November 7, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: November 7, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The Milton Public Schools are recognized, nationally and internationally, for the quality and diversity of World Language instruction at all levels. Our district’s standing commitment to early language acquisition started more than 30 years ago as an increasing body of research was documenting the undeniable advantage of learning a second language at an early age. Our district counts today, from grade 1 to 12, 1,681 Spanish students, 1,518 French Immersion students, 333 Latin students (Pierce and Milton High School) and 58 non-immersion French students (Milton High School).

Dr. Martine Fisher has been directing the World Language Department for the Milton Public Schools for the last eight years. She is a graduate from the Sorbonne and McGill universities and was recently honored by the Ordre des Palmes Academiques, a national order bestowed by the French Government to distinguished academics and figures in the world of culture and education. I have asked Dr. Fisher to share more information on our World Language curriculum below.

The study of languages is integral to a well-rounded education in today’s global society.  Learning a new language builds listening, speaking, reading, writing and communicative skills while promoting understanding and appreciation of cultural differences. Learning a world language supports academic achievement, promotes understanding of other cultures and peoples, and opens opportunities for employment not only in business but also government, international relations and law, communications, travel, publishing and scientific research, among others.

Our thriving elementary French immersion and Spanish programs started respectively in 1987 and 1998. At the Pierce Middle School, students have the additional option to select Latin. At Milton High School, students may switch languages, if they wish, and start French, Spanish or Latin without prior knowledge. High School students  also have the option to select a second World Language as an elective. Our French, Latin and Spanish Advanced Placement Programs continue to grow and thrive. One hundred and forty students took the exam last spring with a overall rate of success of 89%. World Languages at Milton High School continue to demonstrate the highest rate of achievement on Advanced Placement exams.

In addition to being highly qualified, our World Language teachers demonstrate a native or near-native level of proficiency and first-hand familiarity with the language and the culture(s) they teach. Our students benefit greatly from regular interactions with these educators, who represent diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Our faculty currently includes educators from Cape Verde, Lebanon, Senegal, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, France, Lebanon, Egypt, Portugal, Vietnam, Algeria, as well as the United-States, among others.

At all levels, in accordance with the ongoing evolution of the field of World Language instruction, students in the Milton Public Schools learn and use their target language in meaningful and real-life contexts through an ever-widening range of reading, writing, speaking, listening and communicative activities. Through the use of standards and performance-based instruction students develop communicative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Technology plays a major role in 21st century language classes. Smartboards, I-pads, chromebooks, educational applications and programs and our language labs at the Middle and High School all connect our classrooms and our students to the world. In April, a group of 35 High School students will participate with their teachers in a one-week educational trip to Portugal. You can read more about our French Immersion and Spanish programs in these links.

I look forward to sharing in-depth information about different aspects of the Milton Public Schools curriculum in this space in the coming months.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

A recent survey conducted by Common Sense Media shows that for teens, ages 13 to 18, daily average screen time has gone up by 42 minutes over the past four years. Teens now spend, on average, 7 hours and 22 minutes per day on screens, not including homework or schoolwork.

In the article linked here, Screenagers director Delaney Ruston, MD talks about the impact and discusses some strategies for parents/guardians.  She says first and foremost, talk with your kids about the survey findings and the considerable increases in time spent on screens. Here are some questions to get a conversation started:

  • How many hours do you think the average teen is on a screen? How about the average 8-12 year old?
  • What do you think the biggest thing that 8-18 year olds are doing in those hours? (Answer: watching TV/videos)
  • Do you ever look at the “recommendations” from YouTube?
  • To what degree are having such recommendations helpful? Not helpful? Good for society?

As you navigate issues around screen time with your family, there are two items below that may interest you.

On November 13th, we’ll be showing the newly released film “Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience” at the MHS auditorium at 6:30pm. The film examines the science behind tween/teen’s emotional challenges, the interplay of social media, and most importantly, what can be done in our schools and homes to help them build crucial skills to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression in our digital age. This film is not available online or via Netflix, it is only available through community events that bring parents/guardians, kids, teens and educators together to continue the conversation about the impact of screen time, digital citizenship, the increase in stress/anxiety and to share ideas and strategies. Parents are encouraged to bring their children ages 11 and up to this PARENT Speaker Series event. After the film we’ll have a facilitated Q&A with MPS adjustment counselors. This event is free and open to the public.

The PARENT Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Public Schools, Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Parent Teacher Organizations and Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

The Milton Public School’s Wait Until 8th campaign is in its second year.  300+ Milton families have taken the Wait Until 8th pledge. The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers families to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade.  By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and families alike over the kids having a smartphone.

Please note that this pledge is for smartphones only! 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.  A pledge becomes “active” once 10 or more families from a grade at a school sign. The organizers designed the pledge this way so you don’t have to fear “what if I am the only family that signs this in my kid’s grade.” This takes the pressure off because the pledge only kicks in once at least 10 families sign from your grade.

To learn more, please visit Wait Until 8th. When taking the pledge please use the following names for each school:Collicot Elementary School; Cunningham Elementary School; Glover Elementary School; Pierce Middle School; Tucker Elementary School.  If you have any questions regarding the campaign please email AJ Melanson.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Nov 8 Pierce Peace March – POSTPONED
Nov 11 No School-Veterans Day
Nov 13 Parent Speaker Series, Screenagers Next Chapter
Nov 14 Early Release Day for Students/Conferences Grades 6-12
Nov 20 Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 21 MHS Cabaret
Nov 23 Eastern District Sr Auditions
Nov 27,28,29 No School-Thanksgiving Day Recess
Dec 2 Town Meeting
Dec 4 Milton School Committee
Dec 5 MHS College Information Night
Dec 9 Pierce Gr. 6 Winter Concert @ MHS
Dec 10 Pierce Grs 7&8 Winter Concert @MHS
Dec 11 MHS Winter Concert
Dec 12 Early Release Day for Students-Conferences Grs K-5 Only

The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

Due to expected weather conditions this Friday, November 8th, the Pierce Student Council has decided to cancel Friday afternoon’s Peace March from Pierce Middle School to Town Hall. They will reschedule in the spring.

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As we approach Veterans Day on Monday, November 11th, I want to share the ways in which the Milton Public Schools helps to honor our Veterans.  Across the district, schools are holding assemblies and special events, inviting family members and friends who have served in the armed forces, both to acknowledge these veterans and also foster their connections to our students. Older students are writing essays and younger students prepare artwork honoring a specific Veteran or Veterans in general and these will be displayed throughout our schools. Our high school students often participate in our town wide Veterans Day observance.

Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11th, the anniversary of the end of World War I, to honor military veterans, victims of all wars, and persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Over the years, Veterans Day has evolved into a holiday honoring current and former members of the United States Armed Forces. The Milton Public Schools observes this federal holiday and there is no school on Monday, November 11th.

Periodically, the Milton Public Schools receives information and resources available to military. If you are a military family and would like to receive these announcements, please email your contact information to our Family Outreach Liaison,  Marti O’Keefe McKenna. Ms. McKenna can also be reached by phone at 617-980-7343.

On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, thank you to our Veterans and their  family members for your service!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, November 20th at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Please join the Guidance Department for our annual College Information/Post Secondary Planning night, at Milton High on Thursday, December 5th at 6pm in the MHS Auditorium. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate the college application process:

  • Financial Aid
  • Standardized Testing
  • Supporting your senior throughout the year
  • NCAA Requirements
  • Overview of the College Application Process
  • Naviance

Representatives from Emmanuel College Admissions, Summit Educational Group, American Student Assistance and Milton High School staff will be running all sessions. After a brief introduction in the auditorium, each sessions will run in 30 minute intervals. Students & Parents/Guardians are invited to attend any sessions during that window.
This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in any grade level. A breakdown of specific topics covered in each session will be sent out as we get closer to the event.

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On the November 14th half day, our 6-12th grade families will have Parent Teacher Conferences and on December 12th, our K-5th grade families will have conferences. These articles from Parent Today and the National Education Association have some helpful guidelines to help you get the most out of your P/T Conference.

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We know that many of you attended last weekend’s performances of the Addams Family and thought you would like to read MHS student Will Scannell’s review of the play for the MHS publication, The Elephant in the Room.

“The Addams Family” Showcases the Talents of Milton High’s Theatre Program

Just in time for Halloween, the Milton High School Theatre Program dazzled with their production of the Addams Family.

The show was fun from beginning-to-end, with jokes galore and catchy musical numbers. More importantly, it was a showcase of the professionalism and creativity of the entire Milton High theatre department.

The story of the Addams Family is mostly set in the Addams household, filled with the family’s gothic characters. The daughter of the Addams family, Wednesday (played by junior Anna Hoey),  is a dark-humored teenage girl that hunts critters with her bow-and-arrow. Ironically, Wednesday falls in love with the preppy Lucas Beineke (played by sophomore Maxwell Mitchell), who tutors children in his free time.

Portraying the cartoon-like characters of the Addams Family takes a lot of energy from the actors. From Caitlin Lydon’s potion-mixing Grandma to Rowan Leggett’s moon-loving Uncle Fester, the characters are a motley crew of over-the-top wackiness. However unusual the roles were, each actor played his or her character with energy and conviction.

As husband and wife of the Addams family, Gomez (played by Gabriel Winkler) and Morticia’s (played by Olivia Ketler) hilarious banter and individual charisma energized the show. Also, Winkler and Ketler’s dark-witted characters contrasted perfectly with senior Maeve Bentley and junior Brendan Cullen’s portrayal of a prototypical American marriage.

The ensemble made their presence felt as well. Although they didn’t speak as much as the leads, their movements and facial expressions added to the mood of any given scene.

Just as fun and diverse as the characters were the musical numbers. “When You’re an Addams,” for instance, was like a flash mob with the entire cast dancing as one. Credit is due to choreographer, Katherine Encarnacao.

Still, songs like “Happy Sad” gave individual actors, like Anna Hoey, the opportunity to showcase their powerful singing voices.

The acting, singing, and dancing were backdropped by excellent set design and lighting. As the setting takes place entirely in and around the Addams’ residence, both the actors and stage crew were able to flip the sets between inside and outside the home. On top of the ingenious set design, the ominous lighting deepened the gothic style of the show.

House Manager Kathryn McCarthy, alongside crew members like Henry Hall, did a fantastic job of underlying the dark tone of the production.

The Addams Family showcased the quality of shows that the core group of student-actors and crew members at Milton High are capable of putting on. Director, Kevin Black, put together something special that was fun for audience members all while letting students’ talents shine. The theatre program now has its sights set on its future production of Newsies in May of 2020.

PIERCE PAGES

Our Pierce Volleyball team has just completed their second season. The Volleyball Team (and Wrestling Team) were started in the 2018/19 school year with fund raised from the parent run Pierce Golf Tournament in 2018. The Volleyball Team took on the Pierce staff as their final game of the season. Congrats to all on a hard fought, back and forth battle!

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Looking for a quick and easy way to help out at Pierce? Volunteer to bring an item or an hour of your time at the next Staff Appreciation meal on Thursday, November 14th. All details can be found here.

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Join us for the PIERCE PALS fundraiser, hosted by Milton Boot Camp, on Saturday, November 9th  –  10-11:15am. Meet at the Blue Hills Access Road. $15.00  donation to Pierce Pals, (Cash or make your check payable to Pierce PTO). Email Maureen@bootcamp.com or kconnell@miltonps.org with questions. Hope to see you there!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Earning those Paws!

Cunningham 4th grade students in  Mrs. McKay and Ms. Staker’s class are embracing PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) in their classroom with great success.

PBIS was implemented in the Milton Public Schools in the 2018/19 school year. The key to PBIS is prevention, not punishment. It seeks to proactively and consistently set out rules, routines and expectations for positive student behaviors in every school zone, and praise students when positive behaviors are exhibited. The approach uses the basic psychology tenet that humans learn best when they are rewarded for desirable behaviors.

Each school uses a school based system  to motivate students. In Mrs. McKay and Ms. Staker’s  classroom students have been earning many “Cunningham Paws” for showing expected behaviors. When students earn a paw they add a paw sticker to their card. Once they have earned 5 paws, the students can turn the card in for a Homework Pass or a Friday Friend Pass. Our students love this! The Homework Pass is good for one night without homework and the Friday Friend Pass allows them to invite a friend from another class to join the classroom for Friday stations. The excitement when they get to choose either the Homework Pass or a Friday Friend Pass is palpable and leads to more students showing expected behaviors and earning more paws. Thank you to our teachers and staff for continuing to make PBIS a crucial underlying component of a successful school environment.

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Collicot was fortunate to welcome The Bay Colony educators for an assembly this week – it was their 30th visit to Milton! Tim and Carol, a husband and wife team, bring colonial times to life for our Collicot 3rd graders. They talk about what it would have been like to live in Milton (called Miltontown) in the 1700’s. Students learn about the type of clothing, jobs, and responsibilities of men, women and children. They imagine what school was like (in a one-room schoolhouse) and what it means to be an “adult” at the time of losing their first baby tooth. Students walk away from this informative assembly with a deeper understanding and appreciation of what life was like in early Massachusetts and hopefully recognize how fortunate we are to have the many conveniences we have in today’s world.

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This Fall all 1st grade  students participated in the program “The Day the Water Stopped” presented by Meg Tabacsko of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, MWRA. The program sparked the curiosity and awareness of the importance of water in daily lives of our students. First graders imagined what life would be like if the water stopped! Students learned how patterns of temperature and precipitation can impact our water supply in the Quabbin Reservoir and movement through the water main.

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In Tucker Spanish classes this week, all grades discussed Day of the Dead, one of the most important Mexican Traditions. Students learned about the Ofrenda project and how each grade will contribute to it. All Spanish students participated in this project with 1st graders contributing marigold flowers, 2nd graders making sugar skull bags, 3rd graders working on the skull banners, 4th graders creating real mini sugar skulls and candles and our 5th graders constructing papel picado. The well known people you see in the Ofrenda were chosen by the students.

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Glover 5th graders enjoyed their time in the new MFE sponsored library Makerspace this week!

FOOD AND NUTRITION

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.

FUNDRAISING 

We are once again lucky to be partnering with the Milton Fruit Center for Schools Shopping Week November 4th-10th. All six Milton Public Schools will be benefiting from the Fruit Center’s generosity.  Here’s how you can participate:

Download a shopping voucher for your school below (you’ll need Adobe Reader). Print as many you’d like and share them with friends, family and neighbors.

Present your voucher when you make purchases at the Fruit Center Marketplace from Monday, November 4th through Sunday, November 10th. Shop as often as you’d like during that week. The Fruit Center Marketplace will donate 20% of the total purchases back to your school so stock up on your favorite Fruit Center items and help out your school! All details and vouchers can be found here.

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

The MPS  Inclusion Task Force recommends a free professional development opportunities to families. New England Yachad, in partnership with The Ruderman Family Foundation Presents: The New England Inclusion Summit 2019: Facing Isolation in Our Communities on  November 10th, 9:30am-6:30pm at The Campus @ 384 Harvard Street, Brookline. All details can be found here.

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Milton Public Schools holds periodic preschool screenings once a month and the next opportunity is November 14th. If your child is ages 3 to 5, and not yet eligible for kindergarten this message may be helpful. If you have concerns about your child’s development MPS offers screenings through the early childhood department. This screening is open to Milton Residents who have concerns related to their child’s development. If you would like to discuss this opportunity for your child, please contact Jaymne Szymczak via email.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Milton Public Schools Annual Flu Clinic will be held on Wednesday, November 13th from 3:00 to 5:00pm in the Pierce Middle School Cafe (enter and exit through cafe doors in front of school).  All students in grades 3 to 12 accompanied by a parent/ guardian are welcome.  Please bring your insurance card.

This clinic will have nurses from all of the Milton Public Schools in the hope to help our students have a healthy winter season and minimize the effects of the flu virus in your homes and in our schools.  Our nurses are committed to supporting the health and well being of all the students in our district and hope to see you there! For more information please see the Department of Public Health’s The Flu: a Guide for Parents.

ATHLETICS 

Thirteen students qualified for the Sectionals and States from the Swim Team. The boys 200 Medley relay not only won, but set a new meet record. They also qualified for states in the 200 free relay. Kevin Carberry made his second sectional cut. Emily Dobrindt won the 100 fly. Maggie Haley, Eliza Callahan, and Adri Halpin all qualified for states. Joe Pezzini won the 200 IM and 100 yard breaststroke, and Andrew Tran won the 100 yard backstroke. Last but not least, Swim has received the 2019 Fall Swimming and Diving Sportsmanship Award! Congratulations!

The Volleyball and Girls Soccer team lost in the first round of the tournament, both putting up great fights. The Volleyball Team lost a tie-break set to Plymouth South, while the Girls Soccer Team lost to Apponequet.

The Football Team will host Silver Lake on Friday at 7pm in the D4 South Sectional Semifinal Game.

Cross Country will travel to Wrentham Development Center for the DIII Eastern Mass Championships on Saturday, 11/9 at 11:00am.

Join the fun at the Milton High School Boosters 1st Annual Cornhole Tournament & Social
to benefit Milton High School Athletics!  All ages welcome on  Saturday, November 30th from 6pm to midnight at Florian Hall, 55 Hallet Street, Dorchester.
$40 for General Admission, $100 per team of two to play in the tournament

All pricing includes dinner and dessert. There will be a cash bar, raffles, a 50/50 and music, so grab a partner, or plan to come as a spectator! Register at miltonboosters.com,
limited tickets will be available at the door.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton’s Commission on Disability desperately needs a volunteer secretary. We’re especially in need of someone to proofread past minutes. Attending monthly meetings may be by calling in and we do not meet in the summer. This volunteer will write succinct minutes that will share important information for residents. Interested parties can call Diane DiTullio Agostino at 617-585-4546. Thank you.

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Please note that the Special Town Meeting has been moved to Monday, December 2, 2019 at 7:30pm @ Milton High School. This meeting will take place in lieu of the previously scheduled January 13, 2020 Special Town Meeting.

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a free parent education workshop, Beyond Time Out – Positive Parenting for parents/guardians of children age 2-5 on Wednesday, December 4th. All details can be found here.

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The Milton Public Library has fantastic programs for students all month long. 

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MPS hosted nationally recognized digital safety expert Katie Greer several years ago to rave reviews. Ms. Greer is speaking locally at Dedham Country Day on November 7th on  Raising Digital Natives: What’s Now, What’s New, What’s Next? This event is free and open to the public and all details can be found here.

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Milton’s Select Board and the Town’s Airplane Noise Advisory Committee (ANAC) will be hosting an airplane noise and health meeting on Thursday, November 14th  at 7 pm at the Council on Aging located at 10 Walnut Street, Milton, MA.

This public meeting will give residents a better understanding of the growing issue of airplane noise and air pollution affecting the town and its more than 27,000 residents, the ways the town is actively fighting this issue on a local and federal level, and how residents can get involved to help propel the cause.

For more information about this issue and recent announcement, please visit the town’s website. Questions? Contact:Christine Stanton, Contract & Licensing Agent/Benefits Assistant – cstanton@townofmilton.org or Andy Schmidt, Chair, ANAC – aschmidt.email@gmail.com

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Cardinal Cushing Centers, supported by Best Buddies of Massachusetts, is excited to host its inaugural Run to Change Lives Run, Walk or Roll! The race will take place at the Cunningham Elementary School. Participants can register for a traditional 5K, or opt for a 1-Mile Walk or Roll. All abilities welcome!

Participants who raise over $50, or Teams of 10 that raise over $200, will each receive a free race t-shirt. Create or join a fundraising team to help us change lives. Our own Pierce Pals have a team – and they would love for you to join them.  Be sure to register now! 

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Brookwood Community Farm is hosting their  annual Thanksgiving Sale & Family Fun at the DCR property where they farm from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on Sunday November 24th.   Farm veggies, fruit, honey, maple syrup, dried beans, and more will be for purchase.  We are also a site for DaSilva Farm turkey orders and Bushel & Crumb pie pickup.  This DCR property has plenty of farm roads which are great for strollers, kids bikes and walking.   We’ll have lawn games to entertain, bring a picnic or just grab a warm drink, learn more about honey bees and find a moment to just ask the farmers some questions.

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Milton Community Concerts presents “WEILL/LENYA: AN UNUSUAL LOVE STORY”, Saturday, November 23th  at 7pm, at the First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. Recognized as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the music of Kurt Weill, UTE GFRERER is both a singer and a storyteller in this musical exploration of the remarkable love story between Weill and Lotte Lenya. With Timothy Steele, pianist. $20 general/$15 senior/free for 18 and under (at the door only). Visit miltoncommunityconcerts.com for more details.

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:

STAFF, STUDENTS AND VOLUNTEERS: Last week, Milton High School Theater presented the The Addams Family at Milton High School to rave reviews. I can share from personal experience that this show had it all – talented students on stage and behind the scenes, dedicated adults supporting our students, a vibrant script and score and thousands of engaged audience members over four shows. Bravo to all involved in this latest production!

Please join me in thanking our MPS staff  who helped to bring the Addams Family to life on our stage, our talented cast who entertained us all weekend, our exceptional crew who gave us four seamless performances and our many volunteers who contributed to this success in a multitude of ways.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Kevin Black, AJ Melanson, Ellen Lohan, Zeina Hamada, Laura Serna, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Dawn Sykes, Jackie Morgan, Karen McDavitt, Bernadette Butler, Kim Coughlin, Martine Fisher, Noel Vigue and Karen Cahill.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on November 7, 2019

October 31, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 31, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The reviews are in and they are raves! Milton High School Theatre’s production of The Addams Family musical opened last night with tremendous success. MHS Junior Sydney O’Toole writes  that you might confuse the show for a touring Broadway production, but underneath the ghoulish makeup and spooky costumes are your very own high school students. Our students invite you on an Addams Family journey so wacky and amusing that you can’t help but laugh.

A marriage unites two people and two families. But what if one family is fairly normal and the other is, well, quirky? Say, for example, they’re creepy and kooky. A little mysterious and spooky.

This is the predicament at the heart of The Addams Family: A New Musical, the Tony Award winning musical comedy presented by the Milton High School. Daughter Wednesday Addams has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke whom she intends to marry. But Lucas and his respectable parents, Mal and Alice, may not be ready for the Addams family: dad Gomez, a descendant of conquistadors with a penchant for swordplay; black clad goth mom Morticia; brother Pugsley, whose love of his sister is only marginally greater than his desire to be tortured; Uncle Fester, a man child hopelessly in love with the moon; the centenarian Grandma; and Lurch, their world weary zombie butler who communicates in moans and groans.

While Wednesday hopes to convince her family to be normal for just one night so she can secure her future with Lucas, nothing is ever that easy, especially for the Addams family. A misplaced potion, a barely kept secret, and the revelation of heretofore unspoken truths by both families ensure that the riotously funny evening spins out of control in a way that will change the Beinekes and the Addams family forever.

With a musical score that varies from Flamenco to vaudeville to jazz, swing, ballads and contemporary power pop, The Addams Family: A New Musical is a must-see event for the Halloween season.

The Addams Family will have 3 more shows on Saturday, November 2nd at 2 and 7pm and  Sunday, November 3rd at 2pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium, Milton High School, 25 Gile Road, Milton.

Tickets are $12.00 and available online here or at the door if still available. Come see one of your childhood favorites this weekend. It’s SPOOKTACULAR! Recommended for children 10 and up.

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Nov 2 The Addams Family at MHS 2pm/7pm
Nov 3 The Addams Family at MHS 2pm
Nov 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 8 Pierce Peace March
Nov 11 No School-Veterans Day
Nov 13 Parent Speaker Series, Screenagers Next Chapter
Nov 14 Early Release Day for Students/Conferences Grades 6-12
Nov 20 Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 21 MHS Cabaret
Nov 23 Eastern District Sr Auditions
Nov 27,28,29 No School-Thanksgiving Day Recess
Dec 4 Milton School Committee
Dec 5 MHS College Information Night
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

Please join us for the Pierce Middle School 3rd Annual March for Peace on Friday, November 8th at 2:45pm as we walk from Pierce Middle School  to Milton  Town Hall.

The Pierce Middle School Student Council will be leading its 3rd Annual “Peace March” on Friday afternoon November 8th, starting in the school’s back parking lot at 2:45pm. We are asking for your support by showing up and marching with us as we celebrate the theme of the day: Peace and Love. This is not a protest, nor a political statement, but rather a gentle reminder that we live in a world where all humans can co-exist peacefully.
Please help us by spreading the word, showing up, and walking from Pierce Middle School, up to the Town Hall Gazebo (with a police escort) and listening to our Town’s youth share their words of wisdom through song and brief messages. Light refreshments will be served after the event.

Thank you,
The Pierce Middle School Student Council

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, November 6th at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

On Tuesday, October 29th after school, the Pre-Med club hosted free First Aid Training by Fallon Ambulance for the students at Milton High School. The library, with the help of MHS librarian JT Troy, offered their space with the use of the SMART TV. Andy DeFrias, Director – Training Center of Excellence on Fallon Ambulance Service provided an engaging experience to help educate our motivated students to be prepared for any situation. Students learned how to remain calm in an emergency situation, assess an emergency situation, stay safe while providing care, providing CPR compressions, using an AED machine, stop bleeding, using tourniquets, managing burn injuries, managing diabetic episodes, recognizing symptoms of stroke, and managing strokes.

PIERCE PAGES

Last week, 8th grade Pierce students studied natural selection via an online simulation as a part of the FOSS curriculum in their sciences classes last week. They witnessed what happened to a group of organisms over several generations after they were forced to move into new environments. By the end, they understood how the frequency of certain traits in the population either increased or decreased based on adaptations.

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8th grade students took a virtual field trip to the Galapagos Islands this week. Mr. Romeo, Ms. Boissonneault and Ms. Fraine led guided tours of the islands taking students underwater to view some of the marine life in their habitats as well as on land to view the Charles Darwin Research Station and the lava fields. This experience is intended to introduce students to the location that inspired Charles Darwin’s work as they begin the final part their Genetics unit focused on the Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection

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The  Pierce Ski & Snowboard Club is back! On five Wednesdays, (1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, & 2/12), students and chaperones will board a comfortable charter bus after school dismissal to at Nashoba Valley, Westford MA and  return to Pierce around 9pm.

Sign up for the Ski & Snowboard Club will be available on Saturday 11/2/19 at 9am. The PTO and Mr. Fish will send an email with a link to a “sign up genius” on Saturday morning. Ski and Board club usually fills up fast. Sign up ASAP on Saturday to reserve your child’s spot. We anticipate having 100 spots for students.

Once sign up is complete this weekend, registration forms will go out and payment will be due soon after Thanksgiving (credit card or check). There are no refunds after you have registered and paid.

Pricing – These numbers are approximate as the number of sign ups will drive the exact cost of the bus.

If you have any questions, please email heidischleicher72@gmail.com. If participating would be a financial hardship, please email Mr. Fish at wfish@miltonps.org to discuss options. We are looking forward to a “snowy” winter!

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In this link is an opportunity for our middle schoolers to name their after school program that will be located in the future Teen Space at 495 Canton Ave. More information on the teen space will be sent from the Town of Milton  as we get closer to the opening date.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Mme Theobald and her Collicot 4th graders  had a wonderful visit from French exchange students last week. These students were visiting from Annecy, France. The 4th graders prepared questions to ask and the guests prepared an informal presentation to share. The French students were very impressed by our student’s ability to speak French and our students loved hearing about life in France from our visiting teenagers.

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Last Wednesday, Tucker students, teachers and family members spent the half day spreading kindness across Tucker School. 5th grade students read Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller to small groups of students and discussed what it means to be kind. After their discussions, students, staff and family members wrote notes of kindness and encouragement for every Tucker student and staff member. The notes were then taped on each locker, door and cubby and left as a surprise for all in the  Tucker Community on Thursday morning. The students asked if they could do this every half day as they felt proud and empowered to spread kindness to all at Tucker. Great job Tucker Tigers!

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In the month of October, Collicot students enjoyed outdoor classroom sessions with a naturalist from the Mass Audubon at Moose Hill. This is a great educational opportunity and chance to spend time in Collicot’s Outdoor Classroom sponsored by our PTO for students in grades K-4.  Kindergarten explored tree and plant growth; 1st grade learned about habitats; 2nd grade studied food chains, food webs and adaptations; 3rd grade analyzed landforms and 4th grade explored watersheds and the water cycle

Students come back into the classroom excited about what they learned. All outdoor classroom lessons are linked to MA Science Curriculum and Standards. These visits are provided by the PTO’s Curriculum Enrichment budget funded by Collicot families generous support of the PTO’s fundraising activities!

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Students navigate a busy hallway while blindfolded.

Our 4th grade Celebrating our Differences program  kicked off in our elementary schools this month as Cunningham and Glover 4th  graders had their first  unit of the year. Students learned about visual impairment from guest speaker David Lynn and a series of hands-on stations. Mr. Lynn brought his guide dog Frosty and a number of technology items that help him navigate his home, stores, and other public places. He showed students a special pair of glasses that pair with an app. When Mr. Lynn calls a number on his cell phone, a fully-sighted individual can see through the glasses to tell Mr. Lynn what is in front of him.

The hands-on stations allowed students to experience firsthand what it is like to have a visual impairment. Students learned the Braille alphabet, attempted to walk and avoid obstacles using a cane, and learned how individuals with a visual impairment fold their money to know which type of bills are in their wallet. The students said that the activities were difficult at first but  they better understood what it is like to live with a visual impairment.

MPS IN THE NEWS

Our MPS students and staff have been in the news recently! You can read all about them below.

Our MHS Achieve students are doing some indoor gardening this year and they were recently featured on WBZ 4 CBS Boston!  You can watch the terrific piece on our students here.
Cunningham Kindergartener Roby Erhador was recently featured in a Boston Herald for his participation during Adaptive Sports New England’s Paralympic Sports Day at Tufts University last weekend. You can read all about Roby’s adventure here and you can see Roby and his class at the top of today’s blog.

 FOOD AND NUTRITION

Last week our elementary schools enjoyed a food allergy puppet show. Food allergy educator Kyle Dine entertained our students with puppets and music. Kyle is a food
allergy educator and musician who has performed at 800 schools across North America reaching millions of students. After growing up with multiple allergies himself he now spreads allergy awareness in schools through his fun and engaging assemblies.

His topics covered what the eight most popular allergens are with our students and helped them understand how to be a good friend to anyone with a food allergy. We sang about washing out hands and not sharing or trading food with our friends. He also helped us all understand the symptoms of a person who may be having an allergic reaction and how to get the teacher or the adult in charge. We had so much fun meeting his
puppets “The Professor, The Epi Pen Super Hero’s and The Chef”.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Up next in our PARENT Speaker Series, we’ll be showing the newly released film “Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience” on November 13th at the MHS auditorium at 6:30pm. The film examines the science behind tween/teen’s emotional challenges, the interplay of social media, and most importantly, what can be done in our schools and homes to help them build crucial skills to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression in our digital age. This film is not available online or via Netflix, it is only available through community events that bring parents/guardians, kids, teens and educators together to continue the conversation about the impact of screen time, digital citizenship, the increase in stress/anxiety and to share ideas and strategies. Parents are encouraged to bring their children ages 11 and up. After the film we’ll have a facilitated Q&A with MPS adjustment counselors. This event is free and open to the public.

The PARENT Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Public Schools, Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Parent Teacher Organizations and Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

TECHNOLOGY 

It is with great excitement that we announce the first-ever elementary school Digital Citizenship Day.  All Milton Public Schools elementary students will take part in two to four engaging digital citizenship lessons during this exciting day.  The lesson topics will include but are not limited to, digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying, creating passwords… 

The ready to teach no teaching experience needed lessons will be delivered by family volunteers.  Each class will need two to four volunteers. The lessons will be shared with the volunteers in January, and if the volunteers need support in preparing for the day a training session will be offered for all of the volunteers.  If you would like to volunteer please complete the Google Form for your student’s school: Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, Tucker.  Please look for more detailed information in the coming weeks.  

If you have any immediate questions please email AJ Melanson, MPS Educational Technology Director.  The dates for the Digital Citizenship Days are as follows: Collicot – Friday, February 14th, 8:30-11:30am; Cunningham – Friday, February 14th, 8:30-11:30am; Glover – Tuesday, February 11th, 9:20am – 12:20pm; Tucker – Thursday, February 13th, 9:20am – 12:20pm. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

The rain did not dampen the spirits of the hundreds of runners and spectators who turned out for the 21st Annual Monster Dash! Runners from every corner of Milton turned out for ghoulish games and a monster run! The full list of runners and times can be found here. The Monster Dash 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. Thank you, as always to the MFE and the Cichello Family for your never ending support of the Milton Public Schools.

Save the date for the MFE Celebration 2020! You won’t want to miss this year’s Celebration, being held on April 4th, 2020 at Granite Links. Stay tuned for details!

FAMILY OUTREACH 

If you are presently one of the 2.7 million grandparents across the country that are raising their grandchildren there are resources available to you.  Do you have questions about local and state programs and aid available to you? Are you interested in talking with other grandparents raising their grandchildren?   

The Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren offers workshops across the state to grandparents raising their grandchildren.  Each workshop offers a guest speaker who presents information on a variety of issues including How Trauma Impacts Children and Families, Cyber Safety, Taking Care of the Caregiver, The Disease of Addiction and Setting Boundaries and Tips for Helping Children Cope with Trauma and other Child Mental Health Issues.  Workshops are approximately three hours in duration including a presentation followed by an information panel consisting of representatives from agencies who work with grandparents raising their grandchildren. For specific locations and topics please click here

Locally The Quincy Family Resource Center located at 1120 Hancock Street in Quincy offers a support group, GRANDPARENTS RAISING GRANDCHILDREN. They invite grandparents to come and meet other grandparents who are raising their grandchildren at this support group. The group meets on the first and third Monday of each month from 6-7:30pm. Childcare and food is provided free of charge. Please contact Ann for more information at 617-481-7227 ext. 141 or email her at amacdonald@baystatecs.org.

If you are in need of additional services please feel free to reach out to the MPS Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email or telephone at 617-980-7343.

FUNDRAISING 

We are once again lucky to be partnering with the Milton Fruit Center for Schools Shopping Week November 4th-10th. All six Milton Public Schools will be benefiting from the Fruit Center’s generosity.  Here’s how you can participate:

Download a shopping voucher for your school below (you’ll need Adobe Reader). Print as many you’d like and share them with friends, family and neighbors.

Present your voucher when you make purchases at the Fruit Center Marketplace from Monday, November 4th through Sunday, November 10th. Shop as often as you’d like during that week. The Fruit Center Marketplace will donate 20% of the total purchases back to your school so stock up on your favorite Fruit Center items and help out your school! All details and vouchers can be found here.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

Last week, our MPS Physical Educators participated in a 3-hour professional development with USGames National Trainer Michael Martinez. We were joined by Braintree Public Schools K-12 PE teachers. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn new strategies, collaborate with colleagues and practice new skills and activities. The program was aligned with National SHAPE America Physical Education Standards and MA Frameworks. We’re excited to share these new strategies and activities involving moderate to vigorous physical activity with our students.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

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

Milton Public School families have been given an opportunity to partcipate in a study being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University. This study is funded through the National Institutes of Health. There are five openings left in the study for 5th-7th grade students and their parent/guardian.

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.

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Milton Public Schools Annual Flu Clinic will be held on Wednesday, November 13th from 3-5pm in the Pierce Middle School Cafe (enter and exit through cafe doors in front of the school). All students in grades 3 to 12 accompanied by a parent/ guardian are welcome. Please bring your insurance card. This clinic will have nurses from all of the Milton Public Schools in the hope to help our students have a healthy winter season and minimize the effects of the flu virus in your homes and in our schools. Our nurses are committed to supporting the health and well being of all the students in our district and hope to see you there!

ART AND MUSIC 

ATHLETICS 

The Cross Country Teams had a great showing last Saturday at the Bay State Conference Championships, with Bobby Carew taking home first place. The Boys grabbed 2nd place and the Girls came in 3rd!

The Football Team will host Westwood tomorrow night 11/7 at 7:00pm in the first round of the MIAA Tournament. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

The Volleyball Team will travel to Plymouth South tomorrow night 11/7 at 5:00pm in the first round of the MIAA Tournament.

Girls Soccer await their seeding, which will be determined at the MIAA Office tomorrow, 11/1.

Swim have their Bay State Conference Meet on Sunday, 11/3 at Wellesley College. Swimming starts at 11am so be sure to get out their and support the “Watercats”!

Cheer have their Bay State Conference Competition on Tuesday 11/5 at Braintree High School. The competition starts at 6:30pm.

The MHS Golf Team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can and bottle drive
on Saturday, November 2, 2019, from 9am to noon, at Milton High School. To schedule pick-up of a can/bottle donation at your home on Saturday, please email bkelly@miltonps.org.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Please note that the Special Town Meeting has been moved to Monday, December 2, 2019 at 7:30pm @ Milton High School. This meeting will take place in lieu of the previously scheduled January 13, 2020 Special Town Meeting. 

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Portraits in Silhouette to benefit the Forbes House will take place this weekend, Saturday, November 2nd from 9am- 4pm. The art of silhouette portraiture has been around for centuries, and silhouettes make for timeless, treasured keepsakes. The Forbes House is
delighted to host a mother-daughter team of artists who will create a special family memory for you in plenty of time for the holidays! A portion of the proceeds from each booked appointment and item purchased (copies, frames, etc.) will go directly back to the museum. For more information and to reserve your spot, please visit our website. 

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Keynote Speaker Timoria McQueen Saba

There will be a presentation entitled: Call to Awareness and Action on Maternal Health Disparities and Advocacy at Parkway United Methodist Church Saturday November 2nd,  10am-12pm. Come join us for a presentation regarding maternal health disparities for Black and Brown women followed by breakout sessions and facilitated discussion. Local healthcare providers will be available to help you learn about resources and support in our area to help you and your family, or to get involved with.

Keynote Speaker: Timoria McQueen Saba is a maternal health advocate, speaker and writer with a focus on mental and physical trauma due to childbirth and pregnancy complications. Timoria will share her personal story of overcoming the mental and physical effects of surviving a near fatal postpartum hemorrhage and also discuss her work as a liaison between clinicians, legislators and patients to address disparities and inequity in outcomes.

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Fuller Village is pleased to welcome Dr. George Scarlett, editor of the new web magazine Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards on Tuesday, November 5th at 2:30pm in the Function Room at 1372 Brush Hill Rd. Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards  is dedicated to providing support for those involved in nurturing the next generation of earth stewards – those who will care for our planet and help solve its many problems in the years ahead. Dr. Scarlett is a senior lecturer and Tisch Fellow in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tuft University. Over the course of his career, he has authored six books, published numerous articles in journals and taught courses on children’s play, on children’s challenging behavior, on religious and spiritual development, and on the development of earth stewards. The public is welcome to attend. For further information, please contact Lisa Ramsay, Program Director at Fuller Village at lramsay@fullervillage.org or at 617-361-2116. Thank you to Deborah Felton, Executive Director of Fuller Village for sharing this with the MPS community.

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a free parent education workshop, Beyond Time Out – Positive Parenting for parents/guardians of children age 2-5. All details can be found here.

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The Milton Public Library has fantastic programs for students all month long. 

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MPS hosted nationally recognized digital safety expert Katie Greer several years ago to rave reviews. Ms. Greer is speaking locally at Dedham Country Day on November 7th on  Raising Digital Natives: What’s Now, What’s New, What’s Next? This event is free and open to the public and all details can be found here.

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation held a public information meeting at Fuller Village on Tuesday October 22, 2019 to discuss Route 138 Reconstruction Complete Streets and Safety Improvements. The presentation can be found here. 

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Enjoy seasonal family fun by visiting three historic estates in the Blue Hills as The Eustis Estate, Wakefield Estate, and Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate present special events throughout the day for the 3rd Annual Blue Hills Great Estates Fall Foliage Day! On Saturday, November 2, from 10am to 3pm, visit the Eustis Estate, 1424 Canton Avenue, Milton, MA, the Bradley Estate, 2468 Washington Street, Canton MA
and the Wakefield Estate, 1465 Brush Hill Road, Milton, MA for this special celebration.

Celebrate the final weekend of the special exhibition Changing Landscape: Sculpture at the Eustis Estate. At the Trustees’ Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, located at 2468 Washington Street in Canton, the main house will be opened to visitors to check out their new decor while taking in the setting of the soon-to-be-released movie- Little Women. At the Wakefield Estate and Arboretum, guided walks will be featured through its unique arboretum and grounds, including its new dwarf conifer collection that features over 50 species of conifers. All details on the day’s events can be found here!

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Milton’s Select Board and the Town’s Airplane Noise Advisory Committee (ANAC) will be hosting an airplane noise and health meeting on Thursday, November 14th  at 7 pm at the Council on Aging located at 10 Walnut Street, Milton, MA.

This public meeting will give residents a better understanding of the growing issue of airplane noise and air pollution affecting the town and its more than 27,000 residents, the ways the town is actively fighting this issue on a local and federal level, and how residents can get involved to help propel the cause.

For more information about this issue and recent announcement, please visit the town’s website. Questions? Contact:Christine Stanton, Contract & Licensing Agent/Benefits Assistant – cstanton@townofmilton.org or Andy Schmidt, Chair, ANAC – aschmidt.email@gmail.com

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Cardinal Cushing Centers, supported by Best Buddies of Massachusetts, is excited to host its inaugural Run to Change Lives Run, Walk or Roll! The race will take place at the Cunningham Elementary School. Participants can register for a traditional 5K, or opt for a 1-Mile Walk or Roll. All abilities welcome!

Participants who raise over $50, or Teams of 10 that raise over $200, will each receive a free race t-shirt. Create or join a fundraising team to help us change lives. Our own Pierce Pals have a team – and they would love for you to join them.  Be sure to register now! 

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Brookwood Community Farm is hosting their  annual Thanksgiving Sale & Family Fun at the DCR property where they farm from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on Sunday November 24th.   Farm veggies, fruit, honey, maple syrup, dried beans, and more will be for purchase.  We are also a site for DaSilva Farm turkey orders and Bushel & Crumb pie pickup.  This DCR property has plenty of farm roads which are great for strollers, kids bikes and walking.   We’ll have lawn games to entertain, bring a picnic or just grab a warm drink, learn more about honey bees and find a moment to just ask the farmers some questions.

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Milton Community Concerts presents “WEILL/LENYA: AN UNUSUAL LOVE STORY”, Saturday, November 23th  at 7pm, at the First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. Recognized as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the music of Kurt Weill, UTE GFRERER is both a singer and a storyteller in this musical exploration of the remarkable love story between Weill and Lotte Lenya. With Timothy Steele, pianist. $20 general/$15 senior/free for 18 and under (at the door only). Visit miltoncommunityconcerts.com for more details.

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:

STAFF: Please join me in acknowledging the incredible energy of the running club at Tucker under the leadership of 4th grade teacher Stephanie Young with support from Tucker teachers  Julia Finnegan and Rachel Spitz this year. In addition, other staff members stepped up to help and run in the rain at the Monster Dash with our students. Thank you to the “support team” of  Robert Johnson and Cat DesRoche as well as Zenaida Harvell and Kim Demarino, who both are on the Tucker cafeteria team. Not only did Ms. Harvell and Ms. Demarino run with the team, but along with Director of Food Service Jackie Morgan, they made goodie bags for the whole team to receive at the finish line!

Dr. Elaine McNeil – Girmai shares that at Tucker all faculty members have placed a strong focus on creating and fostering collaborative relationships. When we think about student and teacher relationships this is a such a special way to connect with students and be part of the Tucker community. To see our staff embrace these opportunities to form connections with our students is a highlight of the Tucker experience.

Thank you to all of our staff, parents and guardians who made the Tucker Running Club a huge success this year!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Vanessa Bettencourt, AJ Melanson, Ellen Lohan, Christie Chiappetta, Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MaryCate Theobald, Jackie Morgan, Sarah Smith, Lindsay Moonan, Bernadette Butler, Amy McKay, Karen McDavitt, Kevin Black, Jess Gillooly, Kim Coughlin, Meena Tondavi and  Joe Dolan.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October 31, 2019

October 24, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 24, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This past spring the MFE Celebration 2019 raised the necessary funds to transform all of the Milton Public School libraries by providing movable furniture and flexible, comfortable seating to promote collaboration and support a wide variety of activities. Our libraries are now better able to meet the needs of students, staff, families, and community members who use these spaces throughout the day and evening for whole-class lessons, small-group work, research, enrichment groups, clubs, staff meetings, professional development, committee meetings, and much more. The flexible seating has been increasing focus and engagement by providing the movement and sensory input many students require, as well as greater choice, comfort, and opportunity for collaboration. 

The libraries are now community spaces that foster curiosity, literacy (both print and digital), critical thinking skills, creation, and collaboration. In addition, our libraries are now places where individuals have the opportunity to learn not only about the larger world but themselves. 

The library transformation project also included the installation of makerspaces in all of the MPS schools.  Makerspaces are collaborative space focused on innovation in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.  Makerspaces foster student-centered inquiry while promoting hands-on activities that teach twenty-first-century skills.  Students make, create and express themselves by exploring through their own interests. Makerspaces allow students to learn to use tools and materials, both physical and virtual, and develop creative projects. Students learn how to fail and try again.  We are so grateful to the MFE for their continued support. 

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Can you beat Mario in the Monster Dash Fun Run?

We are just 3 days away from one of the premiere fall events in Milton – the Milton Foundation for Education’s Monster Dash!  I encourage all of our MPS families and staff to register now for the MFE Monster Dash on Sunday, October 27th!

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.

I hope to see you and your family on Sunday, October 27th at 10 am at Cunningham Hall at the Monster Dash!

UPCOMING MPS DATES 

Oct 27 MFE Monster Dash
Oct 30 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 2 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 3 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 11 No School-Veterans Day
Nov 13 Parent Speaker Series, Screenagers Next Chapter
Nov 14 Early Release Day for Students/Conferences Grades 6-12
Nov 20 Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 21 MHS Cabaret
Nov 23 Eastern District Sr Auditions
Nov 27,28,29 No School-Thanksgiving Day Recess
Dec 4 Milton School Committee
Dec 5 MHS College Information Night
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, November 6th at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found on the front page of our website. 

MASS STEM WEEK 

Check out all of the STEM Week pictures in our video below!

The theme for the second annual Massachusetts STEM Week (October 21-25) is “See Yourself in STEM.” Women, people of color, first-generation students, low-income individuals, English language learners, and people with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM industries and make up an increasing portion of the overall workforce, but the demographics of STEM fields have remained largely the same. We need more young people to see themselves in STEM!

Throughout the district, students and teachers worked on special STEM projects, and took time to highlight the wonderful work our students do in STEM everyday. Projects included building waterslides, roller coasters, tall towers, catapults, bridges and more!

Some classes chose to join over 60,000 students across the state by participating in the Massachusetts STEM Hub challenge. This year the challenge focused on waste and creating “Zero Waste Solutions”. In Kindergarten through 2nd grade, students studied food waste and created inventions that would help preserve food to stay fresh longer. Students also reflected on the waste created from their own school lunches and snacks. Our 5th grade students learned about the benefits of solar energy as students created and tested Solar Fans.

Our 6th and 7th grade students will be doing a deep dive into micro plastics in the environment.  Students will be suggesting strategies for reducing the environmental impact and identifying trade-offs associated with their ideas.  After learning the background knowledge on plastics, students will work in teams to use the engineering design process to build a device that will collect micro plastics from a body of water.

Currently our MHS students in Engineering 2 are exploring how different shapes, sizes, and materials of blades affect the power output of wind turbines as part of a unit on sustainable energy sources. Students in our honors biotechnology classes are working  with various strains of bacteria to determine the thickness of their peptidoglycan layers using a technique called Gram Staining. The information gathered from these tests can be used to help determine if a particular strain of bacteria is susceptible to penicillin or other antibiotics.

While this week is officially Mass STEM Week, STEM in an integral, consistent component of our science curriculum in the Milton Public Schools. Thank you to our Science Coordinators and Science Department Heads Ellen Lohan, Christie Chiappetta and Amy Tom for their ongoing leadership in our Science curriculum.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Milton High School Presents: The Addams Family: A New Musical on October 30th, November 2nd and 3rd.

A marriage unites two people and two families. But what if one family is fairly normal and the other is, well, quirky? Say, for example, they’re creepy and kooky. A little mysterious and spooky.

This is the predicament at the heart of The Addams Family: A New Musical, the Tony Award winning musical comedy presented by the Milton High School. Daughter Wednesday Addams has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke whom she intends to marry. But Lucas and his respectable parents, Mal and Alice, may not be ready for the Addams family: dad Gomez, a descendant of conquistadors with a penchant for swordplay; black clad goth mom Morticia; brother Pugsley, whose love of his sister is only marginally greater than his desire to be tortured; Uncle Fester, a man child hopelessly in love with the moon; the centenarian Grandma; and Lurch, their world weary zombie butler who communicates in moans and groans.

While Wednesday hopes to convince her family to be normal for just one night so she can secure her future with Lucas, nothing is ever that easy, especially for the Addams family. A misplaced potion, a barely kept secret, and the revelation of heretofore unspoken truths by both families ensure that the riotously funny evening spins out of control in a way that will change the Beinekes and the Addams family forever.

With a musical score that varies from Flamenco to vaudeville to jazz, swing, ballads and contemporary power pop, The Addams Family: A New Musical is a must-see event for the Halloween season.

The Adams Family, A New Musical can be seen on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00PM; Saturday, November 2 at 2:00PM and 7:00PM; and Sunday, November 3 at 2:00PM in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium, Milton High School, 25 Gile Road, Milton.

Tickets are $12.00 and available online here.

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Milton High School celebrated Unity Day on Wednesday October 23rd in an effort to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to make MHS a better place. MHS Student Leaders, Student Government, and Best Buddies encouraged all students to wear orange to demonstrate anti-bullying and unity, while Computer Science students created orange binary bracelets. Both faculty and students encouraged kind actions to include those who are feeling left out and to accept people’s differences.

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On Wednesday, October 16th, all Milton High School ninth-graders took part in a Digital Citizenship Day.  Students rotated around MHS attending eight sessions. Five sessions involved digital citizenship: Digital Wellbeing, Cyberbullying/Sexting, Fake News, Copyright, and Organization with Google.  Students also attended a Team Building exercise, Stress Management & Mindfulness, and Principal’s Forum sessions. 

The day was a huge success thanks to the session facilitators:  Jennie Beliveau, Patrick Ellis, James Jette, Kathleen Kelley, Sean LoPresti, Brian Mackinaw, Dave Mazzulli, Pat Menard,  Maura O’Brien, Brendan Tobin, JT Troy.

PIERCE PAGES

Pierce Middle School’s GSA club was pleased to join the Milton High School GSA in  attending this year’s first Student Leadership Council Meeting provided by the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Youth. This was Milton High School’s sixth year attending, and the first year for Pierce GSA members. Students and advisors from all over the Southeast region came together to learn about LGBTQ history (since October is LGBTQ History month). Student representatives from Milton enjoyed connecting with new friends and allies from various schools, and learning about the progression of LGBTQ awareness and laws throughout history. We are excited for the next Safe Schools Council Meeting!
Thank you to MHS advisors Jennie Beliveau, Liz Hallisey and Pierce advisors Kelli Prodanas and Erin Jaquette for attending the program with our students and for serving as advisors throughout the school year.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Fifth grade Tucker students recently looked at the artist Heather Galler for inspiration for their bouquets of flowers. Heather Galler is a well known, award winning, professional New York Folk artist. She paints landscapes, animals, and flowers with lots of bright colors. You can see our Tucker artist’s renderings below.

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Collicot and Cunningham elementary music students in Mrs. Allegrezza’s music classes recently enjoyed their first experiences in bucket drumming. Bucket drumming is a style of music that involves drumming on plastic objects, most notably 5 gallon buckets. While the exact origin of the art form is unclear, bucket drumming became popular in the streets of New York in the 1980’s and has evolved into a fun, innovative and captivating way to teach students basic drumming and sticking techniques while reinforcing steady beat, rhythm reading skills and enhancing musical creativity. This new addition to the music curriculum was funded by the Cunningham School PTO mini-grant program in the spring of 2019 which purchased 60 buckets and pairs of drumsticks to outfit both of the music rooms at Cunningham and Collicot. A mini-grant from the Collicot School PTO this fall has provided a plethora of exciting supplementary, high tech materials for the music rooms, including enhancements for bucket drumming, folk dancing, music centers and an introduction to playing the ukulele. Thanks to the generosity of both PTOs, the music rooms continue to flourish and help to encourage our students’ love of music!

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As a follow up to last week’s  One Book, One School (Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson), Glover joined with schools across the country to celebrate National Unity Day on Wednesday this week. National Unity Day is an initiative created by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and is celebrated this year on Wednesday, October 23 in the midst of National Bullying Prevention Month. Students and staff in schools across the country and at Glover wore orange this week in a message of hope and support, visibly showing that our school believes that no child should ever experience bullying. “ORANGE provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER Center. “Whether it’s hundreds of individuals at a school wearing ORANGE, store owners offering ORANGE products, or a community changing a landmark to ORANGE, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the supportive, universal message that bullying is never acceptable behavior.”

Every student at Glover took the Kids Against Bullying pledge this week and together, we are united in orange, sending one cohesive message of kindness, acceptance, and inclusion at our school.

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It’s raffle time once again at Tucker Elementary School! This year the raffle has 22 amazing prizes, including gift certificates to favorite local spots, Patriots and Bruins tickets and even a getaway at the Park Plaza hotel! Raffle tickets are only $10 each and every purchase enters you to win ALL 22 prizes! Want to get in on the fun? Tickets can be purchased online. Don’t know a Tucker student? No problem! Simply enter “Tucker Tiger” in the student name field. Thank you and good luck in the raffle drawings!

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Last week, Milton High School had a visit  by a local fisherman from Eastham, MA at all three lunches at Milton High School.  Fisherman Alex Cestaro has been fishing all of his life in Cape Cod and he came to our lunches to explain to our students the importance of eating local and sustainable fish while sharing the difficulties of being a  fisherman these days with catch limits and weather conditions in the North East.

Mr.  Cestaro has been working with Red’s Best, a Boston-based seafood wholesaler for many years. This is Milton Public Schools third year working with Red’s Best, whom provides us with fresh, sustainable fish and in return we help support and provide jobs to local fishermen. At Friday’s lunch we served the “Catch of the Day” topped with whole wheat Ritz crackers and lemon butter or with capers, lemon, and parmesan cheese.  This program allows Red’s Best to sell us fresh haddock, hake or pollack at a locked in price which is guaranteed all school year. It was served with oven baked spicy potato wedges, whole wheat dinner roll, sweet glazed carrots and Caesar salad.  Just One bite and you’ll be hooked! 

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Thank you to those who attended PARENT University and for your overwhelmingly positive feedback. We plan to offer PARENT University again in the spring.

Up next in our PARENT Speaker Series, we’ll be showing the newly released film “Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience” on November 13th at the MHS auditorium at 6:30pm. The film examines the science behind tween/teen’s emotional challenges, the interplay of social media, and most importantly, what can be done in our schools and homes to help them build crucial skills to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression in our digital age. This film is not available online or via Netflix, it is only available through community events that bring parents/guardians, kids, teens and educators together to continue the conversation about the impact of screen time, digital citizenship, the increase in stress/anxiety and to share ideas and strategies. Parents are encouraged to bring their children ages 11 and up. After the film we’ll have a facilitated Q&A with MPS adjustment counselors. This event is free and open to the public.

A couple of items you may find interesting can be found here: Good Morning America had a recent piece on Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER that you may find interesting.    See What Teens Do To Reduce Screen Time (3 min read) 

The PARENT Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Public Schools, Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Parent Teacher Organizations and Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

FUNDRAISING 

We are once again lucky to be partnering with the Milton Fruit Center for Schools Shopping Week November 4th-10th. All six Milton Public Schools will be benefiting from the Fruit Center’s generosity.  Here’s how you can participate:

Download a shopping voucher for your school below (you’ll need Adobe Reader). Print as many you’d like and share them with friends, family and neighbors.

Present your voucher when you make purchases at the Fruit Center Marketplace from Monday, November 4th through Sunday, November 10th. Shop as often as you’d like during that week. The Fruit Center Marketplace will donate 20% of the total purchases back to your school so stock up on your favorite Fruit Center items and help out your school! All details and vouchers can be found here.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

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

Milton Public School families have been given an opportunity to partcipate in a study being conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Brown University. This study is funded through the National Institutes of Health. There are very  few openings left in the study for 5th-7th grade students and their parent/guardian.

  • Are you a parent or guardian of a child in  5th –  7th grade?
  • Do you live with your child or are you in the same place as your child at least five days a week?
  • If YES, you may be able to participate in a research study
  • Families will be paid for their time
  • The purpose of this research study is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their wellbeing.

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.

ART AND MUSIC 

On Saturday, October 19th , the Milton Wildcat Marching Band traveled to Wakefield Memorial High School to compete in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor Association’s Marching Band (MICCA) Festival. Performing their halftime show “Latin Triptych” the band earned a three-star overall rating. The highlight of the evening, however, was the highest possible, five-star rating in the category of Music Performance and Achievement and a first time four-star rating in General Effect. The Wildcat Marching Band is led by Senior Drum Majors Ava Duggan, Esme Link, Rowan Leggett and Caleb Smith, Senior Colorguard Captain Kami Nguyen, and Senior Percussion Captains Kate Possi and Aidan Guilderson. Congratulations to these outstanding student musicians! You can watch their halftime show live at all remaining home varsity football games.

ATHLETICS 

Girls Soccer and Volleyball both clinched the tournament this week. Girls Soccer beat Norwood 3-2, scoring in the final 2 minutes to secure their birth. Volleyball beat Fontbonne to punch their ticket, and they hope to finish the season strong against Weymouth and Walpole.

Boys Soccer need a win from their final two games to join the fun, and they travel to Catholic Memorial tomorrow in their first attempt.

The Golf Team ripped off two straight wins to make the tournament last week and finished 5th overall from 11 teams in the D2 South.

Boys and Girls XC will travel to the Wrentham Development Center this Saturday to compete in the Bay State Conference Championships.

This Friday Under the Lights at Brooks Field, the Varsity Football team will be playing for a cure for Breast Cancer. The Crucial Catch program, which started in 2009, is a joint initiative between the American Cancer Society and the National Football League to fund-raise, educate, and raise breast cancer awareness. Cheerleaders will have a 50/50 raffle and will be collecting donations during the game. There will be small prizes and incentive items given for each donation made at the game. Online donations can be made at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/milton-high-school-football1. All donations will be greatly appreciated.

Kickoff is at 7PM. Please help us make a Crucial Catch against breast cancer. Go Wildcats!With the win, they would lock up the #1 seed and host the first tournament game next Friday, November 1st.

Field Hockey finishes their season tonight against Weymouth High School. Special thanks to Coach Sarah Smith for her years of service!

Last Thursday, Milton Volleyball Hosted Volley for a Cure and raised $550 for Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cancer Unit. In addition to that great win,  they also  defeated Fontbonne Academy 3-0!

The MHS Golf Team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can and bottle drive
on Saturday, November 2, 2019, from 9am to noon, at Milton High School. To schedule pick-up of a can/bottle donation at your home on Saturday, please email bkelly@miltonps.org.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Join our local rowing programs for our annual fall fundraiser! Get your A-game ready for an official Cornhole Tournament, music, food, drinks, raffles, and more while you gather with old friends and meet new – all while supporting Milton Crew and the Neponset Rowing Club. Buy your tickets now and save – tickets will be $50 at the door.

Interested in making a cash donation or donating an item for the raffle? Email us at info@neponsetrowing.org.

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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at the Milton Police Department, 40 Highland St is on Saturday, October 26th from 10am – 2pm.  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Milton Police Department are sponsoring our local Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Research has shown that the majority of abuse prescription drugs come from home medicine cabinets. Protect our community and protect our environment by turning in your unused or expired prescription drugs, safely and anonymously. The Rotary Club will have plenty of Drug Deterra bags to distribute to the community as we did earlier this year. If you have time to help during this event by handing out bags, please feel free to stop over between 10am and 2pm.

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Middle school, high school students and parents/guardians are encouraged to attend this town wide event:

A speaker on Deaf and Hard of Hearing is coming to Milton on October 30th.
Milton’s Commission on Disability is hosting a town-wide event to educate Milton residents on deafness and hearing loss, communication, and assistive technology. Jonathan O’Dell who is Assistive Technology Manager/Training Specialist from the Massachusetts Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is coming to Milton on Wednesday, October 30th at 7pm in the Milton Public Library’s Keys Room. Mr. O’Dell will present information and answer questions on communication, assistive technology, and accessibility related to persons who have hearing loss and/or deafness.

Americans are likely to experience hearing loss either personally, or in our immediate family and/or circle of friends, as according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 20% of Americans experience some hearing loss. Anyone who has hearing loss, or who has friends or family members with hearing loss, with whom communication has become more difficult, will benefit from this presentation. Additionally, anyone who has wondered about how to best communicate with people who are deaf, will benefit. All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend. The Milton Commission on Disability will try to have the event broadcast on local access television as well, for those who are unable to attend in person.

Anyone needing reasonable accommodations to access this presentation are encouraged to request them early by contacting Milton’s ADA Coordinator by email to jprondak@townofmilton.org.

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Keynote Speaker Timoria McQueen Saba

There will be a presentation entitled: Call to Awareness and Action on Maternal Health Disparities and Advocacy at Parkway United Methodist Church Saturday November 2nd,  10am-12pm. Come join us for a presentation regarding maternal health disparities for Black and Brown women followed by breakout sessions and facilitated discussion. Local healthcare providers will be available to help you learn about resources and support in our area to help you and your family, or to get involved with.

Keynote Speaker: Timoria McQueen Saba is a maternal health advocate, speaker and writer with a focus on mental and physical trauma due to childbirth and pregnancy complications. Timoria will share her personal story of overcoming the mental and physical effects of surviving a near fatal postpartum hemorrhage and also discuss her work as a liaison between clinicians, legislators and patients to address disparities and inequity in outcomes.

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Fuller Village is pleased to welcome Dr. George Scarlett, editor of the new web magazine Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards on Tuesday, November 5th at 2:30pm in the Function Room at 1372 Brush Hill Rd. Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards  is dedicated to providing support for those involved in nurturing the next generation of earth stewards – those who will care for our planet and help solve its many problems in the years ahead. Dr. Scarlett is a senior lecturer and Tisch Fellow in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tuft University. Over the course of his career, he has authored six books, published numerous articles in journals and taught courses on children’s play, on children’s challenging behavior, on religious and spiritual development, and on the development of earth stewards. The public is welcome to attend. For further information, please contact Lisa Ramsay, Program Director at Fuller Village at lramsay@fullervillage.org or at 617-361-2116. Thank you to Deborah Felton, Executive Director of Fuller Village for sharing this with the MPS community.

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation held a public information meeting at Fuller Village on Tuesday October 22, 2019 to discuss Route 138 Reconstruction Complete Streets and Safety Improvements. The presentation can be found here. 

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Registration has opened for the 24th Annual Milton Cotillion.  Cotillion is a progressive course in social skills, dance and etiquette education – all learned while having a blast!  The classes will run bi-weekly on Sunday evenings beginning January 12, 2020 at the Granite Links Golf Club.  Please go to cotillion.com to learn more and register. When you think about adding yet one more activity to your families schedule, it feels good to know that the skills learned at Cotillion will last a lifetime.

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Cardinal Cushing Centers, supported by Best Buddies of Massachusetts, is excited to host its inaugural Run to Change Lives Run, Walk or Roll! The race will take place at the Cunningham Elementary School. Participants can register for a traditional 5K, or opt for a 1-Mile Walk or Roll. All abilities welcome!

Runners who register by 10/24 are guaranteed a race shirt. Participants who raise over $50, or Teams of 10 that raise over $200, will each receive a free race t-shirt. Create or join a fundraising team to help us change lives. Our own Pierce Pals have a team – and they would love for you to join them.  Be sure to register now! 

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Brookwood Community Farm is hosting their  annual Thanksgiving Sale & Family Fun at the DCR property where they farm from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on Sunday November 24th. All are welcome to enjoy the farm, walk the farm roads, purchase fresh produce and other items to use for holiday gatherings into the winter. Turkeys can be picked up on site if ordered from Dasilva Farm and produce lists will be published on our website and FB page with at least a week to go before the sale. You will also find honey bee education, lawn games, warm drinks, and maybe a food demo!

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:

STAFF and STUDENTS: On October 17th, Milton Public School’s PARENT Speaker Series presented the first PARENT University. The goal of PARENT University was to offer parents and guardians a variety of workshops that focused on promoting the academic and emotional and social well-being of their children and teens through discussions and informative presentations. The evening offered short educational and skill-building workshops led by Milton Public School staff and was well attended with participants whose children included all grades across the district.

A special thank you to the parents and guardians who took time out of their busy schedules to attend and to MHS  students, Alex Tran and Nicolas Maldonado, who provided 1-on-1 computer tutorials through demonstrations and guided practice and Jillian Rundlett, Elizabeth Sullivan and Lily Curley who took the skills they have been learning in Child Study to assist with childcare.

(L-R) MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Margaret Carels of the MSAPC, MSAPC volunteer Peg Reardon and MSPAC Core Stakeholder Elizabeth Thomas are ready for PARENT University.

Our biggest thank you goes to the MPS staff and community members who contributed their time and talents to bring valuable information to our attendees. Thank you to Elaine Chung, Maggie Wagner, Jayme Szymczak, Dr. Nick Fitzgerald, Lisa Veldran, Noel Vigue, AJ Melanson, Marybeth Callahan, Maureen McClain, Michelle Jensen, Annemarie Quinn, Melissa Augustyn, Erin Jaquette, Caroline Mannion, Tracy Grandeau, Jaclyn Germano, Elizabeth Caruso, Margie Skeer, Mike Buzzel and Maggie Randall for the time and effort they contributed to make our first PARENT University a success. I would be remiss if I didn’t share my appreciation of our Family Outreach Liaison, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, for her leadership in bringing PARENT University to fruition.

Because of Family Outreach Liaison Ms. McKenna, our staff and students who contributed their expertise and our parents and guardians who gave valuable time to attend, our first PARENT University was an overwhelming success. We look forward to offering another PARENT University later in the school year.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Justine Novak, AJ Melanson, Ellen Lohan, Christie Chiappetta, Amy Tom, Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden,  Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Bernadette Butler, Sara MacNeil, Karen McDavitt, Josh Coben, JT Troy, Jess Royster and Caitlin Deptula.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October 24, 2019

October 17, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 17, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

We are just 10 days away from one of the premiere fall events in Milton – the Milton Foundation for Education’s Monster Dash! The Monster Dash is a perennial family favorite event with a “costume encouraged” 5K,  bounce houses, a costume Fun Run, kids’ crafts, science fun, face painting and more. Your friends and neighbors will be there – will you? I encourage all of our MPS families and staff to register now for the MFE Monster Dash on Sunday, October 27th!

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.

The Milton Foundation for Education is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, separate and distinct from the Milton Public Schools. The Foundation was established in 1995 to make possible innovative programs and opportunities that are beyond the reach of the school system’s budget. Foundation Trustees are people from the community who donate their time to help the Foundation achieve its goals. The Milton Public Schools continues to be the thriving school district it is, in part due to the unwavering and generous support of the MFE.

I hope to see you and your family on Sunday, October 27th at 10 am at Cunningham Hall at the Monster Dash!

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This morning we experienced a power outage at Milton High School and the Pierce Middle School. Our safety protocols were followed and I would like to commend our Milton Public Schools staff and students for their attention to safety and other instructions as our day continued. Our staff worked to keep students safe, reassured and engaged and allowed us to maintain a sense of calm and order. Thank you as well to the Department of Public Works, the Milton Police Department and the Milton Fire Department who are always available to support our schools.

PARENT SPEAKER SERIES 

Thank you to all who have registered for the PARENT Speaker Series – PARENT University, tonight, Thursday, October 17th at the Pierce Middle School. We are excited to bring you workshops that will focus on promoting the academic and social and emotional well being of your children and teens.

The evening will begin at 6:00pm in the foyer of the auditorium with a small reception where attendees can enjoy a light refreshment, pick up their course schedules and have a chance to connect with other attendees and presenters. If time is tight be sure to join us by 6:30 when the first session begins.

Spots are still available for some courses if you are interested in joining us. Please complete the registration form on-line , email Marti O’Keefe McKenna  or call 617-980-7343.  Please don’t hesitate to contact Ms. McKenna if you have any questions or need additional information.

The PARENT Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Public Schools, Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Parent Teacher Organizations and Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES 

Oct 17 PARENT University – Pierce Middle School
Oct 23 Early Release Day
Oct 23 Milton School Committee
Oct 27 MFE Monster Dash
Oct 30 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 2 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 3 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 6 Milton School Committee Meeting
Nov 11 No School-Veterans Day
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

Save the date for the November 13th showing of Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER – Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience. The film there focuses on understanding anxiety and providing strategies, skills and solutions to help build resilience in the face of hard emotions. Knowing how to lovingly and effectively be with your kids and teens as they experience difficult feelings and display challenging behaviors is immensely complicated. But there are lots of solutions out there—knowing the science, knowing strategies and sharing this with our friends, colleagues, parent groups, and on and on is crucial. Good Morning America had a recent piece on Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER that you may find interesting. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, October 23rd (note date change due to Milton Public Library event) at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

They’re creepy and they’re kooky; Mysterious and spooky; They’re all together ooky…. The Addams family! Come see them at Milton High School on October 30th, November 2nd and 3rd! Tickets are available online here.

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This week the Gile Road Preschool Program had a visit from the Milton Fire Department. Our preschool students were able to see and hear all about the gear the firefighters wear, they learned how to stay safe if there is ever a fire and they even got to sit in the fire truck!

PIERCE PAGES

All 6th grade parents/guardians are invited to a meet and greet sponsored by the Pierce PTO on Wednesday, October 23 from 7-8:30pm at the Common Market in Quincy. The event is meant to help build community among 6th grade parents, providing a venue for parents to connect with one another. We hope you can drop by to meet your fellow 6th grade parents. We’ll have some appetizers and a cash bar.

In order to get an accurate count for food & drink, we are requesting that parents register and pay $10 to help cover the cost of the room and appetizers. This event is open to all 6th grade parents, so please email the PTO if you need a waiver. You can click HERE to register. Thanks and we hope to see you there! 6th Grade Parent Social Committee –    Kerry Hurley, Maggie Kessler, Christina Lilliehook, Jackie Slavik and Heidi Vaughan

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Pierce 7th grade artists have been studying the art of Wayne Thiebaud. Thiebaud is a contemporary artist known for his unique style of painting cakes and assorted pastries. Students were given several choices of mediums to work with and were asked to create a piece inspired by Thiebaud. This rather large cake was created with small pieces of torn colored paper and glue. Students learned about shadows, complementary colors, and chiaroscuro by using strong areas of contrast in their pieces. The 7th grade artists created foods like colorful ice cream cones, favorite candies, multiple layered wedding cakes, and an assortment of delicious looking cupcakes. Our 7th grade artists had a full class critique to view each other’s work and share feedback, and of course to discuss their favorite food.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Collicot 2nd graders in Mrs Lamonica’s classroom were introduced this week to building and coding using the Motor Power Block to make the motor turn at different speeds. Once the students created and ran their programs, they thought about and explained the program and the function of the fan. At the end of the lesson, students could answer questions like: How does the program work? What do the different program blocks do? and will increase their mastery of the Motor Power Blocks in lessons to come.

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The theme for Unit One in the 2nd Grade Reach for Reading curriculum is all about community. Students learn what a community is and how an effective one works. Mrs Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders read many high-quality books about community workers, and decided as a class which buildings should be a part of “Walshville”, which is a fictional town the class created using boxes and art supplies at home. Students then tied in the writing process to their learning by writing and sending friendly letters to members of the community in conjunction with their project. As a result, many community members have agreed to visit the classroom and talk about their roles in our Milton community. So far, the class has visitors lined up from the Milton Fire Department, the Milton Post Office, Pat’s Pizza, Launch Trampoline Park, Citizens Bank, and a local veterinary clinic. This is a great real-world connection to our first unit in Reach for Reading!

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Glover’s Diversity Committee began an initiative last year to introduce all Glover Kids to prominent diverse authors. We were fortunate last year to meet Varian Johnson, Veera Hiranandani, and Jessica Hische. This year, we have plans to bring author, librarian, and researcher Meg Frazer Blakemore to Glover in December and a Diverse Reads Family Book Club event planned with Erin Entrada Kelly in the spring.

On Wednesday, we welcomed volunteers from neighboring Milton Academy into each classroom to participate in a special One Book, One School project. The PTO generously purchased a copy of Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson for every classroom. This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. A  group of students led by Ms. Morris are also studying Ms. Woodson’s work as part of Glover’s extracurricular programming.

After reading Each Kindness with our volunteers, students completed activities and connected this powerful story to the conversations we have every day about kindness, empathy, compassion, and friendship. This special One Book, One School initiative is brought as a joint effort between Glover’s Diversity Committee and the Glover PTO.
With its powerful anti-bullying message, Each Kindness resonated across every Glover classroom as we continue to recognize National Bullying Prevention Month, a campaign founded by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Alongside schools across the country, we will unite by wearing orange on Wednesday, October 23 in honor of “National Unity Day”. “Together against bullying- united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.”

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Science is alive at Cunningham! The third graders are studying Life Science and have been observing various seeds and discovering how they develop into plants. After focusing on plants, students transitioned onto a new organism this week…crayfish! Students observed their crayfish in small groups and discussed the structures they noticed. Teams then discussed what function they thought each structure served. This will help them understand how different organisms have developed structures to better adapt to their environment and how this increases the chance of their survival. Our 3rd grade teachers were sure to wear their special crayfish socks for the special delivery!

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Once again, the Marylin Rodman Theater for Kids program has treated our Milton Public Schools students to an exciting night at the theater! 50 of our MPS students and chaperones were treated to a spectacular presentation of Disney’s The Lion King on Tuesday of this week. Those attending boarded a bus at the Tucker School and travelled to the Boston Opera House where they were dazzled the minute the opening act began. As the curtain rose, giraffes loped gracefully across the stage while gazelles floated in unison just above the stage floor. A life size elephant stomped down the orchestra aisle to the wonderment of the audience. Throughout the performance students and chaperones were entertained by amazing scenery, familiar songs and music and outstanding performances, some by actors the same age as the MPS audience members! This special theater performance was dedicated to Don Rodman, a patron and benefactor of the arts, for many years, and a friend to Milton Public Schools.

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It’s raffle time once again at Tucker Elementary School! This year the raffle has 22 amazing prizes, including gift certificates to favorite local spots, Patriots and Bruins tickets and even a getaway at the Park Plaza hotel! Raffle tickets are only $10 each and every purchase enters you to win ALL 22 prizes! Want to get in on the fun? Tickets can be purchased online. Don’t know a Tucker student? No problem! Simply enter “Tucker Tiger” in the student name field. Thank you and good luck in the raffle drawings!

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Milton Times ran an excellent story about our full day Professional Development day on September 27th and they have given me permission to share it here. I urge you to read it as it gives a full picture of our day of (adult!) learning at Milton Public Schools that we were lucky to recently experience.  Page 1, Page 2, Page 3.

The Milton Times covers much of what happens in the Milton Public Schools. Our sports teams are often featured, special events in our schools are regularly highlighted and articles on the “business” of running a school system are reported on in detail. If your household does not receive the Milton Times, I encourage you to consider a subscription to stay abreast of the news both in our schools and in our town.

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Milton Public Schools holds periodic preschool screenings once a month and the next opportunity is Oct 23rd. If your child is ages 3 to 5, and not yet eligible for kindergarten this message may be helpful. If you have concerns about your child’s development MPS offers screenings through the early childhood department. This screening is open to Milton Residents who have concerns related to their child’s development. If you would like to discuss this opportunity for your child, please contact Jaymne Szymaczak via email. 

TRANSPORTATION

Due to unforeseen challenges with the FirstView app we are unable to roll it out for bus tracking and messaging purposes this year and we will again be utilizing the Remind app system for bus delay notifications. This year families will be invited to join the messaging system for the specific route(s) their student(s) ride. Families can join more than one route. Emails have been sent from the Transportation Department to the emails submitted in the bus registration process. The email included a unique code for their student’s bus route that when texted to 81010 allows families to OPT IN to the messaging system. To receive updates you MUST OPT IN by texting this code to 81010. Families can leave the message alert system at any time. If you did not receive an invitation please email bus@miltonpsorg requesting a code. Please include your student’s name, school and bus route number. If your child rides different am and pm routes, please include both in your request (for example, 5c am and 8c pm).

FOOD AND NUTRITION

There is a terrific opportunity for substitute jobs in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools.  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 and these positions often lead to permanent positions. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514)  for more information.

 

ATHLETICS 

The Boys and Girls Cross Country teams will host a fundraiser on October 20th at Cunningham Park. The Kids Trail Run is a big hit every fall!

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation invites you to a Public Information Meeting on the Canton-Milton- Roadway Improvements on Route 138 on Tuesday, October 22nd, Presentation/Open House from 6:3opm-8pm in the Fuller Village Function Room, 1372 Brush Hill Road. Milton, MA 02186.

You are invited to join MassDOT at a Public Information Meeting on the Canton-Milton- Roadway Improvements on Route 138 project. A presentation will be made at 6:30 PM and will be followed by an open house style meeting, where each interested person will be allowed to review the concepts and discuss the project with the Project Team. The presentation will include an update on the project status and include a discussion of the preliminary concepts that are currently being considered for advancement to 25% design. The approximate project limits along Route 138 are from Brush Hill Road in Milton to the Canton/Stoughton Town Line. All views and comments made at the meeting will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible. The meeting notice can be found here. 

***

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at the Milton Police Department, 40 Highland St is on Saturday, October 26th from 10am – 2pm.  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Milton Police Department are sponsoring our local Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Research has shown that the majority of abuse prescription drugs come from home medicine cabinets. Protect our community and protect our environment by turning in your unused or expired prescription drugs, safely and anonymously.

***

A speaker on Deaf and Hard of Hearing is coming to Milton on October 30th.
Milton’s Commission on Disability is hosting a town-wide event to educate Milton residents on deafness and hearing loss, communication, and assistive technology. Jonathan O’Dell who is Assistive Technology Manager/Training Specialist from the Massachusetts Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is coming to Milton on Wednesday, October 30th at 7pm in the Milton Public Library’s Keys Room. Mr. O’Dell will present information and answer questions on communication, assistive technology, and accessibility related to persons who have hearing loss and/or deafness.

Americans are likely to experience hearing loss either personally, or in our immediate family and/or circle of friends, as according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 20% of Americans experience some hearing loss. Anyone who has hearing loss, or who has friends or family members with hearing loss, with whom communication has become more difficult, will benefit from this presentation. Additionally, anyone who has wondered about how to best communicate with people who are deaf, will benefit. All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend. The Milton Commission on Disability will try to have the event broadcast on local access television as well, for those who are unable to attend in person.

Anyone needing reasonable accommodations to access this presentation are encouraged to request them early by contacting Milton’s ADA Coordinator by email to jprondak@townofmilton.org.

***

Registration has opened for the 24th Annual Milton Cotillion.  Cotillion is a progressive course in social skills, dance and etiquette education – all learned while having a blast!  The classes will run bi-weekly on Sunday evenings beginning January 12, 2020 at the Granite Links Golf Club.  Please go to cotillion.com to learn more and register. When you think about adding yet one more activity to your families schedule, it feels good to know that the skills learned at Cotillion will last a lifetime.

***

Forbes House Museum presents Ghost Stories in the Barn… an afternoon of Halloween fun including visits with the Kitchen Witch, crafty activities and other tricks and treats!
Sunday, October 20th , 3-5 pm. Costumes encouraged! $5/child; caregivers and members are free.

***

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

***

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 on October 19th through the beautiful streets of Milton. All details can be found here.

***

The Friends of the Milton Public Library invite you to help them celebrate the success of the Milton Public Library! On October 21st at Steel and Rye, 95 Eliot Street, from 6:30-8pm , join them for raffle prizes,  light refreshments and a cash bar. With programs like the Summer Reading Club, Cooking with Miss Debbie, Story Times, Taste Test Tuesdays, family concerts, the Cookbook Club and many other programs for children, teens, and adults sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library, we have a lot to celebrate!  Be sure to come early and bring your friends to this complimentary event (with cash bar). For more information, please contact Alice Jamal.

 ***

Brookwood Community Farm is hosting their  annual Thanksgiving Sale & Family Fun at the DCR property where they farm from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on Sunday November 24th. All are welcome to enjoy the farm, walk the farm roads, purchase fresh produce and other items to use for holiday gatherings into the winter. Turkeys can be picked up on site if ordered from Dasilva Farm and produce lists will be published on our website and FB page with at least a week to go before the sale. You will also find honey bee education, lawn games, warm drinks, and maybe a food demo!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Patrick Manning,  Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Bernadette Butler, Sara MacNeil, Karen McDavitt, Rachel Schewe, Susan Maselli and Janice Mazzola.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October 17, 2019

October 10, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 10, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I am pleased to share the latest iteration of The PARENT Speaker Series. On Thursday, October 17th from 6-8:40pm, we will offer PARENT University at the Pierce Middle School. While the event is being held at Pierce, the sessions are appropriate for parents/guardians across the age spectrum, Prek-12th grade.

PARENT University is a series of short educational and skill-building workshops for parents and guardians that cover a wide range of topics. Workshops focus on promoting the academic and social and emotional well being of children and teens. We offer a variety of workshops in one evening, each lasting just one hour and each workshop offered twice-back to back.

Classes like: I Have Concerns, Now What? Navigating Your Way Through the Special Education ProcessMind Full or Mindful? Building Mindfulness into Family Life Through Games, Stories and Maybe Just Sitting Still! and How to Make the Most of Your School Parent/Guardian – Teacher Conference are all being offered and will prove to be a valuable piece of your parenting toolkit.

The evening will begin at 6:00pm in the auditorium at the Pierce Middle School. The first session will begin at 6:30pm. The second session will begin at 7:40. Click here for course descriptions. Click here to complete course selection registration.

Childcare is available. However, space for childcare is limited. Registration is required and can be found on the registration link above. Children must be of school age and toilet trained to access childcare. If you have any questions or need additional information, please email Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna  or 617-980-7343.

The PARENT Speaker Series is made possible with financial support from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Public Schools, Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Parent Teacher Organizations and Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

***

There was another wonderful  Milton community event this past weekend  as Celebrate Milton 2019 was held at the Pierce Middle School. Celebrate Milton is an annual fall event run by a group of volunteers committed to bringing diverse people together from across the community.  Music and entertainment, a food tent sponsored by the MHS Ski Team, children’s amusements, a silent auction and raffles, and a true sense of community were some of the highlights of the day.  I am thrilled to share that Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai was honored for her work as a Community Builder for her inclusive practices at the Tucker School and that MHS students Emily Dobrindt and Vincent Luong were honored for their work as Junior Community Builders.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

I encourage all of our MPS families and staff to register now for the MFE Monster Dash on Sunday, October 27th! The Monster Dash is a perennial family favorite event with bounce houses, a costume Fun Run, kids’ crafts , science fun, face painting and more. Be sure to wear your costume!

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.

The Milton Foundation for Education is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, separate and distinct from the Milton Public Schools. The Foundation was established in 1995 to make possible innovative programs and opportunities that are beyond the reach of the school system’s budget. Foundation Trustees are people from the community who donate their time to help the Foundation achieve its goals. The Milton Public Schools continues to be the thriving school district it is, in part due to the unwavering and generous support of the MFE.

I hope to see you and your family on Sunday, October 27th at 10 am at Cunningham Hall at the Monster Dash!

UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES 

Oct 14 No School – Columbus Day
Oct 17 PARENT University – Pierce Middle School
Oct 23 Early Release Day
Oct 16 Milton School Committee
Oct 27 MFE Monster Dash
Oct 3 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 2 The Addams Family at MHS
Nov 3 The Addams Family at MHS
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

Save the date for the November 13th showing of Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER – Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience. The film there focuses on understanding anxiety and providing strategies, skills and solutions to help build resilience in the face of hard emotions. Knowing how to lovingly and effectively be with your kids and teens as they experience difficult feelings and display challenging behaviors is immensely complicated. But there are lots of solutions out there—knowing the science, knowing strategies and sharing this with our friends, colleagues, parent groups, and on and on is crucial. To access the full article about Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER and parenting tips click here. More details regarding the Milton showing of the film will be coming soon.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, October 23rd (note date change due to Milton Public Library event) at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found on the front page of our website. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

They’re creepy and they’re kooky; Mysterious and spooky; They’re all together ooky…. The Addams family! Come see them at Milton High School on October 30th, November 2nd and 3rd! Tickets are available online here.

PIERCE PAGES

Beth Neville, MPS teacher Jeff Stoodt, and Pierce Green Team member Lulu Baylon in the Pierce Garden.

On behalf of the Milton Garden Club, Milton resident and MPS volunteer Beth Neville is documenting the history of Milton’s many public garden spaces for the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens. This past Sunday,  students from the Green Team and members of the Milton Garden Club toured the Pierce garden and learned its history, as part of Ms. Neville’s work  for the Smithsonian Archives.

***

Please see the note below from Principal Bill Fish regarding homework free weekends. I want to applaud Principal Fish and Pierce teachers and staff for recognizing the social emotional value of occasional homework free weekends.

As a school community, we regard homework as an integral part of the academic program. We believe that homework serves a critical role in achieving instructional objectives.

A body of research suggests that homework enhances the educational process. Homework provides opportunities for students to reinforce old skills or practice newly acquired ones. Homework also provides students with opportunities to prepare for new information or apply and elaborate on information that has been introduced. Additionally, homework acquaints parents with what their children are learning in school and also improves a student’s organizational and self-discipline skills.

Whether homework is assigned during the week or on weekends, it is evident that teachers, students, and parents understand and value the ways in which homework reinforces and enriches the knowledge and skills that students acquire during instructional time. Beyond the academic benefits of homework, the Pierce Middle School faculty recognizes that there are times throughout the school year when students need time to relax, recharge, and have time to spend with their family without academic demands.

Beginning this fall, Pierce Middle School will implement four homework free weekends. During these weekends, homework will not be assigned. Additionally, faculty will also be expected to take a break from schoolwork during these four weekends.

The following weekends have been identified as homework free weekends at Pierce:Term 1
October 12 – October 14; Term 2 November 27 – December 1; Term 3 January 31 – February 1; Term 4 May 23 – May 25.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Cunningham 2nd graders in Ms. McGill and Ms. Herbert’s class focused on community helpers throughout our first Reach for Reading Unit. Students worked in pairs to research community helpers, gather facts, and create an “All About” book explaining how their community helper are important in our community. Students worked to create a book comprised of a dedication page, all about the author page, as well as a rough and final draft of their work. The class then celebrated completing their first writing project with a publishing party! Students walked around the room writing kind words and compliments about all of their peers work. Other faculty was also invited to read our books and write compliments for students!

***

Glover students in Mme. Bonner’s 1st grade  French Immersion classroom have been busy investigating different plants in the Plants and Animals unit in FOSS. Students started by growing ryegrass and alfalfa plants. Students observed the lawn growth for over a week, making observations in their science notebooks. Students “mowed” their lawns and are excited to see what will happen next! Students are also growing wheat seeds in a straw, students are watching for roots and green growth!

***

Collicot 3rd graders were inspired by the big question of unit 1 in Reach for Reading, “How do people help each other?” The class read The Quiltmakers Journey and The Quiltmakers Gift. The students made two of their own quilts that are being donated to children in need.

***

We know that students learn and develop leadership through practical application of leadership skills. These skills should be cultivated at a young age so that students understand the concept of stewardship and ownership of their environments. When students are provided with this opportunity, they experience responsible citizenship and engage positively with community members. Those who are given the opportunity to engage in the process of leadership development at an early age increase the capacity of involved citizens in the future (Krista Ullestad, 2009, Leadership Development for Elementary Students).

The Glover School is excited to share about the 2019-20 Glover Student Leadership Team. SLT is a group of 4th and 5th Graders who take leadership seriously and are interested in helping out around the school, in the community, and modeling positive behaviors for younger students. SLT members are role models for the other students and act accordingly at all times during the school day (recess, bus, lunch, classroom, etc.) in order to maintain the privilege of participating in SLT. There are many different assignments they can choose from such as helping out in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades, PE, Art, Library, and Bus Assistants, Kindness Squad, School Spirit Team, Poetry Club, the Glover Gazette Newspaper Club and Safety Patrol Teams to name a few. SLT members are assigned a teacher-mentor who checks in with them frequently and the relationship that is built between mentor/mentee is powerful. We are so proud of our Student Leaders at Glover School!

***

We are happy to report that across Milton, more than 2000 students registered for our summer reading program and logged in a total of 1,411,451 minutes. That’s a lot of reading! During library classes this past month each student who logged in minutes received a bookmark. Top readers were announced during lunch and their names were entered into a raffle with one lucky student from each grade at each school winning a $25 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. We are so proud of all of our summer readers!

TECHNOLOGY

The Milton Public School’s Wait Until 8th campaign has five parent volunteers, Teresa Cook, Tara McCarthy, Allison Norton, Rachel Pauli, and Patty Sanchez who serve as the ambassadors.  They are currently working with the Educational Technology Director, AJ Melanson on an action plan. Thank you to these parent volunteers and Mr. Melanson for bringing Wait Until 8th to our community. If you have any questions regarding the campaign please email AJ Melanson.

Did you know that the average age a child gets a smartphone is 10 years old and that children are spending between 6 and 9 hours a day on media? Childhood is changing, and the negative impact of too much screen time is hitting kids hard. 

We have good news for you though. There is a wonderful resource to help families delay the smartphone and give their children more time smartphone free. 300+ Milton families have taken the Wait Until 8th pledge. The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers families to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade.  By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and families alike over the kids having a smartphone. 

Please note that this pledge is for smartphones only! 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.  A pledge becomes “active” once 10 or more families from a grade at a school sign. The organizers designed the pledge this way so you don’t have to fear “what if I am the only family that signs this in my kid’s grade.” This takes the pressure off because the pledge only kicks in once at least 10 families sign from your grade.

To learn more, please visit Wait Until 8th. Also, you can check out these recent news stories  on The Today Show, Good Morning America and NPR’s On Point news program about the pledge.

More than 8,000 families from all 50 states have said yes to waiting for the smartphone. 300 + from Milton alone!  Will you join us? Childhood is too short to waste on a smartphone. Let’s let kids be kids a little longer. Take the pledge at www.waituntil8th.org.  When taking the pledge please use the following names for each school:Collicot Elementary School; Cunningham Elementary School; Glover Elementary School; Pierce Middle School; Tucker Elementary School. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Milton Public Schools holds periodic preschool screenings once a month and the next opportunity is Oct 23rd. If your child is ages 3 to 5, and not yet eligible for kindergarten this message may be helpful. If you have concerns about your child’s development MPS offers screenings through the early childhood department. This screening is open to Milton Residents who have concerns related to their child’s development. If you would like to discuss this opportunity for your child, please contact Jaymne Szymaczak via email. 

TRANSPORTATION

Due to unforeseen challenges with the FirstView app we are unable to roll it out for bus tracking and messaging purposes this year. Instead, we will be utilizing the Remind app system for bus delay notifications. This year families will be invited to join the messaging system for the specific route(s) their student(s) ride. Families can join more than one route. Emails will be sent from the Transportation Department to the emails submitted in the bus registration process. The email will include a unique code for their student’s bus route that when texted to 81010 allows families to OPT IN to the messaging system. To receive updates you MUST OPT IN by texting this code. Families can leave the message alert system at any time. Please be on the lookout for the invitation to join the Remind bus alert system. If you do not receive an invitation please email bus@miltonpsorg requesting a code. Please include your student’s name, school and bus route number. If your child rides different am and pm routes, please include both in your request (for example, 5c am and 8c pm). Additionally please note that the Remind bus alert message group from last year will be archived and families that participated in that group may get a text message notification when that occurs.

FOOD AND NUTRITION

There is a terrific opportunity for substitute jobs in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools.  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 and these positions often lead to permanent positions. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514)  for more information.

MA TEACHER OF THE YEAR 

I recently received an email that the nomination and application forms for the 2021 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year are now available! Anyone can nominate a teacher, and educators can apply regardless of whether they have been nominated. The Commonwealth is full of strong public school teachers and DESE hopes to receive at least one nomination from every district. Please take a moment to consider if there is an exceptional Milton Educator who you know who you might nominate.

Nominations will be accepted only online and are due February 3, 2020, and applications must be completed by February 14. Before completing an application, teachers are asked to download and read the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Overview. Anyone with questions can email educatorrecognition@doe.mass.edu.

***

The Massachusetts School Administrators Association writes that Principals are educational visionaries who work hard to create outstanding schools for every student, and they deserve to be honored nationwide. That’s why NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators—three groups who believe in the importance of effective school leadership—have declared the entire month of October as National Principals Month. The Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSAA) proudly joins this well-deserved celebration at the state level.

At the Milton Public Schools,  we couldn’t agree more, and ask that you take a moment this month to thank your school Principal with a note or kind word. These personal thank yous are appreciated more than you can imagine.

ART AND MUSIC 

Students in the art room at Tucker are exploring color, shape and pattern. 2nd graders read the book  Chameleon’s Colors by Chisato Tashiro for inspiration for their chameleon drawings and learned about ROY G BIV to apply the colors of the rainbow. 4th grade students studied the work of amazing artist Laurel Burch, and how she dealt with a debilitating disease her whole life and was still able to become an accomplished artist. Kindergarten students made some fun literacy connections with the book Elephant and Piggie by Mo Williams to create dancing pigs!

***

Glover 2nd-5th graders started off the year by reading the classic story The Dot, and then used dots in their own work! Each student took the project in wild and creative directions, turning a few simple circles into works of art that were funny, surprising and beautiful! Below is: Turtles (top left) by Caroline Haley; Breakfast BFFs (top right) by Sasha Darmon; Waffle Monster (bottom left) by Marc Gimbrone-Naviloff and Piano Music (bottom right) by Hanna Do.

ATHLETICS 

Football will play Ipswich (away) on Saturday at 1pm in an effort to stay undefeated.

Boys Soccer and Field hockey both take on Wellesley High School tonight on Brooks Field.

Volleyball will take on Canton High School tomorrow night at home.

The Boys and Girls Cross Country teams will host a fundraiser on October 20th at Cunningham Park. The Kids Trail Run is a big hit every fall!

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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.Saturday,

***

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at the Milton Police Department, 40 Highland St is on Saturday, October 26th from 10am – 2pm.  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Milton Police Department are sponsoring our local Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Research has shown that the majority of abuse prescription drugs come from home medicine cabinets. Protect our community and protect our environment by turning in your unused or expired prescription drugs, safely and anonymously.

***

Teams are now forming for the 2019-2020 season of Destination Imagination (DI). DI is non-profit, volunteer-led organization that provides unique educational experiences across seven project-based Challenge types–Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning. MPS parent Cindi Melanson mentored a team of four 4th grade girls last year and they had a wonderful experience designing and presenting their creative solution to the 2018-19 STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) engineering challenge called “Monster Effects”. The girls placed 3rd at the elementary level in the Massachusetts Regional Tournament for Destination Imagination last March and plan to enter again. Ms Melanson would be happy to talk to any interested MPS parents/guardians about mentoring a team for this year’s tournament.  DI would love more Milton teams to get involved! Learn more at Massachusetts DI!

***

Milton Early Childhood Alliance is pleased to present Come and Play Be A Kid Again! Wednesday, October 23, 7-9pm at the Discovery Schoolhouse, 101 Blue Hills Pkwy, Milton, MA for parents of children 2.5 to 4 years old.

Parents, come learn why play is so important to a child’s development and how it contributes to achieving developmental milestones. And, yes, you will be playing!! In this parent workshop, you will partake in hands-on play at learning centers, learn how play informs your child’s development, have some fun, and maybe even get a bit messy. Childcare will be provided and requires registration. Registration is required: email cpcmecasld@verizon.net or call 617-696-2262.

***

Forbes House Museum presents Ghost Stories in the Barn… an afternoon of Halloween fun including visits with the Kitchen Witch, crafty activities and other tricks and treats!
Sunday, October 20th , 3-5 pm. Costumes encouraged! $5/child; caregivers and members are free.

***

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

***

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 on October 19th through the beautiful streets of Milton. All details can be found here.

***

The MHS Street Hockey Tournament is October 14th at 9am at the Kelly Field Tennis Courts and grades K-8th are welcome to participate. Teams should be  7-9 players, including goalie with a minimum of 7 and max of 9. The cost is $20 per player.  Teams are responsible for their own equipment –helmets, sticks, gloves are mandatory. Goalies are responsible for their own pads and sticks. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent. Please see the waiver and more info 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:

More than five-hundred educators attended the event with ninety-six of them facilitating break-out sessions. The day was a huge success! Please join me in thanking the educators who presented on September 27th.

STAFF: On September 27, 2019, all MPS faculty and staff, along with teachers and leaders from across the commonwealth, rose up at Milton High School and Raised the Bar on Teaching & Learning! Milton Public Schools’ first annual full-day professional development conference included an inspiring keynote speaker, Dr. Kenneth Wesson, four breakout sessions with 20+ incredible options for each breakout session, breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

VOLUNTEERS: The Milton High School Booster Club is a group of parents, volunteers and other interested parties whose mission is to enrich the MHS Athletic community and the community at large by promoting athletic excellence, good sportsmanship and character-building relationships among athletes, coaches and parents as well as providing financial support and assistance for Milton High School Athletics.

The Boosters raises funds through our Swing For Sports annual event, concession stands sales and through memberships. The money raised is then used to offer scholarships for senior student athletes that are continuing on to post-secondary education. It is also used to support teams in obtaining new uniforms and equipment that the Athletic budget and user fees can not support. The Boosters also support an annual banquet to recognize all varsity athletes, individual awards and team successes. Over the last 5 years the Boosters contributed to every one of the 33 athletic programs at Milton High Schoo, granting over $100,000.00 and benefiting over 600 students annually.

Please join me in thanking the 2019-2020 Executive Board –  President Jimmy Coyne, Vice Presidents Debra MacNeil and Susan DiSandro, Treasurer Trish Heelen and Secretary Rachel Shanor – for their countless hours of volunteerism on behalf of our student athletes. The Booster committee chairs  – Catherine Lee, Patti Dobrindt, Elaine Shiffmann, Maggie Oldfield, Patty Andresino, Ellen Hoey, Shelia Paolucci, Abram Cardoza, Regina Yuen and Lloyd MacNeil – are to be commended as well for serving our students. If you would like to become more involved with the Boosters, please email them at info@miltonboosters.com.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Bill Fish, Star Baylon, Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, Jess Gillooly, Kim Tolleson, Kelsey McGill, Jon Redden, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Sara MacNeil, Karen McDavitt, Dr. Karen Spaulding, Rachel Schewe, Susan Maselli, AJ Melanson and Kelly Herbert.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October 10, 2019

October 4, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 4, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I hope you will join the Milton Community at Celebrate Milton 2019 on Sunday, October 6th from 12-4 at Pierce Middle School. Celebrate Milton is an annual fall event run by a group of volunteers committed to bringing diverse people together from across the community.  At Celebrate Milton, there is music and entertainment, a food tent sponsored by the MHS Ski Team, children’s amusements, a silent auction and raffles, and a true sense of community. Celebrate Milton takes place rain or shine at Pierce Middle School this Sunday, October 6th from 12-4.  This year, I am thrilled to share that Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai will be honored for her work as a Community Builder for her inclusive practices at 1:30 on Sunday.More information can be found on their website. We look forward to seeing you there!

***

On September 27, 2019, all MPS faculty and staff, along with teachers and leaders from across the commonwealth, rose up at Milton High School and Raised the Bar on Teaching & Learning! Milton Public Schools’ first annual full-day professional development conference included an inspiring keynote speaker, Dr. Kenneth Wesson, four breakout sessions with 20+ incredible options for each breakout session, breakfast, lunch, and snacks!

More than five-hundred educators attended the event with ninety-six of them facilitating break-out sessions. The day was a huge success! Here are some quotes from MPS staff:

“I just wanted to say thank you for organizing such an incredible PD day. It allowed us to move around, collaborate with other staff across the district, and really tap into specific interests. It also gave a platform for those of us looking to grow and lead PD sessions in a small dose of 45 minutes instead of one giant 7-hour strand right away. So THANK YOU!!! the best PD day yet!”

“Thank you so much for one of the best experiences (besides being hired!) I have had at the Milton Public schools. The keynote speaker gave me a new outlook of my own classroom practice.”

“I just wanted to say a big Thank you for putting on the best PD ever. I felt inspired, sincerely. Thank you for all the hard work you put in to make this an absolute success. I feel so lucky to be part of this team of wonderful educators.”

“It was the best PD I participated in: so many choices, very good and very inspiring classes.”

“I really got a lot out of today’s PD. For all those that made it happen – great job!!! It was really well done and such a meaningful professional development!”

Thank you to our Professional Development Day organizers AJ Melanson, Ben Kelly and Amy Tom. This day was the success that it was because of your creativity, hard work  and commitment to this day of learning.

***

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 is a series of short educational and skill-building workshops for parents and guardians that cover a wide range of topics. Workshops focus on promoting the academic and social and emotional well being of children and teens. We offer a variety of workshops in one evening, each lasting just one hour and each workshop offered twice-back to back.

The evening will begin at 6:00pm in the auditorium at the Pierce Middle School. The first session will begin at 6:30pm. The second session will begin at 7:40. Click here for course descriptions. Click here to complete course selection registration.

Childcare is available. However, space for childcare is limited. Registration is required and can be found on the registration link above. Children must be of school age and toilet trained to access childcare. If you have any questions or need additional information, please email Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna  or 617-980-7343. I would like to thank Ms. McKenna, our MPS Family Outreach Liaison for her work on bringing this “first of its kind” evening to the Milton Public Schools.

MILTON GOES GOLD

It is safe to say that our 1st annual Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness was a success! Our goal was to raise awareness and funds and show support for children who are battling cancer and thanks to huge community support, those goals were achieved. How did we GO GOLD?

  • You donated GOLDOur schools had GOLD boots in the main offices for two weeks and students and staff donated change – and LOTS of it! We are thrilled to report that thousands of dollars were raised through the GOLD boots. This money will be donated to Wicked Good Cause and the Michael C McHugh Fund.  For “Milton Goes Gold ” the MHS Key Club ran a successful donation drive to support the One Mission Resource Room at Boston Children’s Hospital. Key Club members decorated collection boxes, made posters, promoted the collection drive and collected items at the MHS football game on Friday night. MHS nurse Kim Coughlin suggested the Key Club create a Milton Goes Gold Amazon account, with a donation wish list. As a result of these efforts, the Key Club received bags of donations and over 100 boxes and packages. The Pierce Middle School community also collected over 100 items for the One Mission Resource Room. Items collected include colored pencils, paints, craft paper, puzzles, electronics, fleece blankets, hats, pajamas, phone chargers, legos and more. All items donated will go to patients and patient families who need to stay at the hospital for an extended period of time. The One Mission Resource Room serves as the hub or ‘living room’ for families and patients who are staying for 45 days or more. Their website says “Whatever it takes to get kids through cancer” and Milton Public Schools is grateful to support such an important effort. The Key Club and Pierce thank everyone who donated to this amazing cause!
  • You gave blood – more valuable than GOLD100 pints of blood went to Children’s Hospital from the town of Milton last week between the two blood drives! These donations have the potential to save 400 children’s lives. Thank you for your overwhelming support of the blood drives.
  • You raised GOLD for our charities!Through a series of lemonade and bake sales (many of them spontaneous) almost $1500 was raised for charity!
  • You wore your GOLD1000 pair of GOLD shoelaces could be found all over Milton last week! Go Gold day on Thursday, September 26th was a big success with GOLD found throughout all of our schools. Pierce teacher Millicent Hartgering shared that when she went to Joann Fabrics to buy gold material to make accessories for the teachers to wear on Go Gold Day and mentioned what she was doing, they discounted most of the material, and another customer who heard what she was doing insisted on paying for her entire purchase. Milton Goes Gold definitely spread to other communities!
  • You played for GOLDIn addition to being a great game, the MHS Football game on Friday, September 27th was a big hit for Milton Goes Gold with money raised, swag sold and awareness for childhood cancer gained. The Pierce Volleyball team held their Go Gold game the day before and played for specific children they knew who have been impacted by childhood cancer.
  • You cheered for GOLDSome of our brave students who have been deeply affected by childhood cancer spoke to their fellow students about their disease. Students were respectful audiences and cheered on their classmates.

Thank you to MPS staff and families, Athletic Director Ryan Madden,  the Town of Milton, the Milton Fire Department, the Milton Police Department, the MHS Key Club, the Milton School Committee, the McHugh Family, the Serpa Family, the Albanese Family and the Kociol Family for an amazing year one of MiltonGOES GOLD!

UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES 

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
Oct 27 MFE Monster Dash
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV.  The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, October 16th at 7pm.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS teacher Kay Kelley shares that Milton High celebrated the fourteenth year of cultural exchange with Sakae Higashi High, of Japan this past week. This year five hundred Japanese students with their teachers arrived on thirteen buses to meet new friends, share cultures, and practice their English language skills. MHS students prepared for their arrival for an entire month. Some planned and coordinated the event while others volunteered to be an ambassador, and bought gifts for their visiting friends.

Gift giving is part of the Japanese culture and Milton students have adopted the Japanese tradition and make sure they have a gift to present to their Japanese students. Once Sakae students met and exchanged gifts with their Milton ambassadors, the entire student body was invited to the fieldhouse for an assembly. The assembly started with the MHS chorus singing the National Anthem. Representatives from both schools gave speeches and the MHS marching band performed, Moanin’ Mambo, Libertango and Maritza. The Japanese gymnasts performed Mass Games and their cheerleaders also presented.

When the performances were complete all students traveled to classes and lunch together. Teachers included the Japanese students in the curriculum for the day. In Ms. Gonzalez’s Spanish class, Ms. Gonzalez asked questions to the Milton students in Spanish and they translated the questions into English for the Japanese student. When the Japanese students answered in English, the Milton students translated the answer to Spanish to report back to the teacher.

Many students still communicate with Japanese students from years past. Senior Sara McDonnell, one of the student leaders of the program this year, is still in contact with the student she met her freshman year. This year Sarah was elated to meet the younger sister of her exchange student from freshman year!

At the end of third lunch the MHS students shared contact information and said goodbye to their new Japanese friends. The Japanese students boarded their buses and continue their tour of the United States. Milton High is the only school these students visit on their American tour.

***

Fall has officially hit the Gile Road Preschool Program! Last week we learned all the parts of the Apple and worked on spelling out our fall words with playdough.

***

The MHS Earth Club celebrated Climate Action Week with a Milton Climate Strike on Friday, September 27th. Students and community members met at Milton High School and walked to Town Hall to gather and listen to a speech by MHS senior Maggie Haley.  The event promoted environmental awareness and a call for sustainable practices in our community.

PIERCE PAGES

Our Pierce 8th graders spent the morning this week at Milton High School today, for 8th grade Step Up Day. Students gathered in the auditorium to hear from Mr. Jette and Director of Guidance Karen Cahill before leaving on a school tour facilitated by MHS student leaders. Students visited the activities fair in the field house and spoke to dozens of MHS students who represented their clubs and teams. The energy level in the field house and halls of MHS was high and we look forward to welcoming these 8th graders to Milton High School next September!

***

Pierce 6th graders  visited the Starlab, and the Pierce library to use computers and work on character analysis connected to the novel Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly that students are reading in English class. The Starlab is similar to a planetarium and enables students to look at celestial objects. Upon entering the star lab, students were able to view the zodiac constellations. They were told some of the Greek Myths associated with each constellation and were given information about which constellations we can see in the night sky right now.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Glover 2nd graders  in Mme. Cardiasmenos’ class are hard at work reading and responding to text through discussion and writing. This activity is part of the Gafi curriculum that focuses on building the foundational blocks of French Literacy. The importance of engaging in discourse before writing is highlighted throughout this lesson.

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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. Our elementary schools participated this week with great success!

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!

FOOD AND NUTRITION

WBZ CBS Boston visited Milton High School for a story on our Achieve students and the grow racks they are cultivating. Stay tuned for the link – we will share it as soon as it airs!

ART AND MUSIC 

Collicot and Cunningham have been glowing lately! Students in 5th and 2nd grades have been working on art projects incorporating fluorescent colors and painting under the black light. 2nd graders are making 3-D fish while reviewing lines and patterns. 5th graders are working on using their names to create a radial design masterpiece.

***

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 Cats beat the Rebels as Milton caps off the #MiltonGoesGold Campaign. Complimentary football is winning football. The Milton Wildcats proved that once again this season as they dismantled the Walpole Rebels 33-14 at The Cage Friday evening, with a balanced offensive attack, amazing special teams play and a stifling defense. The win closed out a 3-0 September for the Wildcats and gave coach Steve Dembowski his 150th win in his coaching career. Thanks to all of the MPS families, Principals and committee members who made  #MiltonGoesGold happen! The Milton Cats will travel to Weymouth on Friday night to take on the other Wildcats!

Swim improves to 5-1 after wins over Brookline and Framingham. Milton won a tight swim meet against Brookline last Tuesday with a final score of 93-90. Friday was another victory against Framingham with a final score of 97-84. Emily Dobrindt battled out a tough 200 freestyle to win the event as well as the 100 yard butterfly. Sebastien Yunger won the 50 yard freestyle, Madison Crummey the 100 yard freestyle, and Rose Gillooly the 500 yard freestyle. Andrew Tran won both the 200 yard IM and 100 yard breaststroke. Eliza Callahan, Amalia Halpin, Liv DiSandro and Adri Halpin all had impressive swims. They take on Needham tomorrow.

Girls XC beat Brookline & Needham while the Boys beat Brookline for the first time in over a decade! Christina Sullivan was Milton’s 7th runner in the varsity race, shaving more than 2 minutes off of her best time on the course last year! Norah Affanato, Sarah Grace Chave, Marilyn Roche, Christina Sullivan, Olivia Duggan, and Ilisa Risal all made the list of Top 50 Milton Performers to race at Houghton’s Pond since 1996. They are numbers 19, 31, 37, 38, 39, and 45 respectively. Personal records (PR’s) on the varsity course: Anna Cakouros, Christina Sullivan, Ilisa Risal, Bobby Carew, CJ Sullivan, Ross Tejeda and John Carew. They have since gone on to beat Weymouth as well! The Boys are 5-2 on the season and the Girls are 6-1, only dropping one meet to Natick.

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

NEWS AROUND TOWN

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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Teams are now forming for the 2019-2020 season of Destination Imagination (DI). DI is non-profit, volunteer-led organization that provides unique educational experiences across seven project-based Challenge types–Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning. MPS parent Cindi Melanson mentored a team of four 4th grade girls last year and they had a wonderful experience designing and presenting their creative solution to the 2018-19 STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) engineering challenge called “Monster Effects”. The girls placed 3rd at the elementary level in the Massachusetts Regional Tournament for Destination Imagination last March and plan to enter again. Ms Melanson would be happy to talk to any interested MPS parents/guardians about mentoring a team for this year’s tournament.  DI would love more Milton teams to get involved! Learn more at Massachusetts DI!

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance is pleased to present Come and Play Be A Kid Again! Wednesday, October 23, 7-9pm at the Discovery Schoolhouse, 101 Blue Hills Pkwy, Milton, MA for parents of children 2.5 to 4 years old.

Parents, come learn why play is so important to a child’s development and how it contributes to achieving developmental milestones. And, yes, you will be playing!! In this parent workshop, you will partake in hands-on play at learning centers, learn how play informs your child’s development, have some fun, and maybe even get a bit messy. Childcare will be provided and requires registration. Registration is required: email cpcmecasld@verizon.net or call 617-696-2262.

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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 a mother/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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The Milton Public Library has terrific children’s programs all through October.

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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 on October 19th 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:

STUDENTS and STAFF: We want to recognize a large (and growing!) group of students and staff who are supporting Collicot student Ben Doak as he goes through treatment for Perthes Disease.  Yesterday, Ben and his friends gathered for Walk to School Day, wearing blue for Perthes Awareness and Ben was touched to see so many faculty in blue.  These small but significant gestures serve to show support and encouragement for Ben and his family and we are grateful to the Collicot community for their ongoing support of Ben.

STUDENTS: Congratulations to MHS students Amalia C. Halpin and Sarah Mitchell who have been designated as eligible to apply for the National Hispanic Recognition Program as offered by the College Board. The invitation is extended to test takers who score in the top 2.5% among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NMSQT test takers in the region. The College Board National Recognition Programs are academic honors that can be included on college applications. It’s not a scholarship, but colleges use it to identify academically exceptional students. Congratulations to Amalia and Sarah on this recognition!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden, Dawn Sykes, James Jette, Jon Redden, Cat DesRoche, Holly Concannon, Karen Cahill, Laurie Stillman, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti McKenna, Maggie Randall, Kay Kelley, Sara McNeil, AJ Melanson and Laurel Bernini.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October 4, 2019

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.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, 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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 25, 2019

September 19, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 19, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I want to share with you that Milton has been awarded another Green Communities Competitive Grant. I have asked Director of Consolidated Facilities , Bill Ritchie, to share some history and information about the Green Communities Competitive Grant below.

The Town of Milton recently received $104,661 from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for two lighting upgrade projects – one at Collicot/Cunningham and the second at the Tucker School. In addition, we applied for supplemental incentive funding through Eversource and to date, have received $35,000. The Town will only need to come up with roughly $10,000 to pay for the project shortfall. Consolidated Facilities is working on better pricing with vendors and working to secure additional incentive funding to lower the Town’s obligation by another $5,000, possibly bringing the total out of pocket cost for the Town to $5000.

Since 2011, with these latest grants and incentive funding, the Town of Milton has received approximately $1,300,000 through a combination of  Green Communities Grants, utilities incentives, energy program grants and other rebates. Because we installed these energy measures over the years we anticipate a yearly savings of approximately $350,000 town wide.

We have done very well as a Town in energy conservation measures and are recognized in Massachusetts as an energy leader. As a Town,  we have to guarantee DOER a 20% reduction in  town wide energy usage. This is not an easy task but one we have worked diligently at for almost a decade.

Thank you to the Town of Milton team who spends countless hours each year designing energy projects, applying  for grants and utility incentives, negotiating procurement, performing quality inspections, overseeing project management and managing annual reporting.  Town Planner William Clark, Operations Manager for Consolidated Facilities  Robert Mayhew, Administrative Assistant for Consolidated Facilities  Diane Colligan and Director of Consolidated Facilities , Bill Ritchie are to be commended for these successful efforts on behalf of our schools and the Town of Milton.

Milton GOES GOLD

Hopefully you know about Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness from September 16th-30th! Our goal is to raise awareness and funds and show support for children who are battling cancer.

HOW CAN YOU GO GOLD?

How can you purchase your Milton GOES GOLD shoelaces? We are temporarily out of stock at most schools. Good news –  we have more laces coming next week!  Please visit this website for your order to be delivered to school next week or purchase your laces  in school next week.  If you order online for delivery to school or wait to purchase until they are in stock at your school, you will get them on the same day.

Please join us 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

Our first event in the 2019/20 PARENT Speaker Series is almost here! Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski will discuss Supporting All Learners on September 24th at Milton High School. 

Be a Cheerleader for Your Child’s Team! Strategies for Supportive Advocacy to Foster Meaningful Inclusion will be the topic for the evening.

Are you looking for ways to communicate with and support your team around developing inclusive educational opportunities? If so, then join us on September 24 as we explore strategies and tools that will help families articulate their vision, and help teams design a program that matches that vision. Effective communication is key in any collaborative partnership and this workshop will give you the tools to get there!

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

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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 10 sessions for parents and guardians to choose to attend throughout the evening.

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 10 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. We are excited to introduce our session topics and sign up details in the coming weeks.

UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES

  
Sep 16-30 Milton GOES GOLD
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.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, October 2nd at 7pm.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Bullying education continues K-12 at the Milton Public Schools. This week, Vice Principal Brian Mackinaw, aka Mr. Mack, presented to all MHS students on this important topic.

Later in the week, students attended a substance abuse presentation by Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of S.A.M. Smart Approaches to Marijuana. He spoke about not only the dangers of marijuana to young people, but also the tactics corporations are using to get kids hooked. His goal is to help kids make the right decisions. This speaker was sponsored by the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

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MHS Guidance 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

Ms. Devin’s sixth graders recently worked as archeologists as part of a unit of study in ancient civilization. During this activity, students dug up artifacts and drew inferences about the function and origin of what they found.

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PASS classes are an opportunity for Pierce teachers to identify an interest, talent, or a hobby and create an e​ight week​ after school experience for students. PASS classes begin the week of September 23, 2019 and end the week of November 11, 2019. Each class is a total of eight sessions and costs $50 with the exception of the Pierce Soccer Program, which costs $100. We want all Pierce students to have the opportunity to participate in after school activities. If your family requires financial assistance, please contact Mr.Fish via email​. ​There will be a late bus with limited stops for bus students only on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning the week of September 23, 2019. The late bus will pick up at Pierce at 3:25 p.m. All details on our PASS classes can be found here.

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You’re invited to join the Kindness Friday Movement! For the past three years, we have promoted the wearing of the color red or our Kind is the New Cool t-shirts on Fridays to build community and promote kindness as a school. This isn’t just a movement for our students — teachers, staff, and administrators will wear their Kind is the New Cool shirts and families should feel welcome to join in too! The last day to order shirts is Friday, September 20th.

While it’s not required in order to get involved, if you are interested in purchasing a red Kind is the New Cool t-shirt you can order them by clicking HERE.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Collicot families, students and staff came to the Back to School Picnic on Friday, September 13th at Cunningham Park. It was a beautiful late summer evening to see old friends and meet new ones.  The children had so much fun dancing to the music played by the Boosterthon team and had a blast playing games of football, tag, and soccer in the field.  What a great way to kickoff the new school year!

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5th grade Glover  students kicked off their 1st unit of the year “Sun, Moon and Planets” by tracing their shadows outside. Students trace their shadows in the morning and afternoon. They use this information to draw conclusions about the position of the sun as it moves across the sky each day.

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Ms. Fradette’s Tucker students began their Energy and Electromagnetism unit by introducing students to electricity and energy. In alignment with the science standard         “Make observations to show that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents”, students discovered how to make a complete circuit using a D-cell, wires and a lightbulb. Upon successfully lighting their bulbs, students discussed the electricity’s pathway in the circuit and the function of each of the system’s components. They also took a close look at the anatomy of the lightbulb. By the end of the lesson, students were able to answer the focus question: What is needed to light a bulb?

The Tucker Running club enjoys a sunny post-run stretch!

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Tucker kicked off its fall running club with an unprecedented 60 students this week. The biggest group yet is led by coaches and Tucker faculty members Stephanie Young and Rachel Spitz. Look for many of these athletes at the MFE Monster Dash on October 27th!

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The 5th grade gift from the Cunningham class of 2019 class is complete. These positive messages greet all visitors and students on multiple stairways at Cunningham each day.

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Glover 3rd grade teacher Sarah Hammond has implemented “Full Flex Seating” in her classroom with the support of Occupational Therapist  Sarah Whitten who attended a workshop this summer  about “Hacking the House”. “Hack the House” refers to redesigning classroom space to encourage a collaborative environment and asks the question ” How can you redesign your space to encourage student centered learning?”

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! 

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The Milton Foundation for Education is looking for artwork to print on the front of race t-shirts for the Milton Monster Dash. Create your best design and submit one entry by Wednesday, September 25th. The winner will see their drawing on race t- shirts, and help start the runners on race day, October 27th.

  • Artwork should have a Halloween theme
  • Children living in or attending school in Milton are eligible
  • Entries must be on white, unlined 8 ½” x 11” paper
  • Entrants should use a black, thick Sharpie for their artwork
  • Include child’s name, school and age on back of artwork
  • Submit the artwork by Wednesday, September 25
  • Deliver drawing and entry form to the main office of your school
  • Artwork will not be returned
  • All decisions of the Milton Monster Dash Committee are final
  • Contact Liddie Sutter with any questions .

All details on the t-shirt contest can be found here.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

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

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

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.

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In our effort to bring you as much information as we can about vaping and the accompanying health risks to your children, I wanted to share this recent article from the Boston Globe, entitled Why the vaping lung illness crisis is exploding now, according to Boston doctors.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

On September 27th, MPS will host an “ed-camp” style conference for all of our MPS educators and colleagues from surrounding communities. Our administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals will participate in a Keynote Address from Dr. Kenneth Wesson (“The Neuroscience of Learning: What Works, What Lasts and Why?”), and then choose from a menu of 85+ hour-long sessions to attend, facilitated by MPS teachers, administrators, community members and other education professionals. In addition to 85+ professional learning opportunities, lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day. Next week, the conference website will be up and running, and all participants will sign up to choose the sessions they would like to participate in throughout the day.

Questions? Please contact: Ben Kelly, Vice Principal, Milton High SchoolAJ Melanson, Educational Technology Director, MPS ; Amy Tom, Science Department Head, Milton High School  

FOOD AND NUTRITION

Breakfast provides benefits to our students  – make it a priority! Did you know that Milton Schools serves hot breakfasts everyday school is in session?

Your child can get a healthy, balanced meal with whole grains, fresh fruit, skim or 1% milk and 100% fruit juice at school. They can choose from whole grain muffins, cereals, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches. They will also have more energy and get important nutrients like calcium,  Vitamin D, protein and fiber.

  • Higher Test Scores: Research has proven that children who eat breakfast have higher math and reading scores. Students who eat school breakfast score 17.5% higher on standardized math tests. Source: Share Our Strength
  • Improved Attendance: Studies show that students who eat breakfast are absent and tardy less often. Students who eat school breakfast attend on average 1.5 more days of school per year. Source: “Share our Strength”
  • Fewer Trips to the School Nurse: When students eat breakfast, nurses report fewer hunger related office visits.
  • Improved Classroom Behavior: Principals confirm that they see fewer discipline problems when students have eaten breakfast. Students who participate in school breakfast show improved attendance, behavior, standardized achievement test scores as well as decreased tardiness. Source: Food Research & Action Council
  • Better Learning: Students are better able to pay attention in class when they have eaten. When students have eaten, they are better able to concentrate and behave in the classroom. This allows teachers to spend more time on teaching and less time on discipline.

Eating breakfast gives each student in the Milton Schools a chance to be their best throughout the day. Save yourself time in the morning and get your child out the door faster knowing they will have a nutritious meal when they get to school. Breakfast is $1.25 for a complete meal and children who receive free or reduced lunch also receive free breakfast. Drop in any day, 20 minutes before school starts.  Questions about school breakfast? Email Director of Nutrition ServicesJackie Morgan.

TRANSPORTATION 

The MPS Transportation Department is excited to roll out the FirstView Parent App provided by First Student, our bus company.  FirstView is comprehensive and secure bus tracking and parent communication app.  The FirstView app is easy to download, set up and use to provide estimated bus arrival times, transportation messaging regarding delays or issues and customizable alerts for when your student’s bus is a chosen distance or number of minutes away.

Please visit FirstViewApp.com or find FirstView in the App Store or Google Play to download to your smartphone.  Additionally a desktop version of FirstView is available at  FirstViewApp.com.

Be on the lookout for emails from the transportation department with specific instructions and school codes to upload your student’s route into your app.

ART AND MUSIC 

The work represented below is from Mrs. Hughes’ Foundations of Arts class (grades 9-12). This project asked students to personalize their sketchbooks, which are used throughout the term. The sketchbook cover is a collage representing a student’s life, identity, culture, and experiences. Utilizing the elements and principles of design, students construct compositions using a variety of images and text.

Do you have an instrument collecting dust in your home? Donate it to the music program in the Milton Public Schools! Small size violins are especially needed. Contact miltonfame@gmail.com to donate.

ATHLETICS 

Swim beat Braintree tonight 96-82, winning every event except for one. Joe Pezzini, Christian Bartiewicz, Andrew Tran, Rose Gillooly and Madison Crummey all won their individual events. They made another boys state cut in the 400 freestyle relay, sophomore Kevin Carberry made his first ever sectional cut in the 50 freestyle, and freshman Liv DiSandro made two sectional cuts in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.

Football is 2-0 after beating non-league opponents Bishop Feehan and Framingham. They have a bye this week and will take on Walpole at 4pm to start divisional play next Friday, September 27th. Note the 4pm start time next week due to EEE restrictions.

Volleyball is 3-1 with wins over Braintree, NDA and Framingham.

Boys and Girls Cross Country both started with wins over Framingham last week. The Girls improved to 3-0, beating Needham and Brookline last night. The Boys are 2-1, having lost to Needham but beating Brookline for the first time in over ten years!

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

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A special collaborative partnership of South Shore synagogues and Jewish organizations recently announced the launch of Shalom Children Activity Program (SCAP). SCAP is for families with children up to age 8 who are looking for fun, social, engaging activities infused by Jewish values and experiences, whether it’s about taking care of our planet, going on an archaeological “dig,” being kind to animals, helping others, and more.

SCAP’s opening event, entitled “Hey World – Happy Birthday 5780!” will be at Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Avenue, Milton on Sunday, September 22nd from 1:15- 3:15 p.m. It is for families with children up to 8 years old (siblings welcome), and is FREE, but registration is required. Celebrate the beauty of nature with other families with young children as you experience a hands-on Presentation of Animal Habitats led by a trained naturalist, go on a nature scavenger hunt, and eat apples and honey to mark the earth’s 5780th birthday.

This event has a maximum of 50 children, with priority by date of registration. Check in from 1:15 -1:40 p.m. in front of the Trailside Museum building. The program begins promptly at 1:45 p.m. Registration here for this event. All information can be found on their website. 

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance event cancellation notice: Unfortunately, The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has to cancel their workshop, Beyond Remote Controlled Childhood due to the speaker, Dr. Diane Levin, being ill. The event was scheduled to take place this Thursday, September 21, 2019. They hope to reschedule it soon. Please visit their website at www.miltonearlychildhoodalliance.org where further announcements will be made.

AMBASSADORS

As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers or members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

VOLUNTEERS:  I would like to recognize Martha Cusick for her donation to Glover in honor of her aunt. Ms. Cusick’s aunt, Claire Mullin, taught 3rd grade for 39 years, mostly at Glover. When Ms. Mullin died this past January, at the age of 93, Ms. Cusick decided to donate $300 to Glover in her name. Principal McDavitt and her team have put the money to good use with the “Our Wish for You” bulletin board pictured below.  All staff at Glover are represented on the bulletin board and all teachers, paras, specialists, and more shared a wish that they have for all Glover Kids this year. Glover has had assemblies about trusted adults and a visual reminder of all of the grownups who surround and support our students every day. Thank you to Ms. Cusick for this generous gift which funded this welcoming and beautiful bulletin board.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Noel Vigue, Bill Ritchie,  Jon Redden,  Zeina Hamada, Ryan Madden, Karen Hughes, Dawn Sykes, Rachel Schewe, Jackie Morgan, Janice Mazzola, Bill Fish, Kerri Devin, Taylor Fradette, Sarah Hammond, Eileen Keaney, Alison McGrath, Margaret Carrels, Cat DesRoche, Karen Cahill and Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Marti McKenna 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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 19, 2019

September 12, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 12, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

In the spring of this year, several Milton parents emailed me with an idea. Would the Milton Public Schools consider “Going Gold” in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness in the month of September? Many planning meetings later, in collaboration with the Town of Milton, the Milton Police Department, the Milton Fire Department, our 6 schools and multiple community members, I am proud to share with you that Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness from September 16th-30th! Our goal is to raise awareness and funds and show support for children who are battling cancer.

HOW CAN YOU GO GOLD?

Please join us 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.

UPCOMING ALL MPS DATES  

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.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, September 18th at 7pm. At this meeting 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 will present 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.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Milton High School will host its annual “Back to School Night” on Thursday, September 12th at 6:30pm. Back to School Night is a great opportunity for you to get an overview of the high school, receive information from various organizations, familiarize yourself with your child’s schedule, and meet teachers and administrators. The Back to School Night will start promptly at 6:30 p.m with a greeting from Mr. Jette.

PIERCE PAGES

L-R: Mrs. Kerry Callender, Crystal Carter, Mrs. Leslie Pouliot, Ella Forgues-Gilbert

8th graders at Pierce have started the school year with a unit on Power, Tolerance, Responsibility, Survival and Courage.  Within the unit, students create a poem or visual representation highlighting and honoring the individual heroes and victims of the September 11th attacks as well as the historical significance and impact of September 11th.

Pierce observed a moment of silence before 8th grade students Crystal Carter and Ella Forgues-Gilbert shared their poems with students and staff as part of Pierce’s 9/11 remembrance on Wednesday.

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You’re invited to join the Kindness Friday Movement! For the past three years, we have promoted the wearing of the color red or our Kind is the New Cool t-shirts on Fridays to build community and promote kindness as a school. This isn’t just a movement for our students — teachers, staff, and administrators will wear their Kind is the New Cool shirts and families should feel welcome to join in too!

While it’s not required in order to get involved, if you are interested in purchasing a red Kind is the New Cool t-shirt you can order them by clicking HERE.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Mrs. McClain’s 1st grade students at Cunningham were working this week  with their STEM partners on a “Paper Tower Challenge”. They were  given three pieces of construction paper, a roll of plastic tape, and 15 minutes to design and build the tallest tower they could. Students enjoyed sharing their strategies for building the tallest tower and working together as a team. They especially enjoyed comparing the height of their tower to their own height!

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Collicot held its PBIS Assembly , “All are Welcome” , on September 11th with all students from  kindergarten through 5th  grade. During the assembly the Collicot Code as well as school and classroom expectations were reviewed and students were re-introduced to the Collicot Compliment Cards and Cardinal Classroom of the Week. Mrs Caruso read “ All are Welcome”  to students” by Alexandra Penfold.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS – VAPING

The dangers of vape/e-cig use made National headlines this summer with several teens suffering from severe lung issues and Congress questioning vape/e-cig manufacturers about targeted marketing to youth.  In our efforts to keep your children safe and to keep you informed, I want to bring to your attention the use of E-Cigarettes, Vape Pens or Juul Pods.

As many of you may know already, the popularity of these devices are creating many challenges for communities  throughout the country as well as compromising the health and safety of our youth.  Milton Public Schools has been diligently addressing the issue and will continue to remain vigilant.  Some of the actions we have taken or plan to take include: offering two parent/guardian training sessions this past spring regarding substance use prevention.  At the same time, Vape detectors were installed in the bathrooms at MHS.   All grade 5 students had lessons in tobacco/vape/e-cig prevention due to a grant from BID-Milton which will continue again this year. Students in grades 6-12 have health education classes that address substance use prevention and the dangers of vaping were included in an updated curriculum last year and the lessons will continue.  Thanks to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition(MSPAC), we had the substance abuse prevention troupe “Drug Story Theater” present to MHS students and they held a community event. We look to work with the MSAPC again to bring in more programs to educate students this year.  We’ll look to bring in a speaker to address “Vaping Prevention” as a part of our PARENT Speaker Series.  We continue to offer numerous clubs and after-school activities to keep students engaged and involved.  We conduct brief screenings (SBIRT) to 7th and 9th grade students regarding health behaviors including substance use.

We will continue to provide resources to assist parents/guardians as you look to continue the conversation with your child about the dangers of vaping.  Don’t hesitate to contact Director for Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue  or your child’s principal or school nurse with any questions. Please see the following resources:

Vaping: What You Need to Know and How to Talk to Your Kid 

Quit Vaping – from the Truth initiative – texts to help youth quit vaping/juuling. While we’d like to prevent youth from using in the first place, this resource can help users quit. Text Quit to 202-804-9884, Check out this 4 minute video introducing the program on NBC Today.

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.

MPS STAFF HIGHLIGHT

The Milton Public Schools is proud to have a vibrant staff of instructional assistants who support the ongoing and daily needs of our students across the district.

Beginning in the integrated and specialized preschool programs, our instructional assistants work collaboratively with preschool teachers to support our youngest students. These staff provide a wide range of assistance, from transition support, self-care, and facilitating positive social behavior to communication support, promoting developing play skills and encouraging participation.

At the elementary level, most families are familiar with the kindergarten paraprofessionals who support each classroom as many children begin their first MPS full school day experience. There is one paraprofessional in each of our kindergarten classrooms and these instructional aides work in tandem with the classroom teacher to ensure a smooth, productive and enriching year for our kindergarten students.

Across all grades, K-12,  we have special education instructional assistants who support students who have an Individualized Educational Plan, or IEP.  These staff are trained to provide support in many areas, including  accessing classroom materials, following daily routines, maintaining positive and pro-social relationships and navigating the school environment. As students often work in small groups, these educators may be supporting different learners in a classroom throughout the school year. Additionally, some of our instructional assistants have specialized training in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA. These staff are skilled in providing 1:1 instruction and behavioral support to our students with Autism and related disabilities.

At Milton High School, job coaches and instructional assistants also have the added responsibility of supporting our Achieve and 18-22 year old students who have pre-vocational and community based employment.

We are fortunate to have an incredibly dedicated and strong cadre of support staff in the Milton Public Schools. Their work is vital to the operational success of our schools and the personal achievements of our students.

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! 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 

On September 27th, MPS will host an “ed-camp” style conference for all of our MPS educators and colleagues from surrounding communities. Our administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals will participate in a Keynote Address from Dr. Kenneth Wesson (“The Neuroscience of Learning: What Works, What Lasts and Why?”), and then choose from a menu of 85+ hour-long sessions to attend, facilitated by MPS teachers, administrators, community members and other education professionals. In addition to 85+ professional learning opportunities, lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day. Next week, the conference website will be up and running, and all participants will sign up to choose the sessions they would like to participate in throughout the day.

Questions? Please contact: Ben Kelly, Vice Principal, Milton High SchoolAJ Melanson, Educational Technology Director, MPS ; Amy Tom, Science Department Head, Milton High School  

FOOD AND NUTRITION 

In a few days, our MHS grow racks will look like this!

The Milton School Food Service Program is partnering with EvanLee Farms to provide sustainable gardens to our schools. This past Friday we installed the second indoor “Grow Rack” at Milton High School. Our students in the Achieve Program planted romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, micro mix, kale and basil and lemon basil. Students will harvest the greens in three weeks and they will bring it to our kitchen so we can serve these amazing items at lunch.

These racks will be growing within the school by our students and for our students. Students will learn how to make  informed food choices, how to grow their own food and garden and how to process their food in a  sustainable way.

These racks also serve to educate our students in the science of soils – how soils work to give our plants their nutritional value and understanding the root system of plants. Students will also be learning the history of agriculture and changes due to pesticides, climate change, and what we must do to adapt. The students along with their teachers will plant, maintain and harvest what they grow for consumption in our cafeterias.

TRANSPORTATION 

The MPS Transportation Department is excited to roll out the FirstView Parent App provided by First Student, our bus company.  FirstView is comprehensive and secure bus tracking and parent communication app.  The FirstView app is easy to download, set up and use to provide estimated bus arrival times, transportation messaging regarding delays or issues and customizable alerts for when your student’s bus is a chosen distance or number of minutes away.    

Please visit FirstViewApp.com or find FirstView in the App Store or Google Play to download to your smartphone.  Additionally a desktop version of FirstView is available at  FirstViewApp.com.

Next week be on the lookout for emails from the transportation department with specific instructions and school codes to upload your student’s route into your app. 

ATHLETICS 

The Football Team beat Bishop Feehan 17-7 last Friday. Their game this Friday will be at 3:45 at Framingham High School.

Volleyball has started their season 3-0, with wins over Framingham, Notre Dame Academy and Braintree.

The Swim Team made history last night. Andrew Tran, Joe Pezzini, Christian Bartkiewicz and Sebastien Yunger made the state cut in the 200 Medley Relay! They also had Amalia Halpin, Madison Crummy, Adri Halpin and Emily Dobrindt make the state cut in the girls 200 Medley Relay as well. Madison Crummey, Rose Gillooly and Emily Dobrindt all made state cuts in two individual events. Amalia Halpin made a state cut in the 100 butterfly. The girls also made states in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Christian Bartkiewicz made a sectional cut in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, Sebatien Yunger in the 50 freestyle, and Liv DiSandro also in the 50 freestyle. The boys 200 free relay a made a sectional cut as well.

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

Rescheduled to this weekend! The MHS Boys Basketball team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” bottle and can drive on September 14th, 9am-12pm  at Milton High School.

 NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Girl Power Running Program elementary school aged girls is ongoing! 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 and began on 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance (A program of Discovery Schoolhouse, Inc.) in partnership with Learning Circle Preschool & Curry College Education Dept.
present BEYOND REMOTE CONTROLLED CHILDHOOD; Creating and Finding Balance in the Media Age, by Diane E. Levin, Professor of Education Wheelock College, Dept. of Early Childhood Education. Join us as Dr. Levin discusses ways in which families can effectively manage media and technology in the lives of their children, describes their effects on learning, play, and development, and explains the value of concrete hands-on play experiences for learning. To learn more about Dr. Levin’s work as an educator, author, and children’s activist, visit her website at dianeelevin.com.

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:

STAFF: As you read above, our paraprofessional staff are a crucial part of our mission at the Milton Public Schools. We would not have the excelling district we do with out these dedicated and professional staff members. Please join me in thanking them for all they do for our students throughout the year.

STUDENTS: I am pleased to announce our student’s Advanced Placement (AP) exam results. In the spring of 2019, Milton High School students took AP exams across almost 20 disciplines. Advanced Placement courses expose students to introductory college level coursework and a score of 3 or above on an AP exam indicates that students would perform well at the college level. Once again, our students have demonstrated excellence in their AP results with 150 Milton High School students recognized by the College Board as AP Scholars with various distinctions. These results are a testament to the hard work, dedication and preparation of both our students and faculty. Please join us in congratulating the following students on their achievement in AP exams and on their recognition from the College Board.

The National AP Scholar designation is granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. We are very proud of Aidan G. Braithwaite, Justin M. Chan, Sarah P. Hancock, Penelope C. Holland, Samuel A. LeLacheur, Hannah J. Mitchell, Julia L. Nerenberg, Eliza C. O’Donnell, Suvan Shukla for achieving this impressive benchmark.

The AP Scholar with Distinction is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. The following students are to be commended for their AP achievements: Lucas B. Alvarez, Grace L. Baker, Alexandra K.Boursican, Aidan G. Braithwaite, Justin M. Chan, Frances M. Collins , Colleen l. Conley, Lilja J. Cormack, Julia C. DeFilippo, Alex Dhima, Emily R. Dobrindt, Michael C. Doyle, Grace M. Dwyer, Edward M. Enyedy, Katherine M. Fahy, Jada M. Farrar, Aemilia A. Ferreira, Mark R. Guerra, Jeremiah J. Hainline, Sarah P. Hancock, Caitlin E. Heelen, Penelope C. Holland, Jackson T. Hoy, Alexandra Kelly, Meghan C. Kelly, Amanda I. Kwong, Jordan H. Lawrence, Samuel A. LeLacheur, Alisa Lorden, Claire V. Mandel, Kara A. Milliken, Hannah J. Mitchell, Julia L. Nerenberg, Philip M. Ng Pack, Thanh Nguyen, Grace C. Noonan, Mary C. O’Connell, Eliza C. O’Donnell, Laura K. O’Hanlon, Nessan F. ODonnell, Madison N. Pellegri, Alexandra C. Rene, Madeline W. Riordan, Sagar Risal, Emily S. Schewe, Suvan Shukla, Isabel C. Smith, Mary Leigh Sullivan, Amanda R. Tam, Clarissa M. Waldmann, Darragh P. Walsh, Dietrich I. Werner, Yatchun Yip and Onn Ye Young.

We also wish to recognize both our AP Scholar with Honor students who received an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams and our AP Scholar students who received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

Congratulations to AP Scholar with Honor students Molly K. Baker, Neamhain L. Berry , Alex R. Caputo, Joseph S. Charles, Nicola A. Cross, Zachary D. Danner, Raquel C. Gallagher, Paul J.Goodman, Margaret C. Haley, Veronica G. Harris, Patrick J. Hoey, Abdur Hosein, Jeremy A. Killingback, Matthew E. Laine, Francis X. Lalley, Karisa R.Lasoff,Thomas Newell, Margaret M. Pellegri, Abigail A. Rogers, Brandon Seeto, Max Winkler and Shannon M. Young

Congratulations to our AP Scholars Ayla S. Alsebai, Kianna A. Barrett, Samantha Baum, Katherine A. Biagiotti, Annabel V. Botsford, Luke H. Botsford, Aine Buchau, Alannah M. Corcoran, Kyle S.Coull, Brendan D. Cox, Michael R. Daly, Sophia L. Deal, Isabelle B. Driscoll, Ava M. Duggan, Simone L. Elfer, Guinevere A. Ferreira, Matthew M. Finnegan, Daniel P. Flaherty, Mary K. Fox, Julia E. Francesconi, Maya S. Galeano, Madeline L. Gray, Lorna R.Grey, Nicholas J.Griswold, Amalia C.Halpin, Wallace P. Heller, Katherine E. Kates, Bridget M. Kelly, Lauren M. Kelly, Patrick J. Kennedy, Catherine H.Le, Esme A.Link, Vanessa Lorden, Kyle T. Loria, Vincent H. Luong, Jenny Ly, Cooper J. Madigan, Matteo C. Mastandrea, Ryan J. McGroarty, Sarah G. Mitchell, Katherine R. Morrissey, Molly F. Murtagh, Kami H.Nguyen, Minh-Anh Nguyen, Andrew T. Nilsen, Matthew J. Noris, Rebecca C.Noris, Jordan M. Pascal, Cameron Pentland, Audrey R. Pugh, Mohammed A.Rahman, Isabelle L. Richer, Coleman L. Rose, Brendan M. Scott, Caleb J. Smith, Grace K. Stenson, Grace A. Sullivan , Jonathan T. Truong, Kennedi D. Van Allen, Hanganh T. Vo, Taylor A. Vrettas, Douglas B. Walko, Connor P. Withington and Austin C. Wright.

Congratulations to these students on their achievements on the AP exams!

VOLUNTEERS: I want to recognize the parents and guardians who serve on the PTOs (or PTSFO at MHS) at each our six schools. These dedicated volunteers give countless hours to our schools, in the service of enhancing and enriching the Milton Public Schools experience for all students, staff and families. Please join me in thanking our PTO boards and leadership teams. If you have ever considered a role with the PTOs at one of our schools, I encourage you to reach out and see how you can be a part of these vibrant and welcoming organizations.

Cunningham PTO Leadership Team: Suzanne Fitzsimons, Erin Burke, Karin Roethke-Khan, Marybeth Doyle, Stephanie Doyle, Christina Carlin, Laura Phelps, Abigail Callahan, Emily Dwyer, Marianne Kinsella, Sheila Hume, Sammi Yee, Deb Lynch, Jackie Barkowski, Megan Pallai, Megan Dietrich, Brittany Rist and Mandy Susi.

Tucker PTO: Meena Tondravi and Lacy Stoneburner – Co-Presidents; Rebecca Allen – Treasurer; Lateefah Franck – Diversity & Equity; Stacey Soloman and Vanessa Foster – Hospitality; Tanjirene Smith – Communications and Dawn Beckman – Fundraising.

Collicot  PTO: Christine Morrow and Rebecca Stover – Co-Presidents; Stephanie Oldfield – Secretary; Colleen Fogerty and Heidi Naumes – Co-Treasurers.

MHS PTSFO: Annellen Lydon and Trisha Sullivan serve as co-presidents.

Pierce PTO Leadership Team: Colin Delaney, Kristin Dembowski, 
Michelle Cardoza, Stephanie O’Keefe, Lisa Weinstein, Suzanne Moynagh, Sarahkate Feloney and Denise Leonardo.

Glover PTO: Christine Sullivan and Emily Duffy  – Co-Presidents; Erika Doherty- Vice President; Sheila Armstrong  -Treasurer and Suzanne Bridges  – Secretary.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Noel Vigue,  Jon Redden,  Maureen McClain, Zeina Hamada,  Susan Maselli, Ryan Madden, Rachel Schewe, Jackie Morgan, Janice Mazzola, Bill Fish, Cat DesRoche,  Karen Cahill 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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 12, 2019

September 5, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 5, 2019

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.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, September 18th at 7pm.

PIERCE UPDATES

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 

The Glover Sensory Pathways are off to an amazing start as you can see in this recent Patriot Ledger article.

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.

SPECIAL EDUCATION  

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.

FOOD SERVICE

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.

Checking out the instruments and getting advice from our music students at the Instrument Petting Zoo in June.

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. 

ATHLETICS 

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

***

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. 

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:

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!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION

If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on September 5, 2019