September 20, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 20, 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Some of you may not be aware of the history and purpose of the Milton Foundation for Education so I have asked Will Korman, the president of the MFE to share some information here.

The MFE was established over 20 years ago to make possible innovative programs and opportunities that are beyond the reach of the Milton Public School system’s budget.  The MFE raises funds to implement enriching opportunities within our schools and to support more than 4000  students and 500 employees throughout our district.

The for “The Love of Libraries” grant provided more than eleven hundred newly published quality titles for circulation, which allows more than 2200 students access to wider reading materials to help motivate learners, and support students as they develop literacy skills.

In order to raise funds for this purpose we organize several events throughout the year, including The Monster Dash,  held each year in loving memory of Sam Cichello. The Monster Dash will be held this year on October 28th and all the money raised from the Monster Dash supports science initiatives in all six schools. In the spring we host the MFE’s largest fundraiser, Celebration for Education. Over the past few years we have given large  grants to fund $20,000 worth of new non-fiction books in the elementary school libraries, funded the Wildcat Wellness Center at the high school, and spearheaded the wireless initiative which brought wireless capabilities to all classrooms throughout the district. In addition, our spring and fall grant program ensures that in nearly every classroom in every school, there are items that were requested by teachers for the benefit of their students and funded by the MFE. 

The MFE is a wonderful volunteer opportunity for all parents and guardians. If you would like to be involved on a district level with the MFE Board, please email Will Korman for more information. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has not been a School Committee meeting since my last update. You can watch School Committee meetings (and other town meetings) at your convenience on Milton Access TV .  

The Milton School Committee has a Facilities Subcommittee chaired by School Committee Member Ada Rosmarin. One of Milton Public Schools Strategic Goals is to address our Facilities needs – in particular, how we may best address the increasing enrollment and space issues in our elementary schools.  The School Committee would like to have one interested/available parent from each of our elementary schools on our Facilities Committee. The next meeting of our Facilities Committee is on Wednesday, September 26th at 5:30 pm at the Superintendent’s Conference Room at Milton High School. We will continue to meet throughout the school year. If you would consider joining this committee, please email Ada Rosmarin.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The school year is off to a great start at MHS. Please see our Club & Activity offerings this year and encourage your student to get involved! You can register here.

At left, the MHS Varsity Soccer team enjoys the 1st pasta party of the season!

WHAT’S NEW AT PIERCE?

As part of the September 11th remembrance,  Pierce students wrote and created art to honor the fallen of 9/11. There are many pieces that could be shared, here are a few to represent our student work.

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Join your Pierce pals at the Cornhole and Celebrations! parent night at the Milton Club (formerly the Hoosic Club) on Saturday, October 13th at 7pm.  Let’s have fun and raise money to support some great Pierce initiatives! Our community will come together this fall to create and install a mosaic celebrating Pierce. The money raised at this night out will support this amazing  and important community art project. Join us for fun, music, cash bar, some light bites, raffles, friends and Cornhole!  

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Pierce Clubs and PASS Classes have been announced and there are some terrific ones to check out. We hope to see many Pierce students trying something new this year! 

ELEMENTARY UPDATES

It was back to school fun at Collicot last week at the evening back to school family picnic! The Boosterthon team served as DJ for the hundreds of Collicot students and families who attended. It was a great way to start off the school year!  

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Science was in full swing at Cunningham this past week! Mrs. Caswell’s  4th grade class is working on their first Foss Science investigation, “What is Soil?” Students observed four vials of soil and recorded their observations. Observations were made describing  color, size, texture, etc. These observations were recorded in their Science notebooks. Students then added 25 mL of water to the vials and observed the water absorbing into soil. It was a great hands on lesson for our 4th graders.

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Great news for 4th grade students everywhere! The federal Every Kid in a Park program has been authorized for another year, granting fourth-graders a pass for free access to all federal lands and waters. The pass is valid for the 2018-19 school year and covers one student and up to three accompanying adults — or an entire car for drive-in parks.

UPCOMING DATES

Sep 20  Pierce Middle School Open House
Sep 25  Cunningham Open House
Sep 26  Milton School Committee Meeting
Sep 27  Collicot Elementary Open House
Sep 30  Celebrate Milton
Oct 4   Glover Open House
Oct 4   Grade 5-8 Information Night
Oct 8   No School Columbus Day
Oct 17  Early Release Day (Grades K-12), PD Day

ADULT EDUCATION

The MPS Adult Education Program is pleased to announce our exciting fall line up of classes.  To register for all fall 2018 MPS Adult Education courses go to our website  and pay online by Monday September 24th. All Course Descriptions may be found on our website.

FOOD SERVICE

The National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools. They provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free breakfasts and lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. School lunch must meet nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The current menu increases the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the school menu.

Any child at a participating school may purchase a meal through the National School Lunch Program. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced‐price meals, for which students can be charged no more than 40 cents.

We offer breakfast every school day in all of our schools.  Breakfast is free for all students who receive free and reduced lunch and it is a great way to start the day. Breakfast is $1.25 for all other students.

All children come through a computerized Point of Sale system which keeps student information private.  Students state their name in elementary school and use a PIN number in both middle and high school. More information can be found in this link.  

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Registration for After School Enrichment has reopened. At any time, you can register by the last Wednesday of the month and start the first Monday of the following month. For more information, please visit the Community Schools website.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This summer, a group of educators from Pierce, Tucker, Collicot, Cunningham, and Glover gathered to participate in rich professional development to support the roll-out of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) across all four elementary schools and Pierce Middle School. Facilitators from the May Institute worked with staff to develop PBIS systems at each school that support the overall behavioral health and social emotional learning of all students. Effective behavioral interventions are catalysts for positive change in the classroom and throughout the school community. PBIS is a proven, systems-focused approach designed to provide opportunities for all students to achieve academic and social success. PBIS is currently being rolled out in all four elementary schools and at Pierce. PBIS teams at each school have been training and supporting staff to enhance their capacity to adopt and sustain effective behavior and academic support practices. Your children have been learning about what it means to be a positive member of their school community. Be sure to ask them all about it!

TECHNOLOGY

We are supporting the Wait Until 8th initiative in the Milton Public Schools. 

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 free from a smartphone. 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.

A pledge becomes “active” once 10 or more families from a grade at a school sign. The organizers designed the pledge this way so you don’t have to fear “what if I am the only family that signs this in my kid’s grade.” This takes the pressure off because the pledge only kicks in once at least 10 families sign from your grade.

More than 8,000 families from all 50 states have said yes to waiting for the smartphone. Will you join us? Childhood is too short to waste on a smartphone. Let’s let kids be kids a little longer. Take the pledge! When taking the pledge please use the following names for each school: Collicot Elementary School; Cunningham Elementary School; Glover Elementary School; Pierce Middle School; Tucker Elementary School

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Also a reminder that parents are able to update email addresses, phone numbers and emergency contact information at any time through Plus Portals. Log on to PlusPortals. Click on your student; click on school; click demographics; click edit; and click save.

BUS INFORMATION

The late bus will begin running from Pierce the week of September 24th. This bus runs Wednesdays and Thursdays only, and departs Pierce at approximately 3:30pm. There are two buses, one serving the east and the other the west of Milton. These buses are only open to MPS students with current 2018-19 bus passes.  Please see this link with the routes. 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman shares the following. Underage drinking in Milton needs to be taken seriously and a great new resource is now available to Milton parents.   Rethink The Drinks! is a collaborative campaign developed by the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative – a group of local communities, Braintree, Milton, Quincy and Weymouth—that aims to educate our communities about the legal and health risks of underage drinking.  I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to skim it. I think you will be impressed and will want to spend some more time with it!

The website is simple, practical and full of good advice and helpful information for parents on how to speak with their teens about the potential ramifications of drinking alcohol-especially regularly or in large amounts. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Halloween is around the corner, and once again the Milton Foundation for Education is looking for artwork to print on the front of race t-shirts for the Milton Monster Dash. Create your best design and submit one entry by Wednesday, September 26th. The winner will see their drawing on race t-shirts, and help start the runners on race day, October 28th.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Tonight:

Head to the The Forbes House Museum tonight, September 20th at  6:30pm for The Boston-China Connection: A Personal Journey of Discovery. Guest speaker Thomas Paine will share stories of his family’s connection to John Murray Forbes and the start of America’s trade with China. Tom will also offer his perspective on today’s relationship between the U. S. and China, based on professional experience and personal travels. It promises to be an enlightening evening! Afterwards, stay for the Q&A session and a brief tour. $5 suggested donation, free for members, and calling 617-696-1815 for reservations is suggested.  

This Weekend:

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.  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.

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

Next Weekend:

¡CelebrateMilton! is committed to bringing diverse people together from across the community; we are determined to help make the community more interactive by promoting a deeper understanding of one another; and we are further committed to the development of new initiatives fostering social justice, peace and harmony within our town. Join the fun on Sunday September 30th at Pierce Middle School from 12-4pm.

 

In October:

Please join the Milton Board of Selectmen and the Milton Police Department in extending our heartfelt welcome and congratulations to Milton’s own, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross! The public is welcome and encouraged to join us for “Coffee With A Cop” on October 1st at 9am at Milton Council on Aging, 10 Walnut Street, Milton.

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Save the Munbax!! Join the fun in an Immersive Wizarding Salon at the Eustis Estate.  Head to our Magical Creatures Preserve on October 6, 7, 8 and join a world of fantastic beasts in an 1898 historic mansion.  Discuss the issues of the day with your fellow magicians, examine and identify magical creatures, cast spells, mix potions, learn more about divination or just explore the lovely mansion! Speak with characters throughout the event to learn more about the story and help them solve puzzles and complete tasks. And most importantly, you can help us figure out why our dear Munbax has fallen ill. Together we can SAVE THE MUNBAX! Please visit our website for more information and tickets

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Milton Parks and Recreation Dept. Presents New England Championship Wrestling On October 13th  to benefit the Parks and Rec Special Needs Programs. Get your tickets here.

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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.

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Run or walk Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse On October 20th! This is our second annual 5K to raise money for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. We are running in memory of Mike Mulcahy, a proud Miltonian and lover of the outdoors, who passed away in December 2016 after a heroic battle against addiction. Mike wants us to CRUSH substance abuse! Free t-shirts to the first 200 registrants, please register in advance here.  Race day registration starts at 9am at the Cunningham School Cafeteria and the 5k begins at 10am. We will follow the route of the Milton Road Race through the beautiful town of Milton. 

Ongoing:

Brookwood Community Farm is a working farm located in Milton and Canton. Brookwood grows food sustainably for members through a community supported agriculture (CSA) model, provides on-farm educational and community-building opportunities, and actively supports food access projects.  Fall CSA Shares are on sale now. The Fall CSA runs from September 25 to November 17 and Full Fall Share is $230 (pick up every week)while a Half shares for $128 (pick up every other week). The Fall Fruit Share is also available. The Full Share is $92 (pick up every week) and the Half Share $52 (pick up every other week).

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The Milton Art Center has sewing, quilting, drawing, figure studies, pastels, clay, comics, animation, puppetry,  screen printing, digital photography and more classes available for children and adults starting late September. Register now at our website.

ATHLETICS

It has been a light week with only a handful of games being played.

Last Friday, the Milton Wildcats Football Team came home and righted the ship, dominating the Quincy Presidents in all three phases for a win of  49-0 under the lights in the “Cage”.  The offense for the Wildcats was clicking on all cylinders, but it was the special teams and defense who set the tone, shutting down the Presidents with relentless pressure and providing excellent field position. The game opened with a bang as captain Ryan Hoey took the opening kickoff and rumbled 80 yards for a touchdown.  See the full recap here. The Wildcats travel to the South Coast to take on the Dartmouth Indians next Friday night at 7pm. Thank you to Roy Chambers for these terrific photos! 

Girls Cross Country beat Weymouth and Wellesley in their first track meet, while the boys split, beating Wellesley and dropping their match against Weymouth.

Boys Soccer dismantled Catholic Memorial on Monday night, beating the knights 3-0 with a brace from Miguel Varela.  Tim Cummings and the defensive line kept their first clean sheet and will look to continue rolling against Weymouth.

The Golf Team and the Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams travel to Braintree for their league matches tonight.  Field Hockey plays non-league opponent Notre Dame and Hingham over the next two days.

 

The Boys & Girls Cross Country teams are hosting their annual Kids Trail Run this year on Sunday, October 14th at Cunningham Park.  

The MHS Girls Ice Hockey team will be hosting a CAR WASH fundraising event on Saturday, September 29,  from 9am-12pm at the Cunningham School.

Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!

 

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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:

Staff:  MPS Math Coordinator Michelle Kreuzer shares that Pierce science teacher Allison Meleedy has been selected for the Curate Curriculum Fellowship, a curriculum review panel that Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is running.  Ms. Meleedy took the initiative to apply and was selected to participate. As many of you know, she is an outstanding teacher who goes above and beyond in her classroom. This Fellowship is a great opportunity not only for Ms. Meleedy, but also for the Pierce Science Department as she will bring back some valuable information on both the new science standards and the current curriculum options available. Thank you and congratulations to Ms. Meleedy! 

Volunteers:  The MHS Boosters is a group of parents and guardians who work throughout the year to support our athletic teams. These dedicated volunteers support our students by helping them organize regular fundraising efforts like Cans for Cats and Car Washes , keep the snack shack up and running all year and sell tons of Milton gear throughout out the year to keep our MHS school spirit high. They also organize the end of year sports banquet. Their signature fundraising event is coming soon – Swing for Sports! Please consider joining them for a day of golf at Wollaston Golf Club on Tuesday, October 16th. You’ll have a great day of golf with friends, while supporting our student athletes. Thank you to the Boosters for their enormous support of our teams.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Michelle Kreuzer, Ben Kelly, Jon Redden, Holly Concannon, Karen McDavitt, Laurie Stilman, AJ Melanson, Lori Bilewicz, Noel Vigue, Ryan Madden, Jackie Morgan, Karen Spaulding, Karen Hughes, Martha Sandoval, Will Korman, Ada Rosmarin, Suzanne Caswell, Rachel Schewe and Roy Chambers.

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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