To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 14, 2021
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
This week, our Milton Public Schools students submitted essays, poems, artwork, and music for the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday January 18 at 6:30 pm. All are invited to attend and information to attend can be found here.
Pierce students used skills they have learned in their writing and English Language Arts classes in their submissions, including the components of reflective writing in relation to a quotation with supporting ideas. We are proud of our Pierce students for their thoughtful and well written submissions. The theme this year comes from a speech Martin Luther King gave in March of 1964: “We must learn to live together as brothers (and sisters*) or perish together as fools.” *The original text is “brothers,” but we request the inclusive language addition of ‘and sisters’.
Our elementary students also submitted creative work as you can see here. Thank you to these Collicot students for sharing their work in honor of Dr. King.
The MHS Chorus assembled virtual performances for the celebration and we are pleased to share them here and here. Please take a moment to listen. The video to “Lead with Love” has all the lyrics, we encourage you to sing along from home as you listen.
In the process of learning “Changes” by Audrey Snyder, students reflected on the meaning of the song as it relates to the current state of the world and the town’s upcoming MLK Day Celebration. Some of their thoughtful responses can be seen below and in the video, which you can watch at this link. We hope you enjoy the music!
MICA also has a wonderful opportunity to give back by safely volunteering at home, assembling blessing bags to be distributed to those in need. Details on assembling and dropping off Blessing Bags can be found here.
All are welcome to volunteer in the Day of Service activities and join in the MICA Celebration as we remember and honor the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I will communicate with the MPS community by Tuesday, January 19 with our plans to meet the new DESE guidance on Student Learning Time published on December 31. At the School Committee meeting on January 20, we anticipate outlining our next phase to increase in person learning.
The next School Committee meeting will be on January 20, 2021, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), attend via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.
In addition, the Milton School Committee invites you to attend a Community Listening Session concerning the permanent Superintendent search on January 14 at 7pm. This is an opportunity for community members to give feedback on what is important to them in a permanent Superintendent. All details on attending can be found here.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- Jan 18 MLK Day, No School
- Jan 20 School Committee Meeting
- Jan 21 DEI Committees Meeting
- Jan 28 Kindergarten Information Night
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Event: We invite you to join us on our journey for a more equitable Milton. Parents/guardians, community members, staff, and students are invited to participate via Zoom to learn and share ideas about how we can leverage school-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees (formerly known as school-based Diversity Committees) to support critical equity work in the Milton Public Schools. This event is being offered in partnership by the Milton Public Schools and Citizens for a Diverse Milton. All details and the link to attend can be found here.
Kindergarten Information Night will be held on January 28, 2021, at 6:30 pm. We hope many incoming kindergarten parents and guardians will join us to learn about our programs and have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have. This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event. As we prepare to welcome our newest kindergarteners next September, the first step for families to take is to complete the pre-registration form found here. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2021, to start kindergarten in September 2021.
Preschool Information Night: Thank you to all who attended the information night. All information presented can be found on our Preschool webpage. The 2021-2022 Preschool Pre-registration Link can be found here. Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2021.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
COVID TESTING: The Town of Milton will host a free, drive-through testing day on Sunday, January 17 from 10am – 3pm at the DPW Yard located at 629 Randolph Avenue. This testing is run through the Town and is open to all residents and employees and their families through the COVID testing agreement with Fallon Ambulance/ Transformative Healthcare. Please visit the Town of Milton website for more information.
MPS and Manet Community Health Center will be holding a COVID-19 testing day at Milton High School on Saturday, January 23 from 10 am – 2 pm behind the building in the Copeland Field House. Manet Community Health Center will administer the PCR test for any MPS student and/or family member who registers for a test. Preregistration is required: please complete this registration form by Thursday, January 21 at 12 pm and email or fax your completed registration form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MASK BREAK UPDATE: Beginning this week, MPS has paused group mask breaks for students after reviewing current community prevalence and recent changes to public health guidance that allows for a shortened quarantine period with continued mask wearing. Students who need a mask break will be allowed to do so individually in a setting separate from others with minimal interruption to class time. Students will continue to receive movement breaks and enjoy time outside (weather permitting.) If you have any questions or concerns, please email your school nurse.
COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the week of January 7 – January 13, MPS reported: 4 staff positive and 20 students positive.
TRAVEL REMINDER: If you are considering traveling, please follow Massachusetts Travel orders linked here and adhere to MPS Policy that all students (regardless of age) and staff must provide a negative COVID 19 test taken upon 72 hours of arrival back in Massachusetts or quarantine for 10 days after travel before returning to in-person learning. Please see the most updated CDC travel guidelines and restrictions here. Please contact your school nurse with any questions.
What is SNAP Food Assistance? SNAP, The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), gives individuals and families money to buy food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and certain farmers’ markets. You have the right to apply for SNAP any time you need help.
If you have lost hours or your job due to COVID-19, if you were laid off or lost income and need help putting food on the table, SNAP food Assistance is here to help. All details can be found at this link. Visit our MPS Food Service webpage for details on SNAP and other programs.
Our weekly Food Service drive-through continues to be open EVERY Wednesday. Swing by to pick up a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and a fresh box of produce!
Weekly Pick Up: Weekly pick up is available at two different times on Wednesdays. Come to MHS 9:30-10:30 or 12:30-1:30 (please don’t arrive before 12:15 to allow for MHS pick up) to pick up 7 days of breakfast and lunches and a fresh produce box.
Grab and Go: Available each day as your student leaves school. Multiple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are included in each bag. Students can take a grab and go bag with several breakfasts and lunches as they leave school each day.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
The National Honor Society successfully launched its Virtual Tutoring Program this week. We are currently offering free tutoring sessions through Google Meet for any MHS student looking for some extra help. On days 1 and 3, NHS volunteers are available to provide homework help and organization tips. Tutoring sessions run from 3:00-3:45 and are a great way to make sure students are in good standing in all of their classes. All details have been sent directly to students. We’re encouraging anyone who wants any assistance to join us!
Please see below for a piece from MHS Adjustment Counselor Jennie Beliveau.
We often hear about organizations having mission statements that explain what the goal of the organization is, who they serve, and its overall intention and purpose. But what about a person having a mission statement? What would your mission statement be?
Milton High School students were asked this question this week during an SEL activity in their advisory class. After watching a brief video created by the adjustment counselors, students engaged in conversations with their advisory teacher and other students about the different roles that they play in their lives. They then took each of their roles and thought about what intention and purpose they would like to set forth for 2021 in these roles. What kind of student, friend, sibling, child, employee, community member would they like to be as well as what their goals are in each of these roles. The students then combined all of these intentions into their 2021 mission statement.
It has been incredible to read through some of the thoughtful and purposeful mission statements that the students created. Their desires to grow as individuals and to have a meaningful impact on their community and world is admirable. We suggest that you ask your student about their mission statement and create one of your own. What is your 2021 mission statement and how are you and your family going to make a positive impact on our community? We would love to hear from you! Families are invited to email Ms. Beliveau with their mission statement.
In addition to our online Driver’s Education course for Junior Operators, Milton High School will be offering a February Vacation Driver’s Education Course! MHS students that are 15 years and 9 months old or older: get all your classroom hours done during February vacation, then you can begin driving with a certified driving instructor! Click here for more information on the February Vacation class and how to sign-up. Please email Mr. Moonan at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Mr. Ortiz’s 6th grade music students have been learning about Renaissance music and composers. Students wrote a story or a play using at least one Renaissance composer as a central character. Many of our students wrote creative and fun stories and we invite you to read student Bobby Naumes’ story here to get a feel for our student’s excellent work.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
In a world where many things are different, some things remain the same, and Kindergarten Mystery Reader is one of those things! Students in Mrs. Kates’ Kindergarten enjoyed a virtual mystery reader as Mr. Cullinan streamed in to join the class to share the story “The Cool Bean” by Jory John, and his daughter was excited to share this moment with her classmates. We are grateful that the Kindergarten team at Glover has found a way to keep this tradition alive.
Cunningham 3rd graders enjoyed a recent STEM lesson. Students used their worksheet to list materials, form a strategy, brainstorm potential plans and possible issues that may occur while constructing their snowflake, and showed what they envisioned for their final product. With 20 toothpicks and 25 mini marshmallows, students participated in two rounds of building: in the first round where they used all of their materials to create a unique snowflake, and in the second round they created a unique snowflake using the least amount of materials possible. You can see their process and results below.
Student enrichment clubs have kicked off at Tucker! Our winter BOKS program, Building Our Kids Success, is being led by Tucker parent Sita Cochran and gives students an opportunity for some morning exercise. Tucker also kicked off a morning math program, led by former Tucker parent Stacey Solomon. Students are using breakout rooms and shared google slides as a way to work collaboratively on open ended math problems. It has been a pleasure giving our students opportunities to connect beyond the bell!
Cunningham 3rd grade teacher Ms. Johnson coaches the Women’s Club Ice Hockey team at Curry College, and her 3rd grade students have paired up with her Curry players as pen pals this year. Students have exchanged letters and shared their interests about school, sports, the recent holiday season, and more. Our students and the Curry players are looking forward to continuing to write letters to each other until the end of the school year!
Collicot 5th graders have started a new science unit, Mixtures and Solutions. Students read from the new Mixtures and Solutions science text and then answered questions in a slide presentation. In addition to the slideshow, students observed phase changes while making a peppermint lined candle. Students watched the solid-state (wax flakes), liquid state (melted wax), and gas state (steam from melted wax). 5th grade scientists enjoyed observing the states of matter in action and presenting the finished product, a peppermint lined candle, to their families.
Cunningham 3rd grade students recently wrapped up a lesson learning about American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat and made these stunning dinosaur pictures. Thank you to Mrs. Bernini for sharing her student’s art.
Glover Occupational Therapist, Sarah Whitten, has put together this video to help support students and families with executive functioning skills within this unconventional learning environment. This video is well worth your time to watch.
Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the document “Preparing for Your Student’s Initial Eligibility Meeting for Special Education” here. This document is designed to help outline what to expect at each stage of this process.
Community Schools invites you to their 2nd Family Virtual Event.
Join us for a FREE evening of fun, family art. Grab your duct tape and card making supplies to create wallets, tote bags, and pop-up Valentine’s cards…see you there! Sign up for the free event here.
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
The Milton Foundation for Education has been funding initiatives for the Milton Public Schools for decades. This year, the MFE has found themselves unable to fundraise in their traditional way, yet the need for our schools and student communities has never been greater. Thank you to the MFE for funding the safety banners above for each of our schools! Please consider making a donation to the MFE at this link to continue this critical work this year.
ART AND MUSIC
The Milton Instrumental Applied Lesson Program has openings for beginning students for Session 2 starting the end of this month! The program has spots available on the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone and Tuba. If you have a student who would like to start taking lessons on one of these instruments, please contact Rebecca Damiani – firstname.lastname@example.org. Information for Session 2 can be found here: ALP Session 2 Registration All information for beginning students can be found here: ALP Beginner Registration
Winter sports have begun! As a reminder, there are no spectators allowed at any events this season. We are offering a free live stream for each game.
Please search YouTube for Milton Access TV and the game will start streaming roughly 2-3 minutes prior to the scheduled start.
There will be a few games that are not streamed over YouTube and instead will be streamed live on our Twitter Account (@MHS_Wildcats_). Please check this Athletics link for schedules to see which games are streamed via YouTube or Twitter.
We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.
The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has a series of programming for young children and families that I hope you will explore. All details on the following events can be found here.
Preschool Playgroup Series – Join us for some stories, songs, movement, and engaging activities created just for 3, 4, and 5 year old children, accompanied by an adult. This playgroup series will meet virtually on Zoom each Thursday for 6 weeks, from January 21st through February 25th at 10:30 AM. Activity bags, filled with supplies and materials, will be available for pick up and include everything needed to participate in this playgroup series! Completion of the Ages & Stages Questionnaire, to help better understand your child’s growth and development, will be requested of you. Registration is required and can be completed here. Upon completion of this series, you will receive children’s books for you and your child to enjoy together!
Nature Tales Series – Animal Habitats! Join us for a STEM and Early Literacy adventure virtually at the Trailside Museum. This event will be held on Zoom on Saturday, January 23rd at 11:00 AM. You’ll enjoy a children’s story, a guided movement activity, meet and hear about two live animals and have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer period! This will be an interactive event, with as many questions answered as possible. For ages 2.9 through 7 years old. We strongly encourage parent participation. Registration is required to obtain the Zoom link and password and can be completed here. Additional programs and dates: March 27, 2021 Animal Movements; and May 22, 2021 Animal Five Senses. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this programming!
Milton National Little League Registration: Registration is now open for Milton National Little League’s Spring 2021 season. Please register here Milton National Registration. Milton National Little League prioritizes safety and complies with all Massachusetts Youth Sports COVID Guidelines and will follow the most current safety and best practice recommendations. Financial assistance is also available. Please email league president Mike Carthas at email@example.com with any questions.
The Commonwealth’s Project 351 celebrates the ethic of service, youth leadership, and the unifying and uplifting power of community. We are pleased to share that Pierce eighth grade student Reilly Bergin has been selected as Milton’s Project 351 Ambassador.
The following comment was submitted by one of Reilly’s teachers as part of the recommendation process: “She is one of our strongest proponents of inclusivity. Whether it be a small group project or her tireless work with Best Buddies, Reilly stops to make sure that every voice is heard, and is left knowing they’re a valued contributor.” Another teacher added, “She stands out as someone who is willing to put in extra to make someone else’s day a little better. She is an active participant sharing ideas about how to make Pierce positive and inclusive.”
Please join us in congratulating Reilly on this special honor!
Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Ryan Madden, Bernadette Butler, Jon Redden, Kristen Driscoll, Jennie Beliveau, Cat DesRoche, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Sara MacNeil, Elizabeth Johnson, Dominique Thomas, and Bill Fish.
The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as a selection of volunteers, vendors, and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.