From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date May 30, 2019
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
As we approach graduation this Sunday, June 2nd, we have had many nights of celebration at Milton High School as we have honored our outstanding students for their achievements in academics, athletics and music. These are special nights in the Milton Public Schools and I know you’ll join me in congratulating the recipients and thanking those who make these evenings and awards possible.
Congratulations to Milton High Schools seniors for the academic awards presented to them this week. A special thank you to the families, organizations and foundations who donated over $140,000 to this year’s MHS seniors. This night is amazing as we honor many of our students with scholarships and awards. All names below can be enlarged by clicking on the photo and the full list of recipients can be found here.
FAME recently held their annual banquet to honor our musicians and as it is every year, it was a moving evening. Students were honored for leadership, spirit, improvement and more. Our musicians grow exponentially during their time at Milton High School and it is wonderful to see them recognized.
The Boosters rounded out our awards season with a terrific banquet just last night to honor our athletes. Athletes were honored for their sportsmanship, achievements on the field and court, athleticism and more.
These events would not be possible without the support of many people. Thank you to the parents/guardians of FAME and the Boosters, MHS Principal James Jette and Assistant Principals Ben Kelly and Brian Mackinaw, Dr. Nick Fitzgerald, Scott Devlin, Administrative Assistants Maureen Kennedy and Brad Spindle and Athletics Assistant Kristen Lesser for their contributions to these special nights.
We look forward to celebrating all of our seniors this Sunday, June 2nd at 2pm at Milton High School.
Just beginning their careers at the Milton Public Schools are these members of the class of 2033! We look forward to welcoming them on Tuesday, September 3rd for their first day of kindergarten. Between now and then, there are multiple Welcome to Kindergarten events for our students!
On Thursday, June 13th we will celebrate Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan as she prepares for her retirement at the end of the school year. All adults in the MPS community are invited to join us for this special event at Wollaston Golf Club on June 13th at 5pm. All details can be found here.
The next School Committee meeting is on June 5th, 2019 at 7pm at Milton High School. Information on previous meetings can be found here and all meetings can be watched live or on demand on Milton Access TV.
At 6pm on June 5th, the School Committee will honor our MPS retirees. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
MILTON SUMMER ENRICHMENT
What will your children be doing in July? If they want to do cool science projects, play basketball with friends, work on their creative writing, whip up a new recipe or dozens of other fun activities, you’ll sign them up for Milton Summer Enrichment! You can see some of the 2018 MSE fun in the pictures below.
New this year – MSE will be offering Fun Fridays! Highlights will include a performance from Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, a presentation from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, and the first ever MSE Field Day!
To register for MSE, go to Family ID and go to ‘search programs’ and type in ‘MSE 2019’. You will see a registration option for PreK-8, click on that and follow the prompts! For more information about MSE including the 2019 course descriptions, please visit the MSE website. Any further questions can be directed to Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan.
In advance of Memorial Day, the Pierce Middle School Student Council invited Veteran family, friends and community members to a breakfast gathering last Friday. Our honored Veteran guests enjoyed breakfast with the Student Council and then were joined by their Pierce student hosts. Each Veteran spoke about their service to their country and what it means to them to be a Veteran. Students asked questions and engaged in a dialogue around public and military service. Thank you to all who attended this special event.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
3..2..1, BLAST OFF to “A Universe of Stories”, this year’s summer reading theme. All four MPS elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for an exciting summer reading challenge. K-5 library classes will be learning how they can have fun, become stronger readers, and beat the “summer slide” by soaring into reading during the summer months. Teachers will be sending home registration forms as a homework assignment on June 10th inviting families to create a summer reading account at this link. From June 17- August 27, students can log their reading minutes along with any library events they attend, winning prizes along the way. We’re looking for 100% participation, so be on the lookout June 10th for the registration form and be sure to return the bottom section of the form to their classroom teacher. We hope to see many families at the Milton Public Library for the Summer Reading Blastoff Event on June 20th at 4pm, featuring Mike the Bubble Man. Let’s lift off into summer reading!
This year, the Rising Stars Math Academy, an offshoot of The Calculus Project, debuted at Tucker. With Math Coaches Maura Middleton and Mary Shapiro at the helm, a group of Tucker 4th and 5th graders participated in weekly math challenges designed to promote rigor, encourage mathematical reasoning and increase student confidence in their ability to solve math problems. To celebrate their months of hard work, Rising Star math students participated in an outdoor math event followed by a presentation of certificates. We would like to thank the Tucker families for their commitment to the program. In addition, we extend a special thank you to MHS volunteer, Nkechinyere Onyiriuka, for all her hard work as a leader, mentor and role model to our rising stars. Finally, our highest praise goes to the young scholars who tested their mettle each week.
As we shared two weeks ago, we will graduate our 1st class of Calculus Project Scholars on Sunday. We celebrated these students recently and you can watch the Calculus Project celebration in this video. We know many of our Tucker Rising Stars will be future Calculus Project graduates!
1st grade French Immersion students at Collicot and Cunningham came together on Friday, May 24th to celebrate the annual Francopholies cultural event. Students enjoyed a series of activities about Francophone countries around the world such as Haiti, Switzerland, Algeria, Lebanon, Tunisia and Canada and learned about the heritage and traditions of those countries. Artifacts from those countries were available for exploration and fun educational and physical activities led by teachers and guided by parent volunteers. Francopholies is a special learning experience for our students every year.
Tucker is excited to share the work from the sixth year of the Tucker Artist in Residence program. Each year Tucker staff works to identify a unique local or national artist to introduce students to a new art aesthetic and when possible, a new culture. This year our artist in residence was Sasja Lucas, a local artist born in Indonesia who lived internationally before settling in Massachusetts. Sasja’s work is based on Indonesian batik art and she brought the idea of steamroller mega print to us.
Each student designed an individual piece of balsa wood during art class with Tucker teacher Jessica Gillooly. The style of the work the students were emulating is Indonesian, based on batiks made by tjaps, (pronounced “chops”), traditional copper tools used to stamp the hot wax onto the fabric. Tjap images are made consisting only of lines, which lends itself to children’s drawings. The drawings are then “dented” into the soft base plate, resulting in a relief print. Sasja then joined our students work together, inked it and manually rolled the artwork using the pressure of the steamroller. In addition to Sasja’s team, Tucker parents Lyssa Palu-ay and Norell Veal agreed to be steamroll drivers during the exciting day. The prints were available to view at the Tucker art show last night and will hold a special place in the school building for years to come.
Thank you to Sasja Lucas, Pete Chamberlain (driver and mechanic troubleshooter), Julian Libront (inker), Sharon Berke (assistant), Gail Bos (assistant and artist printed plate) and to talented and dedicated Tucker art teacher Jessica Gillooly, as the drawings and transfers to the base plates were made in the art classes under her direction.
Last week, Glover and Tucker joint diversity committees sponsored our first annual Diverse Reads Family Book Club. Students from all 4 elementary schools, as well as Pierce, attended and brainstormed questions together before they had the opportunity to video chat live with author Veera Hiranandani who wrote The Night Diary.
Veera recently visited Tucker and Glover 4th and 5th graders thanks to Glover parent, Sara Crowe and her connection to the Blue Bunny bookstore. MPS parent and MPL librarian Sara Troug and the Milton Public Library generously offered their space to help make this happen. This is the first of what we hope will be many Diverse Reads Family Book Clubs sponsored by the Glover and Tucker Diversity Committees.
In recent weeks, Judy Jacobs from the Friends of the Blue Hills teamed up with Town of Milton nurses Caroline Kinsella and Susan Poirier to bring the Lyme disease awareness program, “Go Out and Play but Check Everyday” to our 4th grade classes as part of the elementary Future Problem Solving curriculum. The program is designed so that our 4th graders will now be informed and be able to share with others how to prevent Lyme disease, especially during this time of year when children and adults are often spending more time outside.
We hope many of you were able to be at Glover last Saturday to witness the annual Glover Duck Walk! Each spring, we anxiously await as a mother duck (hopefully) lays her eggs in the Glover Outdoor Garden. This space is a safe and protected area for the new duck family and the Glover School watches over the family from afar. Once the eggs hatch, the Glover (and if it happens on a weekend) Milton Community, comes together to quietly and calmly guide mother duck and her family to the waters of Turners Pond. Please enjoy the video of the Glover Ducks which might have a surprise ending!
What a great year for Milton Public School’s WaitUntil8th campaign! At left are the updated number of pledges for each grade level in each elementary school, totaling more than 300.
Remember, you can take the pledge at any time. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over kids having a smartphone. The pledge is activated and the parents are connected once at least 10 students within a grade at a school have pledged. All that is required is the student’s name, grade, school and a parent’s email address.
Please note that this pledge is for smartphones only! And of course it’s a pledge to wait at least until 8th grade. If you would like your child to have a basic phone that just calls and texts, you still can sign the pledge! The basic phone avoids many of the distractions and dangers of the smartphone. Here’s a link to some alternatives.
To learn more, please visit Wait Until 8th. Also, you can check out these recent news stories about the pledge: Kidzu – Why Tech Leaders Don’t Let Their Kids Use Tech Business Insider – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Raised Their Kids Tech-Free -Jan 2018
Tucker 2nd graders have been doing an amazing job caring for and nurturing our new Grow Rack. Our students have been watering and spacing our plants so each plant can have the proper room to grow. We will be harvesting our vegetables the first week of June. Lettuce for salads, Kale for Kale chips and basil for our tomato, mozzarella and basil salad will be harvested by our very own Tucker students.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Have you wondered what the best approach is when speaking with your children about using drugs? It’s not an easy topic and many of us are at a loss as to how to start the conversation. Through a grant from the Milton Junior Women’s Club, MPS is thrilled to be able to offer parents and guardians a wonderful opportunity to attend an award-winning workshop designed to help parents strengthen communication with their children and prevent them from using drugs.
This interactive, skills-based program teaches parents of students in 5th-9th grade how to promote positive health and personal development in their children. The curriculum covers collaborative techniques that parents can use to reinforce their children’s competencies in skills that have been found to reduce and prevent substance use. These tools help parents prepare their children for a successful transition from adolescence to early adulthood.
There is one more opportunity to attend the LifeSkills Parent Program on June 3, 6:30-8pm at the Pierce Library. To reserve your spot, please give a quick RSVP here. For questions or further information about these programs, please contact Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue via email or phone at 617-696-4470 x5547.
Help your kids make choices that will support their wellbeing. Participate in the SUPPER Project to learn how!
- Are you a parent or guardian of a child in 5 – 7thgrade?
- 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.
If you are interested in participating but are not available until school is out in June, we will be working with families over summer vacation (for parents/guardians of those entering 5thgrade 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.
The FACE Foundation’s Fund for French Dual and Language Programs in the United States awarded our French Immersion Program a grant in the amount of $6,000 to renew the school library collections of French books in our four elementary schools. Josh Coben and Dr. Martine Fisher will use these funds to acquire new books reflecting the richness of contemporary children’s francophone literature. Our school libraries need books that act as both mirrors and windows for our students, some reflecting their identities and experiences, others expanding their knowledge and curiosity.
The FACE Foundation – French-American Cultural Exchange – is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE Foundation promotes artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. This is the second time that this institution is supporting our French Immersion Program.
Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year is open! Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year. You must register each student separately (but can pay for them together) and you will receive a confirmation email that registration has been received for each student. If you are planning for your child to ride the bus in the 2019-20 school year, we strongly encourage you to read through this transportation letter which details the process. Registration will close on June 14. Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.
Bus registrations for students in grades 6 and 9 will not be complete unless residency is re-established during the re-establishment period in June. Please see below for re-establishment details. Students in grades 6 and 9 will maintain their place in the bus queue until June 14th at which time they will be moved to the bus waitlist if residency has NOT been re-established.
A letter has been sent via US mail to all who must re-establish residency. You can reference that letter, which contains the details here. Beginning June 3rd Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, will be in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. The residency packet can be found here. Re-establishment takes place in the Milton High School Lobby during the schedule at right.
The SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) will hold their final meeting and elections on June 5th at 7pm in the library at Glover. The SEPAC is seeking nominations and the nomination form and more information is available here.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is in the middle of updating our Community Health Assessment. The Assessment is critical for understanding what substance use challenges we face in our community and why, it helps us know if we are making a difference in our work, and it informs us about the concerns and ideas that community residents have. All of this information helps the Coalition and our partners more effectively focus our efforts.
In June, the MSAPC will roll out a Parent Survey – please consider taking it. Three years ago we had over 800 parents participate. The information we gathered was amazing! All Milton residents who are the parents or guardians of at least one child in grades 6 – 12 are encouraged to participate. It will be available to take during the month of June and can be accessed on-line. The link will be distributed through the Milton Times, MPS, Facebook, the faith community and the MSAPC newsletter. More information is available at the MSAPC website.
If you would like more information about our Community Health Assessment or great volunteer opportunities for youth and adults with MSAPC, please email the MSAPC.
UPCOMING MPS DATES
May 30 Collicot Art Show
June 2 MHS Graduation
June 5 School Committee, Retiree Reception
June 6 Cunningham Art Show
June 6,7,8 Mary Poppins, Jr.
Jun 10 Pierce Spring Concert Grade 7&8 at MHS
Jun 12 Milton School Committee Meeting and Volunteer Reception
Jun 13 Pierce Spring Concert Grade 6 at Pierce
June 17 Last Day of School – Half Day
ART AND MUSIC
The Milton Music Department’s Instrumental Lesson Program will be holding an informational session and instrument petting zoo on Tuesday, June 11th at 6pm in the Charles C Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This is open to interested students entering 4th and 5th grade and their parents/guardians. Parents will have the opportunity to learn about the program and pre-register their students for music lessons for the upcoming school year, while students will have a chance to try out instruments at our instrument petting zoo. Please contact program directors Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good with any questions.
The Music Department would like to recognize members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society for a successful school year. In addition to providing mentoring and tutoring services, members raised over $2,000.00 for the Sponsor-a-Lesson initiative. With this funding, the department will be able to offer scholarship opportunities to beginner musicians. Congratulations to the MHS Tri-M Chapter of for their dedication and service.
Congratulations as well to the following underclassmen who were recognized by the music department at the recent awards ceremony.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
The MHS Rowing Team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive fundraiser on Saturday, June 8th, 9am to noon at Milton High School. To arrange pickup of a can/bottle donation at your home, please email email@example.com.
Hundreds of runners will be lining up on Edge Hill Road on June 11 for the 42nd annual Milton 5K & 10K Road Race hosted by the volunteer members of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The race kicks off at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. Proceeds from this race are channeled right back into the Milton community in the form of scholarships for graduating high school students and community grants that support the Milton community. Online registration is available at www.miltonroadrace.racewire.com. There are some expected race related traffic issues and you can be aware of them here.
To commemorate the 40th annual Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place at Weeks Foot Bridge on the Charles River and Memorial Drive on Sunday, June 9, a special exhibit of Longquan celadon porcelain will be on display at the Forbes House Museum from June 9-14. Some of the top artisans from China, most with UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status, will be at the Forbes House to demonstrate their specialized art-making skills for one day only, on June 10. More information can be found on our website.
The Milton Music Fest and Fireworks team are delighted to announce this year’s exciting program of FREE Festivities over the weekend of June 22-23rd at “The Trustees” Gov. Hutchinson Field on Adams Street in Milton across from the Forbes House Museum. Saturday’s festivities begin at 4 PM with lots of family friendly events , food, music, and fun including Volleyball, Cornhole, Gaga Pit, a Giant Inflatable Slide (“The Log Jammer” ) and Milton’s largest children’s sandbox and culminate at dark with the stunning fireworks. The fun continues on Sunday, June 23rd with Celtic Sunday starting at 1 PM including a full afternoon and evening of family fun and Irish music. All details can be found here.
All weekend you can dance to live music and enjoy great food and beverages ( beer and wine too! ) that will be available for purchase from fabulous vendors. This year’s delicious food options include the Wahlburgers and Ahhh Roma Pizza food trucks!
If you would like to help support this great community event, please consider joining the Milton Music Fest and Fireworks signature sponsor, the Copeland Foundation, in support of this FREE wonderful event. To learn what “thank you opportunities” are available to donor friends, please email We Are Milton or call We Are Milton at 617-433-7273.
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: Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Sean Lopresti, Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Margaret Carels, Laurie Stillman, Martine Fisher, Karen McDavitt, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Cat DesRoche, AJ Melanson, Jess Gilooly, Justine Novak, Jackie Morgan, Marti McKenna, Ellen Lohan, Emily Hyde, Zeina Hamada, Maura Middleton, Mary Shapiro 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