Milton Public Schools

April 12th Eblast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Apr• 12•13

I recently received the current list of colleges and universities to which our Class of 2013 has been accepted. This is an annual ritual which — for parents and guardians, is fraught with emotion, anxiety, pride and humility.   As Superintendent, I see the acceptance list as one of many indicators of our students’ academic success. The colleges to which a student is accepted defines neither the student nor our district. It is merely a “snapshot” of the moment and shaped by many factors beyond our control.

Still, we naturally feel pride when we see some of the nation’s top colleges and universities on this list. But the more important issue is that our students find the right fit for them. A large, prestigious college in an urban setting might not be the most comfortable place for some students. A small, rural campus may not be desirable to others. Prep schools, service academies, the military and vocational schools are also the best choice for some of this year’s graduates.

By the time Commencement ceremonies occur on June 2nd, most of our seniors will have their post-graduation plans in place. But it is important to remember that their education in the Milton Public Schools has not been a one- or two-year program.

My goal is for the Milton Public School system to provide a preschool through Grade 12 public school education that is second to none and maximizes the individual potential of each of our students. Every one of our staff members plays a role in creating an atmosphere that allows our students to fulfill their educational goals.  This year’s “list” is yet another indicator that our students are achieving those goals.

I am sure that you join me in congratulating each and every one of Milton High School’s seniors on successfully completing their 13 year elementary-, middle- and high school careers. These students have studied hard and developed from wide-eyed five-year-olds into mature and responsible young adults well-educated and ready to enter the next stage of their lives.

I personally and professionally could not be more proud of each of our 2013 Milton High School graduates.

FY 14 BUDGET & PERSONNEL UPDATES

The FY 14 Budget season is coming to its final lap as Town Meeting approaches.  The FY 14 Budget will be finalized during the course of sessions of Town Meeting held at Milton High School on May 6,7,9,13,14, & 16.  Recently the Superintendent presented a Budget Update presentation at school committee.  The presentation outlines some new initiatives as well as some budget reductions that are necessary.

There will be some new administrators in the Milton Public Schools next year.  Currently there are job postings for a Glover Elementary School Principal, High School Guidance Department Head, and a new Science Curriculum Administrator.  We would like to thank current Co-Principals Nephew and Concannon for their work this year.  Ms. Nephew is stepping down to spend more time with her family and Ms. Concannon will be returning to her full-time position of Elementary Mathematics & K-8 Technology Coordinator.  We send our sincere gratitude to Kenneth Aubert, MHS Guidance Department Head for his years of service and congratulate on his retirement.  Lastly, the current FY 14 Budget is providing funding for a new Science curriculum administrator.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been three school committee meetings since my last E-blast.

March 20th: There was an Open Budget Hearing scheduled, but no speakers were present. This was followed by a regular School Committee meeting, which led directly to an Executive Session.

March 27th: After congratulating the Future Problem Solvers from our elementary and Pierce Middle School schools (See item below, under “Curriculum News,”) the School Committee heard from Ada Rosmarin and Carolyn Lyons.   Ms. Rosmarin is an Early Childhood Consultant who has worked closely with the Milton Public Schools and Ms. Lyons is the CEO and President of Strategies for Children.  Ms. Lyons and Ms. Rosmarin spoke about full-day kindergarten programs, local and national budget issues regarding early literacy, and other issues facing Milton.

Among the data presented was the finding that 39% of third grade children in the state who took the MCAS scored below-proficient in English Language Arts. They also noted that the proficiency levels for low-income students has not improved in the past decade.

School Committee members next moved on to several votes. First, they voted to approve a 2% raise for Community Schools employees. Next, members voted to pay a stipend to Assistant Superintendent John Phelan for the extra duties he has taken on since the departure of Mr. Gillis. They also voted to approve a 3% raise for the Superintendent as the final portion of the administrative contracts.

A vote was taken to approve the appropriation of $70,000 from the School Building Committee fund to be used for increased security measures in the school buildings. This amount will be used to install card-reader access doors. A Finance Subcommitte report followed, which included a PowerPoint presentation on the FY14 budget. The presentation began with the time line of the budget preparation and included the original “cut list” of $1.46 million. It also detailed the restorations made after the Warrant Committee vote and the final “cut list” of $984,000. Members unanimously approved the cuts, though they expressed hope that additional funds may become available. To view the presentation and the list of reductions, click here.

The Facilities Subcommittee reported that the Brooks Field improvement job has gone out to bid. The total cost is not expected to exceed $460,000. The Copeland Family Foundation has pledged $302,000 to offset the costs; the Capital Planning gave $100,000 and the revolving account will pay for the rest.

April 3rd: The School Committee invited representatives from the Milton High School Boys Basketball team, along with Coach LoPresti, to receive congratulations. Next, they were shown a presentation by the Milton High School Site Council, which can be viewed here.  William Ritchie, Director of the Consolidated Facilities Department, made a presentation on his department’s work in the schools. Along with Operations Manager Robert Mayhew, he outlined the goals for the department. To view this presentation, click here.

 CURRICULUM NEWS

Please note, the last day of school as of today is Monday, June 24th, which will be a half-day.

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 The 2013-14 school calendar has been approved and can be found here.

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The Milton Public Schools’ K-12 Art Fair will be held on Wednesday, May 1st from 3:30 to 8 pm and Thursday, May 2nd from 8 am to 3 pm at the Copeland Field House at Milton High School.  The Milton High School After School Ensemble Concert will be held on Wednesday, May 1st at 4 pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School.

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Applications are still being accepted for the Milton High School Pre-K Program for the 2013-2014 school year.

Children must be four years old by September 1,2013 to be eligible for this on-site lab school. Pre-K Registration packets along with residency information are available in the Registrar’s office at Milton High School. Please contact Jane Barrett at 617-696-4478 ext.5510.

The sessions are half-day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (school year).  This program follows a Pre-K curriculum and fosters all aspects of development in order to ensure a smooth transition to the kindergarten level.

You may contact Eileen Mullen in the MHS Child Study office at 617-696-4478 ext 5513 or Emullen@miltonps.org with any questions.

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Hats off to the following Pierce students who had their work selected in the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival’s Curiosity Challenge. The competition received over 2000 entries this year!  The group will be honored at MIT on Sunday, April 21st, and their work will be published in this year’s book. Congratulations to Anthony Umeh, Claire Casey, Hue-Ninh Nguyen, Jack Raftery, Julia Francesconi, Kate Fahy, Kristin Rose, Lilly Tennyson, Luthea Dowdall, Madeline Gray, Maya Watanabe and Thomas Fish, along with their teachers, Jenifer Gilbert, Bernadette McEvoy, Christine Winchester, Nicole Hoyceanyls, Jeffrey Stoodt and Kathy Bertrand. Great job!

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Congratulations to Eileen Mullen, our Milton High School Child Study teacher and head of our Pre-K program at Milton High School. Ms. Mullen recently learned that she has been named the winner of the 2013 Professional Recognition Award given by the Milton Early Childhood Alliance. Ms. Mullen has been invited to receive her award at the Eighth Annual Professional Recognition Awards Banquet to be held on Wednesday, April 24th at 6:30 pm at The Common Market, 97 Willard Street in Quincy. To purchase tickets or for more information, click here.

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The Milton High School Math Club recently hosted the first ever MHS Math Olympiad. The competition enabled all high school students the opportunity to experience a competitive math meet similar to the events the Math Club competes in every month.

The after-school contest was organized by teacher Dan Jarboe and it was a huge success. It featured 100 students participating in a math competition, consisting of five rounds of math quizzes. The competition mimicked the competition that Mr. Jarboe’s Math Team  has competed in throughout this year against neighboring school districts. Questions in the competition ranged from algebra to trigonometry. Students competed in teams of five as they completed a series of quizzes that tested their math acumen as well as their problem solving skills. The junior and senior students competed in teams to earn the coveted “Golden Calculator” whereas the sophomore and freshman students were striving to win the “Silver Protractor.”

At the conclusion of the day, the event was decided by one point!  The team champions in the 11th and 12th grade division were seniors Molly Devlin, Ellen Chow, Mona Yuan, Amanda Liberty, and Aria Perkins. The 9th and 10th grade champions were tenth graders Aman Negassi, Albert Enyeti, Alden Hebard, Harry Kong, and 9th grader Calvin Luong. The individuals with the highest scores (by grade) were 12th grader Anton Libsch, 11th grader Michael Riciutti, 10th grader Albert Enyeti, and 9th grader Liam Halloran.

The Milton High School Math Club is in its first year of existence. We look forward to a great second year of competition in the Southern Massachusetts Math League next school year. All students are welcome to join as long as they love math!

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PHOTO CAPTION: The winning team from the Golden Calculator Division
From left to right: Aria Perkins, Amanda Liberty, Molly Devlin, Mona Yuan, and Ellen Chow

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I wanted to share some exciting news about a team of our fifth-graders who competed recently in both an instant and technical challenge as part of the Destination Imagination program. Out of a field of 17 elementary teams, Milton students placed third and advanced to the State Tournament at Worcester Poly-Technical Institute.

The winning team includes Wallace Heller from Cunningham School; along with David Cichello, Kyle Hipp, Alex Malmstrom and Ryan Mazzotta from the Glover School.

To qualify for the states, the team faced an instant challenge allowing them six minutes to plan and perform a vacation using miming as their only method of communication. Next, they presented their technical challenge after months of work. The challenge was to build vehicles six inches or less that met propulsion requirements, earning points for creativity and reaching certain areas. During their allocated eight minutes, the team released their vehicles and performed a skit about a danger from the viewpoint of a vehicle.

The competition included 90 teams (534 students) from 3rd to 12th grade presenting amazing solutions to seven different challenges. During the state competition in Worcester, the fifth-graders placed 7th out of 17 schools. We are very proud of this group’s creativity, energy and  ability to meet challenges. Many thanks to Christine Cichello & Jean Mazzotta who worked with the Destination Imagination team.

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Teams from two Milton elementary schools and a Pierce Middle School student recently scored the top spots in a Future Problem Solving State Bowl in Bourne.

Timothy Karoff placed first in the Individual Competition for the Middle Division and has been invited to Internationals. In addition, in the written competition, the team from Glover earned second place and the Collicot team earned third place. In the Action Plan Presentation, Collicot earned first place and Glover earned third place.

Future Problem Solving (FPS) is an academic program used in the Milton Public Schools and thousands of other public, private, and parochial schools throughout the world. All four elementary schools and Pierce Middle School have FPS teams.

The Future Problem Solving program helps students to work on their critical and creative thinking skills, encourages students to develop a vision for the future, and prepares students for leadership roles. FPS engages students in creative problem solving within the curriculum and provides competitive opportunities. The State Bowl was held at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne on March 23rd.

The following students competed on the winning teams:
The Collicot Team (coached by Anna Higgins): Jackson Humphreys, Kate Delaney and Shea Flanagan. Also, individual competitors Nora Kleiman and Molly Murtaugh assisted with the first-place win. The Glover Team (coached by Christina Reynolds): Ella Zimmermann, Hudson Smith, Kate Possi and Kelly Mackenzie.

Four individuals also competed: Grace Quijano from Tucker, Nora Kleiman from Collicot, Molly Murtagh from Collicot and Timothy Karoff from Pierce.

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The Milton High School Debate Team not only hosted the Massachusetts State Debate Tournament recently at Milton High School, they also earned one of the top awards. Several hundred students from around the state packed the halls, classrooms, auditorium and library of the high school, competing in various debate events including Policy, Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum.

One of the Milton High School Debate Teams advanced all the way to the final round, finishing second in the state, out of 43 competing teams. This team consisted of Senior Ailsa Jeffries and junior Chris Dsida. Senior Isabelle Smith and Junior Cormac Conners also advanced to the elimination rounds. Individually, Chris Dsida earned third place and Cormac Conners earned fifth place overall out of the 86 competitors in Public Forum Debate.  Although it was Milton High School’s first time hosting this event, everything ran smoothly thanks to the many parent and student volunteers and the efforts of Debate Team coaches Nancy Warn and Nick Fitzgerald.  Milton High School’s Debate Team, now in its fourth year, has grown tremendously since its inception in 2009.  What started as a group of four students has evolved into a program of nearly 30 students who compete in approximately 12 local and national tournaments each year.  In addition to local competitions, students this year competed at Yale and Harvard Universities, as well as at the National Forensic League and Catholic Forensic League Qualifying tournaments.  As the team’s competition schedule has expanded, the students have simultaneously continued to achieve higher levels of success.

Three times in the last four years, a Milton High School team has advanced to a semi-final or final round in the tournament.

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Photo Caption: Members of the MHS Debate Team, during the recent tournament hosted at Milton High School.

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Three of our Tucker third-grade teachers, Catherine DesRoche, Kirsten Finnell, and Valerie Kelly recently presented at the Mass Reading Association Conference in Boston.

This opportunity was built from participating in the Commendation Grant. The teachers presented “Learning from One Another: Developing a Collaborative Professional Learning Community.” This session shared the process of bringing two Title One schools together with the goal of developing a Professional Learning Community through the use of school visits, learning walks, and professional inquiry groups. Participants learned the protocols for conducting learning walks and inquiry groups in order to harness professional curiosity and the value of inquiry and reflection as essential to the culture of teaching in order to grow instructional practice.

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Milton Shake! Milton High School’s Class of 2013 recently produced a School Spirit/Pride Video and sent it into WCVB-TV (Channel 5). The video is scheduled to be shown on April 25th at 5:10 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. as part of the “Good Morning Eye-Opener”. Special thanks to Sean LoPresti, Amy Tom, Ben Kelly and our Senior class! The students were magnificent! Their enthusiasm for this initiative was unbelievable.  To view the video, please click here.

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Recently, our Pierce drama teacher, Bill Deschenes, graciously hosted two playwrights in his Grade Seven drama classes. Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour  are two award winning artists based in New York City. They are currently working on a project called “Milton” where they are collecting the thoughts, experiences and unique things that connect different Miltons around the country. To read more about this specific project, their website is pearldamour.com.

Mr. Deschenes, along with Katie and Lisa developed multiple sessions revolving around play writing, story-telling and acting. The theme or inspiration for each of these sessions was MILTON and we hope that the words and experiences of our own students will be evident in the final play produced by Katie and Lisa.  It is unique and enriching experiences like these that students remember. Thanks again to Bill for all of his hard work!

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The Forbes House Museum recently announced the winners of the 2013 Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest. In total, 994 entries were received, including 676 essays and 318 drawings.  An awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 14th at 2pm at the Pierce Middle School Auditorium. All are welcome.

Contest winners are from the four public elementary schools in Milton (Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker Schools) and Pierce Middle School. The winners are:

Drawing Contest- Grades K- 3

Kindergarten:
1st Place: Mae McKenna, Collicot School
3rd Place: Olivia Hart, Collicot School

First Grade:
1st Place: Greer Woodward, Cunningham School
2nd Place: Emma Buckley, Cunningham School
3rd Place: Molly Lovett, Collicot School
Honorable mention: Isaac Moy, Collicot School
Honorable mention: Malcolm Frank- McNight, Cunningham School

Second Grade:
1st Place: Liam McLaughlin, Cunningham School

Third Grade:
1st Place: Chris Barrett, Glover School
3rd Place: Jalyssa Lynette Reis, Glover School
Honorable mention: Nora Biagiotti, Collicot School

Essay Contest- Grades 4-8

Fifth Grade:
1st Place: Alisa Lorden, Tucker School
2nd Place: Kelly MacKenzie, Glover School
3rd Place: Jeremy Val, Cunningham School
Honorable mention: John Walsh, Cunningham School

Sixth Grade:
2nd Place: Christopher Kenney, Pierce Middle School
3rd Place: Taylor Condon, Pierce Middle School

Seventh Grade:
1st Place: Genevieve Connelly, Pierce Middle School
2nd Place: Alyssa Foster, Pierce Middle School

For inquiries about the Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest, call the Museum office at 617.696.1815. For more information on other programs, special events and group tours, visit the Forbes House Museum website here.

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The Foods classes at Milton High School sponsored a Food Drive for the month of March.  The drive, which benefited the Milton Community Food Pantry, was done to mark National Nutrition Month.  Students and staff brought in a wide variety of canned goods and non-perishables that will help to stock the Pantry. Students were entered into a raffle for a $50 iTunes gift card for each item brought in.  Kelly Gemma’s name was drawn by Mr. Jette at the conclusion of the drive for the gift card.  Another card was also awarded to Daniel Francis for the best participation. Congratulations to all who participated!

 

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Photo Captions: Kelly Gemma (left) and Daniel Francis (right) are the winners of the Food Drive Contest at Milton High School.

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 The following item was submitted by Lauren Brennan, who co- chairs the Booster Scholarship Committee with Donna Carrera.

Its that time of year, as The Milton High School Boosters Scholarship program is underway again.  We are excited to be offering 17 scholarships this year. We expanded the program last year since our membership has grown and we want to touch as many seniors as possible who are involved in Athletics. More details are available on our website.

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 The following announcement was submitted by Technology Director Bob Pattison.

I am excited to announce that the Milton Public Schools’ wireless network is now complete and operational. This feat would not have been possible without the support of the MPS administration and the generosity of the Milton Foundation for Education and the Copeland Foundation.

Wireless network access is available in every classroom, office, gym, auditorium, cafeteria, and hallway in all schools. This will give Internet access ONLY and users will still be filtered by our content filter and be expected to follow the Internet Acceptable Use Policy. Access to any school resources, such as files, software, printers, is still restricted.

This wireless network is a great addition to our infrastructure and should provide the backbone for new methods of accessing educational content on the Internet and increased collaboration among teachers and students alike. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns by calling (617)696-4470 x5509 or emailing bpattison@miltonps.org

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Pierce Players will present the classic musical comedy HELLO DOLLY! on the Pierce stage on Thursday May 30 and Friday May 31 at 7PM and Saturday June 1 at 2PM.

The cast is led by 8th grader Julia Butler in the title role and features Andrew Flaherty, Stephen Tan, Abigail Jean-Baptiste, Henry Dolgoff, and Grace Varela along with 110 other 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the cast and crew.  Tickets ($10 adults, $8 children) can be purchased at the door or by calling 617.696.4570.  Don’t miss this spectacular production!

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The following event was submitted by Milton High School senior, Liana Massey-Green.

For my senior project, I am organizing a Relay For Life event at Milton High in the Copeland Field House on Saturday, May 18th from 2-9 pm.

Relay For Life is an event hosted by the American Cancer Society to raise money for cancer research and to assist cancer patients with the support they need. For the event, teams raise money from pledges and fundraisers. During the event, team members take turns walking around the track, with at least one team member on the track at all times. Teams can also participate in on-site fundraisers, in which they have a booth where they can have a bake sale, face painting, raffles, etc. There will also be various forms of entertainment and activities during the event.
This year, the theme for Milton’s Relay For Life is “Kick Cancer to the Curb,” promoting cancer awareness, a healthy lifestyle, and healthy eating habits. There will be different activities offered during the day, such as kickboxing, yoga, and Zumba classes. My goal is to get the whole Milton community involved in this event. I believe that cancer affects almost everyone in some way, and I would like the Milton community to join together to help end the fight against cancer. I am also looking for cancer survivors and caregivers to be honored and guest speakers. There is also an opportunity to remember those who have lost their fight with cancer. If anyone would like to be a part of the survivor and caregiver recognition, or would like to honor someone they have lost, they can also participate. To register, visit www.relayforlife.org/miltonMA
For more information or questions, I can be reached at relayforlifemilton@gmail.com

 PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

The new Challenger League for Little League players in Milton is still accepting registrations.

The Challenger Division is a division of Little League that enables boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5-18, or up to age 22 (if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.  Challenger games will be played as a combination of tee ball and coach pitch.

The Challenger players wear the same uniforms, shoulder patches and safety equipment as other Little League players. In a Challenger game, each player gets a chance to bat. The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster.  Score will not be kept.

One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of “buddies” for the Challenger players. The buddies assist the Challenger players on the field, but whenever possible, encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves. However, the buddy is always nearby to help when needed.

Parents and teenagers are strongly encouraged to become involved in this uniquely-rewarding division of Little League. After completing a Little League volunteer application and passing a required national background check, teenagers may become buddies, while parents may become involved in practices, and be eligible as coaches, managers, umpires, local league board members and other volunteer positions within the league. Registration will remain open through April 1st. Please direct questions to  challengerinfo@miltonnationalll.com.  To register a child click the “Registrar Now” and go through the same steps as you would for your Little Leaguer. Other contacts: gvitti@hfihealthcare.com or plunkettjp4@gmail.com or visit the Milton National Little League website here

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The New England Dairy & Food Council announced today that Milton High School has been chosen to receive $7,700 through two grants to support its new school breakfast initiative. Milton High School was selected for these competitive grants to help them jump start and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements at school. The grant program, Fuel Up to Play 60, offers schools funds to help them increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students.

In early 2013, Milton High School was awarded $3,700 from Smart Choice Whole Grain Products to support the school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program and add more whole grains to breakfast.

The school has used the funds donated from J.S.B Industries to create and promote a new Grab n’ Go breakfast service model.  Students can now enjoy a quick, convenient, nutrient-rich breakfast from the mobile “Smart Start Breakfast Cart” located at one of the school’s main entrances. Student leaders created posters to help promote the breakfast cart during National School Breakfast Week and the school’s Wellness Week.  Since the launch of the new Grab n’ Go breakfast service last month, the school has seen an instant increase in school breakfast participation.

In December 2012, Milton High School received $4,000 from Fuel Up to Play 60 in support of the Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge, a partnership between the New England Dairy & Food Council, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, School Nutrition Association of Massachusetts, and Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread.  Funding for this competitive program is provided by New England Dairy & Food Council and the dairy farmers of Massachusetts.

“On average, only 8% of our high school students were participating in the breakfast program daily. With these two grants, we are confident that we can accomplish the goal set forth by the Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge and increase school breakfast participation at Milton High School up to 43% (an increase of 35%) by 2014,” said Jackie Morgan, Food Service Director for the Milton Public Schools.

Schools, parents and students can learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 here. There are several application windows each year, including the upcoming deadline on June 4th.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Did you graduate from Milton High School? Is any member of your household a Milton High Alum? If so, we are asking all Milton High School Alumni to visit our website to add their name, email, and current address to their class list. 
 Here’s how: Click here, click year or name and search. Check for your name and if it is not listed add to class list. To make changes to existing name, click Edit to add email and current address. That’s all!

Also, the Alumni Association is looking for a volunteer to write our Milton High School Alumni Newsletter. Contact  Gary Kelly at Gkprofit@aol.com for more details.

MFE

Help make the 13th Annual MFE Outstanding Teacher Awards program a success! Recognize the extraordinary contributions made by our teachers in the Milton Public Schools by submitting nomination papers for a teacher who deserves this special recognition. Award recipients will be honored at a special ceremony on May 22nd. Deadline for submission is today, Friday, April 12th. To be eligible for nomination, a teacher must:

  • Have completed three consecutive years teaching at MPS and currently teach at MPS
  • Teach students on a regular basis (40% of the time)
  • Be aware of and in agreement with this nomination

Nominees must be teachers who meet most of the following criteria:

  • Instills in students the desire to learn/achieve
  • Understands the individual needs of students, encourages their talents and fosters their self-esteem
  • Demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the subject matter and the ability to share it effectively with students
  • Fosters cooperative relationships with colleagues and the community
  • Demonstrates outstanding leadership
  • Participates in school, professional, civic and/or extracurricular activities

Nomination packets can be downloaded here or send completed nomination packages to:

Milton Foundation for Education
PO Box 223
Milton, MA 02186  … or drop them off at your school’s office.

 NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Town of Milton has embarked on a new comprehensive community planning (Master Plan) project that will help guide Milton’s approach to managing change for the next ten years and beyond. So far, two sessions have been held, with incredible input from members of the Milton community.

The result of the Visioning effort will be a consensus of many voices within Milton that establishes the framework for the analysis and the subsequent  recommendations of the Master Plan. The next session will be held on Thursday, April 25th at 7 pm at the Milton High School Auditorium.

Milton’s Master Plan Committee is overseeing this process and has engaged community planning firm Brown Walker Planners, Inc. to assist the Town in the Visioning effort. Please check back frequently to get updates on upcoming meetings, master plan reports, and how you can stay involved. The Master Plan Committee is asking for your final review and comments on the three elements of the Phase One Report:  Community Vision, Goals and Key Issues.

  • What is your vision for Milton?
  • What issues are priorities for the town?
  • Does this Plan represent your views?

The Milton Master Plan Committee is being  advised by Director of Planning, William Clark and by the Town’s consultant Brown Walker Planners. For more information, please click here: 

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Girl Scout Troop # 74134 is holding its Second Annual Kids Road Race on Sunday, May 19th at Cunningham Park.

Participants, ages 4-14, will run 2.2 miles, consisting of two loops through the park, beginning and ending at Cunningham Hall. The race kicks off at 9:30 a.m.
There will be food and water, along with raffles and other activities.

Participants can register for the race online here by May 15th (credit cards are accepted) or by mailing in an entry form and check to Milton Kids Road Race, 95 Hudson St., Milton, MA 02186, postmarked by May 16th.

Entrants can pick up their numbers at Cunningham Hall between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m. the morning of the race. The cost is $17 for preregistration. Registration will also be held the day of event between 8:45 – 9:15 a.m., but the cost then will be $23 and only cash and checks will be accepted. There will be a complimentary yoga warm up at 9:20 a.m., sponsored by Petit Papillion. A post race awards ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m.

The race is designed to promote health and proceeds from the race will help refurbish the Scout house and help finance trips and other activities for troop #74134. More information can be found here. 

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 The following item was submitted by Mass Audubon.

Calling Volunteers to Work for Wildlife! Mass Audubon is hosting our annual Statewide Volunteer Day on Saturday, April 27th from 9 am to noon.

Join us for a day of family fun as we spruce up our trails, gardens, and nature centers and dive into other spring cleaning projects. See our list of participating wildlife sanctuaries for more details (below) and sign-up online today.

There are plenty of activities planned for all ages and abilities, whether you’re looking for kid-friendly work (preparing gardens for spring planting) or more strenuous activities (trail restoration). We can also provide a community service verification letter for your three hours of volunteering. Bring a picnic lunch and spend time exploring (and enjoying) the sanctuary when the morning’s work is done.

Blue Hills Trailside Museum, Milton: The Great Invasive Pull; Light Spring Landscaping; Spring Housekeeping and Maintenance
Boston Nature Center, Mattapan: Gardeners and Green Thumbs; Butterfly Garden, Nature Nook, and Surrounding Landscaped Areas; Trail Restoration
Drumlin Farm, Lincoln: Garlic Mustard Pull
Habitat, Belmont: Trail, Gardens, Ponds, and Meadows

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 Sustainable Milton and Artspace Milton submitted the following two events:

 Earth Day Movie Night and Bottle Cap Magnet Making at the Milton Public Library, Thursday, April 18th at 6:30pm. While the adults watch “One Beach” in the community room, the kids will have a chance to create bottle cap magnets in the conference room.

Recycle Art Challenge at Turners Pond, Sunday, April 21st at 1:00 pm. Did you know that your recycling bin is a treasure trove of art supplies? To help celebrate Earth Day 2013, dig into your recycling bin and create a unique piece of art. Let your imagination go wild! Students are encouraged to create works of art using recycled materials. bring your work to our Earth Day Celebration at Turner’s Pond on Sunday April 21, 1:00 Pm. Prizes will be awarded for creativity! Something wondrous and exciting is to be unveiled at the Pond that day….. don’t miss out!  Open to all students in Milton. For more info, email art02186@gmail.com

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 The following item was submitted by our friends at MECA:

We are excited to bring the Story Walk project to Milton during April School vacation. Come enjoy this week-long rain or shine, free event. Visit the Trailside Museum at 1904 Canton Ave in Milton during school vacation week (April 14th through April 21st) from 10 am to 5 pm and enjoy a story posted along the way as you walk around the grounds. This is a terrific opportunity to enjoy a wonderful children’s book while talking a healthy walk. Stop at each post and read the page with your child. For more information, contact Milton Early Childhood Alliance at  cpcmecasid@verizon.net

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The Town of Milton’s Department of Public Works sent the following item: 

The Annual DPW Open House is being held 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday, May 11th at the DPW Yard, 629 Randolph Avenue.

The DPW Open House celebrates National Public Works Week and the thousands of men and women who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as Public Works.  At this fun-filled, free family event, Milton residents can enjoy hotdogs and cotton candy as they learn about what the Milton DPW does everyday to maintain our roads, water, sewage, drainage, and solid waste systems. Children can climb aboard DPW trucks to honk the big horns and marvel at the recycling magic of BJ Hickman, who will be performing at 10.30 am and noon.

In addition, the tenth annual “Larry DeCelle Friend of the DPW Award” will be presented to an individual or organization whose actions exemplify outstanding community service in the public works arena.

In the spirit of reuse and re-cycling, BikeMilton will be at the yard, running a used bike sale from 10am-4pm.  Bikes may be donated Friday May 10th from 5-6:30pm and on the day from 8.30-10am.  Proceeds from the sale will be used to promote safe cycling in Milton. Sustainable Milton and Cradles to Crayons will also be at the event, helping give a new lease of life to unwanted items.  As residents spring clean their home, they should keep an eye out for the following, which will be collected from 10am-1pm at the Open House:

  • kids’ toys and clothing to help children in need through Cradles to Crayons
  • inkjet cartridges and cell phones to raise funds for Milton Schoolsbutton cell batteries, thermometers and thermostats containing mercury (recycling these keeps hazardous substances out of our waste stream)
  • worn out sneakers to be turned into sports surface by Nike Reuse-a-Shoe

Residents wanting to save money on their water bills and conserve water can order rain barrels through the DPW/Sustainable Milton’s annual rain barrel sale for collection at the event (special pricing for Milton residents – $60/$65). Orders should be placed before May 6th via phone 1-800-251-2352 or online at www.sustainablemilton.org. There will be no extra barrels available for sale at the event. So please plan on pre-ordering. For those wanting to reduce trash sticker costs and turn yard waste and veggie peelings into soil for the garden, subsidized Earthmover compost bins will also be available for $42 (checks payable to Town of Milton please).

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The following item was sent by Eleanor Fusoni, Publicity Chairman for the Milton Historical Society:

A great way to celebrate Patriot’s Day – Tour the house where Dr. Joseph Warren and Paul Revere made history! Come to the Milton Historical Society Annual Open House from 1 to 3 pm on Sunday, April 14th at the Suffolk Resolves House located at 1370 Canton Avenue, Milton.

Members of the Historical Society will be available to answer questions about the history of the house and the Suffolk Resolves. Members of the 9th Massachusetts Regiment will perform drills and share what life was like in a colonial militia.

A special treat: Rarely open to the public and unknown to most visitors, a stairway under a trap door in the parlor leads to a granite room of uncertain purpose and origin. Visitors will be able to examine the room and Curator Steve Kluskens will be on hand to answer questions. Check their website for more information.

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Some members of our Milton Public School community may not be familiar with the Milton Residents Fund.

Diane Ferrari is a social worker and administrator of The Milton Residents Fund. This program helps Milton residents in need primarily with fuel, utilities and rent assistance, however, it also helps with child care, summer school and many other types of assistance on a case by case basis.  Diane’s office is located at First Parish Church, 535 Canton Ave. and the office telephone is 617-696-1214.

Ms. Ferrari has worked with several of our school guidance counselors, nurses and teachers over the past several years and has been of great assistance to some of our families. If you or someone you know may be in need of her services, please contact her at dmferrari21@juno.com

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The Town of Milton’s Parks & Rec program is currently holding signups for a variety of spring sports programs, as well as other exciting events. Please visit their website for details:

LIBRARY NEWS

Reserve Free or Discounted Museum Passes for School Vacation: Library cardholders now can reserve free or discounted museum passes from the Milton Library thirty days in advance, so start planning for school vacation. Reservations can be made on-line on the library’s website, www.miltonlibrary.org or call the reference desk, 617-698-5757. The Friends of the Milton Library sponsor the following museum passes:

Boston Children’s Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, John F. Kennedy Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, Peabody Essex Museum, Roger Williams Park Zoo, U.S.S. Constitution Museum, and Zoo New England.

The following item is from Sara Truog, Children’s Librarian:

April Vacation Week is almost here, and the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library is ready to keep your kids busy all week long! We will be closed on Monday, but the rest of the week is jam-packed with our regular preschool storytimes on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as several other upcoming programs for the young people in your life:

Tuesday, April 16th from 2 to 3 pm, Make Your Own Flat Stanley, Grades 1-5
Originally published in 1964, Jeff Brown’s famous book Flat Stanley is about a boy who accidentally gets flattened by a bulletin board, but then discovers that being flat isn’t so bad after all.  A series was born, spinoff books continue to be written, and these books about a flat boy are still as popular as they were in the ’60s.  The current Flat Stanley craze is to make your own flat person, and then send that person on an adventure around the world, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.  Sound like fun?  Come join us for a craft session where we will provide all of the materials and instructions so you can make your own flat person and send him/her on a journey just like Stanley’s!  Registration is required.

Wednesday, April 17th from 2 to 3:30 pm, Cooks ‘n Books, Grades 3-5
Join Miss Debbie for a cooking adventure. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Thursday, April 18th from 2 to 3:30 pm, Mad Science, Grades 3-5
Experience the pull of magnetism! Ever been an atom in a magnet? Find out exactly what magnets like to “hang” out with, visit the North and South poles, build cool magnet chains and play with some of the wildest forces in the universe. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Library.

Friday, April 19th from 11 to 11:45 am, Sparky’s Puppets, All Ages
Join the fun as Sparky’s Puppets perform “Springtime Stories.”  The show features tales of rabbits, gardening, and springtime. See what happens when Brer Rabbit sneaks into the vegetable garden. Meet a hard-working chicken and some lazy farmyard animals. And see if you can guess who will win the race between a sassy rabbit and a slow-moving turtle! Sparky’s Puppets dramatize favorite children’s stories with lively humor and plenty of audience participation.  They have performed for children and family audiences throughout New England for over 30 years. For children of all ages with a parent/caregiver.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Friday, April 19th from 1 to 4 pm, Family Game Time, All Ages
Drop in and spend some time playing board games. Our selections include Scrabble Junior, Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Monopoly, Clue, and more. Or bring along a family favorite and some friends to share it. Board games have a long history in Massachusetts. Did you know that both Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley got their start here? Come on by for some family fun.

Saturday, April 20th from 2 to 3 pm, Bookbusters, Grades 3-5
The Bookbusters is a book club for boys and girls in grades 3-5.  Led by Miss Sara, group participants are asked to read a book in advance of the meeting, then come together to talk about it with their peers.  The book we are reading for April is The Problem with the Puddles by Kate Feiffer.  Copies are available at the Children’s Room desk, or by placing a hold at www.miltonlibrary.org.  Come join us to discuss this humorous and heartwarming story about an eccentric family and their adventurous dogs.  Registration is required.

Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar found here, 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.

The following item is from Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian:

Friday, April 12th, 3-5 p.m.: After school movie
Kick off April vacation week with an after school movie! Check out the choices on Facebook, vote for your favorite, and then join us for the winning movie and snacks!

Saturday, April 20th, 1:30-4 p.m. Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament
It’s tournament time again! Join the Teen Services department for an afternoon of snacks, trash talk, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the library’s Wii. Winner gets a GameStop gift card and bragging rights! Space is limited, so advance registration is recommended. Play begins at 1:30; late players may not be admitted to the tournament, so please be on time. ** The tournament is open to students in grades 6-12. Admission is free; this program is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 6:30 – 8 p.m.: Anime and manga club
Join the Teen Services Dept. for our monthly Anime & Manga Club. Meet other anime and manga fans, enjoy Japanese snacks, make art and more! This is the club’s final meeting for the school year. ** This program is open to students in grades 6-12 and is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Students: I would like to recognize Jack Caljouw and Mona Yuan, two of our Milton High School students who compete on our LifeSmarts team. The pair recently visited the after-school program at Glover Elementary School to help teach a safety lesson for the students in Grades K-2. This was a wonderful collaboration between schools and a great opportunity for our younger students to be exposed to such wonderful role models at the high school level. Thank you to Jack and Mona.

 Teachers: For those of you who do not know this, Milton High School has not always had a debate program. Now that our Debate Team is in full swing, competing in and hosting state tournaments, I would like to thank the two teacher/coaches/advisors who have helped to make Debate such a huge success at Milton High. Nick Fitzgerald and Nancy Warn have been tireless advocates of this program and have dedicated countless hours to helping our students succeed. This is the classic case of our faculty going “above and beyond,” and I am very pleased with the results.

Volunteer: I would like to thank a group of volunteers who have been assisting with two very important jobs. As in the past, we have formed screening committees to fill the positions of Assistant Superintendent for Business and Tucker Principal. Along with myself and John Phelan, the following individuals have been working hard on these screening committees. Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs Committee: James Jette, Becky Padera, Bill Ritchie, Jackie Morgan and Steve Traister.  Tucker Principal Committee:  Jon Redden, Becky Padera, Marilyn Decker, Elizabeth Spitz, Trish Leahy, Steve Paxhia, Suzeanne Carty and Kymberly Terry.

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.

March 14th E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Mar• 14•13

As many of you know, this is the time of year when students are preparing to take the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams. Although the MCAS is an important assessment tool, we would like to stress that our students in the Milton Public Schools are assessed every day in every class. These assessments include written exams, oral reports, portfolios, small group projects, classroom discussions, and many more formative and summative evaluations.
MCAS is a standards-based assessment system developed in 1993 with three goals: to inform and improve curriculum and instruction; to evaluate student, school and district performance; and to determine student eligibility for the competency determination in order to award a high school diploma. MCAS results are used to evaluate and compare the growth of one school district to others in Massachusetts as well as to evaluate individual disciplines, grades, classrooms, and students within a district.

Every student who attends a Massachusetts public school in grades 3-10 must take MCAS tests. The subjects tested vary by grade. They include English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics and Science & Technology/Engineering.  Each exam contains a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and open response questions.  Some exams also contain writing prompts.

All English Language Arts MCAS exams will be administered during the month of March.  A list of specific dates can be found below:

March 19th: Grade 4 ELA Long Composition, Grade 7: ELA Long Composition, Grade 10: ELA Comp A&B

March 20th: Grade 3 ELA Session I, Grade 5 ELA Session I (Glover & Tucker only), Grades 6-8 ELA

March 21st: Grade 3 ELA Session II, Grade 5 ELA (Glover & Tucker only), Grades 6-8 ELA, Grade 10 ELA Reading Comp 1&2

March 22nd: Grade 10 ELA Reading Comp 3

March 25th: Grade 4 ELA Session I (Cunningham, Collicot and Glover only)

March 26th: Grade 4 ELA Session II (Cunningham, Collicot and Glover only), Grade 4 ELA Session I (Tucker only)

March 27th: Grade 4 ELA Session II (Tucker only), Grade 5 ELA Session I (Cunningham, Collicot & Glover only)

March 28th: Grade 5 ELA Session II (Cunningham, Collicot and Glover only), Grade 4 and 7 ELA Long Comp make-up session.

April 1st: Makeup session

April 2nd: Makeup session

** The Math and Science sessions of MCAS will be administered later in the school year.

I want each and every one of Milton’s students to attain mastery in every content area in order to excel — not only on MCAS — but also on classroom, district-wide, state and national tests and assessments.

As parents and guardians, we ask that you ensure that your children get a healthy breakfast, plenty of sleep, and arrive to school on time on MCAS testing days and every day. Please refrain from scheduling appointments during days of MCAS testing. While it is important that that none of us put too much stress on students, it is also a good practice to be prepared and encourage our students to try their best and to give 100%.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

The most recent meeting of the School Committee took place on Wednesday, March 6th.  Below is a summary of that meeting:

Tucker Principal Marcia Uretsky, along with members of the school’s Site Council, presented the School Improvement Plan to the School Committee. The presentation can be viewed here: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/TuckerSiteCouncil.pdf

In addition, the entire plan is available online here: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/TuckerSchoolImprovPlan12-13.pdf

Among the topics discussed was the school’s high student growth, the increase in English Language Learners (ELL),  and changing demographics. Tucker uses Response to Intervention strategies (RTI) to address specific student needs. Ms. Uretsky expressed her desire to bring more science and art enrichment opportunities into the classroom.

Next, the 2013-14 School Year Calendar was approved. To see the calendar, click here: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/2013-14SchoolCalendar.pdf

The results of the Grade One lottery were announced. Out of 324 families who will continue on to grade 1, 324 were placed in the school of their school and 312 were placed in the program of their choice. The remaining 12 families have been put on a waiting list for the French Immersion program. This year, 57% of incoming Grade One families chose French and 43% chose the English Innovation Pathway.

School Committee members also voted to implement a Security Fee for programs that run in the evenings at Milton High School. The revenue from these funds will be used to hire a security position from 3-10 pm in the building.

Members also voted to change Milton Summer Enrichment from a five-day program to a four-day program, effective this summer.

The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 20th at 7pm in the Milton High School Library and this will be an Open Public Hearing on the FY14 budget.  All are welcome to attend.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Please join me in congratulating our State Tournament winners from Milton High — our very own LifeSmarts team.

Our team won top honors at the LifeSmarts State Tournament, held Monday at the Federal Reserve in Boston during a “sudden death” round. As a result of their outstanding accomplishment, our team will go to Atlanta to compete in the National LifeSmarts Tournament during April vacation.

Our state champions are: Mona Yuan, captain; and members Jack Caljouw, Nicholas Juzyca, Michael Musto, and Devon Stanley. Mona, Jack and Devon were members of last year’s state championship team and competed at the Nationals in Philadelphia.

Five other Milton High School students qualified and competed as a team at the  state tournament: Maryam El-Sayad, captain; and members Hassan Hassan, Jack McGrath, Brandon Musto and Aidan Quinn. Our LifeSmarts teams are coached by Milton High School teacher Paul Arenburg and Nancy Mikels is assistant coach.

LifeSmarts is a consumer-based educational program that develops the consumer and marketplace skills of high school students in a fun way and rewards them for the knowledge they gain.

Our students will head to the Nationals, hosted by the National Consumers League, where they will face off against teams from more than 30 states, plus at-large teams representing student leadership organizations FCCLA and FBLA. Organizers say this year’s competition will have the largest number of student teams to attend Nationals to date.

The semifinals and final matches, held on Tuesday, April 23rd, and can be watched via live streaming at www.lifesmarts.org

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We are currently exploring an opportunity for members of our Pierce Middle School science team to attend a program offered by National Science Institute this summer. The International K-12 Science Education Institute for Leadership Development and Strategic Planning will be held in Alexandria, Virginia at the end of July.

Leadership teams representing schools, districts and regions will meet to discuss ways to advance science education reform. Once assembled, they will spend one week in rigorous seminars and intensive planning sessions, gathering the tools they need to revitalize their science education programs at home. Teams will leave with a five-year strategic plan to serve as their road map moving forward.

At this time, our district is pursuing an application to be accepted to this program. We are also in the process of seeking funds from science- and technology-related companies to support our attendance at this international institute.

If any of our Milton Public School parents or guardians are employed by a company that would be a good match for a sponsorship of this program, please call Pierce Middle School Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding at 617-696-4568 or my office at 617-696-4808 to discuss this option.

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The Milton Public Schools were recently featured in a Globe South article about technology in the classroom. Please click on this link to read the article: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2013/03/10/milton-schools-gear-for/FH6O7zch2lQsLNqVjwRmvN/story.html

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The Milton High School Debate Team will host this year’s State Debate Tournament at Milton High School on Saturday, March 23rd. More than 300 students are expected to compete at the State Tournament.  As the hosting team, Milton will welcome Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Policy debaters from over 30 public, private, and charter high schools in Eastern Massachusetts.  This state tournament is the culminating event for debaters in the Massachusetts Forensic League.  The 2013 State Debate Tournament marks the first debate tournament to be hosted by Milton High School.

The school’s debate team, now in its fourth year, has grown tremendously since its inception in 2009.  What started as a small group of four students has evolved into a program of nearly 30 students that compete in approximately 12 local and national tournaments each year.

In addition to local competitions, students this year will compete at Yale and Harvard Universities as well as at the National Forensic League and Catholic Forensic League Qualifying tournaments.  As the team’s competition schedule has expanded, the students have simultaneously continued to achieve higher levels of success.  Twice in the last three years a Milton High School team has advanced to the semi-final round of the State tournament.

At their January tournament, half of the Milton High students who competed finished in the top 20 percent of competitors, including one debater who placed third out of 140 competitors. Many thanks to Nick Fitzgerald and Nancy Warn who coach this talented team.

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Tilt skillet photo

Chef LisaWhole Foods Market staff members recently visited Milton High School and Pierce Middle School as part of a collaboration between Whole Foods and the Milton Public Schools.

This partnership formed two years ago when Michelle Obama developed the “Let’s Move” Campaign. At that time our Food Service Director, Jackie Morgan, applied for a grant for a salad bar from Whole Foods. The Dedham store awarded the Pierce Middle School a $3,000 salad bar that the Food Service Department turned into a fruit and veggie cart so that students would take more fruits and veggies with their lunches.

Since then, Whole Foods staff members, including Maureen Buckley, Healthy Eating Specialist in Dedham; Alex Tillotson, Culinary Demo Specialist in Dedham; Lisa Caldwell, Healthy Eating Specialist in Wellesley; and Samantha Gafford, Customer Service Supervisor in Wellesley, have been in Pierce Middle School working with our health teacher, Chris Maine. They also have been in each of his classrooms teaching nutrition lessons.

Recently, the team has been working with the high school Food Service team on the five half-days. Whole Foods staff members have brought in a chef and and taught the Food Service staff new and creative food dishes, focusing on our newly-mandated offerings by USDA, which include dark leafy greens, orange vegetables and beans.

We are grateful to the folks at Whole Foods who have helped to make this collaboration extremely productive. I am also grateful to our Food Service staff who have made this such a huge success.

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The results of the second WordMaster meet were recently released and our third- fourth- and fifth-graders scored very high in both state and national categories. Here are the top ten scorers from each school:

Glover Top Ten:

Grade Three: Jack Caster (perfect score), Lauren Cox, Aurora Buchau, Carolina DeOliveira, Veronica DeOliveira, Keenan O’Donnell, Vuphong Vo, Henry Synnott, Richard Robinson, Nate McNulty.

Grade Four: Laura Braithwaite, Yaeger Ferreira, Aidan Greene, Megan Kream, Kate Pulgini, Michael Riordan, Adrianna Halpin-Quiroga, Abigail O’Donnell, Allison Ward, Hugh Cronin, Joseph Freeman, Alessandra Masso, Oliver McKay, Elijah White, Andrew Shenouda, Maeve Walsh, Anna Fahey, John Haley, Lucy Reardon, Vivian Kwong, Kailey McCormick.

Grade Five: Aine Buchau (perfect score), Wyatt Sullivan, Jackson MacMillan, Guinevere Ferreira, Michael Daly, James McNulty, Philip McNulty, Allison Deegan, Ella Zimmerman, Hannah Pauly.

Collicot Top Ten:

Grade Three: Benjamin Malisheski, Josie Mastandrea, William Riley, Rachel Steinberg, Gabriella Brown, Sophia Estee, Ciara Fitzgerald, Gustave Greene, Sofia Harris, Ava Lundbolm, Ronan O’Flaherty, Owen Radley.

Grade Four: Kate MacDonald, Benjamin Mills, Calvin Siu, Michael Swanton, Amanda Arcieri,Brendan Cullen, Crystal Dai, Sam Dunnington, Preston Luie, Mary Malloy, Grace Muir, Abigail Tran.

Grade Five: Kate Delaney (perfect score) Alex Dhima, Jack Ferrante, Jonathan Truong, Edward Enyedy, Maggie Loughnane, Mary Mitchell, Giselle Neville, Coleman Rose, Philip Synnott, Clarissa Waldmann.

Cunningham Top Ten:

Grade Three: Dimitri Sophinos, Sean Filtzer, Somachi Amadi, Michael Higgins, Brendan Butler, Brianna DiMaggio, Tucker Moriarty, Matthew Carbone, Caroline Gannon, Nora Walsh, Chloe Zong, Claire MacDonald, Anna Hamblet, Ana Sophia Leissner.

Grade Four: Eris McCubbin, Emma Scapicchio, Gwenyth LeLacheur, Jami Milliken, Eliza Callahan, Mahina Panerio, Sophie Boucher, Luke Calcagno, Olga Kazarov,  William Milliken, Paul Kates, Ben Karol.

Grade Five: Paul Goodman, Thomas Hamblet, Emily Steelman, Ejiro Egodogbare, Macie Capplis, Maeve DiSandro, Nate Dickens, Ata Taicindag, Luke Botsford, Joshua Riggs, Veronika Lin.

Tucker Top Ten:

Grade Three: Grace Kelly, Luke Shields, Michael McHugh, Declan O’Connor, Michael Roberson, Max Hollingsworth, Darioush Ghaziah, Jared Mitchell, Delia Gaff, Matthew Paquette.

Grade Four: Daniel Truog, Oskar Peloquin, Claire Walko, Isabella Paris, Franklin Olivierre, Walker Harris, Olivia Ketler, Julia Wright, Blake Strong, Luke Palmer.

Grade Five: William Reason (perfect score), Alisa Lorden, Emily Dobrindt, Brian Soto, Brendan Scott, Quentin Bernard, Grace Quijano, Cooper Madigan, Aine Moreau, Max Winkler.

Congratulations to all these students and their teachers for their hard work!

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Lunar New Year 1The Cunningham and Collicot School recently hosted a Lunar New Year Festival. This was a collaborative project put on with the support of the Collicot and Cunningham PTOs.

The teachers from both schools spearheaded a committee to craft an Asian cultural experience for students to attend. The festival featured projects that were linked to books about Lunar New Year that the students read in their classrooms, a shadow puppet play of the Monkey King by the English Language Education students, and the event culminated with a lion dance.

We are grateful to the many parents who volunteered their time, cultural artifacts and positive spirit to the festival. Many thanks to Alysa Buchanan, who helped to organize the event and kept the day running smoothly.

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As I mentioned in my last E-blast, Milton High School recently hosted a statewide Robotics tournament at the DSC04795Cunningham/Collicot school cafeteria. Science Director Marilyn Decker said she was touched by the outpouring of support. The meet was a huge success. Thank you to all our staff, parents and students who volunteered their time.DSC04782

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 Rebecca Simms, a senior at MHS, was recently mentioned in a Boston Globe article about community service programs.  Click here to read about how Milton High School’s community service program benefits not only the local communities, but also enriches the lives of our students: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2013/03/07/teens-prove-age-doesn-matter-when-doing-good-deeds-for-others/nKTwaClCMzOlyrmZH5oxSK/story.html

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P1010268 Pierce Middle School recently held the first Science Fair in several years. Dozens of students participated in the event, and parents and guardians eagerly flocked to the Pierce cafeteria to see their students’ hard work in action. Please join me in congratulating the winners:

Experimental Category 1st Place: Sawyer Flanagan. A Massive Battery Inquiry:  Is the Mass of a Battery Different When Discharged Than When Charged? 2nd Place: Abby Lang and Madelyne Shea – The Effects of Different Everyday Drinks on Your Teeth. 3rd Place: Juliana Viola – How Does Elevation Affect Car Speed?

Build a Model Category: 1st Place- Max Strout – Magnetic Levitation Train. 2nd Place: Patrick Taugher – Stonehenge. 3rd Place: Ben Musgrove – Electricity.

Research Category: 1st Place: Ryan Najarian - Growing Crystals. 2nd Place: Kaylyn Marie Pean – Why Do Plants and Animals Become Extinct?3rd Place: Grace Dwyer and Sarah Hancock – Leopard Geckos,

Collection Category: 1st Place: Daisy Hanson – My Crystal Collection 2nd Place: Sara Kenneally – Cow Bones.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Faculty/Staff Talent show is back and better than ever this year!  The shows are Thursday, March 21st and Friday, March 22nd at 7pm in the MHS Auditorium.  Tickets are $10.  See the flyer here for more details.  Proceeds benefit the MHS Athletics and Student Activities programs.

***

Don’t forget!  On Saturday, March 16th at 11 am, the Second Annual St. Paddy’s Day Milton 5K Road Race will be held starting and ending at Cunningham Park. Last year’s race attracted over 100 local runners, and this year more than 200 are expected. All proceeds will benefit the Milton High School Rugby Club. Now in its third year the Rugby Club is a varsity sport and is predicted to be the top team in Division II Eastern Mass this spring.

Come on out and support Milton High School Athletics. Professional timing will be provided by Spitler Race Timing. Trophies and medals will be awarded in 3 categories, male and female, ages 18 and under, Open, and Masters. $25 pre-registration includes free road race T shirt. Day of race registration is $25 with Ts available for purchase. Get your green on and help chase the snakes out of Milton! Costumes encouraged. Prizes for best costumes.Go to www.StPaddysDayMilton5k.com for registration information, or http://www.active.com/running/milton-ma/st-paddys-day-milton-5k-2013

The Spring semester of Adult Education is ready to start this week. It is not too late to sign up for a course.  To view the brochure go to: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/AdultEdBrochure-Spring2013_000.pdf  To register, just email us at adulted@miltonps.org and let us know what course you would like to take.

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The Milton High School Guidance Department will host “College Planning Night” for parents and guardians of high school juniors on Wednesday, March 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the Charles Winchester Auditorium. The program will include guest speaker Howard Singer, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Boston College.

Our high school guidance counselors will also provide an overview of the college admission procedures at Milton High School, along with important dates and deadlines. Members of our junior class and parents/guardians of younger students are also invited to attend. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this important evening. For questions, please contact:  Kenneth S. Aubert, Director of Guidance at 617-696-4470 x 5530.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

The 5th Annual Walkathon was held on Wednesday March 13th in the Copeland Field House.   The Walkathon is one of the most important fundraising events held to help support athletics and clubs at Milton High School.  The event is a tremendous success every year due to the hard work of a dedicated group of people who spend countless hours working out the details for this event.  I would like to acknowledge Kristan Bagley Jones, Laura Kessler, Rene Taber, Jeanne Austin, Maureen Griffin, Principal James Jette and Athletic Director Steve Traister for their hard work on this huge fund raising effort.  I would also like to thank the Milton High School teachers/faculty/staff, our custodial staff and all coaches and club advisors who helped with the Walkathon.

* * *

Members of the Milton High School Boys’ Lacrosse Program will be holding their Annual Outdoor Spring Cleaning and Mulch Sale on Saturday, April 6th from 8 am to 6 pm (Cleaning and Mulch Delivery).

Lacrosse players will come to your home to help with spring cleanup as part of a fundraiser for the Boys Lacrosse program. The cost is $10 per hour for each player. Bagged mulch from New England Nurseries is $5 per bag (2 cubic feet) and includes delivery. For more information on how to schedule a lacrosse player, contact Coach Ben Midura at bmidura@miltonps.org

Suggested Yard Work: Spreading Mulch, Raking, General Cleanup, Gardening, Gathering Branches, Painting, Digging, Small Repairs, Seeding, Fertilizing and Clearing Brush.

The players will not be authorized to climb ladders, use gas powered equipment, ride in homeowner vehicles, or perform cleanup outside the Town of Milton. Please have necessary supplies and equipment on site the day of the event.

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The following events were submitted by the Milton Teens in Need group.

Teen Clothing Drive:  We are collecting gently used clothing for Milton’s teens in need ages 13-18. Clothing must be clean and style appropriate. Donations will be collected from Friday, March 15th to Friday, March 22nd inside the front doors at The Pierce Middle School. Donated clothing will be given away FREE on Saturday, March 23rd between 9:00am – Noon in the Pierce Middle School Cafeteria.

Prom Dress Drive: We are collecting clean, gently used Prom Dresses, Bridesmaid Dresses, Dress Shoes, Bling, and Wraps.  Collection will take place now through Tuesday, April 2nd. Drop off Location: Milton High School, 25 Gile Road.

Prom Kick-Off Party:  This event will be held on our early release day, Wednesday, April 3rd at 11:30am at the Milton High School Field House. We will be serving lunch, loaning all of the donated dresses, raffling off gift cards for various beauty treatments, and giving away free flip flops to all participants.

Please contact Karen DeLuca at 617-429-9504 if you have any questions or would like to make a donation to these events.

MFE

The following item was submitted by Margaret Eberhardt, President of Milton Foundation for Education.

This past Saturday a sell-out crowd gathered at the Quincy Marriott for the Milton Foundation for Education’s “Celebration for Education.” This year’s Celebration, “Live Wire,” raised funds to support technology and digital education initiatives in the Milton Public Schools.

Co-chairs Anacristina Kenney and Anne Gatnick put together an interactive and fun filled evening with classroom technology demonstrations, hands on displays from the Museum of Science, a flash mob featuring Milton High Students and a music video featuring students from all six Milton Public schools.  The evening’s emcee,  Milton resident and Kiss 108 Matty in the Morning co-host Lisa Donovan and auctioneer Jim Wells led the spirited crowd through the live auction.

This year the MFE honored three Milton High School Alumni;  John Cronin and Honorary Alumni Maritta Cronin and Curry College President Ken Quigley.  Each  represents the ideals and vision of the Milton Foundation for Education and the mission of the Milton Public Schools: respect, achievement, citizenship.  Mary and Steve Shapiro and Tony and Chris Cichello served as honorary event co-chairs.  The Shapiros and Cichellos work tirelessly on behalf of the community and it was an honor to have them represent the MFE at the event.

The Celebration for Education is a special evening, a chance to celebrate and honor all that makes living and learning in the Town of Milton so special.  On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of the MFE and the Milton Public Schools.  Together, we are making a difference in the lives of each and every student.

Please visit our website www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org to learn more about the MFE and visit our Facebook page for updates, pictures and more news about the Celebration.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Milton’s Board of Selectmen have appointed a new Town Administrator. Annmarie Fagan, who has been the interim Town Administrator for the past 8 months, was unanimously elected by the Board of Selectmen to become the official Town Administrator. Congratulations!

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In addition, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved Milton Police Lieutenant John King to replace Charlie Paris as Deputy Chief for Operations. Lt. King will serve as Deputy Chief on an interim basis shadowing Deputy Chief Paris until he retires at the end of June at which time King will formally assume duties of Deputy Chief. Congratulations!

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Climate Change on March 20, 2013 at 7pm at the Milton Public Library

Presented by Sustainable Milton with Henry MacLean, Timeless Architecture and Chair of the Town of Milton Alternate Energy Committee & Adam Greenberg, US Youth Ambassador at UN Qatar Climate Talks and Member of 350MA.ORG

Here is your chance to find out more about the topic you are constantly hearing about – Climate Change! What is it, how does it impact our lives, what is being done at a global level at the UN, at a local level in Milton, and what can YOU do about it? We will also be presenting information on the recent thermal imaging study that was conducted in Milton and how you can find a personalized report on your residence. Join us for this lively conversation and light refreshments!

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Milton National Little League is thrilled to introduce the Challenger Division. Both National and American League Families are encouraged to participate! The Challenger Division is a division of Little League that enables boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5-18, or up to age 22 (if still enrolled in high school), to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

Challenger games will be played as a combination of tee ball and coach pitch. The Challenger players wear the same uniforms, shoulder patches and safety equipment as other Little League players. In a Challenger game, each player gets a chance to bat. The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster.  Score will not be kept.

One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of “buddies” for the Challenger players. The buddies assist the Challenger players on the field, but whenever possible, encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves. However, the buddy is always nearby to help when needed.

Parents and teenagers are strongly encouraged to become involved in this uniquely-rewarding division of Little League. After completing a Little League volunteer application and passing a required national background check, teenagers may become buddies, while parents may become involved in practices, and be eligible as coaches, managers, umpires, local league board members and other volunteer positions within the league. Registration will remain open through April 1st. Please direct questions to challengerinfo@miltonnationalll.com. To register a child click the “Registrar Now” and go through the same steps as you would for your Little Leaguer. Other contacts: gvitti@hfihealthcare.com (617) 281-4566 or plunkettjp4@gmail.com (617) 999-4993 or MNLL www.miltonnationalll.com)

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 The following item was submitted by Leila Mitchell of the Milton Junior Women’s Club.

On Saturday, March 16th, from 7 to 10:30 pm, for one night only, live rock music is right around the corner!

Local and national alt-rock acts are coming to Milton for a charity benefit show that promises food, drinks, dancing, and great music with friends and neighbors.

The headline act is the Elastic Waste Band: members of the iconic Boston rock band Morphine, plus famed Deltabilly blues guitarist Jeremy Lyons. (It’s the Morphine you remember, with a swampy groove.) The Elastic Waste Band features Dana Colley on electric baritone sax, Jerome Deupree on drums, and Lyons on guitar and two-string slide bass.

Also playing is Franc Graham, a Milton resident whose low-rock tunes, dubbed “hillbilly hip,” have earned her regional acclaim. Lucinda Williams calls herself a “Franc Graham convert,” and the Boston Globe calls Graham “immensely underrated.”

Two local bands, featuring South Shore musicians such as John O’Connor, Jamie McKnight, and Geof Shaw, will round out the ticket with danceable cover tunes. Milton resident Mac D’Alessandro, a fixture in local and national politics, will emcee.

“Milton ROCKS! is a low-cost night out with friends, and a way to celebrate our community and support local charities,” said Leila Mitchell, Milton Junior Woman’s Club Fundraising Chair and past-president. “Milton has new restaurants and retail, and plenty of people who love to have fun. As the South Shore now knows, we’re on the map.”

The event will take place at the Milton Woman’s Clubhouse on 90 Reedsdale Road in Milton, Massachusetts. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

The night will feature a cash bar, snacks, event t-shirts, and raffle prizes. All proceeds will support the Milton Junior Woman’s Club outreach initiatives, which enrich the community through civic involvement, philanthropy, and service. The club’s grant program awards thousands of dollars every year to local organizations such as the Council on Aging, the Milton Community Food Pantry, and the Milton Early Childhood Alliance. The MJWC is also proud to honor graduating high school seniors with annual scholarships. Milton ROCKS! is sponsored by Blue Hills Brewery and Nantucket Vineyard. Information and tickets are available online now at www.miltonjuniorwomansclub.com

VISUAL ARTS

The Milton Art Center presents a concert for the entire family for Youth Art Month! On Saturday, March 30th at 4 pm MAC proudly presents a concert for the entire family featuring renowned singer, songwriter, guitarist Jeremy Lyons. A New Orleans native, Jeremy relocated to the Boston area in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Jeremy’s Delta Silly show combines top notch delta blues guitar playing with kid friendly themes and FUN!

An extremely versatile musician, when not performing “Delta Silly”, or his adult focused material, Jeremy can also be found performing with surviving  members of alt-rock legends Morphine. MC and opening the show is our own Jim Moonan from Northwind Education Tickets : $5 per person  - $15 maximum per family – Children under 2 free!

ATHLETICS

Spring athletic signups will take place in the Athletic Director’s office every day after school this week (excluding, Wednesday, March 13th, the day of the Walkathon) from 2-4 p.m. Spring practices and tryouts begin on Monday March 18th which is the last day to signup. To avoid long lines do not wait until the last day to signup. Phone calls and emails with sign-up info will go out this week. For more information about signups, please click here: www.edline.net/pages/Milton_High_School/Athletics/Sign_Up_Info

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 BBBDOR_347I would like to congratulate the Milton High School Boys’ Basketball Team, along with coach Sean LoPresti, for a very successful season. I attended Saturday’s game at UMass/Boston against Scituate High School and the amount of school pride on display in that gymnasium was extraordinary.

Money cannot buy any program or initiative that could create the pride, sense of school spirit and belonging that this year’s Boys’ Basketball Team created at Milton High School. The team carried themselves with dignity and showed sportsmanship and pride. Congratulations on a great season.

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Great news from the Ski Team.  Three members of the Milton High School Ski Team, Sophie Chase, Lucas Campbell and Tori Zimmer, recently participated in the MIAA State Alpine Championships held at Berkshire East.  Lucas Campbell and Sophie Chase turned-in solid performances in Giant Slalom and Slalom.

But the day’s honors belonged to Tori Zimmer when she delighted the crowd with a stunning 5th place finish in the Slalom competition. As a result, Tori was invited to join the 12 person roster for Team Massachusetts alpine skiing team in the Eastern High School Championships.  The event was held at Cannon Mountain this past weekend. This is a semi-national event of some 15 to 20 states competing.  Tori was Milton’s first athlete to participate in the history of this event. Thanks to head coach Paul Ajemian and assistant coach Dan Jarboe.

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1014In my last E-blast, I mentioned the success of the inaugural season of the Milton High School swim club. This group of high school boys and girls formed our school’s first ever competitive swimming program. We are looking forward to another season of swimming next year. In the meantime, I’d like to share the team photo, taken by Mary Knock.

 The following item was submitted by Athletic Director Steve Traister:

 2012-2013 WINTER SPORTS TID-BITS

GIRLS BASKETBALL: The Girls Basketball Team finished with a record of 7-11. The Wildcats finished strong winning 6 of their last 10 games after starting the year 1-7.

BOYS ICE HOCKEY:  The Boys’ Varsity Hockey Team qualified for the MIAA Division 1 Tournament with a 9-7-6 record. The lost in their opening round game to a tough Marshfield team.

GIRLS ICE HOCKEY:  The Girls Varsity Hockey finished with a record of 10-8-2. They qualified for the MIAA Division 2 State Tournament where they lost 2-1 to Fontbonne on a late goal in the opening round.

BOYS INDOOR TRACK:  The boys track team finished tied for first place in the Herget Division of BSL with a record of 4 and 1.  The team finished 5th in Division 3 with Chiviskee Milcent placing 1st in long jump,4th in high jump and hurdles.  Kareem Patterson placed 3rd in 55 meter dash. Both boys competed in All State Track Meet.

GIRLS INDOOR TRACK:  The Girls Indoor Track Team finished the regular season with a 3-2 record. The girls also placed 4th out of 28 teams in the State Pentathlon. Molly Dempsey (SR) was 6 out of 124 participates, Angie Higgins (JR) was 26 overall and Zion Theodros (SO) was 82 overall. Angie Higgins also competed in the New England Championship recently and finished 7th in the hurdles.

WRESTLING: The Wrestling team had finished a great season with a 14-4 record. Peter Hailer and Jonathan Carrera finished first in their weight classes at the MIAA Sectionals, Keith Martin, Anton Libsch and Mark Chandler finished second and  Zack Mazzarella finished fourth.  All six wrestlers qualified for the MIAA States where Hailer and Carrera were State Finalsts and both wrestled in the New England Wrestling Championships in Providence, RI.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

 Staff:  Thank you to the following teachers and staff, who volunteered their time on Saturday night to help with the hugely successful “Live Wire,” Celebration for Education. These educators, who are on the Educational Technology Committee “manned” several tables to help showcase how technology is used in the classrooms.  Along with Sean Walsh and Holly Concannon, I am grateful to Jonathan Redden, Michelle Kreuzer, Amy Gale, Bob Pattison, AJ Melanson, Karen Hughes, Sara MacNeil, Marion Crackower, Liz Spitz, Kevin Fender, Saviz Safizadeh,  and Jessica Murphy.  The teachers listed spent countless hours preparing sample lessons and displays for the event and deserve this recognition.

Student: As I mentioned in my last E-blast, we are sending three Future Problem Solving teams to the state bowl. Please help me to congratulate the following students: Pierce team (coached by Jen Gilbert and Nicole Hoyceanyls): Hue-Ninh Nguyen, Sachin Meier and Jordan Bacci. Pierce student Timothy Karoff  will compete as an individual. Collicot team (coached by Anna Higgins):  Jackson Humphries, Kate Delaney and Shea Flanagan. Two Collicot students will also compete as individuals:  Nora Kleiman and Molly Murtagh. Glover team (coached by Christina Reynolds): Ella Zimmermann, Hudson Smith, Matthew Creamer, and Kate Possi.  All three teams and individuals will be headed to the FPS State Bowl on Saturday, March 23rd at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Volunteer: I would like to recognize Curry College President Ken Quigley, along with community leaders John and Maritta Cronin, Tony and Chris Cichello, and Steve and Mary Shapiro, all of whom were recognized by the Milton Foundation for Education at their event this past weekend. These individuals are friends and long-time supporters and advocates for the students and teachers of the Milton Public Schools and Milton community as a whole.  Their involvement and dedication has certainly enriched the lives of many.  Again, please join me in extending our gratitude to these individuals.

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.

 

 

 

March 4th Eblast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Mar• 04•13

The following introduction was written by Glenn Pavlicek, Chairman of the Milton School Committee:

FY 14 Budget Update:  It is budget season again and with that comes the annual consternation as to what will happen to the Town budget, and in particular to the School Department budget, in the upcoming year. I wanted to give a brief update of where we are, what we might expect, and what we can still do about it.

Where are we? After years of simply trying to maintain our programs, the School Committee identified three areas where we felt we needed to bring the district forward. They are Early Literacy, Science Literacy and the so-called Achievement Gap. In the fall, the Administration gave a presentation outlining the challenges in these three areas, looking at what the research suggests is the best way to address them and creating a plan with measurable goals to address them in the coming year. This was our Advancement Budget and is posted online here. The cost of these initiatives is approximately $500,000.

The current FY 13 budget for the School Department is approximately 41 million dollars with about 34 million dollars of that coming from the tax levy and the remainder coming from grants, fees, and other income. In addition to the advancement budget, the School Department requested an increase of approximately 2.4 million dollars to carry our current operations forward.  It should be noted that, of this $2.4 million, approximately $1 million is due to increases in our mandated Special Education services.  The details of this budget can also be found on our website (here).  These two pieces, the Advancement Budget and the Level Service budget, formed the budget request for an additional $2.9 million that the School Committee transmitted to the Warrant Committee.

The Warrant Committee asked the School Department to prepare an impact statement of what the system would look like were we only to get half of our requested increase.  That scenario has been presented at School Committee meetings as well as at PTO meetings over the past two months and is posted here. In its initial draft of the FY 14 budget proposal, the Warrant Committee was able to recommend an increase of just under $2 million dollars for the School budget.  This will still result in significant cuts to the department, in particular those listed as “Level One” cuts in the above presentation, involving approximately 13.2 positions.

What Happens Next? This budget recommendation is still preliminary, since we don’t know what the State budget will include for local aid.  The Governor’s budget, if passed, would bring an additional $500,000 in local aid to Milton. The Warrant Committee has made a conservative forecast and is assuming no increase in local aid. The House Ways and Means Committee will be coming out with their proposal in a few weeks, so we should have a better idea of Milton’s revenue picture at that time. Once those numbers become more reliable, there will likely be changes made to the final recommendation.

What Should We Do?  First, contact your legislators and ask them to push for local aid in the State FY 14 budget. Because of the constraints of Proposition 2 ½ and because Milton’s tax base is 95% residential, we are very limited in what we can raise locally. Local revenue, outside of the tax base, accounts for less than 6% of Milton’s operating funds (excluding the Water and Sewer accounts). The purpose of Proposition 2½ was to take the burden off the property tax with the understanding that the State would contribute more.  Unfortunately, in real dollars, that has not happened. Milton doesn’t even receive the minimum amount of Chapter 70 School Aid that the State’s formula indicates it should.  The Governor’s budget proposal corrects this but, as we all have heard, funds it through new tax proposals that may not come to pass. In any case, we need to continue to make the case for State Aid to Milton.

Second, consider running for Town Meeting. Once the revenue picture becomes more settled, the ultimate decision of how much the Schools will get will be made there.  If we get more State aid, particularly Education aid, it will need a vote of Town Meeting for the Schools to receive any.

What Else is Out There? Sequestration.  The across the board spending cuts will not hit Education aid until July.  That being said, we would expect approximately 6% cuts in Federal Education aid, most notably our Special Education aid and our Title I aid. Together these bring Milton approximately $1.5 million dollars in grants.  A 6% cut is potentially the loss of another $90,000 to the Schools.  Additionally, through our Special Education program, the Schools are a Medicaid provider and Medicaid is partially supported through Federal funds. Sequestration would bring an anticipated 2% reduction in our Medicaid reimbursement, costing us another $25,000 next year. These cuts will be damaging because the services they fund will still need to be provided.  We would have to make reductions in other areas to make up for these losses.  We will have to stay tuned to see if the Congress can sort this out before the cuts hit Milton.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last meeting, held on February 6th. The meeting scheduled for February 27th has been rescheduled to March 6th. Below is a summary:

February 6th: This meeting began with the news that the Milton Foundation for Education, along with the Copeland Family Foundation, has funded the installation of wireless infrastructure in all six Milton Public Schools. This will come at no cost to the taxpayers and should be fully operation in all schools by September.

Next, Cunningham Principal Jonathan Redden appeared with the Cunningham Site Council to present the School Improvement Plan. The group discussed recent events in the schools, along with curriculum development, student engagement and achievement, and some of the innovative technological programs being piloted at Cunningham. To see the plan, click here:

http://www.miltonps.org/documents/CunninghamSchoolImprPlanrevision.pdf

To see the presentation, click here:

http://www.miltonps.org/documents/Feb6CunninghamSitecouncilPDF.pdf

Next, the Committee had a first reading of Policy JFAA (Residency) and made a few minor revisions. They also voted to re-approve Policy JGA (Grade One Assignment), again with minor revisions.

As part of the Finance Subcommittee report, members discussed the FY14 Cut/Reduction List. After discussion, it was decided any vote on this list would be delayed until after the Warrant Committee’s recommendations.

They also went over the FY14 Fee Schedule. Fees for Full Day Kindergarten tuition, athletic fees, summer enrichment programs, facility rentals and several other Milton Public School programs will be increased during the FY 13-14 school year. The Fee Schedule was divided into two parts, and both schedules were approved.

The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 6th at 7 pm in the Milton High School library.

CURRICULUM NEWS

We have some great news. Three of our schools will be sending teams to compete at the state level with the Future Problem Solving program.

One middle school team, coached by Jen Gilbert and Nicole Hoyceanyls, one Collicot team coached by Anna Higgins and one Glover team coached by Christina Reynolds will be headed to the FPS State Bowl on Saturday, March 23 at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

In addition, Pierce seventh-grader Timothy Karoff’s Future Problem Solvers essay took second place in the Middle Division for Massachusetts. Timothy has been invited to attend an awards ceremony this month at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  Future Problem Solving poses a challenging topic for teams to tackle each year. The topic for the State Bowl is “Ocean Soup.” Here is a brief synopsis:

In the North Pacific, a large area known as the Garbage Patch has become “ocean soup” and is so polluted by remnants of plastic that samples show 48 parts plastic for every part of plankton. As the plastics drift further and further into the Garbage Patch, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces like confetti and cannot be tracked from the air. These floating fragments accumulate the manufactured poisons that are not water-soluble. Plastics have entangled birds and turned up in the bellies of fish. One paper cited by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated 100,000 marine mammals die of trash related deaths each year. NOAA has been contacted regarding cleanup of the debris in the Garbage Patch and other areas of the North Pacific; however, cleanup is likely to be difficult. What might happen to the food chain if action is not taken to clean up the ocean soup? What is the future of our oceans if plastics continue to contaminate the waters and wildlife?

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 This year’s winner of the Annual Pierce Middle School Spelling Bee was seventh-grader Sean Ehrlich. One team-level winner from each grade entered the contest, and the bee lasted 26 rounds. Congratulations also to runner-up Ryan Au. Sean will attend the Regional Bee, which will be held on March 23rd at Derby Academy in Hingham.

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I would like to commend one of our high school biology teachers, Amy Tom, who recently hosted a group of professors from MIT to see the work our students are doing on an innovative new program, Biograph.  Biograph is a National Science Foundation funded, multi-year research study designed to improve introductory biology learning in high school classrooms.  It is about facilitating introductory biology learning through an understanding of complex systems which is supported by computational thinking.  Project partners include the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and Boston-metro area teachers and students.

Ms. Tom is currently implanting Biograph in her freshmen biology classes.  The students will complete five activity modules throughout the school year.  This past week students worked on a module simulating Gene Regulation and Protein Synthesis. Ilana Schoenfeld, Research Manager/Education Content Manager of MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program, along with Liz Ryder, Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and David Reider, Principal Education Design, visited the classroom to see the students work on the simulation and their progress from earlier in the year.  This year’s classes have three more modules to work through in preparation for the biology MCAS in June 2013.

Ms. Tom was told that several colleges and universities are looking to implement some of the course work from this program into their first year biology classes at the college level. Our Milton High School students are currently using this material in Freshman Biology classes.

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Hats off to Milton High School junior Tess Deaibes who has been nominated to represent Milton High School at this year’s Girl State Program.  The program is open to girls completing their junior year in high school who are interested in government and current events; have high moral character; strong leadership abilities; above average scholastic standing; and a desire to attend the Girls State program.  The program is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary and will take place in late June at Stonehill College in Easton.  The program aims to develop leadership and pride in American citizens; educate young people about our system of government; and instill a greater understanding of American traditions. A member of the American Legion Auxiliary Morrisette Post nominated Tess after seeing her in action as a volunteer at the Braintree Food Pantry.

Two additional Milton High girls will be nominated to attend Girls State this year as well a total of three Milton High Boys who will be nominated to Boys State, which is sponsored by the American Legion. The nomination process is currently underway.

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 Congratulations to Milton High Senior Ellen Chow. She has been selected as the winner of the 2012-13 Classical Association of New England Writing Contest (CANE) for her “engaging and insightful” entry on the Oresteia titled “Kings and Tyrants, Senators and Citizens: Political Power in Myth and History.” This contest was open to all Greek and Latin students from all six New England states.

“This is the highest achievement on a regional level for a Latin or Greek student at the middle- or high-school level,” said Latin teacher Mary Lou Markarian.

The project must be an original work and no assistance can be given by others. Miss Chow has been asked to speak at the annual banquet this month at the University of Connecticut, where she will also be presented with her award.

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The following item was written by Milton High School senior Isabelle Smith.

At the start of February vacation, the Milton High Debate Team competed at the 39th Annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament. Debaters each year fly from all around the country, and even around the world, to compete at Harvard–we encountered teams from Florida, Texas, and South Korea.

Two of our varsity teams, juniors Chris Ricciuti and Jack Caljouw, and junior Chris Dsida and senior Isabelle Smith, attended this highly competitive tournament.

Each team also has to bring a certain number of judges, and parent Suzanne Owens volunteered to judge along with our coach, Mr. Fitzgerald. In our form of debate, a topic is released at the beginning of each month, and then feverishly researched and practiced until the tournament. Not only was the competition especially stiff at the famous Harvard tournament, but the topic was also especially complicated: “The rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States.”

Each round included arguments about international economics, global stability, and geopolitics. The tournament lasted three long days, with preliminary rounds on Saturday and Sunday and finals on Monday. Both our teams finished Sunday with a 3-3 record, which is pretty good for Harvard, but did not qualify us for any final rounds. There is little doubt, however, that our returning juniors will do even better next year.

As exciting as the Harvard Tournament was, the debate rollercoaster only goes up from here. March, the final month of the season, is a very busy month for the Milton High School debate team. We have three tournaments on three successive weekends. Two of our varsity teams will attend the Catholic Forensics League Qualifying Tournament on March 10th, hoping to win a bid to the National Catholic Tournament. This is Milton’s first year competing in the Catholic Forensics League. On March16th we have our last local tournament before states, held in Needham.

Finally, in the exciting season finale, the Massachusetts State Debate Tournament will be held on March 23rd at Milton High School. This is our first time hosting a tournament, and we are quite excited. Several hundred students from around the state are expected to swarm the school on the 23rd, competing in various debate events including Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, Congress, and our personal favorite, Public Forum.

We anticipate everything going smoothly thanks to the many parent and student volunteers that have been helping us organize this logistically daunting tournament. We have had a great season, and we expect to see many of our increasingly formidable debaters qualify and excel at states.

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 On February 25th, the Cunningham and Collicot Schools hosted motivational speaker Travis Roy. Mr. Roy came to the school to address the fourth- and fifth-graders from all four of Milton’s elementary schools.

A former hockey player for Boston University, Mr. Roy is a quadriplegic and author of the book, Eleven Seconds. He spoke to the students about setting goals, perseverance, compassion and personal character.  He spoke about spending the past 17 years in a wheelchair and how his life has changed, but also how he is still finding ways to challenge himself mentally and physically. Mr. Roy spent time answering questions from the students and encouraged them all to set goals in their lives.

Travis Roy is the founder of the Travis Roy Foundation, an organization which helps to fund research for spinal cord injuries, as well as funding wheelchairs, ramps and equipment for disabled people. To learn more about his work, click here: http://www.travisroyfoundation.org

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 The month of March is National Youth Art Month and National Music in Our Schools Month. Following is a list of upcoming events to celebrate both events:

March 1st-3rd  Massachusetts All State Conference and Music Festival. MHS students accepted to festival perform at Symphony Hall; PMS Grade 7 Select Treble Chorus performs at All State Conference, directed by Dawn Sykes

March 5th Tucker School, Grade K-2 Concert, 9:15 a.m.

March 7th Collicot School, gr. K-2 Concert, 9:15 a.m.

March 7th Grades 5-12 String Ensemble Concert, MHS auditorium, 7 p.m.

March 8th-9th Eastern Jr. District (grade 7-9) Festival at Lincoln-Sudbury High School. MHS and PMS students accepted to festival perform, Colleen Martin, Chorus Asst. Manager; David Adams, Jazz Asst. Manager

March 9th National Art Education Association National Convention, Fort Worth, Texas. Sarah Ryan will co-present a session: Artist/ Researcher/Teacher

March 11th & 13th Grades 6-12 Chorus Concert, MHS auditorium, 7 p.m.

March 13th Cunningham School, grade  K-2 Concert, 9:15 a.m.

March 14th Pierce Youth Art Month Art Fair, grades 6-8, PMS Library, 5-7 p.m.

March  15th Glover School, gr. K-2 Concert, 9:15 a.m.

March 15th ACE Art Fair, gr. 5-8, PMS library, 5-7 p.m.

March 21st-22nd MHS Faculty/Staff Talent Show, MHS auditorium, 7 p.m.

March 27th Grades 5-12 Concert Band Concert, MHS auditorium, 7 p.m

***Save the date for the K-12 Art Fair May 1 – 2 in the MHS Copeland Field House***

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 Marcia Uretsky, the principal of Tucker Elementary School, recently received a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education lauding not only her achievement of being one of the states Commendation School Principals, but also to let her know that the Tucker school was included in the recently released report, Reflecting on Success: A Synthesis of Effective Practices of Title I Commendation Schools Receiving Dissemination Grants.

This report was developed based on observations, stories and data that she shared with researchers studying the Title I Commendation Schools Regional Dissemination Grant program.

This grant project made valuable contributions to understanding the common approaches and core strategies to which Commendation Schools attribute their improvement. It also helps shape understanding of the unique benefits (and challenges) of providing districts and schools with opportunities to partner with one another to share effective practices.

Highlights from this report were recently presented at the Urban Superintendents Network.  The report was also highlighted in the February edition of the “Commissioner’s Weekly Update”, which is sent to district superintendents across the state along with a link to the report on the ESE Website (available here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/research/reports/2013-01CommendationSchools.pdf)

UPCOMING EVENTS

Students from all four Milton Public Elementary Schools will attend Step Up Day at Pierce Middle School on Thursday, March 7th, from 9:30-10:30 am.

This day is designed for students to visit the Pierce Middle School, meet Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal and Mrs. Lisa Veldran,  Guidance Counselor as well as other administrators and staff.

In addition, students will be treated to a performance by some of our very talented students, learn about the Pierce Middle School experience, and have the opportunity to ask questions. Students and their parents from Milton’s private and parochial schools are most welcome to attend as well. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Spaulding at kspaulding@miltonps.org or 617-696-4568 ext. 1102.

* * *

Parents/guardians of current 4th and 5th grade students are invited to join us at the Pierce Middle School on Tuesday, March 12th at 6:00 pm in the auditorium to learn more about the enriching programs Pierce Middle School has to offer.

Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal, will be joined by curriculum coordinators, next year’s sixth grade guidance counselor, Mrs. Veldran, and other Pierce administrators to describe the Pierce Middle School curriculum, extra-curricula opportunities, and ways for your student and you to become involved. There will be time at the end of the evening for parents/guardians to ask questions.

[Please note:  This is a “repeat performance” of the Pierce Information Night that was held in December.]  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Spaulding at kspaulding@miltonps.org or 617-696-4568 ext. 1102.

* * *

The new date for the Walkathon is Wednesday March 13th at 2:30 pm in the Copeland Field House.

All proceeds will go to the Milton High School Activities Fund to help the athletic department pay for sports and also to fund clubs. Without this fundraising effort, the future of some of our sports teams and clubs may be in jeopardy.

We are also seeking raffle donations and volunteers to help on the day of the walk.   If you would like to make a donation or help in any way, please contact us.  Our students depend on these activities and we know we can depend on you to help ensure that this very important event is a success. For more info, please contact: Kristan Bagley Jones: bagleyjones@comcast.net; Rene Taber: reneofcambridge@gmail.com; Maureen Griffin: griffjm@comcast.net

 * * *

 As part of celebrating Youth Art Month, Pierce Middle School is planning “YAM Art” shows in the Pierce Library. The Pierce Art Show is Thursday, March 14th from 5-7 and the ACE grades 5-8 (Artistic & Creative Enrichment) Show is Friday, March 15th from 5-7.  We are looking forward to seeing you all there!

* * *

 On Saturday, March 16th at 11 am, the Second Annual St. Paddy’s Day Milton 5K Road Race will be held starting and ending at Cunningham Park.

Last year’s race attracted over 100 local runners, and this year more than 200 are expected.  All proceeds will benefit the Milton High School Rugby Club.  Now in its third year the Rugby Club is a varsity sport and is predicted to be the top team in Division II Eastern Mass this spring.

Come on out and support Milton High School Athletics.  Professional timing will be provided by Spitler Race Timing.  Trophies and medals will be awarded in 3 categories, male and female, ages 18 and under, Open, and Masters.  $25 pre-registration includes free road race T shirt.  Day of race registration is $25 with Ts available for purchase.  Get your green on and help chase the snakes out of Milton!  Costumes encouraged. Prizes for best costumes.Go to www.StPaddysDayMilton5k.com for registration information, or http://www.active.com/running/milton-ma/st-paddys-day-milton-5k-2013

* * *

 As mentioned above as part of the art and music listings, our Milton High School Faculty/Staff Talent Show will be held on Thursday, March 21st and Friday, March 22nd in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at 7 pm.  This is a great night of fun for student, parents, guardians and faculty, and it is also a great fundraiser for athletics, clubs and activities. Please join us.

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

 The following item was submitted by Jerry Vitti, president of the Milton Parent Advisory Council (Milton PAC).

In response to parent concerns, PAC leadership met with the administration about a month ago to discuss Extended Year Services (Summer Services).  We had many questions, and while we came away with a better understanding of the administration’s approach, we expressed concerns about both the approach and the process used in the evaluation and eligibility for EYS.

Since that meeting, we continue to hear from parents. In response, members of the PAC leadership have been working on a letter and FAQ document to help parents understand and advocate around this important issue. Both documents will address parent issues around data collection, criteria, and the information sharing ahead of and at Team meetings and more.  These documents will be the centerpiece of our advocacy.  Thanks to all who have contributed to date. Please contact Jerry Vitti at gvitti@hfihealthcare.com with any information about EYS.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Most of you got your excise tax bills in the mail last week. We are hoping you noticed the “check-off box” at the bottom. This is a great fundraising mechanism for a wonderful group in Milton which helps bring arts and cultural programming into our schools.

The group, M-PACE (Milton Partnership for Arts & Cultural Enrichment), works through the excise tax billing program to request donations.With the cooperation of the Town of Milton Treasurer’s Office, the “check-off” campaign helps to raise funds for field trips to museums, live Shakespeare performances or trips to Boston’s Symphony Hall.

In addition, M-PACE funds bring exciting programs into our schools. For example, they have funded “Historia Antiqua” — a traveling museum of Greek and Roman artifacts; and an interactive geography game show for seventh-graders.

“These experiences allow for personal character growth that benefit the students and our community,” said M-PACE board member Charlotte Streat.

By checking the box on the excise tax form Milton taxpayers can help to keep these types of culturally enriching programs in our public schools.  Community support is essential in keeping these programs operating.

The board of M-PACE is composed of Town Treasurer Jim McAuliffe, Roxanne Musto, Meredith Hall and Charlotte Streat, along with Superintendent Mary Gormley and Assistant Superintendent John Phelan.

For those of you who did not get excise tax forms, or who did not check the box but wish to contribute, checks can be mailed to:

MPACE, PO Box 350, Milton, MA  02186

* * *

 We are hoping that most of our Milton Public Schools community has heard of an incredibly innovative new online charity called DonorsChoose. This is a website where public school teachers post classroom project requests which range from “pencils for poetry to microscopes for mitochondria.”

Many of our teachers have posted requests for funding on this site, and once it is posted, anyone can see the request and choose to donate. Potential donors can search by town, by school, by subject area, or by amount. The breadth of classroom projects is incredible, and we are very proud of our teachers who have utilized this website to bring valuable resources into their classrooms.

Recently, one of our teachers, Bernadette Moonan, posted a request for ten Google Chromebooks for her classroom. She plans to use them to develop technology skills, play educational games, read leveled books and build fluency/comprehension. She also plans to type and “publish” stories written in Writers Workshop, to work technology into the STEM lessons, to access math games, and more.

After less than a month, and several individual donations from classroom parents and others, DirectTV fully funded the remainder of the request (more than $1,000) and the teaching tools are on their way to Ms. Moonan’s classroom.

Please take a moment to check out this website. It makes an enormous difference to our teachers our students.

www.donorschoose.org

 

MFE

There are still tickets available for Milton Foundation for Education’s annual Celebration for Education. The event is this Saturday, March 9th at 6:30 pm. Tables of 10 are already sold out, but individual tickets are still available. And don’t forget, it’s not too late to purchase a raffle ticket for a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport, or $18,000 in cash. Click here for info and tickets:  https://miltonfoundation.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/LiveWireTechnologyforMiltonPublicSchools/tabid/435861/Default.aspx

* * *

 The following item was submitted by Leslie Collins of the Milton Foundation for Education.

 We are pleased to announce our Spring Grant Cycle. This spring we have made two changes to the guidelines. Due to last year’s Legacy Library Celebration and this year’s Technology Celebration, we will NOT be accepting any grants for books or support technology.  We are excited about funding fun and unique ideas or projects for Milton Public Schools’ classrooms. Please feel free to contact me if you aren’t sure if a proposal is appropriate or have any questions. Please be sure to have all grant proposals reviewed and approved by the appropriate principal and department head.

We look forward to receiving your grant proposals by Thursday, March 21st. 

http://www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Neponset Rowing Club is planning to hold two Open Houses for two different audiences this coming week.

The first one is for current Milton High School students (grades 9-12) and it will be held on Tuesday, March 5th, at 6:30 pm at Milton Public Library (Keys Community Room). This is open to only Milton public high school students who are interested in joining crew for the spring season.

The other Open House is for the Neponset Rowing Club (grades 7-12) for all non-Milton High School students. This is open to Pierce Middle School as well as all private and parochial schools in Milton. This Open House will be held on Wednesday, March 6th at 6:30 pm at Milton Public Library (Keys Community Room).

* * *

 The Milton Parks & Recreation Department is raffling off a handmade rocking horse to benefit their special needs programs.

More information about the raffle and a photo of the rocking horse can be seen by visiting the site below: http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Recreation/Rocking%20Horse%20Raffle%20Flyer.pdf

 * * *

 The Sweetheart Dance that was originally scheduled in February, but postponed due to the blizzard, is being held on Saturday, March 23rd from 6-8 pm at Cunningham Hall.

Milton girls in grades K-5, get your party dresses on, grab your dad, grandpa, best uncle, big brother or favorite neighbor and get ready to kick up your heels at the Sweetheart Dance on March 23rd!  Held from 6 to 8 pm at Cunningham Hall, the dance is a fundraiser for Junior Girl Scout Troop 74134 to raise funds for a trip to New York City in May.  Bring your favorite guy, dress in your favorite outfit and dance to your favorite songs.

The dance is for Milton girls in grades K-5.  Admission is $15 per couple and $5 per extra guest with the tickets sold at the door. Bring a jar of peanut butter or canned good and receive a Sweetheart Dance patch. Refreshments, snacks, raffle tickets, and photos will be available for sale. Contact amijoiner@gmail.com for more information.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was submitted by Sara Truog of the MPL. 

If you are looking for activities for your kids that are varied, fun and free, the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library is the place for you. In addition to our regular preschool story times on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, we have several other upcoming programs for the young people in your life:

Thursday, March 14th 4:00 – 5:00 pm

Happy Birthday, Author!, Ages 4 and up

Each month, Miss Sara invites friends aged 4 and up to join her for a party where we celebrate the birthday of a children’s author with crafts, games and stories.  In March, we will be celebrating Doreen Cronin, the author of such popular titles as Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and Diary of a Fly, among others. Registration for this program is required.  Kids 6 and under should be accompanied by a parent/caregiver.  (Note: a small snack is served at this program)

Friday, March 15th  from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon

Yoga Woga, Ages 3-5

Certified children’s yoga teacher Jill Pokaski Azar will lead children ages 3-5 in this introduction to yoga. Children should wear comfortably loose clothing for the hour-long session.  This class will be the third of four offered on Fridays during the month of March. Separate registration for each week is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Saturday, March 16th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Mad Science: Walloping Weather, Grades K-2

Welcome to the wild world of weather. In this workshop we will be investigating why it rains, what causes lightning, and even how weather can be predicted via a science called meteorology. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Library.

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. Contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

The following item was submitted by Emily Calkins of the MPL:

Celebrate Teen Tech Week at the Milton Public Library from March 10th to 16th. The Teen Services department has a week of activities and events planned, including:

  • Tuesday, March 12th at 7 p.m. Tech-themed teen book club, The book is Erebos, a sci-fi thriller about a malevolent video game by German author Ursula Poznanski. Contact the library to get a copy of the book.
  • Wednesday, March 13th, from 3-5 p.m Retro Game Day,. Play classic video games like the original Mario Bros. on the library’s Wii and computers.
  • Friday, March 15 at 3 p.m. Tech @ the Movies! Teens can vote for their top choice geeky movie on the teen page of library’s website (http://www.miltonlibrary.org/teen.asp). The movie with the most votes will be shown on Friday the 15th.

Daily links, polls, and more on the library’s Teen Space Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MiltonLibraryTeenSpace) For more information about Teen Tech Week, please contact Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian, at 617-698-5757 or ecalkins@ocln.org

VISUAL ARTS

The following item was submitted by the folks at Milton Art Center:

Show us what kind  of world you want  to live in. Why do we want  to know? March is Youth Art Month and we want to shine a light on young artists and art  education in  Milton. The Milton Art  Center (MAC) is collaborating with Milton’s  art teachers and merchants to turn Milton into a town-wide art gallery called “Art in the Windows,” featuring your artwork.

Please send us your  big,  bold  visions  and designs  on  paper  (see entry form for details). All artwork received will be displayed at businesses throughout March.

A panel of judges will select up to six designs to feature on banners around town promoting the arts in our  community (banners generously  sponsored  by the Milton Chamber of Commerce).

MAC will publish an online gallery guide on our website and Facebook page so you can find where your artwork is displayed in town. Drop off or mail your design to the MAC by Saturday March 9th. The MAC is open 3-5:30 on Fridays and Saturdays 9-4: you can also drop off your design at Kumon, 362 Granite Avenue, Milton, MA 02186, Monday through Thursday from 2-7:30.

For every piece of artwork MAC receives, an anonymous donor will donate $1 per piece up to $500 total to benefit MAC’s Saturday Drop-in Art program.

http://miltonfava.tumblr.com/Artinthe%20windows

Art in the Windows entry form: DOWNLOAD

ATHLETICS

Our wrestling team has some good news from their recent meets. It began with the D2 Sectionals held at Whitman Hanson High School in February. Milton High School won 3rd place in the Division with individual awards as follows.

Pete Hailer 170 – Champion

Jonathan Carerra  132 – Champion

Mark Chandler 138-2nd place

Anton Libsch 152- 2nd

Keith Martin 113-2nd

Chula Loomis 160-5th

Alexia Digges 145-5th

Zack Mazarella 285-4th

Junior Mark Chandler received an award for most pins in the shortest amount of time. The team was especially proud when Head Coach Carroll received the Coach of the Year Award by his peers. Performance at the divisional level earned the Milton team an unprecedented 6 entries to the State Finals.

Competing at the State level were: Captains: Pete Hailer, Anton Libsch & Jonathan Carerra, along with Keith Martin, Mark Chandler and Zack Mazarella. Great work!

* * *

Congratulations to Milton High School’s first-ever Swim Club, which just completed its first season. Please read the following, submitted by parent Eileen Heller:

The Milton High Swim Club recently competed in a dual meet against Thayer Academy and St. George’s varsity swim teams and were able to capture a few wins.

Freshman Emma Heller took 1st place in the 200 yard freestyle and 1st place in 50 yard breaststroke. Freshman Leah Corcoran took 4th place in 50 yard butterfly, and 4th place in the 100 yard medley. Freshman Tyler Volpe Knock took 5th place in 50 yard Backstroke. Junior Matt O’Sullivan took 5th place in 50 yard freestyle.

Strong performances were given by the relay teams of Liv Jensen, Rachel Joyce, Matt O’Sullivan, and Elizabeth Murphy for their 200 yard medley relay. The 200 yard freestyle relay which included, Olivia Sidoti, Adam Potter, Rachel Joyce and Liv Jensen also did extremely well. Several of our swimmers were injured or travelling, so the full roster did not compete at the meet. It was a wonderful day with huge smiles at the pool and at our end of the season party.

The roster is: Juniors: Matt O’Sullivan and Adam Potter; Sophomores: Liv Jensen, Olivia Sidoti, Gabrielle Che, Christian Jamal; Freshmen: Rachel Joyce, Tyler Volpe Knock, Emily Dsida, Nolan Carvahlo, Elizabeth Murphy, Kristen Rundlett, and team captains: Leah Corcoran, and Emma Heller.

We are very thankful for all of your support and looking forward to continuing to build this swim team. For more information about the Swim Club, please contact Eileen Heller at eaheller@comcast.net

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Student: I would like to congratulate Milton High School Senior Ellen Chow. As I mentioned above, Ms. Chow was selected as the winner of the 2012-13 Classical Association of New England Writing Contest (CANE). This contest was open to all Greek and Latin students from all six New England states. In addition, Ms. Chow has been a top student at Milton High School and is very deserving of recognition. Great job!

Staff: I would like to commend Sarah Ryan, an elementary art teacher at the Tucker School. Ms. Ryan will co-present a session at the National Art Education Association’s National Convention being held in Fort Worth, Texas from March 7th to March 10th. Her presentation will be on “Artist/Researcher/Teacher: Building Community through collaborative reflection and data collection in Graduate Studio-Art based research.” This is an incredible honor and we are very proud of her. I am sure she will have a positive impact on her colleagues at this event.

Volunteer: Kudos to the group of parents who helped to get the Pierce Middle School Science Fair off the ground. The event was held on Thursday, February 28th and was a giant success.  Many thanks to parent volunteers Kelly Kenz Carr, Amy Flanagan, John Karoff, Dr. Marius Solomon, David Taugher and Ann Finnegan.

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.

 

Grade One Program Information

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Feb• 20•13

Below is information regarding the grade one programs offered by the Milton Public Schools.

Grade One Program Assignment Timeline

  1. Grade One Information Night – February 12, 2013
  2. Grade One Program Selection Forms distributed to families – February 13, 2013
  3. Grade One Program Selection forms due to school offices – March 1, 2013
  4. School Based Lotteries for French Immersion (if necessary) – Week of March 4th
  5. Program Assignments Communicated to Families – Week of March 11th
  6. Teacher Assignments Communicated to Families – August 2013

 

Grade One Information Night

Agenda

  1. Welcome & Introductions
  2. Common Curriculum
    1. English
      1. Including Spanish and STEM Innovation Challenge
  3. French Immersion
  4. Timeline – Next Steps

 Presentation

View the presentation by clicking here.

 

Grade One Curriculum Information

View the grade one curriculum here.  The entire K-12 curriculum for the Milton Public Schools is posted online and is an excellent resource for parents who would like to better understand what a student “should know and be able to do” after completing a grade level or a course.

 

Grade One Classroom Snapshot Videos

Click here to view our Grade 1 Elementary Spanish in action video!

Click here to view our Grade 1 Mathematics (English) in action video!

Click here to view our Grade 1 Mathematics (French Immersion) in action video!

Click here to view our Grade 1 STEM Innovation Challenge in action video! 

Click here to see our Grade 1 ELA in Action video!

 

 

Lottery/Capping Process for French Immersion

Students who select the French Immersion program for grade one are subject to class size limitations at every elementary school.  In the event that demand for French Immersion exceeds the number of French Immersion seats available at a school there will be school based lotteries to determine which students fill the seats in French Immersion.  This means that some students who select French Immersion may not be able to participate in the program.  Any student who is not placed in the French Immersion program will be assigned to their school for the English Program.  Please click on the links below if you would like more information.

 

February 11th E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Feb• 11•13

School will be open for all grades on Tuesday, February 12th.

A special note from a former Glover elementary school teacher and former Cunningham Elementary School principal who is now your Superintendent!    Three important “events” happen to make this a very special week for all of our Milton Public School students.   First, Valentine’s Day on Thursday, February 14th  is huge in our elementary schools.   Elementary aged children think that every Valentine message was written personally to them!     A Very Happy Valentine’s Day to to each of you and your families!  Secondly, every school aged child/student loves a snow day and let’s hope today is the last snow day of this school year.  Lastly, everyone remembers the excitement of going on school vacation.   A happy and safe school vacation beginning this Friday to each of you and your families.

There are many wonderful organizations in the town of Milton that play a role in the education of our Milton Public School students.   For this newsletter,  I want to highlight the amount of support we are consistently given by the Milton Foundation for Education.

This group’s mission is to provide innovative educational enrichment programs and other supports that extend beyond the reach of the Milton Public School system’s budget. Their board and their members are comprised of Milton residents who work very hard to strengthen Milton’s students’ ability to learn, grow and achieve through educational innovation and excellence.   They have raised and invested more than $2.5 million since they were founded in 1995.

At our most recent School Committee meeting, representatives from the MFE announced that they will be funding, in partnership with the Copeland Family Foundation, the installation of universal wireless infrastructure in all six Milton Public Schools. This is an incredible gift and we are very grateful to both the MFE and the Copelands. Please see my item below under “MFE” for more information on this generous donation.

The MFE is hosting its annual “Celebration for Education” in March, and we urge all of our parents/guardians, faculty and staff to attend. This year’s theme is “Live Wire,” and funds raised will be earmarked for technology in our schools. This is a fun and inspiring event that is sure to offer something for everyone. Live and silent auctions, great food and dancing will all take place at the Celebration which will be held at the Boston Marriott in Quincy on Saturday, March 9th.  Tickets can be purchased online at: http://www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org

The MFE is making the final push to sell tickets for the Jeep Raffle. The Milton Foundation for Education 2013 Jeep Raffle is well underway, and only 500 tickets will be sold for a chance to win a brand new Jeep Wrangler Sport  or $18,000 in cash.

Sponsored By Planet Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, the grand prize will be raffled off at the Celebration. Tickets are $100 each. For more information, click here: http://www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org/documents/MFEraffleFINAL2_000.pdf.  Tickets can also be purchased in each of our school offices.

Last year’s MFE Celebration funds targeted to the elementary level created the  2012′s Legacy Library Initiative which has allowed the Milton Public Schools to purchase books for K-5 classroom libraries for all of our  elementary classrooms.   The purpose of this amazing initiative was to enhance and build a foundation for equipping classroom libraries with a varied, high-quality, grade level selection of books across all genres with a focus on informational texts.   We are deeply thankful for the MFE’s generous gift of getting more books in the hands of our children/students.    Every elementary parent/guardian, please ask your child and his/her teacher about this extraordinary addition to each and every Milton Public School elementary classroom.     Funds from last year’s Celebration were also targeted to the Pierce Middle School library and video equipment at Milton High School.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast. Below is a summary of the February 6th meeting:

This meeting began with an announcement by Don Greene and Margaret Eberhardt of the Milton Foundation for Education. The pair announced that the MFE, along with the Copeland Family Foundation, will be funding the installation of full wireless infrastructure in each of the six Milton Public School buildings. School Committee members were very appreciative of this news, and thanked both the MFE and the Copelands.

There was also a presentation made by the Cunningham Site Council, led by Principal Jonathan Redden. This presentation included data on student achievement and the Cunningham’s work towards meeting the district’s core values and the improvement initiatives being developed at every grade level.  Literacy Libraries, Readers’ Workshops, and student support teams were all discussed. School Committee members congratulated Mr. Redden and the Site Council on the presentation.

School Committee members agreed to hold off the vote on the FY14 Cut/Reduction list until after the Warrant Committee meeting.

The FY14 Fee Schedule was discussed, and there was a motion to divide this proposal into two parts: general fees and athletic fees. Members voted unanimously to approve the proposed fee increases district-wide; and voted 4-2 to approve increasing athletic fees at Milton High School.

Members voted to re-approve the Grade One Assignment Policy with a few minor changes to address the timeline of the lottery/lotteries.

The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 27th.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Kindergarten registration appointments begin Tuesday, February 12th at Milton High School.  Students must be 5 years of age on or before August 31, 2013.  For more information, visit our registration site.

***

Grade 1 Information Night is Tuesday, February 12th at 7pm.  The meetings are held in every Elementary school.  Information on the program choices for grade 1 will be presented.  View the PowerPoint presentation in advance.

***

We are pleased to announce the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards 2013 Winners

Milton High School Winners: 

The Gold Key is the highest level of achievement on the regional level. Approximately 7 – 10% of all regional submissions are recognized with Gold Key Awards and all are considered for National-level recognition and will go on to compete at the National Level.

Daniel Nabi – Two Gold Keys — one for his Photography Portfolio and one for his Photograph “On the Corner,” both submitted by Ms. Hughes

Charlotte O’Neill – Two Gold Keys — one for her Photography Portfolio and one for her Photograph “London 8, Lumier,” both submitted by Ms. Hughes

Amanda Liberty – Gold Key for her Art Portfolio submitted by Ms. Hughes

Dilanna Morrison – Gold Key for her Photography Portfolio submitted by Ms. Hughes.

The Silver Key is awarded to approximately 10 – 15% of all regional submissions.

Amanda Liberty –Silver Key for her Mixed Media/Altered Book “Boston is My Hometown” submitted by Ms. Hughes

Julia Clark – Silver Key for her drawing “Dandelion Crown” submitted by Ms. Hughes

Cara Genduso – Silver Key for her drawing “The Man” submitted by Ms. Derby

Madeleine Lachevere – Silver Key for her Drawing “Focus” submitted by Ms. Derby

Johance Liverpool – Silver Key for her drawing submitted by Ms. Derby.

The Honorable Mention recognizes students with artistic potential and is awarded to approximately 15 – 20% of all regional submissions. Unfortunately due to space limitations, only Gold and Silver Winning Artwork will be displayed at the State Exhibition.

Kati Bomback – Honorable Mention for her Mixed Media “Falling with Style” submitted by Ms. Derby

Julia Clark – Honorable Mention for her Oil Painting “Julia” submitted by Ms. Hughes

Cara Genduso – Honorable Mention for her Drawing “Stella” submitted by Ms. Derby

Casey Glynn – Honorable Mention for her Painting submitted by Ms. Hughes

Julia Keohane – Honorable Mention for her Drawing submitted by Ms. Hughes

Joshua Kery – Honorable Mention for his Drawing “Basketball” submitted by Ms. Derby

Dillana Morrison – Honorable Mention for her Photograph submitted by Ms. Hughes

Hanna Musgrove – Honorable Mention for her Painting submitted by Ms. Hughes

Olivia Phelan – Honorable Mention for her Oil Painting “Woman Seated” submitted by Ms. Hughes

Pierce Middle School Winners:

Carmen Cushing – Honorable Mention for Ceramics submitted by Ms. Sherman

James Eder – Honorable Mention for Ceramics submitted by Ms. Sherman & Ms. Thompson

Griffin McLaughlin – Honorable Mention for Printmaking submitted by Ms. Sherman & Ms. Thompson

Jillian Radley – Honorable Mention for Painting submitted by Ms. Thompson

* * *

 On Sunday, March 3rd the Milton High School robotics team is hosting a meet in the Collicot/Cunningham cafeteria.  This is a big meet with 16-18 teams expected.  The Milton team will not compete because we need all hands on deck to run the meet.  By hosting the meet, we can  automatically advance into the next level of tournament play.

We especially need people to help with judging and hardware and software inspection. If you can possibly help,  please let us know as soon as possible. Even if you can only devote an hour or so, that will help as well.

To make this day a success we need volunteers to:

  • Register competitors
  • Referee the competition
  • Supervise the teams
  • Provide technical support on the practice field
  • Keep score
  • Provide music for the day

Volunteers will be given assignments that last from 1 hour to all day.  If you are interested in volunteering,  please contact Marilyn Decker, Director of Science at mdecker@miltonps.org.

 * * *

 The following item was submitted by Ishan Shukla, an 8th grade student at Pierce Middle School:

“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” Until last weekend I didn’t think much about this often-recited quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as my school’s ambassador for Project 351, chaired by Governor Deval Patrick. We recently attended the project kick-off meeting, and the other ambassadors and I took a bus to the State House together.

Governor Patrick gave a speech about how this project upholds the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by having us all come together to help serve the community. Afterwards, we were divided into 3 groups and performed different community service projects. I was chosen to help paint a worn out elementary school in the Greater Boston area. To my surprise, it was really easy, and in just two hours we painted an entire classroom and two other small rooms, because we came together as a group. After our service projects were completed, we returned to the State House, enjoyed dinner together and went home.

Overall, it was a very memorable experience. I look forward to working on more community service projects this year, and I invite others to join me. Together we can accomplish a lot.

 * **

In December, our grade 4 and 5 students participated in the second Continental Mathematics Meet of the year. It is with great pleasure that we publish the names of the students who scored 5 or higher on the meet. As a result of classroom instruction and practice, the number of students receiving these stellar scores has increased dramatically since the first meet. Many students earned a perfect score of 6. Again, congratulations to all who participated:

Collicot: Students with a score of Six: Zachary Vaughn, Clarissa Waldmann, Shea Flanagan, Alex Dhima, Mary Mitchell, Olivia Dimanno, Mayu Joiner, Philip Synnott. Students with a score of Five: Abigail Tran, Ryan Fitzmaurice, Jack Lally, Maureen Lang, Maggie Mitchell, Lucy Sullivan, Miguel Varela, Olivia Ciavattone, Megan Farley, Ryan Cargill, Alexander Malisheski, Kevin Swanton, Andrew Viola, Ethan Aaker, Katherine Biagiotti, Owen Cantillon, Nora Kleiman, Henry Thomsen and Onn Ye Young. Cunningham: Students with a score of Six: Sophie Boucher, George Laing, Jami Milliken, Thomas Hamblet, Emily Steelman. Students with a score of Five: Phan Philip, Eris McCubbin, Bridget Hoey, John McCambell, Emily Abbott, Luke Botsford, Nathaniel Dickens, Emma Driscoll, Ejiroghene Egodogbare, Joshua Riggs, Bryce Stovell, Shaylen Van Gestel, Ata Yalcindag. Glover: Students with a score of Six: Ella O’Hanlon, Luke Baltay, Michael Daly, Caroline Ducharme, Edward Freking, Christina Gioioso, Kelly Mackenzie, Molly Theobald, Aine Buchau, Mary Howley and Sarah Waed. Students with a score of Five: Luca Mustafi, Zoe Malouf, Eden Carvalho, Allison Deegan, Jake Donahoe, Guinevere Ferreira, Ryan Mazzotta, James McNulty, Katherine Polli, Jaqueline Slate, Wyatt Troy, Matthew Creamer, Elizabeth Hall, Cameron Pentland, Taylor Vrettas, Ella Zimmerman, Esme Link and Jackson MacMillan. Tucker: Students with a score of Six: Daniel Truog, Brendan Scott, Earl Tucker. Students with a score of Five: Walker Harris, Oskar Peloquin, Ava Duggan, Vanessa Lordern, Joseph Pezzini, Grace Quijano, Isabelle Richer, Emily Dobrindt, Alisa Lorden, William Reason, Aline Moreau.

Test your skills with sample problems from the November Meet:

Grade 4: Two containers each contain the same amount of water.  When 11 gallons from the first container are poured into the second container, then the second container has twice as much as the first container.  How many gallons of water does the second container have now?  (Answers at bottom of blog)

Grade 5: A barrel full of peanuts weighs 75 pounds.  The same barrel filled with candies weighs 93 pounds.  If the candies weigh twice as much as the peanuts, how many pounds does the barrel weigh when empty?

* * *

The Music Department is thrilled to announce that 37 students from Milton High School were accepted to the Senior SEMSBA Festival; nine of our high school students were accepted to the Junior SEMSBA Festival; and 20 students from Pierce were accepted to the Junior SEMSBA Festival!  Bravo to these 66 students who worked hard to prepare their audition piece, performed all by themselves in front of two adjudicators, and received excellent scores!  Thank you to Mrs. Marinilli and Mr. Werner for being the bus chaperones — also to Dr. Noreen Diamond Burdett, Dawn Sykes and Gary Good. 

Pierce Middle School students accepted to Junior SEMSBA: Chorus:  Julia Butler, Domenic Jancaterino, Katherine Steele, Clara Tennyson, Taylor Burns, James DiSandro, Nicholas Marinilli, Morgan Smith. Strings: Nethania Marc, Allison Reed, Hannah Solomon, Liezel Werner, Noah Simms, Jeremie Carpenter, Isabelle Neville. Band: Emily Possi, Maya Watanabe, Jamie Eder, Isaac Robinson and Ben Val.

Milton High School students accepted to Junior SEMSBA: Chorus: Maryanne MacIsaac, Samantha Antoniewicz, Tatiana Perez, Ben Donahue and Patrick McDonnell. Band: Liam Hines, Dane Matejka, Nira Bullis and Matthew Nolan.

Milton High School students accepted to Senior SEMSBA: Chorus:  Monika Cormack, Bailey McDonnell, Elizabeth O’Connor, Jacqueline Ruscito, Emily Driscoll, Giuliana Giddings, Eliza Trickett, Andrew Flynn, Matthew Wong, Johance Liverpool, Joshuea Ogbuike, Garrett Sager. Strings: Graham Bly, Olivia Done, Ani Gaden, Cara Genduso, Ailsa Jeffries, Madeleine Lachevre, Nikki Lam, Oceane Marescal, Camille Carpenter, Abigail Greenwood, Morgan Kelley, Amiel Marc, Aminzie Marc. Band:  Bethany Knight, Shannon MacLeod, Tansy Massey-Green, Rebekah Mondelus, Dawn Barrett, Madison Peltier, Christine Stafford, Gregory Lynch, Ian Kelly, Victoria Grudem, Will Hess and Phil Wikina.

* * *

 The following item was sent by Barbara Wright, Humanities Department Head at Milton High School.

Students Participate in Axis of Hope:  Milton High students, along with students from Milton Academy and O’Bryant High School, were recently asked to negotiate peace for one of the most volatile areas of the world – the Middle East. Their goal during a one-day workshop was to determine who would control and provide security to Jerusalem, and they were asked to see the issue through the lens of both Israelis and Palestinians. Many were forced to take on positions with which they did not necessarily agree, but each gained a valuable lesson in Middle Eastern history as well as negotiation. 

Twenty freshmen Milton High students traveled to O’Bryant High on February 5th and worked with students from all three schools as part of a program called Axis of Hope, created by Boston University professor Carl Hobert.  Axis of Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and applying negotiation skills to resolve conflict.  Professor Hobert hopes that by bringing students together to practice negotiation skills, they can learn about conflicts around the world but also apply what they have learned in their own lives.

Students arrived early Tuesday morning and joined students they had never met before, and by noon time they were communicating as if they were old friends. As the day went on, students became more animated and enthusiastic in their conversations as their confidence on the issue grew.  Professor Hobert said, “This kind of exercise allows students to improve their communication skills, their comprehension of material they are studying, their ability to compromise, their compassion for others, their creativity, their critical thinking skills – and so much more.”

The partnership between the schools was not a one-day event because there is already conversations about doing the same type of summit again in the spring, maybe around the crisis in Rwanda or US immigration policies.

 * * *

We are pleased to announced our participation in the BoomWriter Technology Heroes Program, a new initiative that helps teachers become “Technology Champions” in their classrooms.  As one of the first school districts in Massachusetts to partner with BoomWriter Media, the Milton Public Schools will engage in a Web-based literacy program aimed at increasing students’ performance levels and interest in reading and writing through the use of technology. The pilot program will enable the entire school district to participate in collaborative book writing events featuring Pebbles from Pebbles’ Reading Rockstars and Hot 96.9 Boston FM Radio.

The Technology Heroes Program will give students a unique opportunity to collaborate with classmates to create stories in a competitive environment and get published. BoomWriter, with the generous support of corporate partners, will convert these stories into published books and give each participating student a copy and the fulfilling thrill of seeing their name in a real book that they helped create with their classmates. The pilot program will also offer all participating schools a chance to win a mini-portable computer lab for their class.

Technology is an incredible resource in our daily lives and as educators we recognize the importance of integrating it into classroom learning. The BoomWriter Technology Heroes Program is an amazing opportunity for our education system to combine curriculum and technology to create an engaging learning experience for students through a platform that prepares them for the future by allowing teachers to cultivate essential 21st Century skills needed to succeed in a tech-savvy society. The BoomWriter Technology Heroes Program is free and easy for teachers to use and incorporate into their curriculum. The BoomWriter Technology Heroes Program is available nationwide and invites school districts, youth organizations and corporations that would like to get involved with the program to visit http://www.boomwriter.com/Home/TechnologyHeroes.

* * *

The following item was submitted by Dr. Noreen Diamond Burdett, our Director of Fine & Applied Arts

The Milton HS Mixed Chorus is singing with the choruses from Hingham HS, Scituate HS, and Braintree HS and will be performing with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.  We are performing the entire Mozart Requiem (80 pages of music!)

We have had our first joint rehearsal with the other choruses – the first rehearsal was at Scituate HS. Then we will rehearse in February at Braintree High; in March at Hingham High, and in April at Milton High.  The concert will be at Sanders Theatre (part of Harvard University) on Tuesday, April 9th.

This is the first time in over 25 years that we have done a combined performance of this magnitude!  It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students.

***

ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES

I would like to keep our Milton Public School community informed of several changes that are taking place at the elementary level.

Drew Echelson, who has been serving as interim principal of the Glover Elementary School, has been offered a Central Office administrative position in another school district. This will be a professional advancement and opportunity for Mr. Echelson and we wish him the best.

Mr. Echelson had been job-sharing the principalship with Stephanie Nephew since the beginning of January and the model was successful. With Mr. Echelson’s departure, I have asked Holly Concannon, Coordinator for our Math (K-5) and Technology (K-8) curriculum to step into the co-principal position with Ms. Nephew.

Both Ms. Nephew and Ms. Concannon are excited and look forward to serving as Glover Elementary School’s co-principals for the remainder of the school year.  In Ms. Concannon, we have a strong educational leader who is familiar to our elementary staff due to her role as Elementary Math & Technology Coordinator.

In order to maintain continuity in the important role of Elementary Math & Technology Coordinator, Ms. Concannon will continue in this position for the Glover and Cunningham schools on the days she is not serving as co-principal. Tucker’s Title One Math teacher, Meredith Kempf, will serve as Elementary Math Coordinator for the Tucker and Collicot schools.

Ms. Kempf and Ms. Concannon will be working closely on curriculum-related issues and will continue to support our districts’ goal of high achievement in math and technology. Ms. Kempf has been with the Milton Public Schools since 2000. She began with us as a Glover classroom teacher before taking on the role of Title One Math Specialist at Tucker in 2011. In addition, Ms. Kempf has served on the district-wide math committee and has been a leader among her peers on math-related issues. I am confident that both of these educators will work with our teachers and students to improve math and technology achievement.

* * *

 I’d also like to share the news with you that Tucker Elementary School Principal, Marcia Uretsky will be leaving Milton. Ms. Uretsky has been offered a principalship of the Lincoln-Eliot Elementary School in the Newton Public School district and will be leaving Milton at the end of this school year.

Ms. Uretsky has been leading the Tucker school since 2009 and has worked tirelessly to promote high achievement for all Tucker students since that time. She has been an integral part of our leadership team and has been a steady and supportive voice for Tucker staff, students, parents and guardians through the years. She will be missed. I would like to wish Ms. Uretsky great success in her new position. I wish the best of luck to her and her family and I am grateful for her dedication to both the Tucker Elementary School and the Milton Public Schools.

A Screening Committee including parents/guardians, staff, administrators, the Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent will be formed.  The Screening Committee will review applications, select candidates to be interviewed, interview candidates and forward the names of finalists to the Superintendent.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, the dates 0f the screening sessions are as follows:  Tuesday, March 26th from 8:30am to 10:30am; Thursday, March 28th from 8:30am to 10:30am; Tuesday, April 2nd from 8:30am to 4:00pm; and Thursday, April 4th from 8:30am to 4:00pm.

Any parent/guardian interested in serving on this important Screening Committee should contact Tucker PTO President Kerri Peloquin at kerri.peloquin@comcast.net by Tuesday, February 19th.

Staff interested in serving should contact Margaret Gibbons at mgibbons@miltonps.org by February 19th.

* * *

Also, we recently announced that Matt Gillis, our Assistant Superintendent for Business, will be leaving Milton to accept a position in the Hull Public Schools. Mr. Gillis was a dedicated and hardworking member of the leadership team and we wish him well in his new job. We are pleased to inform you that Edward Kazanjian, Retired Assistant Superintendent for Business in the Westwood Public Schools, has been hired as Interim Assistant Superintendent while we conduct a search for this position. Mr. Kazanjiam has experience in Brookline and Billerica Public Schools and is very well-qualified for this position.

A Screening Committee including parents/guardians, staff, School Committee representative, administrators, the Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent will be formed.     The Screening Committee will review applications, select candidates to be interviewed, interview candidates and forward the names of finalists to the Superintendent.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, the dates 0f the screening sessions are as follows:  Wednesday, March 13th from 8:30am to 10:30am; Friday, March 15th from 8:30am to 10:30am; Tuesday, March 19th from 8:30am to 4:00pm; and Thursday, March 21st from 8:30am to 4:00pm.

Any parent/guardian interested in serving on this important Screening Committee should contact Charlene Roche at croche@miltonps.org by Tuesday, February 19th.

Staff interested in serving should contact Margaret Gibbons at mgibbons@miltonps.org by February 19th.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Glover, Tucker, Cunningham & Collicot PTO’s present Family Movie Night at Milton High School Friday, February 15th at 7pm. Only $5 per person (with a $20 family maximum) gets you a snack, a G-rated movie and a fun night out for the whole family.

Discover The Secret World Of Arrietty where your imagination comes to life! The studio that brought you Ponyo and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away once again delivers a heartwarming tale of friendship and courage in beautiful animation!   This movie is based on the award-winning novel, “The Borrowers.” In a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people called Borrowers live quietly among us. But when tenacious and tiny Arrietty is discovered by Shawn, a human boy, their secret and forbidden friendship blossoms into an extraordinary adventure. Voted in the Top 5 Children’s Movies of 2012.

 * * *

Travis Roy is speaking to all Milton Public School 4th and 5th graders at Milton High School on Monday, February 25th at 9:15 am.

Mr. Roy is a motivational speaker, author and activist. He wrote the book, Eleven Seconds, A Story of Tragedy, Courage, and Triumph, and also founded the Travis Roy Foundation, which has raised over $4.5 million to improve the lives of spinal cord injury survivors and fund medical research.

The topic of Travis’ presentation revolves around the following theme: There are times in our life when we choose our challenges, and other times when the challenges simply choose us, it is what we do in the face of those challenges that defines who we are, and more importantly, who we can and will become. 

This event is funded by all four elementary school PTO’s.

* * *

On Tuesday February 26th at 6:30 PM The Milton Master Plan Committee will hold the second Community Visioning Forum at Cunningham Hall, 75 Edge Hill Road.  All stakeholders are welcome to come and share thoughts, concerns, hopes and ideas.

* * *

Milton High School’s Dramatics Society will present Peter Shaffer’s “Black Comedy” on Thursday, February 28th, at 7 pm at the Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. The show is a romantic farce set in 1960′s London, appropriate for middle and high school students. Come and see our award-winning cast in their only pre-Festival performance of 2013! Tickets are available at the door. Pierce Players are especially welcome!

The cast and crew are bringing this show to the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Festival on March 2nd, at Brookline High School. Performance time there is 3 pm. Admission is $10.00 and you will be admitted only between shows. Come and support our home town talent!

Don’t miss this wonderful evening of theater!

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was submitted by Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian at Milton Public Library:

On Wednesday, February 13th at 3:30 p.m., the Milton Public Library will host “Give Me Some Credit,” a financial education program for middle and high school students. Ms. Money’s “Give Me Some Credit!” is an educational, interactive game show designed to teach students about money, credit and interest. “Give Me Some Credit” illustrates how earning money before spending it leads you down a path to financial freedom!

Admission to the program is free; the program is open to students in grades 6-9. This program is sponsored by the Milton Junior Women’s Club. The library is located at 476 Canton Ave. For more information about this and other programs for pre-teens and teens, please contact Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian, at 617-698-5757 or ecalkins@ocln.org.

 The following item was submitted by Sarah Truog, Assistant Children’s Librarian at Milton Public Library: 

Come to the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library during February Vacation Week!  We have many activities planned to keep your young friends of all ages busy.

Tuesday, February 19th, from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Happy Birthday, Author!, All Ages

Each month, the Children’s Room invites our friends to join us for a party where we celebrate the birthday of a children’s author.  In February, we will be celebrating Megan McDonald, the author of the popular Judy Moody and Stink series.  We will be warming things up in the winter by showing the popular 2011 movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.  No registration required.  Kids 8 and under should be accompanied by a parent/caregiver.  (Note: a small snack is served at this program)

Wednesday, February 20th, from 10:00 – 11:00 am

Performance by MamaSteph, All Ages

Come sing away the winter blahs with MamaSteph (a.k.a. Stephanie Chase). She has come to the library before and always plays to a full house; check out her website at www.mamasteph.com for a preview. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Registration is required.

Wednesday, February 20th, from 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Poetry Fun Workshop, Grades 3-5

What is a poem? A poem can be like a photograph: a quick snapshot of a moment in time. Some poems rhyme, some are silly, and some are long.  With poetry, there are no rules!  Come to this afternoon workshop, led by Milton resident Amy Mills, where we will read some short poems by poets like William Carlos Williams and Langston Hughes and then we will create our own short poems to express our imaginations or our emotions, ideas, dreams, and memories. At the end of the workshop, parents will be invited to listen to children read their works “open-mic” style.  For kids in grades 3-5.  Registration is required.

Thursday, February 21st, from 2:00 – 2:45 pm

George Capaccio: Storyteller, All Ages
Fun Folktales for the Whole Family - but especially for grades K-5 – that’s what storyteller Ceorge Capaccio will be bringing with him today. Folk tales are traditional stories handed down through generations that teach the things that matter to each culture. We tend to think that stories are “just for little kids” but stories are for everyone because they have things of importance to teach to us all. Come prepared for a time of wonder. Registration required.

Friday, February 2nd, from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

Family Game Time
Drop in and spend some time playing board games. Our selections include Scrabble Junior, Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Monopoly, Clue, and more. Or bring along a family favorite and some friends to share it. Board games have a long history in Massachusetts. Did you know that both Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley got their start here? Come on by for some family fun.  No registration required.

Friday, February 22nd, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Art with Ginny, Gr.3-5
Join Ginny Brearley for some fun with art, and go home with your very own masterpiece. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library; registration is required.

Saturday, February 23rd, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Bookbusters Book Club, Gr.3-5
The Bookbusters is a book club for boys and girls in grades 3-5.  Led by Miss Sara, group participants are asked to read a book in advance of the meeting, then come together to talk about it with their peers.  The book we are reading for February is Everest: The Contest by Gordon Korman.  Copies are available at the Children’s Room desk, or by placing a hold at www.miltonlibrary.org.  Come join us to discuss this story about kids who compete to become the youngest person ever to climb Mount Everest.  Registration is required.

And of course, don’t forget our regular preschool storytimes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, which continue through the month. 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. Contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

VISUAL ARTS

The Milton Art Center (MAC) is collaborating with Milton’s art teachers and merchants to turn Milton into a town-wide art gallery called ART IN THE WINDOWS featuring your artwork.

Interested students under the age of 18 can submit their artwork design for an opportunity to be showcased on banners around town. The Milton Chamber of Commerce and Milton Art Center are sponsoring an  art contest with the theme of WHAT KIND OF WORLD DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN? Visit www.miltonartcenter.org for contest rules and entry form. Drop off or mail your design to the MAC by Thursday, February 28th.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

The following item was submitted by members of the Milton Foundation for Education.

 MFE Announces Ambitious Plan to Introduce Universal, Secure Wireless Access to All Six Milton Public Schools

 The Board of Trustees of the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) announced its commitment to install a universal wireless infrastructure in all six Milton Public Schools. The plan was unveiled at a recent Milton School Committee meeting and announced on behalf of the MFE and the Copeland Family Foundation, which has partnered with the MFE to allow the Milton Public Schools (MPS) to take the critical first step in providing digital education in the Milton Public Schools.  According to MFE President Margaret Eberhardt, “The MFE is proud to join with the Copeland Family Foundation in bringing wireless access and the benefits of digital education to the students and teachers of Milton’s schools.  This critical investment continues our longstanding tradition of supporting educational innovation beyond the reach of the MPS budget and is only possible as a result of the generous support of the MFE’s donors and community partners.”  Superintendent of the Milton Public Schools Mary Gormley praised the plan, adding, “This strategic investment is a game changer for our students and faculty.  Wireless access will enable us to bring the full benefits of digital education – personalized education plans, collaborative peer learning, curriculum innovation, real-time continuous improvement principles – which will help our students reach their full educational potential while introducing them to the technology and tools that have become the new standard in work and higher educational settings.”

What will this mean for our students? 

Wireless access in the Milton Schools will enable teachers and students to expand upon Milton’s longstanding tradition of providing high quality, innovative education. Increasingly complex student needs, rapidly evolving learning requirements and budget pressures have prevented MPS from taking advantage of digital learning to improve our 4,000 students’ educational outcomes until now. Capturing the promise of digital education will allow for personalized learning (each student at his/her own pace and addressing special needs), access to innovative learning resources including tablets and educational applications,  collaborative learning among teachers sharing curricula and strategies, real-time collaborative learning projects for students, and continuous improvement principles.  This investment will contribute to the education of Milton students well into the future, far beyond the next wave of wireless devices and enhancements.

Community partners  

Inspired by President Barack Obama’s call to communities to embrace technology-integrated learning to the benefit of our students in his National Education Technology Plan, the MFE, led by board member Don Greene, convened a Wireless Technology Advisory Committee in early Fall 2012 charged with investigating the potential of providing wireless access to the Milton Public Schools, the catalytic first step of building out a wireless infrastructure network. “The MFE recognized an unmet need and unique opportunity to impact the educational success of Milton’s students well into the future by bringing wireless access to each of our schools,” Greene explains.  Working closely with Superintendent Gormley and Bob Pattison, MPS’s Information Technology Director, the Committee’s members included education and technology leaders from Curry College (Dennis Thibeault and Bob O’Connell), Milton Academy (Bryan Price and Mike McKenna), Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton (Jean Fernandez), and Boston College High School (Brian Maher), as well as industry experts from Apple and Microsoft.  Greene praised the group, saying “We are so fortunate to live in a town with such strong community partners, willing to lend their expertise, time and energy to ensure our success in bringing the benefits of digital education to our students.  We can’t thank them and their organizations enough for their contributions.”

With wireless access identified as the critical starting point for digital learning, the MFE and MPS have mapped out a strategic plan for implementing system-wide wireless infrastructure in all six Milton schools over the next seven months – in advance of the start of the next school year.  The MFE and MPS have also kicked off a longer range planning process for embedding digital education within Milton’s classrooms, from devices and new curricula to professional development, all of which is being coordinated with MPS’s 5-year capital spending plan.

About the MFE

The Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) is a public charity whose mission is to provide innovative educational enrichment programs and other supports that extend beyond the reach of the Milton Public School (MPS) system’s budget.

MFE has worked closely with the Milton schools since 1995 to invest more than $2,500,000 to strengthen Milton’s students’ ability to learn, grow and achieve through educational innovation and excellence – the hallmarks of the Milton Public Schools.  Each year, the MFE distributes funds to drive educational impact through an array of innovation initiatives.  With its strategic investments of capital, MFE has achieved a number of significant accomplishments in the recent past including:

  • Development of state of the art biotech and media labs at Milton High School
  • Integration of smart-board technology within all six public schools
  • Creation of a Saturday morning academic enrichment program
  • Automation of the school library catalogs across the district
  • Provision of music and the arts equipment & supplies, docents and artists-in residence
  • Integration of experiential Outdoor Classrooms & Peaceful Playgrounds in school curricula
  • Promotion of Anti-Bullying initiatives and Mentoring Programs
  • Equipping all six school gyms with rock walls, treadmills, and other fitness equipment
  • Introduction of Legacy Libraries and innovative Hands-on Science curriculum.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Warrant Committee meetings which were cancelled due to the storm have  been rescheduled. The Warrant Committee will meet Monday, February 11th,and Wednesday, February 13th, in the Carol Blute Conference Room at Town Hall, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will start Monday and carry into Wednesday evening if necessary.

 * * * 

Spring basketball and February Vacation Baseball Clinic signups are underway at Milton Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, please click the link:

http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Recreation/News

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Student: Ishan Shukla, an 8th grade student at Pierce Middle School, was selected to participate in “Project 351,” a statewide project led by Governor Deval Patrick to unite 8th graders from every city and town in the Commonwealth for an inspirational year of community service, leadership development, and enrichment. Through service, leadership development, enrichment, and friendship with a statewide community of peers, Project 351 Ambassadors build skills and confidence, explore issues, embrace leadership, and motivate a lifetime of service. Please read Ishan’s essay above, under “Curriculum News.”

Staff: I would like to thank the hardworking men and women who were part of the clean-up effort after the recent blizzard. It took a great deal of effort to clear the snow from our pathways and parking lots after the storm. This type of project begins even before the first flakes hit the ground, and continues until each of our buildings is accessible. I’d also like to thank Milton’s DPW Director Joe Lynch and all members of the DPW Department, Consolidated Facilities Director Bill Ritchie and all of our school custodians who worked tirelessy to make our streets and schools safe for our children and residents.  They stay in constant contact with me during every storm.

Volunteer:  I would like to give special recognition to Jean Graham for her volunteering efforts at Milton High School.  Ms. Graham spends countless hours assisting in the Guidance Department helping students prepare for the college application process and working with guidance counselors to track community service hours for high school students.  Although Ms. Graham’s children have graduated, she spends almost every day of the week at Milton High School.  Parents, guardians and staff have commented on how invaluable it has been to have Mrs. Graham helping out!

** Answers for Continental Math**

Grade Four:  44 Gallons

Grade Five:  57 Pounds

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.

 

 

 

January 25th E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 25•13

As many of you know, we are in the middle of our budget season. This can be a stressful time for the administration, staff, parents and guardians, especially when the prospect of reducing teachers and staff is discussed.

We have presented our FY14 budget to the Warrant Committee, and while there are still many details to be worked out, it appears that there will have to be some reductions to the FY14 budget. We have put forward three advancement initiatives which include: emphasizing early literacy achievement in grades K-3; closing the proficiency gap in grades K-12; and advancing Science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives K-12.

These advancement initiatives, along with our contractual obligations which include technology costs, special education mandated costs, transportation expenses and facilities expenses would require an additional $2.96 million to maintain our current level of services and programs.

It is never easy to identify areas of the budget that can be reduced, especially in a school system in which most of our costs are personnel.  We are working diligently to reduce areas that would have the least impact on our students.

We will be presenting the FY 14 Budget, along with the Reduction/Cut list to our PTOs over the next few weeks.  Click here to view the presentation.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • For parents/guardians of Pierce Middle School and Milton High School students on January 29th the at 7pm in the MHS Library.
  • For parents/guardians of Glover Elementary School students on January 30th at 7pm in the Glover Library.
  • For parents/guardians of Collicot/Cunningham students on February 4th at 7pm in the Cunningham/Collicot Cafetorium.
  • For parents/guardians of Tucker Elementary School students on February 5th at 7pm in the Tucker Library.

When detailing the FY14 budget to our teachers and staff,  I told them that the town of Milton is its public schools.  The citizens of the town of Milton understand the value of an outstanding public school system.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been two School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. Below is a summary of each:

January 17th: This meeting was scheduled to conduct the interviews for legal firms who would like to represent the Milton School Committee. Preliminary interviews were conducted by a screening committee and this meeting was to interview the final three candidates. Three presentations were scheduled and School Committee members asked a series of questions to each of the finalists. No vote was taken at this meeting.

January 23rd: As part of the Superintendent’s Report, a group of Milton High students came to speak about the upcoming Walkathon taking place on Saturday, February 9th.  Also, Milton High School Principal James Jette came to discuss the recent Professional Development Day and next year’s Program of Studies. On the first topic, Mr. Jette reported that the collaborative planning time was very successful. There were no problems with the early dismissal of students and teachers were very appreciative of the collaborative time. Regarding the Program of Studies, Mr. Jette outlined what courses have been added, deleted or restructured. After a question and answer session, committee members voted to approve the Program of Studies.

After a presentation of the Technology Report by IT Director Bob Pattison, members voted to approve this plan.  An executive session was held in the middle of the agenda to discuss security issues in the school buildings. The meeting returned to open session subsequently. Members voted to request $65,000 from the School Building Committee for security improvements to the schools. They also voted to authorize the chairman and the superintendent to enter into an agreement with a vendor to install card-access doors to each of the MPS school buildings.  Another vote was taken to retain Joseph Emerson as legal counsel for the Milton Public Schools.

Next, the FY14 Cut/Reduction list was discussed.  The reduction list details what cuts may be necessary if the Warrant Committee gives the schools an increase of $1.5 million. Cuts and reductions will be necessary and the administration outlined where these cuts would occur. A level dollar plus $1.5 million would result in $1,467,336 worth of cuts, including the reduction of 20.7 FTEs.

Due to the late hour, the rest of the agenda items were deferred to the next meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6th at 7 pm at Milton High School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Please note: February Vacation is February 18th to the 22nd.

* * *

The Spring 2013 Adult Education brochure has been released.  View the brochure here.  Online registration is open now!  Walk in registration is Tuesday, March 5th & Wednesday, March 6th from 6-8pm in the MHS Main Office.  Classes begin the week of March 11th.

***

The following item was submitted by Mike Matisoff, Milton High School teacher and advisor for the Mock Trial team: 

The Mock Trial team competed this week against Newton Country Day School at Newton District Court. The trial this year is about a murder and Milton was prosecuting.  It was the burden of our 6 attorneys and 3 witnesses to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant from Newton Country Day committed the murder of her great aunt by poisoning her with her own medication.

Unfortunately, we lost the competition by only 2 points!  We scored an 88 out of 100 and NCD scored 90 out of 100 possible points.  Even though we lost the competition, we found the defendant guilty and sent her off to jail, so that was some good news.  Overall, the trial went from 1:50pm to 4:10pm – the entire time the students were on their own.  They relied on each other and were not allowed to speak to their teacher, Mike Matisoff, at all during that time.

We had two students score 9 out of 10 points on their first competition! Gillian Veneto (sophomore) was an attorney cross examining the Defendant and Billy Griffin (sophomore) was our expert witness, a doctor and an expert in pharmacology and toxicology who was testifying about the medical examiner report he filed after performing the autopsy of the victim

Our team overall did an outstanding job and were really disappointed in the loss.   Many of the students doing Mock Trial are also involved in other sports and activities and this is an outlet that is relatively untapped for many.  They learn to compete with their brains, their words, and their studying/preparation. They are articulate, eloquent, and extraordinarily intelligent.   They think on their feet and they act quickly and argue effectively on  the spot.

The amount that this team prepared for this competition with preparation during school hours and the countless hours of after school and evening scrimmages they logged made them take it personally.  Our next competition is on Tuesday, January 29th.  We will be competing again as the Prosecution at Framingham District Court at 2pm against Newton South High School.  The students will also be competing the following Thursday, February 7th vs. Belmont High School at 2pm at Newton District Court. The students involved with the Mock Trial program this year are: Noni Adams, Shakia Cumberbatch, Destiny Edouard, Billy Griffin, Tyler Jarrett, Kervens Jean-Philipp, Dara Kennedy, Sharon Lui, Caroline Maniscalco, Liana Massey-Green, Matthew McCarthy, Saul Nunez, Acadia Ryder, Gillian Veneto, Yamilay Etienne, Javana Samuels, Colin O’Brien, Damaris Sweeney, Mitterand Metayer, Nicholas Juzyca, Matthew Murphy and Catherine Pamphil.

Thank you.  Mike Matisoff

UPCOMING EVENTS

Family Movie Night!!  Join us tonight, Friday, January 25th at 7pm in the Milton High School Auditorium. Glover, Tucker, Cunningham and Collicot PTOs welcome you to a fun night out for all.  For a $5 admission per person (with a family maximum of $20) you will see this fun, G-rated movie and get a snack!  This is NOT a drop-off event.  See event details here.

* * *

This is a reminder that our STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Information Night will be held on Thursday, January 31st from 6:00-7:30 at the Cunningham/Collicot Cafeteria.  This past fall the Milton Public Schools launched a new English STEM program in Grade One. This is an opportunity to learn about the program and our plans for the future. This event is geared towards students in grades K and 1 and their parents/guardians. Pre-registration is required for this event. For details on registration, please contact: Marilyn Decker mdecker@miltonps.org or see the flyer here.

Participants will:

  • Sample hands-on activities from the 1st grade program
  • Learn about the program in grade 2 and beyond
  • Have fun!

* * *

 On Tuesday, February 5th, the Pierce Diversity Committee is hosting Family Fun Night. The night consists of two forty-five minute workshops where students and their family members can learn a new skill, explore a topic, or just have fun! We are looking for parents, family members, and members of the community to run these mini workshops on February 5th. Do you know how to do a craft? Or make healthy food choices? Or do the rumba? Do you play the spoons? Or do floral arrangements? Whatever your talent, we would love for you to share it with the Pierce community on February 5th. We would ask you to run the same session twice. We will limit the number of participants per session using a ticket system. If you are able to assist with the evening, please send me an email to Dr. Karen Spaulding at  kspaulding@miltonps.org. We also encourage you to recruit your neighbors and local business folks- great opportunity to spread the word about a local business!

* * *

 Milton High School will host the annual Cabaret Performances on Wednesday, February 6th at 7pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This is a fun “Talent Show” style event, where our music students can shine. It is sponsored by the Milton High School Music Department.

 * * *

 Milton High School is hosting its Program of Studies Night on Thursday, February 7th at 7 pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. This presentation is for Milton Public School parents and guardians, as well as for Milton residents whose children currently attend private schools and who would like more information about the Milton High School curriculum.

This is an informative evening for parents and guardians, presented by the MHS administration, department heads and the entire Guidance Department. All are welcome, but prospective parents and guardians of Milton High School students are especially encouraged to attend.

General information about the High School curriculum, Program of Studies, leveling practices and course recommendations will be presented.  A question and answer session will be held. Following the presentation, the department heads will be available for more specific questions and building tours will be offered. For more information, please contact the Milton High School Guidance Office at 617-696-4470 x 5530.

* * *

 We have a very important fundraiser coming up soon. Although it is organized by our high school students, a few parent volunteers crafted this letter to raise awareness:

We are writing this letter to ask the Milton community to support MHS students raise funds for the 2013 Milton High School Walk-A-thon for Sports and Clubs. In these tight economic times we know that every dollar counts in our homes, our town, and our schools. Due to budget cuts in the school budget four years ago, eliminating spring sports and clubs at the high school was a very real option.  To avoid those cuts, parents/guardians, community members, local businesses and students organized the first annual MHS Walk-A-Thon which raised enough money to keep all sports, clubs and activities active.

As we approach the 5th Annual MHS Walk-A-Thon on Saturday, February 9th from 1-4pm at Copeland Family Field House, we are once again reaching out to the community that has been generous with this effort in the past. During the next few weeks MHS students and Grade 8 Pierce students will once again be hitting the streets and asking their family, friends and local businesses for their support of the walk. We hope that you will donate any amount you can to support these students. Checks should be made payable to “Milton High School” and be sent to:

Mary Gormley, Superintendent
Milton High School
25 Gile Road
Milton,  MA  02186
Attn:  Walk-a-thon

We are also seeking raffle donations and volunteers to help on the day of the walk.   If you would like to make a donation or help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our students depend on these activities and we know we can depend on you to help ensure that this very important event is a success. For more information, please contact: Kristan Bagley Jones: bagleyjones@comcast.net; Rene Taber: reneofcambridge@gmail.com; Maureen Griffin: griffjm@comcast.net

* * *

 Grade One Information Night will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 7 pm at each of our elementary schools. At this event you will hear about “A day in the life of a first grader” and other information that will assist parents and guardians to make the choice between our World Language programs.  More information will be sent directly to our current Kindergarten families beginning next week.  Information about the STEM program will also be available (see our item on “STEM Info Night” above).

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

Please join us for a Parent Speak round table. This open discussion among parents is being facilitated by Jennie Dunkley, a veteran special education consultant and advocate, and senior trainer for the Federation for Children with Special Needs. If you haven’t seen or met Jennie, you will not be disappointed!  The meeting will take place Wednesday, January 30th @ the Pierce Library from 7-9pm. Please attend if:

  • You live in Milton and your child receives special education services and you want to understand your rights
  •  You want to learn more about special education programs and resources for your family
  • You want to connect with parents who share similar concerns, frustrations, and joys
  • You want to share your knowledge and expertise with other parents
  • Like FREE Admission!

The Milton Special Education Advsory Council (PAC) is led by an elected board of volunteer parents and provides information and support to all families of children receiving special education.  Please e-mail Jerry Vitti, Milton PAC Chair: gvitti@hfihealthcare.com

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Tightening school and town budgets has led to an increase in user fees for Milton High School student/athletes and the need for other sources to fund the school’s athletic programs. One such source is the Field House Banner Initiative which gives businesses, non-profits and other fans of MHS sports the opportunity to advertise in front of the huge crowds that attend events throughout the year at the Copeland Family Field House for as little as $1500, while at the same providing crucial funds for MHS sports programs. The renewal price is half the price of a new banner in Year Two.

The public exposure from these banners is huge. The Copeland Family Field House is occupied most evenings and full nearly every weekend during the school year. Additional upcoming events at the Field House include a State Debate in March that will draw hundreds of visitors and the Archdiocese of Boston Family Weekend that will bring over 2,000 people to the Field House in June and will include a Catholic Mass celebrated by the Cardinal. Throughout the summer months, thousands of spectators assemble at the Copeland Family Field House on weekends and evenings for a wide variety of sporting events and assemblies.

If you or anyone you know is interested in this unique marketing opportunity, please contact Steve Traister: straister@miltonps.org or call Jim McCabe at 617-543-4992.

* * *

 The Boosters are seeking ‘Cans for Cats’ for the Boys Baseball Team. The next Milton High School Boosters “Cans for Cats” can & bottle fundraising drive will be held on Saturday, February 2nd, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Milton High School. The boys baseball team will be at the front entrance of the high school, 25 Gile Road, to collect your 5 cent cans and bottles to redeem them for cash. All funds earned will support the boys baseball program. Please stop by and support your Wildcats with your can donations.

MFE

The following item was submitted by Anne Gatnik and Anacristina Kenney, co-chairs of the Milton Foundation for Education’s Celebration for Education 2013:

Less than two months and counting and we are closing in on the hottest night in town: Celebration for Education 2013 …LiveWire! On Saturday, March 9th, the Quincy Marriott will be abuzz with over 800 Milton Public School supporters getting charged up for technology in our schools. As an insider, we thought you might like to have a quick update of where things stand with our planning. Committees are diligently working to find sponsors and donors, solicit silent and live auction items, pursue marketing opportunities, and create decorations and event programming. If you haven’t gotten involved, but would like to, there is still time. If you simply have an idea or contact, but no time, please let us know and we will do the legwork. For auction, we are specially in need of tickets to events, airline vouchers, and transportation (limousine) companies, but any and all ideas are very much appreciated.  You should expect to receive your invitations by the first week in February.  Again this year we will offer an “early bird” option and an option to purchase tables with a group of friends (10), so start thinking about who you would like to be in your posse.  But wait! There’s more! Raffle tickets are selling fast. The prize is a Jeep Wrangler Sport or $18,000 cash. Only 500 tickets will be sold at $100 apiece so your chances are ridiculously good. Someone is going to win, why not you? Visit miltonfoundationforeducation.org to find out where you may purchase a ticket. More questions? Please contact us at  CFE2013@comcast.net

NEWS AROUND TOWN

 The following item was submitted by Milton’s Master Plan Committee:

Public Forum Reminder: Just three hours of your time this weekend can make a difference to Milton’s future.  We hope we will see you this Saturday, January 26th at 9 am at the Tucker Elementary School for the Master Plan Community Visioning Forum. You will be asked to meet with friends, neighbors and community members to discuss Milton’s future. The forum is designed to allow you to share  ideas about community values, what makes desirable and successful neighborhoods, where and what kind of improvements need to be made, as well as what needs to be preserved. So, please join us this Saturday, January 26th from 9 am to noon for the Master Plan Community Visioning Forum at the Tucker Elementary School, 187 Blue Hills Parkway, Milton. Refreshments will be provided.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY NEWS

The following information was submitted by Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian at Milton Public Library.

 Friday, February 1st, 3-5 p.m. After school movie: Kick-off February with an after school movie! Check out the choices on the Teen Space Facebook page, then cast your vote here.This program is for students in grades 6-12. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Monday, February 11th, 7-8 p.m. Teen book club: I Hunt Killers.  Join the Teen Book Club (ages 13-18) for our monthly meeting and book discussion! This month book is I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. It’s the story of Jasper “Jazz” Dent; he’s a smart, charming 17-year-old who just happens to be the son of an infamous serial killer. His dad’s in prison for life, but before he was locked up, he taught Jasper some of his tricks. Jasper swears he’s not his father, but when a body turns up in his small town, suspicion falls on him. Jazz decides the only way to prove his innocence is to solve the murder – but he’s also got a secret. Could he be more like Dear Old Dad than he’s willing to admit? Put the book on hold here, then read it before the meeting and come prepared to discuss this gripping, stay-up-reading until to 2 in the morning thriller! This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Tuesday, February 12th, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Anime and manga club: Interested in manga, anime, and all things Japanese? Join us for the February meeting of the Milton Public Library’s Teen Anime Club! February is plum blossom season in Japan, so we’ll celebrate the start of spring with a plum blossom craft and plum snacks. We’ll also watch anime and check out the newest additions to the library’s manga collection.This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

For questions about any of these programs or general questions about Teen Services, please contact Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian, at 617-698-5757 or ecalkins@ocln.org

The next set of events was submitted by Sara Truog, Assistant Children’s Librarian: 

 Even though it is the shortest month of the year, February is jam-packed with activity in the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library:

Saturday, February 2nd from 10:30 am to noon: Cooks ‘n Books, Grades K-2.  Miss Debbie will be at the library to share groundhog lore and a tasty recipe with friends in grades K-2. Registration is required.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Saturday, February 9th  from 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Chinese New Year Program, Grades K-3. Our friend Wei Zhou returns to the Children’s Room to offer a special program on the Chinese New Year, which starts February 10.  Come and learn about New Year’s foods, traditions, and children’s games from China.  Stories and crafts will be included.  For kids in grades K-3.  Registration is required.

And of course, don’t forget our regular preschool storytimes, which continue through the month. 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. Contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

VISUAL ARTS

Artspace Milton has announced its winter classes. Offerings include clay, drawing (in French!), a class tailored for the Pre-K set and video. You can find the list of classes here including cost, dates, and times. Sign up today!

* * *

The folks at Milton Art Center are hosting an Open House on Saturday, January 26th from 9 am to noon. Meet the teachers, join in-class demonstrations, participate in Songpaint or Stageplay, and more. Hot chocolate, cookies and marshmallows will be served. They are also accepting registrations for their winter classes, which start the last week of January. For course offerings, click here: http://www.miltonartcenter.org

ATHLETICS

 The following summary of our winter athletics was submitted by Athletic Director Steve Traister:

BOYS BASKETBALL: The MHS Boys Basketball program has completed the first half of their season.  They are 6-4 and find themselves in second place, behind Natick and Wellesley, in the Herget Division with a 5-4 record with 7 conference games remaining.  The wildcats have prided themselves on playing tremendous defense which is quite evident with the fact that they are giving up only 50.4 ppg. Offensively the wildcats are still searching for consistency and are lead by Senior Captain Guard AJ Flanagan with 13ppg.  The Wildcats have also seen major contributions to its current success from the senior class captain Tyler Greene, Jonge DaSilva, Conor Regan, Conor Greaney, Akim Matondo, and Bart Teixeira. Next Games: Friday 1/25 at Needham, Tuesday 1/29 at Weymouth, and Friday 2/1 home vs. Natick all varsity games start at 6:30pm.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: The Girls Basketball team has improved their record to 3-7 with wins over conference rivals Framingham and Norwood.  The recent success is attributed to strong leadership from seniors Nicole Regan (captain), Christine Murphy (captain), and Emily Lenane and a strong commitment to improving and winning by the entire team, which also includes juniors Emma Greenawalt, Ashley Okoye, and Ally Jones; sophomores Sydney Turner, Kendall Stanley, Meg Corcoran, Sarah Possi, and Olivia Fitzgerald; and freshmen Sara McMenamin and Sarah Dragon. Coaches Meredith Donovan and Kate Daley have both been outstanding all season in helping the team improve and we still believe that we will qualify for the MIAA State Tournament.

BOYS ICE HOCKEY:  The Boys’ Varsity Hockey Team is on a little skid and has lost the last two games; overall record: 4 wins, 4 losses and 3 ties. Juniors, Connor Richard and Connor Shea, are really coming into their own. Junior Brian Nee is stellar on defense and junior goalie Aidan Killeen has been a pleasant surprise. It was about this time last year they went on a long winning streak. They plan to do the same this year!!

GIRLS ICE HOCKEY: The Girls Varsity Hockey record is 6 wins 4 losses and 1 tie. The leading scorers are Erin Higgins, Siobhan Murtagh and Courtney Driscoll. The teams’ next opponent is Needham tonight and Weymouth on Saturday.

BOYS INDOOR TRACK:  The boys track team is 4 and 0 and will end up as champions or co champs of Herget division of BSC. Strong performances by captains Nick Savage, Nick Orlando and Myles Holland.

GIRLS INDOOR TRACK: The girls indoor track team has a record of 1-3, as of 1/23/13. They just lost to Natick HS on January 17, 2013. There next meet is against Norwood on January 24, 2013. The girls 4 x 200M relay team placed 6th at the Class “C” Relay at the Reggie Lewis Center. They earned a 6th place medal. The shuttle Hurdles placed 10 overall and the shuttle dash placed 13th. The next JV Meet is this Wednesday, January 23, at the Copeland Fieldhouse. This is the last JV Meet for the indoor season.

WRESTLING: 10-4 on the season, Senior Night last evening our last home match and lost a tough match to a very strong Framingham team.  6 more matches before the Sectionals.  This Saturday we are in Walpole for a Quad with Walpole, Newton North and Needham.  Peter Hailer 24-1 is according to masswrestling.com the # 1 ranked 170lbs in the state.  Jonathan Carrera 22-3, Keith Martin 21-5 10th ranked 113lbs, Zack Mazzarella 14-6, Anton Libsch 16-5 and Alosha Digges 16-6 are all having outstanding seasons.

BOYS & GIRLS SKI TEAM: Leader Board Standings for all four races last Thursday at Ski Ward: Tri-Captains* led the way and they got outstanding support from newcomers: Shea Rulon, Georgia Bell, & Owen Walsh and 2nd year racer Allana Loria. Plus, we cannot say enough about the terrific 1st Giant Slalom run by Captain Sophie Chase. Lucas Campbell*: 3rd; Owen Walsh: 24th. Tori Zimmer*: 5th; Sophie Chase*:8th; Shea Rulon: 10th; Georgia Bell: 17th, and “streaking onto the leader board” Allana Loria: 22nd. Congratulations to all Milton Racers.  All demonstrated tremendous improvement and even though some racers did not make the leader board, their rapid improvement continually motivates their teammates.

WINTER CHEERLEADING: The Cheerleading team has been cheering on the boys’ basketball team this season. They are also preparing for an Invitational competition and the Bay State Competition on February 13th. The Cheerleading team also has a JV team cheering on both the JV and Varsity Boys basketball teams. The team is led by captains Brooke Brundage, Amanda Pages, and Maddie Richards.

PIERCE MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL: The girls are doing awesome! They are currently 2-2, a couple of standouts are Maggie O’Hanlon, who had 10 pts, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Joanna Needham who also had 10 pts, 3 rebounds, 6 steals, in their last game.

The boys are 2-2 as well with wins over Canton and an undefeated Easton team. They were led by Anthony Goncalves 8 pts, 4 steals and 5 rebounds a game and Omar Fraser 10 pts and 7 rebounds a game. Sam Ferrara and Owen Keaney provided key baskets and rebounds during the victories. Both teams play at Wellesley on Friday.

Milton Athletic Schedules can be found on: http://www.usatodayhss.com

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Students: Three students from Pierce Middle School recently learned they were winners in the “Cool Science” art contest.  Cool Science is a collaborative effort between the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Graduate School of Education and the University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences. The Cool Science team brings an inter-disciplinary approach to the challenge of improving public understanding of climate change science. Cool Science aims to engage students, teachers, parents, and the general public with the science of climate change. The students, all of whom are in Jeff Stoodt’s science class, won gift cards from Amazon.com as a prize. Congratulations to Olivia McCourt, Amanda Kwong and Grace Stenson. Great job!  Below are links to the students’ work.

Olivia McCourt: http://www.uml.edu/Education/Coolscience/Monthly-Winners/March-2013.aspx

Amanda Kwong: http://www.uml.edu/Education/Coolscience/Monthly-Winners/January-2013.aspx

Grace Stenson: http://www.uml.edu/Education/Coolscience/Monthly-Winners/February-2013.aspx

Staff: I would like to thank two of our incredible Pierce Middle School teachers who have exceeded my expectations. Christopher Maine and John O’Leary both stepped up when we were looking for coaches for the new Pierce basketball teams and they have both done an outstanding job. The teams are both having great seasons, but more importantly, these two coaches have instilled a sense of pride, inclusiveness and excitement in the staff and students of the Pierce Middle School. Thank you.

Volunteer: I would like to thank some of our town’s “unsung heroes” — the members of the Warrant Committee. These volunteers work diligently year round — but especially during budget season.  The amount of time and talent these individuals dedicate to serving on the Warrant Committee is staggering. My personal thanks go to: Jean Wilson (chair) Ted Hays (secretary) and members Kevin Chase, Cheryl Friedman Tougias, Darnell Turner, Carolyn Cahill, Stanley G. Genega, Robert Hallisey, Nathan Bourque, George Noonan, Jennifer Creedon, Kevin Sorgi, Richard Boehler, Joyce Wilkins Nkwah and Fred G. Kelly.

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.

 

 

 

Grade One Assignment Procedure

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 24•13

The following is the procedure for assigning students to an Elementary program for Grade 1 in the Milton Public Schools.  Click here to view the School Committee Policy on Grade One Assignment.

Grade One Assignment Procedure

For students attending Kindergarten in the Milton Public Schools as of March 1, 2013.

1. Determine the level of interest in the grade 1 English and French programs by having parents/guardians fill out a program selection form.  These forms will be sent out as of February 13, 2013 and should be returned to the student’s school office no later than March 1, 2013.

2. Determine the number of grade one English and French Immersion sections in each school.  The number of sections of grade one at a school will equal the total number of Kindergarten sessions at that school from the previous year.   (E.g. 4 sessions of Kindergarten at Collicot for the 2012-13 school year will translate into 4 sessions of Grade 1 at Collicot for the 2013-14 school year).  This format will allow all students to remain in the same school for the duration of their elementary (K-5) career.

For the 2013-14 school year the breakdown of sections of grade one English and French Immersion will be based on the following format:

4 sections at Collicot – Minimum of 2 English; Max of 2 French
4 sections at Cunningham – Minimum of 2 English; Max of 2 French*
4 sections at Glover – Minimum of 2 English (including 1 co-taught); Max of 2 French
3 sections Tucker – Minimum of 2 English; Max of 1 French

After receiving the program selection forms from families, the Superintendent will determine both the number of sections of  English or French at each school as well as the class size maximum for the sections of English and French at each school based on the needs of the district.

*Typically there are 3 sessions of Kindergarten at the Cunningham School, however, there are 4 session of Kindergarten at the Cunningham for the 2012-13 school year.  This means that there will be 4 sessions of grade one at Cunningham for the 2013-14 school year.  

3. Assign students to a program.  Students who select the English program will be assigned to the English program at their school.  Students who select the French Immersion program will be assigned to the French Immersion program at their school if enough seats exist.  In the event that there are not enough seats in the French Immersion program at a school to meet the demand, a school based lottery will be held in order to determine a placement order to fill the open seats at that school.  Students with siblings in other grades will not have priority for assignment to a program.

If necessary, the school based lotteries will be held the week of March 4-8, 2013.  The school based lotteries will be conducted by the Central Office using a computer generated random number process.  Results of the school based lotteries will be communicated on an individual basis.  Multiples (twins, triplets, etc..) will enter the lotteries as a single entry.

Students who are not selected to participate in the French Immersion program will be assigned to the English program at their school and be placed on a wait-list for French Immersion.

4. Wait-lists for open seats for all school based lotteries will remain in effect until the tenth day of school and open seats in a particular school will be filled via this wait-list.  If a school has an open seat in their French Immersion program (after placing all of their current MPS Kindergarten students) those seats will be filled by current MPS Kindergarten students from other schools in the district.  In order to fill these seats, a district-wide lottery will be held for the students on school based wait-lists.

Students who register for Kindergarten after March 1st

Students who register for kindergarten after March 1, 2013 will be assigned to a school via the Elementary Student Assignment Plan.  Entrance to the French Immersion program at their school will only be possible if all students attending Kindergarten in the MPS as of March 1st have been placed in the program of their choice and all wait-lists have been exhausted.  If necessary, school based lotteries will be implemented to fill any open seats.

Students new to Grade 1

Students new to Grade 1 in the MPS will be assigned to a school via the Elementary Student Assignment Plan.  Entrance to the French Immersion program at their school will only be possible if all students attending Kindergarten in the MPS have been placed in the program of their choice and all wait-lists have been exhausted.  If necessary, school based lotteries will be implemented to fill any open seats.

January 16th Eblast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 16•13

As the winter season continues, our school nurses are seeing an increase in “sick” visits to the health rooms. We are asking for the cooperation of our parents/guardians to help minimize the effects of the cold and flu season.  I asked Director of Nurses, Margaret Gibbons to provide families with information for the cold and flu season.

Submitted by Margaret Gibbons, Director of Nurses

Children sent home from school with flu-like symptoms, vomiting, diarrhea, a fever or documented bacterial illnesses requiring antibiotic treatment from their doctor may require extra time at home before returning to school. Given the nature of the school setting and the contagious component of passing germs to fellow classmates, we are asking parents/guardians to evaluate their children before sending them back to school. Students are riding buses, playing at recess, visiting the houses of their friends  and becoming more at risk for exposure to many and varied viruses and illnesses. It’s still not too late to get the flu shot! Please contact your doctor’s office to schedule a flu shot.   Although reports of flu cases are spiking now, the season lasts until April and sometimes through May.

The Centers for Disease Control have reported that 48 states in the nation now have widespread flu outbreaks, including Massachusetts. Flu cases in children have particularly seen a spike nationwide, according to the American Red Cross, which offers these tips for protecting kids from the flu:

Parents should teach children proper hand washing techniques and how to correctly cover coughs or sneezes. Wash hands with soap and warm water.

When using soap and water:

Wash for at least 20 seconds, covering the entire hand including fingernails and under jewelry.
Younger children can be taught to sing a short song like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” or the “Happy Birthday” song a few times which will ensure they wash for at least 20 seconds.
Rinse and dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
Use the towel to turn off the faucet.

If using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

Rub thoroughly over the entire hand, including nail areas and between the fingers.
Continue to rub until the product dries.
The American Red Cross strongly urges getting children six months of age or older a flu vaccine as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Children’s caregivers should also get vaccinated. Other steps parents can take include keeping surfaces disinfected and keeping a sick person in a separate room in the household if possible.

We are hopeful that if we all work together, the impacts of the season’s illnesses can be minimized and everyone in the Milton Public Schools can continue with their work of teaching and learning.  If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.  They are as follow:  Director of Nurses Margaret Gibbons, Milton High School; Barbara Perry, Pierce Middle School; Joan Traverse/Jeanne Sgroi, Collicot Elementary Schjool; Alison Joyce, Cunningham Elementary School; Marylou Bradley, Tucker Elementary School; Maureen LeBlanc, Glover Elementary School.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

The most recent School Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, January 9th. The meeting began with the introduction of the new Milton Public Library Director, Will Adamczyk.   Mr. Adamczyk thanked the committee for their service to the town and said he is looking forward to working with the school department to bring library services to students.  Next, the coaches of the boys’ soccer team and the girls’ volleyball team were introduced, along with team members. Both teams had very successful season and were congratulated for their efforts.

A presentation from the Pierce Site Council was made by Dr. Karen Spaulding, along with teachers James Moonan, Jeff Stoodt and Melissa Webber; parents Marc Check, Gillian Najarian, Lisa Viola and Amy Flanagan. The Site Council presented the most recent data on the Pierce Middle School. The entire presentation can be viewed here: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/PMSSIPPres01-09-13.pdf

The Site Council also submitted its school Improvement Plan, which can be viewed here: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/PierceSIP12-15.pdf

Bob Pattison presented the district’s Technology Plan, which outlined the district’s technology needs. There was some discussion about SmartBoards and how many classrooms district-wide are still in need of one. Increased use of Edline technology, the piloting of hand-held tablet technology and a proposal to re-purpose older-model computers for families in need were all topics of discussion. Members voted to approve the Superintendent’s Goals for the year.

As part of the Chairman’s report, it was noted that the Town’s Master Planning Committee is hosting a forum on the visioning of the town. It will be held Saturday, January 26th from 9 a.m. to noon at the Tucker Elementary School.

The forum is part of the community planning process that the Town has implemented to create a town-wide Master Plan. The Plan will help the Town identify policies, regulations and initiatives to guide the planning process.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Reminder: There will be no school on Monday, January 21st for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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We learned this week that the Pierce 7th Grade Treble Chorus has been accepted to perform at the Massachusetts Music Educators All State Conference 2013.   Dr. Noreen Diamond Burdett, Director of Fine & Applied Arts, called this invitation “history in the making,” since it is the first time a group from Milton has been invited to perform at this conference.   Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding said “there were roars from the classrooms when I announced it this afternoon.  Unbelievable!!!!”  Congratulations to these hard working students and their teachers.

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debateteam1We have great news from our high school debate team. Recently, 14 of our students traveled to Newton South to compete in a public  forum debate at their Inaugural tournament. There were over 70  public forum debate pairs (140 students) debating the resolution: “Resolved: On Balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v.  Federal Election Commission harms the election process.”

Two of our teams made it to the quarter finals (which were the final rounds, due to time constraints), Ailsa Jeffries & Isabelle Smith and Cormac Conners & Chris Dsida.  In addition, two of our students, Isabelle Smith and Chris Dsida were honored as top speakers, coming in 3rd and 7th, respectively, out of over 140 students.  We also had two pairs finish 3-1 (could have been selected for quarter finals), Chris Ricciuti & Jack Caljouw and Anna Lamb & Olivia Erikson.  All our other pairs were 2-2 (Katrina Kourtelidis & Hannah Shepard, Tess Deaibes & Amy Savino and Sharon Lui & Corina Delerme).  The next scheduled debate will be held Feb 1-2, 2013 – Manchester-Essex National Forensics League Qualification.

Thanks also to Nick Fitzgerald and Nancy Warn who coach the team together.

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al lenzCongratulations to the Pierce 2013 Geography Bee Winner Al Lenz. During an in-school competition, Al Lenz, a seventh-grader and 2012 winner, defended his title against his schoolmates. He will move on to a regional competition next month.

Thank you to Pierce teachers Kelly Connell and Mike Cleary who worked hard to organize and emcee the Bee. I would also like to congratulate the finalists:

Grade 6: Abby Fay, Ryan McGroarty, Jenny Le, Eleanor Baldwin, Chris Petrick, Meghan Pauly and Nicholas Hajjar. Grade 7: Emmet Kevaney, Griffin McLaughlin, Ben Scott, Crea Dow, Brendan Baker and wildcard participant, Timothy Karoff.

* * *

Our Visual Arts Department has exciting news!  Michelle Zhang from Pierce and Dilanna Morrison of Milton High School were chosen as two of the semifinalists for “The Dream@50″ contest. An awards ceremony is being hosted by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in their Tower Auditorium on Saturday, February 16th at 3 p.m.

TheDream@50 is a tribute series in 2012/13 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Including a student art contest (K-12), a world music/dance festival, and video PSAs, THE DREAM@50 is a celebration of creative collaboration in both the Civil Rights Movement and the arts as the foundation for a new paradigm in how we can live together. THE DREAM@50 is produced by Karz Productions in partnership with the King Center, National Education Association, National Art Education Association, Americans for the Arts, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United Nations Academic Impact, and YouTube. THE DREAM@50 is a sponsored project of Artspire, a program of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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In December, all students in grades 3,4, and 5 participated in the first of three Wordmasters Challenge Meets. The purpose of the Wordmasters Challenge is to enhance vocabulary development and verbal reasoning skills. During the meet students are asked to complete analogies based on the relationships among words they have studied. I would like to thank our teachers and students for their effort and participation in the first Wordmasters Challenge Meet of the school year which resulted in many high scores. In particular, I would like to recognize Rachel Steinberg (Collicot Grade 3);  Jake Lipper (Grade 3 Glover); and Wyatt Sullivan (Grade 5 Glover), all of whom received a perfect score of 20/20! Here are some sample questions:

DIRECTIONS: Fill in each blank in the analogies below with the letter corresponding to the most suitable word or pair of words from the choices given. (*answers at bottom of Eblast)

HOP : RABBIT :: LUMBER :

  1. kangaroo
  2. squirrel
  3. bear
  4. crocodile
  5. snail

ATTEMPT : HINDER :: MOVEMENT :

  1. slaughter
  2. devastate
  3. hobble
  4. alter
  5. construct

LAWNMOWER : SCYTHE ::

  1. bike : car
  2. knife : scissors
  3. dryer : washing machine
  4. watch : clock
  5. leaf blower : rake

* * *

The following item was submitted by Michael Matisoff, advisor to the MHS Mock Trial team.

The MHS Mock Trial team is very quickly approaching our competitions for the Statewide Mock Trial tournament. Our first competition is at Newton District Court against Newton Country Day School on Thursday, January 24. Our second competition is at Framingham District Court against Newton South High School on Tuesday, January 29. Our third competition is on Thursday, February 7 at Newton District Court against Belmont High School.

For the first year ever, both students who are attending Mock Trial regularly after school AND students who are taking Mock Trial in school as a class will be participating in the competition. The preparation for these competitions is extensive, and in the past couple of years we have had some trouble with students sticking with the enormous time commitment of the program. For this year there was absolutely no trouble! We have 24 different students participating in the program this year. Thank you everybody for your support of this program!

* * *

Please read the following update on an exciting collaboration between the Milton Public Schools and the Milton Public Library, submitted by MPS librarian Lori Henry:

We have made great progress with our Milton Public Library Foundation grant. This week Sara Truog (MPL librarian) and I  began to present to kindergarten classes at Cunningham and Collicot  Schools. Next week, we will visit kindergarten at Tucker and Glover, followed by the first grade at Cunningham and Collicot, etc. It was a very successful start to our Community Partners for Student Success Project. Sara highlighted the programming at the MPL, brought a variety of materials  to display, emphasized the importance of having a library card (for the few who still don’t) and then explained the Cool Tools for Kids available on the MPL’s website. We gave each kindergarten student a handout explaining the Cool Tools, a bookmark including library information such as hours and address and a coupon for students to bring to the library to redeem for a prize (Thank you Elaine!). Sara’s enthusiasm for all things library-related is contagious and Miss Elaine and her colleagues in the Children’s Room have already had many visitors as a result. We are off to a great start!

 * * *

This year in Kassandra Derby’s Drawing II, students designed a mural for the pre-school hallway at Collicot Elementary. During the month of January, the class had a field-trip to Collicot to draw and paint the design on the wall. The result is an amazing, colorful and playful 12 foot by 9 foot masterpiece.

When students arrived at the elementary school that morning, they faced a completely blank wall and by the end of the school day, the wall was filled with fairy tale characters and beautiful scenery. Every student significantly contributed through drawing, painting, mixing colors, washing paint brushes, offering praise and constructive criticism.

The teachers at Collicot selected “Once upon a Time” theme, designed by Cara Genduso, Haley Jepson, Julia Sullivan and Kiayra Coon, after much deliberation. The high school artists enjoyed some help from Miss Lathwell’s 5th grade ACE class, who assisted with color mixing and painting. We are very proud of the hard work and creativity of our dedicated artists!  mural2 P1010027P1010023

UPCOMING EVENTS

Kindergarten Information Night will be held on Thursday, January 17th.  This informative evening for parents and guardians will be held at 7 pm at MHS auditorium.

 * * *

The Pierce Players are presenting “When in Rome” this Thursday, January 17th at 7pm & Friday, January 18th at 7pm at the Pierce Middle School auditorium. General Admission: is $9 Adults and $7 for Children. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 617-696-4570

* * *

Please save the date for what promises to be a wonderful evening sponsored by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association. The Milton Community’s Annual Memorial Celebration of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr will be held on Monday, January 21st at Concord Baptist Church,180 Blue Hill Ave in Milton. A schedule of events is as follows:

5:30 pm – 6:15 pm: Milton High School Gospel Chorus, St. Mary of the Hills Liturgical Dancers, Glover & Tucker Student Singers, Action Dialogue led by Milton High School Students

6:15 pm – 6:45 pm: A Simple Supper Will Be Served

6:45 pm – 7:00 pm: View Display of Student Essays, Poems & Artwork

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: The MLK, Jr. Memorial Celebration, featuring MICA Scholarship Winners, The St. Agatha Church Puppeteers, And Everyone Pledging the Milton NPFH Resolution of Respect.

 * * *

Parents/guardians and students from all of our  Kindergarten and first grade classes who would like to learn more about the new STEM program are invited to attend our STEM information Night on January 31st at 6:00 pm in the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria.   STEM is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum which starts in Grade One.  Please contact Science Director Marilyn Decker for further information, mdecker@miltonps.org or contact your school principal.

* * *

The 5th Annual 2013 MHS Walkathon: “All In For Sports and Clubs,” is being held Saturday, February 9th from 1-4pm at Copeland Field House.

This is one of the year’s biggest and most needed fundraising opportunities.  All of the proceeds go towards funding our athletic and clubs/activities programs.  The district relies on this fundraiser in order to offer the full array of extra curricular activities for our students.  It is truly one of our best fundraising endeavors since it involves so many students, staff, and community members.

Once again, volunteers are needed to hang signs; inflate balloons; set-up tables; register and check-out walkers; collect and tally pledges; photocopy pledge sheets; monitor the track; hand out water; provide entertainment activity support and help with light clean-up at the conclusion of the event.  Some volunteers will arrive at noon to hang signs and inflate balloons. Others are needed to work in the Boosters concession stand from 1-4pm. We thank the MHS Boosters who are donating all food profits sold at the Walkathon.

The big push occurs at the beginning with walker registration. Students will  arrive at about 12:45pm. Students will Express Register by Class at one of five separate tables if all pledges and money are provided by the student at registration. If there are uncollected pledges, the student should be directed to the table for General Registration for all classes with uncollected pledges. If you can work at the beginning of the Walkathon, student registration is a great spot.

If you have a preference for one of the following areas please let us know:

  • Decorations
  • Concession Stand
  • Raffle Table
  • 8th Grade Express Registration
  • Freshman Express Registration
  • Sophomore Express Registration
  • Junior Express Registration
  • Senior Express Registration
  • Uncollected Pledges Registration/All Classes

After the initial registration push, things slow down and the entertainment activities speed up. The MHS Marching Band is kicking off the Walk, followed by our cheerleaders, the dance team, solo performers and then activities. The Walkathon really moves! Once the pledges are collected from the express registration areas, please alternate with your registration partner and move around to see everything. If additional volunteers arrive, they can help out at the uncollected pledge checkout area. Again, only those students with uncollected pledges will need to check-out and receive their photocopied pledge sheet with pledges owed. Members of the Walkathon Student Advisory Group will help distribute water, monitor the raffle items and assist the other volunteers, faculty and staff as they monitor the track.

If you are able to volunteer, please contact one of the parent representatives below. If you think others would like to help out, please forward this message. A schedule of assignments will be sent just before the Walkathon. Thank you all for your time and assistance with the 2013 MHS Walkathon.

To volunteer, please contact: Kristan Bagley Jones, bagleyjones@comcast.net;Rene Taber, reneofcambridge@gmail.com; Maureen Griffin, griffjm@comcast.net  and Laura Kessler, lkessler@ifb.org

***

The next “Parent Speak,” will be held on Thursday, January 24th at Pierce Library from 7-9 pm. This is an opportunity for parents and guardians to connect, share, and learn about common issues and opportunities. For more information, click here: http://www.miltonpac.org

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

 The following item was written by Megan McLean, a graduate student at UMass/Amherst who is interning at our Food Service Department.

We have some terrific news to share with the Milton High School community. We are proud to announce that Milton High School has won a $4,000 grant to increase breakfast participation in the student body. The grant was part of the Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge (MSBC) which is a partnership between the New England Dairy Council, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread, and School Nutrition Association of Massachusetts. The collaboration formed to challenge Massachusetts schools to find innovative ways to encourage students to eat breakfast. Currently, Massachusetts School Districts rank 38th in the nation for school breakfast participation.

Recognizing the benefits students reap from eating breakfast, Milton School Food Service Director Jackie Morgan gladly stepped up to the challenge. Mrs. Morgan worked with her Dietetic Intern from UMass Amherst, Megan McLean, to apply and win funds to support a Smart Start Breakfast Cart at Milton High School.

We are excited by this opportunity to provide students with another chance to grab breakfast and get off to a healthy start. Be on the lookout for the Smart Start Breakfast Cart by the Field House doors in March 2013.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

Two months and counting and we are closing in on the hottest night in town: Celebration for Education 2013 …LiveWire! will be held Saturday, March 9th at the Quincy Marriott will be abuzz with over 800 Milton Public School supporters getting charged up for technology in our schools.

Committees are diligently working to find sponsors and donors, solicit silent and live auction items, pursue marketing opportunities, and create decorations and event programming. If you haven’t gotten involved, but would like to, there is still time. If you simply have an idea or contact, but no time, please let us know and we will do the legwork. For auction, we are specially in need of tickets to events, airline vouchers, and transportation (limousine) companies, but any and all ideas are very much appreciated.

You should expect to receive your invitations by the first week in February. Again this year we will offer an “early bird” option and an option to purchase tables with a group of friends (10), so start thinking about who you would like to be in your posse.

But wait! There’s more! Raffle tickets are selling fast. The prize is a Jeep Wrangler Sport or $18,000 cash. Only 500 tickets will be sold at $100 apiece so your chances are ridiculously good. Someone is going to win, why not you? Visit miltonfoundationforeducation.org to find out where you may purchase a ticket.

So get charged up and help us spread the word: LiveWire is coming!

Thank you and best wishes, Anne Gatnik and Anacristina Kenney, co-chairs  “Please contact us at  CFE2013@comcast.net

* * *

The MFE Competitive Grants awards have been announced by the MFE. This program is designed to encourage and reward effective, innovative teaching. The projects are designed to show direct benefit to students and impact classroom teaching. Teachers and staff members in all grades apply individually or in groups for consideration.

This year’s recipients represent all schools and all grade levels. 27 grants totalling over $22,000 were awarded. The grants provide resources for a wide range of classroom teaching which complement our Celebration for Education themes.  iPads will go into the Milton High School Guidance Office (Lisa Spinelli & Karen Cahill) for college preparation and applications; into a classroom at Glover (Lea Campbell) ; and a pre-school classroom (Jessica Moone and Tracy Attaya) for increased use of technology in teaching.  Milton High School Mathematics, Technology, and Business Department Head Courtney Walsh received document cameras (current day overhead projectors) for all of the high school math classes.  At Pierce Middle School Bernadette McEvoy received STEM kits for hands-on science learning, and Sarah Pullia received individual whiteboards for increased student participation in math classes.  All four elementary schools are receiving Reader’s Workshop books and tools to improve student’s literacy skills.  We are very proud of our teachers who received grants and grateful to the MFE for continuing to run this very successful program.  Fore more details about the grant program and past grant awards, go to the MFE website, www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Looking for Your Input: The Town of Milton is updating its Comprehensive Master Plan. An initial step in the creation of a master plan is to undertake a community visioning process that will bring community stakeholders together to discuss and decide on their collective community vision or desired future for their town.

On Saturday, January 26th from 9 am to noon, the Milton Master Plan Committee will host a public visioning forum at the Tucker Elementary School at 187 Blue Hills Parkway. Refreshments will be provided. The town’s consultants, assisted by Master Plan Committee members and community volunteers will lead forum participants in a series of activities designed to gather public input on community values and on preserving and improving our neighborhoods and quality of life.

This will be an important opportunity for residents, business owners and other stakeholders to learn more about the Master Plan and share any thoughts and concerns they have regarding how Milton may evolve to meet its current and future needs. For more information contact William Clark, Director of Planning & Community Development, (617)-898-4847 wclark@townofmilton.org

* * *

 Please visit the town of Milton’s Parks and Rec link for information on upcoming programs:  http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Recreation/News

* * *

The folks at FAVA are beginning winter session classes. Examples of classes for students include “Masks of the World” at Collicot/Cunningham or “Drawing & Painting” at Tucker. Pre-K and teen/adult classes are also offered. Most classes begin the week of January 21st.  For registration info and more details, please visit http://miltonfava.tumblr.com/FAVA%20Classes%20in%20the%20schools

 * * *

The Milton Art Center would like to announce that the new Winter 2013 classes for Pre-K, Kids and Teens are open. They are also welcoming their newest teacher: Jim Moonan. Jim co-founded the Creative Movement and Arts Center (CMAC) and has developed numerous early education programs for children at Bright Horizons child care centers across the country. Jim also developed and delivered teacher workshops and training programs for Bright Horizons on many topics including “How Music as a Teaching Tool Every Day.” Jim continues to work for Bright Horizons and is responsible for developing and coordinating the annual Yale University Family Alumni school-age program in New Haven, CT.

MAC is also starting new winter classes for Pre-K and kids the last week of January. Click here for course registration and details: http://miltonfava.tumblr.com/MACPrekkidsClasses

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

 The following items were submitted by Sara Truog, Assistant Children’s Librarian:

Stay warm this winter at Milton Public Library!  The Children’s Room continues to offer many programs to keep kids busy:

Saturday, January 19th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Mad Science, Grades 3-5

Get your imagination in gear and join us for Invention-ation, presented by our friends from Mad Science of Greater Boston.  Kids will learn about Rube Goldberg’s unique machines and plan machines of their own.  Registration is required.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Saturday, January 26th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Bookbusters Book Club, Grades 3-5

The Bookbusters is a book club for boys and girls in grades 3-5.  Led by Miss Sara, group participants are asked to read a book in advance of the meeting, then come together to talk about it with their peers.  Our January selection is No Talking by Andrew Clements.  Copies are available at the Children’s Room desk, or by placing a hold at www.miltonlibrary.org.  Come join us to discuss this story about a fifth-grade boys versus girls no-talking contest.  Registration is required.

And of course don’t forget our regular preschool story times, which continue through the month. 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. Contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

The next item was submitted by Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian: 

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Anime and manga Club

The monthly meeting of the library’s teen anime and manga club. Join us for Japanese snacks, anime, crafts and more! This program is open to grades 6-12 and is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library

Friday, Feb. 1, 3-5 p.m. After school movie

Kick-off February with an after school movie! Check out the choices on the Teen Space Facebook page, then cast your vote here.This program is for students in grades 6-12. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Monday, Feb. 11, 7-8 p.m. Teen book club: I Hunt Killers

Join the Teen Book Club (ages 13-18) for our monthly meeting and book discussion! This month book is I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. It’s the story of Jasper “Jazz” Dent; he’s a smart, charming 17-year-old who just happens to be the son of an infamous serial killer. His dad’s in prison for life, but before he was locked up, he taught Jasper some of his tricks. Jasper swears he’s not his father, but when a body turns up in his small town, suspicion falls on him. Jazz decides the only way to prove his innocence is to solve the murder – but he’s also got a secret. Could he be more like Dear Old Dad than he’s willing to admit?

Put the book on hold here, then read it before the meeting and come prepared to discuss this gripping, stay-up-reading until to 2 in the morning thriller! This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

For questions about any of these programs or general questions about Teen Services, please contact Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian, at 617-698-5757 or ecalkins@ocln.org

ATHLETICS

Following is an athletic update from Athletic Director Steve Traister:

Boys Basketball: The team is 4-3 overall with a 3-3 league record.  They have wins vs. Hingham, Braintree, Natick, and Walpole. Captains AJ Flanagan and Tyler Greene have done a great job leading a team that has a mixture of experience and young talent.  AJ Flanagan is our leading scorer with 14 pts per game.  Milton also has been playing tremendous defense allowing opponents to 49 points per game.

Girls Basketball: The girls are off to a 1-6 start.  The team has been led by seniors Nicole Regan, Christine Murphy, and Emily Lenane with contributions also coming from Ashley Okoye, Emma Greenawalt, Meg Corcoran, Sydney Turner, Kendall Stanley, Sara McMenamin, and Sarah Dragon.  Despite the slow start, the team improves every day and still believes it will qualify for the MIAA State Tournament.

Boys Ice Hockey: The Varsity team is off to a good start with a record of 4 wins, 2 losses and 3ties. Our senior captains, Brendan Kelley and Pat Miller are leading the team in scoring (along with sophomore Lloyd Hill) with 8 points. Senior John Binda is pitching in with 3 goals, and Connor Shea and Dan Matisoff have 7 and 6 points, respectively. Seniors Pat Coughlin and Erik Person have been solid in defense. They will be at Framingham on Wednesday, January 16th.

Girls Ice Hockey: The girls currently have a record of 5-3-1 under first year coach Bob Allen. The team is getting strong contributions from senior tri-captains Erin Higgins, Julie Rush and Courtney Driscoll. They will be hosting the Framingham Flyers on Wednesday, January 16th at Ulin Rink.

Boys Indoor Track: The team is off to a 3-0 start led by captains Myles Holland and Nick Savage. They will be taking on Natick in a dual meet Thursday, January 17th at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Girls Indoor Track: The girls varsity team is 1 – 2 after their victory over Dedham last Thursday. The girls participated in the MSTCA Team Relay meet on Saturday. The next dual meet is Thursday vs. Dedham.The next JV meet will be is Wednesday, January 16th at the Copeland Field House at 6:30 pm. This year’s captains are Molly Dempsey, Madi O’Leary, Samantha Bennett, Kara Donovan and Olivia Phelan.

Wrestling: Our wrestling team has an overall record of 8-3. As a team, they took 1st place in the Bristol Aggie Tournament back on 12/5 and finished in 4th place at the Cohasset Tournament.  Individually, Senior captain Peter Hailer 17-1 won the Framingham Tournament and Cohasset Tournament, junior captain Jonathan Carrera 17-2 also won the Cohasset Tournament.  Peter, Jonathan and sophomore Keith Martin also won the Natick tournament on Saturday. Also having an outstanding year is senior captain Anton Libsch.

Boys & Girls Ski Team: Congratulations to Co-captains Tori Zimmer and Lucas Campbell and Freshman sensation Shea Rulon for their outstanding success in Thursday’s Giant Slalom Race at Ski Ward. Lucas Campbell finished 5th, Tori Zimmer 8th and Shea Rulon 9th. Also finishing in the top 25 were: Co-captain Sophie Chase, 12th; freshman Georgia Bell,  14th; and Owen Walsh, 21st. The ski team will be traveling back to Ski Ward in Shrewsbury Thursday, January 17th for another two races.

Winter Cheerleading: The Cheerleading team has been cheering on the boys basketball team this season. They are also preparing for an Invitational competition and the Bay State Competition on February 13th. The Cheerleading team also has a JV team cheering on both the JV and Varsity boys basketball teams. The team is led by captains Brooke Brundage, Amanda Pages, and Maddie Richards.

The Pierce Middle School Basketball Teams: Both teams are off to a good start. The boys’ team coached by John O’Leary has a record of 2-0 after defeating Canton 36-21 last week. The girls’ team coached by Chris Maine improved to 1-1 with a 22-17 victory over Canton. Both teams hosted Braintree on Tuesday and will travel to Weymouth on Thursday, January 17th.

MHS athletic schedules can also be found on: http://www.usatodayhss.com or by visiting the miltonps.org athletic page.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Student: I would like to recognize Acadia Ryder, the Milton High School representative to the School Committee. Now in her second year as School Committee representative, Ms. Ryder is a valuable member of this committee. She is a member of the Student Council and a member of the Milton High Crew Team. Ms. Ryder is looking forward to college next year where she plans to major in international relations. We are grateful to her service to the School Committee.

Staff: I would like to personally recognize the hardworking members of our Food Service Department. I am very grateful to these professionals who serve breakfast and lunch to the Milton School children each day: Milton High School: Elaine Moore, Rosie Grey, Sonja Fisher, Caroline Maglio, Barbara Doherty, Mary Beaulieu, Marie Gladys Volmar, Margaret Fajando and Susan Homan. Pierce Middle School: Connie Catinella, Marika Varnerin, Ellen Brusard, Lessie Spann, Carol Hunt, Somjit Bodda and Janice Koenig. Glover: Sandy Zalios, Jane Molloy, Mary Turner and Maureen Ford. Tucker: Pat McIsaac, Stephanie Nelson, Christine Griffin, Corrine Lyons. Cunningham/Collicot: Debbie Abdon, Matt Barrett, Mary Ellen Comer, Tish Newayno, Debbie Devoe, Jennifer Kussman and Ruth Malone. Thank you also to Jackie Morgan, Food Service Director.

Volunteer: Next month the annual Walkathon will take place at Milton High School. This is an enormous effort which requires the work of dozens of volunteers. I would like to thank all the high school students who are working hard on this event, as well as the following individuals who are helping our students every step of the way. Many thanks to Kristan Bagley-Jones, Rene Taber, Maureen Griffin and Laura Kessler.

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.

 

* Answers for Wordmaster:  3 (bear); 3 (hobble); 5 (leaf blower: rake)

 

 

Glover School Personnel Update

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 02•13

The following letter was emailed to all Glover School Families:

Dear Glover Parents/Guardians,

For the past three years, the Glover Elementary School community has been fortunate to have Stephanie Nephew and — more recently — Drew Echelson as its principal. Both of these individuals are gifted and talented educational leaders.

As we start the new year, we are pleased to announce that Mrs. Nephew will be returning to the Glover Elementary School.  She will serve as co-principal with Mr. Echelson.    This partnership will provide an opportunity for Mr. Echelson to complete his dissertation and doctoral work and, more importantly, it will provide a smooth transition back to the Glover for Mrs. Nephew.

Mrs. Nephew and Mr. Echelson will share the responsibilities of the Glover principalship. The two administrators have communicated regularly since Mr. Echelson began the principalship on issues regarding students, staff and curriculum related to the Glover. This transition will begin on Monday, January 7th.

Job shares have been very successful at our Milton Public Schools’ teaching and administrative levels.  Communication between the individuals in a job share position is the key to the success of the model. I can assure you that Mrs. Nephew and Mr. Echelson will effectively communicate and the transition into the job share will be seamless.

The Glover community will benefit from the talents of these two outstanding educational leaders. I realize that this is a change in leadership mid-year, but not a change in who you and your children know, respect and have worked with in the important role of principal of the Glover Elementary School.

Mrs. Nephew and Mr. Echelson will share their work schedules with the Glover community.    If you have any questions or issues, please contact my office. Thank you for your continued support and involvement in the Glover Elementary School and the Milton Public Schools.

 

December 21st Eblast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Dec• 21•12

Today marks the end of a long and emotional week.  But more importantly, it marks the beginning of winter recess and the chance to spend time with loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Milton Public School community for the outpouring of support that has been shown to our teachers/staff, our students, our friends in law enforcement and to my administrative support staff.   If anything can be learned from the tragedy in Connecticut, it is that our children are precious and our time with them must be treasured. Please enjoy the time with your family and I wish each of you and your families a healthy and happy New Year.  School will resume on Wednesday, January 2nd.

Curriculum News

Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, sent the following links to my office this week, asking us to share them with parents and guardians:

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Here is another resource that may be helpful for families with younger children: WGBH in Boston has produced a series of “Arthur” character themed resources that are designed to help families talk with children about scary experiences they see in their communities or on television.  The materials include pamphlets with tips, and books including “Helping Our Children Feel Safe”.  All of the materials are available in both English and Spanish, online at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/arthur/resources/index.en.html?cat=index.en

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Some of you may have heard the news about the recent transition in state government. Paul Reville, the Massachusetts Secretary of Education, has stepped down from his position. The Education Secretary directs the Executive Office of Education and works closely with the Commonwealth’s education agencies – Department of Early Education and Care, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Higher Education and the University of Massachusetts system.  The person in this position is the Governor’s top advisor on education and helps shape the Commonwealth’s education reform agenda.

Matthew H. Malone, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools in Brockton, has been appointed to this position. We look forward to his work and we are sure that his passion for education will be evident in everything he does. We offer our thanks to Paul Reville for his many contributions to PreK-12 education and wish him well in the future.

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It’s time for Kindergarten Registration for the 2013-14 school year! If your child will be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2013 please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Pre-Register your child’s information here

Step 2: Attend the Kindergarten Information Night on Thursday, January 17th at 7pm in the Milton High School Auditorium, 25 Gile Road.

All of your questions will be answered at the Kindergarten Information Night. We hope to see you there.

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Ten students from Milton High School were selected by audition to perform in the 2013 Massachusetts All State Music Festival.  They auditioned this past Saturday at Shrewsbury High School, competing against students from all across Massachusetts.  The festival will take place the last weekend of February  (which is also the first weekend of March).  The culminating performance will be at Boston’s Symphony Hall. The following students were selected. Band: Kristen Ingraham, Rebecca Simms and Simon Eder. Orchestra: Lily Moerschel and Rose Moerschel. Chorus: Bailey McDonnell, Eliza Trickett, Andrew Flynn, Andrew Mowe and Garrett Sager. We are so proud of these students!

Upcoming Events

The Milton Public School system is pleased to be participating in the Milton Community’s Annual Memorial Celebration to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This celebration, sponsored by The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association, will be held on Monday, January 21st, at the Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Avenue.

All are welcome to attend. The theme of the day will be “Everybody Can Be Great, Because Everybody Can Serve.” This event will feature the MICA Scholarship winners, the St. Agatha Church Puppeteers, our own Milton High School Gospel Chorus, as well as Glover & Tucker Student Singers.

Please note the schedule of events below and we hope you can attend:

 

5:30 pm – 6:15 pm: Milton High School Gospel Chorus

St. Mary of the Hills Liturgical Dancers

Glover & Tucker Student Singers

Action Dialogue led by Milton High School Students

6:15 pm – 6:45 pm: A Simple Supper Will Be Served

6:45 pm – 7:00 pm: View Display of Student Essays, Poems & Artwork

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: The MLK, Jr. Memorial Celebration

Milton Foundation for Education

Please save the date. The MFE’s annual Celebration for Education will be held Saturday, March 9th at the Boston Marriott Quincy. This year’s theme is “LiveWire,” — connecting students and teachers in Milton Public Schools to important educational technology. This year’s co-chairs are Anne Gatnik and Anacristina Kenney. The special guest emcee will be Lisa Donovan of Kiss 108’s “Matty in the Morning” show.

Celebrate and support the future of technology and innovation in the Milton Public Schools. There will be dinner, dancing, a live auction and high tech surprises around every turn.

LiveWire will raise money to support innovative, cross-curriculum technology in all six Milton Public Schools. To donate auction items, learn how you can help, or purchase a Jeep raffle ticket, please email CFE2013@comcast.net or visit www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org.

News Around Town

Forbes House Museum Director, Robin Tagliaferri, will be speaking at the Milton Public Library on Wednesday, January 9th from 7 to 8 pm.

Ms. Tagliaferri recently returned from a trip to China, where she visited Shanghai, Nanchang, the Fuliang County, Jingdezhen and Beijing. The ten day trip included attendance at the Second Seminar on Chinese Export Porcelain of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, sponsored by Professor Yu Chunming and Nanchang University. The seminar was held from October 18-25, and included presenters from the U.S., China, England and the Netherlands. Ms. Tagliaferri was among fifteen presenters, focusing her talk on the 19th century history of the Forbes family as China Trade merchants and collectors of Chinese export art, including porcelain.

The talk will include over 70 photos of the big cities bustling with activity, along with the beautiful mountains and landscapes in the Fuliang County where the ancient kiln sites are located. She will give an overview of her experience and outline potential partnerships and visits to Milton by Chinese scholars seeking to learn more about the American China Trade in Boston/Milton. The presentation is free and open to the public.

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The following two items were submitted by our friends at the Milton Public Library:

While our regular preschool story times will be on hiatus over the holidays, the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library is offering several programs to keep kids busy:

Wednesday, December 26th from 2:00 – 2:45 pm: The Story of Ferdinand, All ages.

Nicola McEldowney and her troupe of hand puppets will present “Ferdinand,” based on the classic children’s book by Numro Leaf. A great story for the whole family. Sponsored by the Milton Library Foundation.  No registration required.

Wednesday, December 26th from 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Puppet Making Workshop, Ages 5 and up. Puppeteer Nicola McEldowney will lead this follow-up session for children ages 5 and up who want to learn how to make their own puppets. Registration required. Sponsored by the Milton Library Foundation.

Friday, December 28th, from 10:00 am – noon. Crafty Friday, All ages. Drop by for some self-service craft time. We’ll have several directed activities, or you can just do your own thing. For all ages (children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult).

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. Contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services or visit our blog to find out what’s new at miltonchildrensroom.wordpress.com.

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Emily Calkins, our YA Librarian, has started a blog focused on teen literature & library services. The library’s new blog uses Tumblr…a blogging tool that allows users to post original content and to re-blog content created by others.

The library’s teen Tumblr will feature book reviews written by members of the library’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG) as well as posts by authors, information about teen events at the library, news about book-to-movie adaptations & much more. Visit the new blog at miltonlibraryteens.tumblr.com.

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The Milton Art Center is holding “Off the Wall – Small Works Holiday Sale,” through Sunday, December 23rd. Are you looking for a unique gift for someone special this year?  The Milton Art Center’s Gallery 334 walls will be filled with amazing original works of art from our local artists. All artwork will be available for sale at very affordable prices and ready to take home at time of purchase. So stop in, support your favorite local artist and your community art center, and take your favorite piece of art off the wall and home!

Ambassador Page

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

Student: I would like to recognize Milton High School senior Emily Driscoll who serves as the student representative on the School Committee’s Health & Wellness sub-committee. Described by her guidance counselor as “the epitome of a go-getter,” Emily has worked on substance abuse issues, collaborated with Milton Hospital’s youth programs, given input on the Chris Herren presentation and worked with the CATZ program in our schools. She is an outstanding representative of her peers and is a valuable member of this sub-committee.

Staff: I would like to publicly thank all of our teachers and support staff who have come in for early morning meetings, met with parents and taken the extra time to help their students in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  This can be a stressful time of year for many, and I am amazed by how our teachers/staff found the strength, energy and grace to help their students, parents, guardians and each other this week.

Volunteer: We would like to recognize our Fuller Village volunteers. This group sends residents from Fuller Village into our classrooms and libraries each week throughout the school year. We are very grateful for all the hours they have spent helping our students. Please help me in thanking: Blossom Glassman, Mary Polychrones, Ann Cahill, Lenny Johnson, Collette Twohig, Joan Matulis, Marge Panarese, Eileen Piazza and Nancy Kearns.

 

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.