May 16, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date May 16, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

With just a little more than 4 weeks left in the school year, I wanted to call your attention to two town wide events that have come to represent the end of the school year and the beginning of summer in Milton. Many of our MPS students and families enjoy these events and I hope you will be among them.

Hundreds of runners will be lining up on Edge Hill Road on June 11 for the 42nd annual Milton 5K & 10K Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for graduating high school students and community grants that support the Milton community. Online registration is available here and you can learn more about the race and the generous  sponsors through the Milton Road Race Facebook.

The Milton Music Fest and Fireworks team are delighted to announce this year’s exciting program of FREE Festivities over the weekend of June 22-23rd at “The Trustees” Gov. Hutchinson Field on Adams Street in Milton across from the Forbes House Museum.

Saturday’s festivities begin at 4 PM and include Kid’s Karaoke with Jackson Blue followed by the great dance band Booty Vortex and the tremendously popular Big Band sounds of Mark Morris and The Cat Tunes. Saturday’s festivities culminate at dark with the stunning fireworks from Atlas Pyrovision Entertainment, the group who produce Boston’s New Year’s Eve spectacular display!

The fun continues on Sunday, June 23rd with Celtic Sunday starting at 1 PM including a full afternoon and evening of family fun and Irish music including performances by the Fenian Sons, Sean Brennan and the Skiffs, Gary Galway, and All Folked Up.

Dance to live music and enjoy great food and beverages that will be available for purchase from fabulous vendors. This year’s delicious food options include the Wahlburgers and Montilio’s food trucks!  

If you would like to help support this great community event, please consider joining the Milton Music Fest and Fireworks signature sponsor, the Copeland Foundation, in support of this FREE wonderful event. To learn what “thank you opportunities”  are available to donor friends, please email We Are Milton or call We Are Milton at 617-433-7273.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Last night, May 15th, the School Committee met at Collicot Elementary School for a presentation by the Collicot Site Council. The School Committee held it’s annual School Choice Open Hearing and voted that Milton will not be a school choice district for the FY20 school year. Milton is not currently a school choice district.

The next School Committee meeting is on June 5th, 2019 at 7pm at Milton High School. Before the meeting, we will honor this year’s retirees at a reception in the Milton High School lobby at 6pm. This year’s retirees include Debbie Abdon, Constance Catinella, Mary Jill Markarian, Patricia Leahy Murtagh, Ann McGonagle, Janet Sheehan and Dr. Louise Thomson.

Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.   

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Help us make the 19th annual MFE Teacher of the Year Awards celebration a success! We will recognize the extraordinary contributions made by our teachers in the Milton Public Schools on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6pm at MHS. Stay tuned for the big announcement of which deserving teachers will receive this recognition.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Earlier today we celebrated our Calculus Project seniors during a ceremony at Milton High School. The Calculus Project (TCP) is an initiative to increase the number of low income, African American and Hispanic American students who enroll in and successfully complete Calculus Honors or Advanced Placement Calculus by the time they graduate high school. As part of TCP, students are invited to participate in summer enrichment courses in mathematics that run between and parallel to honor and college preparatory level courses in mathematics. TCP students are also able to access tutoring sessions with mathematics teachers after school hours during the school year and attend field trips throughout the year. The seniors we honored today are members of the 1st group of Calculus Project students, many of whom have been involved in the project since the summer of 2014. Please join me in congratulating Micah Allen, Jasmine Opara, Sage Blue, Jordan Pascal, Tylah Briscoe, Kaylyn Pean, William Craig, Tae-lor Pina, Elias Deaibes, Usama Shakeel, Janelle Descopins, Rebecca Simpson, Abigail Fay, Milan Smith, Deianeara Johnson, Kennedi Van Allen, Lauren Kelly, Maya Whigham, Mark Labelle, Jaleigha Williams, Trinity Lopes, Tiye Williamson and Theodora Ogamba for their dedication to and success in our advanced mathematics curriculum. Our students can be seen at the top of today’s blog and you can watch the 30 minute ceremony below.

PIERCE UPDATES

On Thursday, May 9th, forty 7th grade girls attended the Girls STEM Meetup at Avon High School.  This day long STEM conference was organized by the Schools to Career Partnership and sponsored by the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).  Students participated in small group sessions with experts in the STEM field learning about their educational experience, career path and specific projects they have worked on.  They also participated in hands on STEM challenges. Some of the guest speakers for the event included an engineer specializing in ecosystem restoration, civil and chemical engineers working on issues surrounding groundwater, and a software engineer.

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Three students attended the Massachusetts State Science Fair on May 11th at  Worcester Technical High School. 8th graders Jayme Lo and Lok Ye Young presented a design engineering project , Hydraulic Powered Arm, which included a base and several attachments to support different types of tasks.  Neave Martin presented her project How Does Plastic Affect the Growth of Plants? Neave, a seventh grader, advanced to the State fair after receiving an honorable mention at the Regional V Science Fair. We are incredibly proud of these hardworking scientists! 

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The Pierce Student Council would like to invite all Veterans to a Veterans Breakfast on May 24th at 8:15am. Please see the note from the Student Council here: Veterans related to Pierce students, as well as local Veterans’ Organizations are welcome to attend. The purpose of getting together is to honor and thank our local Veterans for their dedication, service, and commitment to protecting our country.  We will be offering breakfast, followed by some brief remarks from our Middle School students, as well as a question and answer period from attendees. Please let us know that you’ll be attending by clicking this link.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

It was a busy day at Collicot last Friday for Junior Achievement. 85 parent and family volunteers were in classrooms all day at every grade level facilitating the JA curriculum. Students were excited and many of our enthusiastic volunteers said they would not hesitate to do it again next year. Our Junior Achievement day culminated with our weekly Collicot Cardinal certificates for students who have followed the Collicot Code of respect, responsibility and hard work. 

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The Milton School Food Service Program is partnering with EvanLee Farms to provide sustainable gardens to our schools and last week we installed the first indoor “Grow Rack” at Tucker School. 2nd graders planted romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, micro mix, kale and basil.  Students will harvest the greens in three weeks and they will bring it to our kitchen so we can serve these healthy, (very!) locally grown items at lunch. This program will be expanding to Collicot, Cunningham and Glover next year and we look forward to sharing the growth at Tucker in the weeks to come.

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This week, twenty two 4th and 5th grade Glover and Tucker Safety Patrol students, enjoyed a field trip to the Milton Police Department.  Students were greeted by Lieutenant Mark Alba of the MPD and Lt. Alba discussed the importance of being a member of a school’s Safety Patrol and related it to the work that each member of the MPD provides on a daily basis. The students were given a full tour of the station and even got a chance to meet some of the officers on duty; including one of the most important members, Chase, the Canine Hero!  Thank you to the MPD for giving our students a wonderful learning experience and thank you to the Safety Patrol students for their dedication this school year to Tucker and Glover.

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As part of the new 5th grade Project Lead the Way curriculum, Cunningham 5th grade students have been spending time using the app Tynker for coding to create a dinosaur ecosystem. Students have been working collaboratively to build off each other’s designs and the completed ecosystems have been impressive to explore. The next step for students is to use Tynker to create a model to show how an illness can spread through a school setting.

GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Please scan below for your current grade level

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 – There is an opportunity for 5th, 6th and 7th grade families that we 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. Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. 


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.

5th-9th Grade: 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 is one more opportunity to attend the LifeSkills Parent Program on June 3, 6:30-8pm  at the Pierce Library. 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.

SEPAC/SPECIAL EDUCATION

Please join the SEPAC on May 21st at 7pm at the Glover library for a presentation on Simple Strategies to Help Anxious Kids. Janine Halloran will share five simple coping skills to try, including creative ways to encourage deep breathing, creating a calm down space and how to create a coping skills toolkit. This presentation is free and open to the public.The SEPAC will also be holding a board meeting prior to the presentation from 6- 7pm which is open to anyone who would like to attend. 

MPS SUMMER

Registration for Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) is live! To register, go to Family ID and go to ‘search programs’ and type in ‘MSE 2019’. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! For more information about MSE including the 2019 At A Glance Document with course descriptions, please visit the MSE website.  Any further questions can be directed to Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan.

BUS UPDATES

Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year is open!  REGISTER HERE   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. You must register each student separately (but can pay for them together) and you will receive a confirmation email that registration has been received for each student.  If you are planning for your child to ride the bus in the 2019-20 school year, we strongly encourage you to read through this transportation letter which details the process.  Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

Bus registrations for students in grades 6 and 9 will not be complete unless residency is re-established during the re-establishment period in June. Please see below for re-establishment details.  Students in grades 6 and 9 will maintain their place in the bus queue until June 14th at which time they will be moved to the bus wait list if residency has NOT been re-established.

RESIDENCY

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.”

A letter has been sent via US mail to all who must re-establish residency. You can reference that letter, which contains all details here. Beginning June 3rd Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. The residency packet can be found here. 

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.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

MPS SEL Facilitator Laurie Stillman and MPS Director of Health and Phys. Ed Noel Vigue share the following.

A new study reveals a link between adolescent marijuana use and depression. Marijuana is the most widely used drug by adolescents worldwide.  While it has been known for some time that regular cannabis (marijuana) use by adolescents can lead to psychosis, such as schizophrenia, later on in life, there has been few or no studies about adolescent use and the drug’s effects on depression and anxiety.

An April 2019 published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has concluded that there is a link to depression and suicidality-but not anxiety.  Here are the key findings:

  • Question: Is adolescent cannabis consumption associated with risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidality in young adulthood?
  • Findings: In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies and 23,317 individuals, adolescent cannabis consumption was associated with increased risk of developing depression and suicidal behavior later in life, even in the absence of a premorbid condition. There was no association with anxiety.
  • Meaning: Preadolescents and adolescents should avoid using cannabis as use is associated with a significant increased risk of developing depression or suicidality in young adulthood; these findings should inform public health policy and governments to apply preventive strategies   

Recently, The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds hosted a podcast “Cannabis and the Teen Brain”. The guest was Jodi Gilman, Ph.D.; Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School with the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH.) Dr. Gilman’s research is on the effects of alcohol and cannabis on young adult and teen brains. The podcast overviews issues, concerns from across the nation. You can listen to the 30 minute MGH Clay Center Podcast “Cannabis and the Teen Brain” and access additional resources here.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

There are three upcoming sessions where members of the community can share their ideas about the proposed teen center. All details can be found here. Join us so your voice can be heard!  

UPCOMING MPS DATES

May 21  MHS Spring Concert
May 22 MFE Teacher of the Year Celebration
May 23 MHS Music Awards Night
May 28 Glover Art Show, Sr. Awards Night
May 29 Boosters Banquet, Tucker Art Show
May 30 Collicot Art Show
May 31 Cunningham Art Show

The 2018-19 calendar can be found here.
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

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.

ART AND MUSIC

The Milton Music Department’s Instrumental Lesson Program will be holding an informational session and instrument petting zoo on Tuesday, June 11th at 6 PM in the Charles C Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This is open to interested students entering 4th and 5th grade and their parents/guardians. .Parents will have the opportunity to learn about the program and pre-register their students for music lessons for the upcoming school year, while students will have a chance to try out instruments at our instrument petting zoo. Please contact program directors Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good with any questions.

ATHLETICS

Last week the Unified Track season finished with Senior Day and a strong meet against Hingham. Thank you to all who attended and cheered on our student athletes!

The MHS Softball Team will be hosting a Car Wash Fundraiser this Saturday, May 18th, from 9am to noon, at the Cunningham School.  Cost will be $10/car.

All  game schedules can be found on our  MHS Athletics website.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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

Saturday, May 18  12-3pm is Family Fun Day at the Eustis Estate. Join us for a day of retro backyard fun at the Eustis Estate in honor of the special exhibition, Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard. Play lawn games, make pinwheels, go on a StoryWalk, and enjoy live music outside from the Heavenly Fire Steel Band of Dorchester. Snacks available for purchase and picnics are encouraged. Included with museum admission. Free for Milton residents. Pre-registration not required. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information. Rain date Sunday, May 19.

On Saturday, May 18 at 3:00 pm, the Forbes House Museum hosts author and collector Richard Mellin. Rich will discuss the history, symbolism and forms of the popular blue-and-white “Canton” porcelain. His book “Collecting Canton: In Pursuit of the Best” will be available to purchase at a 20% discount. House tours will be offered beforehand starting at 2:00 pm.

On Sunday, May 19, visit the Forbes House Museum for its free Lincoln Day Celebration! Winners of the Lincoln Drawing and Essay Contest and their immediate families are invited to an awards ceremony starting at 1:00 pm. Afterwards, everyone is invited to an Open House from 2:00-4:00 pm. Meet costumed reenactors and play Civil War era games. Write letters of gratitude to servicemen and women. View the Lincoln drawing contest winners on display inside the museum. Enjoy the grounds and mansion. Snacks, drinks and Ice Creamsmith treats available for purchase.

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.

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:

Staff: I would like to take a moment to recognize the teachers behind the Calculus Project, celebrated above under the Milton High School heading. This program would not be possible without the enthusiasm and dedication of our hardworking mathematics department who have all supported these students. I especially want to recognize Kelly Conaty, Jennifer Meunier, Claire Ritten who have been dedicated to the program from inception; Sophia Pompilus, Kate Capasso and Rob Moray who work with many of our current students and James Moonan and Mary Shapiro who have been valuable team members in the past. Also, thank you to Mathematics Director K-12, Michelle Kruezer, for her careful sheperding of the program through the years.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Ryan Madden, Christie Chiapetta, Sean Lopresti, Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen Spaulding, Rachel Schewe, Laurie Stillman, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Cat DesRoche, Ellen Lohan, Zeina Hamada,  Michelle Kruezer and Catherine Lee.

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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