April 8, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: April 8, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week we welcomed our elementary students to our schools as they transitioned from a hybrid model to a full day model. Our elementary students who remain in the remote model are also getting used to new routines and enjoying a full day of school with their remote classmates and teachers. Overall, this week has been a success as teachers, staff, students, and families worked collaboratively to problem solve for the benefit of all in this new model. 

Our elementary principals have been communicating with families regularly, especially during this transition. If you are not receiving school based emails, please reach out to your principal or administrative assistant now. As each school has individual characteristics and challenges, it’s important to stay abreast of updates within your school community.

Tucker students and staff were excited to welcome United States Representative Ayanna Pressley to Tucker School this week for an opportunity for her to commend the students and staff on a job well done with this new transition! Representative Pressley also took some time to share a video message with all students to ensure she reached those participating in our remote model.  In addition to commending their hard work in school she reminded everyone to continue to follow health and safety expectations and thanked our hardworking teachers and staff. It was an exciting and appreciated visit for the Tucker Community!

Pierce and MHS students will begin the full day in person model on April 12, with many students attending school every day for a full day of school while some students will remain in our full remote model. Please be sure to read all principal communications so you understand expectations going forward. MHS and Pierce teachers and administrators are working with all remote and in person students to ensure they are aware of all guidelines in the new model. 

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Thank you, Jackie Morgan and the MPS Food Service staff!

As we transition to full days, our Food Service model is changing. All details on lunch at your child’s school can be found in your principal’s weekly emails and we will also continue to support remote families with meal pick up at our schools. I want to take this opportunity to thank and recognize Jackie Morgan and her Food Service staff who have pivoted and adjusted their model multiple times and creatively kept our school community supplied with tasty and healthy food since March of 2020. From the initial days of full remote to summer food distribution, to the hybrid model, through holidays and school vacations, Jackie and her team have responded to the changing needs of our community in thoughtful and creative ways. Please join me in thanking Jackie Morgan and her Food Service team for their exceptional work over the last 13 months. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The Milton School Committee invites you to participate in the Open Public Hearing to discuss all matters relating to the proposed Fiscal 2021-2022 School Budget on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 6:30pm Milton Access Studio, Rm 245 Milton High School. If you are unable to attend, please feel free to email comments/questions to the Milton School Committee at schoolcommittee@miltonps.org.

The next regular School Committee meeting will be on April 14, 2021, at 7pm in the Milton Access Studio, Rm 245 Milton High School. 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

  • Apr 12 6-12 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 19-23 April Break

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

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 weeks of April 1 – April 7, MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 10 students positive.

The COVID page on our website continues to be updated with new FAQs added regularly. 

While positive Covid numbers are down from our winter peak, after a recent plateau, numbers are now climbing in Milton and in Massachusetts. We need Milton Covid numbers to stay low to Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school. With the upcoming April break, now is not the time to let our guard down. Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, social distancing, hand hygiene, and social gatherings. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS Art teacher Miyoung Lee shares that students in Digital Photo recently took black and white photographs inspired by abstract photographer Aaron Siskind.  Students zoomed in on interesting art elements such as shapes, forms, values, textures and space, and practiced creating asymmetrically balanced compositions. You can see more student work inspired by Aaron Siskind at this link.

PIERCE PAGES

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following. 

April is Autism Awareness Month! This year, the theme is Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World.  Check out this article to learn about the history of Autism Awareness Month. 

SEPAC: Please join the Milton SEPAC on April 12 from 6:30-8:00pm as we welcome School Committee candidates Lizzy Carroll, Beverly Ross Denny, Susannah Harwell Hegarty and Kristin Kociol to a Candidates Forum. 

The intent of this forum is to give parents and guardians the opportunity to learn more about their respective platforms and to ask the candidates questions about topics that are important to you. This forum is open to all Milton residents.  Please use this zoom link to attend. 

We will welcome Cunningham parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on April 13 at 7pm. The link to join can be found here or join by phone at 1 336-914-1213 (PIN: 317159998)

Unified Sports are starting in the spring season. Unified Track Team is an inclusive sports team consisting of students with and without disabilities. These student athletes will be competing together as teammates.  If you are interested in learning more, please email Coach Ashley Assarian at aassarian@miltonps.org.

Learning Prep School invites you to their free Speaker Series event: ADHD In Depth: From Identification to Management on Wednesday, April 14,  6-7:15 PM with Dr. David Stein, Pediatric Psychologist & Director at New England Neurodevelopment, LLC. All Speaker Series events are open to the public. This is a Virtual Event via Zoom.  Please register here

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following. Please see her full newsletter with more information about the topics below at this link.

April is Celebrate Diversity Month, National Arab American Heritage Month, Ramadan and Autism Awareness Month.  There is so much to learn and to elevate.  In this week’s edition of Behaving Equitably we will explore some celebrations within the Southeast Asian  communities, Easter, bringing awareness to Autism and share some upcoming important dates. 

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

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.

All details on Camp Cunningham can be found here and please read the Camp Cunningham welcome letter here. Registration for Camp Cunningham 2021 is open at this link.

After School Enrichment: As our schools have now returned to a full-day model, Milton Community Schools (MCS) is very excited to announce the reopening of ASE as an outdoor pilot program this spring. Please read the full letter about ASE here. 

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

Thank you to all of our elementary families for your patience as we rolled out new bus passes, routes and schedules this week. All elementary riders should have their new blue passes at this point, please note that students can only board the bus with this new blue pass.

All Pierce and MHS riders who were riding in the hybrid model and new registrants who have not been notified that they are on a waiting list will receive their passes this week. No student will be allowed to board the bus on Monday without a blue pass.

We ask for your help in reinforcing expectations on the bus. Please remind your student not to eat on the bus, to adhere to their seat assignment, wear a mask at all times and to keep the windows open at their seat.

Please continue to arrive early for the bus and monitor the schedules posted on the MPS  Transportation page, as the schedule continues to be adjusted as traffic patterns and increased ridership/new routes are monitored for impact on the schedule.  Registration to ride the bus is currently closed. If there are seats available on routes we will notify families in the Superintendent’s blog and look to add riders after April vacation. Please email bus@miltonps.org with any questions. 

FOOD SERVICE 

With the return to a full in person model throughout MPS, we have ended our weekly drive through pick up.  We have emailed a survey to our fully remote families to schedule weekly pick ups. 

Students who are in school for a full day will have the option to receive a school lunch each day.  All school lunch continues to be offered free of charge to all students. All menus and details can be found at this link. 

There are additional resources available to our community, including Project Breads Food Source Hotline. If you need food assistance, please call 800-645-8333 to learn about resources available to help you. Additional local resources are listed at this link

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. At any time, please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

PTO UPDATES 

The Glover School PTO shares the following about the Glover School – 2021 Brick Fundraiser! 
Calling all Glover Families – PAST and PRESENT! Reserve a prominent place in The Glover Elementary School history for yourself or a loved one by purchasing a commemorative brick with a personalized message to be installed at Glover. This is the perfect way to recognize a birthday, graduation, commemorate the years your family has been at Glover, or to show sympathy or appreciation. Please place your order by April 17. 

Your contribution will go towards the creation of a brick pathway by the main entrance and additional proceeds will benefit the 2021 Glover School 5th Grade Class to celebrate their last year and class gift. All details can be found here.

MSAPC

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares that prevention starts early and it starts at home. Tip #5 is at right. For lots of tips and resources for parents and guardians about steps to take to help prevent teen use of drugs and alcohol, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

The MSAPC also has a variety of social-emotional learning webinars available on its website. Listen and watch on your own timeframe to these recorded webinars. 

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

Thank you to all who attended the MHS Spring Sports information meeting this week.  The PowerPoint with information about the spring season is linked here.

The pre-season and tryout schedule for Spring Sports  is posted here. You can register your student at this link.

Students must be registered on Family ID and have turned in a valid physical to the Main Office. Please confirm that your student is cleared here

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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. 

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

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The Forbes House Museum Lincoln Contest deadline is Monday, April 12. There’s still time to enter your drawing or essay into the Forbes House Museum’s Lincoln Contest. Winners will be awarded prizes and have their work featured on a special Milton Access TV program this spring. Winning drawings will be featured in a special exhibition at the Forbes House Museum, with the chance for the grand prize drawing to become a temporary mural on the museum grounds this summer.

Submit your drawings and essays by placing them in the red bin located at the side entrance to the museum by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 12. For all the contest details, visit our website. Good luck!

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The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out their upcoming events here. The main MPL website can be found here.

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance shares their spring programming below.  All MECA programs are free! Please see this link for information about:

  • Preschool Playgroup Series
  • Nature Tales – Animal Movements
  • Getting Ready for Kindergarten
  • Nature Tales – Animal Five Senses
  • Children’s Concert
  • StoryWalks® Around Town – Part of Milton Moves! Found at the Trailside Museum, Milton Cemetery,  Houghton’s Pond 

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BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden Karen McDavitt, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Miyoung Lee, Susan Maselli, Tanya Walsh 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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 8, 2021

April 1, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: April 1, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

On Monday, April 5, Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker students will begin a full in person model with many students attending school every day for a full day of school while some students remain in our full remote model. There will be no hybrid model in elementary after today. 

Pierce and MHS students remain in the hybrid/remote choice model for one more week and will begin the full in person model on April 12, with many students attending school every day for a full day of school while some students remain in our full remote model.

We are excited for this next phase in our school year and are focused on the details of welcoming more students into school in the coming days, while maintaining the community and rigor of our full remote model.

All elementary families (full in person and full remote families) will receive detailed information from their principal this week. If you do not receive this, please reach out to your principal or school’s administrative assistant. Pierce and MHS families will receive logistical details on the school day next week. A few general points to note: 

  • School hours will revert to previous full day hours at each school. MHS 7:50-2:19; Pierce 7:57-2:26; Collicot and Cunningham 8:20- 2:49; Tucker and Glover 8:50-3:19
  • MPS will continue to offer a full remote model through the end of the school year.
  • We recognize that these next few weeks may bring some stress as well as excitement for students. Teachers are planning welcome activities with a focus on social emotional wellness. Additional support for students who may need it during this transition is always available through your child’s adjustment counselor. All contact information is in principal communications and school websites. 
  • Transportation updates are below and on the Transportation page of our website. 
  • We will offer limited After School Enrichment (ASE) later in the spring. Details will be sent to elementary families. There will be no before school care offered this spring. 
  • Due to lunch, space constraints and the need to keep all students and staff safe in our full in person model, MPS will be a peanut free district for the duration of this school year. All snacks and lunches that are brought to school must be peanut free. Details on lunch logistics have been or will be shared by your principal. 
  • The COVID page on our website continues to be updated with new FAQs added regularly. 

I want to thank and recognize our administrative assistants, custodial staff, food service staff, adjustment and guidance counselors, school nurses, Milton Consolidated Facilities staff, the transportation department, support staff and paraprofessionals who along with our teachers and administrators have worked tirelessly this year to implement our hybrid/remote choice model and now to shift to the new full in person/remote model. We have many unsung heroes operating behind the scenes to make the complicated logistics work and we so appreciate their efforts this year on behalf of all of our students.

While positive Covid numbers are down from our winter peak, after a recent plateau, numbers are now climbing in Milton and in Massachusetts. We need Milton Covid numbers to stay low to Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school. With the Easter holiday on Sunday and the upcoming April break, now is not the time to let our guard down. Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, social distancing, hand hygiene, and social gatherings. 

There is no school on Friday, April 2 in honor of Good Friday. If you celebrate Easter, I wish you and your family a Happy Easter and I wish all in the MPS community a restful long weekend.  We are looking forward to Monday in the Milton Public Schools! 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on April 14, 2021, at 7pm. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings is 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

  • Apr 2 No School – Good Friday
  • Apr 5 K-5 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 12 6-12 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 19-23 April Break

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Support the MHS class of 2022 by going to The Yogurt Bar in Quincy – TODAY – Thursday, April 1. A portion of all sales will benefit the Junior Class. 

MHS Science Coordinator Amy Tom shares that the annual Cambridge Science Festival is launching today and running all month long. This is a great opportunity for our students and all information can be found on their website.

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 weeks of March 25 – March 31, MPS reported: 2 staff positive and 11 students positive.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS 2D Studio Art students recently completed a peer lesson. Students chose a paper sculpture from their peers in 3D Studio Art to base their own painting or drawing on. Students focused on value – the lightness and darkness of a surface – throughout the lesson. You can see some of their work below and at this link.

 

MHS students in the Launch Program are now accepting dog treat orders from the Milton community. To order your Paws Treats, please click here.   Questions? Please email the team at pawsabilitreats@miltonps.org. You can see a few of their happy customers below!

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MHS announces the April Vacation Driver’s Education course. Get all your Driver’s Education Hours done over April Vacation!

Who? Any Milton High School student who is at least 15 and 9 months on or before 4/19.  Since this is an online course, you must have a miltonps email account to access the course materials. This is why it is open to Milton High School students only. All details on Driver’s Education at MHS can be found here.\

PIERCE PAGES

Mr. Manning’s 7th graders wrapped up their custom sneaker design lesson this week. The design process consisted of creating a custom footprint, logo, a rearview, and a profile view of their sneaker. Students had a great time comparing each other’s designs. Mr. Manning finalized the lesson with a video from “Boston Got Sole” which is a sneaker convention held in Boston in the fall each year. Students watched kids their age buy, sell, and trade custom sneakers. Pierce students realized that sneakers play a big part of their culture and that sneakers are a billion dollar industry.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Ms. Brandi’s Glover 1st graders learned about Amelia Earhart this week as they read the story Little People, BIG Dreams Amelia Earhart by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and watched a short video about Amelia Earhart to learn more about her. While they discussed her life and accomplishments, students did a guided drawing of Amelia Earhart.

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Cunningham 3rd grade students in Mr. Young’s class had a special visitor in their classroom this week, as Dr. Redden joined them to listen to persuasive letters written to him. To kick off this activity last week, students walked around Cunningham and looked for ways to improve the school. They then brainstormed ideas and were tasked with writing a letter to convince Dr. Redden to implement their ideas at Cunningham by sharing their bold opinion and providing reasons and examples to support it. Students also considered Dr. Redden’s responses and reasons why he may not agree with their opinions and included counter-arguments in their letters. Opinions ranged from adding to the playground structures, creating a motor break room, building a ninja warrior course, turning the cafeteria into a movie theater, creating an outdoor classroom, and starting a news and newspaper club. Now that they have shared their ideas, 3rd grade authors now anxiously await Dr. Redden’s feedback on their creative ideas.

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Tucker School has been practicing Mindfulness all March long with the assistance of our Mindfulness calendar and the help of resident expert Ms. Mary Beth Callahan. Ms. Mary Beth and Tucker art teacher Mrs. Gillooly have also been leading a virtual Mindfulness Club since January to help Tucker students use and practice these skills. Club member Seraphim Manson in Grade 3 recorded a special mindful moment this week that was shared with all students. Thank you to Seraphim for helping our students during Mindfulness March. 

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In the month of March, Collicot students and staff celebrated literacy. The month started with a Lexia and Lailo usage contest, and other activities included video book recommendations, staff read alouds and more. As a culminating activity, Collicot hosted literary character dress up day. Students and staff were encouraged to dress up as a favorite character from a beloved book. All participants had a great time walking the “red carpet” and showing off their favorite book characters.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following. 

Learning Prep School invites you to their free Speaker Series event: ADHD In Depth: From Identification to Management on Wednesday, April 14,  6-7:15 PM with Dr. David Stein, Pediatric Psychologist & Director at New England Neurodevelopment, LLC.  This talk will provide an in-depth review of the basics of ADHD—what is it, why does it occur, and how do we identify it? In addition, the talk will provide an in-depth review of evidence-based interventions across medical, home, and school settings. All Speaker Series events are open to the public. This is a Virtual Event via Zoom.  Please register here

We will welcome Cunningham parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on April 13 at 7pm. The link to join can be found here or join by phone at 1 336-914-1213 (PIN: 317159998)

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES 

Please see this overview of each of our elementary summer programs. More details will be sent on each program as available. 

There are four programs available to elementary families this summer:  

Please see this document or enlarge the photos below for details on each program.

Camp Cunningham : 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.

All details on Camp Cunningham can be found here and please read the Camp Cunningham welcome letter here. Registration for Camp Cunningham 2021 will open at noon on Wednesday, April 7 at this link.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Community Schools is excited to announce the offering of our April Vacation Camp. This limited capacity program will be in–person at the Collicot/Cunningham schools from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. We will adhere to all Milton Public Schools and CDC COVID-19 guidelines. Registration for April Vacation Camp is open at this link (FAMILY ID- MCS PROGRAMS) and you can also find all this information on the MCS website.

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

All Elementary bus passes have been mailed for full return to school on April 5th.  Please remember that no RED passes will be accepted for ridership, only BLUE passes can be used and students must sit in their assigned seats.  

All seat assignments have been redone as the cohorts from hybrid learning were merged. All student(s) have new seats on the bus and students are required to sit in their new assigned seat.

Middle and High School bus assignments have been completed for the full return model beginning on April 12th, new passes will be mailed to all riders Monday April 5th. Current riders in the hybrid model have all been assigned to the bus for full return, new registrations have been processed and students placed on waiting lists have been notified.  Families owing bus fees have been billed and once fees are paid, their passes will be mailed. 

As of April 12th, no RED passes will be accepted for ridership on the bus for MHS and Pierce Students, only BLUE passes can be used and as with elementary, students must sit in their NEW assigned seat. All seat assignments have been redone as the cohorts from hybrid learning were merged. All student(s) have new seats on the bus and students are required to sit in their new assigned seat.

New schedules for all bus routes are posted on our website. Please familiarize yourself with these schedules as they are different from the current posted ones. Arrival and drop off times have shifted on all routes due to increased ridership every day.  As we do at the beginning of the school year, we ask that families be 10-15 min earlier than the posted times as buses may arrive earlier or later than posted until the actual schedules are established.  Please email bus@miltonps.org with any questions. 

Transportation Guidelines for the 2020-2021 School Year

On February 11, 2021 MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education(DESE) updated Transportation (school bus) guidelines as follows:

  • Eliminated capacity limitations and physical distancing requirements for elementary students 
  • Eliminated capacity limitations and physical distancing requirements for middle and high school students on buses, except for middle and high schools in districts with high community prevalence.
  • For middle and high schools in districts with high community prevalence, capacity limitations and physical distancing requirements on buses are amended to allow 2 students per bus bench.
  • Windows must be kept open at all times at least two inches
  • Students should be assigned to a single bus and a particular seat. 
  • Masks must be worn at all times.

In order to return Milton Public Schools to full in person learning MPS has adopted these changes.  MPS is legally required to transport students in Kindergarten through Grade Six who live two miles or more from school which necessitates full capacity buses on many elementary, middle and high school routes.  There are elementary buses at full capacity with up to three per bench and Pierce and MHS buses at full capacity with two per bench.  We have worked to keep siblings together whenever possible, but are unable to assign seats based on neighborhood or by stop due to the need to keep kindergarten and first grade students as close to the front of the bus as possible.

Please email bus@miltonps.org with any questions. 

FOOD SERVICE 

Our current food service model with Wednesday’s weekly drive through will continue for March 31 and April 7.

With the return to a full in person model throughout MPS, we will be ending our weekly drive through pick up.  Our last weekly drive thru with the Farmers to Families boxes will be April 7. We will be emailing a  survey to our fully remote families to schedule weekly pick ups. 

Once we begin the full in person model (April 5 for elementary, April 12 for MHS and Pierce) students who are in school for a full day will have the option to receive a school lunch each school day. 

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Are you looking for mental health, substance use disorders and addictions or family support resources?  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has produced a valuable list of these resources to assist Milton children and youth and their families.  Please click here for a list of Hotlines and Helplines.

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC

As we wrap up Music In Our Schools Month, The MHS Music department highlights the last of outstanding senior musicians. We have featured our seniors to celebrate all of their accomplishments and contributions to the Milton music community.  You can read about this week’s seniors (shown below) in detail here.

Students in our Applied Music Lesson Program have been working hard preparing for virtual recitals. Flute teacher Ms. Chu and her high school flute students recently held their recital. You can see them performing duets together in the photo at right. Pictured: L – R Top: Mahina Panerio-Langer, gr. 12; Karen Chu, flute teacher; Madeleine Miller, gr. 11 Middle: Chloe Zhong, gr. 11; Abigail Raymond, gr. 11; Anna Hamblet, gr. 11 Bottom: Sydney O’Toole, gr.12; Katy Blackburn,gr. 11; Brynne Mershon, gr. 10

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Milton High School Students continue to be hard at work making music his year. Enjoy our second Cabaret which features performances of students collaborating with faculty members as well as work from students in the “Make Music” courses at MHS.

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Our elementary music teachers share that as we begin the transition to more in person learning, it has been very rewarding to look back at our remote journey in the elementary general music classes and recount the many ways our elementary music students were able to make and create music at home. In the fall, students created their own shakers, scrapers and drums to play along with activities that reinforced concepts in rhythm, timbre and expression. Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 completed their units on learning to play the recorder this week with amazing results. Students at every grade level were offered the opportunity to participate in “Music Share,” a designated class where students were able to “shine” by performing for their peers.

While teaching music remotely in our elementary schools has been the first of its kind and an adventurous journey, we feel that it was a rousing success! Attendance and enthusiasm remained high throughout these many months. Please enjoy a few of the many performances given by our elementary students at this link. Mrs. Allegrezza, Mr. Good, and Ms. Martin would like to thank our students’ grown-ups for their assistance and support, as well as our students who continue to inspire us every day!

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

The Athletics Presentation for Spring Sports that was scheduled for Thursday, April 1 has been postponed to Monday, April 5th at 6:30pm. I apologize for any inconvenience. Join the Zoom Meeting at this link. Meeting ID: 848 5776 8508; Passcode: te7cdvUXn7.  

The PowerPoint with information about the spring season is linked here.

There have been many questions about the start date. Please see below for clarification: 

  • Pre-season for the Spring will start on Monday, April 12. We understand that this is two weeks prior to the originally posted MIAA start date. Our Conference has voted to allow our spring athletes two extra weeks to start spring sports to prepare for a very condensed season. Tryouts will still start on Monday, April 26. 
  • From April 12 to April 25, all practices will be optional, though strongly encouraged. Students opting not to attend – or unable to attend – will still be afforded a tryout beginning April 26th. From April 26 on, all sessions are mandatory.
  • Participation in the two week pre-season does not guarantee a spot in the program or on a Varsity Team.
  • On Thursday, April 8, a schedule will be released for our two week pre-season. Students still participating in Fall II Sports may not participate until they have finished their season and have taken TWO (2) days off.
  • Once tryouts begin on Monday, April 26, we plan to make cuts by Wednesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 29. For students that may be cut from a sport, they are more than welcome to join one of the following non-cut sports; Rugby, Outdoor Track, Unified Track.

Please be sure to register at this link in the next two weeks! 

There are two ways to support our athletes this weekend. We’ve got Cans AND Cars for ‘Cats!

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out their upcoming events here. The main MPL website can be found here.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Andy Young, MaryBeth Callhan, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Carolyn Brandi, Amy Tom, Patrick Manning, Susan Maselli, Martha Sandoval, April Allegrezza and Colleen Martin.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 1, 2021

March 25, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 25, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Thank you to all who attended the MHS Principal Candidate Forum last night and to all who sent in questions for our finalists. Every question asked last night was sent in by a member of the MPS community – student, staff or family member. We are lucky to have three qualified candidates and grateful to all who have participated in the process thus far. We will be making a final hiring decision in the coming days.

A special thank you to the MHS Principal Screening Committee who dedicated countless hours to this process. Thank you to:

  • Assistant Superintendent Dr. Karen Spaulding
  • Principal Dr. Jonathan Redden
  • Parents/Guardians/Community Members- Jennie Mulqueen, Kristen Brennick, Christine Copeland, Wendy New, Regina Campbell- Malone, Jayne Ogata
  • Students: Barron Clancy, Jayme Lo
  • Teachers: Kassandra Aloe, Brian Borde, Rob Moray, Claire Ritten
  • Curriculum Coordinators/Directors: Amy Tom, Zeina Hamada

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March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day and we celebrated at MPS with our annual Rock Your Socks competition. Students and staff wore their craziest socks to show awareness and acceptance for people with Down Syndrome. Each of these pairs of socks represents a conversation had, a book read, a class discussion, a connection made, and more at MPS in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day. You can see some of the fun and creativity in the short video below.

MODEL CHANGE UPDATES 

I hope you are as excited as we are about our upcoming return to full in person learning. Our teachers are staff are looking forward to the day when all of our students are with us for a full day of school!

I want to highlight a few logistical points below. 

  • Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker begin full in person model on April 5.
  • Pierce and MHS begin full in person model on April 12.
  • School hours will revert to previous full day hours at each school. 
  • MPS will continue to offer a full remote model through the end of the school year.
  • Please see the full Transportation Update below. 
  • We hope to offer limited After School Enrichment (ASE) later in the spring. Details will be sent to elementary families. There will be no before school care offered this spring. 
  • Due to lunch and space constraints in our full in person model, MPS will be a peanut free district for the duration of this school year. All snacks and lunches that are brought to school must be peanut free. 

As many details of this model change are school based, elementary principals will be sending specific logistical information to all families the week of March 29 and Principals Cahill and Fish will send information the week of April 5.  I will continue to update the MPS community in this space and in additional emails as needed. As always, thank you for your support and enthusiasm as we move to a full in person model. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 31, 2021, at 7pm. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings is 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

  • Mar 30 TRI M Induction Ceremony (virtual)
  • Mar 31 Milton School Committee
  • Apr 1 Early Release Grades K-5 (PD Day)
  • Apr 2 No School – Good Friday
  • Apr 5 K-5 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 12 6-12 Full In Person Model Change

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Glover Principal Karen McDavitt shares that Friday, March 26 is #SELDay. Sponsored by SEL4Us and the Urban Assembly, this is a day to showcase SEL in our communities, promote SEL to our personal and professional networks, advocate SEL with our policymakers, and support SEL in our schools, organizations, and communities.
There are many free trainings offered and you can see them here. A few worth noting are hightlighted here:

  • It’s Not SEL If It’s Not Equitable: Using Teen-Written Stories About Racism to Reflect on Teacher SEL
  • WEBINAR: Children of the Pandemic: The mental health and resilience of children during COVID 19
  • Bringing SEL and Mental Health Back to School: Strengthening Districts Systems of Support Amidst the Impact of the Pandemic

This article about the importance of Trusted Adults in Social Emotional Learning was also helpful and informative.

Milton is a participating community in the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity  in Education (MPDE) upcoming Virtual Recruitment Fair. MPDE is committed to recruiting and assisting in producing career opportunities for educators and administrators from diverse backgrounds and forming collaborative relationships that will enhance staff diversity within our school districts. This event takes place on March 31 and all details can be found here

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 weeks of March 18 – March 24, MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 14 students positive.

What is the MPS travel policy for students/ staff who travel out of state?  Has the travel order change impacted current school policies?  As of Monday, March 22, the Massachusetts Travel Order is replaced with a Travel Advisory. This new travel advisory urges all persons entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more.  The Travel Advisory is the minimum requirement that MPS has to follow. Our MPS policy remains as a negative PCR test within 72 hours of returning OR a ten day quarantine for any out of state travel. An exception is made for travelers who are fully vaccinated (who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID 19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 or more days ago) AND who do not have symptoms.  MPS does not allow for any other exemptions that the state allows.

Medication Drop off; Curbside, minimal contact medication drop off can be arranged with your school nurse. Please email your school nurse directly with your student’s name, the medication that will be dropped off, and the accompanying MD order.  MPS forms can be found here: MPS Over the Counter Medication Form; MPS Prescription Medication 

After receipt of the required forms, the nurse will arrange drop off of the epipens, inhalers, seizure and over the counter medication.  Controlled substances, such as stimulant medication, must be handed directly to the nurse and proper pill count must be signed for.  

MPS Visitor Guidelines: As a means of keeping students and staff healthy and safe, visitors – including parents or caregivers – will not be allowed to enter MPS school buildings for any purpose other than to drop off or pick up their student(s), all of which will be limited to the school’s administrative space. This prohibition does not apply to MPS staff with a business purpose to be at a school site or vendors necessary for providing school services.

Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, distance, hand hygiene, and social gatherings so we can all Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school. Please refer to our COVID-19 page for all health and safety policies and updates. 

CELEBRATING OUR SENIORS

We have well over 200 seniors sponsored and just need a few more sponsors to help us celebrate each one of our 274 MHS seniors!  Sponsor a Senior is an effort to recognize every MHS Senior with a gift (suggestions include an inspirational note or card, a gift card, a small gift, a sweet treat – anything to let our seniors know how proud the community is of their accomplishments, adaptability, and resilience during a year long pandemic) from the Milton community as they prepare to graduate.

Parent organizers are seeking volunteers from the Milton community to Sponsor a Senior and make this effort successful! All details on Sponsoring a Senior can be found here, and you can sign up to Sponsor a Senior here. There are 274 MHS seniors, and the goal is for every senior to have a sponsor. Please sign up now, so we can celebrate all of our seniors!

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following. Please see her full newsletter with more information about the topics below at this link. 

This year, from sundown March 27 thru sundown April 4, many Jewish families will observe the Festival of Passover.  Passover is a celebration of freedom.  “The holiday is observed for eight days (seven in Israel), and incorporates themes of springtime, a Jewish homeland, family, remembrance of Jewish history, social justice and most of all, freedom-  including recognizing those who are still oppressed today (History.com).” You can read more about Passover in the newsletter here.  

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Last week the district responded to the murders that occurred in Atlanta Georgia where one gunman entered three Asian owned businesses and opened fire killing eight people.  Six out of the eight victims were women of Asian descent.  All three businesses that were targeted by this murderer are Asian owned.  He skipped over multiple other businesses that provided similar services and products as he drove from one location to another.  The authorities have not declared this as a hate crime and stated that the murderer is mentally ill and “was having a bad day”.  Many in the API community are outraged with how authorities are responding to this case.   Being mentally ill does not immune anyone from being a racist and/or sexist.  People can have intersections within their identity.  There has been a long-standing history of racism and the fight for social justice in America.  

We want our community to know that the Milton Public School District stands against ALL historical and current anti-Asian hate, racist, and violent acts against the API community.

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If you would like to receive MPS communications in a language other than English, please use this link to take a short survey regarding language, translation &  interpreting. If English is your preferred language, please skip this survey. The link to take the survey in multiple languages is at the top right of the survey.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Please join us in recognizing our Term 2 Milton High School Vision Award recipients who not only have excelled academically but demonstrate respect and citizenship both inside and outside of our school.  Please take a few minutes to view the announcement of the Term 2 recipients. Congratulations to all of the recipients!

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Our students in Intro to Biology have been working hard this year and have recently begun a unit on the Human Body. Students have been able to utilize the courtyard for a heart rate lab, and this week completed their first dissection of the unit to help review the skeletal and muscular systems.

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MHS is happy to announce the April Vacation Driver’s Education course. Get all your Driver’s Education Hours done over April Vacation!

Who? Any Milton High School student who is at least 15 and 9 months on or before 4/19.  Since this is an online course, you must have a miltonps email account to access the course materials. This is why it is open to Milton High School students only. All details on Driver’s Education at MHS can be found here. 

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Please see the MCAS Testing Notification letter sent to grade 10 and 11 families this week. MCAS Testing will be Next-Gen ELA and Mathematics computer-based tests, taking place May 3- 13 at MHS. 

Please also see this AP Exam Administration Notification sent to all AP Students & Families on Tuesday of this week. AP Testing will take place in the school building from May 12- 26.

PIERCE PAGES

Productive Struggle in FUSE

In 7th and 8th grade FUSE classes, students learn many 21st century skills without even realizing it. Click HERE to watch a video to see how a group of 7th graders worked together to create a roller coaster that a marble could travel through. They worked collaboratively by communicating with each other to creatively solve the problems they ran into during each iteration of their design.

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The Pierce Model United Nations club participated in a crisis conference designed and run by Kiera Glazer, a former Pierce Model UN alum, now Milton High School student and member of the Milton High’s Model UN club. Kiera has been working with the Pierce Model UN students for the past few weeks on developing and delivering opening speeches, parliamentary procedures, etc.

In this simulation, Pierce students from grades six to eight represented various countries throughout the world and debated as well as responded to a crisis caused by a dangerous earthquake in Peru.

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Mr. Manning’s art students have started a sneaker design lesson. Students used their own feet to develop a footprint design and will then develop a logo design and a fully customized sneaker of their own. Sneakers are such a part of middle school culture, and students are learning about artists that buy, sell, and trade sneakers for a living.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

This year, Tucker students were thrilled to have the annual science fair both virtual using PowerPoint presentations and Padlet as well as in person, outside and socially distanced. Over 125 students signed on to create rigorous projects after a kickoff with MPS K-8 Science Coordinator Mrs. Chiapetta and Scientist Adam from Super Science. Students presented to their classmates during class visits and virtual sessions. The entire school was able to participate in this annual tradition and it was a wonderful experience! You can check out some of the amazing projects in the pictures here as well as on the project padlet.

 

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Mrs. Walsh’s remote 2nd graders recently completed their Magical March STEM Challenge. Students designed towers, using no more than 12 cups and 12 plates to reach the maximum height. After making adjustments and tweaking their finished product, students used measuring tapes and recorded the height. Some towers reached over 30 inches!

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Glover 5th graders have been working on a Figure-Drawing Unit in Art. The culminating project is entitled “Dream Self-Portrait”, and the goal is for students to draw themselves in an active pose, doing something they dream of. Some students chose future goals, and some chose fantasy activities. Artists chose their background style of realistic, word collage or abstract. Many students are still in-process, but below are a few examples of their great work.

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Collicot 5th grade students are currently focusing on the Reach for Reading big question, “Why is water so important?” In addition to the works from the Reach curriculum, the 5th graders completed a grade wide read of the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. In response to this work, 5th grade students started a school wide community service initiative to raise money to build wells in South Sudan. Collicot is decorated with posters promoting the project and explaining the importance of clean water. 5th graders participated in virtual meetings with Kindergarten students to explain the project.

Through the fundraiser, the “Iron Giraffe Challenge,” students will be collecting loose change in water jugs and then donating the money to help build wells (the “iron giraffe”) and to support other initiatives needed so badly in South Sudan. More information on this foundation can be found here. We are so proud of the 5th grade students for their work raising awareness and funds for this very important cause!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following. 

Please see this document with tips on how to organize your child’s  special education documents.  

We will welcome Cunningham parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on April 13 at 7pm. The link to join can be found here or join by phone at 1 336-914-1213 (PIN: 317159998)

We will continue to provide team meetings virtually for the remainder of this year. If you would prefer an in person meeting, please reach out to your Team Chairperson or building principal.

We would like to encourage families to sign and return IEPs as soon as you receive them.  Your student’s team has worked with you diligently on the creation of the new IEP and we would like to be able to implement it as soon as possible. If you have trouble accessing the online portal, please let us know and we will send you a paper copy. If you need an additional copy to sign, please contact your Team Chairperson. Procedurally, we are required to report the IEP as unsigned after 30 calendar days has elapsed since it was sent for your review and consideration.

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES 

Please see this overview of each of our elementary summer programs. More details will be sent on each program, we hope this allows families to begin to plan their summer activities.

There are four programs available to elementary families this summer:  

  • MPS Elementary Universal Summer Program (sign up here) 
  • Milton Summer Enrichment 
  • Extended School Year 
  • Camp Cunningham

Please see this document or enlarge the photos below for details on each program.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Community Schools is excited to announce the offering of our April Vacation Camp. This limited capacity program will be in–person at the Collicot/Cunningham schools from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm 

At this time, we are able to accommodate a limited number of campers in grades K-5 and have capped our enrollment for this pilot program at 48 students. We will adhere to all Milton Public Schools and CDC COVID-19 guidelines. Families must agree to all MCS terms and policies in our information handbook to attend camp. Please read through this information before registering your child.

Registration for April Vacation Camp is open at this link (FAMILY ID- MCS PROGRAMS) and you can also find all this information on the MCS new website. We are thrilled to be offering this full-day in-person camp – we miss our MCS students and can’t wait to see them. We thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to return at a larger capacity. Please carefully read the April Vacation Camp information and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

All current and newly registered elementary riders have been accommodated on the bus. MHS and Pierce registrations will be processed next week with updates in the Superintendent’s blog post on Thursday, April 1. Available seating on the MHS and Pierce routes is limited. There is no guarantee that all new registrations for MHS and Pierce routes can be accommodated.

All riders will receive new blue bus passes in the mail (during the week of March 29 for elementary students and the week of April 5 for Pierce and MHS).  Please discard the old red passes prior to the start of the new full day learning shift in April; students will not be allowed on buses with the red passes in the full in person learning model.

The new blue bus passes are not valid until 4/5 for elementary students and 4/12 for MHS and Pierce students. All seat assignments have been redone as the cohorts from hybrid learning were merged. All student(s) have new seats on the bus and students are required to sit in their new assigned seat.

Please note that DESE has lifted capacity and social distancing guidelines for buses. There will be 2 children in every seat at the middle and high school level and 3 students per bench at the elementary level. Some buses will have every seat filled; siblings will be placed together when possible, but we can not guarantee this will always happen due to ridership numbers. Masks will continue to be mandatory on the bus and no eating or drinking will be allowed.

New schedules for all bus routes will be posted on the Transportation page of the  MPS website on March 31. Please familiarize yourself with these schedules as they are different from the current posted ones. Arrival and drop off times have shifted on all routes due to increased ridership every day.  As we do at the beginning of the school year, we ask that families be 10-15 min earlier than the posted times as buses may arrive earlier or later than posted until the actual schedules are established.  Please email bus@miltonps.org with any questions. 

FOOD SERVICE 

Our current food service model with Wednesday’s weekly drive through will continue for March 31 and April 7.

With the return to a full in person model throughout MPS, we will be ending our weekly drive through pick up.  Our last weekly drive thru with the Farmers to Families boxes will be April 7. We will be emailing a  survey to our fully remote families to schedule weekly pick ups. 

Once we begin the full in person model (April 5 for elementary, April 12 for MHS and Pierce) students who are in school for a full day will have the option to receive a school lunch each school day. 

MSAPC

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares that prevention starts early and it starts at home. Tip #4 is a right. For lots of tips and resources for parents and guardians about steps to take to help prevent teen use of drugs and alcohol, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

The MSAPC also has a variety of social-emotional learning webinars available on its website. Listen and watch on your own timeframe to these recorded webinars. 

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Milton is a participating community in The William James INTERFACE Referral Service. Interface is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. 

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

Spring Sports to start early: The Bay State Conference voted to start Spring Sports two weeks early, on April 12th. While the MIAA has set a date of April 26th, the Bay State Conference Athletic Director’s recognize how much our Spring Student-Athletes have lost and are set to give them as much of a “normal” season as possible.

While there will be no games over April Vacation, student-athletes should make every effort to attend all practices. Families are still required to follow MPS Travel Guidelines when returning from out-of-State travel.

Students unable to attend pre-season beginning April 12th will be afforded a tryout on April 26th, with Athletic Director approval.

Registration information can be found here. A PowerPoint with information can be found here.

Spring Sports Presentation: On Thursday, April 1 at 6:30pm, there will be a Spring Sports Presentation over Zoom to explain the Spring Sports season, specifically regarding the “pre-season” and tryout period, as well as MIAA/EEA Guidance. Join Zoom the Meeting at this link; Meeting ID: 874 4175 6006; Passcode: DhWtHySpx9

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out their upcoming events here. The main MPL website can be found here.

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Milton Youth Advocates For Change is recruiting high school youth for leadership positions in Milton Minds Matter. Milton Minds Matter is a club promoting positive mental health for high school teens in Milton led by high school teens! All details can be found here. 

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Brookwood Community Farm, located in the Blue Hills, offers CSA (community supported agriculture) shares now with pickup starting in late May and running through just before Thanksgiving. This can be split into Spring, Summer, and or Fall shares and can also be picked up each week or alternate weeks. The choices for payment are all listed on the website and include options for SNAP and discounted shares. Please find all the details on our website. Get to it before they are all gone!

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Animal Movements – Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11 am. Join MECA for a free, fun, literacy, and STEM series with animals and staff from the Trailside Museum! Programs are designed for children ages 2.9 to 7 years old and their parent or guardian and will include a story, movement, 2 live animal encounters, and time for questions and answers.
Registration is required. Sessions will be held live via Zoom. Please register here to receive the link and password to this Zoom session. Many thanks to our kindergarten t-shirt sponsors as their generosity has made this programming possible.

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT 

Crossing Guards help our students cross busy streets all year long, in all types of weather. This week Massachusetts acknowledged Crossing Guard Appreciation Day. Please join us in recognizing the hard work of all of our Milton Crossing Guards! Thank you to all our dedicated crossing guards for keeping MPS students safe. Pictured below are just some of our dedicated Crossing Guards.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Tanya Walsh, Star Baylon, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Somaly Prak-Martins, Karen McDavitt, Maureen Butler, Karen Cahill, Amy Tom, Patrick Manning, Janice Mazzola, Susan Maselli, Martha Sandoval, Mark Harrison and Kim Coughlin.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 25, 2021

March 18, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 18, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I want to acknowledge the senseless murder of eight people this week in Atlanta, GA. Although the preliminary reports indicate that this may not be a hate crime, we would be remiss to not recognize that six of the victims were of Asian descent.  

MPS Senior Director of Education Equity Somaly Prak-Martins shares the following statement on behalf of the Milton Public Schools: Join the Milton Public School District as we stand in solidarity with Asian Americans Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in condemning any and all racist, hateful and violent acts against the AAPI community. 

What transpired in Atlanta illustrates some of the work we need to do in our country, town, and school district. In the Milton Public Schools, we seek to celebrate the diversity in our community and to show respect for one another at all times. 

I want to assure all students, staff, and families that the Milton Public Schools strives to be an inclusive and welcoming place for all, and we continue to work with leadership, faculty, and staff to address any concerns. 

As an Asian immigrant woman, Director Prak-Martins shares information in her current newsletter about the struggle Asian Americans, Asian Immigrants, and Asian people experience. There are also are additional resources on how much these struggles are woven into US history and resources for the AAPI community. The entire newsletter can be read here, and it contains many valuable resources and links to supports for students, staff, and families.

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There also appears to be a mental health piece to these terrible crimes, and if we see someone in crisis in our community, we should offer them support. I hope you are aware of The William James INTERFACE Referral Service, a free, confidential mental health and wellness referral helpline. This is a referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from an extensive database. 

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This week, I received questions about a survey that was sent to Pierce and MHS students. As some of you may have these same questions, I wanted to share my answers here.

The survey is part of the Quality Review performed by Cambridge Education. The Quality Review is a project commissioned by Milton Public Schools leadership and facilitated by Cambridge Education. The purpose of the Quality Review is to examine the instructional, social-emotional, and cultural assets across the district to determine what things are working well and where there are opportunities to grow as the district develops the vision for the next strategic plan. The Milton Public Schools is committed to creating a school district where the achievement of excellent, equitable outcomes is a reality for all stakeholders.

Demographics questions that were asked about sexual orientation and gender identity are included in the surveys. Students do not have to answer these questions, and if a student does answer, their response is completely confidential. All surveys and survey questions are optional. No responses for any individual student will be shared with anyone at school or anywhere else. Although these questions are personal, we ask because we want to know if the school experience is different for LGBT students. We know from research that students who identify as LGBT are sometimes harassed, bullied, and suspended from school more often. If this is happening in our schools, we want to know so that we can make the necessary changes to make the school experience better for all students.

We do understand, however, that not all students are comfortable answering. If that describes your student, please have them skip these questions and complete the remainder of the survey. Students should skip over any item if they are unsure or uncomfortable answering. Again, the survey is completely optional, and individual responses are kept private.  

CELEBRATING OUR SENIORS

As spring approaches, MHS Senior Class Officers, along with class advisors and parent volunteers, have some exciting events planned for our 274 graduating seniors! These resilient young people have had a year of upheaval, and we look forward to celebrating them over the next few months. A recently installed banner at Town Hall, commemorative t-shirts, treats, and Milton swag bags kicked off the fun and we are looking forward to many more surprises for our graduating seniors.

This week we are excited to kick off one of those surprises – Sponsor a Senior! Sponsor a Senior is an effort to recognize every MHS Senior with a gift (suggestions include an inspirational note or card, a gift card, a small gift, a sweet treat – anything to let our seniors know how proud the community is of their accomplishments, adaptability, and resilience during a year long pandemic) from the Milton community as they prepare to graduate. Parent organizers are seeking volunteers from the Milton community to Sponsor a Senior and make this effort successful! All details on Sponsoring a Senior can be found here, and you can sign up to Sponsor a Senior here. There are 274 MHS seniors, and the goal is for every senior to have a sponsor. Please sign up now, so we can celebrate all of our seniors!

Thank you to BID-Milton, The Cunningham Foundation, Elliott Physical Therapy, MHS Boosters, and the MHS PTSFO for their support of our senior initiatives! 

MODEL CHANGE UPDATES 

As we continue with our planning to return to full in person learning, I want to highlight a few points below. 

  • Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker begin full in person model on April 5.
  • Pierce and MHS begin full in person model on April 12.
  • School hours will revert to previous full day hours at each school.
  • MPS will continue to offer a full remote model through the end of the school year.
  • All students who are currently registered to ride the bus in the hybrid model will continue to have seats when Milton Public Schools returns to a full day model on April 5th and 12th. New bus passes with new seat assignments will be mailed beginning the week of March 29th. Registration to ride the bus in the latest full day model will close at 3 pm on March 19th. Please send transportation inquiries to bus@miltonps.org.
  • We hope to offer limited After School Enrichment (ASE) later in the spring. Details will be sent to elementary families. There will be no before school care offered this spring. 
  • Due to lunch and space constraints in our full in person model, MPS will be a peanut free district for the duration of this school year. All snacks and lunches that are brought to school must be peanut free. 

As many details of this model change are school based, your principal will be sending detailed information to all families in the week before the model change takes place. I will continue to update the MPS community in this space and in additional emails as needed. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

TONIGHT: As part of the annual budget process, the Milton School Committee and Central Office Administration will be hosting an FY22 Budget Presentation on March 18, 2021 at 7pm.​​​​​​ This is an informational presentation to explain the complexities of preparing the budget and to answer any questions you may have. We encourage everyone to join to learn more about this important process.  The link to attend can be found here (passcode 376737).

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 31, 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.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Mar 18 Milton School Committee FY 22 Budget Meeting
  • Mar 22 MPS Rock Your Socks
  • Mar 31 Milton School Committee
  • Apr 1 Early Release Grades K-5 (PD Day)
  • Apr 2 No School – Good Friday
  • Apr 5 K-5 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 12 6-12 Full In Person Model Change

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

March 19: The Full Day Professional Day for MPS Staff on Friday, March 19 has been canceled and will now be a regular school day for all MPS students. Students should follow their regular hybrid/remote schedule. It is a Day 1 for Pierce/MHS students.

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and we will be celebrating at MPS on Monday, March 22 (and at MHS on Friday 3/19) with our annual Rock Your Socks competition. Wear your craziest socks to show awareness and acceptance for people with Down Syndrome!

On Tuesday, March 23 at 6pm, WBUR is hosting a free, virtual event called “Leveling the Playing Field in STEM” that will focus on the challenges today’s Black and Latinx youth face when pursuing careers in STEM fields. The panelists, which include Dr. Adrian Mims, founder of The Calculus Project, will discuss solutions to these challenges, mentorship ideas, and more. Please click here to learn more about and register for this important event.

Milton is a participating community in the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education upcoming Virtual Recruitment Fair. This event takes place on March 31 and all details can be found here

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 weeks of March 11 – March 17, MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 2 students positive.

As we prepare to return to school full time in April,  the nursing department would like to send along some important health reminders.

  • All students should bring a reusable, labeled water bottle to school each day
  • If your student has an EpiPen or inhaler that you would like to drop at school, designated times for each school will be sent from your building principal in the next few weeks. Medication forms can be found on the MPS website under the Health Services tab. 

Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, distance, hand hygiene, and social gatherings so we can all Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school. Please refer to our COVID-19 page for all health and safety policies and updates. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day and to promote Down Syndrome awareness, MHS students and staff are encouraged to wear  crazy socks to school on Friday, March 19. Best Buddies will also be collecting donations of $0.21 or $3.21 (to represent the three copies of chromosome 21) at all three entrances of the building this week. All proceeds will be donated to the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.

Down Syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, universally present across racial, gender, or socioeconomic lines in approximately 1 in 800 people. It is caused when cell division results in extra genetic material for chromosome 21.  For WDSD 2021 we will focus on improving connections to ensure that all people with Down Syndrome can CONNECT and participate on an equal basis with others as we spread awareness of Down Syndrome across the Milton community this week.

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Please see the MCAS Testing Notification letter sent to grade 10 and 11 families this week. MCAS Testing will be Next-Gen ELA and Mathematics computer-based tests, taking place May 3- 13 at MHS. 

Please also see this AP Exam Administration Notification sent to all AP Students & Families on Tuesday of this week. AP Testing will take place in the school building from May 12- 26.

PIERCE PAGES

Our Pierce Middle School chamber ensemble students recently recorded an excerpt from Vivaldi Concerto in G major. Performing are Avery Squiciarino, Rachel McNulty, Fedor Myshkin and Ida Zoll and you can enjoy their performance here. 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Collicot students were treated to two special musical performances in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  Mr. Tim McMaster played his bagpipes in front of the school for all students, at dismissal for the morning cohorts and arrival for the afternoon cohorts. Students listened and watched and some even spontaneously step danced and jigged to the sounds of Mr. McMaster’s pipes!

Mr. John Kearney,  joined his grandson Teddy’s Collicot music class to give a very special Irish fiddle performance. Mr. Kearney explained to the class that he had emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1959 and traveled on the great ship Britannia. He began playing the fiddle later in life. Mr. Kearney is a Milton resident and plays with several Irish groups in the area. Students enjoyed listening and clapping along to several musical selections. These performances were enriching to the music curriculum as all grades have been listening to Irish music and learning about its traditional instruments during their music classes this March.

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4th grade Cunningham and Collicot students recently learned about the Harlem Renaissance and collage artist Romare Bearden. Students admired Bearden’s work and created a jazz musician and instrument of their choice. While listening to period music from such artists as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, students made a colorful oil resist background using oil pastels and watercolors. They then collaged their musician onto their background to complete their jazzy artwork. Can’t you just hear the music coming right off their pictures?

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Tucker was pleased to introduce Veronica Robles to students during a school wide assembly last week. Mrs. Robles was featured in honor of Women’s History Month as a trailblazer within her field and a local cultural icon.

As the leader of an all female mariachi band,  Mrs. Robles has performed at venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Through her work as an artist and as a founder of her own cultural center, she utilizes the power of the arts and culture to bring communities together by raising awareness of the importance of diversity and empowers youth by teaching them about their roots and culture.

Tucker students enjoyed her music and dance performance, learned about cultural clothing, reviewed Spanish vocabulary, and learned about her many firsts as an artist and community leader. The Tucker community is celebrating the many achievements of women not only this month but throughout the year.  

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Cunningham students enjoyed their St. Patrick’s Day STEM projects this week! 

Students in Ms. Aldrich’s 2nd grade worked together to design a leprechaun tower with a design goal of holding as many gold coins as possible. Students used their own materials, however they had to have similar towers as their partners. This was a fun, team building STEM exercise.

Cunningham 1st and 3rd graders created rainbow arches and bridges as part of a STEM activity. Students placed blocks or coins under the arches and adjusted them accordingly. Each student had a different, colorful approach to the design of their arch. Both activities ended with students having a conversation about the geometrical shapes such as triangles, and patterns associated with engineering an arch.

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To acknowledge the anniversary of the beginning of the school closures last March, Glover families lit up Glover last week with 600 luminaries, one for each Glover Kid. The message of “We continue to be all in this together” is strong at Glover, and this socially distant viewing served to amplify that message.

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March is kindness month at Collicot and this week classes participated in Kindness Secret Missions. Collicot Adjustment Counselor, Mrs. Caruso, paired up all classes with a mission for each class to complete secret acts of kindness for their assigned class. This has been a wonderful way for hybrid and remote students to connect! See some examples of acts of kindness below.

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Every year, Glover 4th and 5th grade students have the opportunity to participate in Student Leadership Teams. Student Leadership Teams work on projects and initiatives which give back to our school and community, and our students have been anxiously awaiting the start of this year’s teams. We are thrilled to say that this week we launched our newly designed teams for grade five students in the hybrid and remote model. These new teams were created with safety in mind and have been adjusted to meet the demands of this unprecedented year. Some of the new teams include recording videos for movement with Coach Jones, interviewing teachers about their family history, and a club that collects donations for those in need. Meetings with mentors and students take place through google classroom to accommodate students and teachers who are remote. Although the teams and our meetings look a little different this year, we are proud to share that Glover Kids continue to develop their skills as community leaders!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following. 

Does your child struggle with success attending school? We are pleased to share a local parent group that is open to all. The goal of this group is to increase school attendance of students by providing parents with the knowledge and tools to increase their child’s attendance and the likelihood of lifelong success. All details on attending can be found here. 

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES 

We are happy to announce the MPS Elementary Universal Summer Program!

One does not have to look far for emerging research and concerns raised by parents/guardians, teachers, and school leaders regarding the urgency to address the academic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Preliminary data both in the field and internally indicate that there has been at least some academic impact on reading and a more significant impact on mathematics due to the pandemic.  This impact is magnified when considering subgroups such as students of color, English language learners, and students from lower socioeconomic families.  Given that, as was announced at the Milton School Committee meeting last night, the district is planning to offer a universal summer program (free and consistent) to all students currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through 4th grade.  This program is being funded by a federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) grant.

Although planning continues, we imagine the program will have this general structure: 

  • Monday through Friday;  July 6 – July 30, 2021
  • Two 2-hour sessions offered each day with students attending one of the two.  8-10 am and 10-12pm
  • 2-hour session led by a certified teacher (times approximate) that includes:
  • 45 minutes of engaging literacy instruction
  • 45 minutes of engaging mathematics instruction
  • 30 minutes of engaging SEL/movement activity

Please look for a follow up communication early next week that will include information about how to sign up your child(ren) for this program, the MPS Elementary Universal Summer Program, as well as about two other summer programs- Milton Summer Enrichment and Camp Cunningham. As a note, we have aligned start and end times so that students who wish to attend Universal Summer Program and Milton Summer Enrichment will be able to. More information on that next week!

FOOD SERVICE 

MPS Food Service is hiring!  We have several open positions, including for a cook at MHS, and cafeteria helpers and cashiers at Pierce, Cunningham, and Collicot. The hourly wage is $16.69 for these school day (between the hours of 9:30-1:30) positions. Please email Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org to explore joining the MPS Food Service team.

Weekly Wednesday lunch pick up continues at MHS (with Farmers to Families Boxes!) and students can also pick up grab and go options each day as they leave school.

MSAPC

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares that prevention starts early and it starts at home. For lots of tips and resources for parents and guardians about steps to take to help prevent teen use of drugs and alcohol, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

The MSAPC also has a variety of social-emotional learning webinars available on its website. Listen and watch on your own timeframe to these recorded webinars. 

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.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.

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

Spring Sports registration is OPEN! Register here. 

Spring Sports will officially start on Monday, April 12. We recognize that this is earlier than what the MIAA previously released, however, student-athletes are expected to attend all sessions starting on April 12. While there will be no games over April Vacation, student-athletes should make every effort to attend all practices. Families are still required to follow MA Travel Guidelines when returning from out-of-State travel. Students unable to attend tryouts beginning April 12th will be afforded a tryout on April 26th, with Athletic Director approval.

See here for a PowerPoint on the Spring Sports.

The MIAA voted today to run a full State Tournament. Teams not entering the Tournament may continue to play up to 3 additional regular season contests. Teams in the State Tournament may not finish their season until June 30th.

Colin Hoey has been named a Bay State Conference All-Star for Boys Ice Hockey! Congratulations to Colin and the rest of the All-Stars from the Winter.

Please see this link for the Bay State Conference School Specific COVID Policies. Please adhere to the opposing team’s policies. Not all schools allow visiting fans.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

Milton Youth Advocates For Change is recruiting high school youth for leadership positions in Milton Minds Matter. Milton Minds Matter is a club promoting positive mental health for high school teens in Milton led by high school teens! All details can be found here. 

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The Milton Public Library announces Milton Moves,  a physical literacy initiative!

Physical Literacy is the concept of providing people with the tools and information to lead healthy, active lives. While we at the MPL provide literacy services every day, at this crucial moment in our world’s health, we turn our attention to not only providing sustenance for the mind, but also for the body.

Please join us for this year-long initiative, beginning in March 2021, for all ages focused on fitness, wellness, and healthy eating. The Library will offer programs and resources related to health and physical fitness for all ages. In keeping with the spirit of a public library, all of these offerings will be free of charge.

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Brookwood Community Farm, located in the Blue Hills, offers CSA (community supported agriculture) shares now with pickup starting in late May and running through just before Thanksgiving. This can be split into Spring, Summer, and or Fall shares and can also be picked up each week or alternate weeks. The choices for payment are all listed on the website and include options for SNAP and discounted shares. Please find all the details on our website. Get to it before they are all gone!

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Animal Movements – Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11 am. Join MECA for a free, fun, literacy, and STEM series with animals and staff from the Trailside Museum! Programs are designed for children ages 2.9 to 7 years old and their parent or guardian and will include a story, movement, 2 live animal encounters, and time for questions and answers.
Registration is required. Sessions will be held live via Zoom. Please register here to receive the link and password to this Zoom session. Many thanks to our kindergarten t-shirt sponsors. Their generosity has made this programming possible!

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Debra Miller, Laurel Bernini, Sara Macneil, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Kristen Driscoll, Ryan Madden, Somaly Prak-Martins, and Ben Kelly.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 18, 2021

March 11, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 11, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week we held our final two school based Conversation Hours with parents and guardians from Pierce and Milton High School. Thank you to all who attended over the last 3 weeks, and thank you to the Principals who contributed to the conversation. Since the first evening on February 23, much has changed for the Milton Public Schools and I have tried to be transparent and open about the changes and decisions we are making at this time. Last night I shared a possible change in the full in person start date to April 12 for Pierce and MHS. I am confirming that start date here. Elementary will begin full in person days on April 5, Pierce and MHS will begin full in person days on April 12. A full remote model remains in all grades through the end of this school year. 

We are adjusting the Pierce and MHS date to April 12 for two reasons. 

  • The 3rd Quarter ends on April 9, and this allows all students to finish Q3 with their current teacher and class. With many students changing models, there is a possibility of teacher changes for some students (just as there was at any time throughout this year as students moved between the in person and remote models). Beginning our new full in person model on April 12 allows for the 4th quarter to begin with classes fully formed. 
  • An April 12 start for Pierce and MHS gives us 5 school days to focus on the daily logistics of the 4 elementary schools during the week of April 5 before Pierce and MHS begin their new full in person model. 

As we continue with our planning to return to full in person learning, please note the following: If you would like your child to switch learning models (In person to Remote or Remote to In Person), please email your child’s principal as soon as possible, and no later than this Friday, March 12. 

MPS will continue to offer a full remote model through the end of the school year. There may be changes in the daily schedule which will be communicated by your teacher and/or principal. We will make every effort to keep current remote classes with their current MPS teacher, but there may be instances where this is not possible due to student movement between models. We will update remote families of any staffing changes as we become aware of them. While there was potentially confusing guidance from DESE this week, I want to confirm that Full Remote learning in our new model does count towards Student Learning Time (SLT).

Due to lunch and space constraints in our full in person model, MPS will be a peanut free district for the duration of this school year. All snacks and lunches that are brought to school must be peanut free. 

As many details of this model change are school based, your principal will be sending updated information to all families in the week before the model change takes place. I will continue to update the MPS community in this space and in additional emails as needed. 

Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, distance, hand hygiene, and social gatherings so we can all Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The School Committee FY 22 budget meeting for the MPS community has been rescheduled for Thursday, March 18 at 7pm. The link to attend can be found here (passcode 376737) and will also be posted on the Town of Milton website.

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 17, 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.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Mar 17 Milton School Committee
  • Mar 18 Milton School Committee FY 22 Budget Meeting
  • Mar 22 MPS Rock Your Socks
  • Mar 31 Milton School Committee
  • Apr 1 Early Release Grades K-5 (PD Day)
  • Apr 2 No School – Good Friday
  • Apr 5 K-5 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 12 6-12 Full In Person Model Change

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

March 19: The Full Day Professional Day for MPS Staff on Friday, March 19 has been canceled and will now be a regular school day for all MPS students. Students should follow their regular hybrid/remote schedule. It is a Day 1 for Pierce/MHS students.

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and we will be celebrating at MPS on Monday, March 22 with our annual Rock Your Socks competition. Wear your craziest socks to show awareness and acceptance for people with Down Syndrome!

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 weeks of March 4 – March 10, MPS reported: 2 staff positive and 2 students positive.

As we prepare to return to school full time in April,  the nursing department would like to send along some important health reminders.

  • All students should bring a reusable, labeled water bottle to school each day
  • If your student has an EpiPen or inhaler that you would like to drop at school, designated times for each school will be sent from your building principal in the next few weeks. Medication forms can be found on the MPS website under the Health Services tab. 

SEASONAL ALLERGIES and COVID-19:

Students with seasonal allergies may have symptoms that can be confused with COVID-19. To prevent any unnecessary COVID testing or quarantine, we encourage you to speak with your pediatrician now and consider beginning seasonal allergy medication. Allergy symptoms range from mild to severe and can occur seasonally or be present year-long. In patients with asthma, allergies can cause a cough, wheeze, and shortness of breath.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a viral illness spread through droplets via coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact. Symptoms typically start between 2-14 days after exposure and will typically resolve within ~14 days after onset, whether the symptoms are mild, moderate or severe. It is important to note that if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, it is still possible you can get COVID-19. If you are vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, your symptoms are expected to be milder.

KEY POINTS TO DETERMINE ALLERGIES OR COVID-19 INFECTION

  • Timeline and past history
  • .Often people with allergies have a history of seasonal allergies.
  • Allergy symptoms tend to be more long-lasting than viral symptoms.
  • Allergy symptoms often respond to allergy medications.
  • Allergies typically make people itchy. Itchiness is not a symptom of a viral illness.
  • Patients with allergies do not develop a fever. Often people with COVID-19 do.
  • Patients with allergies may also have asthma, which can cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing. COVID-19 typically does not cause wheezing

Please continue to refer to our COVID-19 page for all health and safety policies and updates. 

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following. Please see her full March 2021 newsletter here. 

The fight for women’s rights in America is also woven into the fabric of American History. Did you know that Women’s History Month started off as a day, turned into a week, and then the month of March? More resources are available here. 

Through the Lens of Equity: We must continually examine what it means to equitably serve ALL learners. We must also recognize that being equitable is a process that may yield different actions depending on the needs of who we are serving. However, the outcome we aim to achieve is to provide ALL learners (student and staff) a fair chance to thrive in our district. Please see an update on our efforts in the newsletter. 

The Quality Review Survey is a project commissioned by MPS leadership and facilitated by Cambridge Education. As part of this effort, we invite all community members to participate in an online survey and/or focus groups to share their experiences. A survey link was sent directly to the email address we have on file. If you do not have an email address and would like to fill in the survey and/or participate in the focus group please reach out to the Senior Director of Education Equity at sprak-martins@miltonps.org.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Please see below from the MHS National Honor Society. 

The National Honor Society is selling flowers this week that students can gift to their classmates, friends, teachers, and staff. Families can also gift a flower to their student or a staff member. It’s just $2 for a flower and note and all proceeds will be donated to charities supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Those who receive flowers will be notified via email by Tuesday, March 16, and flowers can be picked up at the side entrance by the math and science hallway on the first floor on Wednesday, March 17, or Thursday, March 18 starting at 12 pm. Any students who are fully remote may stop by the high school to pick up their flowers during that time, or if unable, the flowers may be delivered to them. The link to order flowers can be found here.  All orders must be placed by Monday, March 15.

PIERCE PAGES

Just some of the Pierce GSA team who prepared and presented to staff.

In their continuous efforts to make Pierce Middle School an inclusive environment to all, the Pierce GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) saw a need for education and staff discussion on name and pronoun usage in the classroom.  Our students created a slideshow on pronoun usage in the classroom, made posters with many of the different pronouns so students and staff can have visuals throughout the building, and then presented to all Pierce staff at the Principal’s meeting last week. You can view their Powerpoint here.  By all accounts, they did an outstanding job. These students are strong and creative advocates, and the presentation was welcomed by Pierce staff.

Pierce GSA advisors Kelli Prodnas and Erin Jaquette shared that they have never had a group of middle school students present to the entire staff, and we are so proud of them for their hard and thoughtful work.

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Pierce 7th Grade Debate Class welcomed a special guest speaker this week – Milton High School junior Jonathan Waldmann. Jonathan has been interested in politics his entire life, but his involvement peaked following the 2016 election and the devastating school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February of 2018. Since then, Jonathan has worked as a teen leader on the Warren Campaign for President, as a fellow on the Ed Markey campaign for United States Senate, and is a member of Sunrise Boston. He is also involved with student government, Model United Nations, and his school’s Debate Team. He also began Milton’s chapter of MAHSD in the fall of 2019 and has served as chair since then. Outside of politics, he enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, and playing baseball.

Pierce students were able to ask Jonathan questions about his motivations for getting involved with student leadership, preparation strategies used in debate, the MHS Debate team, how to develop a great relationship with school administrators in order to accomplish school based goals, and what it means to represent your community in outside organizations.

As Jonathan is someone who has already accomplished what they are learning to become great at, this was a unique opportunity for our students, and they enjoyed and benefitted from their time with Jonathon.

Thank you to Jonathan Waldmann for his time with our students and thank you to debate teacher Jason Green, Pierce Principal Bill Fish and MHS Debate Advisor Kathleen Kelley for their partnership in making this event happen for our students.

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Congratulations to this year’s Pierce STEM Fair winners!
1st Place – Isabelle Lee – Covid & Motivation
2nd Place – Chloe Bergeron – Hydroponics
3rd Place – Madyn Dwyer – Neuroplasticity

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8th Grade Health & Wellness Classes had the unique opportunity to participate in virtual workshops run by Fontbonne students & staff during the school’s annual Love Your Body Week event. Students were able to participate in engaging Nutrition, Sleep, & Yoga Workshops thanks to the collaborative efforts of Fontbonne Health Educator & Wellness Director Keri McPhillips, her impressive 11th grade students, and Pierce Health & Wellness Teachers, Mrs. McEvoy, Mr. Bonn, Mr. O’Leary, and Ms. Queally. This community collaboration with the goal of promoting healthy decision-making in teens was a big success! 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Thank you to all who attended 1st Grade Information Night on March 9. The recording of the presentation can be found here and the Powerpoint presentation about our two first grade programs, The English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion, can be found here. Please contact your child’s principal with questions. 

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Learning and fun are staples in our Cunningham Preschool classes. Dinosaur Week in preschool meant dinos in all preschool centers. Students made their own dinosaurs out of shapes, built them out of pattern blocks, buried them in sensory bins, practiced math by giving their dinos extra spikes with clip cards, and more!

Students enjoyed the large group activity, Mat Man from “Learning Without Tears”. The class used letter pieces to create a person. This is a fun large or small group activity and helps the children get the idea of drawing and creating all the parts of the person through the manipulative pieces.

Dental health and learning their letters collided as children matched letters by “cleaning” the letter. This center activity was done as part of learning about dental health. 

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Ms. Elovich’s Glover Kindergarten class is highlighting strong, amazing women this month for Women’s History Month. Last week, students researched Eugenie Clark, also known as The Shark Lady. Through video and nonfiction texts, the class learned about her research on marine life and animal behavior. Did you know she once rode on the back of a shark during a deep dive for research? We enjoyed doing a guided drawing of her using marker and crayon and talked about the many ways in which we can be brave like Eugenie Clark!

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Mme. Vendette’s remote 3rd graders from Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker just completed a bonus final project at the end of their Geometry unit. This project based learning activity, Geometrocity, really helps students see how we use geometry in the real world by building their own city. This was a fun group project for this remote classroom, as each student completed a square, and when all the squares are connected, it creates the students’ collective dream city.

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The week Glover welcomed award-winning author Christina Soontornvat for a virtual visit with all students. Christina Soontornvat’s picture books include The Ramble Shamble Children, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Lauren Castillo, and Simon at the Art Museum, illustrated by Christine Davenier. She is the author of the beloved Diary of an Ice Princess chapter book series. Her recent works include the middle-grade fantasy, A Wish in the Dark, which was named a 2021 Newbery Honor Book and was chosen as Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post and School Library Journal, and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, which has received numerous nonfiction awards and was also named a 2021 Newbery Honor Book.

Glover students loved the virtual visit and asked thoughtful and interesting questions during their time with Ms. Soontornvat.

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Some of our proud Collicot Science Fair participants.

More than 75 Collicot students participated in the recent Collicot virtual science fair. Students explored testable questions including “Why do we have bones?”, “Is slime a conductor?” , “Why Do Stars Come Out at Night?” Visit the Science Fair Padlet to see photos and videos of their projects. Thank you to MHS Robotics Club students Lok Ye Young, Jayme Lo, Gus Greene, Shivani Kaura, Alexander Tran, Alix Benoit, and Joshua Lam for attending and providing feedback to elementary students on their projects.

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Collicot continues to celebrate and encourage literacy in the month of March. Congratulations to Mrs. Fitzsimmons’ and Mme Kramer’s classes for winning our school wide Lexia and Lailo contest last week.  This week students recorded Flip Grid videos sharing their favorite books. If you are looking for a great book, check out these links with recommendations from Collicot students for students in K-2 and 3-5. 

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On February 25,  families and staff from across the district enjoyed an evening with author Dr. Soo Hong. Dr. Hong is the author of Natural Allies-Hope and Possibilities in Teacher-Family Partnerships. Her talk was the perfect kick off to our Tucker Talks series this year and an opportunity for our district families to come together to create lasting and collaborative relationships between home and school. Dr. Hong spoke first about her experiences in fostering collaborative relationships. The second half of the talk was a discussion with family and staff members on ways to improve these partnerships in our schools going forward. This year has been pivotal in seeing how important the relationship is between schools and families. This was a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a community and brainstorm ways to keep families and schools connected. We look forward to more Tucker Talks to come!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following. Did you know MPS has two full time Inclusion Specialists?

  • Maureen Butler is our K-5 Inclusion Specialist and can be reached at 
    mbutler@miltonps.org (preferred) or (617) 696-4288 x4115. 
  • Caroline Mannion is our 6-12+ Inclusion Specialist and can be reached at  cmannion@miltonps.org

These staff members play a valuable role in our community. It’s a good time of year to reintroduce them to you as you may find their support helpful for your student as we move into the next phase of the school year and a return to full in person learning for many of our students. Please click the graphics below for a closer look at their roles. 

FOOD SERVICE 

MPS Food Service is hiring!  We have several open positions, including for a cook at MHS, and cafeteria helpers and cashiers at Pierce, Cunningham, and Collicot. The hourly wage is $15.89 for these school day (between the hours of 9:30-1:30) positions. Please email Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org to explore joining the MPS Food Service team.

Weekly Wednesday lunch pick up continues at MHS (with Farmers to Families Boxes!) and students can also pick up grab and go options each day as they leave school.

MSAPC

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares the following. 

Prevention starts early and it starts at home. See below for 2 valuable parent tips. For lots of tips and resources for parents and guardians about steps to take to help prevent teen use of drugs and alcohol, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Milton is a participating community in The William James INTERFACE Referral Service. Interface is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. 

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC

Happy Music In Our Schools Month! The MHS Music department has an incredible group of outstanding senior musicians. Each week in March we will be featuring a group of Music Senior Spotlights to celebrate MIOSM and all of their accomplishments and contributions to the Milton music community.  You can read about this week’s seniors (listed below) in detail here. 

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

Please join me in congratulating our Winter All-Stars!

  • Boys Basketball – Andrew Lynch & Lateef Patrick
  • Girls Basketball – Annie Ferrara
  • Girls Ice Hockey – Christina Sweeney & Lila Chamoun
  • Alpine Skiing – Ben Catudal
  • Boys Ice Hockey – Coming soon!

See attached for the Bay State Conference School Specific COVID Policies. Please adhere to the opposing team’s policies. Not all schools allow visiting fans.

MHS Floating Season Spectator Policy

  • Football/Track/Cheer: No Students or General Admission; 2 parents/guardians/ chaperones and siblings per student-athlete 
  • Volleyball: No spectators allowed.

Games will continue to be live streamed via YouTube. Search Milton Access TV on YouTube to find live streams and recordings of all events. (Freshman Volleyball may not be live streamed each game. The coach will communicate what games will be live streamed).

Spring sports will officially start on Monday, April 12. We recognize that this is earlier than what the MIAA previously released, however, student-athletes are expected to attend all sessions starting on April 12. While there will be no games over April Vacation, student-athletes should make every effort to attend all practices. Families are still required to follow MA Travel Guidelines when returning from out-of-State travel.

Registration for spring sports will open Monday, March 15. 

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

Join MECA for a free virtual parent workshop: Helping Your Child Re-adjust to In-school Learning. This session is for families with children 2.9 to 10 years old and will take place on Tuesday, March 16, at 7:30 pm. 
Registration is required here to receive Zoom link. 
We will be discussing: Helping your child re-engage and succeed; Finding a new normal as a family; Supporting your child’s feelings; Adjusting to new routines. 
Many thanks to the Milton Junior Woman’s Club for their support of this programming.

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The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out next week’s activities here

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Janice Mazzolla, Sara Macneil, Kate Elovich, Rebecca Damiani, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Kristen Driscoll, Erin Jaquette, Ryan Madden, Somaly Prak-Martins, Veronique Vendette and Maragaret Carels.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 11, 2021

March 4, 2020

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 4, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As I shared on Monday of this week, we are working towards a full in person model beginning April 5 for all grades, while also maintaining a full remote model through the end of the school year. As the Superintendent of the Milton Public Schools, I make decisions and implement policy on behalf of 4400 students, 2800 families, and 660 staff members. There is rarely a decision made that all stakeholders fully agree with and the MPS learning model through COVID – remote, hybrid, full in person – is an important decision that thoughtful, smart people can have divergent opinions about. 

I want to thank our MPS parents, guardians, and staff for their patience, flexibility, and understanding during what has arguably been the most difficult time in education in our lifetimes. We look forward to your continued involvement and support as we move forward with our school year. 

I have received several questions this week that I think many may be asking and I want to address them in the space below. 

What has changed that is prompting the change to a full in person return to school on April 5? 

  • There are multiple factors that have contributed to making this next step possible. After a months long surge, our community and state wide COVID positive numbers are declining; there are now 3 vaccines available which increases supply; DESE has stated support for more in-person learning (especially at the elementary level) and the New England spring weather will begin to allow us to regularly use outside spaces. This change is not a result of parents/guardians pushing for a full return to school. We have been considering this for some time, as  the ultimate goal for all districts was to plan a full return to school. Our continuing collaboration with MPS teachers, staff, and families combined with the above factors, makes this shift to full in person learning possible.  

Will teachers and staff be vaccinated before April 5? 

  • With President Biden’s announcement this week prioritizing educators for vaccination and efforts at the district and state level, we are hopeful that many of our MPS teachers and staff will be vaccinated in the next several weeks. Some of our staff has already received either 1 or 2 doses. Director of Nurses Kim Coughlin is working to bring the vaccine to more educators every day, and our staff is also navigating the state vaccination process. 

What does this change mean for full remote students? 

  • MPS will continue to offer a full remote model through the end of the school year. There may be changes in the daily schedule which will be communicated by your teacher and principal. We will make every effort to keep current remote classes with their current MPS teacher but there may be instances where this is not possible due to student movement between models. We will update remote families of any staffing changes as we become aware of them. 

Can my child switch learning models before April 5? 

  • Yes. For planning purposes, we are assuming that hybrid students will remain in person and move to a full in person model on April 5 and full remote students will stay in a full remote model. If you would like your child to switch learning models, please email your principal as soon as possible, and no later than March 12. Every effort will be made to honor requests, however, enrollment and space considerations may prevent a model switch in certain situations. 

Is MPS behind in “Student Learning Time” per DESE? 

  • No. MPS has complied with all expectations and requirements set forth by DESE. DESE has also been notified of our decision to move forward with full in person learning on April 5. 

What will my child’s school day look like? Will elementary students have recess? How about lunch? 

  • The logistics of the school day will look and feel slightly different at each school. We are planning for all in person students to eat lunch in school and all elementary students will have recess. Your child’s principal and teachers are working through those details now and will communicate specifics with you the week of March 28.

What will the school day hours be? 

  • We anticipate that schools will revert to their pre-covid hours, but there may be tweaks of a few minutes needed as we redo our transportation plans. We will update the exact times during the week of March 28. 

Abbe and Mr. Jette give a big thumbs up to the 100th day of school!

This week I enjoyed meeting with Cunningham parents and guardians on Tuesday night and will be meeting with the Collicot community tonight. We’ll allow time for a live Q&A or if you would like to submit questions in advance, please do so here.  I also met with MPS staff this week and I will meet with Pierce and MHS parents and guardians on March 10. (Glover and Tucker meetings were held the week of February 22).  Links to attend the conversation hours can be found on our website. Thank you for the thoughtful conversations and for sharing your ideas and questions, and thank you to the PTOs for hosting me for these conversation hours.

I received the picture at right with an email stating the following.  “The decision to bring Milton students back full time brought a smile to my daughter’s face that I haven’t seen in a year. This has been a tremendously challenging year and she is thrilled at the opportunity to return full time to the school that she loves so much. Thank you.” Thank you for sharing your daughter’s joy with us.

As we move towards this next phase of full in person learning with a remote option, now is not the time to let our guards down in regards to COVID safety. It is imperative that community spread remain low so that we are able to Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school. Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, distance, hand hygiene, and social gatherings.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The School Committee FY 22 budget meeting for the MPS community has been postponed. When rescheduled, the link to attend will be posted on the Town of Milton website.

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 17, 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.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Mar 9 1st Grade Information Night
  • Mar 17 Milton School Committee
  • Mar 22 MPS Rock Your Socks

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

1st Grade Information Night: On March 9 at 6:30 PM the Milton Public Schools will hold 1st Grade Information Night. Parents and guardians of current MPS kindergarten students are invited to learn about our two first grade programs: The English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will present information on each program as well as the assignment plan, lottery (if needed), and timeline. This presentation is being held virtually. A link will be posted on the MPS website and sent through school based communications prior to that evening.

March 19: The Full Day Professional Day for MPS Staff on Friday, March 19 has been canceled and will now be a regular school day for all MPS students. Students should follow their regular hybrid/remote schedule. It is a Day 1 for Pierce/MHS students.

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and we will be celebrating at MPS on Monday, March 22 with our annual Rock Your Socks competition. Wear your craziest socks to show awareness and acceptance for people with Down Syndrome!

HEALTH AND SAFETY

A reminder from our school nurses: Parents are encouraged to send a labeled water bottle with their student each day.

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 weeks of February 25 – March 3, MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 2 students positive.

Please continue to refer to our COVID-19 page for all health and safety policies and updates. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Yesterday was  Spread The Word Day at MHS! MHS Best Buddies encouraged the MHS community to support inclusion by promoting the acceptance and connection of people with and without intellectual disabilities by wearing Milton gear. Best Buddies also suggests that everyone make a new connection with someone from the Milton community this week!

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Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s documentary Rivers and Tides students in 3D Studio Art took advantage of the snow and ice to create art outdoors. You can see their creations here.

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The Paws-Abili-Treats Team has worked hard over the past few weeks to fulfill orders for our supportive MHS staff. The students in the Launch Program have made over 700 dog treats and are ready to take orders for our four legged furry friends in the Milton community. Each bag contains 6 treats ($2.00 per bag). Please click here to order your treats. If you have any questions, please email the team at pawsabilitreats@miltonps.org. Below you can see some of the Paws-Abili-Treats Team hard at work!

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Students in the Make Music and MusicLab classes at Milton High recently wrapped up their final projects by composing original songs using the skills they learned throughout the first semester. Students wrote lyrics and composed music in Song Form (Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus) using the online music creation program Soundtrap. Check out these awesome examples of student work!

PIERCE PAGES

The Pierce Culture Club hosted a Black History Month Door Decoration contest in February.  There were many great entries submitted but a winner had to be chosen.

Congrats to Mr. Smith’s and Mrs. Sykes’ Connection Time classes on their winning doors below!

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14 Pierce students participated virtually in the Climate Summit Model United Nations Conference last week. Robert Beato, Sydney Burns, Kate Connor, El Craghead-Goldman, Colin Glazer, John Griffin, Charlotte Hegarty, Patrick Kelly, Jack Lydon, James Malec, Will Malec, Katie Scott, Chisom Unamka and Leo Waldbaum worked with peers from various schools all over Massachusetts, the nation, and even the world. Students worked to  discuss and propose solutions for reducing global food waste and food loss, as well as ways to best implement educational systems in recycling and reusing. Congratulations to all who participated and to El Craghead-Goldman who received an award for best public speaker.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Our elementary students at Tucker, Glover, Collicot, and Cunningham celebrated a big milestone this week – the 100th day of school! The day was focused on the number 100 – counting, drawing, writing, building and generally having fun with the number 100!

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Ms. Windwer & Ms. Schramm’s Cunningham 3rd graders have been learning all about equivalent fractions.  Students used their fraction circles to help create and find equivalent fractions and then labeled each flower petal with a fraction. You can see their Fraction Flowers below which helped them to master equivalent fractions.

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Ms. Bernini’s 5th graders recently completed a collage project focusing on artist Kimmy Cantrell, a self-taught ceramicist who creates clay vases, bowls and dynamic asymmetrical faces.  Students found a light-weight cardboard box to use as the foundation for their collage and drafted a design in their sketchbook before cutting into their box to make an irregular shaped head. Students used oil pastels to add color and added enlarged facial features and shapes to create eyes, nose, lips, eyelashes, freckles and other details to create their Kimmy Cantrell inspired faces.  The finished art is stunning!

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This week Ms. Alrdich’s Cunningham 2nd graders brought their favorite book characters to life in celebration of  Read Across America Day. All week,  students have been dressing up as book characters and reading their favorite books to their classmates.  Students identified different story elements and wrote about why the book they chose is a favorite of theirs.

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Throughout March, Collicot students are focusing on literacy, kindness, and Women’s History Month. This week students in grades K-5 are enjoying their time on Lexia and Lailo while earning rewards and we are happy to see increased use of these important literacy platforms.

In honor of Women’s History Month,  Collicot students are competing in a weekly trivia contest as part of morning announcements. Each day students and staff receive a new clue about an important person. So far we know that this week’s mystery person is remembered as the founder of modern nursing and her nickname is the lady with the lamp. Can you guess our mystery woman? This 1st grader at right used the clues from the announcements to identify her in an independent reading book. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following.

688 referrals are an essential component to your child’s continued special education services as he or she approaches adulthood and graduation/high school completion. If you have a student approaching 18 and may require adult services, it is never too early to begin this process. This informative brochure has information you may find helpful. 

We will welcome Tucker School parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on March 10 at 7pm. The link to join can be found here. 

If you would like to stay informed about SEPAC meetings and local events relevant to the special needs community, please email miltonsepac@gmail.com  to have your contact information added to our database.  We look forward to hearing from you!

FOOD SERVICE 

MPS Food Service is hiring!  We have several open positions, including for a cook at MHS, and cafeteria helpers and cashiers at Pierce, Cunningham, and Collicot. The hourly wage is $15.89 for these school day positions. Please email Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org to explore joining the MPS Food Service team.

Weekly Wednesday lunch pick up continues at MHS (with Farmers to Families Boxes!) and students can also pick up grab and go options each day as they leave school.

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Milton is a participating community in The William James INTERFACE Referral Service. Interface is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. 

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC

Happy Music In Our Schools Month! The MHS Music department has an incredible group of outstanding senior musicians. Each week in March we will be featuring a group of Music Senior Spotlights to celebrate MIOSM and all of their accomplishments and contributions to the Milton music community.  You can read about this week’s seniors (listed below) in detail here. 

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

As we start our newly formed “Floating Season”,  I would like to thank all coaches, student-athletes, and parents/guardians for their help in making the Winter Season happen. As with the Fall Season, without total buy-in and with everyone following social distancing and mask-wearing protocols, we would not have been able to complete the season. Winter All-Stars and All-Scholastics will be released soon.

Floating Season schedules can be found hereUpdated Spectator Guidance for Floating Sports can be found here. There are NO spectators allowed at the Football Scrimmage on Saturday, March 6.

The Spring Season is set to start on Monday, April 26, but there are tentative plans to start as early as April 12, pending MIAA Guidelines. Students should be prepared to practice over April Vacation. While there will be no penalties for missing practices over the break, families will still be required to follow MA Travel Guidelines when returning. With games likely to start as early as Tuesday, April 27, please plan accordingly.

As always, parents/guardians are encouraged to complete the Feedback Survey for Winter Sports found here. 

The MHS Girls Ice Hockey Team will be hosting Cans for Cats on Saturday, March 6 from 9am to noon at Milton High School. Thank you for supporting our student athletes and recycling your cans and bottles at MHS on Saturday. 

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out next week’s activities here

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

Thank you to Art Space Milton for their generous donation to the Tucker PTO! Art Space Milton donated the remaining funds from their organization to the PTO in support of Tucker’s annual Artist in Residence program. Tucker is brainstorming ideas and will possibly use the $2500 towards a mural to commemorate the unity of the community through this year. Thank you to ArtSpace Milton, and we look forward to seeing the exciting ideas that come from your donation.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Janice Mazzolla, Karen McDavitt, Laurel Bernini, Kassandra Aloe, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Colleen Martin, Rebecca Damiani, Nicole Aldrich, Taylor Windwer, Ellen Lohan, Bernadette Butler and Julia Hanna.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 4, 2020

February 25, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 25, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Thank you to the Glover and Tucker PTOs for hosting me for Conversation Hours with their school communities this week. I look forward to meeting with Cunningham and Collicot parents and guardians next week and with Pierce and MHS parents and guardians on March 10. Links to attend can be found on our website. I look forward to learning more about your goals, expectations, and your child’s school experience and hearing your feedback as we look to the future. We’ll allow time for a live Q&A and if you would like to submit questions in advance, please do so here.  I will send further district communication about any upcoming model changes as a stand alone email in the coming days. 

Tonight the Tucker Community invites all of MPS to attend Tucker Talks:  A special presentation from author Soo Hong, TONIGHT, Thursday, February 25 at 7pm.  Dr. Hong was scheduled to be a PARENT series presenter last year when the school closure occurred. We are excited that she is willing to join us again this year.

Dr. Hong is a Wellesley College professor and author of Natural Allies-Hope and Possibilities in Teacher-Family Partnerships. We are excited to have all interested MPS parents/guardians join Dr. Hong for a discussion on how to create lasting and collaborative relationships between home and school, particularly at this pivotal time in education. All MPS parents/guardians are welcome! The link to attend can be found here.

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I hope you received and read through my communication this week about our partnership with Cambridge Education to examine the instructional, social emotional and cultural assets across the district. In March, all staff, students and families in grades 6-12 will receive a questionnaire to provide us with important feedback. Thank you for taking the time to complete the questionaire in March and if you have not already,  please read the letter in its entirety here.

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Is there a science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teacher working in grades 7-12 who you feel has been exceptional?  

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the nation’s highest honor for teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM, including computer science) and the window for nominations is open until March 1, 2021.  One math and one science awardee will be selected from each state. Please consider nominating a teacher who you feel has been impactful in your student’s education.  This award recognizes teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Excellence in math and science teaching is plentiful across this district, so please consider nominating an outstanding teacher! All details on the nominating process can be found here. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on March 3, 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.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Feb 25 Tucker Talks – All MPS Speaker Event
  • Mar 3 School Committee Meeting
  • Mar 4 Early Release K-12
  • Mar 9 1st Grade Information Night

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

1st Grade Information Night: On March 9 at 6:30 PM the Milton Public Schools will hold 1st Grade Information Night. Parents and guardians of current MPS kindergarten students are invited to learn about our two first grade programs: The English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will present information on each program as well as the assignment plan, lottery (if needed), and timeline. This presentation is being held virtually. A link will be posted on the MPS website and sent through school based communications prior to that evening.

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 weeks of February 11 – February 24, MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 6 students positive.

TRAVEL REMINDERS: Anyone considering travel should review and abide by Massachusetts travel orders, and people who want to travel to another state that is not a lower-risk state should be aware of the quarantine requirements involved with such travel. All students/ staff will be required to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine for 10 days prior to return to in person learning after out of state travel.

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following. Please see the full update on MPS Anti-Racist Work, the 14th Amendment, and Quality Review updates here. 

Quality Review Steering Committee and the Selection Task Force: The implementation for the Quality Review from an Equity Lens has been underway. The amount of interest from the community is promising. However, due to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education’s recent announcement, the focus of the entire school district has shifted to ensure a safe and equitable return to school for ALL (students and staff). There are a lot of logistics, planning, and negotiating taking place in order to abide by the CDC guidelines as well as meeting learning targets. The Quality Review through an equity lens will continue as planned but we are extending our recruitment timeframe for both the Selection Task Force as well as the Steering Committee. Click here to apply and/or learn more about the Selection Task Force and Steering Committee. The new deadline is: Selection Task Force 2/8/21 – 4/16/21and Steering Committee 2/8/21 – 5/7/21. The full timeline can be found here. 

FOOD SERVICE 

We are currently receiving 300  Farmers to Families boxes to distribute every Wednesday at our weekly food service drive through. This week’s boxes contained a gallon of milk, parmesan cheese, yogurt, chicken hotdogs, carrots, onions, potatoes, apples, and chicken taco meat. We are sharing any leftover boxes with the residents of  Unquity House and Winter Valley.

Our weekly Food Service drive-through is open EVERY Wednesday.

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

Eveyone loves swag and we have some for our MHS seniors!
 
Seniors – Stop by the back of Milton High School and pick up your swag bags from your class officers – Thursday (today!) 5-7pm or Friday 3-5pm.

 

 
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Please see below from the MHS Key Club.

The MHS  Key Club would like to thank everyone who donated to our Coat Drive on Saturday, February 13 at MHS and Cunningham Hall. We collected approximately 100 coats and jackets and delivered them to Anton’s Cleaners to be cleaned. Through their partnership with Jordan’s Furniture, the coats and jackets will be donated to charities in Massachusetts to help people in need. We appreciate everyone who came out to support this cause on an exceptionally cold day.

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The MHS Debate Team has had a busy February!  The February Debate Topic for Massachusetts Public Forum Debate is: Resolved: On balance, the benefits of urbanization in West Africa outweigh the harms.

MHS Debate Team Captain Thank you to Professor Galvan. Anderson Korman researched experts in the field of West African studies and set up a Zoom meeting with Professor Dennis Galvan, Dean and Vice Provost, Division of Global Engagement and professor of International Studies and Political Science, at the University of Oregon. 

Professor Galvan has written a host of books on the subject and spent over an hour with the MHS Debate Team discussing his expertise on West Africa. Professor Galvan has spent on and off time in West Africa since 1980 and has headed up research projects in Senegal, Mali, and Gabon. At present, he has an ongoing research program in a rural area outside of Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

MHS Debate Captains put a list of questions together prior to the Zoom meeting to ensure they received valuable information they could use in their debate preparation. Students were engaged and asked thoughtful questions. Professor Galvan shared that he was impressed with the questions and professionalism of our MHS students!

In January,  the Debate Team participated in a national tournament that included competition from students in multiple states. Although the team participates in this tournament every year, this experience was different and involved much more preparation as they had to participate virtually. Students spent time preparing for this tournament through research, scrimmaging, and collaboration. They faced some of the best debaters in the country and after two days of fierce debate came out with multiple rounds won and an invaluable experience for the future. Congratulations to our participants Senior Captain Ralph Destin, Junior Captains Jonathan Waldman and Anderson Korman, Kiera Glazer, Lok Ye Young, and Maggie Sun on their excellent debate performances. 

This week Debate Team Captains Ralph Destin, Anderson Korman and Jonathan Waldmann organized an ‘In-House Scrimmage Week’ to help the novice teamwork on their debate skills. The Varsity Team members posed as judges for the Novice Team as each novice team debated four rounds throughout the week. The varsity members judge and give feedback to the teams. At the end of the week, there will be an award ceremony to announce the winners.

The MHS Debate team will be competing in two Massachusetts Debate and Speech League tournaments in the coming weeks, on February 27 and March 13. These two tournaments serve as opportunities for team members to earn bids to the State tournament, held on April 10-11.  Good luck to our MHS Debate Team!

PIERCE PAGES

Ms. Mitchell’s 7th grade scientists are studying how particles differ between states of matter. To help students understand more about liquid particles, the properties of water and wax paper were used to explore particle bonds and cohesion. Students used a popsicle stick to watch water glide across the wax paper and they were able to see the water “stick together” and come apart. The students were also given a penny and water dropper to explore the surface tension of water and how the particles bonds allow the water to “stick” together and creates a bubble on top of the penny.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

During Black History Month, Miss Nicole’s Tucker preschool class focused on Black Inventors and Firsts. Our youngest students learned about Garrett Morgan and how he was responsible for adding yellow to what is now the modern day traffic light, greatly increasing our safety. Red means stop, green means go, yellow means drive very, very, very slow.

The class also learned about Black Astronaut Mae Jemison, reading Mae Among the Stars and learned, “If you dream it, believe in it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” In honor of Dr. Jemison, students made their own rockets. This task involved identifying the correct shapes and colors, as well as drawing self portraits inside the rocket window.

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The rich and varied musical contributions of Black Americans are much too numerous to celebrate only during Black History Month so are featured throughout the entire school year in the elementary music classes at Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker.

Using picture books, videos, demonstrating authentic African instruments, and singing and playing inclusive songs (including spirituals, call and response patterns, and blues) exposes and immerses our youngest students to these contributions in the elementary setting. A recent grant funded by Celebrate Milton has provided the music rooms with an even wider variety of books that are inclusive of many cultures. Pictured in the bookshelf above are some of the resources and activities used during Black History Month and throughout the school year in the elementary music classes. Visit our interactive music bookshelf here. 

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Cunningham and Collicot 2nd graders in Mrs. Walsh’s class have been working on a “Spread the Love Campaign” this month. Students aboard the “Walship II” have written positive messages for the community of Milton in the shape of hearts and are displaying them in windows and doors around Milton.

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The students and staff of Glover want to share some Glover Love with the MPS community. These messages of encouragement, positivity, kindness, and empathy line the Glover hallways – enjoy seeing some Glover smiling faces and knowing what it means to be a Glover Kid! Thanks to Ms. Craven for the video and to the Glover PTO for the hearts!

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following.

We will welcome Tucker School parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on March 10 at 7pm. The link to join can be found here. 

It’s hard to believe summer 2021 is around the corner.  This year, the ESY program will be run by Mr. Mark Harrison. MPS will be offering Extended School Year services this summer, beginning on July 6, 2021. All programs will once again be held at the Collicot and Cunningham elementary schools. The program will run for six weeks, with a scheduled end date of August 13, 2021. It is anticipated that registration information for Extended School Year services will be sent to families in early May. Plans for how instruction will be delivered will also be communicated at this time. Any questions regarding your student’s eligibility for Extended School Year services may be directed to your Team Chairperson. Our staff looks forward to another great summer of instruction.

SEPAC, the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, has updated its website. Use this link to find out about meeting dates, SEPAC news and to access remote meetings. Their next meeting is tonight, February 25 at 6:30pm.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Ms. Marybeth from Tucker welcomes all in the MPS community to Mindful March! She shares the following and invites you to let her know how it goes at mcallahan@miltonps.org.

Mindfulness is a practice that offers everyone the amazing opportunity to enjoy the present moment, which honestly slips right by. Finding mindful moments takes a certain way of being in relationship with your life every day with kindness and curiosity. It takes remembering to be mindful and that takes practice. I was developing my own Mindful March practice and I came across this Action Calendar above created by Action For Happiness. I invite everyone to set an intention to practice with your class, with your family and with yourself. Let these simple little moments be the invaluable moments to slow down and take in the good. Perhaps after 31 days of awareness, you will notice a shift? International Day of Happiness is March 20th, CELEBRATE with love!  Mary Beth Callahan 

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Free Tax Filing Assistance: United Way helps people to easily and accurately file their federal and state taxes and helps families maximize their returns. The site is available in Spanish and English with access to coaches by phone and referral to VITA sites, for those who prefer local assistance. For more information click here

Milton is a participating community in The William James INTERFACE Referral Service. Interface is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. 

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Thank you to all who attended February Vacation Camp. Our students created interesting crafts, tested their trivia knowledge, created delicious treats to take home, and even had a soccer lesson from Super Soccer Stars! Thank you also to the Collicot and Cunningham custodial team for their help in making our Vacation Camp a big success. We will send out information on our April Vacation Camp opportunities soon. 

ART AND MUSIC

The Milton Music Department had great success with SEMSBA auditions this year with 28 students accepted to participate in virtual festivals and masterclasses during the Spring! Students accepted to the Senior SEMSBA Festival include: Shanti Bosque-Hamilton, Sophie Boucher, Lindsey Dunn, Lucia Dwyer, Keira Earner, Timothy Fay, Isabelle Feloney, Bridgeitte Greene, Max Hollingsworth Hays, Tracy Le, Madison Maddad, Jackson Matejka, Isabel Murley, Claudia O’Neill, Sydney O’Toole, Osamudia Odion-Upkebor, Franklin Ollivierre III, Mahina Panerio-Langer, Philip Phan, Roisin Queally, Aoife Ruth, Dominique Thomas, Claire Walkso and Stella Yuan. Students accepted to the Junior Festival include: Emily Bohlin, Lucille Hollingsworth-Hays, Fedor Myshkin and Layla Raymond. Congratulations to these hard working and talented musicians!

ATHLETICS

The MHS Girls Ice Hockey Team will be hosting Cans for Cats on Saturday, March 6 from 9am to noon at Milton High School. Thank you for supporting our student athletes and recycling your cans and bottles at MHS on Saturday. MHS Girls Ice Hockey shares their thoughts on the season below. 

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COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out next week’s activities here

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Rachel Mitchell, Janice Mazzolla, Karen McDavitt, April Allegrezza, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Colleen Martin, Somaly Prak-Martins, Kathleen Kelley, Rebecca Damiani, Nicole Tucker, Melissa Craven, Marybeth Callahan, Kristin Driscoll, Martha Sandoval, and Elaine McNeil-Girmai.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 25, 2021

February 11, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 11, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week we began our new K-5 elementary learning model, doubling the in person learning for hybrid students and adjusting remote learning time for remote learners.  Despite new schedules, additional bus riders, changes to asynchronous work, and a double dose of snow, the week has been successful! We have been working out any kinks and will use the February break to make any needed adjustments. 

As one elementary teacher emailed, “I just wanted to share that today was a great day – it felt like things were almost back to normal.  You can do so much with a small, in person group. It felt good to be a teacher today!”

Thank you to the elementary PTOs for the treats they recently arranged for our teachers (above) and for hosting me for a conversation with each elementary school community in the two weeks after February Recess. I look forward to learning more about your goals, expectations and your child’s school experience and hearing your feedback on the new model as we look to the future. The link to attend and to submit questions will be sent from your PTO but please save the dates here: Glover PTO  –  February 23, 6:30-7:25 pm; Tucker PTO – February 23, 7:30-8:25 pm; Cunningham PTO – March 2, 7-7:55 pm; Collicot PTO – March 4, 7-7:55 pm 

We have reviewed the Pierce and Milton High School models and will be implementing modifications to the model after the vacation. I recognize that the delay in communicating specific details is frustrating and I want to thank you for your patience and understanding. Principals Cahill and Fish will be sending out any changes in the coming days.

This Saturday, February 13 the MHS Key Club will be collecting new and gently used coats from 9 am to 12 pm at the front entrance of MHS (25 Gile Rd) and in the parking lot of Cunningham Park (Edgehill Rd). The coats will be donated to people in need in Massachusetts. The Key Club appreciates your support.

Next week, our MPS school buildings will be closed from February 15-19 for February Recess. Central Office is open Tuesday through Friday of next week and we can be reached at 617-898-1073 ext. 1.

I wish our students, staff, and families a restful and relaxing break. We will resume school on Monday, February 22. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on February 24, 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.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Feb 15-19 February Recess
  • Feb 24 School Committee Meeting
  • Feb 25 Tucker Talks – All MPS Speaker Event
  • Mar 3 School Committee Meeting
  • Mar 4 Early Release K-12
  • Mar 9 1st Grade Information Night

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Tucker Talks: All MPS parents/guardians are welcome! We will resume our Tucker Talk sessions with a special presentation from author Soo Hong. Dr. Hong was scheduled to be a PARENT series presenter last year when the school closure occurred. We are excited that she is willing to join us again this year.

Dr. Hong is a Wellesley College professor and author of Natural Allies-Hope and Possibilities in Teacher-Family Partnerships. We are excited to have all interested MPS parents/guardians join Dr. Hong for a discussion on how to create lasting and collaborative relationships between home and school particularly at this pivotal time in education. Please save the date for February 25th for an evening with Dr. Hong!

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 week of February 4 – February 10, MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 9 students positive.

COVID TESTING: There are two local upcoming COVID test dates: Sunday, February 14 and Sunday, February 21, from 10am to 3pm, at the Department of Public Works (DPW) yard at 629 Randolph Avenue. All updates will be posted on the Town of Milton website.

TRAVEL REMINDERS: Anyone considering travel should review and abide by Massachusetts travel orders, and people who want to travel to another state that is not a lower-risk state should be aware of the quarantine requirements involved with such travel. All students/ staff will be required to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine for 10 days prior to return to in person learning after out of state travel.

MASK CARE: School vacation is a great time to wash/ care for your student’s masks. Wash masks at least once a day, or more often if they look dirty. If the manufacturer gave any special directions, follow them. Use the warmest settings on the washer and dryer that are safe for the material. It’s OK to put your mask in the washing machine and dryer with your other laundry. Don’t store your mask with other people’s masks. You can store each mask in its own clean paper bag or hang each one separately on a hook.

REMOTE ACCESS AFTER BREAK: To request remote access for COVID related reasons (see our COVID page for more information), please send an email to the nurse and principal of the school your student attends. All requests for remote access received after February 12 at 2pm will be reviewed on Monday, February 22 and granted within 24 hours.

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following.

Quality Review Steering Committee and the Selection Task Force: Calling all educators, parents/guardians, community members, students, district partners, and anyone else who has a vested interest in making the Milton School District a more equitable entity. We are currently searching for constituents who would like to serve on the Quality Review Steering Committee and the Selection Task Force. All details on applying, the timeline, multiple language applications, and more can be found here.  

Honoring Black Lives and Stories: I hope you and your family took some time to enjoy the snow. In honor of Black History Month, I would like to elevate some stories from the present and the past. These are just introductions to push forth stories and voices that may not have been heard and/or told. I recommend that you conduct your own research to gain a more in-depth understanding of these stories. 

  • Isabel Wilkerson is an American journalist and the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. She was the first woman of African- American heritage to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.
  • Meet Dr. Gladys West, the hidden figure behind the Phone’s GPS.
  • The Muse Brothers: The story of two brothers during the Jim Crow South Era

For an introduction to and resources about Isabel Wilkerson, Dr, Gladys West and the Muse Brothers, please visit this link. 

The Chinese Lunar New Year February 12, 2021: Happy New Year to all of our community members who celebrate the Chinese New Year. This is the year of the Ox. Many people who follow the zodiac calendar believe that the year you were born on gives you certain characteristics that are similar to the zodiac (animal) sign that represents the year. There are many symbols that are predominantly seen during the Lunar New Year celebration. If you would like to know why the color red, dragons, rabbits, and traditions like cleaning the house is important during this sacred time of the year, History.com provides some insight. Here are some additional links that share some of the myths and traditions around the Lunar New Year. 

FOOD SERVICE 

We are so grateful to be receiving 252 Farmers to Families boxes to distribute every Wednesday at our weekly food service drive through.

In an effort to best support our food insecure families, we will offer these boxes to those who indicate need at the drive through to ensure that all food insecure families can receive this box of food. We appreciate your support and ask that you email Jackie Morgan with any questions. 

Our weekly Food Service drive-through is open EVERY Wednesday, including during February vacation week.  

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

I am pleased to share the essays and artwork which were chosen to represent MHS at the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association MLK, Jr Celebration held in January. You can read Oona Bard’s and Lily McLaughlin’s essays at this link and Olivia Disandro’s artwork is shown at right. Thank you to these talented students for sharing their work. 

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On Wednesday of this week, some of our MHS students spent their office hours and lunch break participating in the American Mathematics Competition (AMC), a 25-question, 75-minute intensive math exam that challenges problem-solving, critical thinking, and reasoning skills.

Participating in the AMC 10 were William Degregorio, Kyle Denny, Kiera Glazer, Sophie Kosiba, Alex McEttrick, Josh Ricciardi, Daniel Steinberg, and  Alex Tran. 

Participating in the AMC 12 were Alix Benoit, Baron Clancy , Demi Davis, Lucia Dwyer, Maxwell Mitchell, Declan O’Connor, Bradan O’Loughlin, Philip Phan, Myles Phung, Jonathan Waldmann, and Chloe Zhong.

We commend these students for taking on the challenge of participating in the 2021 AMC exam! 

PIERCE PAGES

At Pierce last week, student scientists were on the move. Orion 8th graders investigated the uneven heating and cooling rates of soil and water, which contributes to local weather events while Neptune 6th graders created transverse and longitudinal waves with slinkies to investigate wave behavior.

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Students in 7th Grade Debate recently held Mock Student Council Elections as part of their debate curriculum. Pierce is making an effort to provide leadership opportunities for all students, and Pierce Student Council gives participants an opportunity to develop leadership by organizing and carrying out school activities and service projects. In addition to planning events that contribute to school spirit and community welfare, the Student Council is the voice of the student body.  

This debate lesson aims to educate 7th grade debate students on the process leading up to the Student Council debates and election. Preparation, marketing, developing a platform (campaign slogans and ads), and getting live feedback from their peers were all discussed and explored. Students presented their opening statement, fielded questions from their teacher, the moderator, and their peers, and finished with strong closing statements. This unit promotes citizenship, scholarship, leadership, and cultural awareness. Seeing our students’ confidence grow as they rehearsed and became more comfortable with public speaking was gratifying for all.

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Mr. Manning’s artists have been busy!  6th grade artists learned about animation with a visual timeline starting with Walt Disneys’ Steamboat Willie and ending with Pixar and Dreamworks movies. Students picked their favorite animated character and created a scene of their own.

7th and 8th grade artists became “style writers” and created their own graffiti ‘TAGS’. Students created their own alphabet and lettering style. Students looked at several artists who were creating  3D graffiti and who have successfully created their own graffiti tools and markers. We debated the vandalism aspect of graffiti and discussed changing attitudes about it as more recently, artists are commissioned and permitted to do their work. Students watched a guided tour of the first ever graffiti museum in Miami to wrap up the lesson.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

As part of their unit of study on motion and matter, Mme Koita’s 3rd grade Glover students spent time investigating with magnets and collecting data. Students were focused on the question, “What happens when magnets interact with other magnets and with paper clips?” Students tested different combinations and sides of the magnets throughout their exploration and collected their observations in their science journals.

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Ms. Elovich’s Glover kindergarteners learned about the incredible Mae Jemison last week for Black History Month. Students read books, discussed Dr. Jemison, and drew pictures of Dr. Jemison.

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Students in grades K-5 across the district are participating in the iReady Math Diagnostic Assessment this week to place them into their own personalized learning path within the iReady program. After the diagnostic is completed this week,  students will complete activities during their asynchronous learning time that target and strengthen skills specific to them.  Teachers will have access to this valuable math data that will help them provide support within the classroom.  Keep up the good work MPS Mathematicians!

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Cunningham 5th graders worked on a grade-wide mini-biography research project in honor of Black History Month this week.  Students were asked to study a Black American of their choice who was famous for their contributions to the world. Students did online research using articles and videos, took notes, and transformed their notes into a well-formatted informational slide. Their final biography projects will be shared with their classmates in small groups and compiled into a larger classroom slideshow with information on each important figure.

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This week Ms. Windwer’s Cunningham 3rd graders learned more about Harriet Tubman.  Students read an article and answered questions about her during the late 1800s. Students had great conversations about the true meaning of the Underground Railroad and watched an informational video on the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman. In ELA, we are learning about Characters and Character Traits. After reading and learning more about Harriet Tubman, some traits students used to describe her included: brave, strong, smart, sacrificed herself for others, and many more. 

Also learning about Harriet Tubman, Collicot students in Mrs. McDermott’s grade 3 class wrote persuasive essays supporting Harriet Tubman becoming the face of the $20.00 bill.

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Cunningham fourth-graders began their mural project celebrating Black History this week. We all know about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. but many students don’t know about Katherine Johnson, Guion Bluford, Claudette Colvin, Jacob Lawerence, Bessie Coleman, Ida B. Wells and many others. This project gives all of us the opportunity to expand our knowledge of Black History. Each student was tasked with first researching the outstanding Black American that s/he was randomly assigned. After researching, students will design and paint a canvas background and attach a photograph of the person they have been getting to know. We will hang up our paintings and information as a group mural (and will share pictures when complete) and each class will get to visit and learn more about these important figures of American history.

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Glover and Tucker students enjoyed their Diverse Reads Book Club this week with author Saadia Faruqi.  In the book Meet Yasmin! readers are charmed by this one-of-a-kind character and her small but significant dilemmas.  The book offers things to think and talk about from the stories, an index of Urdu words presented as a fun way to learn the language, facts about Pakistan, a recipe, and a craft.

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Students in Mrs. Attaya’s class are studying Black History Month. Students read a story about Garrett Morgan, inventor of the stoplight, and next designed their own stoplights. Students also studied Jackie Robinson and created portraits of him in response.

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This year the Lunar New Year will be celebrated on Friday, February 12, and it is the Year of the Ox. Collicot has been recognizing Lunar New Year on the morning announcements and students have been posting pictures of their families celebrating using the Lunar New Year Padlet. We invite anyone in the Milton community that is celebrating to add an image to our Padlet.

Students in kindergarten have been studying Lunar New Year and learning how it is celebrated in different countries. On Friday, all Collicot students will leave school with a traditional red envelope with a Lunar New Year greeting and a replica of the Chinese coins that are sometimes exchanged in the New Year.

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Congratulations to Lindhan, pictired at top right.

Tucker School was excited to hold its annual spelling bee, which can lead to a chance to attend and represent at the national Scripp’s Spelling Bee! To ensure safety, we made some changes in the model allowing students to automatically qualify to join the Spelling Club team to begin the work together.

Over the course of the four weeks, Tucker students joined Mrs. Driscoll and Dr. McNeil-Girmai for a review of the best tips, strategies, and etiquette for the spelling bee held on January 29th. There was stiff competition from students in grades 1-4 and after a stunning 24 rounds, Lindhan Nguyen was the winner spelling the final word “convulsive” correctly.  Lindhan is now preparing for the upcoming state-wide bee which will take place virtually this year.  Due to the excitement this great event brings to Tucker,  we hope to continue the Spelling Bee through the rest of the year. Congratulations to all of our Tucker students for exemplifying perseverance and teamwork!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following.

The February Special Education newsletter can be found here.  

We will welcome Pierce Middle School parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on February 25 at 9am. The link to join can be found here. 

SEPAC, the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, has updated its website. Use this link to find out about meeting dates, SEPAC news and to access remote meetings. 

TRANSPORTATION

Thank you to our elementary families for your patience this week as we rolled out new afternoon routes with new drivers to get everyone to school for their afternoon sessions. We anticipate the delays will diminish as the new routines settle in. We will be making adjustments to many of the afternoon session route times over break so please check the schedules before returning to the bus stop on February 22. All bus routes are posted on the Transportation page of the MPS website.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Thank you to all who joined us for our second Family Virtual Art Event. We hope that you enjoyed creating cool crafts under the instruction of Ms. Paquette. We hope to see you at our next event! 

Ms. Van Allen and Mrs. Sheridan have been creating some delicious dishes with their ASE students. Our students are having a great time cooking and (of course!) eating their creations each week.

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Milton is a participating community in The William James INTERFACE Referral Service. Interface is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. 

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC

More great news from the MHS Music Department! Three students were selected to participate in the MMEA All-State Festival in March. Chorus member Isabel Feloney and Band members Timothy Fay and Claudia O’Neill received recommendations to audition for All State based on their high score results from the Eastern District Festival in the Fall. These three outstanding sophomores will represent Milton High School amongst students from all over Massachusetts and will participate in masterclasses with world class conductors and a virtual concert production set to premiere in April.

ATHLETICS

We are pleased to share this Fall 2 Floating Season Information! 

Please see AD Madden’s February 10 communication with all details here. 

Sports Offered: Sports that were not able to be played in the regular Fall Season

  • Boys and Girls Indoor Track (outside); Girls Volleyball; Cheerleading (sideline only); Football

Logistics

  • Registration is open!
  • Practices expected to begin on February 22nd
  • Games beginning approx. two weeks later, running through April 25th. 
  • Competition within the league is expected to be similar to the fall and winter.
  • No out-of-league competition / No MIAA Tournament

Registration

  • Linked here.
  • Closes on Wednesday, February 17th at noon. This is a hard deadline as coaches will need time to plan tryouts and practice sessions. Students not registered by Wednesday, February 17th will not be able to try out.
  • Students who played a sport in the normal fall season are eligible to play a sport this season, with AD’s approval.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

Milton Youth Advocates for Change are hosting a Teen Game Night on Zoom on Saturday, February 13 at 7 pm! This game night is open to teens in grades 6-12 and we will be playing games such as Kahoot, Scribblio, Scattergories, and more.  For more information, check out their Instagram Page (@miltonyouthadvocatesforchange) or check out the Milton Coalition Website.  We hope to see you and your friends there for an hour full of fun and a chance to meet other friendly faces in our community!

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The Forbes House Museum’s annual Lincoln Contest will be officially announced on Lincoln’s birthday – February 12th. Despite over 150 years passing since his presidency, Lincoln’s life and work are as relevant to our civic discourse as ever. Starting Friday, check out the museum website under “Learn” for all the contest details. New this year, students in Grades 6-8 can choose to enter either the art or the writing contest. Winners will be awarded prizes and be featured on Milton Access TV in the spring. 

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Virtual Chess with Mr. Vigorito starts soon. International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. The 8 week winter-spring session begins February 22. 

There are four levels to choose from and classes available Monday through Thursday. All details and registration info can be found here.

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Continuing the Brookwood Farm‘s mission of increasing access to healthy food, through the community supported CSA Fund, Brookwood Community Farm is increasing shares set aside for households looking for food access assistance. Options for payment, including the use of SNAP/HIP, can be found on the website under “Our CSA” along with all the CSA details. Don’t delay –  Brookwood’s CSA sold out in 2020.  

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The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out next week’s activities here

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Jason Greene, Janice Mazzolla, Miranda Watrous, Sara MacNeil, Ryan Madden, Rebecca Damiani, Kate Elovich, Javana Samuels, Bernadette Butler, and Elaine McNeil-Girmai.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 11, 2021

February 4, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 4, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As a district, we are excited to shift to our new elementary model starting next week, February 8. Students in our hybrid model will now attend school every day for a half-day, maintaining the rotating schedule in place since September, while students in our full remote model are increasing their teacher facing time as appropriate for their grade level. In order for this model to be successful, we have to afford our staff the one hour in between cohorts in the middle of the day for lunch, planning, and appropriate cleaning of spaces. Please note the start times for each school (Collicot and Cunningham start at 8:15 and 12:15, Glover and Tucker start at 8:35 and 12:35) and plan to arrive no earlier than ten minutes prior to the start of the morning or afternoon session. For Collicot and Cunningham, please drop off no earlier than 8:05 and 12:05; for Tucker and Glover please drop off no earlier than 8:25 and 12:25.

The video presentation of the new model has been posted by Milton Access TV and can be viewed at this linkThe Powerpoint presentation is linked here. The list of FAQs compiled from the Q&A is linked here. 

In the two weeks after February break, I will be scheduling virtual meetings with each elementary school community to gather and share feedback on the new model.

Mr. Jette and Tomas at Tucker this week.

We are continuing to fine tune any possible changes to the Pierce and MHS models and will update as soon as possible.

This week, I visited my new friend Tomas, who is in the 1st grade at Tucker. Despite the challenges this year has brought, Tomas is working very hard to have the very best year he can. Tomas is excited to adopt a cat next week and has promised me that he will soon start a new series of books that his mom recently purchased for him.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on February 24, 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.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Feb 15-19 February Recess
  • Feb 24 School Committee Meeting
  • Feb 25 Tucker Talks – All MPS Speaker Event
  • Mar 3 School Committee Meeting
  • Mar 4 Early Release K-12

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Tucker Talks: All MPS parents/guardians are welcome! We will resume our Tucker Talk sessions with a special presentation from author Soo Hong. Dr. Hong was scheduled to be a PARENT series presenter last year when the school closure occurred. We are excited that she is willing to join us again this year.

Dr. Hong is a Wellesley College professor and author of Natural Allies-Hope and Possibilities in Teacher-Family Partnerships. We are excited to have all interested MPS parents/guardians join Dr. Hong for a discussion on how to create lasting and collaborative relationships between home and school particularly at this pivotal time in education. Please save the date for February 25th for an evening with Dr. Hong!

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 week of January 25 – February 3 , MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 11 students positive.

COVID TESTING: Recently, the Town of Milton Select Board recently approved two additional COVID test dates: Sunday, February 7 and Sunday, February 21, from 10am to 3pm, at the Department of Public Works (DPW) yard at 629 Randolph Avenue. All updates will be posted on the Town of Milton website.

COVID GUIDELINES: All MPS updated COVID guidelines and policies can be found on our website. This page is current and updated regularly.

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 within 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.

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following.

The district has partnered with Cambridge Education, community partners, parents/guardians, educators, and students to develop an equitable process to recruit, select, and onboard committee members for the MPS Quality Review Steering Committee.

The MPS Quality Review Steering Committee is a volunteer, community-based WORKING committee whose purpose is to support the MPS process to work purposefully towards living our mission in the aspiration of achieving our vision. The Steering Committee will work to ensure that the process meaningfully involves diverse stakeholders and the MPS strategic plan reflects community values, mission, and priorities. 

Steering Committee members should be community-minded, represent the diversity of the community we are serving, and bring a variety of knowledge, approaches, skills, and life experiences to the process. Please see the Steering Committee selection criteria for more information. Applicants will be considered based on the information provided with this application, interview, and the need to balance a diversity of perspectives. All details on applying, the timeline, multiple language applications, and more can be found here. 

FOOD SERVICE 

Farmers to Families Boxes are back! We are receiving 252 Farmers to Families boxes to distribute every Wednesday at our weekly food service drive through.

In an effort to best support our food insecure families, we will offer these boxes to those who indicate need at the drive through to ensure that all food insecure families can receive this box of food. We appreciate your support and ask that you email Jackie Morgan with any questions. 

Our weekly Food Service drive-through is open EVERY Wednesday, including during February vacation week.  

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

Do your furry friends need a treat? Our MHS students in LAUNCH! will soon have you covered. Our students have started their own dog treat business, Paws-Abili-Treats and they are gearing up to serve their customers.

Paws-Abili-Treats provides an opportunity for our students to engage in meaningful work training experiences during COVID. Students are excited to practice their finance, culinary arts, and marketing skills.

A bag of 6 treats is $2.00 and the Paws-Abili-Treats team is busy fulfilling their initial orders. A link to order will be shared with the MPS community in the next few weeks. Questions? Email the team at pawsabilitreats@miltonps.org. Thank you for your support as our students look for ways to stay PAWSitive during this challenging time!

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I am pleased to share the Milton High School Term 1 Honor Roll with the MPS community. These students have shown academic tenacity during these difficult months of COVID.  There are two Honor Roll categories: High Honors is reserved for students receiving all A’s (all subjects counted) and Honors is reserved for students receiving all A’s and B’s (all subjects counted). Students receiving one C+ grade will be honorably mentioned. Congratulations to our Honor Roll students! 

PIERCE PAGES

This year, Pierce students have started a Culture Club consisting of about 20 students 6th-8th grade students, from both the full remote and the hybrid models. Students meet weekly to discuss ways to bring good vibes to Pierce and plan opportunities to acknowledge different holidays and events. The club’s overall mission is to give students a voice in their community, celebrate differences, continue to promote a strong sense of community, and just simply spread positivity.

Students recently designed a school-wide activity honoring and reflecting upon the words from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech. In this activity, students wrote their own dreams for herself/himself/themselves, the country, or even the world. To start the morning off on a positive note, the Culture Club also created a Google Form for their peers to request songs to play in the morning on the loudspeaker before the start of school. Students have also added positive notes to the auditorium chairs for students who have a class there. The Culture Club is also rolling out a door decoration contest to celebrate Black History Month in February.

These students truly embody what it means to be a positive community member, and all of Pierce is benefiting from their creativity and enthusiasm.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Inspired by contemporary artist Tyree Guyton, Collicot 4th grade students made monoprints using foil and markers for the outline of their people.  After each print dried, students then added oil pastels and recycled papers, and foil to their art in the spirit of Guyton’s style.

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Cunningham 2nd graders in Mlle. Morton’s class wrapped up Unit 4 of their Everyday Math curriculum by venturing outside and measuring last week’s snowfall. In this unit, students learned all about different units of measurement and how to estimate length. They were then able to apply what they learned in the classroom to measure the snow outside to the nearest centimeter and the nearest inch.

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Collicot students in Mrs. Spitz’s class used flipgrid last week to prepare and present news reports.  Students researched and described an amazing place and then midway through their presentation,  they reported on a natural disaster that impacted their location. They shared emergency information about taking shelter and what to do to be safe and shared donation information to help those in need after the natural disaster. These reports were informative and entertaining as students used their research, technology, and presentation skills.

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At Glover, everyone is all in for PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports), including our remote students and families! One important part of our initiative is that we try to catch kids being “good” and recognize them. At Glover, we hand out Duck Feet and place them on our Duck Pond Bulletin Board. This year, remote teachers have also been handing out Duck Feet and sending names to the school so their students can be recognized. Each week, twelve Duck Feet are pulled and announced as the Glover Kids of the week. To make them feel extra special, Glover Kids get their names,, and their accomplishment read on the morning announcements. This week a 1st grade student in the full remote model was named one of our Glover Kids. To support our initiative this family has created a duck pond at home for their student to hang the Duck Feet she earns. She was thrilled to place the Glover Duck Foot on her pond at home and so excited to share her pond with us. Keep up the GREAT work Glover Kids! 

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As part of our Black History Month celebration at Glover, we will be honoring two students each week for the Frederick Douglass Duckfoot award.  This award will recognize those students who emulate Frederick Douglass’ concern for human dignity, who make a difference in our school community, and represent what it truly means to be a Glover Kid.  To kick off our celebration, students watched an introduction to Frederick Douglass video created by Glover resident historian Debbie Greene-Muse. During this introduction, students learned about his life and contributions to history. Mrs. Muse even shared how Frederick Douglass was invited to Milton to make a speech! This week two students were nominated whose kindness is inspiring and who are great role models for their peers. We look forward to learning more about Frederick Douglass and continuing to encourage students to mirror his compassion for others.

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On Wednesday of this week,  Tucker School celebrated its first World Read Aloud Day.  It was a special opportunity for the whole school to come together virtually by grade level across models and cohorts. Each grade had 3-4 special visits planned during which they were able to listen to published authors read aloud and then ask questions about the writing process and career of an author. 

Mrs. McGrory led the Kindergarten event and shared that the event was “Absolutely amazing.”, Mrs. Kennedy, who led the 5th graders,  shared that the  “5th grade WRAD was a total success!”. As students learned and shared their ideas the authors were also receptive of their talents. As one parent shared after the event, “It’s moments like this that the kiddos will remember about this school year, a real author told them that they could be one, too!”

In advance of the events, we were also fortunate enough to receive a few signed copies from our authors that we are excited to add to our growing libraries. This will definitely be a new annual event at Tucker!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following. 

We will welcome Pierce Middle School parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on February 25 at 9am. The link to join can be found here. 

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Please see this letter from SEPAC, which contains information on the next SEPAC meeting on February 25 at 7pm; dates for upcoming SEPAC meetings; and information on how to get involved with this vital parent group that supports our work in Special Education. SEPAC is seeking membership and building based representatives, and you can find details on that role here. 

TRANSPORTATION

Please visit the Transportation Page on the MPS website for all current transportation information. Schedules for the new afternoon elementary sessions have been posted on the Transportation Page. Please plan to be 10-15 minutes early to your bus stop for both the morning and afternoon sessions as there have been changes made to some routes and additional stops added, and the times may shift slightly. 

With the addition of the afternoon routes, there will be NEW drivers bringing your children to school in the afternoon. You will see your familiar driver for the morning session (to and from school) as well as home from school in the afternoon session. The buses bringing children to school for the afternoon session will NOT say Milton Public Schools on the side.

New requests for bus passes take 5-7 days to process, and the earliest that new students can ride the bus at this time is February 22nd.  Please email Rachel Schewe at bus@miltonps.org with any questions.

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Milton is a participating community in The William James INTERFACE Referral Service. Interface is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. 

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC

Congratulations to three of our MPS Music students for being accepted to the MMEA Eastern Junior District Festival.

Congratulations to MHS 9th grader Lucille Hollingsworth-Hays in Chorus, Pierce 7th grader Jordan Munsey in Band and Pierce 7th grader Fedor Myshkin in Orchestra. These students will be participating in a virtual festival in the month of March which will include rehearsals and masterclasses with professional conductors. Their work will culminate in a virtual concert performance. We are proud of these talented student musicians!

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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 – rdamiani@miltonps.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

ATHLETICS

We are pleased to share this Fall 2 Floating Season Information!

Sports Offered: Sports that were not able to be played in the regular Fall Season

 

  • Boys and Girls Indoor Track (outside); Girls Volleyball; Cheerleading (sideline only); Football

Logistics

  • Registration is open!
  • Practices expected to begin on February 22nd
  • Games beginning approx. two weeks later, running through April 25th. 
  • Competition within the league is expected to be similar to the fall and winter.
  • No out-of-league competition / No MIAA Tournament

Registration

  • Linked here.
  • Closes on Wednesday, February 17th at noon. This is a hard deadline as coaches will need time to plan tryouts and practice sessions. Students not registered by Wednesday, February 17th will not be able to try out.
  • Students who played a sport in the normal fall season are eligible to play a sport this season, with AD’s approval.

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The MHS Volleyball Team will host Cans for Cats on Saturday, February 6th from 9 AM- 12 PM at Milton High School. 

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

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Virtual Chess with Mr. Vigorito starts soon. International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. The 8 week winter-spring session begins February 22. 

There are four levels to choose from and classes available Monday through Thursday. All details and registration info can be found here.

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MHS Sophomore Lily McLaughlin is partnering with a non-profit organization called Her Drive to conduct donations of personal hygiene items for people in need. Lily is collecting on one more date –  February 5 from 3:15-4pm at Kelly Field. Please consider supporting Lily’s important collection drive.  

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The indoor season of Trinity Milton – Milton’s Gaelic Football and Hurling  Club – starts this Friday night February 5 at  Union Point Sports Complex in Weymouth. All details can be found here. Come join the fun!

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The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out next week’s activities here

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Milton Girls Softball Registration: Registration is now open for Milton Girls Softball’s Spring 2021 season. Please register at this link. We have over 300 girls in our program from K-8, with professional instruction for the Kindergarteners to learn the game without being intimidated or overwhelmed.  Financial assistance is also available. Please email wecare@miltonsoftball.com with any questions.

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The Forbes House Museum presents Chinese Calligraphy and Illustration Workshop with Artist Rayna Lo on Sunday, February 7 from 10am-12pm.

In anticipation of Chinese New Year, which begins on February 12, learn the fundamentals of Chinese calligraphy and discover your personal calligraphy style. The cost is $30 per household, supplies not included. For more information and to sign up, please visit this link.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Laurel Bernini, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Bill Fish, Caroline Morton, Sara MacNeil, Ryan Madden, Bernadette Butler, and Elaine McNeil-Girmai.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 4, 2021

January 28, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 28, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Thank you to all who attended our Elementary Model Update presentation last night. We are grateful to the MPS staff and families for their positivity as we look to double the in person learning time for our Kindergarten through 5th grade students beginning February 8. This change would not be possible without the partnership of our entire community.

The video presentation from last night has been posted by Milton Access TV and can be viewed at this link. The Powerpoint presentation is linked here. We are compiling the Q&A from last night and many of the questions asked are addressed in the PowerPoint and video linked above. Additional questions will be organized and an FAQ will be included in your Principal’s weekly email.  Finally, thank you to those who left positive comments in the Q&A. We have shared those with our teachers and we know your words will have an impact.

We will update the community on any potential changes to our Middle and High School model as soon as those details become available.

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A reminder that Kindergarten Information Night is tonight, January 28, 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 the link to attend can be found here. The passcode is 414475.  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.

We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2034 to the Milton Public Schools in September 2021!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on February 3, 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.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Jan 28 Kindergarten Information Night
  • Feb 3 School Committee Meeting
  • Feb 15-19 February Recess
  • Feb 25 Tucker Talks – All MPS Speaker Event

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Tucker Talks: All MPS parents/guardians are welcome! We will resume our Tucker Talk sessions with a special presentation from author Soo Hong. Dr. Hong was scheduled to be a PARENT series presenter last year when the school closure occurred. We are excited that she is willing to join us again this year.

Dr. Hong is a Wellesley College professor and author of Natural Allies-Hope and Possibilities in Teacher-Family Partnerships. We are excited to have all interested MPS parents/guardians join Dr. Hong for a discussion on how to create lasting and collaborative relationships between home and school particularly at this pivotal time in education. Please save the date for February 25th for an evening with Dr. Hong!

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 week of January 21 – January 27, MPS reported: 4 staff positive and 16 students positive.

COVID TESTING: There is Covid testing available in Randolph on Thursday 1/28 and Saturday 1/30. All details can be found at this Randolph testing link.

On Sunday, January 17 Milton hosted their eighth free COVID testing day. To date, nearly five thousand tests have been administered to help stop the spread. Recently, the Town of Milton Select Board unanimously approved two additional test dates: Sunday, February 7 and Sunday, February 21, from 10am to 3pm, at the Department of Public Works (DPW) yard at 629 Randolph Avenue.

COVID GUIDELINES: All MPS updated COVID guidelines and policies can be found on our website. This page is current and updated regularly.

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.

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following. 

Please see this link to read our February issue of the Behaving Equitably newsletter. Inside, you will find updates and information on the upcoming Quality Review from an Equity Lens, Black History Month, Curriculum, Community Partnerships, and more. 

FOOD SERVICE 

Farm to Family Boxes are back!

Farm to Family Boxes are back! Starting next Wednesday, February 3rd, we will again have Farm to Family Boxes to distribute at our weekly food service drive through. Boxes will contain a variety of: 12 lbs of fruits and vegetables; 1 gallon of milk; 5 lbs of cheese and other dairy items; 5.5 lbs of fully cooked meat;  2 lbs of liquid eggs.

Our weekly Food Service drive-through continues to be open EVERY  Wednesday, including during February vacation week.  

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

Thank you to the Class of 2023 Student Government Officers for submitting the following. 

Over the last 5 weeks,  the Class of 2023 Student Government Officers organized a “Giving Tree” community service to benefit the homeless at Father Bill’s shelter in Quincy, MA. A small tree with gift tags was placed in the foyer of  Milton High School, and students were asked to choose a tag and to donate much needed new winter items in order to support the homeless during the cold winter months. Thanks to the generosity of Sophomore families, we were able to collect over 40  items, including new winter coats, fleece tops, sweatpants, mittens, hats, sweatshirts, socks, soap, and sanitizer. The Class of 2023 Class Officers would like to send out heartfelt thanks to all the Sophomore families for their benevolence, giving to those in need during such trying times.

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Amy Tom, MHS Science Department Head,  shares an exciting opportunity for February Vacation from the McAullife Center at Framingham State University.

Spend your vacation week with the stars! Join us for a weeklong exploration of the life cycle of stars. Each day, we will host one session of this 5-part series, which will take you on a journey from the birth of new stars to their spectacular (and sometimes explosive!) deaths. Each session consists of a 1-hour live, interactive virtual program hosted by an experienced McAuliffe Center educator. Each session features original video content, interactive features, exploration of NASA resources, and opportunities for further exploration. All details can be found here.

PIERCE PAGES

Mrs. Magill’s 8th Grade Advanced FUSE class finished up an egg drop design challenge by testing their designs with a real egg this week.  Over the course of 3 weeks students used  an engineering design process as they designed a device to keep a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a balcony. They used a Micro:bit to simulate the egg in their practice drops and made changes to their design based on that information. There were a variety of devices from gliders to 3D designed and printed boxes with lots of padding to shoeboxes with multiple parachutes. In all, 14 students participated in the drop, and only 3 eggs broke!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Mr. Jette gives a big thank you to Zoe for this special note. She didn’t know he would be at Glover this week but had this ready to mail to him!

This week, Glover students joined 15 million youth in 115 countries to create a kinder world. The world can use some extra kindness right now and Glover is going to deliver! The Great Kindness Challenge, presented by the global nonprofit Kids for Peace, was launched with three Carlsbad, California schools in 2012 to address bullying and to foster connection, inclusion and compassion. The annual program has multiplied in enrollment each year, having grown to over 15 million students in 30,000 schools, reaching across all 50 states and 115 countries. The Great Kindness Challenge provides students the tools, opportunity and encouragement to actively create a positive, happy and inclusive culture for all. Schools and students are drawn to the program for its positive and proactive approach to creating kinder school climates through a simple checklist of intentional acts of kindness. While the excitement of The Great Kindness Challenge is enormous, it is the simple acts of kindness that prove to be the biggest hit. Some of the items on the checklist include: wave at 25 people, help your teacher with a needed task, and give 10 genuine compliments today. Big or small, every act of kindness makes a difference. Let’s all help make a positive difference and join together, lift each other up, cheer each other on and do our part to create a kinder Milton and a more compassionate world.

Glover 2nd graders in Ms. Jungels’ class spent some time learning how to say “Hi” in different languages as part of Kindness Week. In the fall, students interviewed family members and learned more about where their family came from. This week, students explored how to say “Hi” in the languages that they previously discussed with their families, or in a language of their choice.

Glover 2nd graders practiced their Google Docs text formatting skills by writing lists of 5 ways they can show kindness. Then they were asked to change the way the text looked to make their lists fun and exciting! Check out the great ways Glover 2nd Graders can show kindness!

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Collicot 4th grade French Immersion students in Madame Theobald’s classes have started their culminating research project on Canada. Students in each cohort selected a province or territory to research and are able to collaborate across cohorts with their classmates. Their final project will be a narrated Google Slide presentation of their project using the Google extension Record to Slides.

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Cunningham students enjoyed a terrific assembly this week, funded by the MTO and the Milton Cultural Council. Students enjoyed “Brazilian Beats” by Grooversity, from the Young Audiences of Massachusetts.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following:  

Thank you to the parents and guardians who attended the K-5 presentation with Superintendent Jette last night regarding the elementary school model. For parents who have students with special education, we will continue to provide all the services in your student’s IEP. As we have done since the school closure in March 2020, all services will be outlined in your student’s Remote Learning Plan. We anticipate minimal changes to service schedules in this model. Please check out the Q&A and presentation linked at the top of the blog for additional information and please be in touch with any questions.

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We welcome Pierce Middle School parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on February 25 at 9am. The link to join can bew found here. 

In addition, the next SEPAC Meeting is February 25 at  7pm. A link to attend will be shared closer to the meeting. 

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

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. 

MSAPC

Join us in watching this award-winning documentary about three families inadvertently impacted by opioid addiction that began with a prescription to manage pain after surgery. The film provides an intimate look into the struggles that can be caused by legal opioid prescriptions when the dangers of these medications are not properly understood. After this powerful 40 minute film, we will have a discussion moderated by Laurie Stillman, Director of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Everyone experiences pain at some point in their lives. Learn about the many alternatives to opioids that don’t have the same risk of addiction but are still effective.  The registration link can be found here.  

TRANSPORTATION 

Second notices regarding outstanding bus fees were emailed at the beginning of this week.  All payments are due in full by February 1st.  Please note that unpaid bus fees will result in bus passes being invalidated and students being removed from the bus.  Please email bus@miltonps.org with any questions or if you have a financial hardship.

To request bus transportation due to the elementary model change, please email bus@miltonps.org. Upon receipt of this email the transportation department will email a link for bus registration and will accommodate requests based upon seat availability. MPS guarantees transportation to students in grades K to 6 who live 2 miles or more from school and sells the remaining seats on a first come first served basis. MPS will continue to follow the current social distancing and safety measures in place.

FAMILY RESOURCES

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 don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

Milton is a participating community in The William James INTERFACE Referral Service. Interface is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843. This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of Milton and other participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. 

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.

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC

Cunningham and Collicot 3rd graders learned about American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and the art of graffiti recently. Students admired Basquiat’s work and discussed his use of symbols in his painting. Students then created their version of Basquait’s painting, Pez Dispenser, by drawing a dinosaur, using oil pastels to suggest an outline of bones. Students continued to add details to the background by adding expressive lines, color and their own symbols.

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5th grade ACE students created these amazing oversized pencil sculptures using recycled paper towel tubes, plaster, and acrylic paints. They had so much fun making and creating these 3-D works of art!

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Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will be participating in a unit on learning how to play the recorder. The experience of learning to play an instrument can be exciting, fun, and challenging for students. Playing an instrument such as the recorder will not only prepare your child for future experiences with musical instruments but also allow improvement in fine motor and listening skills, discipline, and individual responsibility. It provides a space for creativity and musical independence. This letter shares why we
introduce the Recorder to our students, helpful suggestions, and a link
to our evolving recorder content.

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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 – rdamiani@miltonps.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

ATHLETICS

Thank you to all student-athletes and coaches for continuing to follow protocols this season. Our Winter Season is going well so far! Boys Basketball have won back-to-back games, while our Girls Hockey Team beat Braintree for the first time in over 7 years!  The Ski Team is set to race next Thursday. As of now, there are no fans allowed but look for that to change in the future.

Floating Season Registration will open soon, with the season starting no earlier than February 23rd. Football, Volleyball, Cheer and Indoor Track are set to be played in the Floating Season but plans will be finalized in the next two weeks. Once information becomes available, it will be communicated. 

As there are no spectators currently 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. Thank you to Milton Access TV for providing this service!

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.

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The MHS Volleyball Team will host Cans for Cats on Saturday, February 6th from 9 AM- 12 PM at Milton High School.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

MHS Sophomore Lily McLaughlin is partnering with a non-profit organization called Her Drive to conduct donations of personal hygiene items for people in need. Lily is collecting on two upcoming dates – January 29 from 3-4:40pm and February 5 from 3:15-4pm at Kelly Field. Please consider supporting Lily’s important collection drive.  

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The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out next week’s activities here

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Milton Girls Softball Registration: Registration is now open for Milton Girls Softball’s Spring 2021 season. Please register at this link. We have over 300 girls in our program from K-8, with professional instruction for the Kindergarteners to learn the game without being intimidated or overwhelmed.  Financial assistance is also available. Please email wecare@miltonsoftball.com with any questions.

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The Forbes House Museum presents Chinese Calligraphy and Illustration Workshop with Artist Rayna Lo on Sunday, February 7 from 10am-12pm.

In anticipation of Chinese New Year, which begins on February 12, learn the fundamentals of Chinese calligraphy and discover your personal calligraphy style. The cost is $30 per household, supplies not included. For more information and to sign up, please visit this link.

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has a free program for families with young children being held on February 2: 

Family Story Time – Listen and have a conversation with children’s book author, Michelle Chalmers, who wrote Vitamin D and Me (which she will read) and The Skin on My Knee. This story time on February 2 is designed for children and families to listen to together about how and why human beings have different color skin tones. Details can be found here.

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

Congratulations to Philip!

Congratulations to MHS Senior Jazz Ensemble member Philip Phan for being selected to the 2021 All Eastern Division Jazz Ensemble. Eastern Division is comprised of the finest high school musicians from Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington D.C and Europe. Philip went through three rounds of auditions and an application process which started in the Fall of 2019 when Philip was selected as a member of the Massachusetts Eastern District Jazz Ensemble. He was then selected to participate in the Massachusetts All- State Jazz Ensemble in March of 2020, paving the way for his eligibility to apply for All Eastern.

Philip will represent Milton High School as the vibraphonist in the All Eastern Jazz Ensemble. He is one of 18 students who were selected to be in the Jazz Ensemble and will be participating in a “Virtual Weekend” experience March 4-6, 2021 that will include keynote speakers, masterclasses with professional musicians, rehearsals with a world class conductor, as well as opportunities to learn and network with colleges and universities of various types and participate in mock auditions. This experience will culminate in a virtual concert which will be premiered on April 23rd at 8:30pm.

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Bill Fish, Karen Cahill, Ryan Madden, Bernadette Butler and Karen McDavitt.

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 28, 2021