July 19, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: July Update
Date: July 19, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I hope you have enjoyed the first few weeks of summer, as many of us have at the Milton Public Schools. You might think our schools are quiet in the summer, but as you’ll see below, there is plenty of activity at MPS this summer!

I would like to highlight two items today that I hope won’t escape your attention during these summer weeks.

Paris and Sally getting their summer reading done!

Along with summer fun, we hope that all students in the Milton Public Schools keep up with their summer reading and assignments during July and August. The summer is a wonderful time for all of us to read for pleasure, find math in everyday life, and keep our skills sharp. Resources and assignments for grades K-12 can be found here: All Pierce students must read a minimum of four books: three free choice books and one required text. Book choices and assignments can be found here;   MHS students can find all summer requirements here.  Elementary students should create a summer reading account if they haven’t already and all students can find math guidelines in the following  links. Summer Math Letter, 1-5, Summer Math Letter, 6-8   Summer Math, 9-12 (scroll down for Mathematics)

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In the Spring of 2015, the Milton School Committee passed a Residency Policy that states “students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grades six and nine as well as Milton Public School students who attend school out-of-town*.” If your student is in one of these categories please see the Residency Re-establishment section below my introduction. There are summer hours throughout July and August to make the re-establishment process as convenient as possible. 

There is plenty of summer left and I sincerely hope you are enjoying time with family and friends whenever possible.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

This past Wednesday on July 18, 2018 the Milton School Committee had the privilege of hosting a forum to discuss our increasing district enrollment and as a result, the likely need to build additional classroom space in the elementary schools and the possibility of a fifth elementary school. Over an hour long period the School Committee and approximately 40 community members engaged in a conversation, asked and answered questions, and discussed the future of the district and these potential construction projects. I encourage you all to watch the forum on Milton Access TV Video On Demand.  The forum begins approximately 5-10 minutes into the video. We plan to continue to have these forums throughout the year not only to discuss the progress made, but to help inform our decision making process. We would like to encourage anyone who can attend one to do so. If you are unable to attend a forum and would like to share your thoughts please contact us here.

Thank you and enjoy the summer!

Kevin Donahue
Chair Milton School Committee

The School Committee recently updated the calendar for the 2018-19 school year. The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.

RESIDENCY REESTABLISHMENT

In the Spring of 2015, the Milton School Committee passed a Residency Policy that states “students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grades six and nine as well as Milton Public School students who attend school out-of-town*.”

Families who have students in these categories are required to complete the form that has been mailed to their homes (form is also available here ) and provide all necessary documentation. This process, now in its 4th year, is one of the safeguards used by MPS to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the town of Milton. Although the re-registration process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us with ensuring residency compliance.

Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, will be working morning and evening hours all summer to better meet the needs of parents/guardians schedules. The summer hours for reestablishment started July 9th and  are Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7 -10am and Tuesday evenings from 4-7pm or by appointment. Ms. Burke can be reached via email or at 617-696-4470 ext 5516.

*This includes all students who attend Blue Hills Regional Technical School, Norfolk County Agricultural High School and Special Education out-of-district placements for students entering grades 6 and 9.

MPS SUMMER

On Monday, June 25th, we welcomed over 500 students to MHS for the first day of Milton Summer Enrichment!  Thank you to all the MSE families for an outstanding start to the program.

We have a dedicated staff of more than fifty instructors engaging students in hands-on classes each hour from 8am-12pm.  Students are enjoying courses ranging from Wildcat Soccer to Chess and STEM Fun to Hip Hop! In addition to the course instructors, we have 70 High School student ‘Red Shirts’ assisting students to get from one course to another, accessing course material and ensuring safety and efficiency during arrival and dismissal. You can reach our program directors Cat DesRoche and Bernadette Butler with any questions or comments at mse@miltonps.org.

 

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ESY (Extended School Year) is already half way into our summer program!  Students have been involved in engaging and inclusive learning experiences including taking trips to Cunningham Pool each week, taking part in MSE classes and Camp Cunningham with friends and traveling to Boston Bowl.  The fun and learning continues at both Collicot and MHS until August 5!

REACH and ACHIEVE ESY students had a special interactive and engaging  presentation from Milton’s Billion Backyard Bee Project this past week . All special education students from these two classrooms participated in exploring a bee’s habitat, learned about honey production and the makeup of a honeycomb. Students helped strain and scrape honey and some students even got to taste the honey! Thank you to Milton’s Billion Backyard Bee project for the visit!

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MPS scientists at work

It was great fun at Camp Invention to start off the summer! Students built an Optibot and created courses that their robot  followed using a trajectory they designed and also used upcycle items to create their own inventions in “Stick To It”. Learning and fun go hand in hand at MPS in the summer.

 

 

MHS math teacher Kristina Craven, english teacher Ayeola Davis and science teacher Melissa Burns are leading a group of motivated incoming 9th graders in the MHS Bridge program this summer.  

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

I’m very happy to share that the 51 students who took the DELF exam this spring successfully passed the test!  Congratulations to our students, DELF teacher Madame Pons and World Language Director Martine Fisher.   

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Please see this important summer communication for all MHS families from Principal Jette.

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As you know, we are starting Bring Your Own Device at MHS in the 2018-19 school year. If your student will be borrowing a Chromebook, please make arrangements for your student to bring their signed Chromebook Loan Agreement to pick up their Chromebook in the MHS Auditorium during one of the following times: August 20 – 1-3pm,  August 21 – 7-9:30am, August 22 – 11am-1pm and August 27 – 3-5pm.

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 the following flyer and click on the thumbnails to view the information.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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The MHS Guidance Department will be closed for the summer and  will reopen on Monday, August 27th.  Please contact Maureen Kennedy or Brad Spindle in the MHS main office via email or phone (617- 696-4470 ext. 0).

Updated GPAs will be available in the fall once all summer school grades are submitted and recorded. Schedules will be given out to students on the first day of school Wednesday, August 29th during homeroom. A “welcome letter” with homeroom assignments will be mailed home in late August. Please remember, changes in class schedules are discouraged.  A change request made due to poor attendance, tardiness, inadequate class participation, failure to do homework or lack of effort will not be approved. Understand that changing one course often results in the need to change a student’s entire schedule and even if a teacher approves a change, there may not be course offerings available. Please follow the MHS chain of command to initiate all schedule changes which states that the student/parent/guardian first contacts the teacher, who contacts the guidance counselor.

Freshman and all other students new to MHS will receive their schedules at The New Student Orientation, which will be Monday, August 27th  at MHS. More details on this event to follow. All incoming freshman can start their community service this summer! Don’t wait until September!  

Enrollment in an AP course requires the student to complete prerequisite courses and mandatory summer work.  Summer work was assigned to all AP students at the mandatory AP information sessions held between May 29- June 8.   Failure to complete summer work may result in a student being dropped from the AP class. Please remind your student to complete their work.

Rising seniors –  Please consider writing your college essay, update your activities list, complete your community service hours, do some college research (size, cost, location, specific major, etc.) and possibly visit some of the colleges/universities that you are interested in.  Be safe and enjoy the summer!

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Save the date for our first date in the PARENT Speaker Series. Jane Hardin will be discussing Social Emotional Learning in the Home on Thursday, September 13th at Milton High School.

FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Our Milton Public Schools Facebook page and Twitter account are great ways to keep up with events and activities throughout the Milton Public Schools. Be sure to follow both!  

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Milton residents have had access to the Interface Referral Service since May 1st  and Milton residents, of all ages, are being connected to the mental health services they need. What is Interface? Find out here in this short video introducing Interface. Make the Call! Monday-Friday, 9-5 Milton residents can call the William James College INTERFACE Helpline for free information and provider referrals to a mental health professional.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Who wants to work with these great co-workers?

There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs in our food services department. We are hiring 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 starting pay for the food service substitute position is $15.05 per hour. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514)  for more information.  

TECHNOLOGY

The Milton Public Schools is pleased to support the Wait Until 8th initiative.  Did you know that the average age a child gets a smartphone is 10 years old and that children are spending between 6 and 9 hours a day on media? Childhood is changing, and the negative impact of too much screen time is hitting kids hard. We have good news for you though. There is a wonderful resource to help families delay the smartphone and give their children more time smartphone free. MPS Director of Technology AJ Melanson shared the details with the School Committee in this presentation.

The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers families to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and families alike over the kids having a smartphone. Please note that this pledge is for smartphones only! If you would like your child to have a basic phone that just calls and texts, you still can sign the pledge. The basic phone avoids many of the distractions and dangers of the smartphone.  To learn more, please visit Wait Until 8th.  Also, you can check out these recent news stories about the pledge here – The Today Show Good Morning America NPR’s On Point news program.

SUMMERTIME STORIES

Please join us for the next 3 Summertime Stories for preschoolers and incoming kindergarteners. Our 1st storytime at Tucker was a great success!

UPCOMING DATES

Save the date for your school’s Open House!
MHS 9/12; Tucker 9/17; Pierce 9/20; Cunningham 9/25; Collicot 9/27; Glover 10/4

BUS REGISTRATION

We are currently in the process of assigning students to busses and confirming routes. If you have emailed to register for a bus as of 7/18 and paid (if necessary) your student has been placed on a bus. We apologize for the lack of confirmation emails due to the unexpected  absence of our transportation director. If you need to register a new student for the bus please do so as soon as possible. Details on registration are here. Please note that as it is after June 30th, we can not guarantee a seat on the bus but every effort will be made to place students. Please refer to this link for all details and email Assistant Superintendent Dr Glenn Pavlicek with questions.

CONSOLIDATED FACILITIES

I am pleased to share this Summer Project Update from William Ritchie, Director of Consolidated Facilities and Robert Mayhew, Operations Manager.

During the hot summer months there is an extensive list of facilities projects that are being undertaken at each school location.  The following represents a partial list of the major projects that will be accomplished over the summer of 2018:

  • Milton High School: CFD will oversee major asphalt resurfacing and curbing repairs at the main entrance and the side parking lot.  
  • Brooks Field: the synthetic turf be repaired this summer due to a material product imperfection. This work is at no cost to the School Department.  
  • Glover Elementary: New asphalt resurfacing and repairs as necessary will be made all around the school.  A new concrete walkway and granite curbing will be installed in the rear of the school building.
  • Tucker Elementary: A new rubber floor will be installed in the gym. New cedar fencing was recently completed in the front of the school building.  
  • Pierce Middle School: Locker room upgrades will be completed as well as window hardware repairs on the third and second floor.  
  • Collicot and Cunningham Elementary Schools will have all of the exterior trim painting completed and new window hardware will be installed at sixty-five windows at both schools.
  • Cunningham will be getting a new architectural shingled roof and, at the main entrance, the concrete stairs will be restored.
  • Collicot will have a new walkway installed in the rear of the building and phase two of the drainage upgrades, near the large playground, will be completed to help minimize the future drainage issues.

Throughout the summer months, most of the specialized facilities inspections are undertaken by Licensed Consolidated Facilities staff and our contracted vendors. Many of the HVAC systems are overhauled and life safety equipment is tested and repaired (fire alarms, fire sprinkler systems, fire pump, fire extinguishers and emergency lighting).  All emergency generators, elevators, egress hardware, and emergency eye inspections in the science classrooms are completed.

In addition, all of the school classrooms, offices, and common hallways are impeccably cleaned and waxed by the district school custodians. All of the carpets are cleaned; all necessary painting is completed; and all door hardware and lighting systems are tested and repaired. Our town facilities, custodial, and seasonal staff continues to work tirelessly, all summer long, to make sure the schools are in great shape for opening day.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

Boo! See you at the Monster Dash on Sunday, October 28th at Cunningham Hall.

MPS GIVES BACK

Small things can make a difference! Thank you to Cunningham teacher Holly Mawn who spearheaded an end of year marker recycling program. She sent 477 markers, just over 9.6 pounds, back to Crayola to be recycled. That’s 9.6 pounds of plastic that won’t be going into a landfill! Thanks to Ms. Mawn and Cunningham teachers for making this small effort which they plan to continue next year (and will be adding crayons, too!)  

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The DPW has has shared the 2018/19 trash and recycle schedule as well as details on an upcoming household hazardous waste collection day.

Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse, a walk/run scheduled on October 20th at Cunningham School, is open for registration. Last year there were over 600 participants and this year we’re hoping for 800!  Proceeds help to support Milton activities to prevent substance abuse and addiction. Please consider sponsoring the race, or registering as an individual or as a group. It would be great to see MPS students participate

There are great things happening at the Milton Public Library in July

The Parks and Rec Department offers some great concerts at the Gazebo this summer

Join us for Family Activities and Crafts at the Eustis Estate on Friday, July 20 and Saturday July 21, 10am-2pm.  After exploring the special exhibition Head to Toe with your family, join Historic New England educators for a drop-in craft workshop to create your own unique paper hats. Get inspired by the hats and shoes on display as you design your own ways to express yourself. Free admission for Milton residents, recommended for families with children ages 5 to 12. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information and be sure to like us on Facebook!

Be sure to check out the French Language Tours at the Forbes House on July 17 and 24 at 3pm and July 30 at 10am. Suitable for rising 3rd-6th graders, this is a great way to practice your French listening and speaking skills during the summer break. Tours are $8/student and adult chaperones are free. Please call 617.696.1815 or email the Forbes House to reserve your spot.

The Forbes House Museum has installed a Story Walk for the book Cabin Boy, by Phyllis Forbes Kerr. A Story Walk is a way for people of all ages to read a book together while being active and enjoying the outdoors. The pages of a picture book are attached singly to stakes, and then set out in order along a path.  At the Forbes House, you’re invited to explore the grounds and read about the adventures of Robert Bennet Forbes when he was a young boy of 13 making his first trip to China. The Cabin Boy Story Walk will be up throughout the summer and is available from dawn to dusk, when the grounds are always open to the public. On select days, go inside the museum for a staff “Show and Tell.” You’ll be able to ask questions and get up close to genuine artifacts from those long-ago trips to China. Cabin Boy “Show and Tell” is a free drop-in program that runs every Wednesday from 1-2 pm, and every Thursday from 12:30-1:30 pm through August 24th. For more information call 617.696.1815 or visit our website

 ART AND MUSIC NEWS  

Save the date for our Beginner Instrumental Registration Night on Tuesday, September 11th from 6-7pm. Please see the Applied Instrumental Lessons Program (ALP)  information here and a link to pre-register (highly recommended). Pre-registration ends on August 17th. 

ATHLETICS

State Champs!

Congratulations to the Rugby Team who are the State Champs after a 32-14 win over Hanover on June 23rd!  Thank you to the MPD for the police escort as the team headed back to Milton. Way to go, Wildcats! 

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Milton High School offers 10 sports during the fall season, with 25 levels of participation. Tryouts for Football start the 3rd Friday in August and all other sports start the following Friday.  Most teams end league competition in late October. Tournament qualifications for varsity teams could have teams participating into November. Football concludes its regular season on Thanksgiving Day. Cheerleading Coed (V, JV1, JV2), Cross Country Boys (V, JV/F), Cross Country Girls (V, JV/F), Field Hockey Coed (V, JV, F), Football Coed (V, JV, F), Golf Coed (V, JV), Soccer Boys (V, JV, F), Soccer Girls (V, JV, F), Swimming Coed (V), Volleyball Girls (V, JV1, JV2) You can find fall tryout and registration information on the Milton Wildcats website.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Cat DesRoche, Bernadette Butler,  Zeina Hamada, Jaclyn Germano, Laurie Stilman, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Erin Power, James Jette, Karen Cahill, Marti McKenna, Sarina Burke, Bill Ritchie, Bob Mayhew, Rebecca Damiani, Martine Fisher, Jackie Morgan, Dr Glenn Pavlicek and Dr. Kevin Donahue..

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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