September 25, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 25, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) publicly released the MCAS assessment and accountability data for the 2019 test administration. I have asked MPS Director of Data and Analytics, Vy Vu, to summarize this information below.

In the past three years, Grades 3-8 MCAS tests, including ELA, Math and Science, have all transitioned to the Next-Generation version. The computer-based Next-Generation MCAS is an updated version of the nearly 20-year-old, paper-based MCAS assessment. The updated MCAS focuses on students’ critical thinking abilities, ability to apply their knowledge, and ability to make connections between reading and writing. It gives a clearer signal of readiness for the next grade level and is much more rigorous than the Legacy MCAS. 

This Next-Generation assessment was developed after the MA Board of Elementary and Secondary Education found that despite being the top public school system in the nation, Massachusetts still sends students to college who need remedial courses to catch up and engage in college-level work. In fact, more than a third of the state’s public school graduates who attend Massachusetts’ public colleges or universities are placed in remedial courses. In raising the standards across the board for all grade levels, DESE hopes to bridge that gap and prepare more students for the rigor of college and career.

In school year 2018-19, students in Grades 5 & 8 took the Next-Generation MCAS test in Science for the first time.  Students in Grade 10 took the Next-Generation MCAS in ELA and Math for the first time also; their Science test will transition to Next-Generation in Spring 2020. 

Across all grade levels and content areas, Milton schools continue to outperform the state, even as the assessment suite has become more rigorous. This is a testament to the hard work and effort of our students and teachers, who have been asked to adapt to new technology, new curriculum, and higher standards. In the elementary schools, we have implemented a new literacy curriculum for the past two years – National Geographic Reach for Reading. The program is yielding promising results for our students, as is evidenced by our third grade ELA scores that are rising every year since adoption. This literacy initiative has been expanded to the middle school, where a district team, composed of teachers, curriculum leaders and literacy experts, is reviewing the middle school ELA curriculum to make recommendations for improvement. In math, the district has reviewed the middle school math curriculum and will now begin the curriculum review process for the elementary level. These review efforts are very timely given all the new changes to standards and expectations at the state level.   

The high school data is an area of focus for the state in the next couple of years, as DESE will have to determine the criteria for high school graduation. Even though the high school just completed its first administration of Next-Generation tests for Grade 10 ELA and Math, Legacy graduation and scholarship standards remain the same while students become familiar with the new tests—at least for the next two cohorts of students. As such, while students are tested and scored on the higher Next-Generation standards, the passing score for graduation remains at the same level as that of the Legacy MCAS. 

This year, we see the impact of the new higher standards for the Grade 10 ELA and Math assessments in our own data. In past years, the percentage of our students achieving in the Proficient/Advanced category was in the 90s for both ELA and Math; this year, the percentage of students in the Meeting/Exceeding Expectations category is around 75% in both subjects. Statewide, that percentage is around 60% for both ELA and Math in this first year of the Next-Generation test. Because the Science test has not changed yet, Milton still maintains its 92% of students in Proficient/Advanced; this percentage may decline when the higher standards are applied for Spring 2020 testing. As the state spends the next few years grappling with what the new high school graduation criteria should be, Milton Public Schools will continue to examine our curriculum and program supports at all levels to prepare students for the higher state testing standards.

To learn more about the Next-Generation MCAS and how to interpret results, visit www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/parents. Please contact your children’s current teacher/principal if you have any questions regarding your children’s performance.

In Milton, we are committed to preparing our students to achieve academically. A standardized state assessment is a useful measure of what our students have learned during the year and whether they are on track to meet the rigor of the next grade level. Please be reminded that the state assessment is one of multiple measures – including homework, quizzes, internal assessments, class participation, projects, etc. – that we use in the district to evaluate your children’s performance. We firmly believe that the tremendous value of an education greatly exceeds any one singular measure.

Milton GOES GOLD

We are in the final days of  Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness.  Our goal is to raise awareness and funds and show support for children who are battling cancer.

HOW CAN YOU GO GOLD?

  • DONATE YOUR GOLD: Until September 30th, send spare change in with your child to help fill the GOLD boots at all elementary schools. You can also donate directly to the Michael C. McHugh Memorial FoundationWe are also collecting items for the One Mission Resource Room from this list at Pierce and MHS. Our Key Club students have created an Amazon wish list and you can order directly from this link and items will be delivered to MHS and sent on to the One Mission Resource Room.
  • GIVE BLOOD – AS VALUABLE AS GOLD: We are thrilled to report that both blood drives (last Saturday and tomorrow 9/26) are sold out! One pint of blood potentially helps 4 children so if we total 150 pints/donors – that’s 600 lives impacted! We are in need of a few volunteer greeters for Thursday’s blood drive at Cunningham Hall. Please click here if you can help out.
  • WEAR YOUR GOLD: On Thursday September 26th, wear as much gold as you can! Gold clothing, accessories, socks, earring, headbands, nail polish, shoelaces – we can’t wait to see your gold. No gold in your closet? No worries – yellow counts, too!
  • CHEER FOR GOLD: Attend the MHS Football game on Friday, September 27th at 4pm for Milton GOES GOLD night! Support the Milton GOES Gold lemonade stand, cheer on our honor team captains who have been affected by childhood cancer, donate to the Michael C. McHugh Memorial Foundation and bring your donations for the Key Club collection. Due to our 6pm curfew (precautionary measures to lower risk of our students contracting EEE), the Walpole vs Milton Football Game on 9/27 will be played at 4pm instead of the previously listed 7pm start.

Thank you for your support as Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness from September 16-30th! All proceeds will be donated to Wicked Good Cause and the Michael C. McHugh Memorial Foundation.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES

Have you ever asked yourself one of the following questions? Or perhaps the better question is – who hasn’t asked themselves several of the following questions!

  • Is my middle schooler social enough? Too social?
  • How can I help my child develop more academic and social confidence?
  • How can I make the most of my Parent/Teacher conference?
  • How can I best navigate Special Education resources for my child?
  • Raising kids in our digital world – please help!
  • How can we send more time together as a family in a mindful way?
  • What does this behavior that my child is exhibiting really mean?

We have a terrific resource for these questions and more!

The PARENT Speaker Series is pleased to present PARENT University on Thursday, October 17th from 6-8:40pm at the Pierce Middle School. PARENT University will offer a series of short educational and skill-building workshops for parents and guardians that will cover a wide range of topics. Workshops will focus on promoting the academic, social and emotional well being of children and teens. We will offer a total of 12 workshops in one evening, each lasting just one hour and each workshop will be offered twice–back to back—so that parents and guardians can attend their two top choices. Sign up details will be coming in October.

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Last night, Maureen Blazejewski presented “Designing Inclusive Schools-Ideas for Effective Advocacy” regarding supporting all learners.  Her humor was refreshing and her passion was ever present throughout. She provided a plethora of resources and strategies for parents and guardians of students that may have learning challenges or require special services.  She graciously provided a link for anyone to access her resource materials:  Maureen Blazejewski Resource Link

For those unable to attend, the presentation was taped by Milton Cable Access and we will announce when it is ready for viewing. Thank you to our SEPAC group and PTOs for helping to bring Ms. Blazejewski to Milton.

UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES

Sep 16-30 Milton GOES GOLD
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
Oct 14 No School – Columbus Day
Oct 16 Milton School Committee
Oct 17 PARENT University – Pierce Middle School
Oct 23 Early Release Day
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  At the last School Commitee meeting on September 25th, MPS Social Emotional Learning Facilitator Laurie Stillman, MHS Principal James Jette, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Karen Spaulding, and MPS Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue presented the findings of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey administered this past March at Milton High School. The survey illuminates the behaviors of our students, particularly around substance use and mental health status. This link will bring you to the PDF of the presentation.

The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, October 2nd at 7pm.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

During this school year, Milton High School will partake in a Self Reflection process as part of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Accreditation process. NEASC Accreditation is a respected, effective, and time-tested methodology for school improvement and growth. It is not a single event, but rather an ongoing, voluntary cycle of comprehensive internal and external assessments, short- and long-term strategic planning, and periodic reporting sustained by professional partnership and support. It is intended to serve as a framework for schools to meet their own unique goals for student learning while maintaining alignment with research-based Standards for Accreditation that define the characteristics of high quality, effective learning communities. It also serves to assess the systems in place for ongoing institutional self-reflection and a school’s commitment to and capacity for continuous growth and/or transformation.

As part of the NEASC Accreditation process, Mr. Jette is asking all parents/guardians to complete this family survey as soon as possible but no later than Friday, September 27th. The link to the parent/guardian survey can be found here. 

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Almost 50 Milton High School students were able to register to vote yesterday during all three lunches as part of National Voter Registration Day. Students had to be 16 years of age or older and they had to have with them their Driver’s License or Social Security Number. Our volunteers from the Divine Nine Sisterhood, who coordinated the registration process, were impressed with our students and shared that Milton has a high level of registered voters each year.

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8th grade parents and guardians – Please join Mr. Jette for Milton High School 8th Grade Parent/Guardian Information Night on Thursday, October 3rd at 6:30pm. This event will afford parents/guardians an opportunity to learn about course offerings, academic and extracurricular programs, athletics and activities that prepare students for college and life beyond high school. Parents/guardians will meet faculty and students and also have the option to take a tour of the building. All details can be found here.

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MHS Guidance would like to share this information about a Financial Aid Night being held at Stonehill College. Topics covered will include: What kinds of financial aid are available? What must you do to be considered for these funds? What deadlines must be met? How do you complete the PROFILE and the FAFSA (FreeApplication for Federal Student Aid)? How does income and assets affect eligibility for aid? How do you calculate your expected family contribution (EFC)? How do you compare award letters? All details can be found here.

MHS Guidance also wants to share information about a FREE seminar, the 11th annual “College Readiness for Parents: What Every Parent Needs to Know” seminar being held at Framingham State University. It is scheduled for Thursday, October 17 from 7-9 PM. The focus of this event is not on financial aid but rather on helping parents and guardians  understand the difficulties students have with the transition to college in order to help build the habits needed to become successful. This free event is geared towards  parents and guardians of students in grades 7-10. All details can be found here. 

PIERCE PAGES

Pierce guidance counselors hosted a new student lunch on Wednesday to check in with our newest students and continue to support their transition to Pierce. In the picture at left, Mrs. Jaquette facilitates a discussion on participating in Pierce’s club and other after school activities.

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Sixth grade ELA classes recently experienced the Starlab, our inflatable planetarium. Through this activity, students explored various constellations to support their reading of Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe. The Starlab was funded by the Milton Foundation of Education several years ago.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Glover is joining schools across the nation to bring “Start With Hello Week” to Glover. This special project has been created by the Sandy Hook Promise, a national non-profit organization founded and led by families who lost loved ones in Newtown. The organization is focused on preventing violence before it happens by mobilizing and educating parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals.

These past two weeks, we’ve been focusing on welcoming in our Second Step program and this will allow us to put our learning into action. The mission of this project is to make a difference in someone’s life and make them feel included. Through this project, we will learn about how to continue to build a school culture where everyone feels connected and included. It starts with three simple steps: see someone alone, reach out and help, and start with a smile.

On Monday, each student received a special nametag on a lanyard that they personalized with “conversation starters” for when they meet new friends.

On Tuesday, we held a “No One Eats Alone” day. We encouraged everyone to reach out and meet someone new during lunch to make sure that no one eats alone. Students wore their nametags so that they had the opportunity to address each other by name and start conversations with new friends.

On Wednesday, we held a “No One Plays Alone” day. Again, all students were encouraged to invite someone new to play at recess and they wore their nametags so that they could get to know each other. Teachers joined students both days to facilitate and support conversations.

On Thursday, the whole school will participate in “Hey Day!” All of us, educators, administrators, staff, and students, will wear nametags and students will be encouraged to greet each other by their first names in the hallways, cafeteria, playground, and classroom. Students will be encouraged to say “hey”, smile, or nod when passing others in the hallway.

Why are we doing this? The purpose of this project is to help us create a more connected and inclusive school community, to hopefully inspire others and create lifelong friendships, and to make a difference in someone’s life and help them feel accepted, included and valued.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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Ms. Windwer shares that her Cunningham 3rd graders had the privilege of having two impressive 5th graders come to their classroom for a lesson this last week. Caroline Melanson and Sara Callahan have been working with Adjustment Counselor Ms. Germano during their recess times to create mini lessons to share with younger students.

Last week, they read a book titled Be Kind. They stopped during their read aloud to ask students to connect to the story and asked them what it means to be kind. After the story, they introduced a Kindness Tree. Sara and Caroline handed out leaves and asked each student to write down one way that they can be or  show kindness. Our new Kindness Tree with all of its leaves is now proudly hanging in our classroom.

It was wonderful having former students come in to read, teach, and encourage these younger students to always be kind!

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Students in Mrs. Spitz’s 3rd grade class at Collicot have been working hard in Reach for Reading. The small reading books in Unit 1 answer the question “How do People help each other?” This week in centers each student received a book about a person that has helped others. The books included are Martin’s Big Words, The Jackie Robinson Story, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Nelson Madela. Students were asked to explain how these people changed the lives of the people around them. Students were then asked what all these people have in common. Is it heroism, bravery, grit?

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Collicot students in Ms. Mc Dermott’s  3rd grade classroom know that greeting students sets a positive tone for the day – because they have begun this practice in the new school year. Students feel welcome and safe when they arrive to the classroom and greetings help strengthen relationships by providing a personal connection. The greeting choices in Ms. McDermott’s classroom are handshake, high five, fist bump, wave, thumbs up, or a verbal hello. What a welcoming way to start the day!

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International  Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. It began in 1997 as a one-day event. Over time, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate every October. MPS will participate next week. Look for details from your Principal and PTOs!

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The Milton Foundation for Education is thrilled to announce the 2019 Monster Dash 5K run/walk and Kid’s Fun Run. Sunday, October 27th at Cunningham Park, 75 Edge Hill Road, Milton.

The Monster Dash, now in its 21st year, benefits the Sam Cichello Memorial Fund. The Cichello family created this fund in memory of their young son, Sam, who died tragically in a 1999 playground accident at Tucker Elementary School. Sam’s Fund supports the science curriculum in all Milton schools. Register now for this fun family event!

TECHNOLOGY

The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child, but when that saying was first said, that village probably didn’t have WiFi. There’s also a good chance the people in that village weren’t too concerned with Instagram captions and when too much screen time is becoming a problem.

Ana Homayoun, an education consultant in Silicon Valley and author of several books, including Social Media Wellness, said, “I always say, it takes a village to raise children; it takes an online village to help keep them safe.”

NPR’s Life Kit podcast asked for her thoughts on questions they got from listeners around the U.S. about parenting and digital technology.

So when should your child get their first phone? And can a phone help with homework? How do you deal with cyberbullying? What about online porn? Click here to read and listen.

FOOD AND NUTRITION 

Students in our  Achieve classroom recently planted three types of lettuce in the new MHS grow racks. Yesterday they harvested their lettuce and the food service department served it for lunch at Milton High School. Next week they will be harvesting their kale and basil and look forward to making kale chips and adding fresh basil to their salads. This first harvest was featured in the Patriot Ledger this week! 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Principal Jette, Vice Principal Kelly, Superintendent Gormley, Dr. Sabet, Vice Principal Mackinaw and Laurie Stillman and Margaret Carels from the MSAPC at Milton High School.

Laurie Stillman, from the MSPAC,  shares the following. Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) in Washington D.C., Senior Drug Policy Advisor to three U.S. Presidents, and Fellow at Yale University, was the distinguished guest speaker at Milton High School on September 19th at a morning assembly. In the evening, he addressed town leaders as well.

Addressing all high school students, his remarks helped them to understand the economic, political, historical, and personal context of the rapidly growing marijuana industry. He also explained the current research on marijuana’s impact on the adolescent brain, and how today’s formulations are much more powerful than they ever were. His style and words seemed to resonate; you could hear a pin drop during his presentations to over 800 students. The students asked some really thoughtful questions afterwards.

Because marijuana is consumed by many Milton teens (21%) through smoking, edibles and vaping, the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition believed it was important for our town’s students and adult leaders to be as informed as possible as the industry develops and grows in Massachusetts. Thanks to generous funding from Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse , as well as from BID Milton Hospital, the coalition was able to bring this informative national speaker to our community.

VAPING RESOURCES

On September 24, 2019, Governor Charles D. Baker declared a public health emergency in the Commonwealth due to severe disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products and the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth. As of September 19, 2019, the CDC had confirmed 530 cases across 39 states and U.S. territories, including seven fatalities in six different states. The commonality in all reported cases is a history of vaping, and a history of using vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), nicotine, or a combination of both. Dr. Monica Bharel, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, sent a letter to school MHS Nurse Kim Coughlin, which you can read in its entirety here. The letter is excerpted here.

A combination of medication and counseling has been shown to triple chances of successful cessation:

  • Refer to QuitWorks. QuitWorks is a free, evidence-based referral service that connects patients with phone-based counseling through the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline to help them stop smoking. Once a referral is made to Quitworks, providers receive feedback reports to stay informed of their patient’s progress.
  • Encourage patients to call the Massachusetts Quitline 1-800-QuitNow (7 days per week/24 hours per day, holiday hours may vary) to receive counseling online, by phone or through eChat and at least four weeks of free nicotine patches.
  • When appropriate, recommend or prescribe quitsmoking medications.Many medicines help with withdrawal symptoms and are not addictive. The nicotine patch, gum or lozenges, are available over the counter without a prescription. The prescription medication include Chantix, Zyban, inhaler, and spray.

Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help, and recommend that youth and young adults consider these resources:

  • My Life, My Quit has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Call or text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. For more information or to sign up online, visit mylifemyquit.com.
  • This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Young people can text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709 to get started. In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
  • Visit teen.smokefree.gov for tools and tips.
  • Visit mass.gov/vaping to learn about vaping addiction, health, and quitting.
  • Information for parents/adults is available at getoutraged.org.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, shares that Milton Public Schools staff participated this week in an extensive training regarding Crisis Management. This curriculum is designed to provide staff with Verbal and Physical De-Escalation Skills to be used in a Crisis or Emergency Situation. More than 50 staff, ranging across buildings and departments, completed this valuable training as part of the district’s annual requirement for Crisis Team  Certification.

TRANSPORTATION 

Milton resident Lee Toma shared with us that MassDOT plans to completely re-build Route 138 in both Milton and Canton, in line with the ‘Complete Streets’ design philosophy to make the road safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. They plan to add sidewalks along the whole corridor and make safety improvements at a number of intersections, including the Oak Street crossing near the Tucker School.

MassDOT will present their plans Tuesday,  October 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Fuller Village and offer an opportunity for the public to comment on them.  This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get real safety improvements in this densely-populated neighborhood and encourage more people to walk to school. More info on the meeting can be found here. 

Background info on the Route 138 study, including recommendations can be found here.  Please note that the design has evolved a bit since then based on interactions with Town of Milton staff, so expect to see some changes from what is currently posted online.

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

The Inclusion Task Force and Office of Pupil Personnel Services want to share information about a sensory friendly family movie, Finding Nemo,  on Saturday, September 28th from 2:30-4:30pm at the Milton Public Library Keys Room. No registration, all ages are welcome.  Feel free to get up, dance, talk, or sing! This program is sponsored by the Friends of the MPL.

ART AND MUSIC 

The music department is currently accepting instrument donations for the Sponsor A Lesson Program. In particular, half sized violins are needed for beginners interested in starting lessons this fall. Instruments in good condition with minor repair issues are especially appreciated! They may be dropped off at Milton High School during office hours or please contact Director of Fine & Applied Arts, Dawn Sykes or Applied Lessons Director, Gary Good with questions. Thank you for considering donating to Sponsor A Lesson!

ATHLETICS 

The Wildcats Football Team take on the Walpole Rebels on Friday at 4:00pm in what looks like will be the Boston 25 “Game-of-the-Week”! Vote here to be sure Milton gets the nod.  The Wildcats are 2-0 in non-league play and they will look to stay perfect on Friday. Make sure to come out and support the ‘Cats as this game is also the “MiltonGoesGold” game as part of Milton Goes Gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

BID- Milton will hold its Annual Community Benefits Meeting on Wednesday,
September 25 from 5:30 – 7 pm in the Nangeroni Education Center. At the meeting, the hospital’s 2018 Community Health Grant recipients, including Tucker School and Milton Public Schools, will present the results of their grant funded programs.

The hospital will also present an overview of its new Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Strategy, which will guide the hospital’s Community Benefits Program for the next three years. The public is invited and refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to via email Laureane Marquez or at (617) 313-1590.

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Tickets are now available for the 2019 Milton Library Foundation Literary Gala on Wednesday, October 16 at Granite Links, Quincy, MA

The evening will feature New York Times Bestselling Author, Milton Academy Graduate, & Dorchester Native Patrick Radden Keefe, the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. The evening begins at 5:00 pm  with a VIP Cocktail Reception with Patrick Radden Keefe where you can meet the author and have your book signed and personalized. At 6:00 pm, general admission to dinner includes a signed book and the author’s presentation and a Question and Answer Session with Mr. Keefe. Tickets and more information are available here. 

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The date for Celebrate Milton 2019 has been set! Save the date Sunday, October 6th from 12-4 at Pierce Middle School. Celebrate Milton is a group of community volunteers who run an Annual Fall event and provide grants to individuals and organizations whose activities support our mission of celebrating diversity within our town. More information can be found on our website. We look forward to seeing you there!

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The Forbes House Museum presents Portraits in Silhouette on Saturday, November 2nd
from 9am – 3pm. In plenty of time for the holidays, the Forbes House Museum is hosting amother-daughter team of silhouette artists to create a treasured  likeness of your child. Each sitting takes only ten minutes! Learn more and reserve your spot today by visiting our website and  clicking on “Portraits in Silhouette” under Events. A portion of the proceeds from each appointment and additional items purchased will
benefit the Forbes House. Thank you for your support!

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I received the following information from Town Administrator Michael Dennehy to share with the MPS community regarding Central Ave closures in the coming days. Please see this links for more information. 

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

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Run or walk the THIRD annual Mike’s 5k to Crush Substance Abuse to raise money for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs! Mike’s 5k was founded in 2017 in memory of Mike Mulcahy who passed away on December 1, 2016 after a heroic battle against addiction. In 2018, we were very proud to dedicate our 5k in memory of Michael Jesson of Milton, who passed in 2017 after valiantly fighting addiction. Race day registration starts at 9 AM at the Collicot/Cunningham School Cafeteria and the 5k begins at 10 AM through the beautiful streets of Milton. All details can be found here. 

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:

L-R Principal Jette, Clarissa Waldman, Catherine Le, Emily Dobrindt, Alisa Lorden Michael Daly, Cameron Pentland and Mrs. Cahill. Not pictured, Maria Koudounas.

STUDENTS: We are pleased to share the news that seven exceptional Milton High School students are being recognized as Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Of the 1.6 million entrants, only 50,000 students with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores (calculated by doubling the sum of the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Test scores) qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. These Milton High School students were notified this week by Mr. Jette that they have qualified as a Commended Student in recognition of their outstanding academic promise.

Please join us in congratulating Michael Daly, Emily Dobrindt, Maria Koudounas, Catherine Le, Alisa Lorden, Cameron Pentland and Clarissa Waldman on this impressive accomplishment.

STAFF: I would like to recognize Laurie Stillman, who has shared her talents with the Milton Public Schools in the many roles she has played. Ms. Stillman and her husband Robert Rosofsky were involved and supportive PTO leaders and parents of Anna and Gabe who attended Tucker, Pierce and Milton High School.  Laurie also served as a Milton School Committee member from 2002 to 2008.  

Ms. Stillman returned to the Milton Public Schools three years ago and has served as our Social and Emotional Learning Facilitator.  She worked with staff at all levels of our district to integrate SEL into every aspect of the lives of our students and staff. 

Ms. Stillman has implemented an array of programs and initiatives ranging from developing our district’s Strategic Plan’s SEL Goal to strengthening our partnerships with BID Milton and the Milton Health Department to implementing an action plan in response to our 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data.    

As Ms. Stillman moves on from her current role in the Milton Public Schools, we are grateful for her leadership and we look forward to continuing our work with Ms. Stillman in her role as the Director of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

VOLUNTEERS: I would like to recognize the members of the Transportation and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee listed below.  The charge of the Transportation and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee is to “coordinate the development of solutions to identified transportation and traffic safety issues with the Milton Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Milton Traffic Commission, and Town Administrator.” The Advisory Committee is comprised of one or more School Committee members, MPS Assistant Superintendent for Business, one parent from each elementary school, the middle school and the high school (appointed through the respective PTO Presidents/School Principals). The committee also has a liaison from Mass DOT to consult and assist with all Transportation concerns and solutions. The committee meets once a month on the last Monday of the month and  had their first meeting on Monday, September 23rd. If you have any Transportation and Traffic Safety concerns with regard to your school. Please reach out to your principal or school representative.

Thank you to School Committee members Margaret Eberhardt, Sheila Varela and Kevin Donahue and additional members (parents) Jim Mulligan (Glover), Libby Dunphy (Tucker), Jane Greene (Collicot), Rachel Shanor (MHS), Brian Canavan (Cunningham and Pierce) and MPS Assistant Superintendent for Business, Dr. Glenn Pavlicek, for their dedication to the charge of this Advisory Committee.

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Vy Vu, Jon Redden,  Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Jackie Morgan, James Jette, Taylor Windwer, Liz Spitz, Laura McDermott, Bill Fish, Karen Cahill, Kim Coughlin, Laurie Stillman, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti McKenna, Sheila Varela and Karen McDavitt.

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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