From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: Friday, November 8, 2013
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, this is an excellent time to think about gratitude. I recently received the November newsletter from an educational organization and my administrative assistant, Charlene Roche, pointed out to me that the lead article was about this very topic. The article, titled “Tapping Into the Power of Gratitude,” quotes a study which shows that gratitude could be a bridge between a students’ academic and social well-being. Practicing gratitude at a young age, according to the study, “promotes later development of self-control and self-regulation.”
But most of us don’t need to read a study to understand how the simple act of saying “thank you,” can often have a profound impact. Within the past week, I have had several occasions to express my gratitude, and I would like to share a few examples.
On Thursday, I visited the Cunningham Elementary School where a group of Paralyzed American Veterans had come to help students commemorate Veteran’s Day. I listened as two students (see “Ambassador Page below”) thanked our country’s veterans for their sacrifices, their patriotism and their service to the United States. I was able to meet with many Cunningham family members who served in the military and personally thank them as well. I was told by many veterans that simply saying “thank you for your service” is very meaningful to them.
On Friday, I attended our National Honor Society induction ceremony at Milton High School. One of the speakers, Brendan Hunt, eloquently described public service as one of the qualities necessary for students to be accepted into the NHS. “As members of the National Honor Society, we are encouraged to not only look for ourselves in schoolwork and books, but through the service of others.” I was fortunate to be able to thank each of the students (see names under “Curriculum News” below,) who were inducted this week.
Finally, I received word this week that Whole Foods, a company who has partnered with our own Jackie Morgan of MPS Food Services, has agreed to donate a shipment of tote bags to our “Milton Books for Milton Families” book drive, which will take place next weekend. These totes will be used to bag up donated books to get Milton families started on creating a home library. Not only am I very grateful for this generous donation, but I am also thankful that this effort, which combines early literacy initiatives with public service, has been so enthusiastically received by the community. Thank you to all of our Milton Public School students, families, faculty and staff who have given their time, their resources and their energy to helping the Milton Public Schools thrive each and every day.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE
There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast. Please see the summary below.
November 6th: This meeting began with a Citizen Speak attended by many Milton Public School teachers and staff members who came to discuss the pending contract. Several teachers presented petitions to the School Committee on this topic. Next, there was a report on Student Achievement Data presented by the principals of all six schools. This presentation will be posted on our website early next week. Attorney Paige Tobin of the firm of Murphy, Lamere & Murphy came to give a presentation on Residency and Restitution of Tuition issues. Next, the FY15 Advancement Budget Initiatives were discussed. The three targeted areas will be Early Literacy, closing the proficiency gap and Science/STEM expansion. There was discussion about forming a Town/School consolidation subcommittee and the chairperson asked for anyone interested in serving on this subcommittee to contact her. The next meeting will be held November 20th at 7 pm in the Milton High School library.
Reminder: There will be No School on Monday, November 11th in honor of Veteran’s Day.
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Please make an effort to attend the upcoming Parent/Teacher conferences:
Milton High School & Pierce Middle School: Wednesday, November 20th from 12 to 2 pm; 2:30 to 4:30 pm and 5:45 to 7:45 pm.
Elementary Schools: Tuesday, November 19th from 3:30 to 5 pm and Wednesday, November 20th from 1 to 3:30 pm.
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We are pleased to announce that the following students were inducted into the Milton High School Chapter of the National Honor Society on Friday morning: Kathryn Bohmbach, John Caljouw, Noah Collier, Devin DiManno, Susan Fitzgerald, Kent Fong, Isabelle Gray, Victoria Grudem, Phillipe Janvier, Paul Knight, Jesse Okoro, Martin Rebrovic, Jacob Savona, Matthew Sweeney, Gloria Tan, Donna Yuan, and Maryam El Sayed. Congratulations to each of these students and their families.
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Family Literacy Month is well underway in our schools. Please note the following events:
At Tucker, Book Character Day on October 31st was the “kick-off” to Family Literacy Month. There will also be a Tucker Book Fair during the week of conferences and a Principal’s Tea focused on Non-Fiction text/literacy on November 22nd led by Stephanie Nephew. Also, Tucker will be promoting the use of the “Family Connection” newsletter series as an add-on to the Milton Public Library’s monthly letters which will include multiple activities to do at home to promote literacy.
At Glover, there will be a foreign language book fair during the week of conferences, followed by an author visit (Jarrett Krozoscka) and Book Fair during the first week of December.
In honor of Family Literacy Month at Cunningham and Collicot, there will be a joint Book Fair from November 13-20. To gear up for the book fair, students will be sharing their favorite book on leaf templates in words and pictures which will be displayed throughout the classrooms, hallways and library.
Pierce: Pierce Middle School hosted a Scholastic Book Fair. To lead us into Family Literacy Month, they hosted a parent coffee on Friday, November 1. Parents and guardians were invited to browse books at the Book Fair and gather for a cup of coffee. In addition, Pierce Middle School students are making a Book Tree. Students will create book jackets of their favorite books and hang them on a wall sized tree for other students to view. There will also be a Pierce Middle School Family Book Tree. Book recommendations from parents and guardians will be solicited. Parents/guardians will complete a book recommendation form to be displayed on a Pierce Middle School Family Book Tree.
Milton High: Catch Your Child Reading program. Catch your child reading throughout the month of November. Take a picture of them expanding their minds through reading and send the photo with their name and grade level to email@example.com. Each student that participates will be entered into a drawing for a Barnes and Noble gift card. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 2nd. Milton High School is also promoting Family Conversations. This month, parents will be receiving information about family literacy and sample activities to extend family learning throughout the year. One way parents can promote literacy is to be an active participant in their child’s academic life. During the week of November 18th-22nd, English teachers will be sending home a short reading with a discussion question for parents and students to talk about. We encourage parents to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate family literacy and strengthen the home-school connection.
UPCOMING MPS EVENTS
We have postponed the Fall Concert that was scheduled for Thursday, November 14th to the new date of Tuesday, December 3rd at 7 p.m. in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School.
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The Milton Public Schools are launching a drive to help Milton residents build home libraries and we are asking for the public’s help in this effort. The Book Drive will be held at the front of Milton High School on Saturday, November 16th from 9-11am. Bring your family’s books – children, teen and adult levels will all be accepted – and drop them off here. Our student volunteers will sort the books and get them into the hands of Milton families who would otherwise not have reading materials in their homes. This is a fantastic way to celebrate Family Literacy Month and clear off some shelf space in your homes. Research shows that one indicator of academic success is the number of books in a student’s home. Help boost student achievement, improve early literacy, enhance community spirit, promote recycling and celebrate literature. Donate your books and help share the gift of reading. Student volunteers from the Poetry Club, Elephant in the Room, Echo and Key Club will be helping to unload and sort books.
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The following events have taken place in each of our schools to commemorate Veteran’s Day:
Collicot: Fifth-graders placed flags in the flower beds in front of the building. Students gathered for the principal’s introduction and excerpts from President’s Proclamation.
Grade 5 Cub Scouts, led by Cub Master Dave Humphreys, conducted a flag-raising ceremony, complete with the Pledge of Allegiance and Star Spangled Banner.
Reflections were read by Grade 5 students Miguel Varela, Aislinn Mershon, Michael Swanton, Maggie Stockbridge, and Saoirse Killion. Also, there was a medley of patriotic songs sung by Collicot students, led by April Allegrezza.
Cunningham: The school hosted a Coffee Social and Flag Raising Ceremony. Principal Redden invited a representative from the New England Chapter of the Disabled Veterans of America to speak to students. In addition, two students read their letters to veterans. This was followed by a flag raising ceremony, complete with military honor guard and the Grade 5 Chorus singing patriotic songs, along with the kindergarten classes.
Glover: The PTO purchased small flags and students were asked to write down the name of a veteran. Each name was tied with a flag and all flags will be planted in the green space between the parking lot and the street.
Tucker: Students wrote letters to veterans, which will be bound in a book by the Council on Aging and presented to veterans at a special luncheon. Students read their letters aloud each day of the week leading up to Veteran’s Day during morning announcements.
Pierce Middle School: Students created the Hall of Heroes, where students, teachers and staff completed “stars” to honor and remember a Veteran in their family.
Milton High: History teachers used current-day articles to discuss Veteran’s Day. Modern World Culture teachers also discussed how Veteran’s Day is not just an American Holiday, but is celebrated around the world (although it is more commonly referred to as Remembrance Day in most European countries.)
Milton High School was recently awarded $3,000 from the Blue Hills Bank Grant Charitable Foundation, to send six teachers through the Christa McAuliffe STEM Certification program.
The Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University provides professional development through the STEM Certificate Program for K-12 educators throughout New England. The main objective of the McAuliffe-PTC STEM Certificate Program is to improve educator effectiveness in STEM education. The program includes:
- Synchronous, online lectures instructed by industry and education experts,
- Hands-on sessions focused on how to author STEM curriculum for the K-12 classroom,
- Teacher-authored STEM curriculum available for use by Massachusetts educators,
- Industry and higher education mentoring,
- Presentation opportunities for teachers to exhibit best practice STEM education, and
- Donations from Industry including curriculum packages, instructor contact hours, software donations, and professional consulting.
The STEM Certificate Program focuses primarily on Product Development Education, an interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum model rooted in engineering/design education as well as industry practices. What distinguishes Product Development Education from current engineering/design models is integration of industry practices as well as a framework for integrating multiple disciplines across the school curriculum.
PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS
The following update was provided to us by Jerry Vitti with the Milton PAC.
The Milton PAC had our best “kick off” meeting of the year last week. The room was full and the energy and enthusiasm were apparent. Special thanks to Karen Clasby, Milton’s Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Special Ed. Director) who gave an overview of special education services in Milton. The PAC members in attendance asked a lot of good questions and there was lively discussion amongst the group. It was heartening to see so many folks stay after the meeting (and the Sox were on) to meet each other, exchange contact information and ideas. The next PAC meeting is “An IEP for My Child” presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Every child with a disability who receives special education services must have an Individual Education Program. This workshop takes parents step-by-step through the development of the IEP including how to articulate a vision, using evaluations to write measurable annual goals and measuring their child’s progress. This meeting will be held November 21st from 7:00-9:00pm. Place TBD.
The following information was sent to us by the folks at the Milton Foundation for Education:
We are pleased to announce our Fall Grant Cycle!
Purpose: The Competitive Grants program is designed to encourage and reward effective, innovative teaching. The proposed projects are expected to show direct benefit to students and impact classroom teaching.
Deadline: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, by the end of the school day.
Guidelines: Click here to see the grant application guidelines.
Awards: Click here to see examples of grants the MFE has awarded in the past
Eligibility: Teachers and staff members in all grades may apply individually or in groups. Guidelines can be found in the application.
Approvals: Each grant needs to be approved by your principal and department head.
Information: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions or call MFE Grants Committee Chair Susan Sullivan at 781-244-9503.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
Sign-ups for the Milton Park & Rec Youth Instructional Basketball League, Snowball League and the Blue Hills Learn to Ski lessons can be found here: http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Recreation/News
MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Fall fun continues in the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library! In addition to our regular storytimes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, please note the following:
Saturday, November 23rd from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Cooks ‘n Books, Grades K-5. Children ages 5 and up are invited to join Miss Debbie (Alsebai) for a tasty time that mixes books and cooking. Registration is required for this program, sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Library.Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.
Football (Coach Jim Bowes)
Current Record: 3 wins and 5 losses Made the MIAA Division III Southwest Tournament and lost to Hopkinton HS 26-22 on Friday, Nov 1, 2013. Next game vs Hingham on Friday, November 8, 2013 at 6:30pm at Hingham HS. MHS Football will host Braintree HS on Thanksgiving Day at 10am.
Girls Soccer (Coach Brian Borde)
Final Record: 7-9-2 (6-7-2 in Bay State Conference) Made the MIAA Division II South Sectional Tournament, beating Pembroke 3-1 in the first game, and losing to #1 seed Scituate (3-0) in their second game. Bay State Conference First team All Stars: Sophomore Sophie Cousineau and Senior Claire Mahoney, Bay State Conference Honorable Mention team: Junior Kendall Stanley.
Volleyball (Coach Robin Lee)
Final Record: 7 wins and 14 losses. Made the MIAA Division II Central Tournament, losing to Westborough 3-0. Bay State Conference First Team All Star: Allison Grassa, Bay State Conference Honorable Mention Team: Meredith Kelly. Also, Girls Volleyball raised over $4,000 for Breast Cancer Research in the Dig Pink Fundraiser.
Boys Soccer (Coach Mike Madden)
Final Record: 4-13-1 Bay State Conference First Team All Star: Jonathan Cardoso (Also an Eastern Mass All Star Player). Bay State League Honorable Mention Team: Matt Sweeney
Girls Cross Country (Coach Tom Shaw)
Bay State Conference Record: 6 wins 5 losses (first winning record for the team since 2009). Next meet(s) is the State Div IV East Championship at Wrentham on Nov. 9th and The Mass All States on Saturday November 16, 2013 in Gardner MA.
Boys Cross Country (Coach Chuck Ajemian)
Final Record: 3 wins 8 losses. The MHS Boys cross country team finished the regular season with a record of 3 and 8. They finished 8th in the league meet on Saturday and will compete in the state division meet on November 9, 2013. The MHS Boys cross country finished their regular strong with a win at Braintree HS.
Crew (Coaches Mike McVeigh and Bill Hamel)
Boys Crew: 4-man crew team are 2013 Fall Crew Massachusetts State Champions
Girls Crew: 4-man team are #2 in the State of Massachusetts for 2013 Fall Crew
The boys’ varsity 8 came in 5th place and the girls’ varsity 8 came in 5th place. The girls’ novice 8 came in 17th place and the boys’ novice 8 came in 12th place. These are the best results for Milton Crew at the MPSRA Fall State Championship regatta so far.
Cheerleading Team (Coach Jessica Parsons)
The cheerleading team kicked off their competition season at an invitational competition this past Sunday at Bridgewater Raynham HS. The team did not place at the BRHS competition.
Golf (Coach Ben Kelly)
Final Record: 11-4 The MHS Golf team finished their regular season with a record of 11 wins and 4 losses in the Bay State Conference. This qualified the MHS golf team for the Mass State Tournament on Monday, October 21st at Easton CC. The golf team finished 4th out of 12 golf teams. Colin McCabe – Bay State Conference First Team All-Star. Walker Stroud – Bay State Conference Honorable Mention
Field Hockey (Coach Jamie Donovan)
Final Record: 2-14-1. Final Bay State League Record: 2-12-1. Congratulations to Bay State Conference First Team All Star Sophie Chase and Bay State Conference Second Team All Star (Honorable Mention): Ally Jones. The future is strong for MHS Field Hockey as the JV team finished with a winning record and the MHS Freshman team finished with a record of 12-2-2.
Students: I would like to recognize Eliza Callahan and Benjamin Karol, two Cunningham fifth-graders who not only wrote phenomenal letters to our military heroes, they also stood before a large crowd of students, teachers, parents, guardians, grandparents and veterans and read their essays aloud during the Veteran’s Day events at Collicot. Their words were inspirational and we are very proud of these young writers.
Staff: To help commemorate Veterans’ Day, I would like to honor those members of our Milton Public School staff who have served their country. Please join me in thanking the following veterans:
Patrick “Bubba” Muse US Army, Milton High School Building Substitute
Colonel Robert Dwan US Army, Milton High School Girls’ Hockey Coach
Nicholas Fitzgerald US Army Corps of Engineers, MHS English Teacher
Jay Campbell US Coast Guard, Collicot Adjustment Counselor.
Mike Buzzell US Navy, Pierce Middle School Head Custodian
Steve Scherer US Navy, Tucker Elementary School Head Custodian
John Riley Glover Elementary School Custodian.
*Arthur Phillips US Marines, Tucker Elementary School Crossing Guard
*To read more about Mr. Phillips’ experience as a Vietnam veteran, click here: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/vietnam-war-veterans-wounded-together-reunite-after-44-years.html
Volunteers: I would like to recognize and thank the following residents of Fuller Village who are active volunteers in our schools: Blossom Glassman, Collicot; Mary Polychrones, Cunningham; Ann M. Cahill, Cunningham; Lennart Johnson, Milton High School; Kathleen Passanisi, Cunningham; Dottie May, Cunningham; Audrey Colcord, Collicot.
The Milton Public School system is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the provision of quality educational programs for all students. The Milton Public School system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, age or sexual orientation.