision Making category: Nuasheen Chowdhury, Karisa Lasoff and Domenic Jancaterino; 3rd place for States in Global Business: Chris Caputo, Will Jrolf, Peyton Carvalho;  3rd place for States in Entrepreneurship: Dan Flaherty & Patrick Hoey; 3rd place for States in Banking & Financial Systems: Nuasheen Chowdhury, Karisa Lasoff, and Domenic Jancaterino;4th place for States in Entrepreneurship: Mark Walsh and Andy Flaherty, 4th place for States in Economics Lucas Alvarez.


DA Michael Morrissey, SAAD Co-Advisor Robin Lee, Michael Johnson, Conor McAuliffe, Adriana Ramondi, SAAD Co-Advisor Karen Hughes, Caitlin Heelen and Gwyneth Sauter

Five of our students active in SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) recently attended Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrisey’s Team Rival Challenge – Adventures in Respect Day which is part of DA Morrissey’s year-long “Team Rival” challenge to promote healthy choices and supportive, strong schools across Norfolk County. “The safest high school communities are those where the students themselves, and peer leaders, are engaged in keeping that school’s culture healthy and positive,” according to the District Attorney.  This event was the culmination of several events our students from SAAD have participated in with other community schools including Braintree and Weymouth who we are competing with directly for points and a chance at $1500.00 to be used for SADD programming. The second part of the challenge students participated in was Distractology 101.  MHS SADD will get additional points if people take the time to fill out this important survey.  I encourage you to sit with your children (district wide) and take this survey.


Massachusetts was well represented by MHS at this year’s LifeSmarts National Tournament in San Diego. Milton started strong and after the first 4 events was ranked 4th out of 34 teams. Facing top teams in buzzer matches, Milton scored just 1.5 points short of quarterfinal play. Brendan Baker and Anson Yip were recognized for outstanding achievements in their Consumer Rights and Technology categories. Additionally, Anson was awarded a $1000 scholarship for his safety smarts presentations to elementary students in Milton. It was a wonderful experience for all and the team is already gearing up for next year’s tests and competitions which will start in September. The team wishes to extend their sincere appreciation and thanks to all who helped make their trip possible.


Some of our Pierce science superstars were at Regis College last weekend for the Massachusetts Region V Middle School Science & Engineering Fair. Pierce Science Coordinator Christie Chiappetta shared that Ella Cantor, Bridget McCoy, Hoku Panerio-Langer, Zoe Panucci, Kyra Geyling, Darcy LeFever​, Barron Clancy and Anderson Korman performed very well on a variety of interesting and in depth topics and that Barron and Anderson, with their excellent project designing better ventilation systems for refugee tents, are advancing to the State Fair.  6th grader Ella Cantor was also excited to share that she won the science trivia contest that was part of the entertainment portion of the day.  


Mrs. Stefanick with the sandbox she built

What is a Virtual Sandbox? A real sandbox set up with augmented reality software that projects the computerized realm out into the real world. We are proud to announce that we now have one of these at our elementary schools! Thank you to Dr. Patrick Helm and the support of his STEM company Medtronic who graciously donated the components needed for us to construct this amazing learning tool as well as MHS Senior Ryan Au who lent his computer skills to help get the Lennox based software installed and operational. And a huge thanks to Elementary Science Curriculum Coordinator Linda Stefanick who built the sandbox in her garage! We are currently touring the 5th grade  classes in all the elementary schools to use this resource to review relevant science topics. Then we will tour the 4th grade classes who have done a science unit on landforms this year. 

The sandbox  has a sensor that continually scans the surface of the sand and translates that to a 3-D contour map that is projected in real time straight onto the sand. Our sandbox also has a flat monitor attached to display the contour map in a 2-D representation so students can experience 3-D landforms as they are represented on a 2-D map and see what happens as the alter the landform. Not only can students  make mountains, valleys, explore erosion and other major landform features and topics, but our software will even allow them to make virtual rain fall onto their landforms and see in real time the flow of water through landforms of whatever shape they can produce. These videos below show the sandbox in action.

Again, thank you to Dr. Helm, Medtronic, Consolidated Facilities who helped with transport and logistics and Linda Stefanick for their collaboration on this amazing resource we can now share with students. When learning is fun and experiential it does not seem like work!


Glover is excited to launch a TED-Ed Club for students in Grades 3-5. Just this morning, they had their first session. You’ve all likely been inspired by TEDTalks and now, our Glover Kids have the chance to create their own! Over the next 8 weeks, students will learn how to exercise their voices and choices by joining a network of TED-Ed Clubs being formed in schools all over the world. A TED-Ed club is all about stimulating and celebrating the ideas of students. Students will be creating their own TED Talks while working on important skills such as storytelling, best practices for camera, lighting, and sound, how to create great visuals, and presentation literacy skills. At the end of the 8 weeks, each student will have a filmed presentation ready to upload and share with the world! This club is led by Glover parents, MaryAnn Dakkak and Lisa Sadler, and Glover teachers, Heather Morris and Sarah Hammond. We look forward to seeing all that our Glover Kids are capable of creating!


Calling all 5th graders! It’s time to sign up for Welcome to Middle School! WTMS is a 3 or 4 day camp at Pierce designed to help your new middle schooler feel comfortable at their new school. 


Please join us for our Parent Cafés – “Getting Ready for Kindergarten!” on Tuesday, May 1st and Wednesday, May 2nd. The Milton Public Schools, in partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance (MECA) , will offer a free Parent Café to parents/guardians of children entering kindergarten in the fall 2018.  We are offering two sessions; Tuesday, May 1st, 9-10am at Cunningham Hall, 75 Edgehill Rd. or Wednesday, May 2nd from 5-6pm at Tucker Elementary School, 187 Blue Hills Parkway. 


The Neponset River Watershed Association has a clean up day planned on Saturday, April 28th to clean areas around Milton as well as the waters and banks of the Neponset River, one of Milton’s most precious natural resources. Our schools have groups assembled to help with this important work around Milton and we are hoping you will join them in this effort.  Gloves, tools and necessary cleaning items will be supplied. All we need is you! Please email Joe Dolan to join the Pierce group , Bernadette Butler to join the Cunningham crew, and use this sign up to help out around Collicot. Tucker will be cleaning up in the area around Milton Landing from 9-12. If you want to help clean up around MHS, supplies will be available at the Gile Rd bridge from 8 30 -12 and MHS students will receive community service hours. The MHS clean up is sponsored by the Pine Tree Brook Neighborhood Association.


Cunningham 1st grader Adeline Brown had a wonderful experience volunteering with her grandmother Debra Brown over April break. Mrs. Brown is a regular volunteer at Flower Angels which repurposes donated flowers to be sent to nursing facilities. Adeline helped with a special flower donation from the widow of Police Officer Sean Gannon and in addition to their regular arrangements the group made special “we care” bouquets for all of the police departments serving Cape Cod. Adeline was able to deliver to the Sandwich Police Department and thank them for all they do. Mrs Brown feels (and I agree) that life lessons of this magnitude are vital to the character development of our children. It is inspiring to see our youngest students give back to their communities. 


Katie Greer will speak at MHS on Wednesday, May 9th at 6:30 pm.  

The Milton Public Library is hosting Amor Towles, author of A Gentleman In Moscow on Wednesday, May 16th in the  MHS Auditorium at 6pm with a book signing at 5pm. We are thrilled to be able to support this endeavour and look forward to welcoming Mr. Towles.  


The Tucker Leadership Team recently received the great news of a grant for $3,000 to focus on their work around creating stronger bonds between teachers and students. Their coach will be Sydney Chaffey, the 2017 National Teacher of the Year and an inspiring and engaged educator.  This work will benefit the whole leadership team and in turn the entire faculty. Thank you to educators Kirsten Driscoll, Taylor Fradette and Alex Sherry who took the lead in writing a grant to fund this leadership focus. The Tucker Leadership Team is looking forward to putting the plan in action!


The weather looks great for next Monday, there are just a few golf spots left and we ask you to 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, 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!   


Please note that the live registration for MSE  will begin on May 1st at 12pm. Until then, please pre-register,  explore course offerings and learn more about our program.


SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman shares the following advice if your child has a friend with a drug or alcohol problem, or who is experiencing a mental health condition like depression or an eating disorder.  Here are some things you can suggest to your child about ways to support their friend. Let your child know that if their friend is having trouble, they may not appreciate their advice. But telling them the truth is part of being a real friend, even when it’s hard to do.  Further, if their friend gets into danger, your child can feel reassured that they tried their best to help. Continue reading here…. 


Collicot Assistant Principal and Curriculum Coordinator Amy Gale shares this article about BoomWriter, a frequent and valued partner of the Milton Public Schools.  


Please consider purchasing tickets or bidding on auction items for the Michael C. McHugh Memorial Fund Shindig! on Saturday, May 5.  This is a family BBQ along with a Cornhole Tournament, kids games and line dancing to support the Michael C. McHugh Fund. Michael was a Tucker Alumni who died in August after a 15 month battle with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer).  Michael played soccer, basketball and hockey in Milton and would have been graduating from the 8th grade this year. The Foundation brings tangible support to the underprivileged for basic needs including funeral and memorial expenses when a family loses a child.  The Foundations motto is “Beyond Sympathy” referencing its focus on the need for tangible support. If you can’t attend but want to lend your support consider bidding at the online auction.

It’s not too late to sign up for Challenger Baseball! The Challenger Division of Little League 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. We are thrilled to be starting the 2018 season with the The Milton National Little League Parade on Saturday April 28th at 9:30a, and we hope to see all payers and volunteers there. Then save the date for Opening Day!  Join us Sunday April 29th at 2:45 at Shields Park. If you or someone you know is interested in Challenger Baseball please email us to sign up or for more info.

We have an incredible line-up so please pass the word along to others about this exciting opportunity for kids who might otherwise not have the opportunity to play the great game of baseball.

There is a Milton Community Blood Drive on Monday May 14th, 2-7pm sponsored by the Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills

The Milton Public library has many interesting and fun programs planned for kids.

This is the last weekend to see the Forbes House special exhibit “Massachusetts’ Help to Ireland During the Great Famine.” Also, on Sunday, May 6th, at 2pm, the museum is offering a program on the  History and Cultural Traditions of Tea, presented by the Mark T. Wendell Tea Company. Tea and light snacks will be served, and tea will be available for purchase. For those interested in learning more about tea in the context of the Forbes family history and the American China trade  of the 1800s, there will be a museum tour immediately following the program at 3 pm. $10/person, free for members.


Join us tonight for the first ever Faculty Student Cabaret on April 26th at 7pm at Milton High School. Tickets are just  $5 and you’ll see your favorite Pierce and MHS teachers perform alongside our talented students! Tickets will be available at the door until sold out. All proceeds will go towards the MPS Music Department.  Check out this rehearsal snack peak of Mr Kelly on guitar and Mr Spindle on bass!


Girls Tennis has started off the season brightly, going 2-2 through their first 4 matches.  Boys Tennis is 3-2, after beating Norwood, Marshfield and Randolph.  Baseball bounced back from an 0-3 start with four straight wins, while also claiming the Steven J Sullivan Tournament.  They beat North Quincy and Quincy over April vacation to win their first trophy under first year head coach Brendan Morrissey.  Softball is 2-2 after a non-league win over Stoughton and a league victory over Framingham.  They battled Walpole hard on Monday but fell just short of a comeback.  Boys Lacrosse won their first game of the season against Stoughton but have come up against some tough competition of late.  They will look to right the ship against Weymouth today, while the girls will look to get back to winning ways as well.  Rugby is now 2-1 after beating Weymouth, and they will take on Hanover next Friday in their Senior Night Game.  Boys and Girls Outdoor Track can’t catch a break, and their league meet with Needham has been postponed again.  They will run against the Flyers on Monday, April 30th at Framingham HS.  For all schedules and results, please visit Sports schedules and updates for all MHS teams. Rosters should all be up soon!


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:  Please join me in recognizing MHS freshman Sam Higgins who was named a Grand Prize Winner in the Fidelity Young Artists Competition at the Boston Pops.  His Grand Prize award will include a solo performance of Bereite dich, Zion from the Christmas Oratorio of J.S. Bach with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra in Symphony Hall on June 6th. Sam  has been a member of Boston City Singers for 10 years. He started in the Kodaly Training Choir at the age of 5 and has moved through the various choruses in the organization and is now a member of the Tour Choir.  You can read more about this impressive young man here and better yet, you can hear him here.   

Staff: Our schools are only as strong as the people inside of them and some of our strongest staff members are our Administrative Professionals at each school. These are the folks who greet you with a smile, answer your questions, assist teachers and administrators and help set the tone of a school. Thank you to Maureen Kennedy, Brad Spindle, Susan Higgins, Sandy Wise, Moira Downes, Marianne Kinsella, Eileen Keaney and Joanne Barker for their contributions to the Milton Public Schools.  

Volunteers:  It was a great day at Cunningham before vacation as almost 70 volunteers (parents, guardians, family members and community volunteers) spent the day in classrooms imparting the life lessons of Junior Achievement. I expressed my appreciation to the volunteers for coming in for an hour lesson and quickly learned from Cunningham coordinators Dana Jessup, Cindi Melanson and Tara Itrich that JA volunteers spend the better part of the day in the classroom!  Lessons range from our youngest students learning about individual choices, money, the importance of saving and giving, to older students exploring the value of work, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, characteristics of cities, the importance of economic exchange and more. JA is in all 6 of our schools and this impressive resource would not be possible without the dozens of volunteers at each school who who make it possible.  

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: James Jette, Ben Kelly, AJ Melanson, Bob Pattison, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Bernadette Butler, Karen Spaulding, Karen McDavitt, Holly Concannon, Jon Redden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Dawn Sykes, Will Korman, Mike Goodless, Ryan Madden, Laurie Stillman, Yvonne Nequist, Noel Vigue, Joe Higgins, Linda Stefanick and Paul Arenburg.

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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