To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 6, 2021
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
This week we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week in our schools. Our students, families, and PTOs honored our entire staff – teachers, administrative assistants, school nurses, lunch staff, paraprofessionals, custodians, and administrators – with treats, small gifts, cards and words of thanks. While our community has endured some difficult times this school year, we can all agree that our children showing gratitude to the professionals who work in our schools is always a good thing. Please enjoy the pictures and video below and thank you to all who participated to celebrate our hard working and dedicated Milton Public Schools staff this week.
Over the last few weeks, I have visited our schools and stopped in many of our in person classrooms. This week I was able to visit with many of our remote students at all 6 of our schools. I really enjoyed speaking with them and learning about the positives and challenges as a remote student this year. We discussed their thoughts as to how we can improve moving forward. Students had thoughts about connection time, how to build stronger student/teacher relationships, and how to personalize learning to meet students where they are. I had an interesting discussion about taxes with our K-2 students and I was sorry to say I couldn’t help with taxes but appreciated their questions about it!
As we head into the weekend, I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all parents and guardians for their ongoing support and efforts to make this year as successful as possible for their students. We appreciate you!
The next regular School Committee meeting will be on May 19 , 2021 at 7pm in the Milton Access Studio, Rm 245 Milton High School. This meeting is also the Open Public Hearing for School Choice. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- May 18 Getting Ready for Kindergarten Cafe (Virtual)
- May 19 School Committee Meeting/Open Public Hearing for School Choice
- May 21 Pierce DEI Workshop
- May 27 Music Awards Night, MHS Auditorium
- May 31 Memorial Day-No School
Ready, Set…Kindergarten! We are welcoming the Class of 2034 to the Milton Public Schools in the coming weeks. Our new kindergarten families should have received their school assignment last week. Please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not yet received it.
We hope all K families will join us at your child’s new school to pick up your Kindergarten t-shirt. We have times planned at each school to welcome your child to an outside space to stop by, pick up your coveted yellow “I’m Going to Kindergarten” t-shirt, meet your Principal and take a Welcome to MPS photo. Our principals plan to join us if school business doesn’t call them away. This is a “stop by” event, families are welcome to drop by any time during the hour. All MPS social distancing and safety rules will be followed. Please wear a mask at all times while on school property. All details on Ready, Set…Kindergarten! can be found at this link. Welcome to the Class of 2034!
Pierce DEI Committee Workshop Invitation: Thank you to all who attended our first Pierce diversity, equity and inclusion committee family workshop last week! Please join us for the second workshop next Wednesday (5/12/21) at 7:00 p.m. Workshop #2 is: Healing Racial Trauma: Self-Care for Mind, Body and Spirit. The workshop description can be found here. Please click here to register for the workshop.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
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 two week period April 28 – May 5 , MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 3 students positive.
The COVID page on our website continues to be updated with new FAQs added regularly.
The Pierce 7th Grade Debate Class is preparing for Pierce Mock Trials and Dr. Elaine Craghead joined the class earlier today to talk to students about the usefulness of the ability to communicate effectively in front of an audience.
Dr. Craghead is passionate about education having spent over 25 years as an educator, board member for educational associations, and as an in class volunteer. She is a current member of the Milton School Committee and Assistant Dean of Academic Resources at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. She has taught an abundance of assimilating college freshmen and is well versed in what college readiness really means. Dr. Craghead knows how to get things done as part of a team, and our 7th graders are working on that skill. Thank you to Dr. Craghead for taking the time to speak with our students.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Cunningham students are enjoying their new outside sensory area. This sensory area was painted last weekend by MHS student volunteers, under the direction of Cunningham teacher Marissa Stancato. Thank you to the PTO for purchasing the supplies for this project. Cunningham Physical Therapist Sara Rizzolo demonstrates how to use the sensory path here. Thank you to all who completed this project for our students!
Ms. Spitz’ Collicot 4th grade students have been studying environments in science. Students created their own terrariums and are currently observing the changes daily.
Recently several Milton elementary school students participated in the state level Future Problem Solving bowl. We are excited to share that after reviewing the results that three of our Tucker students will go on to the International competition as individuals. Gabriella Robinson won third place, Graison Saba won second place, and Josephine Fundling won first place in the Individual Global Issues Problem Solving competition! These wonderful Tucker Tigers will be representing not only Tucker and Milton but also representing Massachusetts at the International bowl scheduled for June 2021. A special thank you to their coach Ms. Hannah Williams as well as to their families for their hard work and collaboration. Good luck to Gabriella, Graison, and Josephine at the competition in June!
Many of our students participated in the Green Up Milton clean up last week. A special thanks to the Glover PTO and Ellen Stoddard for coordinating at Glover and to the Cunningham crew of Fiona and Zach Pallai, Micah and Lily Dobin, RJ, Johnny, and Willy Horne, Chris Clough, Charlotte and Tyler Vaughn, Luke Brandi and Scott and Wesley Lovely who helped out around Milton High School. Thank you to all who participated to help green Up Milton!
May the 4th be with you! Ms. Aldrich’s Cunningham 2nd graders enjoyed Star Wars themed math centers focusing on measurement this week, while Ms. Plunket and the Cunningham Strings practiced the Star Wars theme for all to enjoy.
For the past few weeks Glover and Cunningham Scientists have been busy experimenting and investigating science topics at home. This week, students posted videos and pictures of their amazing work on our Glover School Virtual Science Fair Padlet and our Cunningham Science Fair Padlet. This gave everyone a chance to participate and show off their scientific thinking.
Collicot and Cunningham 5th grade students are wrapping up a food truck design project. Students began this project with a guided drawing session to create their vehicles. Students were then given the task to create a food truck with a unique logo. Notice how each truck has a clever name, food symbols that would entice a customer, an itemized menu and a custom service window. These trucks are truly delicious!
After School Enrichment (ASE) has available spots! Tuition fee for 5 weeks: $250.00.
Register by Wednesday, May 12 to start Monday, May 17. For more information, please see our ASE handbook and registration link here.
MPS GIVES BACK
Pierce 8th grader Reilly Bergin is this year’s Project 351 Ambassador. Reilly has asked us to share the information below, so all in MPS can support the Cradles to Crayons clothing drive starting next week.
Time to clean out your closets! Milton is hosting a clothing drive in support of Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons is a nonprofit organization that collects every-day essentials for local children who are facing homelessness and/or economic challenges. The donations will become part of KidPacks, which are bags that contain toys, books, clothes, school supplies, and more that are put together based on the child’s interests and needs. If you would like to learn more about Cradles to Crayons’ vision and impact, you can watch the Everyday Essentials video or visit the Cradles to Crayons website. We are collecting new and like-new clothing, sizes newborn to youth large (10/12). Remember, quality equals dignity. Please make sure the clothing does not have any holes, rips, stains, or looks worn out. (Think: Would I wear this? If the answer is no, please do not donate it.) Please note that pajamas and socks have to be new. The drive will run from Monday, May 10th to Wednesday, May 19th. Collection boxes will be located at Pierce Middle School, Collicot Elementary School, Tucker Elementary School, Cunningham Elementary School, Glover Elementary School, and the Milton Public Library. The simple act of donating can change a child’s life. * Your donation will not only provide a child with the essentials they need, but it will also help that child be confident, restore their dignity, and help them be the best they can be.* If you have any questions, please contact Reilly Bergin at email@example.com.
Dominique Thomas, Project 351 Alumni Leadership Council member, is also running a mask drive. All masks can be dropped anytime at 106 Blue Hills Parkway. Email Dominique at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Thank you for supporting these important initiatives!
MHS SPONSOR A SENIOR
Please see below from the MHS Sponsor a Senior volunteer parents/guardians who are organizing this effort.
If you signed up to Sponsor a Senior, you should have received an email with your Senior assignment. If you have not received an email, please check your spam, promotions, or junk folders. Please let us know ASAP at email@example.com if you haven’t received your senior.
GIFT DROP OFF: Please clearly and securely label your gift bag with your senior’s name. Senior gifts may be dropped off outside the Copeland Field House (at the back of Milton High School) on:
- Tuesday, May 11, from 3-5
- Wednesday, May 12, from 3-5
GIFT DELIVERY OPTION: If you know your assigned senior, and their home address, please feel free to drop off your gift to their home on Friday, May 14. We are not able to provide you with the address or other personal information about the senior. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan on delivering the gift yourself so that we will not expect a drop off from you at Milton High School.
Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following.
- May is National Mental Health Month! Since 1949, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have observed May is Mental Health Month by reaching out to millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. We invite other organizations to join us in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.
In 2021, we will continue with our theme of Tools 2 Thrive, providing practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.
- Speaker Series Event from the Learning Prep School: The Intersection Between Language-Based Disabilities and Social Emotional Challenges. Wednesday, May 19, 6- 7:15pm. This is a virtual event via Zoom and the link will be emailed the day before the event. In this talk, we will discuss what a language-based learning disability is and the social and emotional components that can often accompany it. We will discuss how to spot when a child is having those difficulties and how educators, professionals, and parents can provide support along with useful interventions. All Speaker Series events are open to the public. Please RSVP here.
Milton Summer Enrichment: Does Sensational Scientists, Greek Mythology, Fiber Art Explorations, Tennis, Irish Step Dancing or Milton Summer Olympics sound like something your children would enjoy? Then consider MSE for some summer fun and learning!
Please see the MSE At a Glance document here to review classes, policies, and more about MSE 2021. Registration for MSE is open at this link. Questions? Email us at email@example.com. We hope your child will join the MSE fun this summer!
An application for high school students serving as a volunteer or paid Red Shirt will be shared by the MHS Guidance Department.
Camp Cunningham: Camp Cunningham is looking forward to a great summer! The CC team is working to implement a series of adjustments that will ensure a safe and fun environment for our campers. We are able to accommodate 72 campers and participants must be currently enrolled as MPS students entering grades 1- 6 in the fall of 2021.
MPS Universal Summer Program: We are busy planning for our new Universal Summer Program taking place this July at the Glover school. This district-wide program, open to all current K-4 students will be a two-hour session focused on literacy, math, and social emotional learning skills. Families who have registered for the Universal Summer Program have been contacted over the last week with a confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not received a confirmation, would like more information about the program, and/or would like to register your student, please email email@example.com.
Extended School Year: Please see this ESY update from Mark Harrison. The Milton Public Schools’ Extended School Year program will begin on July 6, 2021 and end on August 13, 2021. Program information can be found on the ESY website: MPS Extended School Year 2021. To assist with scheduling and planning, we are hoping to have all eligible students registered by May 7, 2021. You can access the registration form here: ESY Registration Form. If you have questions regarding your student’s eligibility for ESY services please contact your school’s Team Chair.
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
As we close out Teacher Appreciation Week, one way you can show your appreciation is through the Milton Foundation for Education’s Teacher of the Year 2021! Remote, Hybrid, and In Person…2021 MPS Educators did it ALL!
Please take a moment to nominate a deserving MPS Educator for TOY. The easy nomination form can be found here and more information is on the MFE website. Please help us in recognizing our excellent teachers and staff by nominating an outstanding staff member for Teacher of the Year 2021.
The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls and emails are confidential. All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.
It was recently announced that students will be offered free meals – breakfast and lunch – through June 2022. Each of our schools has multiple meal options every day. Please encourage your child to try our school meals!
Looking for a part time job while your kids are in school? Join our Food Service team – this year or next! Please email Jackie Morgan to explore opportunities to join this terrific team.
On Thursday, May 27 at 7pm, popular speaker Jon Mattleman joins the Milton community for a special parent and caregiver presentation on how we can manage anxiety, optimize resilience, and keep our families in balance as COVID-19 restrictions relax, kids go back to school, and we resume some level of normalcy. Bringing 35 years of experience as a counselor, Jon uses insight, warmth, and humor to share practical tools, tips, techniques, and resources to help guide us through challenging transitions to new situations. Jon is the Clinical Director of Minding Your Mind and is passionate about mental health education and supporting parents as they support their children. Please register at this link.
Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.
Spring Season spectator guidelines:
- All outdoor athletic events are open for general admission. There is no entry fee this spring.
- All spectators must wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
- Spectators not abiding by the mask policy are subject to removal from the concourse.
- MPS Policy supersedes Gov Baker’s latest outdoor mask mandate.
The Milton Boosters will be hosting an outdoor Varsity Athletic Celebration on May 22 between 10am-noon at Brooks Field. Invites will be limited to Varsity letter recipients and Senior parents due to COVID restrictions.
We are happy to provide Community News on behalf of local organizations. We recommend checking with the organizations below for any changes to the following events.
This is a community-based, youth-led group and their first meeting will be May 15 at 7pm. All 9-12th graders are welcome. To get the zoom link, please email email@example.com.
The Milton Muslim Neighbors have joined with Milton Interfaith Clergy Association and Milton Public Schools for a food drive. If you would like to join, please drop off canned goods at one of the MPS schools between any day through May 10. There will be bins placed at each school location. Please reach out to your principal for the location as it will be different depending on safety protocols for each school. The last day of Ramadan is Wednesday, May 12 followed by the Eid ul Fitr holiday on Thursday, May 13.
Please join the Milton Public Library and the Friends of the Library for a virtual visit with author Holly McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaitre on Friday May 14. All details can be found here. They will be sharing their new picture book, What the World Could Make. We’ll have time to hear the story, and then can ask all of our questions about what it’s like to make books. Best of all, Holly speaks English and Pascal speaks French, so this will be a bilingual event.
The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites the community to join together for the following event. Commemorating our Journey through Covid-19: A Community Gathering of Consolation, Healing and Hope. Presented by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association on Sunday, May 16 from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Milton Town Gazebo.
Milton Early Childhood Alliance shares the following.
Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Will your child be attending kindergarten in the fall? Do you wonder if your child is ready academically, socially, emotionally, or developmentally? Would you like to learn what you can do to make the transition easier for your child and your family? Then, this parent workshop is for you and is open to all parents/caregivers; your child will not need to attend Milton Public Schools to participate. We will hold this workshop virtually, via Zoom, on May 18 at 7pm. Registration is required. Please register here to obtain the Zoom link and passcode. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this programming!
Nature Tales – Animal Five Senses: Join us for a STEM and Early Literacy adventure virtually at the Trailside Museum. This event will be held on Zoom on Saturday, May 22nd 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 passcode and can be completed here.
Saint Rock Haiti Foundation (SRHF) will hold its 13th Annual Building Hope Fèt on Friday, May 21 at 7:30pm. This year’s event is virtual and can be accessed by registering at www.saintrock.org. The event is complimentary to all. SRHF’s origin dates back to a concerned group of Milton and Quincy citizens who joined together to bring hope and dignity to the people of Haiti, the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere. Today, SRHF delivers primary healthcare to 60,000+ registered patients and supports 5 schools in the rural community of Saint Rock. Please join us in our ongoing work and help us to continue to make an impact in Haiti.
Brookwood Community Farm, 11 Blue Hill River Road, Canton, at DCR’s Brookwood Farm, is hosting the annual Seedling Sale in early May. For those interested in seedlings there is an online signup for a time to park and shop in person. (Sale FAQ’s) For those looking to offer help at the sale, there are also volunteer signups (earn your HS volunteer hours!) See the signup for all the types of tasks! Time slots are not onerous but all are very welcome to signup for 2 consecutive slots or days. To manage COVID restrictions the sale is spread out at least 2x’s the length as a regular year. The non profit farm depends on volunteers for events like this and for semi regular tasks on the farm along with less laborious duties like delivering food donations to one of our 7 partners or SNAP shares to Dorchester pickup locations.
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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Laurel Bernini, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Karen McDavitt, Sara MacNeil, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Susan Maselli, and Martha Sandoval.
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.