From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date May 2, 2019
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
- 1.1 SCHOOL COMMITTEE
- 1.2 HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
- 1.3 PIERCE UPDATES
- 1.4 GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION
- 1.5 HEALTH AND WELLNESS
- 1.6 MPS SUMMER
- 1.7 BUS UPDATES
- 1.8 RESIDENCY
- 1.9 SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
- 1.10 SPECIAL EDUCATION
- 1.11 UPCOMING MPS DATES
- 1.12 FOOD AND NUTRITION
- 1.13 ATHLETICS
- 1.14 NEWS AROUND TOWN
- 1.15 AMBASSADORS
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
There is an opportunity for 5th, 6th and 7th grade families that I would like to call to your attention. If you are interested in learning ways to help your kids make healthy choices, we have the perfect research study for you! The SUPPER Project is a research study whose purpose is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their well-being. This study is being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University and is funded through the National Institutes of Health. MPS students and their families in grades 5th-7th have been invited to participate. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at TheSUPPERProject@tufts.edu with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and your name in the body of the email. A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587. All personal data will be kept confidential and participation is limited. I hope you’ll take a moment to read through the details and consider participating in the SUPPER Project.
Next week we will celebrate our dedicated teaching and school staff during Teacher Appreciation Week. We are lucky to have 6 enthusiastic school communities who will offer their thanks with meals, notes, decorations, treats and more. Please be on the lookout for information from your PTO as to how you can help recognize these dedicated individuals.
Last week we celebrated our Administrative Assistants, who serve as the 1st face you see upon entering a school and work tirelessly each school day to ensure a smooth and successful day for staff, students and families, alike. Please join me in recognizing Brad Spindle, Moshi Doane and Maureen Kennedy at MHS, Susan Higgins and Sandy Wyse at Pierce, Deb Woods at Glover, Patty Johnson at Cunningham, Joanne Barker at Collicot and Eileen Keaney at Tucker. I am grateful every day that these professionals are a part of the Milton Public Schools.
Next week we will also acknowledge the school nurses at each of our schools who care for your children daily, offering everything from a bandaid and change of clothes to support during life changing illnesses. Thank you to Kim Coughlin at MHS, Barbara
Perry and Pam Noonan at Pierce, Alison Joyce at Cunningham, Maureen LaBlanc at Glover, Jeanne Sgroi at Collicot, Kerri Joyce at Tucker and Head Nurse Margaret Gibbons for all they do to promote the health and wellness of all MPS students.
Tomorrow we will celebrate our Super Lunch Hero Staff with school based celebrations. Our food service staff is a big part of the daily routines at all of our schools and valued members of our community.
The School Committee met last night for a reorganization meeting after the Annual Town Election on April 30th. Sheila Varela will serve as Chair of the School Committee for the coming year and Dr. Elaine Craghead will serve as Vice Chair. Dr. Kevin Donahue, Ada Rosmarin, Betty White and Margaret Eberhardt will continue to serve as SC members. Thank you to Dr. Donahue for his two years of service as SC Chair. We are grateful to these Milton residents who give endless time and effort to our schools.
The next School Committee meeting is May 15th at 7pm at Collicot Elementary School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
Four Calculus Project students from Milton High School attended a STEM Day conference on Saturday, April 20th, hosted by the Boston University National Society of Black Engineers (BU NSBE) Chapter. The event was held at the BU Photonics Center. Students toured the College of Engineering and participated in hands-on and engaging STEM workshops and college preparatory activities. The event was focused on encouraging students to pursue STEM careers and fields and our students had a great time at the event.
On Friday, April 12th approximately 20 Pierce Middle School student leaders attended the Anti-Defamation League’s 25th Annual Youth Congress. This year’s theme was “Leaders in Action” and had 1,480 students from around New England in attendance. Students “explored what it means to cultivate the courage, commitment, and community to stand up and speak out against hate and injustice (adl.org).” Students had the privilege of hearing keynote speaker, Holocaust Survivor George Elbaum, share his story, and then participated in breakout groups to engage in action planning to make their schools and communities “safer and more inclusive, and ensure that hate never goes unchecked (adl.org)”. A special thank you to Ms. Huebner, our ADL Peer Leaders advisor!
The raised garden beds for vegetables, flowers, and pollinator perennials were ready for planting when the student-members of the “Green Team” came back from April break- thanks to the efforts of some Pierce community members. On a beautiful April Saturday morning three Pierce Middle School parents and three PMS scholars raked leaves, pulled up weeds, and cultivated the garden beds at the Outdoor Classroom to get it prepared for seed planting. Snow peas were planted first, followed by lettuce and radish seeds.
Students at Pierce Middle School are welcome to join the after school “Green Team” that meets on Thursday afternoons under the direction of teacher Mrs. Hupp. Students learn about pollinators, nutrition, wild bird habits and nests, and tree identification. The garden in front of the Pierce Middle School granite sign is the work of the student gardeners and the plantings were paid for by a grant from the Milton Garden Club. More good news – we’ve just learned that Pierce has received another $350 from the Milton Garden Club to further enhance the Outdoor Classroom. These funds will be dedicated to establishing our pumpkin patch! Pumpkin patches offer rich learning opportunities and, of course, a little fun in the fall. Thank you as always to our Outdoor Classroom “Fairy Godmother”- Beth Neville, Milton resident. If your child would like to join the Green Team, please email the Green Team teacher advisor Mrs. Hupp.
Four students from Pierce and one student from Collicot have advanced to the International Future Problem Solving Competition held on June 6-9th at UMASS Amherst. These students will be participating in a unique FPS tradition called the Memento Exchange. Students will have the opportunity to meet other students from all around the world and exchange mementos from their respective home region. If any local businesses have small decals, patches, pencils, pens, etc that students could bring to trade, we would love to represent the town of Milton and surrounding areas at competition. Please contact Nicole Lauria, Pierce FPS Coach to donate items to the FPS team.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
The 2nd Annual Tucker and Glover Community Dinners took place just after April break. These dinners provide an opportunity to share good food and stories and have meaningful conversation with old and new friends from both schools. The project is sponsored by the Tucker and Glover joint Diversity Committees and is adapted from a nation-wide model, The People’s Supper. This year’s dinners were as successful as the inaugural year, with new connections, new friends, endless laughs, and future play dates on the calendar. Thank you to our parent hosts and especially to Rosaura Cruz and MaryAnn Dakkak for spearheading the Community Dinners. We hope to use these opportunities to grow and build our community while celebrating our diversity.
As part of the Reach for Reading curriculum, Kindergarten teachers district-wide have been immersed in reading, writing and talking about potential careers. As part of Unit 7, ‘On the Job’, Tucker students and teachers gathered together to discuss the unit’s stories and hear from family and community members about their respective jobs. In addition to hearing from these guests, students have done their own writing after interviewing a family member about their career. These readers and writers are exceptional researchers and have thoroughly enjoyed this Unit of Study!
Congratulations to these students, who have qualified for the BoomWriter Bee International Finals. The Finals will kick off in early June and will end by the time school is out. Last year, Milton’s own Reagan Vaughn won the International Finals and the grand prize of $2500. Good luck to these finalists!
This year 5th grade students at all schools had the unique opportunity to participate in a frog dissection. The dissection lesson was taught by trained PhD scientists, Dr. Sandy Pearl and Dr. Elizabeth Bless of SEED Education. The dissection provided students the opportunity to observe how organs in the body fit together in a way that no virtual or pictorial model can achieve. By examining a frog, we learn about our own bodies and can see how the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, bones, etc all fit together to create one beautifully complex animal. As you can see, students learned a great deal and had a lot of fun dissecting frogs!
May 1st was walk to school day at Collicot and Cunningham. Staff, parents and students had a great time walking to school together on a bright spring day. Thank you to the Milton Police Department and the many volunteers from both schools for organizing a fun and safe morning for the almost 1300 students who walk, bus, bike and ride to Cunningham and Collicot each day.
Collicot students are full of energy as students enjoy the start of spring CASS (Collicot After School Classes). CASS classes provide an opportunity for Collicot staff to channel an interest, talent or hobby and offer students classes such as Kickball, Floor Hockey, Pokemon Club, Soccer Scrimmage, Basketball, Handbuilding with Clay, Kickback Color and Draw, Cardinal Connection, On your mark..get set..GO!, Zumba, Puzzle Club, Walking Club, Nail Art and Math Olympics. CASS classes run for 6 weeks, 3 times a year and create a before or after school experience for almost 200 students to enjoy.
GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION
Please scan below for your current grade level
Pre-K – Parent Café – “Getting Ready for Kindergarten!” Tuesday, May 7th and Tuesday, May 14th. 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 pm at Tucker Elementary School or Tuesday, May 14th from 9- 10 am at Cunningham Hall.
5th Grade – Sign up soon for Welcome to Middle School, a 3 day program designed to help acclimate all students to Pierce. Middle school is quite different from the elementary setting, and the transition can sometimes be intimidating (but shouldn’t be!). Our program allows students to experience “a day in the life of a grade six student.” We encourage all families to enroll your current 5th grader in our camp. Details can be found here.
5th, 6th and 7th Grade – School supplies already? Yes! The Pierce PTO has partnered with Yubbler to bring quality, economical school supplies to Pierce families. All supplies are delivered right to your house! All details, links and coupon codes can be found here.
10th, 11th and 12th grade – The Milton Public Library has an exciting paid summer internship opportunity open to rising high school juniors, seniors, and those entering freshman year of college. The intern will work closely with library mentors & staff to design & deliver a connected learning project. This exciting opportunity includes expenses-paid travel to Chicago & Washington, D.C. Applications are due by Friday, May 3rd and we encourage our students to explore this terrific opportunity!
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Have you wondered what the best approach is when speaking with your children about using drugs? It’s not an easy topic and many of us are at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Through a grant from the Milton Junior Women’s Club, MPS is thrilled to be able to offer parents and guardians a wonderful opportunity to attend an award-winning workshop designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs.
This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents of students in 5th-9th grade how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.
There are two opportunities to attend these LifeSkills® Training Parent Program. – May 6 or June 3, 6:30-8pm at the Pierce Library. The sessions are identical so you need only attend one. To reserve your spot, please give a quick RSVP here. For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at 617-696-4470 x5547.
Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) is right around the corner! The At a Glance Document with course descriptions is available,at MSE At a Glance Document. Registration went live at 12pm on May 2nd. To register: Go to Family ID ; ‘search programs’ and type in MSE 2019. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! Please check the MSE website for updates!
Please see the following from the MPS Transportation Department. Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year will open on May 15th and close on June 14th. ALL registration will be done online. Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year. Please mark your calendars with these important dates. More information and links for registration will be coming later in April and early in May. Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.
The Milton Public Schools Residency Policy states that “students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grades six(6) and nine(9), and during other times as determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee. Students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools but who attend an educational program outside of the town shall be required to re-establish residency on an annual basis.”
Beginning June 3, 2019, Sarina Burke, Milton Public Schools Residency Coordinator will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. Re-establish Residency packets will be mailed in May to families who must reestablish and packets must be submitted no later than June 14, 2019 to ensure a student’s placement in Grades 6 and 9 or in an educational program outside of the district.
This process is one of the safeguards used by the Milton Public Schools to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the Town of Milton. Although the re-registration process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the Town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us in ensuring residency compliance.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
A panel of distinguished Milton leaders joined Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition at their April 23rd meeting at Milton Public Library for a presentation on their organizations’ efforts to address substance use in our community. Panel participants (l-r) included: Mr. James Jette, Principal of Milton High School; Police Chief John King; Ms. Caroline Kinsella, Milton Health Department Director; Ms Marlene Lemieux, Director of Case Management and Social Work at BID Hospital Milton; and Sarah Callahan, Chair of the Milton Board of Selectmen’s Youth Task Force.
Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Susan Maselli would like to welcome you to a Spring Parent Coffee. This informal meet & greet will be an opportunity to connect with families and staff. The coffee will be Wednesday, May 15th at 9:30am at Milton High School. Please RSVP by May 7 by phone (617-696-4470 x 5572) or email.
UPCOMING MPS DATES
May 2 District Wide Diversity Event – Implicit Bias
May 2 Scholastic Honors Night
May 6, 7, 9 Town Meeting
May 13, 14, 16 Town Meeting
May 15 Milton School Committee Meeting
May 21 MHS Spring Concert
FOOD AND NUTRITION
Join the Food & Nutrition Services Team! Food Services is now hiring on call and part-time positions for school year 2019-2020. The position allows you to be at home when your family needs you and at school during the day when our students need you! The hourly rate is $15.05 an hour. Please call 617-898-1051 for more information.
Thanks to MHS student-athlete Bailey Dolgon for sharing this video about MHS Unified Track. Next meet is today at 3:30 at Brooks Field. Come on out and show your support!
The MHS Girls Tennis Team is hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive fundraiser on Saturday, May 4th from 9-12. at Milton High School.
All game schedules can be found on our MHS Athletics website.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
Kevin Cook from Veteran’s Services has asked us to share that volunteers will be planting flags on Veterans graves on Saturday, May 4th from 8am-12pm at Milton Cemetery. They are looking to get as many volunteers as possible to assist us with honoring our Veterans. Volunteers should meet at the duck pond and flags will be distributed there. We are hoping to have a good turnout from MPS students and families!
The 2019 SHINDIG! is on May 4th from 6-11 PM at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. The Shindig! is a family event that was created to celebrate the life of Tucker Elementary school grad Michael McHugh who died last year at age 13 from a rare pediatric cancer. Last year’s event was completely sold out, so get your tickets early!
ArtWeek Milton is here! From April 26 – May 5, your favorite local nonprofits are coordinating for a week of interactive arts and cultural activities.
The Milton Art Center is hosting an Artisan Market on Sunday, May 5 from 10-4 featuring many local Milton-based artists including two students in MPS – Zach Trachtman of @stinkyclean and Maggie Mannion. Diana Flawlessly YOU and I Saint Germain Studios will be just a few of the local artists. You’ll also find Burke’s Blooms- Milton, Milton’s Billion Backyard Bee Project, Inc., Janice Hanbury Fahy, Mercedes Harris | Graphic Design, Holly Nichols Illustration, Square Thread Winitzer Design, Stoneburner Bookbinding & Preservation, Assembly Required, Jon Baring Gould, Thomas Reale, and many others.
The Forbes House Museum is hosting a special event on Saturday, May 4, from 2-5 pm with a Chinese Calligraphy workshop led by Chinese-American artist Rayna Lo. Rayna Lo grew up in Chicago, IL with parents who steered her toward a corporate career. Only recently has she turned to calligraphy as a way to express her true artistic self and connect with her cultural heritage. Rayna will guide you through traditional Chinese brush calligraphy techniques to create a framed work of art to take home, based on the character for “Phoenix.” To learn more and to purchase tickets go to the Forbes House Museum website.
The Town of Milton has announced changes to the Pay-As-You-Throw Program. On March 27, 2019, the Select Board approved changes in Milton’s Pay-As- You-Throw program for trash. The changes reaffirm the Town’s goal to reduce trash while fairly distributing the cost of waste disposal. All details on the new program can be found here.
Milton Community Concerts is presenting its final concert of the season on Sunday, May 26th at 3pm at First Parish of Milton. It is a drama/lecture about the life of bass-baritone Paul Robeson by British/Nigerian singer and actor Tayo Aluko. When he appeared this summer in one sold-out performance in Boston at the BCA he received a very long standing ovation. His appearances this May are in Glasgow, Scotland, Vancouver, BC, and Milton, MA.
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 and Volunteers: Thank you to the Glover families who formed the Glover School clean up crew in honor of Earth Day and the town wide clean up. The Glover grounds have never looked better thanks to you! We appreciate the Stoddard, McClutchy, Begley, Gobourne, Armstrong, Harrington, Kiefer, Klopfenstein, and Duffy families and thank them for the hours they spent cleaning up the edges of the creek and planting beautiful flowers.
Staff: Please join me in congratulating Pierce teacher Deanna Magill who was accepted to attend the Junior Botball Pathfinders Institute in Indiana this summer. Infosys Foundation USA hosts the Pathfinders Summer Institute, an intensive week of in-person professional development in Computer Science and Making at Indiana University, Bloomington from July 14-19. Over 700 K-12 public school teachers will convene at the Pathfinders Summer Institute for high-quality hands-on training. Ms. Magill was accepted into this prestigious program and will bring back her new knowledge and expertise to share with Pierce and MPS colleagues. We look forward to sharing her experience with you later in the summer.
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: Ryan Madden, Sean Lopresti, Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Dawn Sykes, Karen Spaulding, Ellen Lohan, Rachel Schewe, Holly Concannon, Laurie Stillman, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Bernadette Butler, Cat DesRoche, Zeina Hamada, Sarah McNeil, Michelle Kruezer, Nicole Lauria, Catherine Lee and Amy Gale.
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