Milton Public Schools

February 3rd E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Feb• 03•17

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Friday, February 3rd,  2017

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The  Milton School Committee’s FY18 Budget Presentation will be presented by the Administration and Milton School Committee to parents/guardians and citizens of Milton on the following dates, times and locations.

We strongly urge you all to attend one of the sessions. The same presentation will be given at each site. No matter which school your child attends, you can attend any presentation to receive the same information. We would like as many Milton School parents/guardians and community members to hear and give feedback on the presentation as possible.

This is a great opportunity to get educated, ask questions and give your opinions on choices that will need to be made with the regard to the budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal school year.

Please spread the word to your friends and neighbors and be on the lookout for reminder announcements from your school principals and PTOs. We look forward to your attendance and feedback!

Collicot/Cunningham, Feb 7th at 6:30pm, Co/Cu Library
Pierce/MHS, Feb 8th at 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium
Tucker, February 9th at 6:30pm, Library
Glover, February 16th at 6:30pm, Library

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meetings since my last E-blast, held on February 1st.  I will summarize that very brief meeting in my next E-Blast. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, February 15th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

I am very proud of our Future Problem Solvers program here in the Milton Public Schools. This is a long-standing program which has been a huge success for our students.  The Future Problem Solving Qualifying Bowl is this Saturday (tomorrow!!) at Canton High School. This year’s topic is 3D Printing and the teams are prepared and excited to compete and represent their school with pride!

Collicot Elementary School: Abby Stefanick,  Nathaniel Brown, Caroline Duffy, Andrew Miskell, Braden Benzan, Cora Redmond, Christopher Cherry and Greta Cardoza.

Glover Elementary School: Camden Carr, Soraya Darvish, Ella Forgues-Gilbert, Roman Padera, Gabriella Hernandez, Rory Martin, Ankien Nguyen and Imaad Tahir

Tucker Elementary School: Cheyenne Thompson, Kai Quinones, Charles Bastien, Durgin Shields, Lucy Hays, Zenobia Chen, Gabriel Veal and Dharnel Jean-Pierre.

Cunningham Elementary School: Daschel Koh, Mary O’Keefe, Rachael Jones-Booker, Kyla Miller, Meghan Mylod, Lucy Asanza, Cormac Burke and Tucker Korman.

The FPS evaluators will be in touch with the Collicot FPS coach, Lori Henry, in a few weeks to let us know if a team advances to the State Bowl on April 1st at Clark University in Worcester. This year’s topic for the State Bowl is Identity Theft.

* * *

Milton High School hosted a wonderful event this week, which was funded by MPACE. We invited the Bay Colony Shakespeare Company to come to Milton High School to perform Macbeth onstage at the Charles C. Winchester auditorium.  For those of you who are not familiar with the work of MPACE, it is a non-profit, cultural enrichment program that brings art, music and drama opportunities to our public school students.

More than 200 Milton High School sophomores enjoyed the live Macbeth performance. All sophomores at Milton High School read the “The Bard’s Play” as part of the English II curriculum, and the live performance is the culminating event for the unit. In coming months, students at Milton High School will benefit from other MPACE programs as well.  In March, all juniors will travel to the House of Blues for a show about musical connections between our own American history and the history of the Blues and Jazz.  The show features a live performance from a band that plays everything from “Wade in the Water” to “ABC” by the Jackson Five.  In April grade 9 freshmen will see a live performance of Romeo and Juliet, once again hosting the performance at the high school.

To help support MPACE programming, please look for the check-off box in this year’s excise tax bill.  Or make an online donation by clicking here.  Thank you.

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

STEM Information Night /English Innovation Pathway

On Wednesday, February 15th, the Milton Public Schools will hold a STEM Information Night! Kindergarten students and their parents are welcome to attend. During STEM Information Night, attendees will be given an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity.

STEM Information Night will take place in the Cunningham/Collicot cafeteria and will run from 6:30-7:30 PM. You may enter through the back doors of the building beginning at 6:30 PM. Due to limited space during this event, we ask that you make efforts to leave siblings of current kindergarteners at home.

We hope to see you there! Please contact Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Butler (bbutler@miltonps.org) with any questions.

* * *

Also, First Grade Information Night is scheduled for Thursday, March 2nd in the MHS Auditorium at 6:30pm. Please note, this event is for parents/guardians only.

FAMILY LIAISON NEWS

The following item was submitted by Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison:

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE 6th Annual Teens in Need and Peter J. Muse Memorial Fund Fundraiser!

The great event will take place on Friday, March 3rd from 7:00-11:00pm  at The View Restaurant & Tavern, 357 West Squantum Street, Quincy, MA.  The cost of the event is $10 for MHS Graduates and $25 for Everyone Else.  Checks should be made payable to “Milton Teens in Need, c/o S.A.F., 84 Indian Spring Road, Milton, MA 02186.  The evening will include a cash bar, raffles and door prizes.

The Milton Teens in Need is a grassroots organization formed by caring parents and staff members.  The mission of the program is to raise funds for teenagers in need who attend the Milton Public Schools.   Monies raised are used to assist teens with graduation and college entrance expenses, gifts cards and other expenses teachers and guidance counselors help identify.  In addition the funds provide scholarships to qualifying seniors.

The Peter J. Muse Memorial Fund provides scholarships for qualifying MHS seniors.  The fund was set up in honor of Mr. Muse, of Milton, who assisted many Milton families and was a devoted member of the Milton community.

Please come and join in the fun while supporting a worthy cause!!!!!

MSE/SUMMER PROGRAMS

The following item was sent to us by this year’s Milton Summer Enrichment Co-Directors, Bernadette Butler and Cat DesRoche:

Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2017! We are looking forward to a fun-filled summer with the children. This letter will serve as the first of many communications in the upcoming months about MSE, and contains important information about our program.

Administration for MSE: Those of you who have had children participating in the MSE program in past years know that Jonathan Redden did a tremendous job of hiring high-quality teachers and high school staff, ensuring the children in attendance were safe and had fun, and keeping families aware of MSE updates and happenings. Mr. Redden will now be moving on from the position, and Bernadette Butler (MPS Elementary Science Coordinator) and Cat DesRoche (Tucker Curriculum Coordinator) will now be working together to ensure 2017 is the best summer yet! We can be contacted via email at mse@miltonps.org. We are fortunate to have Billy Donovan (bdonovan@miltonps.org) on our team as well, who will be continuing his role of coordinating middle and high school courses.

MSE Courses: Recruitment for teachers interested in implementing engaging and fun courses is underway! We look forward to offering wide range of courses that are appropriate for various grade levels and interests. In early April, families will be sent the “At a Glance” document, which contains a listing of courses available for each grade level during each hour. Families have found this helpful when planning potential course selections for children. Before official registration begins, you will receive the official MSE Brochure, which contains course descriptions and very important information pertaining to the program. In late April, online registration for MSE 2017 will begin. Please see below for important tentative dates (keep in mind these dates are subject to change slightly, but you will be updated if dates change). Registration: Online registration will begin in late April and remain open for one month. We will also have personnel available to help you register in person if you cannot use the web-based registration tool (times/dates will for face-to-face registration sessions will be released in April). Please note that all courses are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. As courses fill, they will be removed from the drop down menus and will no longer be available to you, regardless of whether you register online or in person. We have strict caps on our classes to ensure that each course is manageable and safe for our teachers and our children, and appreciate the community’s support to ensure the program is the best it can possibly be for all involved. If you miss the online registration window, you must make arrangements to register in person. This year, during the month of June, we will be adding mandatory “Schedule Pick-Up” times during which parents/guardians must come to collect their child’s MSE schedule lanyard and trouble-shoot any questions/concerns regarding schedules. There will be “Schedule Pick-Up times” at each school and at a variety of times (before school, after school, evening) to ensure all families have the opportunity to collect their schedule(s) prior to the first day of MSE. It is our hope that this will ensure a smooth start to the program on June 26th when the children arrive! Dates/times/locations will be communicated after online registration closes.

Tentative Dates to note:

April 3: “At a Glance” document is sent out for course planning purposes
April 12: MSE Brochure document is sent out
April 26 – May 26: Online Registration
May 1 and May 2: In-person registration (time and location TBD)
Month of June: Schedule Pick-Up Sessions
June 26 – July 27: MSE 2017!
Logistics: MSE will be held at Milton High School and will run Monday-Thursday, 8:00-12:00 from June 26 – July 27, 2017. Please note there will be no MSE on Monday, July 3 or Tuesday, July 4 and no MSE on Fridays! We will keep our fingers crossed for no snow days, but if needed, we will adjust the dates of MSE and will keep you informed of any changes.

2017 Tuition:

1 Course = $175 3 Courses = $525
2 Courses = $350 4 Courses = $600
Family Max = $1,200 Pre–K = $650
Non-Resident MSE Tuition: $300 per course hour per student
Make-Up Courses for High School Credit $300 per 2-hour course
Non-Resident for High School Credit: $525
We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE 2017! Please be on the lookout for more communications in the upcoming months, but if you have questions in the meantime, contact the directors, Bernadette Butler & Cat DesRoche at mse@miltonps.org

* * *

Is your high school student looking for a summer volunteer or work opportunity?  Click this link to learn more about the 2017 Milton Summer Enrichment Red Shirt opportunities, and to apply for a position! All applications are due by February 17.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

The Freshman Class of Milton High School was planning to host a Family Movie Night at Milton High School this evening, but the event has been postponed until Friday, February 17th at 6:30pm in the Charles Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School.

Mark your calendars!We hope to see you on February 17th.

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Food Service Director Jackie Morgan:

Breakfast Provides Benefits… Make it a Priority!

Did you know that Milton Schools serves hot breakfasts everyday school is in session? Your child can get a healthy, balanced meal with whole grains, fresh fruit, skim or 1% milk and 100% fruit juice at school.  They can choose from whole grain muffins, cereals, WG pancakes and WG breakfast sandwiches. They will also have more energy and get important nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, protein and fiber.

Higher Test Scores-Research has proven that children who eat breakfast have higher math and reading scores. Students who eat school breakfast score 17.5% higher on standardized math tests. Source: Share Our Strength

Improved Attendance- Studies show that students who eat breakfast are absent and tardy less often. Students who eat school breakfast attend on average 1.5 more days of school per year. Source: “Share our Strength”

Fewer Trips to the School Nurse- When students eat breakfast, nurse’s report fewer hunger related office visits.

Improved Classroom Behavior- Principals confirm that they see fewer discipline problems when students have eaten breakfast.  Students who participate in school breakfast show improved attendance, behavior, standardized achievement test scores as well as decreased tardiness. Source: Food Research & Action Council

Better Learning-Students are better able to pay attention in class when they have eaten.

More Time on Learning- When students have eaten, they are better able to concentrate and behave in the classroom. This allows teachers to spend more time on teaching and less time on discipline.

Wake Up to School Breakfast” is the theme of the National School Breakfast Program this March 2017.  “Eating Breakfast gives each student in the Milton Schools a chance to be their best”- Source: Superintendent Mary Gormley

Save yourself time in the morning and get your child out the door faster knowing she/he will have a nutritious meal when they get to school! Breakfast is $1.25 for a complete meal!!!

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was sent to us by Sara Truog, Children’s Librarian:

Winter is wonderful at the Milton Public Library! Fun family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular storytimes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of February 12 – 18:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 from 7:15 – 7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11

Join the newest craze: the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. No registration is required.

Friday, February 17, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
Yoga with Jill, Ages 3-5

Children ages 3-5 are invited to come to this fun time learning yoga with Jill Pokaski Azar, certified yoga instructor. Registration is required (separate sign up for each session). Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Maker Saturday, Ages 8-15

Do you like to Make stuff? The Milton Public Library has a Maker Cart, which houses all sorts of building/engineering/technology tools. One Saturday each month, the Children’s and Teen Rooms will host a session where you can try our tools out for yourself! Build with Legos, construct and program a robot, make crafts, build with recyclable materials, and more. For ages 8-15. Registration is required.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library Children’s Room on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:

http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=MILTONPL

ATHLETICS

Milton High School student-athlete Alyssa Lum, a senior on the MHS soccer team, participated in National Signing Day earlier this week. Alyssa signed a letter of commitment to play D1 soccer for Purdue University in Indiana. As a starting midfielder, she scored 21 goals and 12 assists during the 2016 season.  She was named a 2016 Bay State All Star and First Team Bay State League All Star. As a senior, she was named the #1 player in the Herget Division Bay State League; and the #2 Player Bay State League. She was also 1st Team All State Division 2 EMGSA; #2 Ranked Division 2 All Stat EMGSA; Eastern Mass Girls Soccer Association All Star 2016; and Leading Goals/points in the Bay State League. She was also the MHS Team MVP, the MVP for Offense and the Team Captain in 2016.

Although Alyssa missed two consecutive years of high school soccer, due to torn ACL in both knees, she was able to return from her injury and excel at her sport and earn a spot on a Big Ten team playing Division 1 soccer.

“Alyssa Lum is the most impactful player ever to play soccer at MHS,” said MHS Girls Soccer Coach Brian Borde. “She is the consummate team player who leads by example.”

* * *

Milton High School Booster Club will be conducting a calendar raffle fundraiser from January 27th thru February 28th.  The drawings will be held daily during the month of March- there are 39 prizes to be awarded! As you can see we have many exciting prizes. Each calendar cost $10 with a goal of raising $30,000.

Calendar cost $10 each
Make check out to MHS Boosters
If you need more tickets- contact Jeanne Kibble (617-331-4848 call or text) or j.kibble@comcast.net
All proceeds go back to the ATHLETES !
All tickets and money must be returned to the concession stand by February 28 in order to win March 1
All prizes were generously donated by Milton residents, MHS alumni and parents
Each athlete is being asked to sell just 10 tickets. If they didn’t bring any home- contact Jeanne Kibble to get your packet.
Every sale is necessary and appreciated. And all proceeds benefit the athletes of Milton High. Please friend Milton Parent (Boosters) on Facebook to see the drawings and to find out who won!

Thank you for your continued support!!

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here:

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 some of our fifth-graders at Collicot school this week. These students began their volunteer jobs this week, which means they have chosen to give up their recess to help younger students in various classrooms ranging from preschool to fourth grade.

 

In this picture, a fifth grade student is supporting third grade students in Mrs. Kelley’s class during literacy. Students were working on reading paired texts and answering short response questions using an online resource. 3rd graders: Elsa Crowley and Kelly Murphy 5th grader: Kendall Stirling

Staff:  Special recognition should be given to Emily Nazzaro for partnering the Collicot students in the program mentioned above with preschool volunteer opportunities. I would also like to recognize the Collicot Grade 5 teaching team for coordinating this effort.  (Ellen Lohan, Kelly Hannon, Anna Currie, Kelly Murtagh, Amanda Vasconcelos, Fatim Kramer, Katie Callahan, and Jessica Murphy)  All jobs were assigned after students responded to a Google survey distributed by the homeroom teachers! Thank you to all.

Volunteers: I would like to recognize the efforts of a dedicated group of Milton volunteers — the Citizens for a Diverse Milton. I meet with members of this group on a regular basis and I am always amazed by their energy, passion and commitment to this community. Their work is important and I appreciate all that they do.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:  Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

 

 

 

January 25th E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 25•17

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Please note, tonight is our Kindergarten Information Night at 6:30pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium, 25 Gile Road. This event is for parents/guardians of incoming kindergarten students.

On March 2nd, we will host the First Grade Information Night at 6:30pm (for parents/guardians only) at the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium.

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I normally try to send my weekly E-blasts out on Friday, but this week I have two pieces of good news that I cannot wait to share. First of all, we had an amazing event at Milton High School last night. Thanks to the efforts of MANY people, we celebrated the “grand opening” of the new Wildcat Wellness Center.  I never use the phrase “…it takes a village…”, but the staff and friends of the Milton Public Schools proved that there is some truth to the expression, demonstrated by the way they came together and worked with the Milton Foundation for Education for this event.

Last night’s WWC Opening was perfect from beginning to end.  Students, staff, residents, elected officials and especially our amazing partners – the MFE Board Members – were all thrilled, proud and pleased. On behalf of the generations of students who will benefit from the WWC, thank you to ALL who donated their time, money, energy and resources to making this dream a reality. No public school in this Commonwealth is fortunate enough to have a partner like the Milton Foundation for Education and the staff and faculty to bring this vision to life.

SECONDLY, I have fantastic news from the Music Department. We recently learned that six students from Milton High School will be participating in the MMEA All State Music Festival in March. These students were selected as part of a statewide competition, with auditions held last week in Shrewsbury. Congratulations to Jamie Eder (Jazz Band); Dominik Hyppolite (Mixed Chorus); Nethania Marc (Orchestra); Benjamin Scott (Concert Band); Katherine Steele (Mixed Chorus); and Stephen Tan (Mixed Chorus).

Our music students will be competing in several upcoming events during the next few weeks:

  • January 28th    Eastern District Junior Festival Auditions will be held for Grades 7-9. Milton High has 9 students auditioning and Pierce Middle School has  18.
  • February 4th    SEMSBA Junior and Senior Festival Auditions for Grades 7-12. Milton High has 55 students auditioning and Pierce Middle School has 26.
  • February 11th MMEA All State Treble Chorus Rehearsal for Grades 5-6 at Northborough High School. 22 students from Milton Public Schools will attend.

Please enjoy these photos from the opening of the Wildcat Wellness Center:

Mr. Jette cutting the ribbon for the Wildcat Wellness Center

Mr. Collyer, one of the original supporters who helped in the planning of the WWC, gave a welcome speech.

State Senator Walter Timilty took a tour of one of the rooms that are part of the WWC.

Students from MHS help to cut the ribbon as part of the WWC Grand Opening

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been no School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, February 1st at 6 pm in the Cable Studio, Room 245 at Milton High School.

Please note at this Feb. 1st meeting, the Milton School Committee will be discussing the FY18 budget. Since the Milton Board of Selectmen are considering a Proposition 2 ½ override, the School Committee will be looking at what initiatives would be funded if the override were to pass, and what cuts/reductions to school services would be necessary if the override were to fail.

FY18 Budget Presentations for parents/guardians have been scheduled across the district. Any interested citizen can attend any one of these sessions, as they are not school-specific.

  • Collicot/Cunningham, Feb 7th at 6:30pm, Collicot/Cunningham Library
  • Pierce/MHS, Feb 8th at 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium
  • Tucker, February 9th at 6:30pm, Tucker Library
  • Glover, February 16th at 6:30pm, Glover Library

CURRICULUM NEWS

The following items were sent to us by Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Amy Gale:

The First Annual Milton BoomWriter Bee: The Milton Public Schools have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Milton based Ed-tech company; BoomWriter.  Over the last five years, our friends at BoomWriter have partnered with us to support the implementation of a highly engaging online writing experience.  Students have written stories that have been published, have explored non-fiction topics from a variety of perspectives and through the BoomWriter platform have engaged in the process of peer review.  This resource has become an invaluable opportunity for learning at the elementary level and one that students are always eager to participate in.

Chris Twman, Co-Founder and CEO of BoomWriter , along with his colleague and Co-founder Ken Haynes recently proposed a new and exciting way for students to participate in a BoomWriter project. All students in grades 4 and 5 across the district will participate in the First Annual Milton Boom Writer Bee. All children will read Chapter One of a story and then each week write the chapters that follow. A voting process will select a winning chapter each week. At the end of the project, we will have a published book written by the pens (actually keyboards) of many of our students. All students along the way will have the opportunity to provide feedback and determine the direction of the story, thus making it a truly collaborative writing process.

The Bee will kick off the week before February vacation with a school-based assembly for all grade 4 and 5 students and will culminate in the end of March with a celebration, honoring the writers and the completion of the book! Books will be offered for sale by BoomWriter, the proceeds of which will be donated back to the schools to support important school based initiatives.

* * *

Children Discovering Justice is a literacy-based social studies curriculum that has been well known to much of the Milton Public Schools community for many years now. Over the last three years, under the guidance of Educational Director Jan Shafer, the program has been newly updated and now allows increased opportunities for children to read, write and speak about such sophisticated topics as democracy, equality, justice and fairness.  Students begin to understand the connection between rules and law and are “empowered to stand up for their beliefs, engage in respectful discourse, and resolve differences in constructive ways.”

We have found the program to be beneficial on many levels. The rich literature that is the backbone of this program can be used as a model in literary, historical and social contexts and has allowed for students to broaden their thinking in a multitude of ways. Children are looking at issues from new or different viewpoints and exploring essential questions that allow them to see beyond their own communities and experiences.

The 2016-17 Pilot of this program (with thanks to the district) in all kindergarten classrooms and 10 additional classes from grades 1through 5 has taken off. Teachers are reporting that students have been thoroughly engaged in the program while developing academic language and vocabulary and a sense of civic understanding. It is clear that this pilot has been a successful one, children have been given a valuable resource to continue to engage in meaningful discourse about topics of great importance in their lives, their communities and the world.

* * *

The following item was sent to us by Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Butler:

Last month, the Collicot First Lego League (FLL) team, the LEGO LEGENDS, attended a Qualifier Event at Boston University Academy. Led by coaches Laura McDermott, Fatima Bourass, and Anna Currie, the team of 14 fourth- and fifth-graders got to share the hard work they have done by competing against 23 other teams during five robot matches and three interviews behind closed doors with a panel of judges. The interviews consisted of questions about their robot design, team dynamic/cooperation, and their research project, which was all about army ants!

I would like to recognize and congratulate the Collicot FLL team members and coaches: Mason Pellegri, Rebecca Raider, Michael Labbe, Owen Creamer, Riley McKnight, Amari Long-Francois, Natalie Mills, Audrey Joyce, Christopher Helm, Billy MacQuarrie, Taylor Xu, Luke Gibbons, Ida Zoll, Winston Cathcart, and coaches Fatima Bourass, Laura McDermott, and Anna Currie. A special “thank you” to the Collicot PTO for supporting the FLL team!

Members of the Collicot First Lego League collaborating on a project

The Collicot First Lego League

Collicot First Lego League members at a competition

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

The MHS Winter Cabaret will be held on Thursday, February 9th at 7 pm in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium. Come and see a variety of student acts, including singers, songwriters, pianists, string quartets, jazz combos and rock bands. Admission is $5 at the door. Come support the music students!

MSE/SUMMER PROGRAMS

The following item was sent to us by this year’s Milton Summer Enrichment Co-Directors, Bernadette Butler and Cat DesRoche:

Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2017! We are looking forward to a fun-filled summer with the children. This letter will serve as the first of many communications in the upcoming months about MSE, and contains important information about our program.

Administration for MSE: Those of you who have had children participating in the MSE program in past years know that Jonathan Redden did a tremendous job of hiring high-quality teachers and high school staff, ensuring the children in attendance were safe and had fun, and keeping families aware of MSE updates and happenings. Mr. Redden will now be moving on from the position, and Bernadette Butler (MPS Elementary Science Coordinator) and Cat DesRoche (Tucker Curriculum Coordinator) will now be working together to ensure 2017 is the best summer yet! We can be contacted via email at mse@miltonps.org. We are fortunate to have Billy Donovan (bdonovan@miltonps.org) on our team as well, who will be continuing his role of coordinating middle and high school courses.

MSE Courses: Recruitment for teachers interested in implementing engaging and fun courses is underway! We look forward to offering wide range of courses that are appropriate for various grade levels and interests. In early April, families will be sent the “At a Glance” document, which contains a listing of courses available for each grade level during each hour. Families have found this helpful when planning potential course selections for children. Before official registration begins, you will receive the official MSE Brochure, which contains course descriptions and very important information pertaining to the program. In late April, online registration for MSE 2017 will begin. Please see below for important tentative dates (keep in mind these dates are subject to change slightly, but you will be updated if dates change). Registration: Online registration will begin in late April and remain open for one month. We will also have personnel available to help you register in person if you cannot use the web-based registration tool (times/dates will for face-to-face registration sessions will be released in April). Please note that all courses are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. As courses fill, they will be removed from the drop down menus and will no longer be available to you, regardless of whether you register online or in person. We have strict caps on our classes to ensure that each course is manageable and safe for our teachers and our children, and appreciate the community’s support to ensure the program is the best it can possibly be for all involved. If you miss the online registration window, you must make arrangements to register in person. This year, during the month of June, we will be adding mandatory “Schedule Pick-Up” times during which parents/guardians must come to collect their child’s MSE schedule lanyard and trouble-shoot any questions/concerns regarding schedules. There will be “Schedule Pick-Up times” at each school and at a variety of times (before school, after school, evening) to ensure all families have the opportunity to collect their schedule(s) prior to the first day of MSE. It is our hope that this will ensure a smooth start to the program on June 26th when the children arrive! Dates/times/locations will be communicated after online registration closes.

Tentative Dates to note:

  • April 3: “At a Glance” document is sent out for course planning purposes
  • April 12: MSE Brochure document is sent out
  • April 26 – May 26: Online Registration
  • May 1 and May 2: In-person registration (time and location TBD)
  • Month of June: Schedule Pick-Up Sessions
  • June 26 – July 27: MSE 2017!

Logistics: MSE will be held at Milton High School and will run Monday-Thursday, 8:00-12:00 from June 26 – July 27, 2017. Please note there will be no MSE on Monday, July 3 or Tuesday, July 4 and no MSE on Fridays! We will keep our fingers crossed for no snow days, but if needed, we will adjust the dates of MSE and will keep you informed of any changes.

2017 Tuition:

  • 1 Course = $175 3 Courses = $525
  • 2 Courses = $350 4 Courses = $600
  • Family Max = $1,200 Pre–K = $650
  • Non-Resident MSE Tuition: $300 per course hour per student
  • Make-Up Courses for High School Credit $300 per 2-hour course
  • Non-Resident for High School Credit: $525

We are looking forward to a fantastic summer at MSE 2017! Please be on the lookout for more communications in the upcoming months, but if you have questions in the meantime, contact the directors, Bernadette Butler & Cat DesRoche at mse@miltonps.org

* * *

Is your high school student looking for a summer volunteer or work opportunity?  Click this link to learn more about the 2017 Milton Summer Enrichment Red Shirt opportunities, and to apply for a position! All applications are due by February 17.

FROM THE READERS

From time to time, interested parents and staff members will send me articles on relevant trends in education or timely issues for our district. Please click to the link to see an interesting article on how to help your student develop a love of reading.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was sent in by Sara Truog, MPL Children’s Librarian:

Winter is wonderful at the Milton Public Library! Fun family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular storytimes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of February 5 – 11:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 7:15 – 7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11

Join the newest craze: the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. No registration is required.

Friday, February 10, 2017 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Free Play Friday, Ages 0-5

Drop by and enjoy puzzles, games and activities in the Story Hour room. The room will be open for two hours in the morning for you to enjoy with your little ones (ages 0-5). In partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance.

Friday, February 10, 2017 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Lego Club, Ages 6-12

Come build with the library’s Lego collection!  Each month we’ll build on a different theme.  At the end of the hour, your creations will go on display for all library visitors to enjoy.  Ages 6-12 welcome. Registration is required.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Cooks ‘n Books, Grades K-5

Enjoy a story and make a tasty treat with Debbie Alsebai of Kidz Cooking. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library Children’s Room on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

* * *

The following item was sent to us by Magda Cupidon, MPL Young Adult Librarian:

The Milton Public Library will be offering yoga classes for teens with Ms. Joanne Lloyd on select Tuesdays from 4-5pm in February and March in the Keys Community Room. Join Ms. Joanne for a free yoga class from 4-5pm on February 7, February 28, March 7, and March 21. You can come to one, you can come to all! Don’t forget your mat. We look forward to seeing you there! All teen programs are for students in grades 6-12.

The Milton Public Library will be offering two free Study Skills Workshops with veteran teacher and education consultant, Ms. Eliza Srestha in February and March from 4pm – 5pm in the Keys Community Room. The February 6th workshop will focus on Essay Writing, covering the basic steps of writing an effective essay: brainstorming, outlining drafting, and revising. The March 6th workshop will focus on Organization, where students will learn different strategies to help with time-management and staying focused. All teen programs are for students in grades 6-12.

For more information, please contact Magda Cupidon, Young Adult Librarian, at (617)698-5757 or mcupidon@ocln.org.

* * *

The Milton Public Library’s Study Skills Workshop presents “Write That Essay!” In this workshop, you will learn how to: create a persuasive argument, support your ideas , organize your points and proofread.  The session will be held Monday, February 6th from 4-5pm in the Keys Community Room.  All teen programs are for students in grades 6-12

The Study Skills workshop series is presented by Eliza Wagner Srestha, founder and director of ES Tutoring & Consulting, is a veteran educator with seventeen years of teaching experience. She also works for Boston University as a Program Supervisor in the School of Education. Students should bring a tablet, laptop, or paper and a writing utensil.

To see a complete listing of library events, please click here: http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=MILTONPL

ATHLETICS

There will be an Open House/Crew Information Night on Thursday, February 9th and Tuesday, February 28th in the Milton High School Library. Both sessions will run from 7-8pm. MHS Crew offers Milton High School students in Grades 9-12 the opportunity to learn how to row and compete. Crew is a spring varsity sport and no previous rowing experience is necessary.  At Information Night, they will cover information about the sport of rowing, how the program works, costs, practice days and times, etc. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about rowing. For more information, contact Program Director Milos Nokolic: mnikolic@neponsetrowing.org

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here: http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/

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: Glover Elementary School has an industrious fifth grader named Soraya Darvish who met with Glover Principal Karen McDavitt to discuss a proposal for a Kindness Club Initiative. When the school year began, she and her friend Reagan Mahoney brought this proposal to fruition. In September, Reagan and Soraya began teaching students about what it means to be a GLOVER KID. They addressed all students in whole-school assemblies, classroom discussions, and on the announcements. Each month, they select a different symbol to represent positive behavior. In January, they handed out bags of mittens to each teacher. Students can earn mittens for any demonstration of positive behavior. When a student earns a mitten, they get to bring it to the main office, hang it prominently on the tree that Soraya and Reagan created, and every Friday, we “pick” a mitten from each grade. Those students are called to the office and we have a Friday Wrap-Up announcement. Walking by and noticing friends’ names on the Kindness tree is a favorite activity of Glover students. The focus on positive behavior has allowed us to recognize all of the Glover students who work so hard every day to make good choices. We are very proud of Soraya and Reagan for bringing this initiative to Glover!

Staff:  I would like to recognize Colleen Martin, a music teacher at the Glover Elementary School. In addition to all that Ms. Martin does every day to make a difference in students’ lives here at Glover and Tucker, she has also facilitated and supported our amazingly talented singers on their road to All-State Chorus. Each week, she works with students selected, preparing repertoire for them to present on Saturday, March 11 as part of the state-wide chorus. She will accompany the students on multiple trips to rehearse with the All-State Chorus and will proudly watch as Milton Public Schools’ talented singers take the stage. Thank you, Ms. Martin, for your dedication and hard work!

Volunteers: I would like to thank all the student tour guides and equipment “demonstrators” who helped to make last night’s Grand Opening of the Wildcat Wellness Center such a huge success.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

 

 

January 20th E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 20•17

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Friday, January 20th, 2017

There are still two chances to see the Pierce Player’s presentation of “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” There is a show tonight (January 20th)at 7pm and tomorrow (January 21st) at 2pm.

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I’m excited to attend next week’s Grand Opening of the new Wildcat Wellness Center (WWC.) This project is the culmination of the efforts of the Milton Foundation for Education, the Milton Public Schools and countless generous sponsors and donors. The Wildcat Wellness Center has been used by our student athletes and non-athletes alike since its initial opening this fall. These new spaces are much more than weight rooms. They are designed to serve as a meeting space where all students can work out together. It is hoped that the WWC will encourage all students, regardless of their athletic proficiency, to achieve. The Grand Opening will take place on Tuesday, January 24th at 6:30pm. I will include pictures from this event in my next E-blast.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. That meeting is summarized below:

The meeting began with the School Committee recognizing the Pierce Players’ upcoming production of Aladdin, with several cast members appearing to perform part of a number. The MHS Girls Cross Country team was also recognized for having won the state championship for the second year in a row. Members congratulated the team and their coach, Tom Shaw. As part of the Chair’s Report, the committee heard a presentation from NESDEC on enrollment projections. Click here to view this report.  As part of the Superintendent’s Report, Janet Sheehan, Assistant Superintendent and Dr. Angela Burke, Technology Administrator gave an update to the committee on Web Based Communication and Educational Technology Strategy. Next, Ms. Sheehan discussed Curriculum and Parent Engagement Strategies for Addressing Prejudice and Insensitivity. The committee reviewed and approved the 2017-2018 School Year Calendar. The committee reviewed the Superintendent’s Evaluation Feedback Summary and approved the Superintendent’s Goals. The  Finance Subcommittee voted to approve a vendor warrant before adjourning to executive session.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Important Dates for 2017 Pre School Registration, Kindergarten Registration, STEM Night and First Grade Information night -mark your calendar.

  • January 25th – Kindergarten Information Night in MHS Auditorium at 6:30pm (parents/guardians only)
  • January 27th – Pre -School lottery
  • By February 6th – Pre- School letters are sent to families
  • February 13th & February 17th – Pre- School Registration in MHS Library (parents/guardians only)
  • February 14th to16th– Kindergarten Registration in MHS Library (parents/guardians only)
  • February 15th – First Grade Interactive STEM Demonstration/Program Explanation in the Collicot/Cunningham Cafeteria at 6:30pm (parents/guardians & students) Click here for more information.
  • March 2nd – First Grade Information Night in MHS Auditorium  at 6:30pm (parents/guardians only)

* * *

The following item was sent to us by Pierce Science Coordinator Christie Chiappetta:

Pierce Students Learn About the Chemistry of the Universe in the Starlab: The 7th grade students at the Pierce Middle School visited the Starlab, the district’s inflatable planetarium, last month with their science teachers. The lessons worked as a conclusion to the Astronomy unit as well as an introduction to their next unit, Chemical Interactions. Led by their science teachers, Rachel Clancy, Anh Le, Allison Meleedy, and librarian, Jess Royster, students experienced three stations in the library focusing on the chemistry connections between stars and the elements in the periodic table.  In the Starlab, students learned how to find some of the constellations currently visible in the Northeast.  The presentation included a discussion on the life cycle of stars and the chemistry behind the colors of Betelgeuse and Rigel, as they observed the stars that make up Orion.  In the computer lab, students completed the We Are Stardust Webquest where they learned how the birth of stars led to the formation of the naturally occurring elements in the universe.  At a text based station, students focused on the elements found in our star, the Sun, and on planet Earth. Students from the REACH classroom also visited the Starlab this week.  They experienced a presentation about the constellations currently visible in the night sky including some of the myths behind them.

* * *

In my last E-Blast, I mentioned that one of our Glover third-grade teachers, Shauna O’Leary, will be featured in theMassachusetts Reading Association’s 2017 calendar. Please see her article below, on “Thinking Through Your Pencil.”

oleary snip

 

* * *

This weekend, a group of debate students will be traveling to New York City to compete in a National Tournament at Columbia University. The students will be competing against the top teams in the Northeast.  Our high school students have been working on their cases for the past  two months based on the following:

Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.

Best of luck to our Debate Team students, along with their coaches, Kacy Dotoli and Dana DePaul.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Front Row (L to R): Shoilee Banerjee, Nuasheen Chowdhurry, GiGi Jiang, Naila Dorre-Tyrell, Tanvir Islam, Al Lenz, Ornella Ebongue. Back Row (L to R): Kacy Kalell, Domenic Jancaterino, Aislinn O’Brien, John Daly, Matt Sullivan, Jack Cullen, Sean Bentley, Dana DePaul.

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

There are still two chances to see the Pierce Player’s presentation of “Disney’s Aladdin Jr.” There is a show tonight (January 20th)at 7pm and tomorrow (January 21st) at 2pm. See this flyer for more information.

GUIDANCE NEWS

The following item was submitted by Guidance Director Karen Cahill:

Please join us on  Thursday, January 26th at 6:30pm at the Milton High School Auditorium when Drew Heilpern, from Summit Educational Group, will discuss college entrance exams both the SAT and ACT.   Mr. Heilpern will be discussing everything you need to know about the changes to the SAT, how it compares to the ACT and answer any questions you may have.  Students of any grade and parents/guardians are welcome to attend.

FROM THE READERS

One of our blog’s readers sent in the following report:

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy recently released its Condition of Education in the Commonwealth’s 2017 Action Guide, entitled “Putting Students at the Center of Reform.” The Rennie Center’s mission is to improve public education through well-informed decision-making based on knowledge and evidence of effective policymaking and practice. The report can be viewed by clicking here:

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance just released their Winter 2017 newsletter. Click here to view this listing of playgroups, classes and other events.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was sent in by Sara Truog, Children’s Librarian:

Winter is wonderful at the Milton Public Library! Fun family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular story times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of January 29 – February 4:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 from 7:15 – 7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11

Join the newest craze: the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. No registration is required.

Friday, February 3, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
Yoga with Jill, Ages 3-5

Children ages 3-5 are invited to come to this fun time learning yoga with Jill Pokaski Azar, certified yoga instructor. Registration is required (separate sign up for each session). Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
Reading Dogs, Grades K-5

The Reading Dogs are back!  Kids currently in grades K-5 who need to practice reading aloud are invited to come meet and read to some lovable therapy dogs who are great listeners.  Each child will have the opportunity to read at least one book to one of our canine volunteers.  Bring a favorite book with you, or choose from our shelf.  Registration is required.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library Children’s Room on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

VISUAL ARTS

The following item was sent to us by the Milton Art Center:

Gallery 334 at the Milton Art Center invites the public to “Points of View,” a select photography invitational. The opening reception will be January 27th from 7 to 9pm. With backgrounds ranging from commercial to fine art, this exciting show juxtaposes the unique points of view of 21 talented Boston area photographers. Come explore the unique and powerful perspectives from an array of talented image-makers. Free and open to the public with wine bar and refreshments. Entertainment by Claudia Wellington and Pat Neves.  The exhibit will run from January 27th to March 11th. Gallery hours are Friday 4-6pm; Saturday 12-4pm and by appointment.  For more info, visit the MAC website.

ATHLETICS

Congratulations to our Girls Indoor Track Team, who won the D4 State Relay meet last weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center. Please read the summary below from Coach Tom Shaw:

If you missed the relay meet this past Sunday you missed one of the most bizarre meets I have ever been a part of. From uniform drama, to athletes falling on the track and even dealing with teams in the wrong heat of their relay – it was full of drama. But what made it the most exciting is the fact that we won! We have never won this meet before. Last year, we came close, but we lost by only ONE point. We certainly earned this one the hard way, through grit and clutch performances.

Here are the highlights:

The girls Long Jump Relay of Abigail Jean-Baptiste, Alexis Daly and Jessy Iwuala successfully defended their title from last year. While they did not break their own school record from last year, they certainly were the best team of the day. They bested runner up Pentucket by over a foot!

The girls Shot Put Relay team put together the best shot-putting performance EVER by a team from Milton High School. They bested their own school record of 82 feet, which they set last year by over 8 feet. The trio of Helene Juzyca, Stephanie Che and Erianna Hines earned 4th place with a combined performance of 90′ 11.75″. Last year, that would have been good enough to win the meet.

Bridget Mitchell had two stellar finishes as the anchor leg in both of her races. She needed to put on an impressive kick to give the team of Bridget, Ella Affanato, Colette O’Leary and Elise O’Leary the meet record in the 4x800m. They broke the meet record by less than a second ( .34 seconds.) Bridget then outkicked the reigning Outdoor State Champion in the mile (Rachel Sessa) by an equally small margin of .37 seconds to help the Distance Medley Relay team of Ella Affanato, Josie Cousineau and Antonnea Umeh deliver a much-needed win in the Distance Medley Relay. Had she not outkicked Rachel, we would have lost the meet by two points — instead of winning it by two points.

What is just as impressive about the 4x800m and Distance Medley Relay teams is that we were able to have two relay teams score in EACH of those events. In the 4×800, Eliza O’Donnell, Clodagh Corcoran, Margaret Pellegri and Emme Schewe finished 6th overall earning one point for the team. Also in the Distance Medley, Genevieve Connelly, Eliza O’Donnell, Josie Cousineau and Margaret Pellegri put together a stellar third place finish, behind only our first-place Milton team and Tewksbury.

The High Jump Relay team of Jessy Iwuala, Taylor Burns and Antonnea Umeh also hung on for a key point in that event by finishing sixth overall. Jessy led the way with her best jump so far this season by jumping 5′ 1″.

In the 50 Yard Shuttle Dash, we were the defending champs from last year. Abigail Jean-Baptiste, Dayajna Roache, Alexis Daly and Atheana Pierre gave their best at defending the title and while falling just short with a second place finish, they still gave solid performances and delivered eight badly-needed points toward the team title.

And finally — if there wasn’t enough drama at the meet already  — in the final event, it came down to the 4x400m with the scored tied between Milton and Tewksbury. In a race that saw multiple lead changes, we were never in first place until the last 80 meters. Josie Cousineau, Colette O’Leary and Saron Kindle did their best leading up to Elise as the anchor leg. When Elise O’Leary got the baton in 4th place with the meet on the line, she cranked out an incredible relay split of 57seconds to secure the win in the 4x400m and the overall team title.

This was an awesome win, because it took a complete team effort. We scored points in all disciplines of the sport — from the throws, jumps sprints and distance events. It’s so much more rewarding to win a meet with every event group knowing they contributed to the win. And it is also important to mention there were many other girls that competed on Sunday that I have not mentioned here. They all ran hard and gave gutsy performances we can be proud of. This is a wonderful group of young women to be working with.

* * *

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here: http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/

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 and thank the students who are performing in Aladdin this weekend at the Pierce Middle School. In addition, those students who have volunteered to be part of the crew are also to be commended. We all know how much time, work and effort goes into putting on a top-quality show like Aladdin. Congratulations to each and every middle-schooler who helped to make this show such a success!

Staff:  Congratulations to Pierce Middle School teacher Kristen Fleury, who was recently selected by the NSTA Awards and Recognitions Committee as a recipient for the 2017 Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers. As part of this award, Ms. Fleury has been invited to attend the NSTA National Conference in Los Angeles this spring, where she will be presented with her award.

Volunteers: I would like to thank and recognize Marvin and Andrea Gordon for their recent donation, which will further the efforts of the Milton Public Schools to support Social Emotional Learning.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

 

 

January 13th E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 13•17

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Friday, January 13th, 2017

Please join us for this year’s Milton Interfaith Clergy-sponsored MLK Celebration, which will take place on Monday, January 16th from 6:30-8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Ave.

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

We are very excited about the upcoming performance by our own Pierce Players. These talented middle schoolers will be performing “Aladdin Jr.” on Thursday, Jan. 19th at 7pm, Friday, Jan. 20th at 7pm, Saturday, Jan. 21th at 2pm. In case of inclement weather, there will be a make-up “snow date performance” to be held on Sunday, January 22nd at 2pm.

For those of you who have never been to a performance of the Pierce Players, you are in for a treat. Our students, under the direction of Pierce Drama Teacher William Deschenes, stage an incredible “mini-Broadway” type of theater experience. Tickets to these shows frequently sell out, so I would strongly encourage advance purchase. General Admission tickets are $10 and they can be purchased at the main office of Pierce Middle School during school hours. Download a ticket order form by clicking here.

Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who have helped to make this production such a giant success, and I wish them all the best as the curtains go up!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been no School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 18th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

For parents/guardians of children entering Preschool, Kindergarten or Grade One, please note below:

  • January 25th – Kindergarten Information Night in MHS Auditorium at 6:30pm (parents/guardians only)
  • January 27th – Pre -School lottery
  • By February 6th – Pre- School letters are sent to families
  • February 13th & February 17th – Pre- School Registration in MHS Library (parents/guardians only)
  • February 14th to16th– Kindergarten Registration in MHS Library (parents/guardians only)
  • February 15th – First Grade Interactive STEM Demonstration/Program Explanation in Collicot/Cunningham Cafeteria at 6:30pm (parents/guardians & students) Click here for more information.
  • March 2nd – First Grade Information Night in MHS Auditorium  at 6:30pm (parents/guardians only)

* * *

Congratulations to Rebecca Damiani and Morgan Schneider for a wonderful Winter Jazz Night in the Charles A. Winchester Auditorium, which featured a great display of combos as well as big bands. This was Ms. Schneider’s jazz debut in her first year at MPS. Her ensemble work with the students is amazing. There were six groups performing a variety of jazz repertoire which finished off with the Pierce Middle School and Milton High School Jazz Bands at a well-attended concert. Jazz is alive and well in Milton Public Schools!

* * *

I am so proud to share some exciting news with you all! We recently learned that Ms. Debra Thoresen, Grades 5-12 Strings Director, and the MHS Chamber Ensemble will perform at the Massachusetts Music Educators All-State Conference in March.

Each year, the MMEA Conference Committee selects four exemplary ensembles for Concert Hour, a performance that features the most outstanding ensembles in the state.  This year, Ms. Thoresen submitted an audio file of her winter concert program for consideration, and it was selected to be one of the four featured performances!

This is the highest honor a performance ensemble can receive from the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.  Frequently, Milton is represented at state-level festivals by individual student performers, however, it is a rare occurrence when a whole ensemble is showcased.  Please join me in congratulating Ms. Thoresen on this major professional accomplishment, and her students for their dedication and hard work.

I posted this link in a previous E-blast, but for those of you who missed it, here is a recording of the performance. It is well-worth a second look.  (The soloist is Nethania Marc, a MHS Junior.)  I hope you enjoy!

BUDGET NEWS

Now that we are in the midst of the FY17-18 budget season, we will be holding presentations for our parents/guardians. Please see the schedule below, and if you cannot attend the session for your child’s school, you may attend any of the other presentations.

    • Collicot/Cunningham, Feb 7th at 6:30pm, Co/Cu Library
    • Pierce/MHS, Feb 8th @ 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium
    • Tucker, February 9th @ 6:30pm, Tucker Library
    • Glover, February 16th @ 6:30pm, Glover Library

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

January 25th – Kindergarten Information Night at 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium, 25 Gile Rd.

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about the day in the life of a kindergartener, how each classroom is set up, the kindergarten curriculum used across the district and the registration process. All families who have pre-registered by January 15, 2017 will receive a registration packet and appointment time at the conclusion of the program.

February 15th – First Grade Interactive STEM Demonstration/Program Explanation, 6:30-7:30pm., Cunningham/Collicot Cafeteria, 44 Edgehill Rd

This event provides parents/guardians and their kindergarteners the opportunity to learn more about the STEM component to the English Innovative Pathway, which begins in Grade One. Participants will also have the chance to work together to solve a fun and interactive STEM problem!  Current kindergarteners and their parents/guardians from across the district are invited to attend.

March 2nd – First Grade Information Night – MHS Auditorium, 25 Gile Road.

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about Grade One Programs. Information will be presented regarding the English Innovation Pathway, the French Immersion program, common curriculum and assessments, assignment plans, time frames and lottery.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

The following item was sent in by Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Butler:

On May 1, a golf tournament will be held at Granite Links to help support the Science from Scientists program in our elementary schools.  We are looking for volunteers in the Milton community that may be able to help with: soliciting sponsors, helping to manage financial aspects of the tournament, website design/maintenance, and more. Please contact Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Butler and the tournament co-chairs  (chipinforescience@miltonps.org) if you are interested in helping!

See below for more information on the Chip In Fore Science golf tournament:

Chip in Fore Science is dedicated to the continuation of a well-loved 5th Grade science enrichment program called Science from Scientists; a yearlong in-class instructional program that sends two charismatic scientists into the classroom on a bi-weekly basis for the entire academic year to lead standards-based, hands-on, and fun science lessons, and provide all necessary equipment and materials. With a goal of raising $60,000.00 annually we are able to facilitate Science for Scientists to assist our teacher to educate, motivate and inspire our children in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Visit their website sciencefromscientists.org for more information.

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The following item was submitted by Food Service Director Jackie Morgan – and written by Rita Stegman- Intern from Framingham State University

On, Tuesday, January 17th the Milton High School we are rolling out a new lunch concept!  “My Way Café”. Just like their favorite Mexican chain, students can create a burrito bowl using fun and nutritious ingredients. Students will choose lean seasoned taco meat or flavored diced chicken with jalapenos and queso to add a burst of flavor while brown rice, black beans, peppers, onions and shredded romaine lettuce will add tons of nutrients.

One of the options that students can choose from is our new spicy rice. (Featured in our last email blast). This brown rice is cooked in diced tomatoes and seasoned with cumin, curry and chili powder. Students who want a classic option can choose regular brown rice. They may choose whole grain tortilla chips or a whole grain tortilla. Whole grains meet the nutrition standards and provide important fiber and B vitamins.

Delicious toppings for their bowl include seasoned black beans, sautéed peppers and onions, fresh guacamole, fresh salsa, shredded low fat mozzarella cheese and melted cheese. Beans are an essential part of a healthy diet and a requirement from the National School Lunch Program. Also, they are the perfect addition to a burrito bowl. Salsa, lettuce, onions and peppers pull from many different vegetable categories and can be mixed and matched however the student chooses.

My Way Café is a unique way for students to make their own combinations of delicious, healthy ingredients. Encourage your kids to stop by the cafeteria to make a burrito bowl their way!

FROM THE READERS

As many of you know, we had our Preschool Information Night last night at Milton High School earlier this week. So this article, sent in by one of our readers, is both informative and timely. Originally published in Prevention Science, the article discusses the benefits of students’ one-on-one relationships with preschool teachers.  Click here to read the article.

MFE NEWS

We are pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the Wildcat Wellness Center. This new, state-of-the-art cardio and weight training facility is an outstanding addition to the Milton High School campus.

This project could not have happened without the knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm MHS Vice Principal Brian Mackinaw, Athletic Trainer Patty Pauris, and MHS English Teacher Steve Collyer, all of whom worked very hard to get our new Wildcat Wellness Center up and running. A small reception will be held on Tuesday, January 24th at 6:30pm outside the new Wellness Center.

The MFE helped to fund this important Health & Wellness initiative.  The weight training room has been in use since mid-September and the cardio room opened in October. Most of the finishing touches have been completed at this time and the rooms are fully functional and ready to be used. This will be an invaluable resource for all our students!

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Please Save the Date! On April 8th, the MFE will hold their annual Celebration for Education at Lombardo’s in Randolph.  Details to follow!

NEWS AROUND TOWN

MSAPC Strategic Planning Retreat was Inspiring and Productive

Last month, nearly 70 Milton residents, leaders, students and employees attended an engaging and informative Strategic Planning Retreat at Curry College, hosted by the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Four community contributors to youth substance misuse in Milton were identified, based on information gathered from our community assessment, and small groups brainstormed strategies for how to address them. We came away with excellent suggestions!  The next step is for the coalition’s Core Stakeholder Group to meet on January 24th to prioritize and refine the suggestions we received.  We will announce when the strategic plan is finalized, which will appear on our website. Thanks to Steve Nelson, we have some fantastic pictures of the strategic planning retreat, and we encourage you to peek at them to see just how engaged everyone was. Here is a link to our website where the pictures can be found.  (Scroll down the page to the “Strategic Planning Retreat Images.”) https://www.milton-coalition.org/strategic-plan

Marijuana Dispensary in Milton

The New England Patient Network (NEPN), a marijuana dispensary that is seeking a letter of support or no contest from the town, requested a meeting with members of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.  The meeting was held on January 10th and coalition representatives Caroline Kinsella, Deborah Milbauer, and Noel Vigue were in attendance. Ms. Kinsella informed NEPN representatives that the MSAPC was there to listen and ask questions, but that they were not authorized or prepared to make any decisions on behalf of the MSAPC. The Selectmen will likely vote on NEPN’s request for a letter on January 31st at 7pm at a public hearing.  The location will appear on the town’s new website.  www.townofmilton.org

BID-MILTON

Quilting for the Compassionate Companions Program

Our Compassionate Companions Program is a pilot offering focused on providing comfort and companionship to patients to are terminally ill.  This session is an opportunity to tie quilts that will be distributed to terminally ill patients.  These quilts are a source of great comfort to our patients and their loved ones during a difficult time.  No sewing or quilting experience is necessary!  Martha Burke, wife of Dr. Dennis Burke, is a terrific teacher, and supplies the quilts, needles and thread. The session will be held on Wednesday, January 18 from 5-6:30 p.m. (Conference Room)

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following was sent in by MPL Children’s Librarian Sara Truog:

Winter is wonderful at the Milton Public Library! Fun family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular storytimes on Monday and Tuesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of January 22 – 28:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 7:15 – 7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11

Join the newest craze: the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a brand-new, read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in various hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. We will be starting a new book at this session! No registration is required.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 10:00 and 10:45 am
Launch Party: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

The Children’s Room invites your baby, toddler, or preschooler to participate in our brand-new program, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten! Come to this party to learn all about the program and sign up on the spot. Miss Sara and Miss Elaine will be on hand to read stories to get your child started, and everyone who registers will receive a prize! We’ll be offering two sessions of this program from 10-10:30 and 10:45-11:15; choose the one that suits you best. No registration is required. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library, and in part by a grant from the Milton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Friday, January 27, 2017 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Free Play Friday, Ages 0-5

Drop by and enjoy puzzles, games and activities in the Story Hour room. The room will be open for two hours in the morning for you to enjoy with your little ones (ages 0-5). In partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance.

Friday, January 27, 2017 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Lego Club, Ages 6-12

Come build with the library’s Lego collection!  Each month we’ll build on a different theme.  At the end of the hour, your creations will go on display for all library visitors to enjoy.  Ages 6-12 welcome. Registration is required.

Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
American Girl Tea, Ages 5-10

Please join the Friends of the Library and the Children’s Room for a tea celebrating all things American Girl! We’ll be enjoying tea and snacks, doing crafts, and more. Participants may enter a raffle with several wonderful prizes! Bring your American Girl doll with you and let her join in on the fun. For ages 5-10. Because spaces are limited, registration is required. Cost: $5 per child, which is due at check-in for the event. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library Children’s Room on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:

ATHLETICS

As we near the midpoint of the winter season, our teams will be looking to qualify for the State Tournaments. The Girls Hockey team sits at 6-1-1 and hopes to punch their tournament ticket in the next few games. The Indoor Track teams are both undefeated and are strong contenders for Bay State Conference Championships. The Boys Ice Hockey team, both Basketball teams, and the Wrestling team are all hovering around .500 and are working hard to make runs to post season play. Please check our new and improved athletic website for recaps of recent athletic contests. Click here for the Wildcats website.

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Spring Sports sign-ups will open up on Family ID on February 1st. Spring sports will begin on Monday, March 20th.

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For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here:

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 and thank the following students, who have been selected to serve on our Safety Patrol. The Safety Patrol is a group of volunteer students in the 5th grade in all four elementary schools. The Safety Patrol is tasked with making sure all students are safe around the school, before and after the school day starts.  Duties of a Safety Patroller could include serving the school community, assisting teachers at arrival and dismissal, and helping other students arrive and depart the school building. Students selected for the patrol will have the opportunity to train with a representative from AAA, who will visit each school and teach patrollers about techniques they can use to help others be safer in our school environment. As a member of the Safety Patrol, students may be asked to arrive at  school early or stay at school later than they normally would.  Patrollers will be assisting teachers with arrival and dismissal at an assigned post.  I would also like to thank our Transportation Director, Jake Smith, for his work on this project. Collicot: Cora Redmund, Steven Mason, Nolan Murphy, Ella Cantor and Mariel Jones. Cunningham: William Bilowz, Emma Buckley, Tommy Conley, Atticus d’Alessandro, Charlie Little, Kiera Nosal, Jack Ryan and Paige Warren. Glover: Soraya Darvish, Grace Festa, Violet Figuerido, Leo Heikka and Patrick Plunkett. Tucker: Julia Mangum, Catherine Best, Daniel Thomas, Jerry Kennedy, Kelly Dorlean, Hoa Tong, Yekta Manaveglu, Emerson Dobrindt, Anna Labbe, Mudia Ordion-Ukpebor.

Staff:  Glover teacher Shauna O’Leary is being featured in the MWRA’s 2017 annual published calendar. There is a wonderful article about Ms. O’Leary’s work at Glover featured in the March section of the calendar. The MWRA published the calendar to recognize individuals who work on innovations in literacy instruction and features individuals from state and national literacy organizations for each month. Ms. O’Leary was recognized for her writing instruction. Congratulations!

Volunteers:  I am always grateful to our volunteers and the Milton Foundation for Education has some of the hardest working volunteers in Milton. I wish everyone could meet these people and spend time with them. Along with our PTO and Milton Boosters volunteers, the MFE volunteers are tireless advocates of the Milton Public Schools. Please join me in thanking the following:

Officers: Presidents: Will Korman, Denise Queally; Vice President: Eileen Heller, Karyn Viveiros; Treasurers: Leslie Collins, Pete McLoughlin; Recording Secretary: Rachel Schewe; Corresponding Secretary: Sheila Leddy

Trustees:Courtney Affanato, Henry Bell, Leslie Collins, Jeanne Conley, Caroline Dodero, Margaret Eberhardt, Amy Flanagan, Greg Gordon, Eileen Heller, Piel Hollingsworth, Regine Jean-Charles, William Korman, Sheila Leddy, Kari McHugh, Pete McLoughlin, Amy Carleton Mills, Roxanne Musto, Beth Plunkett, Denise Queally, Bill Resnick, Julie Ritchie, Karly Maria Rizzo, Angela Rue-Van Allen, Ray Sambrano, Rachel Schewe, Allen Schweitzer, Susan Sullivan, Liddie Sutter, Nora Vernazza, Karyn Viveiros, MaryJane Walsh.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

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January 5th E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 05•17

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Thursday, January 5th, 2017

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

It’s that time of year when we begin gearing up for our Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade One information nights and registration periods. Please spread the word to friends/neighbors who have children in these age groups. There is a detailed timeline below under “Curriculum News,” and more information can be found on the front of our website.

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We were pleased to hear that the Town of Milton and the Milton Public Schools will be featured on a segment of Chronicle television show on Channel 5 tonight, January 5th at 7:30pm. Click here to see more information about this program

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast, which was held last night. School Committee members were given an FY18 budget update and voted to approve an FY18 fee schedule and two vendor warrants. The Committee also approved three sets of minutes before adjourning. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, January 18th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Please note the following important upcoming dates for parents and guardians of students entering Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade 1 for the 2017-2018 school year.

Important Preschool Dates:

January 12th – Preschool Information Night at 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium, 25 Gile Road.

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about the similarities and differences of the five preschool programs offered by the district including curriculum, classroom design, lottery criteria, cost, payment scheduling, tuition assistance and registration process.

January 12th through January 26 – Preschool Pre-registration (online)

The pre-registration link will be posted during the information session. If a lottery is required, only those pre-registrations completed by January 26, 2017 will be entered.   Chromebooks will be available for any parent/guardian who wishes to complete the pre-registration at the conclusion of the program.  Families pre-registering after January 26, 2017 will be awarded a seat based on availability.

January 27th – Preschool lottery

A random, electronic lottery will be held should demand for any program exceed seats available. Should a lottery be required, it will be overseen by the Assistant Superintendent, the Family Outreach Liaison and a representative from the PTO.

February 6th – Preschool notification letters sent to families

Any family who has completed a pre-registration will be notified no later than February 6th, 2017 of their child’s placement status.

February 13th & February 17th – Preschool Registration, MHS Library, 25 Gile Rd.

Registrars will be on hand to assist families through the registration process. Parents/guardians should bring completed registration packets and all original supporting documentation and proof of residency to appointment.  Tuition assistance staff will be available to review financial aid packets and answer questions. This is a parent/guardian only event.

Important Kindergarten Dates

December 5th  – Pre-Registration for Kindergarten begins

Families with Kindergarten-age eligible students (children must be 5 on or before August 31, 2017) should pre-register at https://goo.gl/forms/nkZWAxwdwediKri42

January 25th – Kindergarten Information Night at 6:30pm, MHS Auditorium, 25 Gile Rd.

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about the day in the life of a kindergartener, how each classroom is set up, the kindergarten curriculum used across the district and the registration process. All families who have pre-registered by January 15, 2017 will receive a registration packet and appointment time at the conclusion of the program.

February 14th, 15th, 16th – Kindergarten Registration, MHS Library, 25 Gile Rd.

Registrars will be on hand to assist families through the registration process. Parents/guardians should bring completed registration packets and all original supporting documentation and proof of residency to appointment.  This is a parent/guardian only event.  Children will be screened in May.

Important 1st Grade Information:

February 15th – STEM Info Night, 6:30-7:30pm., Cunningham/Collicot Cafeteria, 44-80 Edgehill Rd

This event provides parents/guardians and their kindergarteners the opportunity to learn more about the STEM component to the English Innovative Pathway, which begins in Grade One. Participants will also have the chance to work together to solve a fun and interactive STEM problem!  Current kindergarteners and their parents/guardians from across the district are invited to attend.

March 2nd – First Grade Information Night – MHS Auditorium, 25 Gile Road.

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about Grade One Programs. Information will be presented regarding the English Innovation Pathway, the French Immersion program, common curriculum and assessments, assignment plans, time frames and lottery.

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The following item was submitted by MHS Humanities Director, Barbara Wright:

I am pleased to present the winners of the 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Art and Essay contest, sponsored by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association.  This art and essay contest is part of a larger MLK event to be held on Monday, January 16th from 6:30 – 8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Ave.  Please see the item below under “News Around Town,” for more information on this event.

Congratulations to the following Milton High School juniors who won the following awards: Josie Cosineau: art work and written component; James Le: art work and written component; Dominik Hyppolite: art work and written component; Gigi Jiang: written essay.

mlk-pic3

Only Love Can Do That. By Dominick Hyppolite. My artwork is a visual representation of Martin Luther King’s famous quotation “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The man is the light and hope that protects the girl from the hatred and darkness of discrimination. The darkness is the culmination of all dark things but the light is stronger than it. It shows that light will always succeed no matter how bad the situation seems to be. The girl is the symbol of all those who were and are oppressed during the civil rights movement.

mlk-pic2

Justice Between Two Extremes. By James Le — The picture depicts Lady Justice standing between a scale holding a white flag on one end and a dagger on the other, with each object symbolizing a faction of the black community mentioned in MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. The white flag of surrender represents the people who have accepted white supremacy and are apathetic to the Civil Rights movement, and also symbolizes the white moderate that takes no action against the injustice that occurs in front of them. The dagger represents the black radicals that resort to violence to bring about change and channels their hatred through their movement. These two contradicting forces create an imbalance and will fail to bring about change. King identifies these two opposite forces, but offers a middle ground by writing, “I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the “do-nothinghism” of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and non-violent protest.” The ideology of King’s movement is depicted as the white banner Justice holds, that combines aspects of both the dagger and the flag. King’s ideas take this middle route by actively advocating for civil rights unlike the do-nothingists,” yet still does so via peaceful protest, unlike the radicals. The discussion of apathy vs. extremism is present in today’s social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement. One faction of the community is apathetic to the goals of the movement or draws attention away from the issue at hand. Among the people in this category are the ones who use the phrase “All Lives Matter,” which not only draws attention away from the issue of police brutality and systematic oppression of black people, but also undermines the movement by erasing that fact that there is a need to highlight these injustices. The opposite of this faction are the radicals of the movement who instigate riots and acts of violence. Similar to Malcolm X’s movement, this group channels hatred and nationalism through their actions, but this only creates a negative stigma to the cause and the people involved. Similar to King’s idea of taking the middle ground, the Black Lives Matter movement will experience the most success by actively advocating the cause by means of peaceful protest, in between two extremes of apathy and extremism.

mlk-pic1

By Josie Cousineau. My illustration of MLK’s mugshot has a background of a very famous portion of his letter and his jail number is replaced with the word “equality.” It captures King’s idea that you must stand up for your cause even if it means there are consequences, because if there is, that means you’ve made an impact. He was placed behind bars in a Birmingham jail because he was in a protest to better the treatment of African Americans. It was there where he wrote his letter to eight clergymen who asked him to refrain from taking action. Behind the drawing of MLK is the section of the letter where he states that the clergymen cannot just ask him to wait to take action and then goes on to describe all the hardships African Americans have gone through to show why it cannot wait any longer. Around his neck is a sign that says “Equality,” because that is the reason he ended up in jail, fighting for equality. I did this because his followers would not just see a number, they would see a cause. This is relevant to our world today because not only is his letter taught in high schools across the country, but you could also argue that the type of protests he led are still around today. In the recent election, in effect of its outcome, there have been protests because there are people who passionately feel it should have gone away. In Boston a few weeks ago, there was a peaceful protest where people held up signs that said, “Make America Kind Again,” and “I Love All Humans.” Even though MLK was assassinated, his legacy still lives on.

Following is the essay written by MHS junior Gigi Jiang:

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The fabric of our time is a thick blurry mist. One miniscule post on social media can result in a thousand more reposts. A joke can be turned into a topic of a debate and then end up in the news. So when Martin Luther King wrote that “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,” it fits in with our situation perfectly. For example, examine the Black Lives Matter Movement. Starting in 2013, it was merely a hashtag; now in 2016 it is an international activist movement. When the shooting occurred in 2013 of Trayvon Martin, his family members became distressed. Then the emotions worked out beyond that and started changing the ideas about justice in our system. People grew upset and protested, causing an uproar and divided country. Hoodies, Skittles, and cans of Arizona Iced Tea became symbolic of Trayvon. Thousands of people rounded up to protest for George Zimmerman’s arrest. Some went out to seek for his death and these were people that did not even know Trayvon directly. The question of the right of Zimmerman to shoot down Martin led a chain reaction to many more cases about police rights and how much power they contain. So one shooting in Florida caused the country to burn with a fire ever so bright that has not been seen since Martin Luther King. As a result, the fabric of our time has been tossed and torn up. Issues arise and are altered to benefit certain sides, but perhaps if we take Martin Luther King’s words, that can assist us. If we start a movement of positivity, it should change others for the better, rid of prejudice, and eliminate the need for hashtags that drive this country apart. #Beneathitallweareallhumans.

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The following item was submitted by MHS Science Department Head, Amy Tom:

The high school science department is fortunate to be working with the high school Pre-K class this year through hands-on investigations.  The high school Pre-K program will be teaming up with high school science teachers once per term this school year to investigate various science-based questions, all taking place within the high school science lab classrooms.

Our first term experiment involved students investigating the five senses.  Pre-K students were asked to investigate their senses of smell, sight, and touch, along with investigating various states of matter.

prek-pic3 prek-pic1 prek-pic2

 

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The following item was submitted by Dawn Sykes, Director of Fine Arts & Family/Consumer Studies:

I am pleased to announce that the MPS Music Department will be represented by 22 young singers in the All-State Treble Chorus this year!  The following 5th and 6th grade students were selected by audition for this prestigious state-level ensemble, and will perform at the Massachusetts Music Educators Conference in March:

Greta Cardoza, Owen Creamer, Neve d’Arcy, Logan Do, Isabella Fiske, Kiera Glazer, William Heffron, Mia Jilani, Kaze Karuretwa, Daschel Koh, Tucker Korman, Lily Lane. Sadie Leggett, Marc Leimkuehler, Fiona McCarthy, Brynne Mershon, Kyla Miller, Lily Muir, Mary Mullen, Fionnuala Queally, Luca Sandonato and Fiona Zimon.

Congratulations to these students, Elementary Music Specialists April Allegrezza, Colleen Martin and Pierce Middle School Choral Director Julia Hanna for this special accomplishment!

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We also have this wonderful video of our MHS chamber orchestra performing Vivaldi’s “Winter,” at a recent concert. Please click here to watch.

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The following item was sent to us by Bernadette Butler, our Elementary Science Coordinator:

What is Camp Invention?

The Milton Public Schools are proud to be offering Camp Invention at Tucker Elementary School for the second summer in a row. Camp is for any MPS student entering grades K-6 and will be held July 17 – 21 from 9am to 3:30pm.

Camp Invention is one week in the summer where your child’s creativity, innovation, and problem-solving are challenged in fun and exciting ways. And while our top priority is helping to inspire future waves of big, bright thinkers, we also know that fun matters. So be ready to have some serious fun. Camp Invention is the only nationally recognized, non-profit elementary enrichment program inspired by the brightest thinkers around, the National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees. We know how to tap into your child’s natural need to discover and we do it with certified local instructors.

SECURE YOUR SPOT TODAY & SAVE $25! Use promo code DISCOVER25. Offer expires March 20th. The cost is $250 (before discount.) Register here or call 1-800-968-4332. Questions can be directed to Ms. Butler at: bbutler@miltonps.org

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I enjoyed seeing this picture of the Cunningham staff in their new red fleece jackets. The jackets were a gift from the Cunningham PTO and were delivered to staff members just before the winter break. What a thoughtful gesture!

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MPS EVENTS

The following item was sent in by Glover Principal Karen McDavitt:

Last month, we had a special visit from the classmates and family of Ms. Caitlin Clavette, Glover Art Teacher. Four classmates of Ms. Clavette’s read beautiful stories about art, nature, imagination, and creativity to all Glover students. On behalf of the Tufts Art Education MAT Class of 2007, they donated over 50 books, CDs, and DVDs to our Glover library in loving memory of Ms. Clavette. The students loved hearing the stories and are thrilled to be able to read them over and over as they are added to our collection. To express our gratitude, we made this video for them.

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The following item was sent in by Jackie Morgan, MPS Food Service Director:

This month, we are featuring a new recipe for our menu: Spicy Rice. This recipe is stocked with nutritious brown rice, fibrous beans and tasty peppers, onions and tomatoes. Curry powder, Chili powder and Cumin give the rice a flavorful kick that kids and adults will love. Our spicy rice uses brown rice to add fiber, B vitamins and calcium. It takes a little longer to cook but the extra nutrition is worth it! Along with lots of fiber, black beans are a great protein source. Eating brown rice and beans together creates a complete protein, making this a great meal for vegans, vegetarians and anyone trying to increase their consumption of high fiber and high protein foods.

Spicy Rice

Yield: 6, 8oz servings               Prep Time: 15 minutes           Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup Brown Rice, dry
1 can Black Beans (15 oz)*
4 Tomatoes, diced
½ Onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1 Red/Green Pepper, diced
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Curry Powder
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
1 ½ cup Vegetable Stock*

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium-sized pot. Add spices along with diced onion and pepper until translucent.
  2. Add diced tomatoes and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
  3. Add vegetable stock.
  4. Add rice and cook, follow package directions (using stock instead of water)
  5. Drain and rinse beans. Add to rice about halfway through cooking.

Serve as a side or a main dish!

Nutrient Analysis for 8-ounce portion:

230 calories – 3 g Total Fat – 0.50 g Saturated Fat – 400 mg Sodium – 43 g Carbohydrates – 7.3 g Fiber – 7.6 g Protein 742.4 IU Vitamin A – 29 mg Vitamin C – 66 mg Calcium

*Always look for low sodium canned products

GUIDANCE NEWS

The following item was sent to us by MHS Guidance Director Karen Cahill:

Please join us on  Thursday, January 26th at 6:30pm at the Milton High School Auditorium when Drew Heilpern, from Summit Educational Group, will discuss college entrance exams both the SAT and ACT.   Mr. Heilpern will be discussing everything you need to know about the changes to the SAT, how it compares to the ACT and will answer any questions you may have.  Parents/guardians and students of any grade are welcome to attend.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

The Milton Boosters have an upcoming event on Saturday, January 7, from 9am to noon. They will be hosting a Cans for Cats drive at MHS to benefit the Ski Team. Please drop off all your holiday cans and bottles in the front driveway of Milton High School, 25 Gile Road, Milton.

MFE NEWS

The following item was sent to us by the Milton Foundation for Education:

Recently you received an important letter from the Milton Foundation for Education asking you to make a gift to our Annual Appeal.

The MFE is a non-profit, independent organization that works with the community to generate resources to make possible innovative opportunities that are beyond the reach of the school system’s budget. Many of the wonderful Teacher Grants you have read about in previous E-blasts have been made possible only through your continued, generous support of our Annual Appeal. These opportunities have included: Science from Scientists, wireless internet in all six schools, Biotech Lab, peaceful playgrounds, SMART boards, STARlab, Wildcat Wellness Center, artists-in-residence, anti-bullying initiatives, mentoring programs, enhanced libraries, and so much more. Together we have distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. If you haven’t already, please consider a tax-deductible gift again this year. Every dollar changes lives.

Look for the letter we recently mailed, or log onto www.MiltonFoundationForEducation.com to make your gift today. Thank you for support. We feel beyond fortunate to work with such incredible schools, passionate teachers, and an amazing community.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

This year’s Milton Interfaith Clergy-sponsored MLK Celebration will take place on Monday, January 16th from 6:30-8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Ave.  The theme is “Character & Leadership: Where Do We Go From Here?” This annual event will feature artwork, essays and poetry from Milton Public School students, as well as a performance by the MHS Gospel Singers and our elementary school choirs.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was sent to us by Sara Truog, Children’s Librarian:

Winter is wonderful at the Milton Public Library! Fun family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular story times on Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of January 15 – 21:

Monday, January 16, 2017
LIBRARY CLOSED

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 from 7:15 – 7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11

Join the newest craze: the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a brand-new, read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in various hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. We’re currently reading Odd, Weird and Little by Patrick Jennings. No registration is required. In partnership with Milton Reflecting.

Friday, January 20, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
Yoga with Jill, Ages 3-5

Children ages 3-5 are invited to come to this fun time learning yoga with Jill Pokaski Azar, certified yoga instructor. Registration is required (separate sign up for each session). Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Pop-Up Art School, Ages 6-11

Join us for a diversity-themed class with The Pop-Up Art School! In a collaborative project each child will make a circular drawing representing their family’s country of origin, using colors and shapes from that country’s flag(s). Each drawing will be cut into 4 squares. Your child will receive one square of their artwork to take home. After the class, all of the remaining squares will be mixed and reassembled into a large paper quilt. The finished project will represent many countries of origin together in a unified whole, and will be on display on the Library’s lower level within a week of the program. For ages 6-11. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Library, and offered in partnership with Milton Reflecting.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library Children’s Room on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:

http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=MILTONPL

VISUAL ARTS

The Milton Art Center submitted the following item:

On February 10th, from 6:30-8:30 pm the Milton Art Center will be hosting a Red Hot Valentine’s Dessert Contest.  Girls and boys grades 1-5 are invited to attend and compete in the RED HOT Dessert Competition. All supplies are included in the $22 admission fee. Prizes awarded! Raffle Baskets and refreshments available for $1.00 each. For more information, https://www.miltonartcenter.org/

ATHLETICS

Last month, we published a list that included Boston Globe All-Scholastics, All-Stars along with Bay State All-Stars. Unfortunately, Haley O’Brien was omitted from the list. She was named the Bay State All Star for her volleyball season. Congratulations to Haley!

The following item was submitted by Athletic Director Eric Karjel:

Our winter sports season is now in full gear. The ski team opens up next week and all the other teams are now competing on a regular basis. The Girls Hockey team is off to a great start as they are 5-1-1. The Boys Hockey team is also off to a strong start as they are 3-2-1 and won the Quincy Holiday tournament. The Boys basketball team has been very impressive on their home court with a 3-0 home record and an overall 3-1 record. The Girls basketball team continues to improve and with their 53-49 win at Walpole this week are now 2-3. Both the Boys and Girls Indoor track teams are 2-0. The Wrestling team pulled out a hard fought 39-29 win over Brookline this week to even their record at 3-3. The swim team has been very competitive and continues to improve as they look for their first win of the young season.

For complete game recaps please go to our new athletic department website here, where you can also find schedules, directions, and a staff directory.

Spring sports registration will begin on February 1st. Spring sports will start on March 20th.

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here:

http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/

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: Although the holiday season is official over, I would be remiss if I did not mention a very special group of students from Milton High School who help to bring holiday cheer to our school and our community. The MHS Carolers are a group of singers who brighten each morning by singing holiday songs in the lobby of Milton High School. In addition, this group provides entertainment for our Retiree Luncheon and also travels to the Council on Aging, Fuller Village, the Boston Home and “Caroling on the Common,” to get everyone in the holiday mood. Many thanks to Dawn Sykes for her leadership of this group, and to the following singers:  Kendall Smith, Annie Wong, Penelope Holland, Paula Hogan, Vanessa Lorden, Colleen Conley, Katie Steele, Arielle Solomon, Annabel Botsford, Julia Butler, Sarah Mitchell, Hannah Solomon, Maeve Bentley, Kaleigh Pentland, Alisa Lorden, Stephen Tan, James DiSandro, Dominik Hyppolite, Lucas Kery and Aidan Guilderson.

Staff:   Although not technically a staff member, I would like to welcome Mr. Richard Fernandez to the Milton community. Mr. Fernandez has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton (BID-Milton) effective January 30th. I expect that Mr. Fernandez will be an outstanding partner to the Milton Public Schools, in a similar way to his predecessor, Peter Healy. Mr. Healy left BID-Milton at the end of the year to assume the newly created position of President of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Mr. Fernandez is a health care executive with more than 20 years of experience across community hospitals, large physician groups, health care systems and academic medical centers. We wish him all the best in his new role. I would also like to say thank you and best wishes to Mr. Healy in his new position.

Volunteers: I would like to thank the Milton Interfaith Clergy for all their work in our community, but especially for organizing this month’s event. The Martin Luther King Jr. annual celebration is an amazing community event that everyone should consider attending. Please join us on Monday, January 16th from 6:30 – 8pm at Concord Baptist Church, 180 Blue Hill Ave.

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 2nd E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jan• 02•17

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Monday, January 2nd, 2017

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I hope all of our Milton Public School staff and families enjoyed a healthy and happy New Year and that all are enjoying the last evening of the holiday vacation. Please read the memo below from Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal of Pierce Middle School:

 

Good afternoon Milton Public Schools families, faculty, and staff.  The Pierce Middle School would like to extend to you a special invitation to a parent/guardian presentation that will take place at the Pierce Middle School on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 6:30 PM.  Please see below for more information:

Fostering Healthy Relationships in Our Children:  Preventing Teen Dating Violence

It’s never too early to start.

Please join us for a special presentation to parents/guardians.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 6:30 PM in the Pierce Middle School Auditorium

As the Center for Disease Control points out, “Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.”   Although one might think that the late elementary and middle school years are too early to think about the prevention of teen dating violence, a strong research base suggests that this is precisely when work in this area must begin.  Preventing teen dating violence while teens have already begun “dating” is far less effective than doing this critical work in the early years.

Last year, the Pierce Middle School was awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support work that would foster healthy relationships in our youth.  As part of these efforts, we are pleased to invite parents and guardians to attend a presentation by Casey CorcoranProgram Director for the Children and Youth Program at Futures Without Violence.  During this presentation, Mr. Corcoran will present data that define and describe teen dating violence, delineate the healthy behaviors we hope to see early on in our children, and define what role we as caregivers play in promoting the development of healthy relationships.  We hope that you will be able to join us for this important presentation!

Sincerely,
Dr. Karen L. Spaulding
Principal
Pierce Middle School

December 23rd E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Dec• 23•16

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: December 23rd, 2016

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The following letter was written by Pierce Middle School Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding and was sent to all Pierce families last night. I wanted to inform the Milton Public School community about this incident and assure each of you that we are fully cooperating with the Milton Police Department’s investigation. I would also like to reiterate that one of our district’s core values is “Respect for Human Differences.”  We strive each and every day to promote a culture that is both safe and supportive to all of our students and will continue to do so. – Mary C. Gormley

Dear Parents/Guardians: I write this afternoon to share with you that swastikas were recently discovered in one of our student bathrooms. This is extremely troubling and highly inconsistent with the inclusive culture that we are committed to creating at the Pierce Middle School.  In response to these incidents, we immediately and thoroughly investigated, identified who was responsible, and followed up as is dictated by the Code of Conduct in the Pierce Middle School Handbook.  I especially wish to reassure you that I and my entire staff are firmly committed to fostering a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment for every member of our community.  To that end, this type of behavior will not be tolerated at the Pierce Middle School.  In addition, I will be working closely with my leadership team and the entire faculty in the days to come to determine appropriate educational next steps.

If you or your child would like to discuss this further or need some additional support, I encourage you to reach out to your child’s guidance counselor or me directly. Please see below for your child’s guidance counselor’s information:

Grade 6: Mrs. Veldran          Grade 7:  Mrs. Benjamin        Grade 8:  Ms. MacCurtain
lveldran@miltonps.org     ebenjamin@miltonps.org            emaccurtain@miltonps.org
617-696-4568 ext. 3607        617-696-4568  ext. 3605           617-696-4568 ext. 3606

Again, you can always reach out directly to me as well at kspaulding@miltonps.org or 617-696-4568 ext. 3602.

I thank you in advance for partnering with us in our efforts and wish you and your family peace in the coming year.

December 20th E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Dec• 20•16

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I am writing to follow up on my earlier blog about medical privacy in our schools. I have received some comments from parents/guardians who are concerned about changes in how the district will disseminate health information to families.  Please know that Milton takes public health concerns seriously and our protocols and practices are aligned with the Department of Public Health regulations and guidelines.

As recommended by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Milton Public Schools has adopted a non-exclusionary protocol for pediculosis (head lice). Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Students diagnosed with live head lice generally do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. School nurses will screen any student who exhibits signs/symptoms of head lice. Children who are found to have live lice or nits will not be sent home from school. Parents of affected students will be notified before the end of the school day and advised to contact their healthcare provider for treatment options. An informational fact sheet on head lice will be provided to the parent. Classroom/grade-wide notification letters will generally not be sent home unless deemed appropriate. Children will be allowed to return to school after parents confirm with the school nurse that treatment has begun. For more information on this issue, please see http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html.

With regard to other illnesses, diseases or conditions, the school nurse, in consultation with the school physician and district administration, will follow DPH guidelines and best practices to determine whether a letter should be sent home to families or if any action steps are required at the specific school site. Communications related to specific contagious disease or conditions will be provided as appropriate and with an emphasis on providing accurate information, and, at the same time, protecting the identity of the involved student and/or employee.  In most instances, specific information relating to age, gender and grade level will not be included in external and internal communications about specific cases.

In cases where there is a student with a documented specific illness or condition that makes the student vulnerable to harm from exposure to certain illnesses, the school nurse will continue to provide those families with all information necessary to protect the health/safety of those students.

Thank you as we work together to safeguard the privacy of students and protect the health of our school community.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been no School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held January 4th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Please note: The last day of classes before winter break will be Friday, December 23rd and it will be a full day.

The following item is from Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Butler:

Come one come all to the elementary science fairs!  We invite our youngest scientist to come out and show what they know at each school’s science fair.  All science fair projects are optional and are done at home.  We welcome students to come present their science fair projects or simply come as spectators.  Please be on the lookout for specific information about your school’s science fair!

Glover:
Wednesday, February 1
Thursday, February 2

Tucker:
Thursday, March 16

Cunningham:
Tuesday, February 28

Collicot:
Thursday, February 2
Thursday, February 9

The following item is from MPS Elementary Librarian Lori Henry:

Libraries across the district launched Atriuum! Atriuum is a new web-based library management system and students town-wide are learning to navigate Atriuum to delve into the library catalog for their information and literary needs. Students can access each of the elementary school’s library collections from the Edline pages using any Internet connected computer or mobile device. Atriuum is proving to be a very user-friendly system for students, families, faculty and staff! Click here for the link.

The following item is from PMS Art Teachers Stephanie Sherman and Robyn Thompson:

Please join the Pierce Middle School Art Department for their Annual Winter Arts Festival!  All families are welcome to stop by the Pierce Art Rooms on Wednesday, December 21st from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  You will be free to browse student artwork, shop for small gifts, play games to win prizes, and even complete your own art project.  This event is sponsored by Pierce Art Teachers , and the Pierce Middle School Art Club.

The following item was sent in by Dawn Sykes, Director of Fine Arts and Family/Consumer Studies:

Earlier this month, elementary schools welcomed visiting artist Wen-hao Tien into third grade classrooms to lead a workshop on the art of Chinese Brush Painting. This enriching cultural and creative experience was made possible by the Milton Partnership for Arts and Cultural Education (MPACE).

Wen-hao Tien is a visual artist, and Chinese culture consultant and educator who works at New Art Center in Newton, MA. Wen-hao grew-up in Taiwan and is an alumnae of Taipei First Girls High School and Tunghai University. She later moved to the United States to pursue graduate studies at Columbia University in New York, and has been leading workshops related to Chinese arts and calligraphy since 2002.

In the workshop, third grade students learned about the history and technique of Chinese Brush Painting, and participated in creating a collective artistic work. In doing so, students accessed Massachusetts Visual Arts Standard Seven, which allows students to investigate how artists create their work, and requires them to describe the roles of artist patrons, cultural organizations, and arts institutions of the past and present.

artpic1 artpic2 artpic3

Photos provided by Jessica Gillooly, Tucker Art Teacher.

The following item was submitted by Amy Tom, MHS Science Department Director:

MHS students recently participated in a lab project as part of the Anatomy & Physiology courses at the high school. The activity was used as an introduction to the skeletal system unit.

Please find the objective from the teachers below:

  • Students will be able to reconstruct a human skeleton from disarticulated bones.
  • Students will be able to identify and label 30 major bones in the body.
  • The A&P teachers at the high school are Mrs. Burns, Mrs. Plunkett, and Mrs. Yifru

science2 science1

 

I am pleased to report that Milton High girls excelled at the Women in Science Competition last weekend at Bedford High School.  Seniors Liezel Werner, Aislinn O’Brien, and Maxim Alvarez competed against 38 other teams, covering 21 different districts.  This was Milton’s first appearance at the competition, and Linda Stefanick and Amy Tom spent Saturday brainstorming ways to get more girls involved for next year, along with ways to best prepare for the competition.

Below is a link with pictures from all events of the competition – the Milton girls are in there!

https://sites.google.com/a/bedford.k12.ma.us/women-of-science/2016-photos

 

womeninscience1

 

The following items were submitted by Noel R. Vigue, Director of Health and Physical Education:

Milton Public Schools has been working diligently to provide a variety of ways to incorporate social-emotional learning opportunities for all students.  Please enjoy the following example provided by Cunningham Elementary Adjustment Counselor Jaclyn Germano:

This is an introductory lesson regarding the practice of mindfulness.  The goal is for students to understand what it means to be mindful and then begin practicing the skill.  The book that has been used in many classrooms is titled “Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda” written by Lauren Alderfer.  This book has lovely, bright pictures and is written with simplified language for both children and adults to begin understanding the powerful practice of mindfulness.

After reading the story the students take time discussing what it means to be mindful and share their thoughts on the subject.  Then the mindfulness practice begins.

The students are instructed to position their bodies in a mindful manner.  This involves trying to be still, while seated on the floor with their legs crossed or positioned underneath themselves with knees bent.  If students are seated in chairs, they are told to have their feet on the floor,  while their torso should be straight up and their hands are resting gently on their thighs. The reason for this procedure is for students to become aware of where their bodies are in space and to keep them feeling grounded.  This is known as having a “mindful body”.

Practicing the skill of mindfulness not only involves body awareness, it also involves focused listening, using a chime bell.  You could also use a singing bowl, a bell, a set of chimes, or a chime phone app to recreate the exercise.  The students are asked to focus their attention on the sound of the bell.  The sound of the bell travels and lingers, when students do not hear the sound anymore they are asked to raise a silent hand.  We explain that the more focused a student is on the sound of the bell, the longer they are able to hear the sound.  This exercise is practiced several times, allowing students to adjust their bodies and minds to becoming more mindful, focused and quiet.  We’ve seen great success while using this lesson with our students.

A phrase which has been making its way through classrooms at the Cunningham School is “My MIND is FULL of right now.”  We hope that you find this example practical and useful.  For more strategies or if you have any questions regarding mindfulness, please don’t hesitate to contact Ms. Germano at jgermano@miltonps.org.

* * *

Pisa Results: Bad News In MathAmerican 15-year-olds are getting worse at applying their math skills in the real world, when compared to their international peers. The 2015 Program for International Student Assessment results are out and they show a drop in “mathematics literacy” scores for U.S. students since 2012 and 2009. “Of particular concern is that we also have a higher percentage of students who score in the lowest performance levels … and a lower percentage of top math performers” compared to the international average, said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which released the results. The disappointing numbers come after results on another international study – the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study – recently showed gains made by U.S. fourth and eighth graders in math since 1995.

– U.S. science and reading literacy scores weren’t much different from previous years. Boys outperformed girls in science and math, while girls outperformed boys in reading. Scores for Massachusetts, North Carolina and Puerto Rico were broken out for international benchmarking purposes, and revealed that Massachusetts students, on average, are outperforming students in the U.S. and worldwide in all three subjects. North Carolina students were comparable with U.S. average scores and Puerto Rican students fared worse. PISA measures the performance of 15-year-olds every three years in three subjects across dozens of education systems worldwide. Check out the results here .

– Education Secretary John B. King Jr. was in Massachusetts  to hail the state’s success with PISA – while noting that the nation as a whole is “losing ground.” According to prepared remarks, King will say that it’s “a troubling prospect when, in today’s knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world. Students in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Minnesota aren’t just vying for great jobs along with their neighbors or across state lines, they must be competitive with peers in Finland, Germany, and Japan.” King will say that Massachusetts embodies the importance of perseverance. “The PISA results announced today for Massachusetts didn’t happen instantly or by accident,” he’ll say. “It has taken years of people showing courage – principals, teachers, parents, students, and state and district leaders. It has taken years of overcoming challenges. It has taken years to make real and meaningful change happen. And it will take time to see the work we are continuing to do today truly pay off for students.” More on King’s visit.

GUIDANCE NEWS

The following items were sent to us by Karen Cahill, Guidance Director:

For parents and guardians of the Classes of 2018 & 2019, please note: Your child’s PSAT scores are now available online at collegeboard.org. The following link provides you a short 8 minute tutorial on how to access and understand your PSAT scores.

In order to access your scores, you MUST have a CollegeBoard account. It takes only a few minutes to create an account if you do not have one. Parents/guardians please do not create a second CollegeBoard account for your student. There can only be one account per student.  Once you access your PSAT scores follow the prompts on College Board to link your scores to Kahn Academy; a great FREE resource for students to help improve SAT scores. Paper reports will be arriving from College Board in January, we will mail those to you at that time. As always, if any student has any questions on how to access his/her CollegeBoard account, please stop by guidance.

* * *

 Please join us on  Thursday, January 26th at 6:30pm at the Milton High School Auditorium when Drew Heilpern, from Summit Educational Group, will discuss college entrance exams both the SAT and ACT.   Mr. Heilpern will be discussing everything you need to know about the changes to the SAT, how it compares to the ACT and answer any questions you may have.  Parents/Guardians and students of any grade are welcome to attend.

FAMILY LIAISON NEWS

The following article was submitted by Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Milton Public Schools Family Outreach Liaison:

Important “Save the Dates” for parents and guardians of students entering Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade 1 for the 2017-2018 School Year!

Important Preschool Dates:

January 12th – Preschool Information Night at 6:30pm/ MHS Auditorium

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about the similarities and differences of the five preschool programs offered by the district including curriculum, classroom design, lottery criteria, cost, payment scheduling, tuition assistance and registration process.

January 12th through January 26 – Preschool Pre-registration

The pre-registration link will be posted during the information session. If a lottery is required only those pre-registrations completed by January 26, 2017 will be entered.   Chrome books will be available for any parent/guardian who wishes to complete the pre-registration at the conclusion of the program.  Families pre-registering after January 26, 2017 will be awarded a seat based on availability.

January 27th – Preschool lottery

A random, electronic lottery will be held should demand for any program exceed seats available. Should a lottery be required it will be overseen by the Assistant Superintendent, the Family Outreach Liaison and a representative from the Preschool PTO.

February 6th – Preschool notification letters sent to families

Any family who has completed a pre-registration will be notified no later than February 6, 2017 of their child’s placement status.

February 13th & February 17th – Pre- School Registration, MHS Library, 25 Gile Road

Registrars will be on hand to assist families through the registration process. Parents/guardians should bring completed registration packets and all original supporting documentation and proof of residency to appointment.  Tuition assistance staff will be available to review financial aid packets and answer questions. This is a parent/guardian only event.

Important Kindergarten Dates

December 5th  – Pre-Registration for Kindergarten begins

Families with Kindergarten age eligible students (children must be 5 on or before August 31, 2017) should pre-register at https://goo.gl/forms/nkZWAxwdwediKri42

January 25th – Kindergarten Information Night at 6:30pm, Milton High School Auditorium, 25 Gile Road

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about the day in the life of a kindergartener, how each classroom is set up, the kindergarten curriculum used across the district and the registration process. All families who have pre-registered by January 15, 2017 will receive a registration packet and appointment time at the conclusion of the program.

February 14th, 15th, 16th – Kindergarten Registration, Milton High School Library, 25 Gile Road

Registrars will be on hand to assist families through the registration process. Parents/guardians should bring completed registration packets and all original supporting documentation and proof of residency to appointment.  This is a parent/guardian only event.  Children will be screened in May.

Important 1st Grade Information:

February 15th – STEM Information Night, 6:30-7:30pm., Cunningham/Collicot Cafeteria, 44/80 Edgehill Rd

This event provides parents/guardians and their kindergarteners the opportunity to learn more about the STEM component to the English Innovative Pathway, which begins in grade one. Participants will also have the chance to work together to solve a fun and interactive STEM problem!  Current kindergarteners and their parents/guardians from across the district are invited to attend.

March 2nd – First Grade Information Night – MHS Auditorium

Join Milton Public School administrators and staff to learn about Grade One Programs; The English Innovation Pathway and French Immersion programs, common curriculum and assessments, assignment plan, time frames and lottery.

MFE NEWS

The following item was sent in by Amy Carleton with the MFE:

In late October, the MFE’s Grants Committee and teacher readers from each of the district’s six schools met to discuss grant applications and voted to award more than $18,000 by funding 18 grant proposals. The committee’s funding recommendations were approved by the complete board at our November meeting, and award letters have now gone out to teachers!

For those curious about how the committee arrives at its recommendations, the most important factor in determining a proposal’s eligibility for funding is the quality of the idea and its benefit to student learning. This is at the core of the MFE’s mission, and we love to see student-centered proposals. In addition, applications must demonstrate creativity and/or innovation in education, clearly state the objectives of the proposal, and discuss the method of assessing the impact of the grant.

Here is a sampling of this fall’s awards:

  • Materials to teach computer coding to kindergartners at Cunningham
  • A French ‘Rolling Bookmobile’ for Grade 1 teachers to share leveled readers between their classes
  • Flexible seating ‘wobble stools’ and tables to promote interaction and collaboration at Cunningham
  • Innovative design software (Boardmaker Studio) to aid strong visual learners in communication at Collicot
  • Classroom tools to assist with vocal articulation in Collicot/Cunningham
  • Non-fiction books to teach students about ecology and life science at Glover
  • Hands-on foam cutter tool to teach mechanical design at Pierce Middle School
  • Digital web-cams for in class science instruction at Pierce Middle School
  • A library of multicultural young adult literature in French and Spanish that reflects the cultures explored in Gr. 6-8 foreign language classrooms
  • ”Sam the Super Skeleton,” an anatomically-correct model for MHS’s athletic trainer to utilize while working high school students
  • DNA Model Kits to teach structure of DNA in a hands-on fashion to Biology and Biotech students at MHS

Thank you for your continued support of the MFE and Teacher Grant

* * *

Also, please  Save the Date!  This spring’s Celebration for Education will be held on April 8th, 2017 at Lombardo’s in Randolph.

VISUAL ARTS

The Milton Art Center is offering a  drop-off event for parents/guardians of students in Grades 1-5.  To celebrate the New Year, the MAC will be hosting a “Birthday Bash,” because we all have a birthday in 2017!

Dessert Making Challenge
Friday January 27, 2017
6:30-8:30 PM
Girls and boys in grades 1 – 5 are invited to attend and design their own 2017 Birthday Cake!
All supplies are are included in the $22 admission fee.
Raffle Baskets and refreshments available for $1.00 each  Prizes awarded!

http://www.miltonartcenter.org/

ATHLETICS

Congratulations to Milton High School junior Bridget Mitchell, who was named Runner of the Year by the Boston Globe. Bridget was one of only two girls  to receive this honor.  She was recognized for her outstanding cross country season, which included a first-place finish at the All-State Division 2 race (19:15), which led Milton to a state title. She finished first at the Twilight Meet (18:06) and first at the Bay State Invitational Kevin Maloney race (18:54).

Senior Colette O’Leary was recognized as a Globe All-Scholastic for the fall cross country season. O’Leary finished eighth at the EMass Division 4 meet (19:09) and helped her team to the title. She finished 19th at the All-State Division 2 meet (20:08) as Milton won the state championship. Colette will attend UMass-Amherst in the fall.

The following athletes were also recognized by the Boston Globe:

Football: Eastern Mass All Stars: Owen Keaney, Koby Osazee. Bay State League All-Stars. David Brundage, William Crowley, Dan Flores, Omar Fraser, Owen Keaney, Koby Osazee.

Girls Soccer:  Bay State All Stars: Chae Diani and Alyssa Lum

Boys Soccer: Bay State All Stars: Liam Donelan and Josh Madden

Field Hockey: Bay State All Star: Devin Coulter

Golf:  Bay State All Stars: Jared Carney and Jared Carr

Girls Cross Country: Bay State All Stars: Ella Affanato, Bridget Mitchell, Naomi Negassi and Colette O’Leary

Volleyball:  Bay State All Stars: Joanna Needham and Haley O’Brien

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here: http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/

Or check out the new Athletic Department webpage at: http://miltonwildcats.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: Congratulations to MHS seniors Liezel Werner, Aislinn O’Brien, and Maxim Alvarez, who participated in the 14th Annual Women’s in Science Competition at Bedford High School in Bedford, MA.  Twenty-one schools participated in the event, each bringing a team of three female students to compete.  Students were asked to complete four events, covering all content areas of science and engineering.  Students were also asked to build a prototype for a final competition prior to the event involving physics and engineering concepts.  Congratulations to our students for their excellent performance.

Staff:   Kara Yifru has been nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).  Ms. Yifru is a high school science teacher, currently teaching AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Introduction to Biotechnology.  Ms. Yifru works diligently to develop effective curriculum practices for all of her classes, along with incorporating effective engagement strategies to help all her students reach their full potential in the coursework.  Outside of the classroom Ms. Yifru continues to increase her own content knowledge by attending various professional development opportunities throughout the school year, and collaborates with colleagues throughout the science department on best science practices.  We are excited for Ms. Yifru nomination and wish her luck throughout the application process!

Volunteer: I would like to thank the members of the Milton High School Key Club, who recently helped to organize a holiday toy drive. Under the supervision of the advisors, Leonice Bernard and Jane Barrett, the group created flyers, which they hung throughout the high school and decorated gift boxes which were placed in the main office and throughout the high school building. Students collected new, unwrapped toys for Milton Residents Fund Holiday Gift Program. Many thanks to all who donated. Your generosity is appreciated.

keyclub

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

 

Important Health Update

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Dec• 09•16

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Friday, December 9th, 2016

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

We have been advised by our district physician, Dr. Brieanne Midura, that in order to maintain medical privacy, the MPS will no longer send home notices to individual classrooms regarding strep throat, flu, lice, etc.

In the past, our practice was to notify the parents/guardians in the specific classrooms where the illness or outbreak was identified. However, due to both HIPPA and FERPA concerns, this practice will not continue. Medical privacy covers all medical diagnoses and this includes the flu.

MPS Head Nurse Margaret Gibbons, Dr. Midura and I discussed this issue and have notified each school nurse regarding the changing guidelines. Please keep in mind that school nurses are great resources for guidance when a school-aged child is sick.

Please read below for pertinent information on how to prevent and treat head lice. I have also included information on the flu.

KEY FACTS ABOUT INFLUENZA

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

HEADLICE TO DEADLICE

(Part 1)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCoZP5Aso5U

(Part 2)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGvGY72zAqi

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

December 5th E-Blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Dec• 05•16

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Monday, December 5th, 2016

Please note, there will be an early release day for all students K-12 on Wednesday, December 7th. Elementary teachers will be attending Parent/Teacher conferences during the afternoon and evening; and middle and high school teachers will be attending Professional Development sessions.

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

 It’s that time of year again, when we get ready to register and welcome our youngest students. Parents/Guardians of children entering preschool, kindergarten or Grade One should be aware of the following dates:

2017/2018 – Dates for Pre Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 1st Grade Information

  • December 5th -Pre – Registration for Kindergarten flier out in Blasts/Milton Times/Website
  • January 12th – Pre-School Information Night at 6:30pm – MHS Auditorium
  • January 25th – Kindergarten Information Night at 6:30pm – MHS Auditorium
  • January 27th – Pre -School lottery closes
  • February 6th – Pre- School letters are sent to families
  • February 13th & February 17th – Pre- School Registration MHS Library
  • February 14th, 15th, 16th – Kindergarten Registration MHS Library
  • March 2nd – First Grade Information Night – MHS Auditorium

Those who have children entering any of our preschool programs and have questions should contact Family  Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna at preschool@miltonps.org

Those who have questions about our kindergarten or Grade One programs should contact Laurie Dunn at ldunn@miltonps.org

Also, for a step-by-step timeline and outline of the registration process, please click here to access the flyer under the heading “It’s Kindergarten Registration Time!”

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been no School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, December 7th at 7 pm in the Milton TV Access studio, Room 245, Milton High School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

The following item was sent in by Amy C. Gale, Cunningham and Collicot Curriculum Coordinator:

 A friendly reminder to all elementary families that our new Standards Based Report Card will be sent home via backpack on Tuesday, December 6th and conferences will be held on Wednesday, December 7th.  The implementation of the new report card has allowed for all teachers to analyze the strengths and challenges of each student with regards to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Teachers will no longer be providing families with numeric or letter grades, but rather with a mark that indicates “progress toward” individual standards. We have found this to be a more effective way of reporting to families what a child knows and is able to do. Please access this link to see each grade level’s report card, the letter to families that accompanies the report card and our current list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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On November 19th, the Debate team attended the Little Lexington Debate Tournament at Lexington High School and did extremely well. The team was led by Aislinn O’Brien and Tanvir Islam, who finished 8th overall and Domenic Jancaterino and Eva Hiller, who finished 12th overall.

Overall, five of the seven teams that competed earned enough victories to qualify for the State Tournament and the 2 teams that did not qualify were one victory shy. The students did an amazing job and we are looking forward to our next tournament, which is on December 10 at Lincoln-Sudbury.

 

debate-photo

Members of the MHS Debate Team

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The following item was sent in by Dawn Sykes, Director of Fine Arts and Family/Consumer Studies.

 I am proud to announce that Nethania Marc and Katherine Steele have been selected for the 2017 All-Eastern Honors Ensemble! The ensemble will rehearse and perform in Atlantic City, NJ at the Biennial Eastern Division Conference this coming April. Nethania will be a member of the Orchestra, and Katie, a member of the Mixed Chorus.

Eastern Division is a component of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and includes the states of New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.  To be selected for a division-level ensemble is a tremendous acc0mplishment.   Congratulations to Nethania and Katie, and their families!

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The following item was sent in by Dr. Angela Burke, Technology Administrator:

With the holiday season among us many of you may be considering the purchase of a Chromebook for your scholar. Since this is one of the preferred devices of the district, we do support your decision to have your scholar utilize one at home as well; however we do not endorse any one name brand. The district currently purchases “HP”, but we believe that there are other options that work just as well. We do believe that the Chromebook is a valuable tool for all scholars and find it compatible in most disciplines. There are of course instances when an iPad may be more appropriate for a specific task, but overall a Chromebook can help our scholars accomplish most of their goals. In thinking about keeping your scholar safe on the internet Chromebooks offer a feature called “Supervised Users”. This allows parents to monitor web activity, block sites, and configure “SafeSearch”.

Here is a link to a quick YouTube video that outlines the process for activating “Supervised Users”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gd4GCd35ZA

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The following item was sent in by Pierce teachers and Model UN advisors Lauren Hoyt, Melissa Augustyn, and Nancy Warn:

This fall, Ms. Augustyn, Ms. Hoyt and Ms. Warn worked with some amazing students on the Pierce Model United Nations team. We meet weekly and engaged in topics of global importance.  We attended two conferences as a team, the Global Leadership Conference and the November Model United Nations Conference.  At these conferences, we engaged in various topics representing the countries of the United States, France, Egypt, North Korea, Myanmar, Israel and more.  We engaged in problem solving and consensus building on topics of hunger, the rights of women, nuclear proliferation, the rights of the disabled, as well as climate change and many other challenges facing the world community.  Pierce students wrote position papers and resolutions on topics that required great research and understanding.  Our students were incredibly dedicated and performed with excellence.  Throughout the fall, students read articles, researched topics and countries, and studied parliamentary procedure.  They represented Pierce Middle School and Milton Public Schools incredibly well and clearly enjoyed each and every experience.

At the November Conference, six Pierce students were recognized for their excellence. Abigail Files, Ralph Destin, Donovan Murray, Sophia Manning, Barron Clancy and Anderson Korman were given awards and invited to participate in a United Nations Crisis Simulation on December 3, 2016.  Ralph Destin, Sophia Manning, Anderson Korman, Barron Clancy and Donovan Murray attended the conference last Saturday.  Students were told the overall topic would be Ebola however, upon arrival; the topic was changed to nuclear proliferation.  Our students adjusted, read their briefings and got to work.

For the Crisis Simulation, our students represented Israel, North Korea, Myanmar, and Belgium at this conference and tried to prevent various escalations in crisis, throughout the day. Although all students performed well, seventh grader Sophia Manning was recognized for her creativity in her representation of North Korea on the topic of Nuclear Proliferation.

We are proud of all Model United Nations Team participants and grateful to have had these incredible opportunities. We are grateful for the support of the Pierce P.T.O., Pierce Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding, and Superintendent Mary Gormley for making this opportunity possible. We are also thankful for the support of the parents who helped make last Saturday possible.  John Clancy was the parent advisor on Saturday.  He stayed with the students throughout the day, sending us updates and pictures.  In addition, Bob Murray and Katie Manning both assisted with transportation.  These experiences would not have been possible without this support and we are grateful for all those who assisted.

model-un-kids

Members of the Pierce Middle School Model UN team

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

Please note, there have been some changes to the Pierce concert schedule. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, December 6th, the 6th Grade Concert will be held at 6:30pm in the Milton High School auditorium. But this concert will also feature the 7th and 8th Grade Girls Chorus and 8th Grade Band, since they were unable to perform due to the fire alarm last week.

GUIDANCE NEWS

The following item was sent in by Guidance Director Karen Cahill:

Attention, high school seniors! The January 1st deadline is fast approaching…have you requested your transcripts yet? Below is a list of what needs to be done as soon as possible if you have a January 1st Deadline.

  1. Complete the 12th Grade Student Portfolio in Naviance under “About Me”.  We cannot write your letter of recommendation  until you fill out this form. 
  2. Add your list of colleges and request transcripts in Naviance under “Colleges I’m Applying to”.
  3. Ask 2 academic teachers for letters of recommendation.
  4. After talking to the teachers about the letters, request the letters in Naviance under “Colleges I’m Applying to”.
  5. Make sure YOU have requested through College Board that your SAT scores be set out to colleges.

If you have any questions about this please make an appointment to see your guidance counselor as soon as possible.  All letters and transcripts must be sent out by December 23rd if you have a January 1st deadline.  The guidance staff will not be in school over the holiday break to send out letters and transcripts.

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The following item was sent in by Jackie Morgan, director of Food Service:

The school cafeteria is open every school day for breakfast and every full day of school for lunch, serving many choices of nutritious hot and cold lunches, with lots of fruit and vegetable options.  Our goal is to serve fun and healthy meals, with lots of choices, to as many students as possible.

We are asking all families to sign up for an online account. This not only allows you to pay on line but also set up a low balance email alert so that your child does not go into the negative.  Families can still pay by check but are being asked to set up the online account as a communication tool as Parents/Guardians can also see the last 90 days of transactions.  Having the low balance email has been very helpful to our families so their child does not go negative in their spending.

We are trying to help students be more aware of their account and let them know at the serving line when they need to reload funds or send in a new check payment. By setting up an online account at www.myschoolbucks.com and signing up for low balance alerts this will help keep you and your student more informed.

Breakfast/Lunch Prices:

  • Elementary $2.00 (Breakfast at all of our schools, $1.25)
  • Pierce Middle School $2.25
  • High School $2.25, $2.50 for Salad and Deli Bar

Milton Nutrition Services Department uses a computerized Point of Sale payment system called Nutrikids.

How to Prepay:

By check:

  • Send or bring a check (payable to Milton School Food Service Program) to your child’s school, in an envelope marked ‘Cafeteria’ for deposit into your child’s account. Your initial deposit can be any amount.       We have locked mail boxes in the main office and in the cafeteria at each school.
  • Record on the memo line of the check:  Student’s first and last name.

How the computerized payment system works:

    1. Every student will have their own personal lunch account, whether or not they ever use it.
    2. Parents/guardians can deposit money into the student’s account by check, cash, or on-line (see above).
    3. In the cafeteria there is a computer touch-screen cash register and PIN pad for entering the PIN # at middle and high school.
    4. If your student qualifies for free or reduced price lunches, this information is securely contained within the system, and the meal will be processed just as it is for all other students.  There is no need to be concerned for a potentially uncomfortable situation for the student.
    5. Students access their accounts at the cash register by entering their PIN # on the PIN pad (just like the number section on a computer keyboard) located at the register. However, if they do not remember it, we are able to access it through the computer register by entering their name. Elementary students come through the serving line with their homeroom and they just need to give their name to the cashier.
    6. Sales will be automatically deducted from the student’s account, and account use is tracked in the system.
    7. Money paid into a student’s account can be used to purchase meals or one of the snacks and beverages we have available (varies at each school level). You may contact food services if you do not want your child to purchase snacks. jmorgan@miltonps.org
    8. Student account balances are allowed to go negative (for breakfast and lunch only, no a la carte items) to a maximum limit of ($10.00). Students who owe more than that will be offered a healthy yet alternative meal until the debt is repaid.
    9. Cash sales are still an option, although discouraged, as it slows the line, leaving less time to eat.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS NEWS

The following item was submitted by MPS Health/PE Director Noel Vigue:

BOKS is a before-school exercise program that launched in October 2009. Founder Kathleen Tullie, after reading the book SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Dr. John Ratey, was inspired to get her own kids moving and boost their academic performance. She rallied a small-but-dedicated group of passionate moms armed with a mission, a simple idea and whistles.

These moms were the first volunteers of what would become a nationwide movement.  BOKS is a grassroots program, lead by parent volunteers that look to get kids moving, teach simple nutrition lessons and reinforce healthy behaviors taught in health and physical education classes.  It’s a wonderful example of school community working to help students be their best.

Studies show that students who exercise regularly, in moderate to vigorous intensities, see significant boosts in intelligence-test scores and core subjects at school, compared to their inactive peers (Ratey, 2009). There has been great interest in looking at the association between participation in physical activity programs like BOKS and academic-related skill building and executive functions. There is evidence that aerobic exercise is linked to a particular type of learning.  Researchers found that executive functions that are closely related to learning achievement can be improved by acute and recurring moderate to vigorous physical exercise (Kubesch, Walk, Spitzer, Kammer, Lainburg, Heim, and Hille, 2009). They examined the effects of a single 30-minute physical education program on working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition of attention and behavioral tendencies of eighty-one students.  Results indicate that the maintenance of on-task attention in the face of distraction was improved by an aerobic endurance exercise-based physical education program. Interestingly, over the course of three years of study, the patterns towards more improved working memory for BOKS children as compared to their non-BOKS peers had been strong and suggest a robust relationship between participation in a before-school physical activity program, such as BOKS, and improved capacity to complete tasks, carry out instructions, and to multi-task.

School districts across the country are seeing the results and looking to provide more opportunities for students to be physically active and help prepare their brains to learn, Milton is no exception. Standardized test findings from BOKS builds the case that physical activity engagement can actually support learning and that increased physical activity involvement positions children to be more ready and alert for learning experiences.  Researchers Sattelmair and Ratey suggest the link between learning and physical activity may be strong, citing research that indicates students who receive a high level of strenuous physical activity exhibit higher test scores (2009).  Ratey points out that, exercise does not specifically make someone smarter, but what it does do is optimize the brain for learning for 90+ minutes post-exercise.  Consistent with Ratey’s findings, three years of research on BOKS points towards valuable associations of participation with, enhanced executive skill functioning, and improved performance on school-related learning measures.

BOKS is a great example of some of the ideas that we are exploring, as we look to find more possibilities for students to be physically active and improve academic performance.

We would like to recognize the following parent volunteers for their outstanding efforts and valuable time spent organizing the before-school exercise program BOKS (Build Our Kids Success).

  • Collicot: Thank you to Eric Kelley (BOKS leader), with tremendous support from Heather Bergin, Jon Heelen, Patty Gervasi, and Marie Morse.
  • Tucker:  Thank you to Tracy Troiano, Meena Tondravi, Keith Schleicher, and Theresita Cochran for spearheading the effort to bring BOKS to Tucker.
  • Glover: There is a rotating list of parents/guardians helping with BOKS at Glover. We would like to recognize Courtney MacNaught (BOKS leader), Deborah Milbauer, Melanie Manares and Andrea Synnott for all their help.

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact MPS Health/PE director – Noel Vigue at: nvigue@miltonps.org.

(Reference: Natick BOKS study prepared by: National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College, 2011-2014)

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

The following item was sent to us by MPS parent and Philanthropy Officer for Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Milton, Anne Gatnik:

Is running the Boston Marathon on your bucket list? Well here’s your chance to make it happen! Team BIDMC is now accepting applications for runners who would like to run the Boston Marathon on April 27, 2017 for BID-Milton.  Runners selected to run for BID-Milton will raise funds for patient care at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton. The fundraising minimum is $7,500 for charity runners and $1,000 for qualified runners. Runners are fully supported in their fundraising and training efforts through Team BIDMC. Apply at www.2017treadstrong.org. Please submit your application by Thursday, December 1st.

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The following item was submitted by Mme. Brown, a first-grade teacher at Glover Elementary School:

Please drop off your used soccer uniforms (and equipment) in collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot/Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce schools and at 34 Cliff Road. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. Note that uniforms from other sports will also be gratefully accepted. (Collection dates are November 28th – December 16th)For more information, call Madame Brown @ 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public schools and Milton Soccer

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

The following item was submitted by Tracy Grandeau, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services:

The Milton Public School District strives to promote an inclusive environment for all students through our instructional practices, curriculum, and support services. Moreover, the Inclusion Task Force continues to make recommendations to further expand opportunities for all students in our schools and the Milton community.

Inclusive Schools Week is celebrated this year during the week of December 5th. One way in which we embrace Inclusive Schools Week is to review and use resources in our classrooms. To further enhance inclusive opportunities for all students, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has published the Educator Effectiveness Guidebook for Inclusive Practice (2015).  This guidebook is a valuable resource for teachers and administrators to use in the classroom setting and the guidebook provides suggestions  regarding  strategies to foster inclusive practices. The guidebook can be found using this link:

Also, please note that starting today, Tracy Grandeau, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services, will be emailing every teacher a daily reminder of best practices for inclusion next week.

MFE NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Amy Flanagan of the MFE:

The Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) is thrilled to announce the commencement of our 20th Anniversary Competitive Grant Program!

Last year, the MFE celebrated 20 years of funding initiatives that have altered the educational landscape of our school system, many through our Teacher Grant Program. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we have created a special commemorative grant. Like our previous grant programs, this is designed to provide innovative and inspiring educational opportunities that fall outside the district’s budget. These are ideas conceived by the people who are on the forefront of educational discoveries and know what our students need best – our incredible teachers! Such grants have provided musical instruments, hands-on STEM opportunities, anti-bullying initiatives, enhanced libraries, artist-in-residency programs, social thinking programs and so much more.

The 20th Anniversary Competitive Grant Program will be all of this and more. Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful sponsors and generous community through Celebration 2016, we are putting this year’s grant program into overdrive. We have invited teachers and department heads to apply for grants of larger scope than we were able to fulfill before: to tell us about those big ideas that will enrich classrooms and inspire minds and to change lives on a bigger scale than was previously possible through our grant program.

We can’t wait to see what evolves from this exciting opportunity.  Stay tuned for more!

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

In addition to our regular story times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of December 4 – 10:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 from 7:15-7:45 pm
SPUB Club, Ages 7-11

Join the newest craze: the SPUB Club! Our Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club is a brand-new, read-aloud book club for kids aged 7-11. Miss Sara will read a few chapters of a book each week; your job is to listen, while engaging in various hands-on activities like Lego building, play-dough sculpting, Rubik’s cubes, and more. We’re currently reading Odd, Weird and Little by Patrick Jennings. No registration is required. In partnership with Milton Reflecting.

Friday, December 9, 2016 from 10:00 – 11:00 am
Signing with Maribeth for Parent/Baby, Ages 8-18 mos. with caregiver

Learn how to communicate with your baby before he/she can speak!  Join Maribeth MacDonald, sign language interpreter, for an introductory course in baby sign language.  Infants from eight months of age can learn concepts such as “thirsty,” “milk,” “water,” “hungry,” “sleepy,” “pacifier,” “more,” and other basic signs; participants will learn how to use these signs, and more! For babies 8-18 mos, with parent.  Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
Reading Dogs, Grades 1-5

The Reading Dogs are back!  Kids currently in grades 1-5 who need to practice reading aloud are invited to come meet and read to some lovable therapy dogs who are great listeners.  Each child will have the opportunity to read at least one book to one of our canine volunteers.  Bring a favorite book with you, or choose from our shelf.  Registration is required.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:

http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=MILTONPL

VISUAL ARTS

The Milton Art Center will host a Small Works Show and Holiday Party Friday December 9th from 6-9pm. The event will feature live music by vocalist Pat Neves and light refreshments and is open to all.

All works are for sale and priced very reasonably for holiday giving. The show will be up from December 10 – December 22, with open gallery hours on Fridays 4-6, and Saturdays 12-4. All work can be taken “off the wall” and brought home at the time of purchase! Don’t miss this opportunity to shop for beautiful locally-made fine art! Visit www.miltonartcenter.org for more information.

ATHLETICS

Congratulations to the MHS Girls Cross Country team, who, after finishing their undefeated season, headed to upstate New York last weekend to compete in the Nike Northeast Regional Cross Country Championship. The Milton girls placed fourth in the region, competing against teams from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and all the New England states. Junior captain Bridget Mitchell finished the race in 10th place.

* * *

Please note that Winter Athletic contests will begin on Sat. Dec. 10th

* * *

Elliott Physical Therapy, with locations in Milton and Dorchester, has partnered with Ted Kackley, Milton High’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, to provide free injury screens to all Milton High School students and teams.  Student athletes are assessed both individually and as teams using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and additional injury prevention assessments. The screen looks at strength, balance and flexibility specific to the athlete’s age and gender. Trained physical therapists calculate the results and develop an individualized sport-specific training program to address their needs. Please email Patti Elliott at patti@elliottphysicaltherapy.com if you are interested in scheduling an assessment for your student or team.

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here: http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/

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: Congratulations to Pierce Middle School students Donovan Murray, Barron Clancy, Sophia Manning, Anderson Korman, and Ralph Destin, all of whom were invited to participate in the Model UN Invitational. This is a remarkable achievement and we are very proud of these students!

Staff: Congratulations Ms. Sherman! Please join me in congratulating Pierce Middle School art teacher, Ms. Sherman, whose artwork is being featured at the Main Street Arts Art Gallery in New York as part of a special juried exhibition, Small Works 2016. Artists from across the country were selected to feature a piece that was 12 inches or smaller. Ms. Sherman’s self-portrait was part of her “40 until 40” challenge where she painted 40 paintings, one a day, in the 40 days leading up to her 40th birthday. Well done!

Volunteers: There is a group of volunteers who I would like to recognize. Our Milton High School Boosters are made up of parents, community members and other interested parties who enrich the MHS Athletic community by providing financial support and assistance for our athletic programs. From car washes to bottle and can drives – from our annual Swing for Sports fundraiser, to the daily staffing of the concession stands — our Boosters are a huge source of support to our student athletes. I am grateful to all who volunteer with the Boosters, but especially to their leadership team: President Tom McCarthy, Vice Presidents John McDonnell and Jeanne Kibble, Treasurer Gary Kelly, and Secretary Carla McDonnell. My sincere thanks to all of you!

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.