August 22, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: August 22, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we approach the beginning of school, I want to extend a warm welcome to our parents/guardians and staff who are returning to the Milton Public Schools and a special welcome to those of you who are new to the Milton Public Schools.

The beginning of the school year brings changes to our staffing as teachers and staff retire, resign or move to different positions within the district. Below, I will introduce you to some key new employees of the Milton Public Schools. All of these new staff members are replacing staff who have left the Milton Public Schools or have moved to other positions within MPS. The district does not have any new positions in the 2019-20 school year beyond two new elementary classroom teachers who were hired to accommodate increasing enrollment. Please join me in welcoming these talented educators to their new roles in the Milton Public Schools community.

See the video link below to meet the new MPS staff!

Our new staff members joined the Milton Public Schools on Monday, August 19th and attended a full day of orientation, meetings with their respective principals and coordinators and a cookout luncheon prepared by Milton’s Food Service Director JackieMorgan and served by our administrators. On Tuesday, August 20th, our new teachers spent the day with their mentors at Curry College. Thank you to our Mentor Leadership Team of April Allegrezza, Deanna Magill, John Radosta and Meredith Kempf as well as to our dozens of teacher mentors for their year long support of our new teachers.  I would also like to thank Curry College President Kenneth Quigley for sponsoring the day.

This short video will “introduce” you to many of the new staff members you will meet in the coming weeks. Thank you to Principal Karen McDavitt for this introduction to many of our new staff. Meet the new MPS staff here!

NEW MPS STAFF

I am pleased to share that Ms. Janice Mazzola will be the new Pierce Assistant Principal, joining Principal Fish and Assistant Principal Dr. Nick Fitzgerald at the Pierce Middle School. Principal Fish shares that Ms. Mazzola has served as the assistant principal of Norwell Middle School since 2009. During that time, she oversaw a student body of approximately 550 students, directly managed and supported the school’s special education program, and developed a variety of programming to meet the contemporary needs of middle school students. Ms. Mazzola has supported Norwell Middle School’s implementation of 1:1 computing, daily mindfulness programming for students, and language-based classrooms. Ms. Mazzola’s breadth of experience and passion for middle school students will be a tremendous asset to the Pierce community.

Pierce parent and screening committee member Becky Padera shares, “ I was immediately impressed with Janice Mazzola because of her extensive experience as both an English teacher and an Assistant Principal at the middle school level. Through her interview she demonstrated her focus on effective communication with parents and students, as well as the importance of listening to their concerns. She was able to convey her vision to help work with the leadership team to continue to create a safe, friendly and positive learning environment at Pierce Middle School. Her experience working with the Bridge Program in Norwell will bring a unique and helpful perspective to Milton. I know she will be a welcome addition to the Pierce Administrative team and I am so happy she will be working for the Milton Public Schools!” Pierce teacher Rachel Clancy adds, “I am excited to see what Ms. Mazzola, an experienced administrator, brings to the Pierce community for the upcoming school year.”

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We are pleased to announce that Cat DesRoche has been appointed as our new K-8 Literacy Director. Ms. DesRoche, who has been the Assistant Principal and Curriculum Coordinator at Tucker since August 2016 (and prior to that served as the MPS Title One Director for 3 years) is a wonderful addition to our district wide leadership team. The K-8 Literacy Director is not a new position, rather a renaming and combining of existing roles within MPS. Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai shares that Cat is a wealth of knowledge and has proven herself to be an exemplary educator at Tucker elementary school over the last eight years. As a classroom teacher, reading specialist and both Curriculum Coordinator and Assistant Principal she always brought creativity, high expectations and hard work to the role. We are excited for Cat to continue to support literacy further at Tucker and throughout the district in her new role. Her love of literacy is contagious and she will do great things in this new role.

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Brian Selig is the new K-12 Math Director for the Milton Public Schools. In his role as the K-12 Math Curriculum Director for Whitman-Hanson Regional School District for the last four years, he developed a passion for working with teachers and students at the elementary level and his prior experience teaching math at Braintree High School from 2005-2015 gives him strong insight into our high school learners and curriculum. He believes in the importance of instilling strong number sense, problem solving skills, and a curiosity and excitement about math in all of our learners. Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai writes that she is excited for the wealth of experience working K-12 that Mr. Selig will bring to the district. His work reviewing and implementing elementary math curriculum and strong content background will provide for a smooth transition at all levels.

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While remaining as MHS Humanities Department head, Ms. Barbara Wright will also assume the role of supporting our Social Studies teachers and curriculum at Pierce Middle School. Dr. Karen Spaulding shares that for many years Milton High School has benefited from Barbara Wright’s thoughtful, social justice stance toward leadership. We are very excited that she will bring her expertise and firm commitment to children to the Pierce Middle School history team as they continue their incredible work.

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I am happy to share that Maggie Dillier has been hired as the new Tucker Curriculum Coordinator and Assistant Principal. Ms. Dillier is coming to us from Lawrence Public Schools where she served as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction. She holds degrees from Northwestern and is very excited to join the Tucker Faculty.  When asked by Dr. Spaulding during the interview process “Why, the Tucker School?”, Ms. Dillier explained that she knew the moment she entered the room and met the Tucker interview team that it was the right school for her. She has dedicated her professional life to ensuring that joy remains a central part of teaching and learning, and she felt that joy and passion coming from those in the room.  Ms. Dillier looks forward to learning and leading alongside the educators, families, and students of the Tucker community.

BACK TO SCHOOL INFORMATION

The 2019/20 school year starts on Monday, August 26th for staff, on Wednesday, August 28th for 1st-12th grade students and on Tuesday, September 3rd for our kindergarten and preschool students. On Friday, August 30th and Monday, September 2nd, the Milton Public Schools is closed for Labor Day weekend.  Follow our MPS Facebook page and MPS Twitter account for news and information throughout the year. The full MPS calendar can be found here.  You will find school specific information below.

MILTON HIGH SCHOOL 
Principal Mr. James Jette and Assistant Principals Mr. Ben Kelly and Mr. Brian Mackinaw
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Maureen Kennedy and Mr. Brad Spindle and Ms. Meghan Connors
Homeroom assignments mailed out in August, schedules 1st day of school
New student orientation for all freshmen and new students August 26th 4-6 pm
Please see Mr Jette’s latest summer letter for all MHS information
MHS Open House – September 12th
MHS Athletic Website
MHS Website

PIERCE
Principal Mr. William Fish and Assistant Principals Dr. Nick Fitzgerald and Ms. Janice Mazzola
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Sandy Wyse and Mrs. Susan Higgins
Team Assignment Letters mailed the week of August 19th
New families night – August 20th at 6:30 PM
Schedules to be distributed on the first day of school
Back to school information night for rising 6th grade families  – August 27th at 6:30pm
Picture Day – August 29th
Pierce Open House – September 11th 6:30pm
Pierce School Supply lists 
Pierce PTO School Supply Order Program
Pierce Webpage
Pierce PTO email contact
Pierce PTO Facebook page

GLOVER
Principal Karen McDavitt and Assistant Principal Sara MacNeil
Administrative Assistant Ms. Deb Woods
Homeroom assignments – week of  August 19
Popsicle PlayDate /Building Tour (Kindergarten) Tuesday, August 20, 10am (playground)
and Thursday, August 22 at 6pm (playground)
Kindergarten Orientation Thursday, August 29 9:30-11am  (families will receive orientation time with homeroom assignment letter)
BooHoo/Yahoo Gathering (Kindergarten families) Tuesday, September 3 after drop off
Glover Open House- September 26
Glover Webpage 
Glover Twitter account
Glover PTO FB Page
Glover PTO email contact 

COLLICOT
Principal Mrs. Holly Concannon and Assistant Principal Mrs. Zeina Hamada
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Joanne Barker
Homeroom assignments  – week of August 19
Tour for New Families (grades 1-5) Tuesday, August 27th, 2pm
Popsicles with the Principal- rear playground – Tuesday, August 28th 3-4pm
Kindergarten Orientation  – Thursday, August 29th
Boohoo/Yahoo Coffee, K parents – cafeteria – Tuesday September 3rd, after drop off
School Picture Day – Monday September 9th
Back to School Picnic at Cunningham Park – Friday night, September 13th
Collicot Open House – Wednesday, September 25th
Collicot Webpage
Collicot PTO email 
Collicot PTO Facebook page

CUNNINGHAM
Principal Mr. Jon Redden and Assistant Principal Mrs. Bernadette Butler 
Administrative Assistant Ms. Erica Cadigan 
Homeroom assignments  – week of August 19th
Tour for new families (grades 1-5) Tuesday August 27th  – 5:15-6pm
Freeze Pops  with the Principal – rear playground – Tuesday, August 27th  – 6-7pm
PreK/K Orientation and Picnic – Thursday August 29th, 11- 2pm
Boohoo/Yahoo Coffee, K and PreK parents – Tuesday September 3rd, after drop off
Cunningham Open House – September 19th
Cunningham Webpage 
Cunningham PTO email 
Facebook Page
Cunningham School Twitter 
Cunningham School Instagram

TUCKER
Principal Elaine McNeil – Girmai and Assistant Principal Maggie Dillier
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Eileen Keaney
Homeroom assignments  – week of August 19th
Popsicle Playdate for Pre-K, K, August 21st at 6pm, Tucker Playground
Picture Day-September 6th
Open House-September 26th
Tucker School Supply lists
Tucker Webpage 
Tucker  PTO email contact
Tucker  PTO Facebook page

UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES  
Aug 28  First Day of School for Grades 1-12
Aug 30  No School
Sep 2  No School
Sep 3  First Day for Preschool and K
Sep 4  Milton School Committee
Sep 10  Instrument Registration Night
Sep 11  Pierce Middle School Open House
Sep 12 MHS Open House
Sep 18 Milton School Committee
Sep 19 Cunningham Open House
Sep 24 PARENT Speaker Series Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski
Sep 25 Collicot Open House
Sep 26 Glover Open House
Sep 26 Tucker Open House
Sep 27 No School-Professional Development Day
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

MPS SUMMER

The MPS staff recently shared their summer reading favorites and you can see what they are reading here.

Our summer reading at MPS has been strong with over one million minutes read by our elementary readers! The end of summer celebration at the Milton Public Library was a great success and attended by many of our MPS students.

Thank you to all who have sent in summer reading pictures. You can see some of the most recent pictures below.

Resources and assignments for grades K-12 can be found here: Summer reading requirements for Pierce can be found here.   All summer requirements for Milton High School can be found here. The high school and middle school summer assignments have been posted to PlusPortals. The summer work recording sheet for elementary can be found here. These math guidelines and resources will help you support your student this summer. Have fun and keep those math skills sharp! Summer Math Letter, 1-5,  Summer Math Letter, 6-8   Summer Math, 9-12 (scroll down for Mathematics)

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The Milton High School Guidance Department is closed for the summer and will reopen on Monday, August 26th. Please contact Maureen Kennedy or Brad Spindle  via email in the main office with any inquiries before August 26th.  The main office can also be reached by calling the high school at (617) 696-4470 and dialing 0.

Updated GPAs will be available in the fall once all summer school grades are submitted and recorded. Schedules will be given out to students on the first day of school Wednesday, August 28th, during homeroom. A welcome letter with homeroom assignments will be mailed home in late August. Freshmen and all other students new to MHS will receive their schedules at the New Student Orientation on August 26th.

All summer assignments are available on Plus Portals.  You do not need a password to access this information.

Enrollment in an AP course requires the student to complete prerequisite courses and mandatory summer work.  Summer work was assigned to all AP students at the mandatory AP information sessions held during the school year.  Failure to complete summer work may result in a student being dropped from the AP class. Please remind your student to complete their work.

Class of 2020: Please consider writing your college essay, update your activities list, complete your community service hours, do some college research and possibly visit some of the colleges/universities that you are interested in.

Don’t forget to sign up for your Senior Portrait sitting with Hayward Photography.More dates have been added to the schedule. More information can be found here: MHS appt instructions 201920 1 2.pdf; Milton Senior fee 201920 2 1 1.pdf; MHS parents letter 201920 1 1.pdf . If you have any questions or concerns please email Kelly@haywardphotography.com.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Duck foot prints, lily pads, frogs, puddles, sun flowers…you would think we were talking about Turner’s Pond or the Outdoor Classroom at Glover School. But the hallways that were once ordinary have been transformed into a structured movement pathway that encourages students to jump, hop, balance, and bounce. Staying true to Glover’s famous ducks, these stickers are designed to provide all Glover kids with movement opportunities throughout the day. Numerous research studies suggest that movement enhances students learning and engagement. These paths are anticipated for whole class transitions as well as a tool to support students who may need additional movement and input on their way to get a drink of water. Thanks to the generous support and funding from the PTO, each of Glover’s four hallways are lined with duck feet to stomp on, logs to balance across, lily pads to hop between, and much more. This project was the brainchild of Glover’s Occupational Therapist, Sarah Whitten, and her amazing father. They custom-designed the pathways to match Glover’s unique habitat and worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition. We look forward to revealing the pathways to all 608 Glover Kids when school begins.  Until then, here is a little “teaser” video of our new sensory path!  

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The July and August  School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, September 4th at 7pm.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Help your kids make choices that will support their well being. Participate in the SUPPER Project to learn how!

  • Are you a parent or guardian of a child in rising 5 –  8th grade?
  • Do you live with your child or are you in the same place as your child at least five days a week?
  • If YES, you may be able to participate in a research study
  • Families will be paid for their time
  • The purpose of this research study is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their wellbeing.

We will be working with families over summer vacation (for parents/guardians of those entering 5th grade through those who just completed 7th). Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and in the body of the email include your name and the name of your child’s school.  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.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Save the date for our first event  in the 2019/20 PARENT Speaker Series. Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski will discuss Supporting All Learners on September 24th at Milton High School.

Coming together with your child’s team each year can be both exciting and stressful, as you reflect upon your child’s progress and plan the new areas of focus. This workshop will offer parents information, insight and tips that will lead to more effective communication and advocacy as you come together with your district team to plan for your child’s educational needs.

FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of ALL AGES.

FOOD SERVICE

Children need healthy meals to learn. Milton Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.25; lunch costs $2.00/$2.25/$2.50 (Elementary, Pierce, MHS) Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $.00 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch. The packet linked here includes an application for free or reduced price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

Who can get free or reduced price meals? 

  • All children in households receiving benefits from MA SNAP, MA TAFDC, FDPIR, or specific categories of Medicaid are eligible for free meals.
  • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. 
  • Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
  • Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
  • Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart. 

All information on free and reduced school meals can be found here. More information on our Nutrition Services program can be found here. 

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There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools. You’ll be serving healthy food to kids and be home when your kids are home due to the school schedule – what’s better than that?! This can be a great opportunity for parents and retirees and food service experience is a plus, but not required. The starting pay for the food service substitute position is $15.05 per hour. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514)  for more information.

TRANSPORTATION 

Bus passes for all assigned students have been mailed home this week and routes and schedules for the 2019-2020 school year will be posted on the MPS website under the transportation page. All riders are REQUIRED to present their bus pass to ride the bus every day.  Students will not be allowed to board without their pass.

Please note that in the first week or two of school buses can run early or late based on traffic and new route patterns, please plan to have your student at their assigned stop at least 10 minutes early as we ask for patience as the routes settle into regular patterns for the school year.

ATHLETICS 

The MPS Athletics Dept is busy preparing for fall. Please see  MHS Athletics website.  with all you need to know about fall athletics. Roll ‘Cats!

The MHS Field Hockey team will be hosting a car wash on September 7th, 9AM-12PM at the Cunningham School.  $10/car.

The MHS Boys Basketball team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” bottle and can drive on September 7th, 9am-12pm  at Milton High School.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Tonight! Enjoy a Family “Happy Hour” at the Forbes House Museum, 215 Adams
Street. Thursday, August 22, 5:30pm – 7:30pm. As the carefree days of summer are winding down, spend a casual evening with friends and family at the Forbes House Museum. We’ll have live guitar music, lawn games and beer and wine available for purchase. Bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds. Free admission.

Milton’s Household Hazardous Waste drop-off day will be on September 7th at the DPW Yard.  As this is the first Saturday of September, and the recycling center’s typical first-Saturday opening will be moved to September 14th.

The Milton Public Library has terrific children’s programs all through September. 

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:

VOLUNTEERS: We are so grateful to Driscoll Landscaping for their generosity to the Glover community. The Glover Outdoor Classroom is a courtyard within the confines of the Glover school and is a breeding ground for the Turner’s Pond ducks. Every year after the ducks have hatched, the Outdoor Classroom grows into a beautiful but very overgrown jungle! Thanks to the incredible generosity of Driscoll Landscaping, each summer the outdoor classroom is transformed back into a beautiful space where children can draw, explore, read, write, and learn. Asking nothing in return, Driscoll and his crew spend hours pruning, raking, mowing, and trimming. Under the watchful eye of outdoor classroom enthusiasts Mary O’Leary and Wendy Garpow Roth, the Outdoor Classroom becomes accessible again for all Glover Kids. We are very thankful to Driscoll Landscaping for always being so good to us here at Glover!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

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:  Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen Spaulding, Jackie Morgan, Marti McKenna, Karen McDavitt, Holly Concannon, Karen Cahill, Deanna Magill, April Allegrezza, Jon Redden 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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