April 4th, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date April 4, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

We have recently completed kindergarten registration and 1st grade placement procedures for 2019-20.  We will present this information to the School Committee on April 10th and share it with the MPS community below.

First Grade Placement/Program Choice: In response to parental requests, for the 2019-2020 school year, there will be 10 English Innovation and 6 French Immersion classes in the district.  The classes are distributed as follows: Collicot 2 English and 2 French; Glover, 3 English and 2 French; Cunningham, 3 English and 1 French; Tucker, 2 English and 1 French.  

With this distribution, we have waiting lists for French at Cunningham, Glover and Tucker, but we have available seats in French at Collicot.  Following our usual placement procedure, we have held a district wide lottery for those on the waiting lists and will offer parents and guardians the option of moving to Collicot in order to enroll in French Immersion. Those who opt to move will maintain their positions on waiting lists in their home schools in case seats open between now and the beginning of the school year.

Initial placement letters went out this week.  Offers to those on waiting lists are beginning and will continue until either all available seats are filled or until the waiting list is exhausted.   

Kindergarten Enrollment/Placement: For the 2019-2020 school year, we again have a large incoming Kindergarten population that will require us to have 17 Kindergarten classes:  5 each at Glover and Collicot, 4 at Cunningham, and 3 at Tucker. Students will be placed in the schools in their home districts with the “split districts” being used to equalize class size. Additionally, those families who have requested placement outside of their home districts will have their requests considered, if class sizes permit. School assignment letters will be sent out mid April.

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We are thrilled to share that our Pierce Future Problem Solving Team placed 2nd (writing) & 1st (action plan) and have been invited to the International FPS meet at UMASS Amherst! Congratulations to Tucker Korman, Jasmine Bethea,  Ella Cantor and their teacher Nicole Lauria.  A cheer for our  individual competitors as well (Kate Piccirillo , William Nass, Jack Concannon, Jackie Segall, Ida Zoll , Victoria Kirkham and Mudia Odion-Ukpebor) who will receive their scores in the coming weeks.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

This weekend is the MFE Celebration 2019! We are looking forward to a fun and entertaining evening with the MPS community in support of our schools. More information on the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books” can be found here.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday, April 1oth at 7pm at Milton High School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.  

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

If you have not had the chance to read the article Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take by Benjamin Conlon, I strongly recommend you do. It brilliantly captures the role smartphones play in the day to day lives of our students.  

We are also excited to share that on April 11th, MPS will be hosting internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant and award-winning author Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair at 6:30 PM in the MHS auditorium.  This session will resonate with adults with children of ALL AGES who want to learn more about how to navigate the social and emotional impact technology has on families. For more information regarding Dr. Steiner-Adair please click here.  

THE MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

One of our town’s amazing resources, the Milton Public Library, celebrates 10 years in their new building this weekend. Please consider attending some of the events throughout the weekend. We appreciate the MPL and our students and staff say Happy Birthday, MPL!

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Last Friday, Milton High School celebrated “Spread the Word to End the Word” by supporting the elimination of the derogatory use of the “r-word” from everyday speech and promoting the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. Staff and students were encouraged to support this movement by wearing tie-dye to school. Before school and during advisory over 200 MHS students made the online pledge to end the use of the “r-word” and wore orange ribbons to show their support. Mr. Lopresti and his students did a great job capturing these moments on Friday and we share some of these images with you below and at the top of today’s blog. 

PIERCE UPDATES

The Pierce Math Team.

The Pierce Math Team finished their season with a strong showing at their last meet at Coakley Middle School in Norwood last week. The team worked well together all winter with advisors Sarah Pullia and Jim Moonan and are excited about next season.

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Where were you at 3:45 this morning? If you have a Pierce 8th grader, you were probably sending them off on the annual 8th grade Washington, DC trip! We know our students will have a wonderful time and we can’t wait to share their adventures with you next week. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

On Friday, March 29th, our MPS 4th graders traveled to Boston’s Symphony Hall where they were treated to a world class performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Our students were introduced to Conductor Thomas Wilkins, who welcomed the students and held them in rapt attention with his knowledge and humor.

The theme of this year’s concert was “Rule Number 1: Always Take the Scenic Route.” Wilkins recalled a story from when his children were younger and how they would get in the car and have the kids tell the parents which way they should turn, often ending up in new unchartered territory which made for a wonderful adventure.  The selections reflected this sense of curiosity and creativity and included “Procession of the Nobles” by Rimsky-Korsakov, Grofe’s “Sunrise” from Grand Canyon Suite, Elgar’s “Nimrod,” David Dzubay’s modernistic “Ra!” and the crowd favorite, Rossini’s Overture to William Tell!

All agreed that it was Conductor Wilkins’ approachability and relatability to both children and the beautiful music that created a child-centered, memorable and very enjoyable student experience at Symphony Hall.  Children enjoyed making close connections with the music and were able to build upon previously learned knowledge from music class. A special thank you goes out to our 4th grade classroom teachers and assistants, parent chaperones and elementary music teachers, April Allegrezza and Colleen Martin who accompanied the students to Symphony Hall and to the elementary PTOs for providing bus transportation for the trip. 

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Each year the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority offers a poster contest for students who live or attend school in a community served by the MWRA. This year the theme of the poster contest was STEM. Kindergarten 1st and 2nd graders were asked to create a poster that showed how science is used at the MWRA while 3rd-5th graders created posters that showed how technology is used at the MWRA. Many students were inspired by their 1st grade classroom visit from the MWRA. There were several finalists for the poster contest from Collicot. Congratulations to Esme Neugebauer(4th grade); Olivia Doherty, Theresa Gervasi, Kerianne Fogerty, Ayden Hoang, Samuel Lee, Matthew O’Melia, Jocelyn Platt (2nd grade); and Savannah Delaney, Brenna Monaghan (1st grade). 

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This past Monday we were honored to support Donate Life Information Night. MPS parent and director of transplant nursing in the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, Laura O’Melia organized the evening and was joined by others in our community to share stories and information around organ donation. Laura shares her personal story here and invites all in the MPS community to consider registering to be an organ donor at this link. The presentation was recorded by Milton Access TV and we will share it as soon as it is available. 

April is National Donate Life Month and The Milton Public Schools is proud to partner with Laura and others to bring this information to our community. I’m thrilled to say that Laura shared that we’ve had 11 people register to become an organ donor as of April 1st. Throughout April, we will continue to share personal stories, donation information and the link to register

INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS

Tuesday, April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day and our schools participated in  “Light it Up Blue” for Autism Awareness. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.

Students decorated the halls to encourage students to show their support by wearing blue. Classes read books and shared activities to foster autism awareness.  

On Wednesday, Cunningham students in 4th grade enjoyed the new unit on autism that was added to the long-standing Celebrating our Differences program. For one hour, students rotated through stations, experiencing just a bit of what someone with autism might experience in everyday life. At the first station, students wore headphones and watched a video produced by autism speaks on the iPad allowing them to experience walking down a busy street from the perspective of a neurotypical person and then walking down the same street from the perspective of a person with autism. Almost all of the student’s favorite station was understanding sensory differences and experimenting with different tactile mediums to see things that were calming or bothersome to their unique sensory system.  At another station, students discussed differences and things we all might be good at or struggle with. At the final station, students learned appropriate terminology for communicating with a friend with autism and learned that being direct and kind is an effective strategy.

In the second hour, the students heard from speaker Elizabeth Avery, who shared her experiences growing up with autism. The students participated in a Q&A session with Elizabeth to ensure they understood and had lots of great takeaways on how to be a better friend to their peers with autism. As always, the students were respectful and kind and we are so proud of them. We are excited to roll this new unit out next week at Tucker and next year at both Collicot and Glover. 

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

CARING AND CONSEQUENCES: Milton Leaders Discuss their Efforts to Reduce Substance Abuse. Please join the MSAPC on Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:30 pm at the Milton Public Library.

Since the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was established five years ago, town organizations, clergy and community residents have impressively dedicated themselves to preventing youth substance abuse and helping all residents who may be struggling with addiction and other behavioral health disorders. There is still much to learn, more work to do, and yet cause for celebration.

Recognizing the power of community awareness, MSAPC’s next meeting will locally reflect the national “Communities Talk” movement called, “Caring and Consequences: Milton Leaders Discuss Their Efforts to Reduce Substance Abuse”. A leadership panel will discuss their efforts to date and their plans for the future and will include representatives from Milton High School, Milton Police Department, Milton Health Department, Milton Hospital, and Milton’s Youth Task Force. The public is encouraged to attend this free event and ask questions of the panelists.

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition released its first Community Health Assessment in 2014. While the results exposed high numbers of households with someone in the family struggling with addiction, as well as high rates of youth binge drinking, marijuana use and adolescent depression, the data led to some impressive town-wide actions to address these issues.

Come to our next meeting, to be held on Tuesday, April 23rd at 6:30pm in the Milton Public Library, to hear what progress has been made and to inform our future priorities. If you have any questions, please reach out to Project Coordinator, Margaret Carels.  MSAPC’s website is filled with valuable information and resources.

MPS SUMMER

You’ve been waiting for it and now it’s here! Please see the Milton Summer Enrichment “At a Glance” brochure to begin planning your summer fun now. 

BUS UPDATES

The MPS Transportation Department shares that registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year will open on May 15th and close on June 14th. All registrations will be done online and every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school.  Students will not be rolled over for ridership from the current school year.  Please mark your calendars with these important dates and look for links and more information at the beginning of May. Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

UPCOMING MPS DATES

Apr 6  MFE Celebration for Education
Apr 10  Milton School Committee Meeting
Apr 11  Parent Speaker Series-Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, “The Big Disconnect-Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age”
Apr 15–19  April Recess
Apr 24  Milton School Committee
Apr 25  MHS Faculty/Student Spring Cabaret
Apr 30  Town Elections
May 1  Milton School Committee Meeting 
May 2  Scholastic Honors Night
May 6  Town Meeting Begins

The 2018-19 calendar has been adjusted due to the snow day and can be found here.   
The 2019-20 calendar has been amended and can be found here.

Parent Café – “Getting Ready for Kindergarten!” The Milton Public Schools, in partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance, will offer a free Parent Café to parents/guardians of children entering kindergarten in fall 2019, “Getting ready for kindergarten!”.  We hope you will be able to join us for one of two sessions being offered; Tuesday, May 7th from 5- 6:00 pm at Tucker Elementary School or Tuesday, May 14th from 9- 10:00 am at Cunningham Hall.

Kindergarten can be a big step for your child and we would like to share some tips to help you get them ready.  In addition to a roundtable discussion, all participants will receive helpful hints, a list of children’s book titles about kindergarten, and activities to help with language, fine motor, gross motor, kindergarten readiness and self-help skills.  Panel members will include Beth Greenawalt, Parent Coach and founder of www.Parent-Solutions.com, Susan L. Dolan, Director of Milton Early Childhood Alliance and Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison for the Milton Public Schools.  

Registration is not required but recommended.  These workshops are open to all Milton families; your child does not need to be attending a Milton Public School in the fall. To register, please email cpcmecasld@verizon.net or call Susan Dolan, MECA at 617- 696- 2262.  To complete the registration, leave your name, the session you plan to attend and a contact phone number. Your registration will be confirmed with a reply email or phone call.  Child care is not available for these sessions. 

ATHLETICS

Girls Lacrosse won their home opener 7-6 over Framingham.

Boys Tennis won their home opener 5-0 over Oliver Ames.

Unified Track will travel to Brockton High School on Tuesday, April 9, for the first ever Unified Track Meet!

All game schedules can be found on our new MHS Athletics website!   

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long

Please see the MECA Spring Newsletter, filled with many free activities and events for families. 

The Challenger League is back and better than ever!  The Challenger Division of Little League enables boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5-18, or up to age 22 (if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in the sport worldwide. All details can be found here. 

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!

Milton Historical Society‘s upcoming Patriots Day open house will held at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton MA 02186. This free event will take place on April 14th  from 1-3pm. Colonial reenactor Michael LePage will portray patriot Dr. Joseph Warren.

On Sunday, April 28th at 3pm Milton Community Concerts presents “A Message of Music”, featuring the Boston City Singers Tour Choir. This concert of classical, jazz, gospel, and African folk songs will take place at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue, and will feature a choir of 35 singers, ages 12-18, from many parts of Greater Boston. Also performing will be the Croation musical ensemble PAJDASI. Admission is free; an offering will be taken to support fundraising for their upcoming tour of the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. A reception will follow. 

The 13th Annual Natick PMC Kids Ride is on May 5th at Belkin Farms in Natick. Kids will come together to support the Jimmy Fund and benefit kids fighting cancer. PMC Kids Rides give children the opportunity to experience the joy of volunteerism and charitable giving through physical fitness and community spirit. Money raised through the event goes to the Pan Mass Challenge/Jimmy Fund, the most successful athletic fundraiser in the nation. Kids also have the option to raise funds in the name of a relative or friend fighting cancer or to dedicate their ride to a special person.

AMBASSADORS

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: Congratulations to Pierce Middle School student Will Malec, who placed in the top ten with an impressive 5th place in the statewide Geography Bee last week in Chicopee. We are proud of you,  Will!

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Ryan Madden, Glenn Pavlicek, Melissa Craven, AJ Melanson, Noel Vigue, Maureen Butler, Jon Redden, Nicole Lauria, Sarah Smith, Lindsay Shanahan, Sean Lopresti, Sarah Pullia, Laura O’Melia, Amy McKay, April Allegrezza, Ellen Lohan, Maureen Butler, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Karen Spaulding, Margaret Carels, Rachel Schewe, Liddie Sutter and Kelly Conaty.

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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