August 23, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: August 23, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I want to extend a warm welcome to our parents/guardians and staff who are returning to the Milton Public Schools and a special welcome to those of you who are new to the Milton Public Schools. In my Welcome Back Letter to all staff, I analogized this year’s Red Sox “record-breaking season” to the Milton Public Schools’ upcoming school year. Each of you is a member of our amazing Milton Public School “team.”

Over the summer, our Administrators and Central Office staff worked hard interviewing and hiring highly qualified and talented administrators, teachers and staff who will complement the work of our already “All Star” teaching and support staff to provide an enriching education to Milton Public Schools Pre-K through grade 12 students. I want to recognize Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources Janet Sheehan for her leadership in working with principals and administrators in the hiring of staff and planning and scheduling of summer professional development.

Mr. Mack (MHS Assistant Principal Brian Mackinaw) mans the grill for our new teachers

Our new staff members joined the Milton Public Schools on Monday, August 20th and attended a full day of orientation, meetings with their respective principals and coordinators and a cookout luncheon prepared by Milton’s Food Service Director Jackie Morgan and served by our administrators. On Tuesday, our new teachers spent the day with their mentors at Curry College. I would like to thank Curry College President Kenneth Quigley for sponsoring the day. On Wednesday, our new teachers participated in professional development on the evaluation tool, parent portal, and other important technology programs. Today, new teachers and over 100 of our current staff members are involved in an exciting day of professional development planned by MPS’s Educational Technology Director AJ Melanson.

Custodians and Consolidated Facilities staff worked on projects detailed in a previous blast. They have thoroughly cleaned and prepared each and every classroom, office and educational area in our six schools.

The talented individuals in MPS’s Business and Central Offices worked almost every day this summer on everything from ordering textbooks, materials and supplies to closing out the fiscal 2018 school year to registering and welcoming new families.

I want to recognize Assistant Superintendent Dr. Glenn Pavlicek for his thorough work on our transportation program. Dr. Pavlicek has reviewed and made adjustments to each and every bus route. Bus passes have been mailed to the homes of students registered for transportation. Rachel Schewe will assume the responsibilities of MPS’s Transportation Director today and all questions should be directed to Ms. Schewe at bus@miltonps.org.

Milton’s School Committee and staff have worked over the past few years to create a new Strategic Plan for the district. If you are interested in serving on any one of the committees which will be addressing the goals of the Plan, please e-mail School Committee member Ada Rosmarin.

Please be sure to read all communications from your school. Important information is posted on the MPS website, and events are constantly being added to the district calendar.

As I stated in the close of my Welcome Back Letter to staff, “Let’s make the 2018-2019 season (our school year!) one for the history books for the Milton Public Schools”.

Please enjoy your last days of summer with family and friends.

MPS SUMMER READING

Who read 1,000,000 minutes this summer? Our students, that’s who! Breezing by the goal of 500,000 minutes, our students recently reached the impressive 1 million mark! I could not be more proud of their effort and am so grateful for the partnership of the Milton Public Library, the Friends of the Library, the Rotary Club and the Milton Public Schools which make a robust summer reading program for the town of Milton possible. Our students are returning to school ready to learn, thanks in part to our wonderful summer reading program. 

Our Summertime Stories program , in collaboration with MECA and the Milton Public Library was a big success this summer! At our final session earlier today, we welcomed 75 eager readers – K and PreK students and parents/guardians – to Cunningham Park.

Our kindergarten and Pre K students are ready for their 1st day of school on Tuesday, September 4th. Tucker and Glover students have been enjoying some popsicle playdates with friends and Cunningham and Collicot students will have their popsicle days next week. Lots of new friendships for these young students!

Calling all kindergartners. Kindergarten Days! are August 26th through September 1st.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

In July and August , the Milton School Committee hosted two forums 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.  Please consider watching the July and August forums on Milton Access TV Video On Demand.  The forum begins approximately 5-10 minutes into the videos. There will be additional forums throughout the year not only to discuss the progress made, but to help inform the decision making process.  You can contact the School Committee anytime here.

The School Committee is in need of a Secretary to the Milton School Committee. This is a stipend position and all details can be found here. Please email Charlene Roche with any questions.

The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.

MILTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

Chief John King has asked me to share this important document with all parents/guardians. The Milton Public Schools shares the concerns of the MPD and Milton families on the issue of underage drinking.  To read more about Milton’s efforts to curb underage drinking, the law and tips for speaking with your children, please visit this website which is co-sponsored by the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

RESIDENCY REESTABLISHMENT – 6th and 9th grade

Students entering grade 6 and 9 can not start school until residency has been reestablished.  Families who have students in these categories – 6th grade, 9th grade and out of district–  are required to complete the form that has been  mailed to their homes (form is also available here ) and provide all necessary documentation. Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, has been working morning and evening hours all summer to better meet the needs of parents/guardians schedules. There are two final opportunities to reestablish residency – Tuesday August 28th from 7-10am and from 4-7pm. Ms. Burke can be reached via email or at 617-696-4470 ext 5516.

BACK TO SCHOOL DATES  

The first day of school is just 6 days away! While you enjoy the last few days of summer, please keep the following dates and information in mind:

ALL STUDENTS:
Wednesday August 29th 1st day of school 1st-12th
Friday August 31st – No School
Monday September 3rd  – No School, Labor Day
Tuesday September 4th- 1st Day of school Kindergarten/PreK
Tuesday September 11th- Beginner Instrumental Registration Night
Thursday September 13th – SEL At Home, Jane Hardin
Wednesday September 19th  – No School, Yom Kippur
MPS Facebook page
MPS Twitter account 

MHS:
Principal Mr. James Jette and Assistant Principals Mr. Ben Kelly and Mr. Brian Mackinaw
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Maureen Kennedy and Mr. Brad Spindle
Homeroom assignments mailed out in August, schedules 1st day of school
New student orientation for all freshman and new students August 27th 4-6 pm
Please see Mr Jette’s latest summer letter for all MHS information 
MHS Open House – September 12th
MHS Athletic Website
MHS Website

PIERCE:
Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding and Asst Principals Dr. Nick Fitzgerald and Mr. Kyle Alves
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Sandy Wyse and Mrs. Susan Higgins
Team Assignment Letters mailed on August 22nd
Schedules to be distributed on the first day of school
Back to school information night for rising 6th grade families  – August 28 at 6:30 PM [Parents/guardians are welcome, but not required, to attend.]
Pierce School Supply lists 
Pierce Webpage
Pierce Open House – September 20th 6:30 PM
Pierce PTO Parent Social – October 13th
Pierce PTO email contact
Pierce PTO Facebook page

COLLICOT:
Principal Mrs. Holly Concannon and Assistant Principal Mrs. Zeina Hamada
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Joanne Barker
Homeroom assignments mailed week of August 20th
Tour for New Families (grades 1-5) Tuesday, August 28th, 2pm
Popsicles with the Principal- rear playground – Tuesday, August 28th 3-4pm
Kindergarten Orientation  – Thursday, August 30th
Boohoo/Yahoo Coffee, K parents – cafeteria – Tuesday September 4th, after drop off
Back to School Picnic at Cunningham Park – Friday night, September 14th
Collicot Open House – Thursday September 27th
Collicot Webpage
Collicot PTO email
Collicot PTO Facebook page

CUNNINGHAM:
Principal Mr. Jon Redden and Assistant Principal Mrs. Bernadette Butler
Assistant Principal Mrs. Maureen Butler covering for Mrs. B. Butler’s maternity leave
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Patti Johnson
Homeroom assignments mailed week of  August 20th
Tour for new families (grades 1-5) Tuesday August 28th  – 5:15-6pm
Freeze Pops  with the Principal – rear playground – Tuesday, August 28th  – 6-7pm
PreK/K Orientation and Picnic – Thursday August 30th, 11- 2pm
Boohoo/Yahoo Coffee, K and PreK parents (library)Tuesday September 4th, after drop off
Cunningham Open House – September 25th
2nd Annual Fall Bash – Saturday October 20th
Cunningham Webpage
Cunningham PTO email
Cunningham PTO Facebook page
Cunningham School Twitter
Cunningham School Instagram

GLOVER:
Principal Karen McDavitt and Assistant Principal Sara MacNeil
Administrative Assistant Ms. Moira Downes
Homeroom assignments mailed week of  August 20th
Kindergarten Orientation Thursday, August 30 (families will receive orientation time with homeroom assignment letter)
BooHoo/Yahoo Gathering (Kindergarten families) Tuesday, September 4 after drop off (front entrance)
Glover Open House- Thursday, October 4
Glover Webpage
Glover Twitter account
Glover PTO FB Page
Glover PTO email contact

TUCKER:
Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil – Girmai  and Assistant Principal Cat DesRoche
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Eileen Keaney
Homeroom assignments mailed week of August 20th
Picture Day-September 7th
Open House-September 17th
Tucker School Supply lists
Tucker Webpage
Tucker  PTO email contact
Tucker  PTO Facebook page

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Next Wednesday, August 29th, Milton High School will officially begin Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).  All MHS students will have a device to use in class and at home. To ensure the student devices were stored in a safe spot MPS Educational Technology Director, AJ Melanson, reached out to local businesses to see if they would help with this initiative.   Steve Sullivan, Sullivan Insurance, and Bill Resnick, Proforma, jumped at the opportunity to support the high school. Steve and Bill recruited the Milton Fruit Center, Coffee Break Cafe, and Walter Timilty to fund this initiative. Together the team designed and purchased the backpacks  for all MHS students. A big thank you to  all of the sponsors, Sullivan Insurance, Proforma, Milton Fruit Center, Coffee Break Cafe, and Walter Timilty, for their support and a special thanks to Steve Sullivan and Bill Resnick for leading this initiative. 

If your student will be loaning a Chromebook and has not yet picked it up, please make arrangements for your student to bring their signed Chromebook Loan Agreement to pick up their Chromebook in the MHS Auditorium on our final pick up day, August 27  from 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.

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The Milton High School 2018 musical production is Les Miserables!  On Thursday, August 30th at 4pm there will be an optional Audition Information Session & Workshop for any student thinking about auditioning .  On Tuesday, September 4th at 4:30 we will hold auditions (sign up at the door!). We are also looking for a small group of students in grades 3, 4, or 5 who might be interested in playing children’s roles in the musical. Any student who might be interested in auditioning for the musical can contact Kevin Black, director with questions or to request an audition info packet! 

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. Ms. Harden will discuss ways to help parents and guardians navigate some of the social and emotional challenges that their children and adolescents face on a daily basis. She will offer strategies and provide concrete examples of how parents/guardians can develop constructive dialogues with their children in ways that foster essential social-emotional skills.   

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

SEL Director Laurie Stillman shares the following. Teens are under a lot of stress these days from a host of social, technological, family and academic pressures.  Unfortunately, unremitting stress can lead to unwanted behaviors such as substance use, risk-taking, poor academic performance and mental illness. While stress affects everyone, not everyone has the necessary coping skills to effectively handle their anxiety when it arises.  To help teens better cope with stressful situations, the first step is to help them recognize and label their feelings, understand their triggers, and brainstorm about how to relieve or prevent stressful situations the next time.

Two ways to help them identify and address stressful situations in healthier ways are to: Encourage teens to keep a Stress Journal (above is a sample chart they can keep to help them recognize their triggers so that they can avert them or better cope with them) and encourage them to engage in anxiety-reducing activities on a regular basis, such as meditation or yoga.  There are a few free “apps” that are available on both ioS and Android devices that teens can take advantage of. Make sure you review and approve them before recommending them to your child. Calm is a well-regarded meditation app; Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness; Yoga.com studio app and Super Stretch Yoga- for younger kids. 

FOOD AND NUTRITION

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 pays $15.05 per hour. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514)  for more information. ​

BUS UPDATE

We have finalized bus routes for the 2018-19 school year (MHS/Pierce routes , Cunningham/Collicot routes, Tucker/Glover routes). Please review all routes as many routes have been updated, stops have been moved and times altered. It is important to review the new stops and times to ensure a smooth start to school. Bus passes were mailed the week of August 20th. If you have not received your bus pass by Friday,  August 24th, please email new MPS Transportation Director Rachel Schewe

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Fifth Annual Dan Breen Memorial 5K Red Shoe Run presented by Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton is a run and walk in memory of our team member who passed away in 2013.  All funds raised support education and equipment for the Emergency Department staff for disaster preparedness and haz-mat training initiatives. The event starts at Cunningham Elementary school at 10am on Saturday, September 8th.  Registration is $30 in advance online  or $35 day of. Registration and bib pick up opens at 9am in the Cunningham cafeteria on the day of the event.

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The Activities committee of the MSAPC is preparing for a busy fall! We plan to have Coalition tables at the following events and would welcome help staffing them for 1 to 2 hours (depending on your interest). It’s an easy gig and simply requires a smiling face as you sign-up folks for our newsletter mailing list! (If you are interested, training will be provided.) In addition to helping staff a table, we also have some easy volunteer tasks to help promote Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse between now and the walk/run on Saturday, October 20.

There are 4 volunteer opportunities… will you pitch in and help out?
Milton High School Open House, Wednesday, Sept 12, 6:30pm (1 to 2 hour shift)
Pierce Middle School Open House, Thursday, Sept 20, 6:30pm (1 to 2 hour shift)
Celebrate Milton Sunday, Sept 30 Noon to 4:00pm (1 to 2 hour shift)
Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse Sat., Oct 20, 10am (1 to 2 hour shift)
If interested or for more information, please email us.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton  will hold its ninth annual Walk for Wellness, Health Fair and Family Fun Day on Saturday, September 22, from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm at the hospital, located at 199 Reedsdale Road, Milton. The family-oriented, health and wellness event starts at 9:30 am with registration for a 5K  or one mile walk which will start at 10 am from the hospital’s Highland Street parking lot.

Participants from last year’s Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton’s Walk for Wellness at the finish line. Photo by Faith Ninivaggi.

A community health fair in the hospital’s main lobby will begin at 11 am. Health screenings, including hearing and vision tests, blood pressure checks and blood glucose tests will be available as will displays and information from area health and wellness providers. Attendees will also have the opportunity to get behind the controls of a surgical robot, like the one BID-Milton’s surgeons use. The walks will be followed by family-oriented events including face painting, children’s obstacle course, tours of several emergency response vehicles and DJ entertainment  and a free lunch will be available starting at 12 noon.

Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster will once again stop by and be available to meet and be photographed with kids of all ages from 11:15 am – 12:15 pm.

Returning this year will be the Teddy Bear Clinic, a hit at the event last year. Children can bring their sick or injured bears to be evaluated and treated by BID-Milton Emergency Department staff. The Walk for Wellness is being sponsored by BID-Milton’s and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Weight Loss Surgery Programs. Funds raised at the event will go towards the programs. Visit the hospital’s website to download registration forms. Registration is $10 per walker, except children under the age of 12 who are free.

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The Collicot School library will be the site of two free support programs for families offered by Joanna’s Place. As co-founder of the Good Grief Program, Program Director of Joanna’s Place Maria Trozzi brings decades of expertise as a trusted clinician, national expert and respected author, helping families and school communities face stressful life events. Trozzi’s Circle programs have promoted resilience in vulnerable families for more than two decades. All programs are at no cost to families.

Circle-S is a unique and exciting, FREE support group serving children whose siblings have a disability or a significant special need. 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. Circle-S is facilitated by Lauren Bartolotti, Program Manager of the Autism Center at Boston Medical Center; curriculum developed by Maria Trozzi, former co-founder of the Good Grief Program. Circle-S will run on Wednesdays from 6pm-8pm, for 10 weeks starting October 17th.

Circle-G (for grief) offers comprehensive family support where children (ages 6-18) are surrounded by others facing the death of a parent or a sibling. It’s about mastering coping skills when facing stressful life events. The Circle is fun, powerful & assures children they are not alone. They come with their parent, enjoy a pizza supper, and maybe, for the first time, join other children who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling. Circle- G was created and developed by Maria Trozzi and is faciitated by Lauren Bartolotti who has helped families cope with stressful life events. Circle-G will run on Mondays from 6-8pm, for 10 weeks starting on October 15th. Registration for either Circle is easy. Call or email Mary Boyle at 781-413-5141 to reserve your spot today.

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Food, fun, and football will be on the menu on Wednesday, October 17th, at Granite Links Golf Club as the Milton Library Foundation presents its annual gala to benefit the Milton Public Library.   After music , hors d’oeuvres and dinner, legendary sports personality Upton Bell will regale the audience with some of the colorful stories contained in his book, “Present at the Creation: My Life in the NFL and the Rise of America’s Game”.  The Gala will also honor the citizen volunteers who served on the Library Study and Building Committees leading up to the 2009 reopening of the Library. Tickets, along with sponsorship and advertising opportunities, can be found here

The Milton Public Library has activities and events for children all month long!

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.

ATHLETICS

The fall season is upon us and tryouts have begun. Please see the Milton Wildcats website for all athletic updates.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen Spaulding, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen McDavitt, James Jette, Cat DesRoche,  Jaclyn Germano, Laurie Stilman, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Karen Cahill, Marti McKenna, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Mike Zullas, Bob McCrystal, Cecelia Pukt and  Sara Truog.

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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