Milton Public Schools

Superintendent’s E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Nov• 08•13

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Friday, November 8, 2013

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT 

With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, this is an excellent time to think about gratitude.  I recently received the November newsletter from an educational organization and my administrative assistant, Charlene Roche, pointed out to me that the lead article was about this very topic. The article, titled “Tapping Into the Power of Gratitude,” quotes a study which shows that gratitude could be a bridge between a students’ academic and social well-being. Practicing gratitude at a young age, according to the study, “promotes later development of self-control and self-regulation.”

But most of us don’t need to read a study to understand how the simple act of saying “thank you,” can often have a profound impact. Within the past week, I have had several occasions to express my gratitude, and I would like to share a few examples.

On Thursday, I visited the Cunningham Elementary School where a group of Paralyzed American Veterans had come to help students commemorate Veteran’s Day. I listened as two students (see “Ambassador Page below”) thanked our country’s veterans for their sacrifices, their patriotism and their service to the United States. I was able to meet with many Cunningham family members who served in the military and personally thank them as well. I was told by many veterans that simply saying “thank you for your service” is  very meaningful to them.

On Friday, I attended our National Honor Society induction ceremony at Milton High School. One of the speakers, Brendan Hunt, eloquently described public service as one of the qualities necessary for students to be accepted into the NHS. “As members of the National Honor Society, we are encouraged to not only look for ourselves in schoolwork and books, but through the service of others.” I was fortunate to be able to thank each of the students (see names under “Curriculum News” below,) who were inducted this week.

Finally, I received word this week that Whole Foods, a company who has partnered with our own Jackie Morgan of MPS Food Services, has agreed to donate a shipment of tote bags to our “Milton Books for Milton Families” book drive, which will take place next weekend. These totes will be used to bag up donated books to get Milton families started on creating a home library. Not only am I very grateful for this generous donation, but I am also thankful that this effort, which combines early literacy initiatives with public service, has been so enthusiastically received by the community. Thank you to all of our Milton Public School students, families, faculty and staff who have given their time, their resources and their energy to helping the Milton Public Schools thrive each and every day.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast. Please see the summary below.

November 6th:  This meeting began with a Citizen Speak attended by many Milton Public School teachers and staff members who came to discuss the pending contract. Several teachers presented petitions to the School Committee on this topic.  Next, there was a report on Student Achievement Data presented by the principals of all six schools. This presentation will be posted on our website early next week.  Attorney Paige Tobin of the firm of Murphy, Lamere & Murphy came to give a presentation on Residency and Restitution of Tuition issues. Next, the FY15 Advancement Budget Initiatives were discussed. The three targeted areas will be Early Literacy, closing the proficiency gap and Science/STEM expansion. There was discussion about forming a Town/School consolidation subcommittee and the chairperson asked for anyone interested in serving on this subcommittee to contact her. The next meeting will be held November 20th at 7 pm in the Milton High School library.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Reminder: There will be No School on Monday, November 11th in honor of Veteran’s Day.

* * *

Please make an effort to attend the upcoming Parent/Teacher conferences:

Milton High School & Pierce Middle School: Wednesday, November 20th from 12 to 2 pm; 2:30 to 4:30 pm and 5:45 to 7:45 pm.

Elementary Schools:  Tuesday, November 19th from 3:30 to 5 pm and Wednesday, November 20th from 1 to 3:30 pm.

* * *

We are pleased to announce that the following students were inducted into the Milton High School Chapter of the National Honor Society on Friday morning: Kathryn Bohmbach, John Caljouw, Noah Collier, Devin DiManno, Susan Fitzgerald, Kent Fong, Isabelle Gray, Victoria Grudem, Phillipe Janvier, Paul Knight, Jesse Okoro, Martin Rebrovic, Jacob Savona, Matthew Sweeney, Gloria Tan, Donna Yuan, and Maryam El Sayed. Congratulations to each of these students and their families.

* * *

Family Literacy Month is well underway in our schools. Please note the following events:

At Tucker, Book Character Day on October 31st was the “kick-off” to Family Literacy Month. There will also be a Tucker Book Fair during the week of conferences and a Principal’s Tea focused on Non-Fiction text/literacy on November 22nd led by Stephanie Nephew.  Also, Tucker will be promoting the use of the “Family Connection” newsletter series as an add-on to the Milton Public Library’s monthly letters which will include multiple activities to do at home to promote literacy.

At Glover, there will be a foreign language book fair during the week of conferences, followed by an author visit (Jarrett Krozoscka) and Book Fair during the first week of December.

In honor of Family Literacy Month at Cunningham and Collicot, there will be a joint Book Fair from November 13-20. To gear up for the book fair, students will be sharing their favorite book on leaf templates in words and pictures which will be displayed throughout the classrooms, hallways and library.

Pierce:  Pierce Middle School hosted a Scholastic Book Fair.   To lead us into Family Literacy Month, they hosted a parent coffee on Friday, November 1.  Parents and guardians were invited to browse books at the Book Fair and gather for a cup of coffee. In addition, Pierce Middle School students are making a Book Tree. Students will create book jackets of their favorite books and hang them on a wall sized tree for other students to view. There will also be a Pierce Middle School Family Book Tree. Book recommendations from parents and guardians will be solicited.  Parents/guardians will complete a book recommendation form to be displayed on a Pierce Middle School Family Book Tree.

Milton High: Catch Your Child Reading program. Catch your child reading throughout the month of November. Take a picture of them expanding their minds through reading and send the photo with their name and grade level to jtroy@miltonps.org. Each student that participates will be entered into a drawing for a Barnes and Noble gift card. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 2nd. Milton High School is also promoting Family Conversations. This month, parents will be receiving information about family literacy and sample activities to extend family learning throughout the year.  One way parents can promote literacy is to be an active participant in their child’s academic life. During the week of November 18th-22nd, English teachers will be sending home a short reading with a discussion question for parents and students to talk about.  We encourage parents to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate family literacy and strengthen the home-school connection.

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

We have postponed the Fall Concert that was scheduled for Thursday, November 14th to the new date of Tuesday, December 3rd at 7 p.m. in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School.

* * *

The Milton Public Schools are launching a drive to help Milton residents build home libraries and we are asking for the public’s help in this effort. The Book Drive will be held at the front of Milton High School on Saturday, November 16th from 9-11am. Bring your family’s books – children, teen and adult levels will all be accepted – and drop them off here. Our student volunteers will sort the books and get them into the hands of Milton families who would otherwise not have reading materials in their homes. This is a fantastic way to celebrate Family Literacy Month and clear off some shelf space in your homes.  Research shows that one indicator of academic success is the number of books in a student’s home. Help boost student achievement, improve early literacy, enhance community spirit, promote recycling and celebrate literature. Donate your books and help share the gift of reading. Student volunteers from the Poetry Club, Elephant in the Room, Echo and Key Club will be helping to unload and sort books.

* * *

The following events have taken place in each of our schools to commemorate Veteran’s Day:

Collicot: Fifth-graders placed flags in the flower beds in front of the building. Students gathered for the principal’s introduction and excerpts from President’s Proclamation.

Grade 5 Cub Scouts, led by Cub Master Dave Humphreys, conducted a flag-raising ceremony, complete with the Pledge of Allegiance and Star Spangled Banner.

Reflections were read by Grade 5 students Miguel Varela, Aislinn Mershon, Michael Swanton, Maggie Stockbridge, and Saoirse Killion. Also, there was a medley of patriotic songs sung by Collicot students, led by April Allegrezza.

Cunningham:  The school hosted a Coffee Social and Flag Raising Ceremony. Principal Redden invited a representative from the New England Chapter of the Disabled Veterans of America to speak to students. In addition, two students read their letters to veterans. This was followed by a flag raising ceremony, complete with military honor guard and the Grade 5 Chorus singing patriotic songs, along with the kindergarten classes.

Glover: The PTO purchased small flags and students were asked to write down the name of a veteran.  Each name was tied with a flag and all flags will be planted in the green space between the parking lot and the street.

Tucker: Students wrote letters to veterans, which will be bound in a book by the Council on Aging and presented to veterans at a special luncheon. Students read their letters aloud each day of the week leading up to Veteran’s Day during morning announcements.

Pierce Middle School: Students created the Hall of Heroes, where students, teachers and staff completed “stars” to honor and remember a Veteran in their family.

Milton High: History teachers used current-day articles to discuss Veteran’s Day.  Modern World Culture teachers also discussed how Veteran’s Day is not just an American Holiday, but is celebrated around the world (although it is more commonly referred to as Remembrance Day in most European countries.)

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Milton High School was recently awarded $3,000 from the Blue Hills Bank Grant Charitable Foundation, to send six teachers through the Christa McAuliffe STEM Certification program.

The Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University provides professional development through the STEM Certificate Program for K-12 educators throughout New England. The main objective of the McAuliffe-PTC STEM Certificate Program is to improve educator effectiveness in STEM education. The program includes:

  • Synchronous, online lectures instructed by industry and education experts,
  • Hands-on sessions focused on how to author STEM curriculum for the K-12 classroom,
  • Teacher-authored STEM curriculum available for use by Massachusetts educators,
  • Industry and higher education mentoring,
  • Presentation opportunities for teachers to exhibit best practice STEM education, and
  • Donations from Industry including curriculum packages, instructor contact hours, software donations, and professional consulting.

The STEM Certificate Program focuses primarily on Product Development Education, an interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum model rooted in engineering/design education as well as industry practices. What distinguishes Product Development Education from current engineering/design models is integration of industry practices as well as a framework for integrating multiple disciplines across the school curriculum.

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

The following update was provided to us by Jerry Vitti with the Milton PAC.

The Milton PAC had our best “kick off” meeting of the year last week.  The room was full and the energy and enthusiasm were apparent.  Special thanks to Karen Clasby, Milton’s Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Special Ed. Director) who gave an overview of special education services in Milton.  The PAC members in attendance asked a lot of good questions and there was lively discussion amongst the group.  It was heartening to see so many folks stay after the meeting (and the Sox were on) to meet each other, exchange contact information and ideas.   The next PAC meeting is “An IEP for My Child”  presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs.  Every child with a disability who receives special education services must have an Individual Education Program.  This workshop takes parents step-by-step through the development of the IEP including how to articulate a vision, using evaluations to write measurable annual goals and measuring their child’s progress.  This meeting will be held November 21st from 7:00-9:00pm.  Place TBD.

MFE NEWS 

The following information was sent to us by the folks at the Milton Foundation for Education:

We are pleased to announce our Fall Grant Cycle!

 Purpose: The Competitive Grants program is designed to encourage and reward effective, innovative teaching. The proposed projects are expected to show direct benefit to students and impact classroom teaching.

Deadline: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, by the end of the school day.

Application: Click here for application.  Please submit via email to mfegrants@gmail.com

GuidelinesClick here to see the grant application guidelines.

Awards: Click here to see examples of grants the MFE has awarded in the past

Eligibility:  Teachers and staff members in all grades may apply individually or in groups.  Guidelines can be found in the application.

Approvals:  Each grant needs to be approved by your principal and department head.

Information:   Please contact mfegrants@gmail.com with further questions or call MFE Grants Committee Chair Susan Sullivan at 781-244-9503.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Sign-ups for the Milton Park & Rec Youth Instructional Basketball League, Snowball League and the Blue Hills Learn to Ski lessons can be found here: http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Recreation/News

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Fall fun continues in the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library!  In addition to our regular storytimes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, please note the following:

Saturday, November 23rd from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Cooks ‘n Books, Grades K-5. Children ages 5 and up are invited to join Miss Debbie (Alsebai) for a tasty time that mixes books and cooking. Registration is required for this program, sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Library.Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round.  Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

ATHLETICS

Football (Coach Jim Bowes)

Current Record: 3 wins and 5 losses Made the MIAA Division III Southwest Tournament  and lost to Hopkinton HS 26-22 on Friday, Nov 1, 2013. Next game vs Hingham on Friday, November 8, 2013 at 6:30pm at Hingham HS.   MHS Football will host Braintree HS on Thanksgiving Day at 10am.

Girls Soccer (Coach Brian Borde)

Final Record:  7-9-2 (6-7-2 in Bay State Conference) Made the MIAA Division II South Sectional Tournament, beating Pembroke 3-1 in the first game, and losing to #1 seed Scituate (3-0) in their second game. Bay State Conference First team All Stars:  Sophomore Sophie Cousineau and Senior Claire Mahoney, Bay State Conference Honorable Mention team: Junior Kendall Stanley.

Volleyball (Coach Robin Lee)

Final Record: 7 wins and 14 losses. Made the MIAA Division II Central Tournament, losing to Westborough 3-0. Bay State Conference First Team All Star:  Allison Grassa, Bay State Conference Honorable Mention Team: Meredith Kelly. Also, Girls Volleyball raised over $4,000 for Breast Cancer Research in the Dig Pink Fundraiser.

Boys Soccer (Coach Mike Madden)

Final Record: 4-13-1 Bay State Conference First Team All Star: Jonathan Cardoso (Also an Eastern Mass All Star Player). Bay State League Honorable Mention Team:  Matt Sweeney

Girls Cross Country (Coach Tom Shaw)

Bay State Conference Record: 6 wins 5 losses (first winning record for the team since 2009). Next meet(s) is the State Div IV East Championship at Wrentham on Nov. 9th and The Mass All States on Saturday November 16, 2013 in Gardner MA.

Boys Cross Country (Coach Chuck Ajemian)

Final Record: 3 wins 8 losses. The MHS Boys cross country team finished the regular season with a record of 3 and 8. They finished 8th in the league meet on Saturday and will compete in the state division meet on November 9, 2013.  The MHS Boys cross country finished their regular strong with a win at Braintree HS.

Crew (Coaches Mike McVeigh and Bill Hamel)

Boys Crew:  4-man crew team are 2013 Fall Crew Massachusetts State Champions

Girls Crew: 4-man team are #2 in the State of Massachusetts for 2013 Fall Crew

The boys’ varsity 8 came in 5th place and the girls’ varsity 8 came in 5th place. The girls’ novice 8 came in 17th place and the boys’ novice 8 came in 12th place.  These are the best results for Milton Crew at the MPSRA Fall State Championship regatta so far.

Cheerleading Team (Coach Jessica Parsons)

The cheerleading team kicked off their competition season at an invitational competition this past Sunday at Bridgewater Raynham HS.  The team did not place at the BRHS competition.

Golf (Coach Ben Kelly)

Final Record:  11-4 The MHS Golf team finished their regular season with a record of 11 wins and 4 losses in the Bay State Conference.  This qualified the MHS golf team for the Mass State Tournament on Monday, October 21st at Easton CC.  The golf team finished 4th out of 12 golf teams.  Colin McCabe – Bay State Conference First Team All-Star. Walker Stroud – Bay State Conference Honorable Mention

Field Hockey (Coach Jamie Donovan)

Final Record: 2-14-1. Final Bay State League Record: 2-12-1. Congratulations to Bay State Conference First Team All Star Sophie Chase and Bay State Conference Second Team All Star (Honorable Mention):  Ally Jones.  The future is strong for MHS Field Hockey as the JV team finished with a winning record and the MHS Freshman team finished with a record of 12-2-2.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

Students:  I would like to recognize Eliza Callahan and Benjamin Karol, two Cunningham fifth-graders who not only wrote phenomenal letters to our military heroes, they also stood before a large crowd of students, teachers, parents, guardians, grandparents and veterans and read their essays aloud during the Veteran’s Day events at Collicot. Their words were inspirational and we are very proud of these young writers.

Staff:  To help commemorate Veterans’ Day, I would like to honor those members of our Milton Public School staff who have served their country. Please join me in thanking the following veterans:

Patrick “Bubba” Muse             US Army, Milton High School Building Substitute

Colonel Robert Dwan               US Army, Milton High School Girls’ Hockey Coach

Nicholas Fitzgerald                   US Army Corps of Engineers, MHS English Teacher

Jay Campbell                                 US Coast Guard, Collicot Adjustment Counselor.

Mike Buzzell                                 US Navy, Pierce Middle School Head Custodian

Steve Scherer                               US Navy, Tucker Elementary School Head Custodian

John Riley                                       Glover Elementary School Custodian.

*Arthur Phillips                          US Marines, Tucker Elementary School Crossing Guard

*To read more about Mr. Phillips’ experience as a Vietnam veteran, click here: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/vietnam-war-veterans-wounded-together-reunite-after-44-years.html

Volunteers:  I would like to recognize and thank the following residents of Fuller Village who are active volunteers in our schools: Blossom Glassman, Collicot; Mary Polychrones, Cunningham; Ann M. Cahill, Cunningham; Lennart Johnson, Milton High School; Kathleen Passanisi, Cunningham; Dottie May, Cunningham; Audrey Colcord, Collicot.

The Milton Public School system is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the provision of quality educational programs for all students.  The Milton Public School system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, age or sexual orientation.

November 1st E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Nov• 01•13

 

 

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date:  Friday, November 1st, 2013

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Welcome to November! As an educator, it is important to me to share the news that November is Family Literacy Month.  Through the years, our schools have held various events to celebrate this event, but this year, I wanted to do something special.

Together with our school librarians, Jennifer Troy, Jessica Royster, Sara Doherty and Lori Henry, we have come up with an exciting initiative, “Milton Books for Milton Families.”  We are asking for donations of used books – for children, teens or adults – and we will have a drop-off station at the front doors of Milton High School on Saturday, November 16th.  The books will be sorted and a packet of books will be delivered to Milton families in need who do not have sufficient reading materials in their homes.

A recent research study shows that one of the strongest predictors of student achievement in school is the number of books in the home where the child grows up. Researchers found that children who grew up in a home with more than 500 books spent three years longer in school than children whose parents had only a few books. But even a relatively small number of books can make a difference. A child whose family has 25 books will, on average, complete two more years of school than a child whose family home has no books. (To read the entire report, click here: http://www.rodneytrice.com/sfbb/articles/home.pdf)

This research makes our initiative even more important. By sharing our resources, we can help to improve early literacy, decrease the proficiency gap, promote recycling and celebrate our love of reading. I strongly believe that instilling a love of reading at an early age is the greatest educational gift you can give your child.

Other ways to celebrate Family Literacy Month include the following:

Set aside time for reading: Designate a time of day when family members can read for pleasure. Make reading a part of your family routine.

Make reading special:  Children should feel as if having a book is special. Help them create a space for reading or storing their books.

Use your local library: One of the best resources you will have as a parent is access to the Milton Public Library. It costs nothing to borrow books. The children’s and teen librarians at MPL have many programs for students of all ages, so visit the MPL website at http://www.miltonlibrary.org/

Limit television time: Monitor program selection for your children. Discuss programs with them. Have a “No TV” night with your family on a regular basis.

RED SOX UPDATE

Our Pierce Middle School students got in on all the Red Sox excitement earlier  this week and were featured as part of WCVB-TV’s “Wake-Up Call.”  Click here to watch the video that aired on Channel Five:

http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/boston-south/Pierce-Middle-School-EyeOpener-wakeup-call/-/9848842/22751122/-/6gxhbdz/-/index.html

 SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

The last School Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, October 16th. Below is a summary of that meeting:

Alysa Buchanan, English Language Education Teacher/Coordinator gave a presentation on the overview of English Language Education programs. To view the entire report, click here:http://www.miltonps.org/documents/SchoolCommitteePresentation101613.pdf   The annual Field Trip List was presented, with the Pierce Middle School trip to Quebec occurring in May. The list was approved by School Committee. Members approved a list of Proposed School Committee goals for the District; and approved a list of End-of-the-Year Data Points for the EOY report. A list of resolutions from the upcoming MASC conference was presented and members approved five resolutions and rejected one. They also approved the new School Committee calendar and discussed the recently-released DOR report on the town financial review. The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 6th.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Please note, Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held the week of Wednesday, November 20th. There will be a half-day Early Release Day on this day. Please call your child’s school or check the Edline page for details about times/dates of conferences.

* * *

In what has now become an annual tradition, the Pierce Middle School administration hosted a luncheon in the school library to recognize students who achieved a score of 280 – (no mistakes) on the most recent MCAS exams. Students were treated to a lunch of sandwiches and rollups, as well as cake and other treats.  Each student was presented with a certificate of achievement and was congratulated by their teachers and administrators.  Below is a list of Pierce Middle School students achieved at least one perfect score:

Grade 6 *Emily Dobrindt, Paul Goodman, **Thomas Hamblet, *Wallace Heller, Maria Koudounas, Vanessa Lorden, Aline Moreau, Margaret Pellegri, Grace Quijano, *Clarissa Waldmann, Ella Zimmerman.

Grade 7 Sarah Hancock, Katherine Barrett, Samuel Coover, Grace Dwyer, Samantha Van Gessel, Alexandra Kelly, Ece Buyukozer, Brendan Cox, Anna Garrity, Claire Mandel, Minhanh Nguyen.

Grade 8 Kelly Chapple, Shane Berry, Eva Chow, Genevieve Connelly, Robert Dexter, Alyssa Foster, Miwa Joiner, Joshua Kackley, Timothy Karoff, Nora Kelly, Mary Kenney, Julie Le, Nethania Marc, Hueninh Nguyen.

* Achieved two perfect scores
** Achieved three perfect scores

Some of you may have heard about the new PARCC test. The PARCC assessments will be ready for states to administer during the 2014-15 school year.  However, the Milton Public Schools will be participating in the 2014 PARCC Field Test. Please see below for more information, provided by Amy Gale, Glover Curriculum Coordinator/Pierce Middle School Humanities Curriculum Coordinator.

This spring nearly all of the Milton Public Schools will be participating in a field test of the new PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) exam. This exam was created to address the need to prepare students for college and career and to answer the call for an exam aligned with the new Common Core State Standards. The PARCC is slated to replace the current MCAS exam in the Spring of 2015 and this field test will be an excellent opportunity for the district to gain familiarity with the test, its components and how well our students are prepared. The following, taken from www.parcconline.org outlines the priorities and technology based design of the exam.

State leaders in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers share one fundamental goal: building their collective capacity to dramatically increase the rates at which students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and the workplace.

PARCC’s next-generation assessment system will provide students, educators, policymakers and the public with the tools needed to identify whether students — from grade 3 through high school — are on track for postsecondary success and, critically, where gaps may exist and how they can be addressed well before students enter college or the workforce.

The PARCC assessment has six priority purposes, which are driving the design of the system
The priority purposes of PARCC Assessments are:

  1.      Determine whether students are college- and career-ready or on track
  2.    Assess the full range of the Common Core Standards, including standards that are difficult to measure
  3.    Measure the full range of student performance, including the performance high- and low-performing students
  4.    Provide data during the academic year to inform instruction, interventions and professional development
  5.   Provide data for accountability, including measures of growth
  6.   Incorporate innovative approaches throughout the assessment system

PARCC will also use technology throughout the design and implementation of the assessment system. The overall assessment system design will include a mix of constructed response items, performance-based tasks, and computer-enhanced, computer-scored items. The PARCC assessments will be administered via computer, and a combination of automated scoring and human scoring will be employed.

Milton students in classes randomly selected for the field test will participate in one of the two following ways:

1.     Students take both the Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and the End of Year Assessment (EOY) in one content area.

2.     Students take either the PBA or the EOY in one content area.

The table below indicates which schools, grades and subjects within the district will participate. Communication via the building principal will let you know if your child’s class has been selected for the field test.

School

Grade/Course

Subject Area

# of Classes

Mode of Admin.

Component

Number of sessions

Collicot 4 ELA 2 Paper PBA 3
Cunningham 4 Mathematics 2 Online PBA 2
Glover 3 ELA 2 Online EOY 2
Pierce 6 Mathematics 2 Online PBA &EOY 4
Pierce 7 Mathematics 2 Online PBA & EOY 4
Pierce 8 Mathematics 2 Online EOY 2
Milton High Integrated Math 1 Mathematics 4 Online EOY 2
Milton High Integrated Math 3 Mathematics 6 Online PBA 2

PBA tests in ELA and Mathematics will be administered between March 24th and April 11th

EOY tests in ELA and Mathematics will be administered between May 5th and June 6th

* * *

 As I mentioned above, our schools will be celebrating Family Literacy Month during the entire month of November.  Special events have been planned and I will keep parents and guardians updated about these events.  Elementary schools will be posting events on their schools’ Edline pages. Please see below for Middle and High School events:

Pierce hosted a parent coffee on Friday, November 1st, with parents and guardians invited to browse books. In addition, Pierce students are working on the Pierce Middle School Book Tree, where students will create book jackets of their favorite books and hang them on a wall sized tree for other students to view. They will also be working on a Pierce Middle School Family Book Tree, where book recommendations from parents and guardians will be solicited.  Parents/guardians will complete a book recommendation form to be displayed on a Pierce Middle School Family Book Tree.

Milton High School is a holding “Catch Your Child Reading,” event.  Parents and guardians are asked to catch your child reading throughout the month of November. Take a picture of them expanding their minds through reading and send the photo with their name and grade level to jtroy@miltonps.org. Each student that participates will be entered into a drawing for a Barnes and Noble gift card. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 2nd. Milton High will also be encouraging Family Conversations. This month, parents will be receiving information about family literacy and sample activities to extend family learning throughout the year.  One way parents can promote literacy is to be an active participant in their child’s academic life. During the week of November 18th-22nd, English teachers will be sending home a short reading with a discussion question for parents and students to talk about.  We encourage parents and guardians to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate family literacy and strengthen the home-school connection.

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

Pierce Concerts will be held Tuesday, November 12th in the Pierce Auditorium. Please note the schedule below:

6:00 pm Chorus 6 and Band 6

7:00 pm Strings 6, Chorus 7, and Strings 7&8

8:00 pm Boys Chorus 8, Girls Chorus

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

Congratulations to the newly elected board for the Milton PAC. The board and membership are currently engaged with the administration in planning the PAC year.

Jerry Vitti – Chairperson

Michelle Connolly- Vice Chairperson

Ann Finnegan – Treasurer

Kathy Fagan – Member at Large

Kevin Lenane – Member at Large

Terri James Solomon – Member at Large

NEWS AROUND TOWN

On Saturday, November 23rd, the Milton 5K Gobbler for Best Buddies. Registration will be held at Cunningham School . Registration begins at 7am and the race begins at 9am.  There will be prizes for the top finishers and a “Golden Gobbler Trophy” for the top individual and team fundraisers. Free T-shirts for the first 300 people to enter and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Best Buddies Massachusetts.  For more information, visit: www.bestbuddiesma.org/

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Fall fun continues in the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library!  In addition to our regular storytimes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of November 10th – 16th:

Monday, November 11thLibrary closed for Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 13th  from 4-5 pm

Remedial French Reading with Mr. Leite, Grades 1-2

In this program, beloved Tucker French teacher Mr. Leite will lead students in a French reading tutorial.  This class is for first and second grade students in the French program in the Milton Public Schools who need help with reading, and is limited to ten students.  While this is a series, registration for each individual class is required.

Saturday, November 16th , 2013 from 2-3 pm

Bookbusters Book Club, Grades 3-5

The Bookbusters is a book club for boys and girls in grades 3-5.  Led by Miss Sara, group participants are asked to read a book in advance of the meeting, then come together to talk about it with their peers.  The book we are reading for November is In the Year of the Boarand Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord.  Copies are available at the Children’s Room desk, or by placing a hold at www.miltonlibrary.org.  Come join us to discuss this funny, honest story about a Chinese girl who moves to America in 1947 and learns to love her new country, as well as its favorite pastime: baseball!  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. Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

ATHLETICS

Girls Cross Country

The Girls Cross Country team is wrapping up a very successful season. On Wednesday of last week, the team won the final meet of the season against Braintree and ended the season with a winning record of 6-5. The team also competed at the Bay State Conference Championships last week.  Colette O’Leary was the first Milton finisher in the Varsity race, placing 12th overall, followed by Mairead Dambruch in 17th place, and Hannah Shepard in 35th place. As a result of the team’s performance over the last two weekends, the Girls Cross Country Team is currently ranked 15th in the state for all Division II small school teams – out of 182 teams.

Boys Cross Country

The MHS Boys cross country team finished the regular season with a record of 3 and 8. They finished 8th in the league meet on Saturday and will compete in the state division meet on November 9th. The MHS Boys XC finished their regular strong with a win at Braintree HS.

Boys Soccer

The boys’ final record for the season was 4-13-1, which earned the team 5th place in The Herget Division of the Bay State Conference.  Boys varsity won last Saturday vs North Quincy 2-1,to win the 2013 Town Line Cup two- games series vs North Quincy for a cumulative score of 9-2.  Congrats to Boys Soccer!

Girls Soccer

The girls’ final record for the season was 6-7-2, which earned them 4th place in the Herget Division of the Bay State Conference. MHS Girls Soccer will compete in the MIAA Tournament on Friday, Nov 1st.  This is the first post-season appearance for MHS Girls Soccer in 9 years. In addition, two MHS Girls Soccer players have been named to 1st Team All League, with one Honorable Mention.  Claire Mahoney and Sophie Cousineau made the Bay State Conference 1st team All Star and Kendall Stanley made the Bay State League Honorable Mention Team. Congratulations to all.

Field Hockey

The team’s final Bay State Conference record was 1-11-1.  Although the record does indicate this, Coach Jamie Donovan did an amazing job with this varsity team.  The future is strong for MHS Field Hockey, with the JV team finishing the season with a winning record and the Freshman team showing strong potential with a winning record of 12-2-2.  In addition, Ali Jones was named to the Bay State Conference 1st Team All Stars as goalkeeper. Congrats to Ali on a great finish to her MHS Field Hockey career!

Football

Football finished their regular season with a record of 3 wins and 4 losses, and a league record of 3 wins and 3 losses.  This placed MHS Football 6th in the Division III South Sectional Tournament.  MHS Varsity Football will be playing in the MIAA Football playoffs on Friday, November 1st vs Hopkington HS at 7pm at Hopkington HS.

Crew

Our Boys 4-man crew team was named the Massachusetts State Crew High School Champions, and our Girls 4-man finished #2 in the Mass State Crew HS Championships this past weekend in Worcester, MA.  Both the 8-man boys & girls teams finished 5th out of 9th in the Mass State Crew High School Championships. Outstanding performance.

Cheerleading

The MHS Cheerleading Team will be competing in the Bridgewater Raynham HS Cheerleading Tournament on Sunday, November 3rd and The Bay State Conference competition on November 6th at Braintree HS. Good luck to our cheerleaders.

Golf

The MHS Golf team finished their regular season with a record of 11 wins and 4 losses in the Bay State Conference.  This qualified the MHS golf team for the Mass State Tournament on Monday, October 21st at Easton CC.  The golf team finished 4th out of 12 golf teams.  Congratulations to Coach Ben Kelly and his golf team!

Volleyball

The MHS Varsity Volleyball team finished their regular season 7 – 13 and qualified for the Mass State Tournament.  Along with from their on-court play, all three teams have participated in fundraising for a wonderful cause, The Side Out Foundation which raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research.  The team in conjunction with their families raised nearly $4000.00 for the cause…a true feeling of team building and sportsmanship.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

Staff – I would like to congratulate Dr. Glenn Pavlicek, who was recently notified that he has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. This award is designed to honor current or former school committee members who have exhibited the best characteristics of public service. Dr. Pavlicek will be presented with this award on November 7th at the Leadership Awards Dinner during the 2013 MASC/MASS Joint Conference. This award is well-deserved and we would like to thank Dr. Pavlicek for his nine years of service on the Milton School Committee.

 Volunteer  – I would like to recognize three volunteers who went above and beyond expectations with this year’s 15th Annual Monster Dash. The Milton Foundation for Education volunteers have always done a wonderful job with this event, which helps to raise funds for science enrichment in the elementary school. This year, more than 541 runners registered for the event, more than 300 children participated in the kids’ fun run and close to 80 volunteers showed up to help out. The entire operation was overseen by  Denise Queally, Beth Plunkett and Greg Gordon, and I would like to thank them for their time and efforts.

Students – I would like to recognize a group of students from Cunningham Elementary School. As part of our Readers Workshop, classroom libraries should be organized and “leveled.” Fifth-graders from Ms. d’Entremont’s fifth grade class worked with Elementary Math and Language Arts Coordinator Holly Concannon to level all of the books in the classroom library.  The students used Chromebooks to look up the titles and authors of the books and then they color coded the levels using dots.  This particular class then took it a step further by going to the first grade English classrooms and leveling those classroom libraries. Now students can select “Just Right” books from their newly-leveled library. Thank you to these students for going above and beyond for their school.

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.

 

Health Update from Milton Public Schools

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Oct• 18•13

 

 

To: Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Mary C. Gormley
Re: E-blast Update
Date: Friday, October 18, 2013

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The following update was provided by Margaret Gibbons, Director of Nurses for the Milton Public Schools:

As the winter and flu season approach, it is important for parents and guardians to remember the facts about getting the “flu.”  This illness is especially difficult for children and adolescents because of how easy it is to spread the flu virus.  “The FLU: A Guide for Parents” is designed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to inform and educate parents and guardians on all aspects of prevention and caring for a sick child. Please see the document attached to this E-blast to review this guide.

In an effort to assist our students, the Milton Public School nurses are hosting a Student Flu Clinic on Thursday, October 24th from 3 to 5:30 pm at Pierce Middle School.

If you have further questions, please contact your school nurse.  Stay Healthy!

Superintendent’s E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Oct• 10•13

 

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: October 10, 2013

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Earlier this week, our schools celebrated International Walk to School Day. I was pleased to see students from all over Milton walking or biking to school on Wednesday. This annual event is presented by MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School Program, a program which works with more than 600 partner schools in 171 communities to promote walking and bicycling to school in order to improve students’ health, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in Massachusetts. I am grateful to the group of parent/guardian volunteers in Milton who helped to organize and advocate for the Walk to School day in our community.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Education website, in 1969, 48 percent of American students bicycled or walked to school.  Today, that number is less than 16 percent. In some communities, school-related traffic can contribute up to 25 percent of morning rush hour traffic volumes, as well as significant air pollution. School walking and biking programs provide a great opportunity to address these issues.

The Milton Public Schools fully supports the Walk-to-School initiative and encourages parents, guardians, staff and students to seek alternatives to using motorized transportation whenever possible.

Thank you to all who participated in this worthwhile event, and congratulations for another successful celebration of International Walk to School Day.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 16th.

CURRICULUM NEWS

Please note that Friday, October 11th will be a Professional Development Day for our faculty. There will be No School for students on Friday. Also, Monday, October 14th is Columbus Day and there will be No School.

* * *

 Parents of Milton High School students should note that the daily schedule will be altered for 9th and 12th graders on Wednesday, October 16th. Because 10th and 11th graders will be taking the PSAT on that date, students in grades 9 and 12 should arrive at school at 11:15 for classes.

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

There will be a home football game this Friday night, (Friday, October 11th.) Our Milton Varsity Football team is 2-0 in the Bay State Conference (2-2 overall), facing a strong 2-0 opponent in Walpole High School, which is currently ranked 25th in the State.  “This is the biggest game of the year for the MHS Wildcats!” said Milton High School Football Coach, Jim Bowes.  “We hope to see strong community support of our football team on Friday night!”

* * *

This weekend is the “Exercise for Evan” event here at Milton High School. On Saturday, October 12th, Evan Jones’ family will host a fundraising event at the high school entitled “Exercise for Evan,” and will feature a wide array of games and activities including a kid’s run, Zumba, boot camp, dodge ball, arm wrestling, a 50/50 raffle and more.  The event is from 1-4:30 p.m. at Brooks Field.  In the event of rain, the fundraiser will be moved to the Copeland Field House.  Admission is $20 per person, $5 for children 10 and under. Proceeds from this event will be used to fund a scholarship, to be awarded next spring to a graduating senior at Milton High School. Evan Jones was a 2012 graduate of Milton High School. As a multi-sport sport athlete, Evan loved nothing more than being out on the court or field with his friends.  After being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 15, Evan became zealous about health and fitness, amusing his friends and family with his workout routines and protein shakes. His family felt a day of fitness and fun would be the perfect way to honor Evan and raise money for a scholarship in his name.  According to his mother, Kristan Bagley Jones, the event is a celebration of all that Evan loved.  “Evan found such joy in sports of all kinds.  He also had such a great sense of humor and would have loved the games, especially the dunking booth and dodge ball.  We are so grateful to everyone for coming together to do this for Evan.”  For more information on Exercise for Evan, please email: Kathy Huntington at PatKathyH@aol.com or Mary Shapiro msdesign1@gmail.com

 

** Please print out the consent/release attached to this E-blast and bring to the event on Saturday.**

* * *

Parents and guardians of Fifth-Grade students should take note: The Pierce Middle School’s Fifth Grade Parent Information Night will be held on Wednesday, October 16th at 6 pm in the Pierce Auditorium.  This is an opportunity to learn about the well-rounded, rigorous education your child will receive when he/she enters the Pierce Middle School. There are just so many exciting things happening at the Pierce Middle School (like Intensive Studies in STEM, Cross Country Team, and Pierce Players- to name a few.)  Please join Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal of the Pierce Middle School, Ms. MacCurtain, guidance counselor, Ms. McReynolds, Assistant Principal for Grade 7, and Mr. Wilson, Assistant Principal for Grade 8 for this event. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Spaulding (kspaulding@miltonps.org)

* * *

The Milton Public Schools will be hosting our own version of the popular cooking show with an upcoming “Iron Chef Jr.” competition.  This event, which will be held on Monday, October 21st, in the Milton High School cafeteria, aims to expose our students to new and exciting food choices.  Eight teams of three elementary school students will be joined by local chefs to prepare a meal from a “secret basket” of ingredients. The following chefs will be participating:

·       Tony Dirienzo from Abby Park
·       Suzanne Lombardi from The Plate
·        Meghan Thompson from Steele & Rye
·       Lauren Barone from Seasoned Palette Catering
·       Stephanie McFadden from Cooking In With Stephanie
·       Alex Tillotson from Whole Foods in Dedham 

Assistant coordinator Maureen Buckley from Whole Foods in Dedham will be on hand to help our students with the preparation. The show will be aired on Milton Access Television. For program listings, please click here: http://miltonaccesstv.org/

* * *

Milton Public Schools’ Fourth Annual Flu Clinic will be held Thursday, October 24th at Pierce Middle School cafeteria from 3 pm to 5:30 pm for students in grades 3 and up. Parents and guardians, please remember to bring your child’s insurance card. Getting a flu shot is part of an overall plan to stay healthy this winter. The Milton Public School Nurses are committed to helping all students achieve this goal. If you have questions, please contact Margaret Gibbons, Director of Nurses at mgibbons@miltonps.org or call 617-696-4470 x 1

* * *

 Milton High School proudly presents the musical, South Pacific, in the MHS auditorium on Friday, October 25th at 7pm; Saturday October 26th at 2 pm & 7pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.  Presale tickets are available in the MHS Main Office and Pierce Main Office between the hours of 9 and noon on weekdays.

* * *

The 15th Annual Monster Dash will be held on Sunday, October 27th at 9:30 am at Cunningham Park. This 5K Run/Walk & Kids’ Fun Run is held in memory of Sam Cichello. To honor Sam’s love of science, all proceeds of the Monster Dash will go to Sam’s Fund, to support science enrichment in the Milton Public Schools. Registration begins at 9:30 am, with the Kids’ Costume Fun Run starting   at 10 am, and the 5K beginning at 11 am. Costumes are encouraged! To register, click here:  www.active.com/donate/monsterdash2013

* * *

The Best Buddies Chapter of Milton High School is sponsoring the upcoming 5K Gobbler Road Race on Saturday, November 23rd. This race, which starts and ends at Cunningham Park, is a fundraiser for many of the Best Buddies programs that occur throughout Massachusetts. “This is a great way to burn some pre-Thanksgiving calories and support a great cause at the same time,” said Patty Sanchez, who is helping to organize the race. She said members of the Milton High Best Buddies chapter will be volunteering both on and off the course on that day.  Nearly 600 people registered for last year’s race, which follows the Milton Road Race 5K course. This event starts at 9 am and registration begins at 7 am at the Cunningham Elementary School cafeteria. There will be prizes for top finishers and for top fundraisers.  To register, visit www.bestbuddiesma.org/5k

NEWS AROUND TOWN

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Milton will be hosting a Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale on Saturday, November 16th at Cunningham Hall. Hosted by the Friends of BID-Milton, the 3rd annual Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale will bring together a diverse group of vendors in one great place. Come enjoy the festivities and get a head start on your holiday shopping. Items for sale include: jewelry, hand-knit crocheted items, children’s accessories, hand-painted ornaments, purses, cosmetics, stationary, floral arrangements, stained glass and more. For more info, or to inquire about vendor opportunities, visit www.bidmilton/bazaar

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following items were submitted by Sara Truog at the Milton Public Library:

Fall fun continues in the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library!  In addition to our regular storytimes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of October 20 – 26:

Tuesday, October 22 from 7:00 – 8:00 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 required.

Wednesday, October 23 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm Remedial French Reading with Mr. Leite, Grades 1-2

In this program, beloved Tucker French teacher Mr. Leite will lead students in a French reading tutorial.  This class is for first and second grade students in the French program in the Milton Public Schools who need help with reading, and is limited to ten students.  While this is a series, registration for each individual class 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. Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

ATHLETICS

As mentioned above, there will be a home football game this Friday night, (Friday, October 11th.) at 7 pm. Our Milton Varsity Football team is 2-0 in the Bay State Conference (2-2 overall), facing a strong 2-0 opponent in Walpole High School, which is currently ranked 25th in the State.  “This is the biggest game of the year for the MHS Wildcats!” said Milton High School Football Coach, Jim Bowes.  “We hope to see strong community support of our football team on Friday night!”  Other upcoming games:

Friday, October 11th

Girls Freshman Field Hockey Norwood High School (Away)
3:15 pm Girls Varsity Field Hockey Norwood High School (Home)
3:45 pm Boys Freshman Football Walpole High School (Away)
4:45 pm Girls Junior Varsity Field Hockey Norwood High School (Home)

Monday, October 14th

10:00 am Boys Junior Varsity Football Walpole High School (Home)

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Staff:  We recently learned that Kevin Fender, a second-grade teacher at Glover, was awarded a New Teacher Commendation by the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA). Although Mr. Fender is only a third-year French Immersion teacher, he has already been doing workshops for his colleagues a the Glover and is highly regarded by his students and his peers. Mr. Fender will be presented with this award on Saturday, October 19th in Sturbridge, Mass. Congratulations to Mr. Fender!

Student:  Two students at the Tucker Elementary School deserve special recognition. Alix Benoit and Oldsen Chey are both new to the school, but have demonstrated a tremendous amount of school pride. Both fifth-graders were recognized at the recent Community Circle event held at their school. Tucker Principal Elaine McNeil Girmai said “these two young men are both making a quick and smooth transition to a new school, new friends and a new language. Their love of learning and excitement about school is evident each and every day.”

Volunteer:  I would like to recognize an incredible group of volunteers in our town. The School Building Committee oversaw the building and restoration of all six of our Milton Public School buildings over the past decade-and-a-half.  This committee required thousands of hours of time, amazing commitment to the project and at times near-superhuman efforts. The last meeting of the School Building Committee was held earlier this month. On behalf of the students, teachers and staff of the Milton Public Schools, I would like to thank all who served on this committee. Current Committee: Anthony Cichello, John A. Virgona, Mary Cobb, Paul Hogan, Glenn Pavlicek, Thomas G. Hess, Richard A. Williams, Joseph F. Murphy, Francis X. Desmond and Lynda-Lee Sheridan. Past Members: Charles Winchester, Chair, Mary Fitzgerald, Robert E. Varnerin, Jeff Cruikshank, Elizabeth Major, Thomas McGrath, Susan Kiernan,  H. Lee Keller, Dave DeFilippo, Walter White and Laurie Stillman.

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.

Superintendent’s E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Oct• 01•13

From the Desk of the Superintendent

Safety and Security:  Over the last school year, the Milton Public Schools have been examining the safety and security procedures in each of our schools. The safety of our students and staff is our priority.   A working group of school representatives has met at least twice a month with our partners in the Milton Police Department to discuss school safety and security. I want to recognize the following individuals: School Committee Vice Chair, Leroy Walker; Assistant Superintendents John Phelan and Glenn Pavlicek; Consolidated Facilities Director, Bill Ritchie; MPS Technology Director, Bob Pattison;   Milton High School Principal, James Jette;   Milton High School Vice Principal, Michelle Kreuzer;  Milton High School Fine Arts Director, Dr. Noreen Diamond Burdett; Community Schools Director, Pam Dorsey;  Milton High School Senior Custodian, Jason Scherer; Food Service Director, Jackie Morgan; Milton Police Chief, Richard Wells; and Milton Police Sergeant, Jack Richman.

We are working towards controlled access at the entrance of each of our schools.  Each and every person (other than individuals who have been issued swipe cards) have to ring the bell outside of each school, be buzzed in by our administrative assistants and produce a license or some form of photo identification in order to be issued a Visitor’s Badge. Once your picture is in our system, you will not need to produce identification at each visit. We have upgraded the entrance camera systems at each of the entrances to our schools as well.

All employees have been issued photo swipe cards.

Funding for these improvements was provided by School Building Committee funds (that can only be spent on facilities-related expenses) and Milton Capital funds approved by Town Meeting. These two sources accounted for approximately $187,000. To  date, the impact to the General Fund budget was at a cost of approximately $25,000.

We are working with the Milton Police Department to upgrade the security in the after-school and evening hours at Milton High School when the school becomes the center of the community — athletic events, music lessons, adult education, school and town-wide meetings.

I appreciate the support and cooperation our students, parents/guardians and employees have demonstrated over the past month during the early implementation of these safety and security improvements. I look for your continued cooperation as we work to ensure that the safety and security of our children and staff is a high priority.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been two School Committee meetings since my last E-blast – September 18th and September 25th. They are summarized below:

September 18th:  Mr. Phelan introduced the district’s newest administrators: Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil Girmai; Glover Principal Dr. Sheila Kukstis; Athletic Director & K-12 Physical Education/Health/Wellness Director Larry Rooney; Milton High School Vice Principal Brian Mackinaw; Pierce Middle School Assistant Principal Russ Wilson; Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Moonan; Milton High School Guidance Department Head Karen Cahill; Milton High School Secondary Science Coordinator Edward Mulvey; and Pierce Middle School Secondary Science Coordinator Christine Chiapetta.

A presentation on Enrollment showed the district’s total enrollment and also showed the most recent breakdown of the French Immersion and English/STEM programs. This fall, 52% of students entering Grade One chose the French program and 48% chose English/STEM. Furthermore, despite the implementation of the new cap on the French program, only 14 of 341 families did not get their program of choice in their building of choice. However, all families who chose French Immersion did get placed in a Grade One French Immersion classroom.

Next, Mr. Phelan gave a presentation on Residency, outlining the work of our Residency Coordinator, Doreen Walsh and Registrar, Janet Barrett.  Mr. Phelan explained how the Milton Public Schools work together with the Milton Police Department to investigate families with children enrolled in the Milton Public Schools who may not live in Milton. He reported from July 2012 to July 2013, 57 students have been excluded from the Milton Public Schools for violation of the residency policy. To view the entire presentation, please click here: 

School Committee members also approved an upcoming calendar of their meetings and congratulated former School Committee member and current Assistant Superintendent for Business, Dr. Pavlicek, who was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

September 25th:   An MCAS presentation was given at the start of this meeting by Holly Concannon, Math & ELA Curriculum Coordinator for Cunningham/Collicot; Amy Gale, Math & ELA Curriculum Coordinator for Glover & Pierce Middle School Humanities Coordinator; Courtney Walsh, Math/Business/Technology Department Head at Milton High School; and John Phelan, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Personnel. This group reported the most recent MCAS data by school and by district. This presentation can be viewed by clicking here. 

Leroy Walker presented a Security Update to the Committee, much of which is summarized in the introduction above. Next, the School Committee voted on the Capital Requests submitted by Consolidated Facilities Director William Ritchie. Members voted to approve the requests for school technology and school facilities. Members also voted to approve the FY13 End-of-the-Year Report.

CURRICULUM NEWS

 ** Please note October 11th is a Professional Development Day and there will be NO SCHOOL for students. Also, October 14th is Columbus Day – NO SCHOOL. ** 

As you know from the press coverage, MCAS scores were released last month,  Milton Public School students’ results have been mailed home.   I encourage parents/guardians to go to this link to review our district-wide MCAS presentation given at last week’s Milton School Committee Meeting.  Parents/guardians should also use November’s Parent/Teacher Conferences as a time to further discuss their child’s MCAS scores with their child’s teacher.  Principals will be making presentations on MCAS at each of our schools.  Tucker, Glover, Collicot and Milton High School have been designated as Level 1 Schools. Cunningham and Pierce Middle School are designated as Level 2 Schools. Special recognition was given to the Collicot Elementary School, which was commended for High Achievement, High Progress and Narrowing Proficiency Gaps. Congratulations to the Collicot Elementary students and staff.

Please read this letter sent  from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick:

Earlier this week, we learned that Massachusetts students improved their performance again on the MCAS, setting new cumulative records.  I wanted to thank you personally for delivering those gains.

No other state in America comes close to the bragging rights we have in public education.  On the front lines in classrooms across the Commonwealth, your hard work, creativity and dedication is inspiring young people and making a difference in their lives.

This year’s MCAS results show that 10th graders across the Commonwealth are performing at higher levels than ever before, students of color are closing the achievement gap in all subjects, and fourteen of the original thirty-four Level 4 or “turnaround” schools will exit that status this year after meeting their goals.

None of this is happening by accident.  It is because of our collective investment in our students and their future — teaching young people how to look up rather than down, and to say about themselves, their circumstances, and their future, “yes we can.”  For that, you make me incredibly proud.

One of my favorite things to do as Governor is visit schools.  During my seven years in office, I have been to every type and size of school – district schools, innovation schools, charter schools, vocational technical schools, urban schools, rural schools and everything in between.  Across the board, what I have recognized as the catalyst for success is devoted and loving teachers and school leadership.  The meaningful interactions I have witnessed between young people and caring adults in the classroom is where the real magic of learning happens.

There is more work ahead, of course.  There always is.  But on this important milestone, I wanted to pause and tell you directly that I appreciate you and what you do.

Sincerely,  Deval Patrick

* * *

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently  announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. We are pleased to report that two of Milton High School’s students have been named Semifinalists: Jack Caljouw and Bocar Zilla-Ba.  Congratulations to both students!  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million that will be offered next spring.

This scholarship is based on scores from the 2012 PSAT. Less than 1% of those who took the PSATs qualified as Semifinalists.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. Good luck to both Jack and Bocar in this next phase.

* * *

Our Milton High Debate Team recently traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to take part in a national debate competition and two of our teams advanced to semi-final rounds. Milton High School Debate coaches Nancy Warn and Nick Fitzgerald brought four pairs of debaters to the Yale Invitational tournament:  Katrina Kourtelidis & Tess Deaibes; Olivia Erickson & Anna Lamb; Chris Ricciuti & Jack Caljouw; and Cormac Conners & Chris Dsida.

For the first time ever, Milton High had two teams advance to post rounds at this tournament. There were 480 students competing and four Milton High students — Chris Ricciuti & Jack Caljouw, Cormac Conners & Chris Dsida – all advanced. In addition to the two Milton High teams placing, debaters Chris Ricciuti and Jack Caljouw were ranked in the top 20 at the tournament for speaker points, from a field of 480 students.

The students competed Friday night and all day Saturday as part of the competition. Coaches Warn and Fitzgerald said that all of these students took time out of their summer schedules to begin research and preparations for this tournament, and also attended evening practices from the start of September. The topic for the debate was: Resolved: Unilateral military force by the United States is justified to prevent nuclear proliferation.

This was the largest group of debaters Milton High School has taken to the Yale Invitational and the first time Milton High students have advanced at a national collegiate tournament. More than 240 public forum debaters from across the nation participated in the annual event. Ms. Warn said she would also like to thank Mike Dsida and Mike Ricciuti for sharing the chaperone responsibilities, as well as for judging rounds on Friday night and Saturday.

The Yale Invitational is an annual debate tournament hosted by the Yale Debate Association, an undergraduate debating society at Yale University.

* * *

I am very pleased to inform the Milton Public School community that one of our teachers, Mary Lou Markarian, was recently notified by the Classical Association of Massachusetts (CAM) that she has been chosen for the “Excellence in Teaching Award” for  2013.

The Executive Committee said, “All of us were impressed with your reputation as a teacher and especially with your success in getting students to apply for, and  win, writing contests. The growth of your program over the years  virtually speaks for itself.  Your wisdom and energy have been apparent for a long time and we are pleased to recognize it.” This award will be presented at the Fall CAM meeting to be held on October 19th in Sturbridge.

* * *

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) have declared October as “National Principals Month.”  I hope you will join me in celebrating our school principals. We are very fortunate to have six outstanding educators leading our schools at every level. Please consider writing a note to your child’s principal, or share stories of principals “doing great things” on www.principalsmonth.org

Collicot: Principal Janet Sheehan  jsheehan@miltonps.org
Cunningham: Principal Jonathan Redden     jredden@miltonps.org
Glover: Principal Dr. Sheila Kukstis  skukstis@miltonps.org
Tucker: Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil Girmai   emcneilgirmai@miltonps.org
Pierce Middle School: Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding  kspaulding@miltonps.org
Milton High School: Principal James Jette  jjette@miltonps.org

UPCOMING EVENTS

Please be sure to mark your calendars for Celebrate Milton, which will be held at Milton High School (in good weather) or at the Cunningham/Collicot campus (in case of rain.) The event will be on Sunday, October 6th from noon to 4 pm.

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 On Tuesday, October 8th, Milton High School will be hosting Information Night for parents and guardians of students currently in Grades 5-8.  The event will begin at 6:30 pm in the Charles C.  Winchester Auditorium.

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Family of Evan Jones to Host Fundraiser on October 12th  

 When Evan Jones passed away unexpectedly at the age of 19, the entire town mourned the untimely loss of this generous and kind athlete.  Now, his family and friends are turning their grief into something positive by establishing a memorial scholarship in Evan’s name.

On Saturday, October 12th, the family will host a fundraising event at the high school entitled “Exercise for Evan,” and will feature a wide array of games and activities including a kids run, Zumba, boot camp, dodge ball, arm wrestling, a 50/50 raffle and more.  The event is from 1-4:30 pm at Brooks Field.  In the event of rain, the fundraiser will be moved to the Copeland Field House.  Admission is $20 per person, $5 for children 10 and under.

The scholarship will be awarded next spring to a graduating senior at Milton High School.  It is not surprising that the family chose to honor Evan in this way, given their strong connection to the school.  Evan was a 2012 graduate of MHS, his sister, Ally, is a senior there, his mother, Kristan Bagley Jones, is a School Committee Member, and his father, Don Jones, is a former Trustee of the Milton Foundation for Education.

As a multi-sport sport athlete, Evan loved nothing more than being out on the court or field with his friends.  After being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 15, Evan became zealous about health and fitness, amusing his friends and family with his workout routines and protein shakes. The family felt a day of fitness and fun would be the perfect way to honor Evan and raise money for a scholarship in his name.  According to Bagley Jones, the event is a celebration of all that Evan loved.  “Evan found such joy in sports of all kinds.  He also had such a great sense of humor and would have loved the games, especially the dunking booth and dodge ball.  We are so grateful to everyone for coming together to do this for Evan.”  For more information on Exercise for Evan, please email: Kathy Huntington at PatKathyH@aol.com or Mary Shapiro msdesign1@gmail.com.

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Milton High School will present the musical “South Pacific” on Friday, October 25th at 7 pm and Saturday, October 26th at 2 pm and 7 pm at the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at Milton High School. Ticket prices are $7 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. Tickets will be on sale in the high school main office  between the hours of 9am and noon on weekdays and at the door before all three shows.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The following item was submitted by the folks at Milton Early Childhood Alliance & the Trailside Museum:

We are excited to bring the StoryWalk® Project to Milton! Come enjoy this outdoor, rain or shine, free event. Visit the Trailside Museum and enjoy a story posted along the way as you walk around their grounds. This is a terrific opportunity to enjoy a wonderful children’s book while taking a healthy walk. Stop at each post and read the page with your child. If your child is able, have them read the page to you. This Story Walk can easily be appreciated by children both young and old. While you’re there, visit the Trailside Museum’s exhibits, have a picnic, or take a hike in the Blue Hills.  The Trailside Museum is located at 1904 Canton Ave., Milton. The Story Walks will take place from October 12th to October 31st from 9 am to 5 pm each day. Please dress appropriately for the weather as this is an outdoor event!

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Also, please note, The Trailside Museum’s Fall Festival will take place on October 12th, 13th and 14th – family fun for all!

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The Town of Milton’s Parks and Rec Department has plenty of events going on. Please click here to see the latest offerings:

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The Milton Library Foundation will be hosting its 9th Annual Literary Gala on Thursday, October 24th at Lombardo’s in Randolph. The VIP reception will begin at 6 pm, followed by general registration at 6:30 pm. This event will feature cocktails, a live auction and a discussion and Q&A with this year’s Guest Author,Tom Perrotta. Mr. Perrotta is the author of six previous works of fiction: Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Election, and the New York Times bestselling Joe College, Little Children, and The Leftovers.  To get additional information about this event. please contact Tasha Bracken at tmbracken@simpledetailsevents.com or visit http://www.miltonlibrary.org/foundation/documents/MiltonGala_emailinvite.pdf  Tickets can be purchased online by visiting: www.mlfliterarygala.org

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 Milton Board of Health’s First Annual Employee Health & Wellness Clinic will be held on Wednesday, October 16th from 12:30 to 4:30 pm in the Town Hall Basement.  The following services will be provided:

  • Flu shots – Please bring all health insurance cards
  • BCBS – rapid blood cholesterol & blood sugar screenings
  • Milton Hospital – BMI & nutrition counseling
  • Altus Dental – dental health tips & free toothbrushes

Healthy snacks available and all screenings are private/confidential and for your information only.

Please accept an invitation to attend the FHM Annual Meeting, to take place on Thursday, October 17 at 7 pm.  Museum Director Robin M. Tagliaferri will give a presentation on a number of on-going FHM projects, including some exciting news about collaborating with University College Cork, Ireland. It is a celebratory evening, and there will be food and refreshments.

The guest of honor will be renowned Chinese filmmaker, Patrick Lui, producer of the 1985 BBC documentary, Heart of the Dragon. Patrick will speak briefly and discuss his plans for a new documentary, A Tale of Tea Cities, and give an overview of his environmental organization, the Green Great Wall Foundation (GGWF). He will be accompanied by Ms. Fiona Zheng, Tea Scholar, researcher & Associate Professor of Fuzhou University.  A tea ceremony will be performed by Ms. Zhao Xuan Ph.D., researcher at Brown University. For more information, visit the Forbes House Museum website.

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Swing for Sports Golf & Tennis TournamentThe Milton High School Boosters annual golf and tennis tournament will take place at the Wollaston Golf Club on Monday, October 21st. This is the Boosters biggest fundraising event of the year that raised almost $30,000 last year. All proceeds go directly to the athletes of Milton High School. The golf outing will feature prizes for many holes, including a Hole in One prize. Entry fees include a box lunch, golf greens fees and cart or tennis fee, heavy hors d’oeuvres and the closing reception.  Sponsors are needed to support this event as well as live and silent auction items. MHS Boosters is a 501(C) charitable organization (Federal ID # 20-2635739) so donations are tax deductible. Donations can be sent by emailing the fundraising committee to swingforsports@miltonboosters.com.  Registration information can be found on the Booster’s website. This event is sponsored by the generosity of the Wollaston Golf Club and Curry College.

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Booster Fundraising News

  • The next Milton High School Boosters “Cans for Cats” can & bottle fundraising drive will be held on Saturday, October 5th, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Milton High School. The girls and boys basketball teams will be at the front entrance of the high school, 25 Gile Road, to collect your 5 cent cans and bottles to redeem them for cash. All funds earned will support their programs. Please stop by and support your Wildcats with your can donations. Go Wildcats!
  • A Boosters car wash will be held at the Cunningham school on Edgehill Road on Saturday, October 5th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. This event will be run by the volleyball team. Come get your car washed by your super wildcat athletes. All funds earned go directly to the volleyball team.

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The Milton Foundation for Education will be holding its 15th Annual Monster Dash on Sunday, October 27th at Cunningham Park at 9:30 am. To register or for more information, click here.

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was submitted by Emily Calkins, Young Adult Librarian.

Monday, Oct. 7th at 7 pm Teen book club: Swim the Fly. Open to ages 13-18

Thursday, Oct. 10th , 3 pmThrowback Thursday movie: Ghostbusters:  Also, Creative Writing Workshop Series with Kathryn Burak.  Open to grades 6-12

Monday, Oct. 21st , 7 pm You’re Making a Scene!
But that’s not a bad thing.  In fact, if you can pull your reader into a specific place and time and have something happen there, you’re doing your job as a writer.  This workshop will help you understand the structure of a scene and what screenwriters call “beats.”

Monday, Nov. 18th , 7 pm  “There’s something about Henry I just don’t trust…”
Creating an unreliable narrator in storytelling.  Unreliable narrators help bring suspense to thrillers and draw the readers in, but how do you create one and not confuse your reader?  This workshop will help you create a first-person narrator who may or may not be trustworthy.

Tuesday, Dec. 17th , 7 pm
What did you just say?  Writing Dialogue for the page and screen. Readers get to know your characters by what they say as much as what they do. This workshop will help you craft authentic, convincing dialogue between characters.

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The following information was submitted by Sara Truog, Assistant Children’s Librarian.

Our Library Lego club is going to meet once a month on Tuesday evenings at 7pm.  Over the course of an hour, kids age 6-12 will build together on the theme of the month – and once the hour is over, your creations will go on display for all of Milton to enjoy!  Our first meeting will happen on Tuesday, September 24th  from 7-8pm.  If the initial program is a success, we’ll continue to meet in coming months. We’ve got such a cool collection to build with, including bricks from Harry Potter and Toy Story sets, TONS of minifigs, and more!  Register for this great new program by calling the Children’s Room or visiting our website here

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ATHLETICS

The following update was provided by Athletic Director Larry Rooney.

 CHEERLEADING

Coach Jessica Parson’s squad is busy preparing for their competition season. They will be competing at several invitational competitions and will be competing in the Bay State Conference league competition on November 6th at 6:30pm at Braintree High School, as well as at MHS football games.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

The team is 2-3 overall on the season. We are currently 1-1 in the Herget Division. The team is lead by senior Co-Captains Maryam El-Sayed and Emma Greenawalt.  Wednesday will be a real test for the girls’ teams as they host their first home meet of the season against Wellesley and Brookline. This past weekend, the team travelled to Manchester, NH to compete in the Manchester Invitational.  Colette O’Leary won first place in the Freshman division, competing against 138 other runners from around New England and the rest of the team performed very well in both the JV and Varsity divisions.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

The Boys XC team is working very hard this season.  They are off to a 0-2 start, but very optimistic about a victory coming up vs Norwood High School.

FIELD HOCKEY

Varsity Field Hockey is off to a tough start with a league record of 1-3-1 and an overall record of 1-4-1. The girls are starting to gel and are improving. The team is coming off three road games and are back home this upcoming week. This will be our toughest week thus far with two of the leagues powerhouse teams making the trip to Milton this week. On a more positive note, this years’ freshman class is strong and is having a great season with an 8-2 record.

FOOTBALL

The Milton High School Wildcats have had a great preseason fed by 87 student athletes program-wide. Our 9th grade team is 1-1 after playing solid Mansfield team. In the home opener, the varsity was overpowered inside by a tough and patient Stoughton team, with 41-13 as the final tally to a frustrating and disheartening loss. On Saturday, September 28th, the Varsity Football team beat Norwood in the first Bay State League game, with score of 28-14 and is now 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the Bay State Conference. The JV Football team beat Stoughton on the road on Saturday morning, 22 -12 on some great efforts by Mack Feeney Mo Ashley, and Michael Fallon.

GIRLS SOCCER

So far the season is off to a good start. We are  3-3-1 with a 4-3 win over Wellesley HS (all 4 goals by Sophomore Sophie Cousineau) and a 1-1 tie vs. Walpole. The next games are on Tuesday, October 1st vs Dedham, and Thursday, Oct 3rd vs Needham. We expect to finish in the top 3 in our Conference of the Bay State League, and are looking forward to a Tournament Bid.  We have two games in Conference coming up. Our GAA is way down from last year, and we expect to continue to play tough defense .

BOYS SOCCER

Boys Soccer training sessions at all three levels have been great.  The kids are focused and come ready and willing to learn.  The Boys Freshman soccer team has only lost once and they’ve beaten Framingham, Newton North, Natick and Norwood. They have some very good athletes and talent and Coach Ethan Trusten is doing a great job. The JV squad is loaded with juniors.  Coach Jeff Camara runs quality training sessions that have been focused on the technical side of the game. The varsity team is 1-4 on the season with a very tough week coming up. One big goal for Boys Varsity soccer is to win the Town Line Cup vs. North Quincy and, as a positive sign, we beat them 7-1 in the first game. On Saturday, September 28th, the team posted a 4-3 win over Norwood.

VOLLEYBALL

The Volleyball team is in a re-building season after losing 8 seniors last spring. Allison Grassa is the sole senior, captain and leading the way alongside six juniors, five sophomores and a freshman.  There is a lot of skill and talent and the team has been in all of their matches played thus far. We are looking forward to a productive second half of the season. Last week, the team celebrated a victory over Wellesley for the first time in 9 years.

GIRLS SOCCER

So far, the season is off to a good start. We are 2-3-1 and very competitive. We expect to finish in the top three in our Conference of the Bay State League, and are looking forward to a Tournament Bid.  We have two games in Conference coming up. Our GAA is way down from last year, and we expect to continue to play tough defense.

CREW

The boys’ and girls’ crew teams have been on the water for three weeks, a crucial time where we’ve evaluated what kind of talent we have. We are now entering racing season (first race next Sunday, Oct 6 at Lowell). We are sharpening up our lineups and implementing race strategies. We will be stepping up our training and on-land conditioning through the race season. We are fortunate to be racing in the largest regatta in the world on October 20 at The Head of the Charles.  The Head of the Charles is a premier international rowing event that draws hundreds of thousands of rowers from around the world. Milton High will have 3 boats entered in the regatta: a  Men’s Youth 4, a Women’s Youth 4, and a Men’s Youth 8. The event takes place in our backyard and the Friends of Milton Crew encourage the MHS community and town at large to join in the excitement of the this world class event and cheer the team on.

GOLF

The MHS Golf team 6-2 right now.  We started the season going 0-2 and have rebounded with six straight victories.  We have the Bay State Tournament on October 10th at Dedham for the top three players.  We will likely qualify for the Division 2 South Sectional Tournament on October 21st for the top six players.  We are very happy with how the golfers are playing.  Our team depth 1-12, has lead to our success!

PIERCE CROSS-COUNTRY TEAM

The first-ever Pierce Cross Country team competed in its first meet last week and faced off against a very large Needham team. In the boys’ meet, eighth-grader Nick Villard came in second overall and sixth-grader Bobby Carew came in third place.  For the girls’ meet, eighth-grader Bridget Mitchell came in first place and seventh-grader Elise O’Leary came in second place.  In its inaugural year, the Pierce Cross Country team, coached by John O’Leary, Julie Boyle and Christopher Maine, is comprised of more than 60 runners.

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:   Again, I offer sincere congratulations to two Milton High School seniors —  Jack Caljouw and Bocar Zilla-Ba. These two have been named Semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program — an achievement attained by less than 1% of those who took the PSATs. Great work!

Teacher/Staff: Congratulations to Yolanda Beech, Milton High School’s former Assistant Principal and Elizabeth Thomas, Tucker Elementary School parent and advocate both of whom will be given the Community Builders Award at this year’s Celebrate Milton event. A ceremony to honor Ms. Beech and Ms. Thomas will be held from 1:30 to 1:45 on October 6 at Celebrate Milton held at Milton High School.

Volunteer: Special thanks to Milton Public School parent Anthony Musto and his company Mario Musto Construction for volunteering their work time, labor, equipment, supplies and talent to improve the baseball facilities here at Milton High School. Mr. Musto and his crew have re-done the pathway leading to the diamond, cleaned and seeded the slope, and are preparing the area to allow for the installation of bleachers. Mr. Musto’s contributions to enhancing the Milton High School campus also include his efforts to install Milton High School’s granite signage at both ends of Gile Road. We are very grateful to him for all his time and energy.

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.

 

Message from the Milton Board of Health

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Sep• 18•13

Dear Milton Public School Parents/Guardians and Staff:

I received notice today from the Milton Board of Health that West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Milton.  The link to the Milton Board of Health Press Release is listed below. The Board of Health encourages residents to take precautionary measures until the first hard frost.

http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_Health/mosquito

Athletic Director Larry Rooney and Head Nurse Margaret Gibbons began reviewing the instructions on protection from West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) at the start of the school year.   This was also a topic addressed in my August 28, 2013 E-Blast.

In addition to providing this information to you via E-blast, Mr. Rooney has informed me that he will post additional reminders and information in locker rooms.

Further information regarding West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Health webpage, www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito

Thank you,

Mary C. Gormley
Superintendent
Milton Public Schools

 

 

 

 

 

September 12th E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Sep• 12•13

 

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I want to be sure that everyone in the Milton Public School community is aware of our upcoming Open House dates. For those of you who are new to the Milton Public Schools, or whose child is enrolled in a new school this year, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to consider attending this event.

Open Houses are an excellent opportunity for parents/guardians to get a sense of what goes on in each of our buildings during the school day. It is also a chance to meet your child’s teachers, peruse the classrooms and meet other parents.

Open House is a very different event from our Conferences, during which teachers speak to parents/guardians about their child’s individual progress.  An Open House event gives a more general overview of the curriculum and allows parents/guardians an opportunity to ask questions about homework policies, makeup work, etc. This is a great opportunity for you to get acquainted with the content, instruction and expectations of each class in your child’s schedule.

Besides hearing about what your child will be learning and how that learning will take place, the Open House gives opportunities to connect with the school community. The school administration, nurse, physical education teacher and others will all be on-hand to answer questions.

The teachers are anticipating your questions, so don’t hesitate to ask.  As a reminder, Open House is for adults. We hope that you can make arrangements for child care so that parents/guardians are available to participate in Open House. I am confident it will not only help you to understand how our schools function, it will help your child, as well.  Please note the dates and times:

Milton High School: Monday, September 23rd at 6 pm.
Pierce Middle School: Tuesday, September 17th at 6:30 pm.
Collicot: Wednesday, September 25th at 6:30 pm.
Cunningham:  Monday, September 16th at 6:30 pm.
Glover:  Tuesday, September 24th at 6:30 pm.
Tucker:  Thursday, September 26th at 6:30 pm.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

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

CURRICULUM NEWS

We are pleased to announce the appointments of two new staff members.  Edward Mulvey and Christie Chiappetta have accepted the part-time positions of Secondary Science Coordinators – Mr. Mulvey will be serving at Milton High School and Ms. Chiappetta will be serving at Pierce Middle School.

Edward Mulvey was previously employed at Canton High School, where he served as principal from 2003 to 2007. He also was the Science & Engineering Technology Coordinator, Assistant Principal, as well as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Physical Science teacher.  Mr. Mulvey received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Boston State College; his master’s in Natural Science from the UMass/Boston; and has completed advanced coursework in Education/Administration/Science at Northeastern University, Fitchburg State College, UMass and University of Texas.  “Mr. Mulvey brings to an already fabulous group of teachers a wealth of knowledge and experience that will benefit the team,” said Milton High School Principal James Jette. “Mr. Mulvey is passionate about science and will engage our teachers in meaningful professional development opportunities and discussions, while focusing on improving the content knowledge, instruction and student achievement,” he said.

 Christie Chiappetta has extensive experience in middle school science teaching, curriculum development, assessment design and data use, professional development, and teacher leadership.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in the Natural Sciences from College of the Holy Cross and a Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.  Most recently, Mrs. Chiappetta served as a Science Teacher Coach and Evaluator for the Rhode Island Teaching Fellows New Teacher Project and as a Science Teacher Group Leader for Teach for America.  Mrs. Chiappetta also served as a middle school science teacher and science instructional coach in the Cambridge Public School District.   Mrs. Chiappetta also taught in the Bronx as well as Devens, MA.  In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Chiappetta has participated in national science education programs and professional development opportunities and presented at national science education conferences.  “Her deep understanding of effective middle school science instruction and skill in supporting teachers will be valuable assets to the development of the Pierce Middle School science program,” said Pierce Middle School Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding.

In addition, we have named Courtney Walsh as our new Adult Education director and Moira Downes as our Facilities Rentals Coordinator.

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

A copy of the 2013-14 School Year Calendar is available online. Please click here to view it:
http://www.miltonps.org/documents/2013-14SchoolCalendar.pdf

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

The Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC) has elected a new board for the 2013-2014 school year. The PAC is currently engaged with the administration planning the PAC year. Congratulations to:

Jerry Vitti – Chairperson
Michelle Connolly- Vice Chairperson
Ann Finnegan – Treasurer
Kathy Fagan – Member at Large
Kevin Lenane – Member at Large
Terri James Solomon – Member at Large

The PAC board invites parents and guardians to check out their website for the latest news and meeting schedule:  http://www.miltonpac.org/

MFE NEWS

The following item was submitted by Meg Kaster of the Milton Foundation for Education:

 Every year the MFE awards up to $40,000 in teacher grants from its Annual Fund. These grants foster creative classroom atmospheres and capture the interest and imagination of our students. Thanks to the generous support of the parents, businesses and charitable organizations who give to the Milton Foundation for Education’s Annual Appeal. Please consider making your gift today online at www.miltonfoundationforeducation.org or by mail at MFE, PO Box 223, Milton, MA 02186. 

 If every Milton Public School family donated $25, we’d raise more than $75,000 to fund needs identified by teachers in all of our schools. 

Also, please save the date for the MFE’s 15th Annual Monster Dash which is set for Sunday, October 27thMore details will be included in a later E-blast.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The following item was submitted by Allan Bishop of the Milton Department of Public Works:

 Household Hazardous Waste Collection: On Saturday, September 21st, the Milton Department of Public Works will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Milton residents. Collection hours are from 9 a.m. to noon. No early arrivals! The collection takes place at the DPW Yard (629 Randolph Avenue), rain or shine.

 Materials should be left, where possible, in their original containers. Containers should be put in sturdy boxes and placed in the trunk of a vehicle so that contents will be easy to remove by the attendants. Residents will remain in their vehicles during the entire collection process.

The following items can be brought to the collection:

Adhesives and glues
Aerosol cans
Engine degreaser, brake & transmission fluid
Hobby and art supplies
Household cleaners and spot removers
Non-alkaline batteries (these are found in camcorders, cordless power tools,
cordless phones and laptop computers).
Oil-based paints
Photo chemicals and chemistry sets
Poisons, insecticides, pesticides, and
weed killers Solvents and varnishes
Swimming pool chemicals.
Waste fuels (kerosene, gasoline)
Wood preservatives and fiberglass residue 

These items will NOT be accepted:

Latex paint (for information on how to dispose of latex paint, please call the DPW)
Alkaline batteries such as AA, D, etc. (These can be placed in your trash)
Mercury-containing items and fluorescent bulbs (collected at the Recycling Center the first Saturday of each month)
Prescription medicine or syringes
Commercial or industrial waste
Asbestos

Except for the items listed below, the collection is free for Milton residents: 
Tires: $3 each
Car Batteries: Up to 3 for $3.00
Waste Oil, Antifreeze: Up to 3 gallons for $3.00
Propane Tanks: $3.00 each
Fire Extinguishers $3.00 each 

No cash will be accepted. Please pay by personal check or Trash Sticker.  For more information, please call the DPW at (617) 898-4900

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The following item was submitted by Glover parent Jennifer Driscoll:

Astound Your Senses at Opening Our Doors 2013:
The 12th Annual Celebration of FREE Arts and Cultural Events in
The Fenway Cultural District, Monday October 14th.


The Fenway Alliance is pleased to present the 12th Annual Opening Our Doors—the largest single day of free cultural experiences in Greater Boston and the signature multi-event celebration of the Fenway Cultural District, featuring over 60 activities in 17 indoor and outdoor venues.  Join the 22 institutions of the Fenway Alliance and 20 additional community organizations to experience unique performances and exhibits of art, music, dance, poetry, theatre and green space in one of Boston’s most treasured and historic neighborhoods.  Create your own works of art, dance, play, and eat.  Opening Our Doors is a free day of fun interactive culture for family and children; but there is artistry and experiences for all ages.

Join us as we officially start the day at 10 am. on Mass Ave side of the Christian Science Plaza in Boston, located near the intersection of the Avenue of the Arts (Huntington Ave.) and the Avenue of Music (Mass. Ave.) Special guest speakers, performances by the Boston Children’s Chorus, and Mayor Menino will kick-off the festivities followed by a parade led by the Hot Tamale Brass Band, and free cupcakes!  [In the event of rain the Kick-Off celebration will move to the Reflection Hall (formerly Sunday School Building) on the Christian Science Plaza next to Horticultural Hall.]. To learn more, visit:   www.fenwayculture.org <http://www.fenwayculture.org>  Facebook: Fenway Culture Boston. Follow us on Twitter @FenwayCulture.

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The following item was sent in by Lori Bilewicz of ¡CELEBRATEMILTON!


This year’s ¡CelebrateMilton! event will be held Sunday, October 6th from noon to 4 pm at Milton High School if the weather is good and at Collicot/Cunningham if it’s not.

¡CelebrateMilton! is a volunteer effort of Milton residents who actively encourage Milton’s diverse populations to appreciate and enjoy one another. We sponsor an annual event that has drawn thousands of residents since its beginning in 1994. The organization also recognizes outstanding residents with its Community Builder Awards, and supports community efforts with financial grants to organizations and individuals who bring our mission to life in the community. To find out more about this exciting event, please visit this site: www.celebratemilton.org

We are still seeking Family/Individual sponsorship for those of you who are interested in supporting us.  All Family/Individual sponsors are listed in the Milton Times, as well as our program guide, as long as pledges are received by September 19th. And this year, we’ve added a new category to our Family/Individual sponsor levels.  The “Friend” level is a $25 sponsorship.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital/Milton is hosting its 19th Annual “Tee Off Golf Tournament” on Monday, September 23rd at the Wollaston Golf Club.  Net proceeds from this year’s golf tournament will help offset the costs of healthcare technology used to enhance the safety and efficiency of surgical care.  Implementation of  electronic medical record systems are proven to reduce medical errors and eliminate waste, and are essential for meeting federal requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Your support today will help us to keep pace with new life-saving information technology in our operating rooms.    See the schedule below, and for more information, visit: http://www.miltonhospital.org/how-you-can-help/tee-off-2013/

Tournament Schedule

  • ·         10:00 a.m. Registration
  • ·         Putting Green and Driving Range Open
  • ·         11:00 a.m. Lunch
  • ·         12:00 p.m. Shotgun Start
  • ·         5:30 p.m. Evening Awards Reception: Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and silent auction

 MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Fall fun is happening in the Children’s Room at Milton Public Library!  In addition to our regular story times on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of September 15-21:

Wednesday, September 18th  from 4:00 – 5:00 pm  “Remedial French Reading with Mr. Leite,” Grades 2-5.  In this program, beloved Tucker French teacher Mr. Leite will lead students in a French reading tutorial.  This class is for students in the French program in the Milton Public Schools who need help with reading, and is limited to ten students.  While this is a series, registration for each individual class is required.

Saturday, September 21st  from 2:00 – 3:00 pm “Mel O’Drama,” Ages 5-9. Kids are invited to join local drama teacher Melanie Grace Gillespie for a theatrical and creative hour of Mel O’Drama!  Students will enjoy such fun activities as warmups, improv games, voice projection, scene work, and movement.  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. Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

In addition, he Milton Public Library has a packed schedule for teens and adults for September. 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 is now registering children, teens and tweens for the Fall season of art classes.  Please click here for course descriptions and dates:  http://www.miltonartcenter.org/

ATHLETICS

We are pleased to report that Milton High School will have three boats entered in the Head of the Charles competition this year. They are : Men’s Youth Fours; Men’s Youth Eights; and Women’s Youth Fours. The Head of the Charles, held October 19th and 20th, is the world’s premier rowing competition and is in its 49th year. It is a tremendous opportunity for our student athletes and coaches and will be a great experience for all involved. Come cheer them on! Their schedule is:

Sunday, October 20th.
Event 34      9:23 am     Men’s Youth Fours
Event 35     10:24 am     Men’s Youth Eights
Event 42     12:32 pm     Women’s Youth Fours

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The following information was sent in by Candy Brown of the MHS Booster Club:

The Milton High School Booster Club is a volunteer group of high school parents, coaches, students, and community members. Our mission is to enrich the MHS Athletic community and the community at large by providing financial support and assistance for the Milton High School Athletics. The organization raises money through various ways (membership, fundraising, concessions) so we can recognize our athletes and support their programs in a variety of ways.

The Boosters are kicking off the 2013/14 school year with several events to support all athletic programs.

  • Look for your Boosters membership application in the mail – coming soon to all Milton residents. The Boosters sponsor different levels of membership so please join and support your teams. All funds collected go to the teams, scholarships and the annual awards banquet.
  • The first Boosters meeting took place earlier this week, but it’s not too late to join.  Meetings are held at the High School; enter thru the field house, take a right and we meet in the first classroom on the right. Meetings take place the second Tuesday of the month and are open to everyone. Please stop by and find out what the Boosters are all about.
  • This Saturday, September 14th from 9 am to noon is the first ‘Cans for Cats’ drive. Various Milton High sports team fundraise for their teams by collecting 5 cent cans and bottles from our Milton community and redeem them for cash. Please support your Wildcats by stopping by the front entrance of the High School on 25 Gile Road.
  • Friday, September 20th from 5 to 7 pm is “Friday Night Under Lights” where the Boosters host a      cookout and sponsor events to kick-off the first home football game. Come to the pre-game cookout and participate in the spirit events then watch our Wildcats for an exciting night of football.
  • Coming again this fall: 2013 Swing for Sports Golf and Tennis event at Wollaston Country Club. Registration information will be added to the Boosters website soon at www.miltonboosters.com.
  • Don’t forget to support your athletes by buying Wildcat athletic wear – merchandise is sold at all      football games and at our indoor concession stand in the High School’s Copeland Field House.

MHS varsity football has its first game TONIGHT Thursday night (September 12th) at Mansfield at 7 pm.  The first home game will be Friday, September 20th  at 7pm vs Stoughton.  For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here:

http://www.usatodayhss.com/school/milton-high-school-milton-ma/scores-and-schedule

AMBASSADOR PAGE

Students:  Please join me in welcoming our new Kindergarteners along with their parents/guardians into the Milton Public Schools.   This year’s incoming Kindergarten class includes 316 students – our future class of 2026!

Staff:  I am very happy to recognize one of the most diligent employees in our district. Pam Dorsey has served as Director of Community Schools for more than 27 years. This demanding position requires the supervision of more than 600 students in our ESAP Program(before-school) and ASE Program (after-school). In addition, Community Schools, under the leadership of Ms. Dorsey, organizes school vacation camps, Camp Cunningham and a myriad of enrichment programs for our students. Community Schools employs many of our teachers and students during the school year and summer, provides community service for our teenagers and offers a plethora of options to our parents and guardians who need child care coverage. On top of all of this, Ms. Dorsey also serves as our Transportation Director and is responsible for the safe and efficient transport of more than 1,300 students in our town. I am constantly amazed by Ms. Dorsey’s organizational skills, the loyalty of her staff and the satisfaction of the parents and guardians who interact with her.  Many of you have heard me refer to Ms. Dorsey as “a legend in the Milton Public Schools”. I appreciate Ms. Dorsey and her staff’s dedication to the children of Milton.

Volunteers:  I would like to recognize our PTO presidents.  These volunteers are among the hardest-working people in the Milton Public Schools, and we are very grateful for all the hours they spend on behalf of our children.

Collicot: Mary Clare Cantor, Linda Stefanik, Kerry Kelly and Chuck Karimbakas
Cunningham: Kerry McLaughlin, Robyn  Quinn, Laura Woodward and Stephanie O’Keefe
Glover: Imge Ceragnolu, Christine Tobin.
Tucker: Kristen Lacasse, Cathy Madigan
Pierce: Sheila Varela, Karyn Viveiros, Marie Kelly, Terrie McManus, Trish Heelen
Milton High: Charlotte Hopkins, Kathy Peltier, Dawn Hayes,

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.

Mosquito Information & More

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Aug• 28•13

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: August 28, 2013

From the Desk of the Superintendent:

I would like to congratulate all of our parents/guardians, along with our staff members, bus drivers, crossing guards, and most importantly, our students, who worked together to make Opening Day in the Milton Public Schools run as smoothly as possible. Nearly 4,000 students began school today and it is my hope that today was the start of their best year ever.

As a public service, I would like to share the following information on mosquito-borne illness:

The Milton Board of Health has released the following alert regarding the recent detection of the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) activity in the Milton area.

As the summer comes to a close,  it is important to continue to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne viruses as late summer and early fall (until the first hard frost) is usually a period with increased infection rates. The recent and continuing detection of West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) activity in the Milton area certainly highlights the need for continued personal protection measures.

The Milton Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) remind residents to reduce their risk of mosquito-borne viruses by using appropriate personal protective measures.

  • Limit your time outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn) or, if you must remain outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
  • Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus may also be considered. Products with permethrin should only be used on clothing. Always follow the directions on the label. Repellents should not be used on children younger than two months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
  • Cover up the arms and legs of children playing outdoors. When you bring a baby outdoors, cover the baby’s carriage or playpen with mosquito netting.
  • Fix any holes in screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all doors and windows.
  • Remove any standing water from backyards so mosquitoes can’t breed. Mosquitoes will begin to breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days. Make sure water does not collect and stagnate in ceramic pots, trash cans, recycling containers, old tires, wading pools, birds baths, etc. Remove leaves and debris that may prevent drainage of roof gutters.
  • MHS athletes and spectators who are using fields and/or trails at dusk should be sure  to use mosquito repellent.

The Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project (NCMCP) continues to conduct weekly ground based spraying on Thursday late evening between sunset and midnight based on resident’s requests and mosquito activity monitoring, weather permitting. Residents who wish to have their property sprayed by NCMCP should fill out an online request form at www.norfolkcountymosquito.org each week by Thursday at 12:00 PM. If any resident wishes to know when the spray program may be conducted in their area, they should go to the Project’s website where map and/or street listings will be posted on or about 3:30 PM each Thursday.  More information on mosquito-borne diseases, their symptoms, on protecting yourself from bites by mosquitoes, and on safe application of mosquito repellents can be obtained by visiting the MDPH web site on arboviral (mosquito-transmitted) diseases http://www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.

In addition, the Milton Board of Health reminds residents to also be aware of the increasing occurrence of Lyme disease in Milton. The highest risk period of infection runs through early fall. The single most important thing is to check yourself for ticks once a day (don’t forget to check children and pets too). For more information please visit the MDPH website on tickborne diseases http://www.mass.gov/dph/tick.

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There has been a change to the upcoming Open House schedule. Both Pierce and Milton High School have changed the dates. Please note the new dates below:

Pierce: The Pierce Open House will be held at 6:30 on September 17th.

Milton High School:  The Milton High School Open House will not be held on September 12th. The new date and time will be announced in our next E-blast.

 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.

 

 

August 23rd E-blast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Aug• 23•13
From the Desk of the Superintendent:

I would like to extend a warm “welcome back,” to all of the parents/guardians of our students and staff  to the Milton Public Schools and an equally warm “welcome” to all of our new parents/guardians and staff.

Please allow me this opportunity to thank our custodial and maintenance staff; administrative assistants;  Central, Special Education and Business office personnel; principals and administrators who ran the summer marathon that involved the cleaning of each of our educational spaces, interviewing our new staff, processing of purchase orders, and communicating with our Milton Public Schools families every day through the summer months.  I told our administrators at our Leadership Retreat and our new teachers/staff at their luncheon this week, that this is an amazing school system with outstanding teachers and staff, supportive and involved parents/guardians and most importantly, wonderful students who come to school every day eager to learn and excel.

On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, we are committed to working with our students’ families to maximize the individual potential of our students. The beginning of each school year is always a fresh start for all of us — our students, our staff and our administrators. Let us all embrace this opportunity — this fresh start — to strive to reach the highest academic goals for each and every student.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

The most recent School Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, August 21st. Following is a summary of that meeting:The meeting began with a back-to-school update as part of the Superintendent’s Report. This included information on student and staff handbooks, as well as an enrollment chart and the 2013-14 School Calendar (http://www.miltonps.org/documents/2013-14SchoolCalendar.pdf) It was reported that the cap for kindergarten students has been raised from 22 per classroom to 23. It was also reported that all of those who chose the French Immersion option were placed in that program, although not every FI student was placed in their home school.

Next, School Committee Vice Chairman Leroy Walker discussed the Security Improvements that have taken place over the past few months. Please see the item below under “Security Improvements.As part of the Chairman’s Report, Ms. Sheridan discussed a new schedule for signing the warrant, which was unanimously approved. Members also voted to approve an RFP to create a Strategic Plan for the Milton Public Schools; to approve the FY14 Budget; and to accept two sizable donations from the Copeland Family Foundation. Members then voted to move into Executive Session to discuss negotiation strategy for collective bargaining with the AFSCME and MEA.

The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 18th.

CURRICULUM UPDATE

Please make note of the important dates listed below:
  • Pierce Middle School will be hosting an Information Night for incoming sixth graders on August 27th at 6 pm.
  • School is back in session for grades 1-12 on Wednesday, August 28th and Thursday, August 29th
  • There is no school on Friday, August 30th and Monday, September 2nd
  • Kindergarten and Pre-School will begin on Tuesday, September 3rd
  • There is no school on Friday, September 6th for Rosh Hashanah

Elementary:  Teacher Assignments were mailed on Thursday, August 22nd. If you did not receive yours, please call your school’s main office.
Middle: Middle School Team assignments were mailed out on Thursday, August 22nd. If your child did not receive their assignment, please contact your child’s guidance counselor.
High School:  High School Student schedules were sent home the week of August 19th. Included in this mailing will also be the room number that your child should report to on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 28th. All students should be in their designated room prior to 7:50 a.m. Students reporting to class after 7:50 a.m. will be considered late.
Freshman and New Student Cookout/Orientation:  On Monday, August 26th, the Administration, MHS Student Leaders and Faculty & Staff will welcome all “new” students to MHS (incoming 9th graders and students new to Milton High School ONLY). The purpose of the New Student Orientation is to help students get acclimated to the building, the schedule, expectations and the exciting offerings that are available to them at Milton High School. This event will begin at 3:30 pm with a registration/welcome in the high school lobby and will be concluded by 6:10 pm.

 SECURITY UPDATE

School Committee Vice Chairman Leroy Walker discussed the Security Improvements that have taken place over the past few months. He reported that work began on this initiative about six months ago and targeted five key objectives. The first was to ensure adequate police department communication capability in all six schools. The second objective was to “harden” some of the physical facility access points in school buildings. Third, all six schools will now have access control systems that will keep doors locked and only allow authorized access as well as better monitoring of who enters each school. The fourth objective was to ensure that security levels at the high school were consistent during the school day and during the after-school hours when music lessons, adult education, clubs and sports activity are all occurring. The fifth objective is staff training that will take place for school personnel to ensure that all staff members are familiar with safety and security protocols and recognize their responsibility in creating a culture of safety and proper emergency response.

Mr. Walker reported that work on these objectives is approximately 90% complete. 

Mr. Walker also mentioned that he had been active on the Norfolk County School Security Task Force created by Norfolk District Attorney, Michael Morrissey. “Having participated on this task force and hearing what some other school committees are doing, I can say with confidence that once we’ve completed these initiatives, the Milton Public Schools will be in the forefront in terms of school security and school safety,” said Mr. Walker.

Finally, Mr. Walker commended Superintendent Gormley for her vision in this important matter and thanked the Milton Public Schools Security Task Force convened by Ms. Gormley that included Milton Police Chief Richard Wells, Director of Consolidated Facilities Bill Ritchie, Information Technology Director Bob Pattison, Milton Police Sgt. Jack Richman, Community Schools Director Pam Dorsey, Fine Arts and Family/Consumer Studies Director Noreen Diamond Burdett, Milton High School Principal James Jette, Assistant Superintendent John Phelan, Food Service Director Jackie Morgan, Milton High School Senior Custodian Jason Scherer and School Committee Vice Chairman, Leroy Walker.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

There are many teachers in the Milton Public Schools who spent at least part of their summer taking Professional Development courses or engaging in other types of career-enhancing activities or as we call it in education, professional development.  I have always been a strong proponent of encouraging our teaching staff to avail themselves of the many different offerings for Professional Development, both during the summer months and also in during the school year. Teacher and staff Professional Development directly impacts student achievement, and is also an important tool for the following reasons:
  • Enhancing curriculum content knowledge
  • Improving instructional practices
  • Reinforcing State Standards
  • Developing Common Assessments
  • Administering State and Federal Testing (MCAS and PARCC)
I have listed several of the Professional Development opportunities that our teachers took advantage of this summer below. Please take a moment to read these over — the depth and breadth of these courses is impressive.
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In the last few years the Advanced Placement exams in science have undergone a major revision.  In 2013, a new Biology AP exam was introduced and next year a new Chemistry AP exam will be put in place.  The new exams emphasize critical thinking, well written explanations and more chemistry laboratories.  To prepare for this new curriculum two Milton High chemistry teachers attended a weeklong institute at Bridgewater State.  Mr. Diamond and Mr. Malaxos will use what they learned in this institute to design a new AP course and to revise the introductory courses in chemistry leading to the AP course.
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Milton High teacher Jessica Parsons attended two Professional Development workshops this summer pertaining to STEM. They were: Tapestry Computer Science Workshop at the University of Virginia, which covered “Attracting and engaging diverse high school students to computing” and “Exploring Computer Science Teacher Training.” The workshops were sponsored by BATEC. For more info, visit:  http://batec.org/
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The following item was written by Massachusetts Teachers Association Representatives Brendan Sharkey and Jacqueline McDonough

The Milton Public Schools has joined with the districts of Brockton, Pembroke, Taunton, and Holbrook to form a partnership called the Massachusetts Aspiration and Achievement Partnership (MAAP).  The MAAP mission is to provide school communities with the tools to prepare students for college and career success by providing inter-district collaboration opportunities for teachers, and additional instructional time for students.  MAAP is committed to creating and reinforcing a regional school community that believes in collaboration, opportunity, engagement and programmatic efficacy. Specifically, the collaborative aims to strengthen the member districts’ Advanced Placement (AP) programs by harnessing the benefits of inter-district collaboration – among teachers and students.  The teachers and administrators who belong to the MAAP collaborative seek to increase student enrollment, ensure academic rigor, and raise students’ exam scores in their district’s AP classes.  By forming an inter-district collaborative, MAAP plans to accomplish these goals by providing teachers and students with opportunities and resources not currently available in individual districts.  The ultimate goal is to expand beyond the AP program to provide additional resources and instruction for teachers and students in all classes at all levels.

MAAP’s first venture was to bring together AP teachers for a teacher-designed and facilitated conference focusing on instructional strategies within content areas.  The conference took place last October at Stonehill College.   Milton Public School parent and former Stonehill College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Katie Conboy, who now serves as Provost and Senior Vice President at Simmons College, facilitated the Partnership’s first conference and endeavor at Stonehill College.  87 AP teachers from 19 school districts attended. Milton High School AP teachers Nick Fitzgerald, Kara Yifru, Jessica Parsons, and Tom Shaw served on the Design Team that planned, organized and facilitated the conference.  UMASS Boston Chancellor Keith Motley served as the keynote speaker.  Teachers who attended described the conference as a unique, perhaps unprecedented, opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from other districts within their content area.  Additionally, members of the Design Team that planned the event respected the – also unprecedented –  opportunity to conceptualize and implement their own professional development. The  superintendents and assistant superintendents  from the member districts, as well as the five teacher association presidents, attended and fully supported the conference, but did not determine the agenda. In order to sustain the group, MAAP plans to incorporate itself into an official 501(c) organization. MAAP will establish a board and attempt to raise necessary funds to continue providing similar opportunities for our teachers and students.

This year, MAAP has already begun to organize a second professional development conference for AP teachers in October as well as a multi-district student study workshop in the spring.  Milton High teachers Nick Fitzgerald, Jessica Parsons, Kristin Masciarelli, Jeny Gonzalez, Claude Bird, Dan Jarboe and Karen Hughes volunteered to serve as members of the Design Team that will plan these events.  Districts will send students to the UMASS Boston campus on a Saturday morning in March where they will meet AP students from the four other districts and participate in three, one-hour review sessions to prepare for their subject area AP exams in May.  Milton Public School students will have the opportunity meet AP students from other districts and be taught by AP teachers from Milton and other districts.  We expect the event to enhance the culture of rigor and aspiration that we strive to instill in all of our students.  We expect that excitement of the multi-district event will inspire more and more of our students to embrace rigor and attain their full potential.

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The following item was written by Dr. Karen Spaulding, Pierce Middle School Principal.

On Sunday, July 28th, a team of five educators from the Milton Public Schools traveled to Alexandria, Virginia to attend the week-long 2013 International K-12 Science Education Institute for Leadership Development and Strategic Planning.  This team included:  Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal of the Pierce Middle School, Mr. Jonathan Redden, Principal of the Cunningham Elementary School, Mrs. Marilyn Decker, K-12 Director of Science, Mr. David Romeo, 7th grade science teacher at Pierce Middle School, and Ms. Bernadette Moonan, 2nd grade teacher at Cunningham Elementary School.The Smithsonian Science Education Center has been facilitating the Strategic Planning Institute (SPI) for more than 25 years, and this summer the Milton Public Schools SPI leadership team joined schools and school districts from locations such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and Mexico as well as experts in the field of science education reform.  Through their work and based on extensive research of systemic change in schools and school districts, the Smithsonian Science Education Center has identified five core areas that are critical for effective science education reform.  These areas- Curriculum, Professional Development, Assessment, Materials Support, and Administrative & Community Support- were examined in depth by participating districts through a number of hands on experiences, simulations, and presentations by researchers and theorists in education reform, inquiry based science instruction, and the Next Generation Science Standards.  In addition, participants engaged with leading researchers such as Dr. Jay Labov, Senior Advisor for Education and Communication, at the National Academies of Sciences National Research Council, Washington D.C. and others to gain expertise and skill in brain-based learning, strategic planning, and change theory.

The Milton Public Schools team reflected on the current status of K-8 science education in the district, gained expertise in the areas above, and developed a strategic plan for improving science education in the Milton Public Schools.  This work included authoring a mission and vision for K-8 science in the Milton Public Schools, articulating goals in each of the five core components of successful science education reform, and delineating specific action steps and time lines to move K-8 science education forward in the Milton Public Schools.  In addition to the this critical work, participating teams interacted with business leaders such as John Tully, President and Chief Operations Officer of Michelin Development Company and others to better understand the workforce needs of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) businesses and how schools can better prepare students to fill STEM related positions.  The Milton Public Schools SPI leadership team looks forward to recruiting additional members from the community to continue this critical work.  Finally, the Milton Public Schools would like to thank Raytheon’s Math Moves U STEM Education Initiative for the generous contribution of $5,000 to support our participation in this institute.

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Fine Arts & Family/Consumer Studies Director Noreen Diamond Burdett taught a course this summer at The Boston Conservatory to second year students in the Master’s of Music Education program.  The course was a secondary methods class – in  other words, “how to teach” music at the secondary level. The students learned how to write lesson plans and how to develop lesson units and course curriculum.  Students had the opportunity to test out  their lesson plans in class and received DVDs of their teaching as  well as written critiques.  Other topics covered in the course were differentiated instruction, 21st Century Learning Skills, assessment in music education, and teacher evaluation.  There were also guest speakers on World Drumming, Guitar Class, AP Music Theory, and Advocacy.  Dr.Diamond Burdett loved having the opportunity to teach future music educators.
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Mary Shapiro, 8th grade mathematics teacher at Pierce Middle School, attended the Massachusetts Intel Mathematics Initiative (MIMI) professional development course.  MIMI is an 80-hour (6 credit) graduate course that addresses the relationship between arithmetic, geometry, and algebra in the context of rigorous problem solving.  Teachers gain a deep understanding of how mathematical topics are connected and reflect upon instructional practices that provide access to the curriculum for a broad range of learners.  For the past five years, MIMI has been the cornerstone of mathematics professional developing offerings from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and is widely considered a national model.  Ms. Shapiro will work with her colleagues to share key insights and materials from the course.

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Two other Pierce teachers, Owen McElhenney and Saviz Safizadeh, took a Professional Development course this summer at Harvard University,  learning about the world’s limited water supply and its impact on the future.  This multi-regional/multi disciplinary 4-day workshop, intended for junior and senior high school educators. “Teach Water, a Resource in Crisis” helps teachers  examine and present a variety of the most critical historical and scientific issues facing international waterways and the communities who directly (and indirectly) rely on these bodies of water. For more information about this course, click here:  http://waterworkshop2013.com/syllabus/
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 The following item was written by Henry Bolter, Director of “Teachers as Scholars,” a program which has benefited many of our Milton Public School teachers.
     I started Teachers as Scholars with a few assumptions—teachers were always interested in learning, they would enjoy reflective time with their colleagues to discuss ideas, that the Boston area offered an incredibly indeed unique, resource for university faculty with expertise in the arts, humanities, math and sciences, and, that teachers, through engagement with ideas, will reconnect with the transforming power of ideas and remember the power, promise and immense reward of being a teacher.  And it seems to work.  
Teachers select their class from a wide range of multiple day courses and their instructors are not only top notch scholars but also been recognized by their university for their teaching expertise.  And then mostly I get out of the way—it is wonderful to see how Milton teachers thrive in this setting–they bring a serious, thoughtful approach to the class and their insights and experiences immeasurably enrich the topic under discussion.  I think one teacher best captured the heart of TAS, “It was like an enormous shot of oxygen in my professional life. I cannot wait to bring what I learned back to my students.”
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The following item was written by Ada Rosmarin, consultant to Milton’s  Full Day Kindergarten.

As part of the state’s new Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment system, Milton Public Schools is launching a pilot of the Work Sampling System – “an authentic performance assessment to assess students’ development in multiple domains”.   In 2013-14, Work Sampling will be piloted in the Cunningham School Kindergarten and Collicot Integrated Preschool classrooms.  New report cards will also be piloted and better aligned with our Full-Day Kindergarten curriculum and the Work Sampling system.In the Spring of 2013, our pilot team participated in professional development to learn about the new assessment system, to visit the Brookline Public Schools to see Work Sampling in action, to align the assessment with Milton kindergarten and preschool curriculum and assessments, to learn how to use their new iPads that will be useful tools in gathering evidence of children’s work, and to make plans for implementation.  This has been an excellent opportunity for our preschool and kindergarten teams to work together to align their programs and practices

In the Spring of 2014, the rest of the district’s kindergarten teachers will begin professional development to implement Work Sampling in the 2014-15 school year.  The experiences of our pilot classroom teachers will be very helpful in informing our district-wide roll-out.

UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The following PD opportunity was sent to us by Teachers for Scholars.
Below are links to the Teachers As Scholars (TAS) curriculum and seminar offerings for the 2013-14 school year.  TAS is offering a wide range of courses in the humanities, arts, math and science. Registration takes place from September 13th to the 24th.

STAFF/FACULTY CHANGES

I would like to inform you that Marilyn Decker, Elementary Science Coordinator for the Milton Public Schools, has accepted a position with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Her new title will be Director of the Office of Science, Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM).  The Office of Science, Technology Engineering & Mathematics is responsible for writing and updating curriculum frameworks in mathematics, science, and technology/engineering. It manages related initiatives in curriculum and instruction, such as advanced placement programs, STEM professional development, content institutes, mathematics and science partnerships, mathematics and science liaison networks, financial literacy pilot program, and advisory councils. We are sorry to see Ms. Decker go, but we are so proud of her appointment to a statewide leadership position.
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The following item was written by Cunningham Elementary School Principal Jonathan Redden:

Bernadette Moonan has been appointed to the position of Elementary Science Coordinator.Strengthening the Science program in elementary is a priority for the district.  Ms. Decker did an excellent job organizing the work and supporting teachers across the district from K – 12.  In order to continue the momentum it is essential that we as a district build on the successes of having elementary ELA and Math coordinators.  The Elementary Science Coordinator will need to pilot and lead the implementation of a new curriculum across the four elementary schools.   It is vital they have the interpersonal, communicative, and leadership skills to effectively guide teachers and administrators. Throughout her career in Milton, Bernadette Moonan has exemplified these qualities and has recently accepted the position of Elementary Science Coordinator.

Ms. Moonan is a Milton native who began her education at Cunningham School and graduated from Milton High School.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Salve Regina with a minor in Special Education.  She received her master’s from Bridgewater State University in Elementary Education.  Her teaching began in East Providence but for the last three years she has worked as a first grade teacher in Cunningham/Collicot.  Many parents can speak to her engaging, motivating, and inclusive approaches to instruction that has helped numerous students make significant academic progress. Ms. Moonan also was an active member in the school community.  She was a member of the School Site Council, Science Team and Math Team.  Last year, she was part of the first grade team that rolled out the new STEM Robotics curriculum in the first grade English classes.

Recently, Superintendent Mary Gormley sent a Milton team to Alexandria, Virginia to the International K – 12 Science Education Institute.  The goal was to develop a strategic plan for moving Milton forward in Science.  On the last day of the institute, each team was asked to present their plan in front of all staff and participants.  Without hesitation, Ms. Moonan asked to present the plan the team developed and respond to the questions from the audience.  Dr. Spaulding immediately turned to me an explained, “I am now convinced Ms. Moonan is ready for a leadership position and would be a good fit for the Science Coordinator position.”

As a principal, you never want to lose a phenomenal classroom teacher but I am confident her impact on Elementary Science will benefit all students and position the district to increase achievement in the area of science.  Congratulations Ms. Moonan and welcome to the administrative team!

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The following item was written by Pierce Middle School Principal, Dr. Karen Spaulding:

Russ Wilson has been appointed to the position of Assistant Principal at Pierce Middle School.Russ Wilson is an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate educator.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Fordham University, a Master in the Art of Teaching degree from Emmanuel College, and a Master of Science in Administrative Leadership from Boston College.  Mr. Wilson was the Principal of the Blessed Sacrament School in Walpole, MA for 9 years and most recently oversaw four campus locations as the Regional Director of Schools for Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester.  Mr. Wilson accomplishments in school leadership include:  being recognized for high growth in student achievement;  instituting data teams; supporting and expanding music programs for children; leading a group of teachers as part of a student initiated service learning project on a journey to West Africa to rebuild a school and library;  and developing an innovative program to strengthen school/parent partnerships.  In honor of his efforts,  Mr. Wilson was given the 2013 Excellence in Education Legacy Award.  Mr. Wilson is deeply committed to helping students succeed, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Pierce Middle School as the Assistant Principal for Student Affairs.

 * * *
The following item was written by Milton High School Principal James Jette:
Brian Mackinaw, who was recently appointed to be the Vice Principal of Milton High School, is a natural leader. He is revered by the faculty and staff, parents/guardians and students. He has the unique ability to meet each student at his/her level and work with them in a mature and professional manner. Mr. Mackinaw has been an employee here at Milton High School since 1995 and in addition to his role as a teacher, he has always served as a liaison in the area of discipline and supervision during the school day and during after-school activities and events. Mr. Mackinaw received his bachelor’s degree from UMass/Amherst and completed post-graduate work at Bridgewater State University. He has served as a MHS Football coach and defensive coordinator; a faculty manager; served as co-chair of the Risky Behavior Committee; member of the Student Support Committee; and has implemented on-line summer school courses.
In addition, the following appointments have been made during the past few months:
  • Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai was appointed to be the principal of Tucker Elementary School
  • Dr. Sheila Kukstis was appointed to be the principal of Glover Elementary School
  • Ms. Amy Gale was appointed to be the Math and ELA Curriculum Coordinator at Glover Elementary School in addition to her responsibilities as Coordinator of Humanities at Pierce Middle School
  • Mr. Larry Rooney was appointed to be the Athletic Director/K-12 Physical Education/Health/Wellness Director
  • Ms. Karen Cahill has been hired as the new Director of Guidance for Milton High School
  • Ms. Holly Concannon was appointed to be the Math and ELA Curriculum Coordinator at Collicot and Cunningham Elementary Schools
  • Ms. Stephanie Nephew was appointed to be the Math and ELA Curriculum Coordinator at Tucker Elementary School
  • Ms. Laurie Dunn was appointed to be the Human Resource Specialist at Central Office
  • Ms. Karen O’Connell was appointed to be the Guidance Department Administrative Assistant at Milton High School
  • We are still interviewing candidates for the position of Secondary Science Coordinators a result of Marilyn Decker’s late summer appointment.

 UPCOMING EVENTS

Tucker Kindergarten Home Visits: Kindergarten teachers stop by for a quick visit and a goodie bag to welcome our new incoming kindergarteners. Home visits will be done on Wednesday, August 28th from 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Tucker Kindergarten Orientation-Thursday, August 29th will be your child’s opportunity to meet with the teacher, get acclimated to the classroom , and receive pertinent information regarding school procedures and policies. (Last names A-K 9:00-10:00; Last names L-Z 11:00-12:00)
Open Houses:  Each of our schools will be holding an Open House during the month of September. Please make note of the following dates:
Collicot: The Collicot Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, September 25th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Cunningham: The Cunningham Open House is scheduled for Monday, September 16th at 6:30 pm.
Glover: Glover Open House will be held from 6:30-8:00 pm on Tuesday, September 24th.
Tucker: The Tucker Open House will be held from 6:00-7:30 pm on Thursday, September 26th.
Pierce: The Pierce Open House will be held on Tuesday, September 17th at 6:30 pm.*THIS IS A NEW DATE
Milton High School: OPEN HOUSE WILL BE RESCHEDULED

GRANT/FUNDRAISING NEWS

Thanks to an incredible supporter of early literacy, Target, you can get money for your favorite school.  #GIVE WITH TARGET is the program. If you are a Facebook user, you can participate by voting once a week until September 21st. Go to Facebook and submit a zip code to find the school of your choice.  Then VOTE.  It take 25 votes to begin. After that, Target will give the school $25.  And, even better…each additional vote will get another $1m up to a maximum of $10,000! Here’s the link and the instructions:  https://apps.facebook.com/givewithtarget/?fb_source=search&ref=br_tf

Simply select a K–12 school from our list of eligible schools and vote for it weekly until September 21 or until $5 million has been awarded, whichever occurs first. It takes just 25 votes to start. After that, Target will donate $25 to your selected school. Upon receiving 25 votes, each additional vote equals $1 more for up to $10,000 per school. If your favorite school is not on our list, please choose another school. There is no purchase necessary and voting ends on 9/21/13 at 11:59:59 p.m. CT or when $5 million has been awarded, whichever comes first. Max of $10,000 awarded per school. Voting is limited to legal residents of the 50 US/DC, 13 years of age and older. Limit one vote per person per week.

ADULT ED

The following item was written by Courtney Walsh, director of Adult Education.

The Milton Public Schools Adult Education Program is excited to announce the release of its Fall 2013 Course Brochure.  The brochure can be viewed at  http://www.miltonps.org/documents/AdultEdFall2013.pdf    Courses will begin the week of September 30th, 2013 and will run until the week of December 16th, 2013.  Online registration is now open.  Walk-in registration will be held in the main office of Milton High School on Monday, September 23rd and Wednesday September 25th from 6:00 – 8:00p.m.

Please note the following information about SAT Prep Courses:

Milton High School is pleased to offer Fall 2013 SAT Prep courses to students who are looking to improve their SAT scores.  Students may register for either SAT Verbal and/or SAT Math courses. Courses are $75 each.  The Fall courses are designed to prepare students for the October 5th SAT exam.  All courses begin on Saturday, September 7th and will meet for 2.5 hours on four consecutive Saturdays; 9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28.

Register online at www.tinyurl.com/miltonadulted and select “SAT Prep”.

SAT Math ($75) – Saturdays 10:30a.m.-1:00p.m.

This course provides students with a review of Number and Operations, Algebra and Functions, Geometry and Measurement, and Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability. The course also includes advice on exam-taking techniques.

 SAT Math 550 ($75) – Saturdays 8:00a.m.-10:30a.m.

This is an advanced course designed for students who have previously scored a 550 or above on the SAT Math exam or who have scored a 50 or above on the Math PSAT.

SAT Verbal ($75) – Saturdays 8:00a.m.-10:30a.m.

This course provides students with a review of vocabulary, verbal understanding, and reading comprehension.  The course also includes advice on exam-taking techniques.

 SAT Verbal 550 ($75) – Saturdays 10:30a.m.-1:00p.m.

This is an advanced course designed for students who have previously scored a 550 or above on the SAT Critical Reading and/or Writing exams or who have scored a 50 or above on the PSAT Critical Reading and/or Writing exams.

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The following item was submitted by Nancy Stuart, Outreach Coordinator for the Milton Council on Aging.
The Milton Senior Center is hosting a special event on Tuesday, September 10th at 5:30 pm. This program, “On the Move,” will provide helpful information for senior citizens who are considering a move.

Are you tired of trying to find someone to cut the grass or shovel the snow?  Is your home too big to maintain?  Are you thinking of downsizing?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to be “ON THE MOVE”!!This program will be sponsored by Thomas O’Neill, III, Esq., LLM of Success Real Estate here in Milton.  The program will start at 5:30 pm with a delicious catered supper followed by the program which will start at 6 pm sharp.  The program will last one hour so this gives you time to get home at a reasonable hour.  Tom O’Neill  will open the discussion by talking about the Milton real estate market and why you should “celebrate” the fact that you purchased a home in such a desirable community.  Next, Mr. O’Neill  will focus on the financial piece of selling your home and what you need to have in place to avoid those dreaded taxes!  Rounding out the program will be Deb Ellis, an interior design and home staging professional, who will speak on preparing your home for the next step. Deb Ellis will share a few decorator secrets that can really make a big difference in selling your home for top dollar.  Each speaker will talk for about 15 minutes and allow time for questions.  They will also be available after the program for one on one questions.  Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 617-898-4893 before Friday, September 6th.  The event is sponsored by Tom O’Neill of Success Real Estate. All home-owners are welcome to join us.

* * *

The Suffolk Resolves House, located at 1370 Canton Avenue, Milton, will be holding its Annual Open House from 1:00 to 3:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 8th. The Open House is held in recognition of the historic meeting on September 9, 1774 at the home of Daniel and Rachel Smith Vose in Milton Village. Seventy delegates, representing 19 Suffolk County towns, adopted 19 resolutions known as the Suffolk Resolves.  Two days after the meeting Paul Revere left Milton on horseback with the Resolves transporting them to Philadelphia to the Continental Congress. These Resolves were endorsed by a vote of the Congress on September 17th and were used to form the text of the Declaration of Rights. Two years later, Thomas Jefferson used much of the Suffolk Resolves phraseology when he drafted the Declaration of Independence.  A copy of the Suffolk Resolves will be on display for all to read.Join the members of the Milton Historical Society on Sunday, September 8th.  Meet Rebecca and Amram Migdal, the new curators for the Suffolk Resolves House.  Tour the Suffolk Resolves House and beautiful gardens. Talk with Gordon Campbell and members of the 9th Massachusetts Regiment who will entertain you with stories about the Revolution. Socialize over punch and cookies in the lovely dining room.  Come join us!

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Online registration for our After School Enrichment programs ended on Thursday, August 15.  Registration is closed until Wednesday, August 28th.   To register go to the www.miltonps.org webpage and click on the UniBank; then follow directions to register and pay online.
Unless you have registered and received a UniBank Confirmation number, your child can not attend our After School Enrichment Program on the first two days of school.

TRANSPORTATION

No bus registrations will be processed between today and September 15, except for students new to Milton who register for school during that time.  If you have paid for but not received your bus pass yet, please contact: bus@miltonps.org  If you have registered but not yet paid, please bring payment to Milton High School room 207 and pick up your child’s pass.

FOOD SERVICES

Jackie Morgan, Director of Food Services, is strongly encouraging all parents/guardians to prepay your child’s breakfast/lunch. Prepayment will make the lines move much faster, thus giving your child more time to eat and socialize with his/her friends. To pay online, parents/guardians must already have their 8-digit unique ID #.  To make a payment to your child’s breakfast/lunch account:  go to www.myschoolbucks.com
click Milton –  follow the steps
If you are new to the district and do not have an 8-digit unique ID #, please email Jackie Morgan and she will provide you with your 8-digit unique ID # jmorgan@miltonps.org.
You may also pay in advance by check. Please make checks payable to Milton Food Service Program (please print your child’s first and last name in the “memo” section of the check). Checks may be deposited into the “Lunch Check Drop Box” located in the Main Office and in the cafeteria at MHS. Checks are posted daily to student accounts. We can no longer accept checks at the serving lines.
Milton High School students enjoyed the convenience of the  Smart Start Breakfast Cart  which was implemented in March 2013. We encourage students to stop by the Breakfast Café located in the entrance of the Copeland Field House. A  “grab n’ go” breakfast and the company of friends in our breakfast café will be a great way to start the day. We will continue to offer a quick, easy and nutritious breakfast which will include warm muffins, whole grain breakfast bars, fruit, yogurt and milk. The traditional hot breakfast will be served in the cafeteria each day. The traditional breakfast includes Milton Egg McMuffins, French Toast, Pancakes, Yogurt Parfaits and cold cereal.

ATHLETICS

The following item was submitted by our new Athletic Director, Larry Rooney:
Fall Sports sign ups took place this week in the MHS Copeland Field House, and more than 360 MHS student-athletes signed up to play on 20 Fall Sports Teams.  Football practice/tryouts began on Monday, August 19th with over 85 football players in attendance.  The rest of our MHS Fall Sports teams began practice/tryouts on Thursday, August 22nd, also with strong attendance.  I would like to welcome Ashley Parker (Girls varsity Lacrosse Coach) as the Girls JV Soccer Coach for this Fall. Brooks Field has been completely renovated with new turf, and our teams are already out there using the improved field.  We will be painting our Wildcat PAW on the center of Brooks Field, just before the first home varsity football game (Friday, September 20th at 7 pm vs Stoughton HS).  In addition, Gile Road field, lower football field, and Kelly Field are in top shape, and we are looking forward to a very successful MHS Fall Sports season.
* * *
Athletic Signups have concluded at Milton High School. If your student would like to play a fall sport and did not sign up, please contact our Athletic Director, Larry Rooney at lrooney@miltonps.org.  Any sign-ups after Thursday, August 22nd will be subject to missing 20% of their team’s scheduled games or meets.  Opportunities to try out and play may be limited for students who sign up after a team has started practicing on Thursday, August 22nd. For more information about athletics, please visit this site:http://www.edline.net/pages/Milton_High_School/Athletics

July 31, 2013 Eblast

Written By: Superintendent Gormley - Jul• 31•13

 

 From the Desk of the Superintendent:

Greetings to all our Milton Public School families! I hope you are all enjoying your summer. I wanted to send out a brief “mid-summer” update to keep everyone informed on what has been happening in our district since the end of school.  I am also sharing some research on the importance of summer reading and the value of both independent reading and modeling reading by parents and guardians.  During my teaching career, I could easily identify the students who read at home independently.  These children usually showed the following characteristics:

Their vocabulary was superior
Their oral and independent comprehension skills were outstanding
Their “love of reading” was evident
They were familiar with the local library and visited often

The lifelong habit of reading for pleasure is developed at a young age. By providing children with time and opportunities to read for pleasure, and by allowing children to see their parents/guardians reading at home, a true love of reading can be instilled. The following research is from a Hanover Research study released in June of 2013. I find it to be an excellent synopsis of the benefits of summer learning:

Best Practices in Summer Literacy Programs: There is growing concern among K‐12 educators about the effects of “summer learning loss,” or “summer slide”— terms that refer to students’ decline in academic ability during summer months when they are away from school. Research shows that during summer vacation, students lose “too much of what they learned during the school year” and “typically score lower on standardized tests after the summer break than they did before it.”

All students are susceptible to summer learning loss, but low‐income students are at greater risk, especially in reading. Findings from a 1996 meta‐analysis of 13 studies on summer learning loss indicate that low‐income students lose two to three months of reading ability during the summer, while their middle‐class peers usually make slight gains. Research also suggests that achievement loss is greatest during elementary grades.  National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) reports that “more than half of the achievement gap between lower‐ and higher‐income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.”  Different rates of summer loss, when repeated annually, contribute to widening achievement gaps as students enter middle and high school.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has described summer learning loss as “devastating,” and advises that summer learning gaps be addressed through the development of new summer programs. Research suggests that “high quality academic enrichment programs can decrease and perhaps eliminate summer learning loss for low income children.”  Providing learning opportunities to children is typically viewed as the responsibility of school districts, but summer programs offered by traditionally non‐ academic organizations also appear poised to meet the challenge. The American Camp Association (ACA), for instance, explains that summer camps are “assuming a greater role in year‐round education and youth development, recognizing that the same ‘fun’ activities and programs they have traditionally offered can be packaged as highly effective alternative learning models.”

KEY FINDINGS

*Independent reading, often the centerpiece of effective summer literacy programs, has been shown to improve student achievement. Research indicates that increasing students’ reading time is crucial to improving literacy ability. In addition to allowing students ample time for independent reading, effective elementary literacy program educators:

  • Ensure students read appropriately complex materials
  • Read aloud to children
  • Model effective reading techniques
  • Tutor children one‐on‐one
  • Consider children’s reading preferences
  • Integrate reading into other camp activities

* Speaking and writing activities are vital to improving students’ literacy achievement. Though literacy programs typically emphasize reading, highly effective programs also facilitate meaningful discussion on relevant topics and ask students to write creatively.

* Research suggests that a typical, 12‐week summer program should provide students with at least four hours per week of literacy activities. Scientific evidence indicates that out‐of‐school time (OST) learning programs must devote a total of at least 44 hours to literacy activities in order to improve student achievement. Researchers note that programs lasting fewer than 44 hours may not be long enough to fully engage students and affect learning outcomes.

* Effective summer reading programs offer students a wide variety of high‐quality reading materials. Research suggests that offering varied reading materials to children increases their motivation to read. Furthermore, a range of materials is necessary to ensuring students read appropriately challenging texts. Many programs have addressed the need for reading materials by creating an on‐site library and/or visiting community libraries.

* Effective camp‐based summer learning programs often seek collaboration with local schools to facilitate staff development, align learning activities with school‐ year curricula, and attract more participants to the program. Experts encourage summer learning programs to access educational expertise by cooperating with local schools. Teachers can provide opportunities for staff development and help make learning activities engaging and relevant. Youth organizations should approach partnerships with schools strategically by evaluating prospective partners, anticipating school personnel concerns, and marketing their summer learning program.

* Program evaluation is an essential component of effective summer learning programs that strengthens program quality when conducted properly. The suggested guidelines for a comprehensive assessment of summer literacy programming include quantitative data analyses and qualitative surveys or focus groups.

* Summer literacy programs can obtain easy‐to‐use guides and other useful materials from web‐based resources. ReadWriteThink, Reading Rockets, and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) offer free, evidence‐based resources that can help program staff improve student achievement.

I hope that you have found this information helpful. We are looking forward to seeing everyone return, safe and healthy at the end of August. Please enjoy the remainder of the summer season.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been two School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The first meeting was held on June 19th.  The meeting was called to order to move into executive session. No official business took place during the public portion of the meeting.  The second meeting was held on July 10th and this was the School Committee’s annual Retreat.

CURRICULUM NEWS

The following update was provided by Cunningham Principal Jonathan Redden, who served as the director of Milton Summer Enrichment this year:

With only one week left, I am pleased to write this letter celebrating the great summer we had at MSE.  MSE has been a great experience for 445 Pre – K through grade 5 students and over 50 middle school students.

At MSE, students were able to select from over 20 courses, many of which were taught by current Milton educators. Teachers brought the same enthusiasm and energy that is expected of them during the school year to the summer program. Since many of the teachers were returning, they were able to build off their past success and implement stronger more engaging activities for campers.

Many of these activities require students to work, learn, and compete with their peers. This has created a level of excitement that was evident and led to many additional campers signing up after the initial enrollment was closed.

This environment could not have been created without the hard work of our teachers and Blue Shirts.  Safety was a priority, and we worked hard to make sure we had adequate adults available in the classrooms and at the exits.  I would also like to recognize the administrative team and the custodial staff at the high school for checking in daily and being flexible to accommodate the program.

Whether it was strengthening teamwork, completing an art project, learning in French, creating a dance routine, experimenting with science concepts, or working with computers, every student will take something positive/enriching away from MSE 2013.  Thank you for all you support in ensuring a successful program.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

* * *

The update below was provided by Deborah Fidrocki, who ran the Title 1 Summer Scholars Program at Tucker Elementary School this summer:

This summer, 85 students participated in the Tucker Scholars Program. Students in entering Kindergarten through Grade Five worked with their teachers to solidify reading, math and writing skills.  Students also engaged in enrichment activities focused on scientific inquiry, art and literature, and poetry and puppetry.  In addition, the students participated in physical education, arts and crafts and Lego activities.  The students entering grade 5 produced a talent show and children entering grade 4 piloted the Liftoff:  Engineering Rockets and Rovers unit for the Museum of Science.  It has been a very productive summer for all of our Tucker Scholars!

* * *

The following update was sent by Karen Clasby, Director of Pupil Personnel Services:

Milton’s  Extended School Year (ESY) program is winding down.  Moving most summer services to the Milton High site, facilitated students ability to participate in a variety of Milton Summer Enrichment activities.  Throughout the building, MHS has been buzzing with positive activity! At Cunningham, during this very hot July, after completing their work in the mornings, twice a week, students enjoyed a nice cool swim at the pool, which was much appreciated by all! ESY will finish up August 8-9 (depending on the students program) and parents will receive Progress Reports soon thereafter.

* * *

Please note, the first day of school for Grades 1 – 12 is on August 28th. To see the complete 2013-2014 school calendar, click here: http://www.miltonps.org/documents/2013-14SchoolCalendar.pdf

* * *

“Meet the Artists” is a parent-run volunteer art history program for grades K-3 in the Milton schools (Tucker, Cunningham, Collicot and Glover). The program will be expanding into 4th grade this fall. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Milton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact your PTO or Jessica Gillooly at jesskgill@gmail.com.

 * * *

There is an exciting project taking place in Milton that some of our Pierce students have already been connected with. The project is called “Sky Over Milton.” A pair of performance artists by the name of “PearlDamour” are visiting five towns named “Milton” in the United States, interviewing lots of different kinds of people and making a theater performance that they will will bring back to each of the Miltons.

They just launched the first version of “skyovermilton.com,” a website where you can track the project, see photos of other Miltons and connect with other Miltons by answering shared questions and posting pictures of your own.

The project organizers have asked our Milton students to take a moment, answer one of the questions or send them a photo of the sky over our hometown. They have some exciting plans for the website over the next few months– so check back often to discover new ways to interact, share your stories, and more.

They are asking for Milton residents to send the link to friends and family in Milton who would enjoy participating — the more the merrier.  Some of our teachers and classrooms will also be participating.

Last year, our Pierce Drama teacher Bill Deschenes and his seventh-graders did amazing work with this group and they are featured on the website. If you click on Milton, MA, there is a photo gallery that includes some of these students.

http://www.skyovermilton.com/

SUMMER ASSIGNMENTS 

Milton High School’s website lists all the different assignments by grade level and course. Please click here to view: http://www.edline.net/files/_pQEYY_/18892ee564f367fd3745a49013852ec4/Summer_Assignments-1.pdf

* * *

Parents and guardians of Pierce students are asked to remind their students about the summer reading and summer math for students entering grades 6-8. Specific requirements for each grade level can be found at the Pierce Middle School Edline Site: http://www.edline.net/pages/Charles_S__Pierce_MS

* * *

Elementary School students also have summer/math requirements along with Study Island requirements. All these lists are available on each of the four elementary schools’ websites:

Collicot: http://www.edline.net/pages/Collicot_Elementary_School

Cunningham: http://www.edline.net/pages/Cunningham_Elementary_School (look under “News” for math; and under “Elementary Language Arts Coordinator” for reading)

Glover: http://www.edline.net/pages/Glover_Elementary_School

Tucker: http://www.edline.net/pages/Tucker_Elementary_School

STAFF/FACULTY CHANGES

We are pleased to announce that we have appointed a new Human Resource Specialist for the Milton Public Schools.  Laurie Dunn has joined Central Office after having worked in Community Schools for the past nine years and as the Facilities Rental Coordinator for the past two years.  Laurie and her husband Scott are the proud parents of three Milton Public School students, Matthew, Courtney and Lindsey.  We are thrilled to have Laurie join our Central Office team!  According to Assistant Superintendent John Phelan, “Laurie has hit the ground running!  I feel she will be a wonderful addition to the Central Office.”

 * * *

We also would like to announce that we have appointed a new Athletic Director and Physical Education/Health/Wellness Director. Lawrence Rooney will be taking over responsibilities for this job. Mr. Rooney has been a teacher, coach, advisor and Admissions Officer during his tenure at Thayer Academy.   He is also a  trainer/coach for Dale Carnegie Training at Bentley University.  He earned his bachelors degree from Providence College and is currently enrolled in a Masters of Professional Studies in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University.  “I am excited to have Mr. Rooney join the Milton High School family,” said Suzanne Johnson, a member of the screening committee. “I truly feel he will be a great addition.”

I would like to thank the members of the screening committee who helped to make this selection.  In addition to myself and Assistant Superintendent John Phelan, the screening committee included Milton High School Principal James Jette; Milton High School Vice Principal Michelle Kreuzer; Milton High School Teacher Representatives Dave Mazzuli and Sean LoPresti; and Parent Representatives Suzanne Johnson, Margaret Carels and Charles Sidoti.  The Milton School Committee was represented by Kristan Bagley Jones and Mike Zullas.  I would like to express my gratitude to all members of this committee for their time and dedication to this process.

* * *

We also recently learned that Milton High School Vice Principal Yolanda Beech will be leaving the Milton Public Schools. Ms. Beech is resigning from her position at Milton High to launch her own business.  The focus of the company will to provide initiatives that empower teenagers and educators.  Ms. Beech has been an incredible asset to the students, families and staff of Milton High School and she will be genuinely missed. We will be forming a search committee to begin screening candidates for this position. Principal James Jette will be emailing Milton High School parents and guardians to see who may be interested in serving on this committee.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Milton High School Pre-K Program is holding an Open House on September 5th.

 * * *

 Pierce Middle School is hosting the following events:

August 20th at 6 pm: Information Night for Families of Students in Grades 6-8 Who Are New to the Milton Public Schools

August 27th at 6 pm: Information Night for Families of Incoming 6th Grade Students

August 19-August 23rd:  Welcome to Middle School for students entering grade 6.  There are still slots available.  Interested families can download the application from the Pierce Middle School Edline Site and return it with payment to the Pierce Middle School main office, which is open 8 am to 2 pm Monday- Friday.

Milton Foundation for Education 

The following item on the Spring Grants was submitted by the Milton Foundation for Education: 

Garden beds and easels and pedometers, oh my! Teacher Grants in full bloom this spring. We are so lucky in Milton that each of our six schools is bursting with talented teachers. Their dedication and ingenuity goes above and beyond. That’s why, when they come to us with grant requests for equipment or materials that will help them reach and teach our children even more effectively, we’re honored that, with your support, we’re able to help out.

This spring’s proposals were as exciting as they were unique. With your help we were able to purchase raised garden beds for Pierce Middle School’s outdoor classroom. Glover students will now have new manipulatives to help learn complex math concepts and build electrical circuits. Tucker has received CDs, books and fun programs to help children become excellent social thinkers.

The 5th grade Growth & Development program across all four elementary schools now has updated, more contemporary DVDs, so they will no longer be getting the talk from a Vinnie Barbarino look-alike. And Glover Elementary received 36 pedometers with which they plan to take math to the streets (or the paths) and even start a mathematical walking club.

These are important elements that our teachers need to keep doing their job at such a high level. Again, we thank you for your generous support that keeps Teacher Grants, and so many other great initiatives, funded.

Milton Public Library

There are many programs and exciting events for students taking place at the Milton Public Library this summer. Please visit www.miltonlibrary.org for a complete listing of children’s and teens’ events.

TRANSPORTATION

The following item was written by Pam Dorsey, our Transportation Director.

Hello Parents:  We hope you are enjoying your summer. Due to some staff restructuring, I will continue as the Transportation Director through December 31, 2013.  I will be happy to help you with any issues surrounding the big yellow school buses at the new email address:  bus@miltonps.org   Please send all bus inquiries to that email.

Bus passes will be mailed out in early August.  If you registered for the bus but have not yet paid, please do so immediately; bus passes cannot be mailed out if there is a fee due. Please note that the following routes are now full:

PMS/MHS:  1A, 6A, 7A, 8A

Collicot/Cunningham/St.A:  6B

Seats remain available on all other routes until August 15; the Transportation Office is closed from August 15 – September 15. For a complete list of routes, please click here: http://www.miltonps.org/departments-transportation.php

ATHLETICS 

Update on Brooks Field: The final installation stages of replacing the synthetic turf on Brooks Field are nearly complete. This project started in June when the field was stripped of its original 10-year-old synthetic turf. William Ritchie, Consolidated Facilities Director believes that the entire project went very smoothly over the hot summer months. He hopes to turn over the field for use by our athletes by the second week of August.  The project was on time and within budget. The final field painting should be completed this week and final punch list items to be completed shortly thereafter. The synthetic turf replacement project was made possible due to the generosity of the Copeland Foundation, capital funding from the town budget and rental fees from the School Department to make up the estimated $450,000 project cost. This new turf should last another ten years with routine and preventative maintenance measures.

“As Consolidated Facilities Director, this project was one of my summer highlights,” said Mr. Ritchie. “I was involved from the very  beginning in assisting with preparing bid specifications, field design/selection and acting as project manager.  This is a such great gift that many students and visiting teams will enjoy for many, many years.”

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Milton High School students who are planning to participate in a fall sport should visit the following link:

http://www.edline.net/pages/Milton_High_School/Athletics/Sign_Up_Info

This page will list all the forms for student-athletes to sign up for the fall, along with parental obligations. Payments for sports fees can be made to:  https://unipaygold.unibank.com/Transactioninfo.aspx?transid=10735

PAYMENT: After making the user fee payment, parents/guardians will need to print out their receipt.  Athletic fees will be reimbursed if the student does not make the team.

PHYSICAL: Your child’s physical must be current and within thirteen (13) months in order to be eligible to participate.

PARENT PERMISSION FORM: The “Parental Permission” must be downloaded and completed.

PRE-PARTICIPATION CONCUSSION FORM: The “Pre-Participation Concussion” forms must be downloaded and completed.

CONCUSSION COURSE CERTIFICATE: Parents must complete this on-line course. It  can be found at: http://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=15000

Please complete one and print a hard copy of your certificate.

DATES TO SIGN UP FOR SPORTS: The dates and times to register will be announced via email and phone alert over the summer however, parents can pay NOW

SIGN UP @ MHS: Signups will take place at the Athletic Director’s Office located next to entrance to MHS Field House.

SIGN-UPS AFTER THURSDAY AUGUST 22nd  WILL BE SUBJECT TO MISSING 20% OF THEIR TEAMS SCHEDULED GAMES OR MEETS. OPPORTUNITIES TO TRYOUT AND PLAY MAY BE LIMITED FOR STUDENTS WHO SIGN UP AFTER A TEAM HAS STARTED PRACTICING ON THURSDAY AUGUST 22nd.

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