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 GOLD! Our 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 GOLD! 100 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 GOLD! 1000 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 GOLD! In 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 GOLD! Some 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 email@example.com or call 617-696-2262.
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!
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.
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!
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