August 30, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: August 30, 2018


We have had a wonderful start to the school year. Yes, it was HOT but our students, teachers and staff rallied and worked together for a successful two days. Our food services staff and PTOs provided water and ice all day, teachers adjusted plans with classes taking place in air conditioned spaces when possible and indoor recess provided an opportunity to connect with new classmates in a quiet space. These two days of school provide students and teachers an opportunity to work together to learn new routines and schedules, establish classroom and school expectations and form bonds that will last throughout the school year and beyond. 

As you will see in the video below, our staff was excited to welcome back our over 4000 students and our students arrived with a smile, ready to learn!

Please enjoy the long weekend and we look forward to seeing all students, including our kindergarten and preschool students, on Tuesday, September 4th.


This summer,  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.


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.


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.


The MHS library received a grant from the MFE in the spring to purchase materials to support the social-emotional well being of our students. With these funds, we were able to purchase some tools similar to those found in the Take 5 room. They can be accessed by students before school, after school and during lunches at a bookshelf near the fiction section. Thank you to the MFE for always supporting our students! 


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.


Marti O’Keefe McKenna has been the MPS Family Outreach Liaison for 4 years. Ms. McKenna comes to MPS with a degree in Social Work and over thirty years experience in the field, and serves as a major point of connection for our families.  In order to establish a strong home-school connection, Ms. McKenna works closely with the school registrar, principals, teachers and staff to identify families new to the district and communicates with families offering assistance with orientation to Milton Public Schools and providing information and materials covering a  wide range of services.

Because some families are in need of resources that reach beyond the scope of the schools,  Ms. McKenna has developed contacts and maintains working relationships with churches and temples, community groups and ancillary service providers. Ms. McKenna connects with families in crisis and helps coordinate many of our district wide charitable efforts.  She works to ensure that residents of Milton with preschool age children have access to information pertaining to all MPS preschools, including programs offered, cost of each program, lottery procedure, registration process and family expectations. She also assists with kindergarten registration.

Our  Family Outreach Liaison is a visible presence at the Milton Public Schools – beginning with reaching out to our newest members of the MPS community,  greeting families  at MSE, giving school tours throughout the year, helping to facilitate logistics at the PARENT Speaker Series as well as at individual school events. Her presence weekly at each of our schools serves to strengthen her connections with families. Many of you have shared with me a positive interaction you have had with Marti and I know many of you value her commitment to the Milton Public Schools. Please do not hesitate to contact Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email  or phone at 617 – 980 -7343 if you feel the Family Outreach Liaison can assist your family.


The MPS Adult Education Program is pleased to announce our exciting fall line up of classes. We have many new and returning instructors offering an amazing selection of Adult Education courses to serve our community and know you will find what you are looking for. Both our online registration and our mailing registration are due on September 24th. Look for our mailing coming soon to your mailbox!


On August 23rd ninety-two teachers representing all of the Milton Public Schools convened at Milton High School to take part in a voluntary technology professional development day.  The day was lead by Educational Technology Director, AJ Melanson, and the Summer Technology PD Team of Sara Doherty, Kirsten Driscoll, Jessica Jarboe, Kathleen Kelley, Michelle Kreuzer and JT Troy.  The event had a Hollywood Theme. All sixteen sessions had creative movie theme titles, teachers entered MHS on a red carpet, a Technology Star Walk of Fame led the teachers down the hall to their break-out session rooms, and popcorn and candy were available throughout the day.

The teachers took part in an opening session, four break-out sessions, and a closing session.  Teachers were provided four choices they could attend during each break-out session. Topics for sessions ranged from Google Drive and Classroom, Coding, Assistive Technology, to Personalized Learning and how technology can support Social Emotional Learning.  The event would not have been successful without the outstanding session facilitators: Amanda Brink, Maureen Butler, Chris Callahan, Sara Doherty, Kirsten Driscoll, Jessica Jarboe, Kathleen Kelley, Michelle Kreuzer, Deanna Magill, Kristin Masciarelli, AJ Melanson,  Maura Middleton, Amy McKay, Maureen McClain, Rob Moray, Marie Penner-Hahn, Claire Ritten, and Laurie Stillman. Congratulations and thank you to the committee and facilitators for a very successful day! 


Now that the kids are back in school, perhaps a part time job is in your future?

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.

We are also hiring for 2 Unit C Lunch/Recess Aide positions in the elementary schools. This job is 3 hours per day, 5 days per week when school is in session. The position pays $14.97 per hour and can be perfect for someone looking to work just a few hours a day. Please refer to our website  if you are interested in applying. 


On Sunday, September 23, Caitlin Clavette’s family, friends, colleagues, students, and art enthusiasts will be running in a 5k road race in Milton to raise funds to support the Arts programs in the Milton Public Schools and to also sustain Caitlin’s passion for celebrating children’s creativity and individuality, the arts, and physical fitness. Caitlin was a Milton Public Schools art teacher who lost her life in a tragic car accident in February of 2016. This unforeseen accident left Caitlin’s family and community in shock and despair- and her art students with a multitude of unfinished art lessons, missing their art teacher. The Caitlin Clavette Memorial Foundation, a licensed 501c3 corporation, was established in 2016 after this sudden and tragic event. Our goal is to continue Caitlin’s vision of supporting a community where all people support and appreciate the arts, respect and protect all living things, lead healthy lives through exercise and diet, and live with passion.   The first 500 pre-registered runners receive t-shirts and the cost is $30 per runner with a family cap of  $75. 


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.


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.


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. Visit the hospital’s website  to download registration forms. Registration is $10 per walker, except children under the age of 12 who are free.


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!


Please note the following DATE CHANGE: Instrumental Beginner Registration Night has been CHANGED to Thursday, September 6th, at 7:30 pm at Milton High School.  Any students wishing to start instrumental lessons, including those who pre-registered, should attend. Please contact program directors Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good with any questions. Please see the Applied Instrumental Lessons Program (ALP)  information here.


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, Bernadette Butler, Jaclyn Germano, Laurie Stilman, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Karen Cahill, Marti McKenna, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Mike Zullas, Bob McCrystal, Cecelia Pukt, Karen Hughes, Sarah Smith and JT Troy. 

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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