From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 28, 2019
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Next week we will celebrate National School Breakfast Week in the Milton Public Schools. Director of Food Services Jackie Morgan has planned fun events at each of our schools next week to encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast. We know that when students start the day with a nutritious breakfast, they start the day ready to learn and when parents rely on the School Breakfast Program, they can be assured that their child will receive a healthy breakfast every day.
- MPS offers breakfast at every school, every day, for all students K-12, for twenty minutes before school begins.
- There is no need to sign up for breakfast and we have breakfast supervisors in our cafeteria’s each day with our students.
- School breakfast is an excellent opportunity to ensure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal at the start of each day at a reasonable price as we offer a complete breakfast for $1.25.
- There is no charge for students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.
Look for our Celebrity Chefs at each school throughout next week. If you haven’t tried school breakfast, this is a great week to start!
For more helpful nutrition information, you won’t want to miss our next PARENT Speaker Series event entitled: Romaine Calm: Tips to Feed Your Family for Health. Registered dietician, Tara McCarthy’s talk will give parents the tools they need to give their child the nutrition they need to grow and thrive.
You won’t leave hungry as we will be featuring smoothies, sweet potato bread and our Food Service intern’s new chocolate banana bars at the end of the event. Please join us on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30pm at MHS for this valuable discussion!
Over the last 5 weeks, the School Committee has held 5 Public Forums on Space with hundreds of Milton residents in attendance. Thank you to all who attended, asked questions and offered suggestions. If you were unable to attend a forum, you can stay informed with the help of the links below:
- The most recent New England School Development Council (NESDEC) data and the January 16th DRA presentation to School Committee.
- Watch the School Committee Public Forum from January 23rd On Demand.
- Read this Weekly Update each Thursday, where School Committee news and information is posted.
- Attend or watch School Committee meetings on Milton Access TV (add link)
- Refer to the School Committee section of MPS website where all past presentations are posted.
- Reach out to the School Committee at anytime via email.
The School Committee submitted a warrant article to the Special Town Meeting on February 25th asking for the formation of a School Building Committee. The article was approved and the Town Moderator will begin to appoint members to the School Building Committee. Residents with technical expertise are invited to apply to serve on the committee by contacting Bob Hiss, the Town Moderator. The School Committee will continue to discuss a course of action to address the short and long term needs of the system. The next public forum on space and enrollment is scheduled for Thursday, March 7th at 7pm at Milton High School.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
Meg Tobacsko from the MWRA visited the Environmental Science Class at MHS this week. We discussed how water arrives at our tap and how Deer Island treats waste water after each flush. Students were asked to demonstrate how tissue, toilet paper and the so called “flushable wipes” are processed in our sewer system and surprised to see that only toilet paper actually breaks apart. One student commented that this was “riveting” and “eye opening”. We are so lucky to have Ms. Tobacsko come to our class each year. She is an amazing presenter who skips over the usual power point presentation and gets the kids involved with hands on activities that truly make them appreciate both their tap water and how fortunate we are to have a treatment facility like Deer Island in our community.
On February 13th, The Young Men’s Group was fortunate enough to have Dr. Rev. Ray Hammond visit. Dr. Hammond is the founder and pastor at Bethel AME Church in Roxbury. Prior to accepting the call to ministry Dr. Hammond practiced emergency medicine. Dr. is a native of Philadelphia, a gradate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and currently serves on the boards of several organizations including The Yawkey Foundation, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and BMC Health System, Inc. Dr. Hammond spoke to the boys about many topics, but his central theme was giving back to your community and making a career out of something that you love doing and that also helps others.
Then on February 14th, The Young Women’s Group was visited by Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins. DA Rollins is the chief law enforcement officer for Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop. She is the first woman elected to that position and the first woman of color to ever serve as a Massachusetts District Attorney. Rollins’ dynamic energy and realness kept YWG fully engaged in her presentation. Rollins stayed with the girls for well over an hour and delivered a strong message of the value of putting time and effort into your passions. Rollins talked at length about the reform that is needed in the criminal justice system and how many of the laws disproportionately affect those who are economically disadvantaged and minorities and what she is doing to try to change that. Rollins’ message to the girls was to be fully invested in the work that you are passionate about, maintain balance in your life, and be consistent with your time, all while maintaining balance in order to keep your energy moving forward.
We are pleased to present the 2019-2020 Milton High School Program of Studies. Course selection for next year is an exciting time for students, parents and the MHS staff. We hope all involved engage in thoughtful conversations about different offerings, possible career paths and post-secondary plans. It is a time for students to think about topics or areas that inspire them and spark a passion for learning. Our goal is to develop lifelong learners and fully prepare our students for the many opportunities that exist beyond Milton High School. MHS parents and guardians can read the full course selection letter here.
Before vacation, Pierce hosted Mr. Doug Ryan and Historia Antiqua at school for three days. Mr. Ryan has an incredible collection of ancient artifacts known as Historia Antiqua, a traveling museum that has been exciting Pierce 6th graders for the past few years. The Historia Antiqua museum consists of reproductions and replicas of artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Museum items include full size replicas of armor and weapons, scale models of siege machines, reproductions of statuary, pottery, glassware, coins, representations of wall paintings and mosaics, funerary items, and other pieces.
The museum is an impressive vision and all who enter the library are wowed by the various exhibits. Students engage in Mr. Ryan’s presentation, as well as the scavenger hunt that allows them to focus their exploration and are given an opportunity to try on traditional clothing and armor. Mr. Ryan, in collaboration with our sixth grade social studies teachers Ms. Connell, Ms. Dann and Ms. Devin, assist students as they engage in the presentation, explore the museum, complete their scavenger hunts and go back in time.
The Pierce Global Celebration was a huge success, with many thoughtful and entertaining performances by students. If you were not able to attend and are interested in seeing a recording, Choral Director Julia Hanna uploaded the videos for all to see. Part 1 is all of our talented student performers, and Part 2 is our guest performance by Mr. Bassem Rashidi.
On Monday of this week, 6th graders at Pierce were a captive audience to Attorney Dilday (Ms. Jarrett’s father), who came to share his experiences as a member of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the Civil Rights Movement. He spoke of nonviolent training, protest and the courage it took to make change and bring more rights to more individuals. On Tuesday, Ms. Borde, Ms. Jarrett and Ms. Martland’s students gathered in the library for a Read In. Students learned about the origin of Read Ins, and how they came about to bring attention to the lack of diversity in the curriculum in schools across the country. Students engaged in a children’s story on Jackie Robinson and learned about and participated in call and response. Thank you to our 6th grade teachers for facilitating this learning opportunity for our students.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
A few weeks ago, Ms. Mawn’s 3rd grader’s “watch out words” included “plane” and “plain.” When asked to come up with sentences to distinguish between the two, students settled on plain bagels. The joke took off, and ever since then, their vocabulary sentences have included plain bagels as often as possible. To celebrate the class love of plain bagels, the students voted to celebrate “Plain Bagel Day” as a reward they earned for working well together as a class and earning pom-poms. The Cunningham 4th graders decorated visors to become members of the Plain Bagel Shop team, did bagel shop math incorporating fractions into bagels, and enjoyed a snack (from home) of plain bagels and an assortment of toppings.
Mme Theobald’s Collicot 4th graders recently completed their Black History Month Interview Projects. Students conducted research in French on a famous person in Black History. Students worked as partners to create an interview script for an interviewer and an expert. When the interviews were written, students recorded them using the video feature in Seesaw and families were able to see these amazing projects in their students Seesaw accounts. We’re pleased to share 3 excellent student projects here – enjoy these “Bonjour Amerique” (Good Morning America) interviews! Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
The annual Glover Book Swap took place the week before February break. Glover families donated gently used books from home and all Glover students had the opportunity to swap a book for a new title to read over break. What a fun way to discover a new book during break while keeping your literacy skills sharp! Thank you to our generous parents who organized another successful swap.
For Valentine’s Day, Ms. Rooney’s Cunningham 3rd graders worked in groups to engineer and design candy boxes. The challenge? Work together to create a box sturdy enough to hold an entire bag of candy hearts when the box was picked up. They worked collaboratively in groups and each group created a unique design that worked! Since the candy hearts were not a treat for school, they finished up with a healthy snack from home.
The 3rd Annual BoomWriter Bee kicked off on Monday, February 25th! All students in grades 4 and 5 across the district will participate in this collaborative and engaging online writing contest. This year the BoomWriter featured author is Nick Bruel, author of the Bad Kitty series. Children began by reading chapter 1 of a story written by Bruel, then this week worked on chapter 2. A voting process will anonymously select a winning chapter each week. At the end of the project, we will have a published book written by many of our students. All students along the way will have the opportunity to provide feedback and determine the direction of the story, thus making it a truly collaborative writing process.
Mrs. Slater’s Cunningham kindergarten class loves author Jerry Pallota’s books. So what did they do? They campaigned to bring him to school for an assembly! Through the generosity of The Milton Cultural Council (MCC), Donors Choose, Cunningham families and the Cunningham PTO, Mr. Pallotta visited the Cunningham School this past week. Jerry is a children’s author who has written over 90 books and his most recent Who Would Win? Series has been a huge hit. Jerry is an amazing storyteller and presenter and students, staff and parents enjoyed his visit. We love Jerry Pallotta!
Thank you to the Tucker Tigers who greeted our School Committee members last night at the meeting held in Tucker School library. Students answered questions and shared what it means to be a Tucker Tiger. They finished up with an impressive musical performance! Pictured top L-R are Layla Raymond, Delia Henry, May Fundling and bottom L-R are Georgia Manning, Zach Polanci and Ale Tuozzolo.
FIRST GRADE INFORMATION NIGHTS
There are two opportunities for parents and guardians of current kindergarteners to learn about 1st grade in the Milton Public Schools.
On March 4th, in the MHS Auditorium at 6:30, please join us for 1st Grade Information Night. Parents of current kindergarten students will learn about our two first grade programs: the English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will also explain the Assignment Plan, Lottery (if needed) and the Timeline. The night will end with a Q/A session.
Then on Monday, March 11th, the Milton Public Schools will hold a STEM Information Night. Kindergarten students and their parents are welcome to attend. During STEM Information Night, attendees will be given an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity. STEM Information Night will take place in the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria and will run from 6:30-7:30 PM. You may enter through the back doors of the building beginning at 6:30 PM. Due to limited space during this event, we ask that you make efforts to leave siblings of current kindergarteners at home. We hope to see you there! Please contact Elementary Science Coordinator Ellen Lohan with any questions.
MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Milton Community Schools students enjoyed a variety of activities during February Vacation Camp at Tucker and Cunningham/Collicot schools. Campers received a special visit from Ecology of Sound where they learned about sounds of the Amazon jungle, built their own instruments and participated in a brief showcase. Campers also enjoyed hands-on art projects, cooking activities and even decorated their own super hero capes!
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
Tickets are now available for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books” on April 6th at Lombardos! The MFE has exciting plans for our libraries as we bring our libraries into the 21st century!
Feeling lucky? Well then take a chance on a Jeep and help the MFE continue to support the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools! The MFE is selling raffle tickets (only 500 of them!) for a chance to win a Jeep (or $25,000). Contact Liddie Sutter via email, reach out to any MFE board member or stop into any of our 6 schools during the school day to purchase a raffle ticket.
Do you wonder what your students are doing online, or who they are communicating with? The best and most effective way to monitor your student’s online activity is to speak with them. However, there are several alternative ways you can monitor your student’s online activity. Director of Instructional Technology AJ Melanson shares some tips here.
One of the easiest method for checking where your student has been online is to check the browser history. In most browsers hold down the control key and press “H” to open the browser history. This link provides instruction on how to view the history of a browser in the most popular web browsers (desktop & mobile).
If you have a savvy student who knows how to clear the browser’s history or uses incognito windows (cannot track the history), PC Mag ranked the best Parental Control Software for 2019. You may also find useful information in this article from Parenting.com titled How to Spy on Your Child Online.
UPCOMING MPS DATES
Feb 28 Tucker Activities Fair, Pierce Science Fair, Cunningham Science Fair
Mar 1 Movie Night to Benefit the Sophomore Class
Mar 4 1st Grade Information Night
Mar 5 PARENT Speaker Series “Romaine Calm”
Mar 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Mar 7 Early Release K-12
Mar 9 Minority Recruitment Fair
Mar 11 1st Grade STEM Night
Mar 12 Grades 6-12 Concert
Mar 13 Glover Science Fair
Mar 13 Grades 7-12 Concert
ART AND MUSIC
March is Music in Our Schools Month and we plan to celebrate all month! Several events celebrating student accomplishments in musical performance are planned by the Milton Music Department during the month of March. Yesterday marked the first of these events when the Tri-M Music Honor Society of Milton High School, Chapter 2952 welcomed eighteen students into of the National Association for Music Education’s service organization. Student members of Tri-M are carefully selected on the basis of scholarship, character, leadership, service and mastery of their instrument. You can watch the Tri-M ceremony here.
Among the events this month are concerts and festivals taking place in Milton schools and with affiliated organizations. All are welcome to attend!
February 28: MHS Chorus Performance at the Massachusetts State House
February 28-March 2: MMEA All State Conference & Festival
March 6: Collicot K-2 General Music Showcase
March 8: Cunningham K-2 General Music Showcase
March 8-9: Eastern District Junior Festival
March 12: MIOSM Chorus Concert, Grades 6 & 9-12
March 13: MIOSM Chorus Concert, Grades 7-12
March 19: MIOSM Strings Concert, Grades 5-12
March 21: MIOSM Band Concert, Grades 5-12
March 22: Glover K-2 General Music Showcase
March 22-23: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 22: Eastern District General Music Chorus Festival
March 29: Boston Youth Symphony Field Trip for all Grade Four Students
On Sunday, April 28th , Milton FAME is pleased to host a unique fundraising event, our fifth annual mattress sale! Our goal is to sell over 100 mattresses, with proceeds going directly to benefit music in the Milton Public Schools. If you, or anyone you know might be in need of a mattress, please save the date and visit our mobile showroom at the Pierce Middle School Gym. This is the time to buy and save up to 50% off retail, all while supporting our students. There will be 29 sets on display and a team of experts on hand to answer any questions you may have. More details to follow as the date gets closer.
Please see our athletics website for all up to date sports information. Please note the new link for athletics – https://sites.google.com/miltonps.org/athletics/home.
The Boys Basketball Team, seeded #14 in Division II South, beat Nauset Regional High School 60-56 this week to advance to the next round of the MIAA Tournament. They will take on #3 Hanover High School , in Hanover, on Thursday night at 6:30pm. Tickets will be $7/adults and $5/students and senior citizens. Wear red to support the team!
On Saturday, February 16th, the Milton Girls Cross Country Team traveled to the Reggie Lewis Center for the Eastern Mass Championships and came home with 2 first place finishes and a second place finish! Jayda Dillon placed 2nd in the 300 meter with a time of 41:03. Ava Duggan won the Eastern Ma Division III Mile with a time of 5:01. Elise O’Leary won the Eastern MA Division III 1000 meter with a time of 2:57. One week later, on February 23rd, Elise O’Leary became the 2019 All-State Champion with a time of 2:53:32! See her interview after the race here.
Also, as a reminder, Spring Sports start on Monday, March 18th. Deadline to register is Friday, March 8th. All of this information and more can be found on the Athletics Website
The MHS Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive on Saturday, March 2nd from 9am – 12pm at Milton High School. To arrange pick-up of a can/bottle donation at your home, please send the team an email.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
Come join Chef Jenny Devivo in THE KITCHEN at The Boston Public Market on Sunday March 31st at 10am for Teens Cook: A Hands on Seasonal Cooking Class. Teens & tweens ages 12-18 will learn about local food and the journey it makes from the farm to the table. In these hands-on classes, young adults will explore and taste the seasonal bounty of the region through the local vendors of the Boston Public Market. Each class will feature different cooking skills and two hands-on cooking experiences. Attendees will be able to eat what they’ve made.
The Forbes House Museum 2019 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest is open for students in grades K-8. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 12 and the awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 19 at the museum. All details on this year’s drawing and writing topics can be found here.
The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! For over 30 years, the Milton Young Musicians Festival has encouraged young people with an interest in music and fostered their developing performance skills. All participants receive feedback from trained adjudicators, and a medal at the end of the day. Recipients of the Gold Medal are invited to perform in a concert the next weekend. The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton. The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.
On Saturday March 23rd from 9:30am-1:00 pm at the Milton Public Library, The Friends of the Milton Public Library and Vigorito Chess present the 8th annual Chess-a-Palooza! Open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players. Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito. Four round Swiss-style tournament – every player plays all four rounds and players of all abilities are welcome. Limited to first 50 entrants with trophies for top 3 players in each section: K-1, Grades 2-3, and Grades 4-5. Registration information can be found here.
On Saturday, March 16th at 7pm Milton Community Concerts presents the fifth annual “Sing For Their Supper” free benefit concert at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. Ten local opera singers will be performing a variety of songs, arias, and musical theater selections to raise money for the Milton Food Pantry and the Milton Residents Fund. Admission is free; an offering will be taken.
Milton’s annual Sweetheart Dance for girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 5th from 6:30 – 8:30pm at Cunningham Hall. The dance is hosted by Girl Scout Troop 76176, who will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help create a Youth Center in Milton. Tickets are $20 per couple (plus $5 for additional siblings) and can be purchased at the door. Get ready for a fun night of dancing, games, and photo ops to support a great cause for our community!
As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition. Please read about some of their accomplishments below:
Students: Every year 351 eighth graders are chosen represent their Massachusetts city or town as a Project 351 Ambassador. This year’s Ambassador from Milton is Hokulani Panerio-Langer who will be kicking off her spring project to benefit Cradles2Crayons in the coming weeks. Hoku is hopeful that with the community’s support, including places of worship and schools, she can make this service project a huge success. Previous recent Ambassadors include Marykate Mylod and Dominique Thomas who also served in the role of Alumni Leadership Council this past year while Marykate was the Ambassador. Dominique’s mother Elizabeth Thomas kindly shares some words about Hoku here. Stay tuned for more information on how you can help Hoku help Cradles2Crayons.
Volunteers: Thank you to Rodman for Kids, who once again generously donated 50 tickets to the Milton Public Schools to last week’s School of Rock at The Boston Opera House! 43 students and 7 chaperones were able to attend this production free of charge thanks to Rodman for Kids. The faces of these MPS students tell the story! And a special thank you to Dr. McNeil-Girmai for arranging this outing during vacation.
If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.
Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Cat DesRoche, Sarah Slater, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Sara MacNeil, Larry Jordan, Dawn Sykes, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Nancy Warn, Nicole Rooney, Holly Mawn, Karen Cahill, Jackie Morgan, Karen Plunkett, Amy Tom, Julia Hanna, Karen McDavitt, Ellen Lohan, Laurie Dunn and Martha Sandoval.
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