May 24, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: May 24, 2018


After nine months of study and preparation, it’s official,  Milton High School will be going to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for the 2018-19 school year.  For the past nine months the Technology Task Force and sub-committees have been working tirelessly to prepare for this exciting initiative.  The Technology Task Force members include Educational Technology Director AJ Melanson; Information Technology Director Bob Pattison;, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Janet Sheehan; MHS Assistant Principal Ben Kelly;  Elementary Instructional Technology Directors Sara Doherty and Kirsten Driscoll; Elementary Science Coordinator Linda Stefanick; Pierce Technology Teacher Deanna Magill; and parents Abigail Callahan, Abe Cardoza, Matt King and Steve Paxhia. 

In preparation for this initiative the Technology Task Force and sub-committees researched other school districts across the commonwealth, and developed detailed researched action plans.  The sub-committee members include additional teachers, administrators and family members and the task force and committees focused on: professional development for staff; current infrastructure and needed improvements; web based applications that run seamlessly on all device; minimum device specifications; single sign-on; Acceptable Use Policy; a new tech plan; researching other district’s successes and challenges implementing 1:1 initiatives; extra IT support needed; insurance and a system for signing devices in and out. 

Students will be asked to bring their own device, other than a smartphone, to school with them each day.  For students who will not be able to meet this request, a Chromebook will be loaned out to the student by Milton Public Schools for the school year.  

The Technology Department submitted and received approval to purchase three hundred Chromebooks through capital funds for next year.  The additional Chromebooks will be available to students who cannot meet the request of bringing a device, other than their smartphone, and to students who have computer issues with their own device during the school day.  Students in grades 9-12 will be asked to bring their fully-charged device from home to use throughout the school day, each and every day.

At this time, we ask all 8th-11th grade families to declare whether or not your student(s) will be able to bring their own device next year.  Please complete this short declaration survey by Friday, June 1st.

Mr. Melanson shares, “I cannot be more excited about the BYOD initiative.  This could not have become a reality without the hard work of the teachers, administrators, and parents who serve on various technology committees. BYOD will help prepare MHS students to become college and career ready and allow the teachers to revolutionize their teaching practice. I want to thank Superintendent Gormley and Assistant Superintendents Sheehan and Pavlicek for their unwavering support of our vision on this initiative. This could not have come to fruition without their support and guidance.” Principal Jette states,  “I am very excited to see our Milton High School students move into the 21st century as they implement more technology to enhance their overall learning experience.”

Personally, I can not thank this dedicated group of staff and community members enough for the time, effort and thoughtfulness they have given to this idea and look forward to the implementation of our BYOD program for the 2018-19 school year.

For more information regarding the BYOD Loan Agreement,  BYOD Student & Family Manual, BYOD FAQs, the MPS Acceptable Use Policy, and Chromebook Care & Use Policy, please visit this flyer and click on the thumbnails to view the information.


Taylor Snellen and Mary Kate Murtagh

Ramsey Julmice and Taylor Snellen from Ms. Jarboe’s AP Computer Science Principles class asked me to share the following. The 2018 Computer Science Principles Gala was a smash hit! On May 21st during C period block, Ms. Jarboe’s AP class hosted an event in the field house to show the school what they’ve accomplished over the school year. Dozens upon dozens of students attended to take part in the exhibition. Utilizing the projects they created for the AP exam, Ms. Jarboe’s students made presentations out of the “Explore” and “Create” segments of the exam. The “Explore” is when students take a closer look at a piece of new technology to discuss the data and effects on society, good or bad. The “Create” involves making a program that utilizes algorithms and logical concepts like an actual coder.

Additionally, there was a sticker currency that the participants collected from each station that could be redeemed for prizes. Prizes included Google silly bandz, fidget spinners, and other items. This was a nice way to get the students to really listen to the content and hopefully learn something. Above all, these presentations should inspire other teens to take computer science courses. By spreading the importance STEM has on our lives, it may motivate more kids to take part of the coding and computing revolution!


Pierce Humanities Curriculum Coordinator Nancy Warn and Janet Applefield

Last week at Pierce Middle School, Janet Applefield addressed the entire 7th grade class, sharing her experiences from a very dark time in the history of the world. Ms. Applefield, with funding from the Milton Cultural Council, speaks annually to Pierce students about her experiences during the Holocaust and discusses the importance of combating prejudice and hate.  

Ms. Applefield speaks to Pierce students.

At age 7, Ms. Applefield was separated from her family and spent her childhood in hiding, escaping the persecution of the concentration camps, as she was able to pass for non-jewish.  She speaks to students with a heavy heart, understanding that over 1 million children lost their lives and over 6 million jews overall lost their lives (including some of her family members).  Although she survived, her childhood was tormented by her separation from her family, the fear of exposure she experienced while in hiding and the constant fear over her own fate and the fate of her family members.  Ms. Applefield shares her story so a new generation can learn, ask questions and engage in a time period that most people only read about. She focuses on the need to remember and is working to publish her story, so the world never forgets.  

In addition to sharing her story, Ms. Applefield also focuses on the need for each generation to take up the charge of combating prejudice and hate.  She warns students that it needs to be combatted at all times, so as to never again allow genocide to happen on such a large scale (or at all). We appreciate Ms. Applefield taking the time to speak and for sharing her story.  We also appreciate the support of the Milton Cultural Council, for sponsoring this important lesson for our students. In an ever changing world it is imperative to preserve our collective history and take time to increase student understanding of prejudice, hate and the need to reject both.  


L-R Senator Walter F. Timilty; Ofelia Pedraza, Executive Assistant East Boston Savings Bank;  Isabella Doten; Ava Lundbohm; Ed Merritt, Executive Officer East Boston Savings Bank

On Friday, May 18th, the 8th grade students at Pierce were highly impressed with a student run Career Day. The event was organized by Ava Lundbohm and Isabella (Izzy) Doten, two Milton Girl Scouts who are seeking to achieve the Girls Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can attain.  To earn the Silver Award one must demonstrate leadership and determination while improving the community. Ava shared that “ the goal of Career Day is to allow students to learn about many different careers and see the importance and usefulness of the classes they take now and will be taking in high school” while Izzy said “we hope to raise awareness about the importance of college and/or trades and connect students with many different professions.”

There were 15 speakers, including attorneys, federal agents, a construction foreman, an architect, a pediatric occupational therapist, a clinical nutritionist, a hotel general manager, and an IT Specialist who fascinated  students by “hacking” their cell-phones.

Middle school is a great place to begin introducing careers to students as this is when much of a student’s self-exploration begins. The Career Day  organized by Ava and Izzy provided hands on experience to help students start making smart, realistic choices about their future. Students and faculty agreed it was a wildly successful day!  


I’m happy to relay the news that three of the Pierce teams from the Model UN conference last week won awards for their position papers. This is a big accomplishment in and of itself, however this time it is an especially impressive feat. Our middle school students bested high schoolers from different high schools throughout Massachusetts with their writing on their position papers!

The Rising Leaders Model UN Conference is a challenging single-day Model UN conference that gives students an opportunity to debate a current international issues in each committee. This conference is open to any and all high school (and advanced middle students) throughout New England and beyond.  Thank you to faculty advisors Melissa Augustyn and Lauren Hoyt and congratulations to our winning teams: Sophia Manning and Ian Lundeen; Michael Howard and Johnathan Waldmann; and Anderson Korman and Barron Clancy.


The Cunningham School had the pleasure of welcoming  Venerable Lama Tenzin Yignyen who is serving as an artist in residence at Cunningham while he creates a Sand Mandala.  Students in every grade have had the opportunity to visit the mandala, speak with Tenzin and learn about his process and teachings.  This program was sponsored by the Cunningham PTO and the Milton Cultural Council.  


This month the 5th grade students in Milton Public Schools had the opportunity to take part in a lesson on frog dissection as part of their Science from Scientists program. Through this lesson students were able to explore how internal and external structures work together. As well as explore the shapes and connectivity of internal structures and apply this knowledge to deepen their understanding of how these structures function together.


We have exciting news! The first Mama Mallard of the 2018 nesting season has finally arrived in the Glover Outdoor Classroom! To watch live video footage of the nest, log in to the Glover Duck Cam:

  • Go to the ARLO site on your computer -OR- download the free ARLO app on your phone. The ARLO app icon is a green hummingbird.
  • Log into the PUBLIC account – Email address/username Password: Ducks2018 (note the Capital D)
  • You will see still images of two cameras. Click the LIVE play button for “Duck Cam One Camoflague” to see the live video feed.
  • Enjoy!


On Monday June 4, at 6:30pm in the Milton High School Auditorium we are pleased to present “The Truth About Vaping” , A Community Presentation. This presentation is FREE and open to the public. The Caron Treatment Centers’ Student Assistance Program will provide an educational presentation on vaping and e-cigarettes for parents/community members in Milton. This program is intended for an adult audience.


Have you heard  about Interface Referral Service? Interface is a free and confidential telephone helpline that residents can call when they are in need of professional help for a mental health, substance use or other behavioral health disorder. Thanks to generous donations from a variety of public and private organizations, you and your families can now contact a trained counselor at Interface  who can help you find a therapist to meet your needs and inform you of your insurance options. Interface has created a database of licensed professionals who can address a variety of mental health concerns for both children and adults. Anxiety, depression, substance use, marital problems and eating disorders are just some of the issues they address.

To contact the Interface Referral Service, call 888-244-6843 Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, and speak with a trained counselor who can help you navigate a complicated mental health system. All conversations are highly confidential.

We at the Milton Public Schools know how difficult it is to find mental health care. We believe that Interface Referral Service at William James College will be of great benefit to our families and to our faculty who frequently help families when they are in need. If you know of someone who speaks another language, Interface counselors can access translators as well. This 4 minute community video explains the program even further.  Please do not hesitate to call Interface or visit their website, which contains lots of free information on a variety of mental health topics.


Have someone headed to Pierce 6th grade this fall? Don’t miss Welcome to Middle School – a 3 or 4 day introduction/orientation to all things Pierce! Get the lay of the land, learn the Pierce routine, make new friends, meet some of the Pierce teachers. Not to be missed! There are two camps offered – end of June (just after school gets out) and end of August (the week before school starts) – choose the one that works for your new middle schooler. Deadline to register is tomorrow – May 25th – so don’t delay!   

The Pierce Players will perform its production of Singin’ in the Rain Jr. for the Milton community on Thursday, June 7th and Friday, June 8th at 7PM  and Saturday, June 9th at 2 PM in the Pierce auditorium. Tickets are $10 and available in the Pierce office during school hours until Tuesday June 5th at 3 pm or until they sell out. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door 45 minutes before show time. These shows almost always sell out so be sure to get your tickets in advance.   


It’s hard to believe but summer is fast approaching!  Thank you to all for your participation in registration for MSE 2018.  If you haven’t yet registered, visit our website for registration information. For those families who have registered, please join us on one of the following days to pick up your schedules, maps and Important Information Flier!

Wednesday, June 6th 3-7 pm (MHS Field House Entrance – in back of school)
Monday, June 11th 5-7pm (MHS Main Entrance Lobby – front of school)
Saturday, June 16th 9-12pm (MHS Main Entrance Lobby – front of school)
If you have any questions, please email Bernadette Butler and Cat DesRoche.


It’s Game On at MHS next  week as we “Vote for Your Favorite MHS Principal – oops we mean  Sandwich”! Starting May 29th, we will serve 3 new sandwiches created by Mr. James Jette, Mr. Ben Kelly and Mr. Brian Mackinaw. These sandwiches can be found in the Deli Fridge and results will be determined by the end of the week.             Your PURCHASE = Your VOTE so vote early and often in the MHS cafe next week.  

Which Principal – oops, we mean Sandwich – is the MHS Favorite?  


The Teacher of the Year Ceremony to honor the educators chosen as the 2018 Teacher of the Year at each school was last night at MHS  and it did not disappoint! Congratulations to Jen Troy (MHS), Ramsay Cadet (Tucker), Liz Cardiasmenos (Glover), Amy Harkins (Cunningham), Sam Bullard (Collicot), Jen Rhodes (Pierce) and Jon Redden (Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill Leadership Award) and thank you  to all who attended! 


The town of Milton offers lots of great summer programs for kids!

The Milton Public Library has many interesting and fun programs planned for kids and teens over the next few weeks.

Local parent and author,Tara Cousineau, PHD, will be speaking about her new book, “The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World”. Join her at The Milton Library Tues, June 5 at 7pm.  

Mark your calendars and gather your family, friends, dancing shoes and lawn chairs! Come celebrate our great community of Milton on June 23rd and 24th at the 6th Annual  Milton Music Fest and Fireworks at Hutchinson Field! 

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has three Story Walks, posted conveniently around town for families to enjoy with their children. One of these Story Walks, located on the playground of Tucker Elementary School, is a TRI-LINGUAL story book. MECA is also having their  annual  Children’s Concert, held at the gazebo, on Thursday June 7th at 6pm.  

The 41st annual Milton Road Race, hosted and organized by the Milton Junior Woman’s Club,  is on Tuesday, June 12th. The first 500 registered runners receive a swag bag with t-shirts and other goodies. The proceeds from the race are used to help fund programs in our community (e.g. grants to local non-profits and scholarships for MHS seniors). The MJWC looks forward to another successful race and encourages students to check in with your principal to see who the school captain is or start a team for your school!   


Awards Night is here! Tonight, Thursday, May 24th @ 6 pm in the MHS Cafeteria(enter through the field house doors) Milton FAME will be celebrating our music students. There will be a Milton FAME swag table so you can purchase a t-shirt, mug or sports sack for your favorite music student. Donations in  support of FAME’s projects will gladly be accepted at the door. Also – have a dusty musical instrument you are no longer using? FAME will gladly take it and pass it on to the Music Program.  You can bring it to the event and give to one of the FAME volunteers. We look forward to seeing you tonight!

We have been treated to some wonderful music this week at MHS with our MHS Spring Concert   and Small Ensemble Concert both taking place. In addition, please enjoy our Collicot 3rd graders singing Billy’s Song at their concert earlier today. 


Congrats to the Milton High Varsity Girls Crew Team (pictured at left L-R Miwa Joiner, Claire Casey, Raquel Gallagher, Liji Cormack, Olivia Shapiro, Maggie Haley, Izzy DeFelippo, Frances Collins, Alex Kelly) who took home the Mayor’s Cup last weekend!  Our crew teams did very well at the recent Mayors Cup and the Moose on the Malden. All results can be found here. 

Softball earned their 9th win of the season on their Senior Night vs Stoughton last night.  They need one more win to make the tournament for the first time in over 8 years!

Girls Lacrosse is officially in the tournament, after beating Canton.  They will honor their seniors tonight in their final home game vs Oliver Ames at 6:30pm.

Boys Tennis will look to beat Marshfield on Friday, which will put them in the tournament as well.

All-Star Meetings will be wrapped up in the next two weeks and Milton High School will have some great student-athletes receiving honors!

Athletic updates and schedules can be found on our website.


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 accomplishments below:

Kamal (L) and Omar (R) in Milton shirts

Students:  Please join me in congratulating Cunningham students Omar Solomon and Kamal Rezk who last weekend earned Gold and Bronze Medals at the Special Olympics.  Omar’s mother shares that it was a terrific day, as it always is. The opening ceremony included an officer carrying the torch, followed by Milton and Boston police, firefighters, and EMTs leading the Milton team in the processional. Events afterwards came fast and furiously, including the 50 meter dash in which both Omar and Kamal participated and placed, gold and bronze respectively. Winners names were called, they mounted the podium, and officers put the medals around their necks. Both boys qualified for the state championship, which will be held at Harvard stadium June 8-10. Ms. Solomon also shared  that Grace LeBlanc, MHS ‘15 was among the volunteers and that for the Solomon family, the volunteers and fans, it’s a really wonderful event— humbling, truly inspiring, and very, very fun.  

Staff: Our Milton High School Guidance Department works tirelessly on behalf of all of our students throughout the year but never more so than as we close out the year for our seniors. Our Guidance Counselors Richard Guarino, Lisa Spinelli, Scott Devlin, Leonice Bernard, and Director of Guidance Karen Cahill advise and mentor our students through what can be stressful process – ending a high school career and looking towards the future, towards college, the military, travel, the workforce and more. Our Guidance team, along with Administrative Assistant Colleen MacDougall and intern Stephanie Gandolfo, deserves our thanks and appreciation for the care and commitment they give to our students. Please join me in recognizing and thanking these valuable members of the Milton High School staff.

Volunteers:  Our schools would not be the vibrant communities they are without the many volunteers who give their time and expertise to the Milton Public Schools each year.  In recognition of the time, talent and support so many have shown the Milton Public Schools during the 2017-2018 school year, the Milton School Committee cordially invites all volunteers to a Volunteer Reception on Wednesday, June 13th at 6pm in the Milton High School Courtyard. If you have volunteered in a classroom, sat on a committee, been involved in your PTO, worked on initiatives in your school or helped out in the myriad of ways our parents and guardians do, you are invited and encouraged to attend. Please respond to Charlene Roche via email or call 617-696-4808 to RSVP by Friday, June 8th. 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Karen Spaulding, Karen McDavitt, Holly Concannon, Jon Redden, Laurie Stillman, Noel Vigue, Amy Gale, Nancy Warn, Jackie Morgan, Ryan Madden, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, AJ Melanson, Cat DesRoche, James Jette,  Melissa Augustyn, Lauren Hoyt, Ava Lundbohm, Izzy Doten, Charlene Roche, Linda Stefanick, Kerry O’Leary, Susan Dolan, Erin Power, Dawn Sykes, Ramsey Julmice and Taylor Snellen.

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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