From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: Monday, December 5th, 2016
Please note, there will be an early release day for all students K-12 on Wednesday, December 7th. Elementary teachers will be attending Parent/Teacher conferences during the afternoon and evening; and middle and high school teachers will be attending Professional Development sessions.
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
It’s that time of year again, when we get ready to register and welcome our youngest students. Parents/Guardians of children entering preschool, kindergarten or Grade One should be aware of the following dates:
2017/2018 – Dates for Pre Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 1st Grade Information
- December 5th -Pre – Registration for Kindergarten flier out in Blasts/Milton Times/Website
- January 12th – Pre-School Information Night at 6:30pm – MHS Auditorium
- January 25th – Kindergarten Information Night at 6:30pm – MHS Auditorium
- January 27th – Pre -School lottery closes
- February 6th – Pre- School letters are sent to families
- February 13th & February 17th – Pre- School Registration MHS Library
- February 14th, 15th, 16th – Kindergarten Registration MHS Library
- March 2nd – First Grade Information Night – MHS Auditorium
Those who have children entering any of our preschool programs and have questions should contact Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who have questions about our kindergarten or Grade One programs should contact Laurie Dunn at email@example.com
Also, for a step-by-step timeline and outline of the registration process, please click here to access the flyer under the heading “It’s Kindergarten Registration Time!”
SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE
There have been no School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, December 7th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.
The following item was sent in by Amy C. Gale, Cunningham and Collicot Curriculum Coordinator:
A friendly reminder to all elementary families that our new Standards Based Report Card will be sent home via backpack on Tuesday, December 6th and conferences will be held on Wednesday, December 7th. The implementation of the new report card has allowed for all teachers to analyze the strengths and challenges of each student with regards to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Teachers will no longer be providing families with numeric or letter grades, but rather with a mark that indicates “progress toward” individual standards. We have found this to be a more effective way of reporting to families what a child knows and is able to do. Please access this link to see each grade level’s report card, the letter to families that accompanies the report card and our current list of Frequently Asked Questions.
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On November 19th, the Debate team attended the Little Lexington Debate Tournament at Lexington High School and did extremely well. The team was led by Aislinn O’Brien and Tanvir Islam, who finished 8th overall and Domenic Jancaterino and Eva Hiller, who finished 12th overall.
Overall, five of the seven teams that competed earned enough victories to qualify for the State Tournament and the 2 teams that did not qualify were one victory shy. The students did an amazing job and we are looking forward to our next tournament, which is on December 10 at Lincoln-Sudbury.
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The following item was sent in by Dawn Sykes, Director of Fine Arts and Family/Consumer Studies.
I am proud to announce that Nethania Marc and Katherine Steele have been selected for the 2017 All-Eastern Honors Ensemble! The ensemble will rehearse and perform in Atlantic City, NJ at the Biennial Eastern Division Conference this coming April. Nethania will be a member of the Orchestra, and Katie, a member of the Mixed Chorus.
Eastern Division is a component of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and includes the states of New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. To be selected for a division-level ensemble is a tremendous acc0mplishment. Congratulations to Nethania and Katie, and their families!
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The following item was sent in by Dr. Angela Burke, Technology Administrator:
With the holiday season among us many of you may be considering the purchase of a Chromebook for your scholar. Since this is one of the preferred devices of the district, we do support your decision to have your scholar utilize one at home as well; however we do not endorse any one name brand. The district currently purchases “HP”, but we believe that there are other options that work just as well. We do believe that the Chromebook is a valuable tool for all scholars and find it compatible in most disciplines. There are of course instances when an iPad may be more appropriate for a specific task, but overall a Chromebook can help our scholars accomplish most of their goals. In thinking about keeping your scholar safe on the internet Chromebooks offer a feature called “Supervised Users”. This allows parents to monitor web activity, block sites, and configure “SafeSearch”.
Here is a link to a quick YouTube video that outlines the process for activating “Supervised Users”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gd4GCd35ZA
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The following item was sent in by Pierce teachers and Model UN advisors Lauren Hoyt, Melissa Augustyn, and Nancy Warn:
This fall, Ms. Augustyn, Ms. Hoyt and Ms. Warn worked with some amazing students on the Pierce Model United Nations team. We meet weekly and engaged in topics of global importance. We attended two conferences as a team, the Global Leadership Conference and the November Model United Nations Conference. At these conferences, we engaged in various topics representing the countries of the United States, France, Egypt, North Korea, Myanmar, Israel and more. We engaged in problem solving and consensus building on topics of hunger, the rights of women, nuclear proliferation, the rights of the disabled, as well as climate change and many other challenges facing the world community. Pierce students wrote position papers and resolutions on topics that required great research and understanding. Our students were incredibly dedicated and performed with excellence. Throughout the fall, students read articles, researched topics and countries, and studied parliamentary procedure. They represented Pierce Middle School and Milton Public Schools incredibly well and clearly enjoyed each and every experience.
At the November Conference, six Pierce students were recognized for their excellence. Abigail Files, Ralph Destin, Donovan Murray, Sophia Manning, Barron Clancy and Anderson Korman were given awards and invited to participate in a United Nations Crisis Simulation on December 3, 2016. Ralph Destin, Sophia Manning, Anderson Korman, Barron Clancy and Donovan Murray attended the conference last Saturday. Students were told the overall topic would be Ebola however, upon arrival; the topic was changed to nuclear proliferation. Our students adjusted, read their briefings and got to work.
For the Crisis Simulation, our students represented Israel, North Korea, Myanmar, and Belgium at this conference and tried to prevent various escalations in crisis, throughout the day. Although all students performed well, seventh grader Sophia Manning was recognized for her creativity in her representation of North Korea on the topic of Nuclear Proliferation.
We are proud of all Model United Nations Team participants and grateful to have had these incredible opportunities. We are grateful for the support of the Pierce P.T.O., Pierce Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding, and Superintendent Mary Gormley for making this opportunity possible. We are also thankful for the support of the parents who helped make last Saturday possible. John Clancy was the parent advisor on Saturday. He stayed with the students throughout the day, sending us updates and pictures. In addition, Bob Murray and Katie Manning both assisted with transportation. These experiences would not have been possible without this support and we are grateful for all those who assisted.
UPCOMING MPS EVENTS
Please note, there have been some changes to the Pierce concert schedule. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, December 6th, the 6th Grade Concert will be held at 6:30pm in the Milton High School auditorium. But this concert will also feature the 7th and 8th Grade Girls Chorus and 8th Grade Band, since they were unable to perform due to the fire alarm last week.
The following item was sent in by Guidance Director Karen Cahill:
Attention, high school seniors! The January 1st deadline is fast approaching…have you requested your transcripts yet? Below is a list of what needs to be done as soon as possible if you have a January 1st Deadline.
- Complete the 12th Grade Student Portfolio in Naviance under “About Me”. We cannot write your letter of recommendation until you fill out this form.
- Add your list of colleges and request transcripts in Naviance under “Colleges I’m Applying to”.
- Ask 2 academic teachers for letters of recommendation.
- After talking to the teachers about the letters, request the letters in Naviance under “Colleges I’m Applying to”.
- Make sure YOU have requested through College Board that your SAT scores be set out to colleges.
If you have any questions about this please make an appointment to see your guidance counselor as soon as possible. All letters and transcripts must be sent out by December 23rd if you have a January 1st deadline. The guidance staff will not be in school over the holiday break to send out letters and transcripts.
FOOD SERVICE NEWS
The following item was sent in by Jackie Morgan, director of Food Service:
The school cafeteria is open every school day for breakfast and every full day of school for lunch, serving many choices of nutritious hot and cold lunches, with lots of fruit and vegetable options. Our goal is to serve fun and healthy meals, with lots of choices, to as many students as possible.
We are asking all families to sign up for an online account. This not only allows you to pay on line but also set up a low balance email alert so that your child does not go into the negative. Families can still pay by check but are being asked to set up the online account as a communication tool as Parents/Guardians can also see the last 90 days of transactions. Having the low balance email has been very helpful to our families so their child does not go negative in their spending.
We are trying to help students be more aware of their account and let them know at the serving line when they need to reload funds or send in a new check payment. By setting up an online account at www.myschoolbucks.com and signing up for low balance alerts this will help keep you and your student more informed.
- Elementary $2.00 (Breakfast at all of our schools, $1.25)
- Pierce Middle School $2.25
- High School $2.25, $2.50 for Salad and Deli Bar
Milton Nutrition Services Department uses a computerized Point of Sale payment system called Nutrikids.
How to Prepay:
- Send or bring a check (payable to Milton School Food Service Program) to your child’s school, in an envelope marked ‘Cafeteria’ for deposit into your child’s account. Your initial deposit can be any amount. We have locked mail boxes in the main office and in the cafeteria at each school.
- Record on the memo line of the check: Student’s first and last name.
How the computerized payment system works:
- Every student will have their own personal lunch account, whether or not they ever use it.
- Parents/guardians can deposit money into the student’s account by check, cash, or on-line (see above).
- In the cafeteria there is a computer touch-screen cash register and PIN pad for entering the PIN # at middle and high school.
- If your student qualifies for free or reduced price lunches, this information is securely contained within the system, and the meal will be processed just as it is for all other students. There is no need to be concerned for a potentially uncomfortable situation for the student.
- Students access their accounts at the cash register by entering their PIN # on the PIN pad (just like the number section on a computer keyboard) located at the register. However, if they do not remember it, we are able to access it through the computer register by entering their name. Elementary students come through the serving line with their homeroom and they just need to give their name to the cashier.
- Sales will be automatically deducted from the student’s account, and account use is tracked in the system.
- Money paid into a student’s account can be used to purchase meals or one of the snacks and beverages we have available (varies at each school level). You may contact food services if you do not want your child to purchase snacks. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student account balances are allowed to go negative (for breakfast and lunch only, no a la carte items) to a maximum limit of ($10.00). Students who owe more than that will be offered a healthy yet alternative meal until the debt is repaid.
- Cash sales are still an option, although discouraged, as it slows the line, leaving less time to eat.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS NEWS
The following item was submitted by MPS Health/PE Director Noel Vigue:
BOKS is a before-school exercise program that launched in October 2009. Founder Kathleen Tullie, after reading the book SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Dr. John Ratey, was inspired to get her own kids moving and boost their academic performance. She rallied a small-but-dedicated group of passionate moms armed with a mission, a simple idea and whistles.
These moms were the first volunteers of what would become a nationwide movement. BOKS is a grassroots program, lead by parent volunteers that look to get kids moving, teach simple nutrition lessons and reinforce healthy behaviors taught in health and physical education classes. It’s a wonderful example of school community working to help students be their best.
Studies show that students who exercise regularly, in moderate to vigorous intensities, see significant boosts in intelligence-test scores and core subjects at school, compared to their inactive peers (Ratey, 2009). There has been great interest in looking at the association between participation in physical activity programs like BOKS and academic-related skill building and executive functions. There is evidence that aerobic exercise is linked to a particular type of learning. Researchers found that executive functions that are closely related to learning achievement can be improved by acute and recurring moderate to vigorous physical exercise (Kubesch, Walk, Spitzer, Kammer, Lainburg, Heim, and Hille, 2009). They examined the effects of a single 30-minute physical education program on working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition of attention and behavioral tendencies of eighty-one students. Results indicate that the maintenance of on-task attention in the face of distraction was improved by an aerobic endurance exercise-based physical education program. Interestingly, over the course of three years of study, the patterns towards more improved working memory for BOKS children as compared to their non-BOKS peers had been strong and suggest a robust relationship between participation in a before-school physical activity program, such as BOKS, and improved capacity to complete tasks, carry out instructions, and to multi-task.
School districts across the country are seeing the results and looking to provide more opportunities for students to be physically active and help prepare their brains to learn, Milton is no exception. Standardized test findings from BOKS builds the case that physical activity engagement can actually support learning and that increased physical activity involvement positions children to be more ready and alert for learning experiences. Researchers Sattelmair and Ratey suggest the link between learning and physical activity may be strong, citing research that indicates students who receive a high level of strenuous physical activity exhibit higher test scores (2009). Ratey points out that, exercise does not specifically make someone smarter, but what it does do is optimize the brain for learning for 90+ minutes post-exercise. Consistent with Ratey’s findings, three years of research on BOKS points towards valuable associations of participation with, enhanced executive skill functioning, and improved performance on school-related learning measures.
BOKS is a great example of some of the ideas that we are exploring, as we look to find more possibilities for students to be physically active and improve academic performance.
We would like to recognize the following parent volunteers for their outstanding efforts and valuable time spent organizing the before-school exercise program BOKS (Build Our Kids Success).
- Collicot: Thank you to Eric Kelley (BOKS leader), with tremendous support from Heather Bergin, Jon Heelen, Patty Gervasi, and Marie Morse.
- Tucker: Thank you to Tracy Troiano, Meena Tondravi, Keith Schleicher, and Theresita Cochran for spearheading the effort to bring BOKS to Tucker.
- Glover: There is a rotating list of parents/guardians helping with BOKS at Glover. We would like to recognize Courtney MacNaught (BOKS leader), Deborah Milbauer, Melanie Manares and Andrea Synnott for all their help.
If you’re interested in learning more, please contact MPS Health/PE director – Noel Vigue at: email@example.com.
(Reference: Natick BOKS study prepared by: National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College, 2011-2014)
The following item was sent to us by MPS parent and Philanthropy Officer for Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Milton, Anne Gatnik:
Is running the Boston Marathon on your bucket list? Well here’s your chance to make it happen! Team BIDMC is now accepting applications for runners who would like to run the Boston Marathon on April 27, 2017 for BID-Milton. Runners selected to run for BID-Milton will raise funds for patient care at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton. The fundraising minimum is $7,500 for charity runners and $1,000 for qualified runners. Runners are fully supported in their fundraising and training efforts through Team BIDMC. Apply at www.2017treadstrong.org. Please submit your application by Thursday, December 1st.
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The following item was submitted by Mme. Brown, a first-grade teacher at Glover Elementary School:
Please drop off your used soccer uniforms (and equipment) in collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot/Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce schools and at 34 Cliff Road. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. Note that uniforms from other sports will also be gratefully accepted. (Collection dates are November 28th – December 16th)For more information, call Madame Brown @ 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public schools and Milton Soccer
PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS
The following item was submitted by Tracy Grandeau, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services:
The Milton Public School District strives to promote an inclusive environment for all students through our instructional practices, curriculum, and support services. Moreover, the Inclusion Task Force continues to make recommendations to further expand opportunities for all students in our schools and the Milton community.
Inclusive Schools Week is celebrated this year during the week of December 5th. One way in which we embrace Inclusive Schools Week is to review and use resources in our classrooms. To further enhance inclusive opportunities for all students, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has published the Educator Effectiveness Guidebook for Inclusive Practice (2015). This guidebook is a valuable resource for teachers and administrators to use in the classroom setting and the guidebook provides suggestions regarding strategies to foster inclusive practices. The guidebook can be found using this link:
Also, please note that starting today, Tracy Grandeau, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services, will be emailing every teacher a daily reminder of best practices for inclusion next week.
The following item was sent to us by Amy Flanagan of the MFE:
The Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) is thrilled to announce the commencement of our 20th Anniversary Competitive Grant Program!
Last year, the MFE celebrated 20 years of funding initiatives that have altered the educational landscape of our school system, many through our Teacher Grant Program. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we have created a special commemorative grant. Like our previous grant programs, this is designed to provide innovative and inspiring educational opportunities that fall outside the district’s budget. These are ideas conceived by the people who are on the forefront of educational discoveries and know what our students need best – our incredible teachers! Such grants have provided musical instruments, hands-on STEM opportunities, anti-bullying initiatives, enhanced libraries, artist-in-residency programs, social thinking programs and so much more.
The 20th Anniversary Competitive Grant Program will be all of this and more. Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful sponsors and generous community through Celebration 2016, we are putting this year’s grant program into overdrive. We have invited teachers and department heads to apply for grants of larger scope than we were able to fulfill before: to tell us about those big ideas that will enrich classrooms and inspire minds and to change lives on a bigger scale than was previously possible through our grant program.
We can’t wait to see what evolves from this exciting opportunity. Stay tuned for more!
MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
In addition to our regular story times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of December 4 – 10:
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 from 7:15-7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11
Join the newest craze: the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a brand-new, read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in various hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. We’re currently reading Odd, Weird and Little by Patrick Jennings. No registration is required. In partnership with Milton Reflecting.
Friday, December 9, 2016 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
Signing with Maribeth for Parent/Baby, Ages 8-18 mos. with caregiver
Learn how to communicate with your baby before he/she can speak! Join Maribeth MacDonald, sign language interpreter, for an introductory course in baby sign language. Infants from eight months of age can learn concepts such as “thirsty,” “milk,” “water,” “hungry,” “sleepy,” “pacifier,” “more,” and other basic signs; participants will learn how to use these signs, and more! For babies 8-18 mos, with parent. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.
Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
Reading Dogs, Grades 1-5
The Reading Dogs are back! Kids currently in grades 1-5 who need to practice reading aloud are invited to come meet and read to some lovable therapy dogs who are great listeners. Each child will have the opportunity to read at least one book to one of our canine volunteers. Bring a favorite book with you, or choose from our shelf. Registration is required.
Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.
To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:
The Milton Art Center will host a Small Works Show and Holiday Party Friday December 9th from 6-9pm. The event will feature live music by vocalist Pat Neves and light refreshments and is open to all.
All works are for sale and priced very reasonably for holiday giving. The show will be up from December 10 – December 22, with open gallery hours on Fridays 4-6, and Saturdays 12-4. All work can be taken “off the wall” and brought home at the time of purchase! Don’t miss this opportunity to shop for beautiful locally-made fine art! Visit www.miltonartcenter.org for more information.
Congratulations to the MHS Girls Cross Country team, who, after finishing their undefeated season, headed to upstate New York last weekend to compete in the Nike Northeast Regional Cross Country Championship. The Milton girls placed fourth in the region, competing against teams from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and all the New England states. Junior captain Bridget Mitchell finished the race in 10th place.
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Please note that Winter Athletic contests will begin on Sat. Dec. 10th
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Elliott Physical Therapy, with locations in Milton and Dorchester, has partnered with Ted Kackley, Milton High’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, to provide free injury screens to all Milton High School students and teams. Student athletes are assessed both individually and as teams using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and additional injury prevention assessments. The screen looks at strength, balance and flexibility specific to the athlete’s age and gender. Trained physical therapists calculate the results and develop an individualized sport-specific training program to address their needs. Please email Patti Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in scheduling an assessment for your student or team.
For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here: http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/
As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers and members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition. Please read about some of their outstanding accomplishments below:
Students: Congratulations to Pierce Middle School students Donovan Murray, Barron Clancy, Sophia Manning, Anderson Korman, and Ralph Destin, all of whom were invited to participate in the Model UN Invitational. This is a remarkable achievement and we are very proud of these students!
Staff: Congratulations Ms. Sherman! Please join me in congratulating Pierce Middle School art teacher, Ms. Sherman, whose artwork is being featured at the Main Street Arts Art Gallery in New York as part of a special juried exhibition, Small Works 2016. Artists from across the country were selected to feature a piece that was 12 inches or smaller. Ms. Sherman’s self-portrait was part of her “40 until 40” challenge where she painted 40 paintings, one a day, in the 40 days leading up to her 40th birthday. Well done!
Volunteers: There is a group of volunteers who I would like to recognize. Our Milton High School Boosters are made up of parents, community members and other interested parties who enrich the MHS Athletic community by providing financial support and assistance for our athletic programs. From car washes to bottle and can drives – from our annual Swing for Sports fundraiser, to the daily staffing of the concession stands — our Boosters are a huge source of support to our student athletes. I am grateful to all who volunteer with the Boosters, but especially to their leadership team: President Tom McCarthy, Vice Presidents John McDonnell and Jeanne Kibble, Treasurer Gary Kelly, and Secretary Carla McDonnell. My sincere thanks to all of you!
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.