From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 5, 2019
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Rabbi Benjamin, of the Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills recently emailed me to share the passage below. He did not write this passage and I regret to say I don’t know who did write it so I can not credit the author. The words are powerful and I hope you will take a moment to read the paragraph below and share the sentiment with your children.
As we begin a new school year soon, take a minute to say a little prayer for the kids that don’t fit in.
The kids that come home in tears because they don’t understand why no one likes them, or maybe there’s too much of everything around them and just can’t hold it together anymore.
Pray for these kids who no one will talk to because someone else spread rumors about them.
The kids that don’t have the right shoes , haven’t gone to the right places on vacation, or think/act a little different.
Right now, those kids are dreading going back to school .
Right now they are crying and begging their parents to let them stay home or go to a different school. Pray they know they are loved, Pray they know they are special, and pray they find their group of friends.
NOW is the time to tell your children to be nice, kind, and get to know the kids who are wanting friends. You will never know how much this can make a difference in someone’s life.
A mother of one our students sent me this article at the beginning of school and it also speaks to Rabbi Benjamin’s sentiment above. She wrote that ” A first day of school picture is going viral, in a really good way. Two elementary school boys began the new school year with a lesson in kindness. We wanted to share this as we are all hoping for a good, kind, inclusive school year for all of the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools.
This week we welcomed our newest and youngest students – our kindergarten and preschool students! Welcome to the Milton Public Schools and we look forward to walking beside you on your educational journey over the next 13 years!
UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES
Sep 10 Instrument Registration Night
Sep 11 Pierce Middle School Open House
Sep 12 MHS Open House
Sep 16-30 Milton GOES GOLD
Sep 18 Milton School Committee
Sep 19 Cunningham Open House
Sep 21 Children’s Hospital Blood Drive – Cunningham/Collicot Driveway
Sep 24 Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski, Parent speaker Series
Sep 25 Collicot Open House
Sep 26 Children’s Hospital Blood Drive at Cunningham Hall
Sep 26 Glover Open House
Sep 26 Tucker Open House
Sep 27 No School-Professional Development Day
Sep 27 MHS Football Game – Milton GOES GOLD
Oct 2 Milton School Committee
Oct 3 MHS 8th Grade Information Night
Oct 9 No School – Yom Kippur
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.
Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, September 18th at 7pm.
Science is up and running at the Pierce Middle School. Mr. Fish stopped by Mr. Romeo’s 8th grade science class and joined in on the fun! Students began the year with a team building STEM challenge that allowed them to apply scientific ideas to design and construct the tallest freestanding tower. Their work designing and testing towers not only served as a review of the Design Process but also emphasized the science practice of Developing and Using Models, an integral component of the 8th grade science curriculum.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
MILTON GOES GOLD
Join us as Milton GOES GOLD this September to raise awareness and show support for children who are battling cancer! From September 16-30th, Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness and there are several ways for families to participate. How can you Go Gold?
- DONATE YOUR GOLD: From September 16-30, send spare change in with your child to help fill the GOLD boots at all elementary schools. We are also collecting items from this list at Pierce and MHS.
- GIVE BLOOD – AS VALUABLE AS GOLD: We are holding TWO blood drives in September. Saturday 9/21 9am-4pm (75 slots) and Thursday 9/26 8am -3pm (75 slots). Sign up in the links above.
- WEAR YOUR GOLD: On Thursday September 26th, wear as much gold as you can! You can wear your own gold clothing/ accessories and/or purchase Milton GOES GOLD shoelaces ($3) in your school office (next week) or online here.
- CHEER FOR GOLD: Attend the MHS Football game on Friday, September 27th for Milton GOES GOLD night!
This week several of the families involved in Milton GOES GOLD visited the MPD and MFD to place gold ribbon magnets on MPD and MFD vehicles.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Teenagers are often told that they have their whole lives ahead of them. The idea that a teen could be thinking about ending that life might be hard for their friends, families, or other people in their community to believe. But the risk of suicide should be on the radar of anyone who interacts with teens, says Dr. Jane Pearson, a mental health expert at NIH.
The rate of teen suicide has increased over the last decade. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for teens and young adults in the United States. Experts don’t know why this rate has been rising. But NIH-funded researchers are working on better ways to find and help teens who are thinking of suicide. In the Milton Public Schools, we have a dedicated staff (including counselors, nurses, educators, admin) who are trained to provide support and resources for students struggling with mental, emotional, and/or behavioral health issues. As part of our health education curriculum, students in grades 5 through 12 learn about healthy strategies to manage stress, how to recognize if a friend is struggling and how to advocate/support them, and where to go to get help. Learn more at this link.
Some common suicide warning signs are below. The more warning signs, the greater the risk of suicide.
- Talking about wanting to die
- Looking for ways to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Abusing alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
- Having trouble sleeping
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Having extreme mood swings
- Giving away belongings, including treasured objects
Get your teen help from a mental health professional or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. You can also text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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.
FROM THE READERS
I often receive articles or videos from parents and staff that are worthy of sharing with you. MHS English teacher Dyanne Crowley sent me the video in this link about how to teach your kids to love reading. As a life long reader and educator, this resonated with me.
This recent article in the Boston Globe may be interesting to you, as it pertains to the ever evolving MCAS test and the controversy over a passage and question that were included on some tests last year.
Milton Access TV is a valuable member of our community and provides a way for many of us to stay abreast of local issues. Their most recent news letter can be found here.
This link contains information from SEPAC, Special Education Parent Advisory Counsel regarding multiple upcoming opportunities to meet SEPAC representatives and learn about this vital role they play in our community.
There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs or substitutes 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.
ART AND MUSIC
Please join us for the ALP Beginner Registration Night on Tuesday, September 10, 7-8pm at Milton High School.
What is the Applied Lessons Program? The Applied Lessons Program (ALP) is a partnership between the Milton Public Schools and local, private music teachers, which provides reduced cost music instruction on band and string instruments.
Who can participate in ALP? ALP welcomes any Milton child interested in studying an instrument. Students may begin as early as the 4th grade but beginners of any age are welcome!
Lessons for which instruments are provided? ALP offers a wide range of instruments: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bass and guitar. Vocal instruction, and lessons on piano and recorder are NOT provided.
When and where do ALP lessons take place? All lessons last 30 minutes, occur weekly, and take place at Milton High School between 3-9pm.
How are lessons structured? ALP teachers offer private (one student) and semi-private (two students) lessons. Semi-private lessons are for students studying the same instrument, and must pair prior to signing-up for a time with a teacher. No semi-private lessons will be scheduled if only one student is registering.
What is the cost of lessons? Lessons are divided into two semesters, and payment for SESSION I (15 lessons) must be provided at registration night: private lessons (1 student) are $420 and semi-private lessons (2 students) are $270.00 each. Payment is made directly to the lesson teacher on registration night. Payment for SESSION II is collected by the ALP teacher in January.
How do I obtain the instrument my child will study? Milton partners with several vendors from which families can purchase or rent an instrument. Rental fees are most typical, and vary depending on the instrument and rental plan. The following vendors will be onsite during instrument registration night: Johnson String , Spencer Brook Strings , Needham Music and Leonards Music .
I pre-registered for lessons online during the summer. Should I attend? Yes! You will need to complete registration for lessons with your assigned ALP teacher, provide payment for session one, and rent an instrument (if you do not already have one) from one of the music vendors available that night. You can also buy/rent an instrument from any other company you choose.
I didn’t pre-register. Can I still sign-up? Absolutely! When you attend ALP registration night, you will be directed to an instructor for the instrument of your choice to schedule a lesson time, and then to the vendor area to rent or buy the instrument if needed. Please note that lesson slot can fill quickly so plan to arrive early to secure instruction on the instrument of your choice.
If my child already participates in ALP, do I need to attend? Registration night on Tuesday, September 10th is for beginners only. Continuing students should contact their current lesson teachers directly to register—they do NOT come to beginner registration night.
I wish to participate but cannot attend registration night. Who should I contact?n Please contact Applied Lessons Program Directors Rebecca Damiani or Gary Good with questions or concerns. Further details on the program and registration night can be found here.
Please see the following communication from MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.
I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and is excited to be back in school! The Milton High School Fall Athletic Season is now upon us which means Friday Night Football and many other sports! Please take a few minutes to read through some information that you may find useful regarding athletics at MHS.
2018-19 Brief Recap: A tremendous fall season was highlighted by our Golf Team winning the Division II Sportsmanship Award, as voted by coaches in the state. Wrestlingstole the show in the winter, taking home the Division II Metro Championships, while Coach Ted Carroll won Division II Coach-of-the-Year! In the Spring, Rugby returned to the “Big Game”, beating Cambridge Rindge & Latin en route to their second straight championship. The highlight of the spring season, however, was the newly formed Unified Track Team. We had nearly 40 students participate in the first every Unified Sport at Milton High School, and we hope to build on that for next season. Four more Milton High School student-athletes signed Division I Letters of Intent. Ella Affanato and Elise O’Leary both signed on for Cross Country and Track at Merrimack College and the University of Connecticut, respectively. Elias Deaibes signed on to Temple to continue his rowing career, while Smith Charles will shift to a darker shade of Red, as he takes his trade to Cornell University for Track.
New Coaches: We would like to introduce two new coaches to the MHS Coaching Staff. Patrick Ellis is our new Boys Varsity Soccer Coach. Coming to us from Weymouth High School, Coach Ellis is also teaching Business at Milton High School. Jessica Gillooly takes over as our new Coed Varsity Swim Coach after serving as the Varsity Assistant last season. She teaches Art at Tucker Elementary. We will also have new coaches for Girls Ice Hockey, Girls Lacrosse, Boys Indoor Track, and Boys Outdoor Track. These positions will not be announced until all have been filled. See here for our full list of coaches.
MHS Athletics Website: I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our Athletics Website. Nearly all questions you may have regarding the Athletics Department can be answered on this website. You can find rosters, schedules, and All-Stars. A coaching directory, list of sports offered, and news page with highlights can also be found.
Registration and Winter/Spring Seasons: Below are some key dates for the winter and spring athletic season. Students must register on Family ID each Athletic Season. The concussion course only needs to be completed once per year. Most importantly, once a student’s physical expires, a new one must be provided in order for the student to be cleared. Registration steps can be found here.
Schedules: For those of you that have been looking for the High School Athletic Schedules, you can find them on the front page of the MHS Athletics Website. You can also sign up for Game Alerts and Notifications here. Also, for future planning purposes, tryouts for fall 2020 begin on Friday, August 21st for Football and Monday, August 24th for all other fall sports. Tryouts are mandatory for all students, including incoming freshmen, and missing tryouts may impact a student’s chances of making a team.
Student-Athlete Handbook: New this year is our Student-Athlete Handbook. Starting in the winter season, students and parents/guardians must read this handbook. Confirmation will be marked on the Family ID Registration. A copy of this handbook can be found on the MHS Athletics Website as well as here.
Parent/Guardian Feedback Form: This feedback form for athletics will be kept live all academic year. Parents and Guardians may complete this form at any point during their season.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
The Girl Power Running Program elementary school aged girls starts next week! This is a FREE (parent run) program. The purpose of this program is to provide a come when you can, low pressure, confidence and self esteem building activity that encourages girls to work towards a goal, push themselves at a healthy pace and comfort level while supporting one another and participating in an outdoor, good for your body and soul activity. Occasionally we will have a woman that embodies “girl power” join us. We try to have women from a wide range of professions to demonstrate to our girls their limitless options. We will start with a walk/jog, everyone go at their own pace, one mile loop and slowly increase our mileage with the end goal being to participate (if your child wants) in the Monster Dash on Sunday, October 27. The program will meet at the Cunningham Park tennis courts on Mondays beginning Monday, September 9th. We will meet at 3:45 for sign in and warm ups prior to our run. All details can be found here.
The Town of Milton invites you to a Community Housing Forum on Saturday, September 14th at 10am at the Milton Council on Aging, 10 Walnut Street. The town is in the process of preparing a Housing Production Plan that will provide up to date information on local housing issues, identify priority housing needs, and propose short and long-term strategies to address these needs.
Please come to hear what the Town has learned about shifts in demographic and housing trends and needs. Participate in a special program to offer your perspectives on the Town‘s future housing agenda. This is the first of two planned public meetings. A draft summary of the plan can be found on the Town website. Free childcare will be provided. Please call the Select Board Office at 617-898-4843 with any questions.
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 Historical Society will be hosting an open house commemorating the annual Suffolk Resolves Day for its 245th anniversary, on Sunday, September 8, 2019 from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be offered. Historical reenactor Michael LePage will be portraying Paul Revere.
The Forbes House Museum is looking for a Saturday Docent. This is a paid, part-time position, with work hours 10:30 am – 2:30 pm on alternating Saturdays throughout the year. If you enjoy history, art, ongoing learning, and sharing your passions with others, but are also able to work independently, this is a great opportunity to represent the museum and Milton to visitors of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more about the specific duties and requirements of the position, please visit the Forbes House website.
Brookwood Community Farm’s 7th Annual Farm Dinner is Sunday, September 15th. Funds raised support the farm’s mission to improve access to fresh food in surrounding communities. We donate to more than 5 food pantries and work in cooperation with Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. In 2018 over $21,000 worth of produce was donated and in 2019 we are well on our way with over $11,000 donated so far. We are thankful for our partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and with The Trustees of Reservations for land use and for our many volunteers and local supportive businesses that help to sustain this farm community. Please join us to enjoy the beautiful setting at Prowse Farm and a dinner filled with Brookwood produce! Tickets can be purchased online at this link.
Milton’s Plastic Bag Ban takes effect on September 14, 2019. Our town’s ordinance was designed to limit the use of single-use plastic checkout bags to protect our streets and public spaces from litter and reduce our environmental impact. We encourage shoppers to remember to bring reusable bags along with them when shopping in Milton. More information can be found here.
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: Congratulations to Milton High School English teacher John Radosta, on the recent publication of his book, “Bob Dylan in Performance: Song, Stage, and Screen”. The book explores the different ways Dylan chooses to express his genius. Mr. Radosta and his college roommate Keith Nainby (who became almost as obsessed with Bob Dylan as Mr. Radosta when they lived together at Boston University) co-wrote the book.
Mr. Radosta shared that, ” A lot of people say they like his lyrics, but he can’t sing. We argue that he makes very deliberate choices about how he sounds, as shown by the way he manipulates the sounds of words to convey more meaning, plays with rhyme, and even changes his voice from song to song, even on the same album. We look at the different periods of his career, and how, even though people thought he was betraying them every time he made a turn in his performance style, they all eventually decided to follow him anyhow.
It was a lot of fun to write the book, because I don’t usually get to do that kind of research, and it was especially strange collaborating with someone who lives in California. Going through the process of collecting material, drafting ideas, sharing them back and forth, and then having to format it in a professional scholarly way taught me all kinds of things I can use in my classroom when I’m teaching the research process.”
We are delighted to be able to share the link to purchase the book (enter the title in the search bar and use LEX30AUTH19 for a 30% discount) and very proud of our newly published author, John Radosta. More information can be found here and the book is also available online at additional booksellers.
VOLUNTEERS: I want to give a big thanks to Bill Resnick of Proforma , who thought of MPS when one of his suppliers had a large amount of new, quality pens to donate. Our students and staff are always in need of new pens and this large donation at the beginning of the year is most welcome!
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: Christie Chiappetta, Noel Vigue, Rabbi Alfred H. Benjamin, Dawn Sykes, Rebecca Damaini, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Jon Redden, Karen McDavitt, Holly Concannon, Susan Maselli and Dr. Karen Spaulding.
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