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 will hold a FY 22 budget meeting for the MPS community on March 11 at 6:30pm. The link to attend will be posted on the Town of Milton website. This meeting will be recorded and later posted on Milton Access TV.

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 11 Milton School Committee FY22 Budget Meeting
  • 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.

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, 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

January 21, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 21, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There are several important items I would like to call your attention to today.

The Town of Milton COVID-19 numbers over the last few days have been lower than numbers seen over the past 5 weeks.  Surveillance testing is one element that helps to Protect the Paw as it can identify asymptomatic positive cases before they spread within our community.  

MPS and Manet Community Health Center will be holding a COVID-19 testing day at Milton High School on Saturday, January 23 from 10 am – 2 pm behind the building in the Copeland Field House. Manet Community Health Center will administer the PCR test for any MPS student and/or family member who registers for a test. Preregistration is required by 7pm tonight: please complete this registration form and email your completed registration form to registration@manetchc.org

To protect our Milton and MPS community, please continue to follow all COVID safety guidelines. Thank you for your continued efforts to Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe. 

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Event: TONIGHT

We invite you to join us tonight at 5pm on our journey for a more equitable Milton. Parents/guardians, community members, staff, and students are invited to participate via Zoom to learn and share ideas about how we can leverage school-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees (formerly known as school-based Diversity Committees) to support critical equity work in the Milton Public Schools. This event is being offered in partnership with the Milton Public Schools and Citizens for a Diverse Milton. All details and the link to attend in English can be found here. Please see additional flyers here:EspañolKreyòl ayisyenTiếng Việt

Please also take a moment to read the latest communication – Behaving Equitably! –  from Somaly Prak-Martins, MPS Senior Director of Education Equity here. 

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On Wednesday of this week, I sent an email about DESE’s Student Learning Time expectations. Please join me on Wednesday, January 27 at 6pm for a virtual presentation about model changes in elementary for the Hybrid/Remote Choice model as we look towards the next steps for the district to increase in person learning time for our elementary students in February. Parents/guardians of elementary students are invited to attend and share thoughts. A link to attend will be sent next week.  Information about any Middle and High School adjustments will come at a later date. 

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 21 DEI Committee Meeting
  • Jan 28 Kindergarten Information Night
  • Feb 3 School Committee Meeting
  • Feb 15-19 February Recess

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Kindergarten Information Night will be held on January 28, 2021, at 6:30 pm. We hope many incoming kindergarten parents and guardians will join us to learn about our programs and have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.  This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event.  As we prepare to welcome our newest kindergarteners next September, the first step for families to take is to complete the pre-registration form found here.  Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2021, to start kindergarten in September 2021.

Preschool Information Night: Thank you to all who attended the information night. All information presented can be found on our Preschool webpage.  The 2021-2022 Preschool Pre-registration Link can be found here. Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2021.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID 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 14 – January 20, MPS reported: 7 staff positive and 12 students positive.

MASK BREAKS: Beginning last week, MPS has paused group mask breaks for students after reviewing current community prevalence and recent changes to public health guidance that allows for a shortened quarantine period with continued mask wearing. Students who need a mask break will be allowed to do so individually in a setting separate from others with minimal interruption to class time. Students will continue to receive movement breaks and enjoy time outside (weather permitting.) If you have any questions or concerns, please email your school nurse.

COVID 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.

FOOD SERVICE 

Our weekly Food Service drive-through continues to be open EVERY  Wednesday.  Swing by to pick up a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and a fresh box of produce! 

Weekly Pick Up: Weekly pick up is available at two different times on Wednesdays. Come to MHS 9:30-10:30 or 12:30-1:30 (please don’t arrive before 12:15 to allow for MHS pick up) to pick up 7 days of breakfast and lunches and a fresh produce box.

Grab and Go: Available each day as your student leaves school. Multiple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are included in each bag. Students can take a grab and go bag with several breakfasts and lunches as they leave school each day.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

In keeping with the Milton High School Mission and our Vision for Milton High graduates, MHS Principal Karen Cahill and Asst. Principals Kelley and Mackinaw have given MHS students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to nominate students who have not solely had academic success in the classroom but have embodied one or more of the tenants of our Vision of the Graduate.

We believe that our students demonstrate respect, achievement, and citizenship both inside and outside of school, and we aim to develop Milton High School graduates who will:

  • Effectively apply critical thinking skills to make connections and solve problems.
  • Utilize technology to engage, explore and evaluate our community, nation and world.
  • Be original and innovative in individual and collaborative work.
  • Practice good citizenship, personal responsibility, and character through individual and collective actions.
  • Demonstrate understanding and respect for themselves and the diversity of ideas, cultures, abilities, and lifestyles in school and beyond.

We are so pleased to announce our Term 1 Honorees. Please take a moment to watch Principal Cahill’s Video Message to these students and their families.  Congratulations to these outstanding students!

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The Milton High School theatre department is excited to offer An Evening of One-Act Plays as our winter production for this upcoming school year! Any student auditioning will be considered for either play. We will be holding virtual auditions for our Winter One Acts on Monday, January 25th at 4:30. Find all the details at our website

PIERCE PAGES

This week, students from the Culture Club at Pierce Middle School designed and rolled out an activity that allowed their peers to honor and reflect upon the legacy and wise words of Martin Luther King Jr. In this activity students not only discussed the impressive accomplishments of Dr. King, but also they connected to the wise words from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students wrote their dreams for themselves, the community, society, the nation, or even the world.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

At last night’s School Committee meeting, Sarah Whitten and Melissa Craven from Glover presented about our elementary school’s work about Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.  This is important work and I invite you to view their informative presentation here.

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On January 15, Tucker students participated in their 3rd Annual Day of Service. Tucker students began this special community afternoon together by participating in a school-wide storytelling presentation from Valerie Tutson focused on Tales from African Traditions. Ms. Tutson geared these stories towards the understanding that through history there have been people and examples of acts done for others not just ourselves–and how amazing these acts are especially when it impacts those we don’t know personally. From this whole school activity, we then met in grade level groups led by Coach Jones, Mrs. Van Hill, Mrs. Driscoll, and Dr. McNeil-Girmai to discuss MLK Jr. in more detail, service in our community and frame the service activity for students as a way they could give back within our community.

As we are not able to provide donations or cards/supplies to most groups given COVID 19 restrictions, all students worked on an art display that will be up in the Tucker windows soon dedicated to essential workers. You will note that many of these images also incorporate quotes from Dr. King around service such as “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” and “Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”. We continue to honor Dr. King and our essential workers for their service and we invite essential workers in our community to view our display in the first floor windows the week of January 25. 

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After reading and talking about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over the last week, Ms. Brandi’s Glover Kindergarteners used their art skills to draw pictures of Dr. King.

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Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham and Collicot 2nd graders have created Gratitude Jars this month.  For the month of January, they are placing notes of what they are grateful for inside the jar. We are proud of our young students for taking this active step towards gratitude.

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Collicot 5th graders have been working on graffiti style art. Students used a mono-print style for the background with foil and markers and experimented with bubble letters to write their names with impressive results.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares these tips about Getting Organized: How to organize your child’s special education documents. 

The MPS Inclusion Task Force invites you to this month’s meeting on Monday, Jan 25 at 4pm. Join us at this link. We hope to see you there!

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.  

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.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

Over the past month and a half all MPS educators have attended technology training facilitated by nationally known company, EdTech. Staff at all six schools will complete three hours of technology training by February 3rd. This amazing training was funded by the Milton Foundation for Education. This training was beyond the scope of our Professional Development budget and we are grateful to the MFE for the $21,600 grant. The focus of the sessions has included redesigning lessons with Google Slides, creating engaging live remote sessions, and formative assessments. Thank you to the MFE for supporting our teachers with this training!

Please consider making a donation to the MFE at this link to continue their critical work this year.

ART AND MUSIC


The Milton Instrumental Applied Lesson Program has openings for beginning students for Session 2 starting the end of this month! The program has spots available on the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet,  Trombone, Baritone and Tuba. If you have a student who would like to start taking lessons on one of these instruments, please contact Rebecca Damiani – 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

As there are no spectators allowed at any events this season, we are offering a free live stream for each game.

Please search YouTube for Milton Access TV and the game will start streaming roughly 2-3 minutes prior to the scheduled start.

There will be a few games that are not streamed over YouTube and instead will be streamed live on our Twitter Account (@MHS_Wildcats_). Please check this Athletics link for schedules to see which games are streamed via YouTube or Twitter.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

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Please see the communication below from the Board of Park Commissioners.

Per the January 11th Board of Park Commissioners meeting we have voted to re-open the Milton Parks and Playgrounds. However, Street Hockey, Basketball courts and Tennis courts will remain closed until further notice. Please note that the initial closure took place due to lack of mask wearing, most commonly at the Kelly Field Street Hockey Rink and all basketball courts. Please remember there is a statewide mask mandate that requires face coverings when in public places. We hope to see mask wearing in all our parks and playgrounds per the mandatory state guidelines which can hopefully lead us to approving the re-opening of the courts/rinks. 

In addition, we have had several recent reports of loitering at the Street Hockey Rink at Kelly Field. The police were called 3 times just on Sunday, January 10. The Rink is closed and when open, the rink is not to be used after dusk (clear signage indicates this). We are asking the community to please talk to your children about this issue, the importance of following rules, and being respectful of our neighbors. We appreciate your support. 

Board of Park Commissioners, Ted Carroll, Scott Mackay, Regina Malley

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MHS Sophmore 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 three upcoming dates – January 22 and 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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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 three, free, programs for families with young children being held within the next two weeks

Nature Tales – Animal Habitats: for children 2.9 to 7 years old. A fun, interactive, early literacy and STEM program this Saturday morning, a day and time requested of many families. Details can be found here

Learning At Home – Understanding Your Child’s Learning Style and Development: for parents with children 2.9 to 10 years old. This parent education workshop next Tuesday will help you identify how your child learns best and help you better understand their ability to learn based on their development. Details can be found here.

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 2nd 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.

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Milton National Little League Registration: Registration is now open for Milton National Little League’s Spring 2021 season. Please register here  Milton National Registration. Milton National Little League prioritizes safety and complies with all Massachusetts Youth Sports COVID Guidelines and will follow the most current safety and best practice recommendations. Financial assistance is also available. Please email league president Mike Carthas at michaelcarthas@gmail.com with any questions. 

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

In December I shared with you that our own MHS Senior Sam Higgins was 
named a 2021 National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) Finalist in Classical Voice, the organization’s highest honor. Sam was recognized for his caliber of artistic achievement and joined 659 of the nation’s most accomplished artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts award winners gain access to one of the most comprehensive programs for artists in the United States in which they will have opportunities for financial, creative, and professional development support throughout their entire careers.

As a Finalist, Sam participated in National YoungArts Week+ this month featuring virtual classes, workshops, and mentorship from leading artists in their fields as well as virtual performances and an exhibition for the public. On January 25 at 8PM, audiences can tune in to see Sam perform during National YoungArts Week+ Celebration and Voice Performances.

I know you join me in congratulating Sam on this impressive honor and I hope you will watch Sam’s performance online on Monday January 25 at 8pm. All details can be found here.  

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Tanya Walsh, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Bill Fish, Karen Cahill, Somaly Prak-Martin, Magen Slesinger, 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 21, 2021

January 14, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 14, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week, our Milton Public Schools students submitted essays, poems, artwork, and music for the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday January 18 at 6:30 pm. All are invited to attend and information to attend can be found here. 

Pierce students used skills they have learned in their writing and English Language Arts classes in their submissions, including the components of reflective writing in relation to a quotation with supporting ideas. We are proud of our Pierce students for their thoughtful and well written submissions. The theme this year comes from a speech Martin Luther King gave in March of 1964: “We must learn to live together as brothers (and sisters*) or perish together as fools.” *The original text is “brothers,” but we request the inclusive language addition of ‘and sisters’.

Our elementary students also submitted creative work as you can see here. Thank you to these Collicot students for sharing their work in honor of Dr. King.

The MHS Chorus assembled virtual performances for the celebration and we are pleased to share them here and here. Please take a moment to listen. The video to “Lead with Love” has all the lyrics, we encourage you to sing along from home as you listen.

In the process of learning “Changes” by Audrey Snyder, students reflected on the meaning of the song as it relates to the current state of the world and the town’s upcoming MLK Day Celebration. Some of their thoughtful responses can be seen below and  in the video, which you can watch at this link. We hope you enjoy the music!

 

MICA also has a wonderful opportunity to give back by safely volunteering at home, assembling blessing bags to be distributed to those in need. Details on assembling and dropping off Blessing Bags can be found here.

All are welcome to volunteer in the Day of Service activities and join in the MICA Celebration as we remember and honor the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

I will communicate with the MPS community by Tuesday, January 19 with our plans to meet the new DESE guidance on Student Learning Time published on December 31. At the School Committee meeting on January 20, we anticipate outlining our next phase to increase in person learning. 

The next School Committee meeting will be on January 20, 2021, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), attend via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

In addition, the Milton School Committee invites you to attend a Community Listening Session concerning the permanent Superintendent search on January 14 at 7pm. This is an opportunity for community members to give feedback on what is important to them in a permanent Superintendent. All details on attending can be found here.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Jan 18 MLK Day, No School
  • Jan 20 School Committee Meeting
  • Jan 21 DEI Committees Meeting
  • Jan 28 Kindergarten Information Night

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Event: We invite you to join us on our journey for a more equitable Milton. Parents/guardians, community members, staff, and students are invited to participate via Zoom to learn and share ideas about how we can leverage school-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees (formerly known as school-based Diversity Committees) to support critical equity work in the Milton Public Schools. This event is being offered in partnership by the Milton Public Schools and Citizens for a Diverse Milton. All details and the link to attend can be found here.

Kindergarten Information Night will be held on January 28, 2021, at 6:30 pm. We hope many incoming kindergarten parents and guardians will join us to learn about our programs and have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.  This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event.  As we prepare to welcome our newest kindergarteners next September, the first step for families to take is to complete the pre-registration form found here.  Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2021, to start kindergarten in September 2021.

Preschool Information Night: Thank you to all who attended the information night. All information presented can be found on our Preschool webpage.  The 2021-2022 Preschool Pre-registration Link can be found here. Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2021.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID TESTING: The Town of Milton will host a free, drive-through testing day on Sunday, January 17 from 10am – 3pm at the DPW Yard located at 629 Randolph Avenue. This testing is run through the Town and is open to all residents and employees and their families through the COVID testing agreement with Fallon Ambulance/ Transformative Healthcare. Please visit the Town of Milton website for more information. 

MPS and Manet Community Health Center will be holding a COVID-19 testing day at Milton High School on Saturday, January 23 from 10 am – 2 pm behind the building in the Copeland Field House. Manet Community Health Center will administer the PCR test for any MPS student and/or family member who registers for a test. Preregistration is required: please complete this registration form by Thursday, January 21 at 12 pm and email or fax your completed registration form to registration@manetchc.org.

MASK BREAK UPDATE: Beginning this week, MPS has paused group mask breaks for students after reviewing current community prevalence and recent changes to public health guidance that allows for a shortened quarantine period with continued mask wearing. Students who need a mask break will be allowed to do so individually in a setting separate from others with minimal interruption to class time. Students will continue to receive movement breaks and enjoy time outside (weather permitting.) If you have any questions or concerns, please email your school nurse.

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the week of January 7 – January 13, MPS reported: 4 staff positive and 20 students positive.

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.

FOOD SERVICE 

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.

This week’s produce box

Our weekly Food Service drive-through continues to be open EVERY  Wednesday.  Swing by to pick up a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and a fresh box of produce! 

Weekly Pick Up: Weekly pick up is available at two different times on Wednesdays. Come to MHS 9:30-10:30 or 12:30-1:30 (please don’t arrive before 12:15 to allow for MHS pick up) to pick up 7 days of breakfast and lunches and a fresh produce box.

Grab and Go: Available each day as your student leaves school. Multiple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are included in each bag. Students can take a grab and go bag with several breakfasts and lunches as they leave school each day.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS Senior Dominique Thomas shares the following about the MHS National Honor Society tutoring program.

The National Honor Society successfully launched its Virtual Tutoring Program this week. We are currently offering free tutoring sessions through Google Meet for any MHS student looking for some extra help. On days 1 and 3, NHS volunteers are available to provide homework help and organization tips. Tutoring sessions run from 3:00-3:45 and are a great way to make sure students are in good standing in all of their classes. All details have been sent directly to students. We’re encouraging anyone who wants any assistance to join us! 

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Please see below for a piece from MHS Adjustment Counselor Jennie Beliveau.

We often hear about organizations having mission statements that explain what the goal of the organization is, who they serve, and its overall intention and purpose. But what about a person having a mission statement? What would your mission statement be?

Milton High School students were asked this question this week during an SEL activity in their advisory class. After watching a brief video created by the adjustment counselors, students engaged in conversations with their advisory teacher and other students about the different roles that they play in their lives. They then took each of their roles and thought about what intention and purpose they would like to set forth for 2021 in these roles. What kind of student, friend, sibling, child, employee, community member would they like to be as well as what their goals are in each of these roles. The students then combined all of these intentions into their 2021 mission statement.

It has been incredible to read through some of the thoughtful and purposeful mission statements that the students created. Their desires to grow as individuals and to have a meaningful impact on their community and world is admirable.  We suggest that you ask your student about their mission statement and create one of your own. What is your 2021 mission statement and how are you and your family going to make a positive impact on our community? We would love to hear from you! Families are invited to email Ms. Beliveau with their mission statement.

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In addition to our online Driver’s Education course for Junior Operators, Milton High School will be offering a February Vacation Driver’s Education Course! MHS students that are 15 years and 9 months old or older: get all your classroom hours done during February vacation, then you can begin driving with a certified driving instructor!  Click here for more information on the February Vacation class and how to sign-up.  Please email Mr. Moonan at jmoonan@miltonps.org if you have any questions.

PIERCE PAGES

Mr. Ortiz’s 6th grade music students have been learning about Renaissance music and composers. Students wrote a story or a play using at least one Renaissance composer as a central character. Many of our students wrote creative and fun stories and we invite you to read student Bobby Naumes’ story here to get a feel for our student’s excellent work.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

In a world where many things are different, some things remain the same, and Kindergarten Mystery Reader is one of those things! Students in Mrs. Kates’ Kindergarten enjoyed a virtual mystery reader as Mr. Cullinan streamed in to join the class to share the story “The Cool Bean” by Jory John,  and his daughter was excited to share this moment with her classmates.  We are grateful that the Kindergarten team at Glover has found a way to keep this tradition alive.

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Cunningham 3rd graders enjoyed a recent STEM lesson. Students used their worksheet to list materials, form a strategy, brainstorm potential plans and possible issues that may occur while constructing their snowflake, and showed what they envisioned for their final product. With 20 toothpicks and 25 mini marshmallows, students participated in two rounds of building: in the first round where they used all of their materials to create a unique snowflake, and in the second round they created a unique snowflake using the least amount of materials possible. You can see their process and results below.

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Student enrichment clubs have kicked off at Tucker! Our winter BOKS program, Building Our Kids Success, is being led by Tucker parent Sita Cochran and gives students an opportunity for some morning exercise. Tucker also kicked off a morning math program, led by former Tucker parent Stacey Solomon. Students are using breakout rooms and shared google slides as a way to work collaboratively on open ended math problems. It has been a pleasure giving our students opportunities to connect beyond the bell!

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Cunningham 3rd grade teacher Ms. Johnson coaches the Women’s Club Ice Hockey team at Curry College, and her 3rd grade students have paired up with her Curry players as pen pals this year. Students have exchanged letters and shared their interests about school, sports, the recent holiday season, and more. Our students and the Curry players are looking forward to continuing to write letters to each other until the end of the school year!

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Collicot 5th graders have started a new science unit, Mixtures and Solutions. Students read from the new Mixtures and Solutions science text and then answered questions in a slide presentation. In addition to the slideshow, students observed phase changes while making a peppermint lined candle. Students watched the solid-state (wax flakes), liquid state (melted wax), and gas state (steam from melted wax). 5th grade scientists enjoyed observing the states of matter in action and presenting the finished product, a peppermint lined candle, to their families.

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Cunningham 3rd grade students recently wrapped up a lesson learning about American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat and made these stunning dinosaur pictures. Thank you to Mrs. Bernini for sharing her student’s art. 

 

Thank you, Ms. Whitten!

Glover Occupational Therapist, Sarah Whitten, has put together this video to help support students and families with executive functioning skills within this unconventional learning environment. This video is well worth your time to watch. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the document “Preparing for Your Student’s Initial Eligibility Meeting for Special Education” here. This document is designed to help outline what to expect at each stage of this process.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Community Schools invites you to their 2nd Family Virtual Event.

Join us for a FREE evening of fun, family art. Grab your duct tape and card making supplies to create wallets, tote bags, and pop-up Valentine’s cards…see you there! Sign up for the free event here. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The Milton Foundation for Education has been funding initiatives for the Milton Public Schools for decades. This year, the MFE has found themselves unable to fundraise in their traditional way, yet the need for our schools and student communities has never been greater. Thank you to the MFE for funding the safety banners above for each of our schools! Please consider making a donation to the MFE at this link to continue this critical work this year.

ART AND MUSIC


The Milton Instrumental Applied Lesson Program has openings for beginning students for Session 2 starting the end of this month! The program has spots available on the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet,  Trombone, Baritone and Tuba. If you have a student who would like to start taking lessons on one of these instruments, please contact Rebecca Damiani – 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

Winter sports have begun! As a reminder, there are no spectators allowed at any events this season. We are offering a free live stream for each game.

Please search YouTube for Milton Access TV and the game will start streaming roughly 2-3 minutes prior to the scheduled start.

There will be a few games that are not streamed over YouTube and instead will be streamed live on our Twitter Account (@MHS_Wildcats_). Please check this Athletics link for schedules to see which games are streamed via YouTube or Twitter.

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. 

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has a series of programming for young children and families that I hope you will explore. All details on the following events can be found here. 

Preschool Playgroup Series – Join us for some stories, songs, movement, and engaging activities created just for 3, 4, and 5 year old children, accompanied by an adult. This playgroup series will meet virtually on Zoom each Thursday for 6 weeks, from January 21st through February 25th at 10:30 AM. Activity bags, filled with supplies and materials, will be available for pick up and include everything needed to participate in this playgroup series! Completion of the Ages & Stages Questionnaire, to help better understand your child’s growth and development, will be requested of you. Registration is required and can be completed here. Upon completion of this series, you will receive children’s books for you and your child to enjoy together!

Nature Tales Series – Animal Habitats! Join us for a STEM and Early Literacy adventure virtually at the Trailside Museum. This event will be held on Zoom on Saturday, January 23rd at 11:00 AM. You’ll enjoy a children’s story, a guided movement activity, meet and hear about two live animals and have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer period! This will be an interactive event, with as many questions answered as possible. For ages 2.9 through 7 years old. We strongly encourage parent participation. Registration is required to obtain the Zoom link and password and can be completed here. Additional programs and dates: March 27, 2021 Animal Movements; and May 22, 2021 Animal Five Senses. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this programming!

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Milton National Little League Registration: Registration is now open for Milton National Little League’s Spring 2021 season. Please register here  Milton National Registration. Milton National Little League prioritizes safety and complies with all Massachusetts Youth Sports COVID Guidelines and will follow the most current safety and best practice recommendations. Financial assistance is also available. Please email league president Mike Carthas at michaelcarthas@gmail.com with any questions. 

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

We are excited to follow Reilly’s work as our Project 351 Ambassador.

The Commonwealth’s Project 351 celebrates the ethic of service, youth leadership, and the unifying and uplifting power of community. We are pleased to share that Pierce eighth grade student Reilly Bergin has been selected as Milton’s Project 351 Ambassador.

The following comment was submitted by one of Reilly’s teachers as part of the recommendation process: “She is one of our strongest proponents of inclusivity. Whether it be a small group project or her tireless work with Best Buddies, Reilly stops to make sure that every voice is heard, and is left knowing they’re a valued contributor.” Another teacher added, “She stands out as someone who is willing to put in extra to make someone else’s day a little better. She is an active participant sharing ideas about how to make Pierce positive and inclusive.”

Please join us in congratulating Reilly on this special honor!

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Ryan Madden, Bernadette Butler, Jon Redden, Kristen Driscoll, Jennie Beliveau, Cat DesRoche, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Sara MacNeil, Elizabeth Johnson, Dominique Thomas, and Bill Fish.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as a selection of volunteers, vendors, and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 14, 2021

January 7, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 7, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The past 24 hours have been a tumultuous and upsetting time for our nation. A state-wide election in Georgia with national consequences and a routine event of certifying the presidential election results on Capitol Hill were enough to have many of us already on edge even before yesterday’s events at the Capitol Building. What we witnessed yesterday brought to the forefront the feelings of fear, inequities, disbelief, and anger for many people as rioters pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the Capitol Building as Congress counted electoral college votes confirming President-elect Biden’s victory. Many of you may have also been impacted by what happened in our country yesterday. The acts of terrorism, blatant displays of hate remind us how important it is for the Milton Public Schools to continue our work of inclusivity and provide our students and staff with the support they need, and continue with our work on anti-racism and developing a strong community culture of acceptance and equity.

In the Milton Public Schools, we look at these events through the lens of educators and how they will impact our students. As people, we of course have personal beliefs and emotions. Personally, I felt shock, anger, sadness, and disbelief. As educators, we recognize that this is not the time for us to express our opinions; this is a time to facilitate discussions, acknowledge students’ feelings, and practice empathy.

It is normal for students to look to the adults in their school to have the answers to their questions. In situations like this, we often don’t have the answers as we can be searching for them ourselves. What we can do is listen, acknowledge what has happened, acknowledge how we feel, and reiterate that whatever feelings our students have are real and valued. That is what happened in each of the Milton Public Schools this morning. MPS faculty, staff, and administrators met this morning prior to the students’ arrival to prepare for their arrival and allow for them to have a safe space physically, socially, and emotionally to ask questions and share their feelings.

As we try to make sense of what happened yesterday and what it means for us as individuals, as a community, and as a country, our thoughts are with our nation as our lawmakers continue to navigate maintaining our country’s democracy.

In this unsettling time, many of us look to traditions to maintain a sense of calm. The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association’s Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is one such beloved tradition that I hope you will consider attending.

The theme of this year’s celebration is We Must Learn to Live Together as Brothers and Sisters or Perish as Fools. The MICA celebration will be on January 18 at 6:30pm and will be held virtually. The link to attend will be available here, before the event.

In addition, MICA has a wonderful opportunity to give back by safely volunteering at home, assembling blessing bags to be distributed to those in need. They invite the community to contribute Blessing Bags by collecting their contents, assembling them (in a safe manner consistent with COVID-19 guidelines) and delivering them to St. Michael’s by 11am on Monday, January 18. MICA volunteers will bring the Blessing Bags downtown for distribution to the MANNA community during its weekly Monday Lunch Program.

This is a family-friendly service project that can be accomplished at home, and support a population that is increasingly vulnerable, and fearful of whatever lies ahead for them. Here is a list that you can carry with you when you are next able to go shopping or collaborate with others in gathering what you need.

All are welcome to volunteer in the Day of Service activities and join in the MICA Celebration as we remember and honor the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

At last night’s School Committee meeting, several parents spoke during Citizen’s Speak, I gave an update to the School Committee, addressed some Frequently Asked Questions, the School Committee voted on the 2021-22 school year calendar, and more. My presentation including FAQs can be found here.  The newly approved 2021-22 School Year calendar can be found here. This calendar is intended as a guide ONLY. It may be necessary to change this schedule to better serve instructional purposes. You can watch the meeting (and all SC meetings) On-Demand at Milton Access TV in the days following the meetings.

The next School Committee meeting will be on January 20, 2021, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), attend via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Jan 7 Preschool Information Night
  • Jan 18 MLK Day, No School
  • Jan 20 School Committee Meeting
  • Jan 28 Kindergarten Information Night

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Preschool Information Night is TONIGHT – January 7, 2021, at 6:30 pm.  Preschool staff and administrators will highlight programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have. This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event. To get an idea of the programs MPS has to offer, please visit our Preschool webpage.  Details and specifics about programs for the SY ‘21-’22 will be posted to our website shortly.  Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2021.

Kindergarten Information Night will be held on January 28, 2021, at 6:30 pm. We hope many incoming kindergarten parents and guardians will join us to learn about our programs and have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.  This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event.  As we prepare to welcome our newest kindergarteners next September, the first step for families to take is to complete the pre-registration form found here.  Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2021, to start kindergarten in September 2021.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID TESTING: The Town of Milton will host two additional, free, drive-through testing days – Sunday, January 10 and Sunday, January 17, both from 10am – 3pm at the DPW Yard located at 629 Randolph Avenue. This testing is run through the Town and is open to all residents and employees and their families through the COVID testing agreement with Fallon Ambulance/ Transformative Healthcare. Please visit the Town of Milton website for more information. 

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 December 31 – January 6, MPS reported: 6 staff positive and 16 students positive.

Some additional information you may find helpful:

  • DESE does not report out on the number of positive COVID 19 cases for students or teachers that are in full remote
  • DESE does not collect or report out on the number of people (staff or students) that are considered “close contacts.”
  • Each Wednesday afternoon, the above data is reported to DESE, and DESE publishes this information on their website on Thursdays.
  • The data collection period is from Thursday – Wednesday.

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 14 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.

FOOD SERVICE 

Our weekly Food Service drive-through continues to be open EVERY  Wednesday.  Swing by to pick up a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and a fresh box of produce!

Weekly Pick Up: Weekly pick up is available at two different times on Wednesdays. Come to MHS 9:30-10:30 or 12:30-1:30 (please don’t arrive before 12:15 to allow for MHS pick up) to pick up 7 days of breakfast and lunches and a fresh produce box.

Grab and Go: Available each day as your student leaves school. Multiple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are included in each bag. Students can take a grab and go bag with several breakfasts and lunches as they leave school each day.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS Adjustment Counselor Jennie Beliveau shares the following.

“Every child deserves a champion: An adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connections, and insists they become the best they can possibly be.” 

Thank you to the MFE for funding our visiting bags!

Teachers and staff members who work in Milton Public Schools have always prided themselves on creating strong connections with students and families. With the current hybrid and remote learning models, we are continuing to find creative ways to build these connections and enhancing engagement in learning. As an adjustment counselor at the high school, I have seen teachers go above and beyond in reaching out to students who have struggled with being engaged in their classes and completing their work to their full potential. One way we have attempted to increase engagement is through driveway visits, visiting students outside of their homes to build connections and provide support. Through a recent grant funded by the Milton Foundation for Education, we have created small goody bags to be given to students when we do these visits. Stress balls, playing cards, positive affirmation wristbands, and other small items are included to put a smile on the student’s face and to build connection through seeing the student in person. Thank you to the MFE for funding this important initiative. We are all in this together!

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Milton High School is offering an online Driver’s Education course for Junior Operators. You must be 15 years and 9 months old to register. The program includes the 15 modules required classroom training, 12 hours of behind the wheel instruction, and 6 observation hours. We are also accepting transfers from other driving schools for driving hours. More information can be found on the Milton High School Driver’s Education website.

Please email James Moonan  or Richard Guarino with any questions.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Glover students in Mrs. Dow’s 4th and 5th grade remote class have spent the week reflecting on the past year, and instead of making a resolution, they decided to pick one word that they will focus on for the year 2021. This word will help them focus on the kind of person they want to be in 2021 and fits in all aspects of their life. To help them choose a word that would fit them best and last all year, they thought about the type of person they want to be, how they want others to describe them, and what their short term goals are. Each student then completed an online activity that displayed their word, what their word means to them, two ways they will apply this word to their lives, and a picture that represents this word to them. Mrs. Dow and her students are on their way to a positive 2021!

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PearDeck is a terrific remote teaching and learning tool!

Cunningham remote 5th grade teacher Miranda Watrous has been using PearDeck to turn Everyday Math lessons (that were once projected on a SmartBoard) into editable slides that students can look at and annotate live together. Every student has their own copy of the slides open and students use the drawing tool on PearDeck to show their math work. Ms. Watrous projects the main slide with the question and students do their solving work on their own devices. The teacher can view all student work live, as they are responding, in the Teacher Dashboard view and can then project to the rest of the class examples of student work that they want to share out. The class occasionally uses breakout rooms during this time as well, sending students to solve problems in small groups. One student typically shares their screen to the small group and they discuss their solving strategies and answers as they go. Then, all students come back together and talk through the examples of a student solving work that helps them to best understand the correct methods for solving. Ms. Watrous shares, “I love PearDeck as a way to facilitate and proctor math learning remotely, as well as for just about any other subject!”

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Tucker Kindergarten students are proud to share their snowy rainbow collages. Students looked at the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, learned the correct color order of a rainbow, and practiced making a collage for a snowy landscape.

1st and 2nd grade students at Tucker recently created self portraits of themselves as superheroes! Students had fun thinking about what their superpower would be and if they would have a sidekick. Students learned about space in art by overlapping and looked at Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting for inspiration for the sky of their cityscapes.

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STEM balloon rockets in 5th grade!

Cunningham 5th grade students extended their study of astronomy by using air to power rockets they built and launched as part of the STEM curriculum.  MPS students learn all about air as a part of their 1st grade science curriculum and were able to synthesize the knowledge about air and astronomy to complete this project. Check out this Cunningham 5th and his balloon rocket is this short and fun video! 

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For many, the holidays are the best time of the year, filled with family get-togethers, fun traditions, and lots of treats.  Yet, the holiday season can be hard for our senior citizens, in that they could not see loved ones, decorate, and shop like they used to. Covid -19 made it even harder for older people to celebrate this year, as many senior citizens have to be home in order to stay safe and healthy. In response, Collicot Grade 5 students created holiday cards that were distributed to senior citizens at Milton Residences for the Elderly. Collicot 5th graders look forward to more community service opportunities later this year as part of the Collicot Cares initiative.

AFTER SCHOOL ENRICHMENT 

The Winter 2021 ASE session of our virtual program is open for registration.  From Soccer to Fun Science, we have classes for everyone.  Check out our Brochure here to find a fun after school class for your student.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Please see the update below from Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli.

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I would like to welcome Ms. Erica Vazquez to the Milton Special Education at Pierce Middle School in the role of School Psychologist. Erica writes:

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Erica Vazquez and I recently joined the Pierce community as the School Psychologist. I can be reached at evazquez@miltonps.org or 617-696-4568 ext 3334.

My credentials include a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s/C.A.G.S. in School Psychology. I’ve worked with students and families for the past seven years in various capacities – psycho-educational evaluations, group and individual counseling, crisis intervention, instructional and behavioral consultation, and mental health education and prevention.

As the School Psychologist at Pierce, my primary responsibility will be completing assessments, observing students, writing comprehensive reports, and consulting with staff and parents as needed. If at any time during the year you have questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. I can be reached for appointments or consultations by contacting the school office, my direct phone line, or email.  I wish you and your family a healthy and happy school year!

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The Milton Foundation for Education has been funding initiatives for the Milton Public Schools for decades. This year, the MFE has found themselves unable to fundraise in their traditional way, yet the need for our schools and student communities has never been greater. Thank you to the MFE for funding the safety banners above for each of our schools!

Please consider making a donation to the MFE at this link to continue this critical work this year, as this will likely be our only fundraiser.

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

Winter Sports officially start today, and our first home game is tomorrow as our Girls Freshman Basketball Team take on Walpole High School!

As a reminder, there are no spectators allowed at any events this season. We are offering a free live stream for each game.

Please search YouTube for Milton Access TV and the game will start streaming roughly 2-3 minutes prior to the scheduled start.

There will be a few games that are not streamed over YouTube and instead will be streamed live on our Twitter Account (@MHS_Wildcats_). Please check this Athletics link for schedules to see which games are streamed via YouTube or Twitter.

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Can for Cats is back! Boys Soccer will be hosting Cans for Cats this Saturday, January 9, from 9am to noon at Milton High School. Please bring your bottles and cans to MHS this weekend to support our student-athletes!

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. 

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance has a series of programming for young children and families that I hope you will explore. All details on the following events can be found here. 

MECA is pleased to offer StoryWalk® at the Trailside Museum; Preschool Playgroup Series; Nature Tales Series; Help Your Child Learn at Home workshops  and Family Story Time with Children’s Book Author Michelle Chalmers. All details can be found here.

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

Congratulations, Ms. Magill!

Congratulations to Pierce teacher Deanna Magill, who has been selected as MassCUE’s Featured Educator for January 2021! Each month, MassCUE highlights the great work of inspirational educators like Mrs. Magill. You can read about Mrs. Magill and the exciting work she does with her students on the MassCUE website. 

AJ Melanson, MPS Director of Educational Technology, states “Deanna is a true tech leader and a tremendous asset to our district. She empowers her students and allows them to share their voice, showcase their creativity, and follow their passion!”  We are lucky to have passionate and talented educators like Ms. Magill at MPS!

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Ryan Madden, Bernadette Butler, Miranda Watrous, Jennie Beliveau, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Sara MacNeil, Jess Gillooly, and AJ Melanson.

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 7, 2021

December 17, 2020

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 17, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The time from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is often called the Holiday Season, and many in our MPS community celebrate multiple holidays during this time. These holidays are secular, religious, cultural, and national,, and they hold dear places in our hearts and minds. Whatever your holiday routine is, it is likely deeply impacted by COVID -19 this year. Social and family gatherings are canceled or greatly modified, gift giving may look different, volunteer traditions are changed or nonexistent, and most importantly, many families have lost loved ones or experienced health difficulties due to COVID-19. Our stress levels are high as we celebrate our traditional holidays and consider the winter months ahead. But as always, there is hope. We have all watched with excitement as the first vaccines have been given in the US this week. The best description I have heard of the vaccines is that it is a bright light at the end of a very long tunnel. We still need to get through that tunnel (the winter and into the spring and summer) but the light is there. 

The light was evident this week in the Milton Public Schools as we concluded our annual gift and gift card drive. In a year that seemed to provide little hope, an outpouring of kindness and generosity by MPS families, staff, and community members has made the holidays a little brighter for many Milton families experiencing hardship this year. Trunks were overflowing with toy donations, and gift cards poured in, overflowing mailboxes and emails. We are so appreciative of the overwhelming concern and thoughtfulness shown by so many in our community. 

I would like to acknowledge those who helped to make this year’s holiday gift drive such a huge success. Thank you to:

  • The dynamic PTO boards and Gift Drive coordinators.  Without your energy and organization, none of this would have been possible in a pandemic year. We would like to specifically acknowledge Amy MacIntyre (Tucker), Jaime Levash (Collicot), Kate Deeb (Glover), Kate Daly (Cunningham), Christy Loring (Cunningham), and Michelle Cardoza (PMS and MHS) for all the time and effort they put into planning and publicizing the gift drive, purchasing gift cards and transporting collected gifts to the Milton Residents Fund and My Brother’s Keeper.
  • The Toy Box in Hanover, owned and operated by an MPS family, and The Toy Chest at Milton Market Place. A sincere thank you to owners  Julie Ritchie and Nancy Doyle for opening your doors, inviting Milton families in to shop for a child in need, and for all the “just right” toys you helped to connect to a child.
  • All the MPS families, friends, and neighbors in the community who donated gift cards, called to see what was needed and how they could help, and those who just stopped by and opened their hearts and wallets. We are overwhelmed by your generosity in a year that has been hard on so many.
  • The MPS Staff for your donations of gift cards and gift items. Milton is fortunate to have you. You are amazing!
  • My Brother’s Keeper, who has been delivering gifts to families in Milton over the past few weeks. We are truly appreciative.
  • Noreen Kearney Dolan, Director of the Milton Residents Fund, for her dedication to our families who find themselves in need this holiday season and beyond. Noreen has worked tirelessly these past few months overseeing the holiday gift program, matching families to donors and gifts, often burning the midnight oil. The Milton Public School is extremely fortunate to have a wonderful friend in Noreen and the Milton Residents Fund.
  • Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liason, whose coordination of the overall effort is crucial in its success. Marti keeps all the pieces in the air, coordinating with our families who need assistance, our Principals, Guidance and Adjustment Counselors, our PTOs, My Brother’s Keeper, and The Milton Resident’s Fund to ensure that our families are supported, not just during the holidays but throughout the year. 

On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, thank you for bringing joy to so many children and their families this Holiday Season. This truly is a great community!

We have four more days of school this calendar year and will begin winter break on Thursday, December 24. I wish you and your family a healthy, happy, and safe Holiday Season and winter break. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Please take a moment to watch last night’s School Committee meeting and hear from some of our talented MHS and Pierce students who are working hard to bring musical and theatrical shows to our school communities in the coming months. These students and our theater directors – Bill Deschenes at Pierce and Kevin Black at MHS – have been resilient and creative and have found meaningful ways to practice their craft during the time of COVID-19. I look forward to sharing ways to watch their shows soon. 

The next School Committee meeting will be on January 6, 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), via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Dec 24-Jan 3 Winter Recess
  • Jan 4 Classes Resume
  • Jan 6 School Committee Meeting
  • Jan 7 Preschool Information Night
  • Jan 28 Kindergarten Information Night

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Preschool Information Night is on January 7, 2021, at 6:30 pm.  Preschool staff and administrators will highlight programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have. This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event. To get an idea of the programs MPS has to offer, please visit our Preschool webpage.  Details and specifics about programs for the SY ‘21-’22 will be posted to our website shortly.  Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2021.

Kindergarten Information Night will be held on January 28, 2021, at 6:30 pm. We hope many incoming kindergarten parents and guardians will join us to learn about our programs and have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.  This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event.  As we prepare to welcome our newest kindergarteners next September, the first step for families to take is to complete the pre-registration form found here.  Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2021, to start kindergarten in September 2021.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

TRAVEL REMINDER: If you are considering traveling this month, 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 14 days after travel before returning to in-person learning.

If you anticipate traveling over the holidays and would like remote access for Monday, January 4,  the request should be received no later than 12pm on 12/23, or access will not be granted until after our return Monday, January 4. Nurses will not be able to access email and grant remote access or school clearance during the holiday break.

Please see the most updated CDC travel guidelines and restrictions here. Please contact your school nurse with any questions.

COVID TESTING: Manet Community Health Center is hosting another day of COVID-19 testing at Milton High School on Saturday, December 19, 2020. All details on the testing can be found here, and the preregistration document can be found at this link.  Registration is required, and the deadline to register is TODAY, December 17.

The Town of Milton will be offering free drive through COVID tests at the Milton DPW Yard (629 Randolph Ave) on Sundays on December 20, 27 from 10 am to 3 pm. This testing is for Milton residents or people who work in Milton only.  Please visit the Town of Milton website for more information. 

FLU CLINIC: The Town of Milton is holding its final Flu Clinic of the year on Saturday, December 19 from 10 am-2 pm at the front entrance of Milton High School. All details can be found here. 

Per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines, all students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020, for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided. Elementary and secondary students in districts and schools that are using a remote education model are not exempt.

Please email documentation of your child’s flu vaccination to your child’s school nurse.

COVID GUIDELINES: Over the past nine months, guidance from health and medical professionals has evolved as we have learned more about COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recently issued revised guidelines related to quarantine requirements for individuals who have been identified as “close contacts”. There are now shorter quarantine options for those individuals if certain conditions are met.

The Milton Board of Health has confirmed that they are currently using the new CDC guidelines and will adopt the updated Department of Public Health guidance.  The Milton Public Schools will also follow this new guidance. 

FOOD SERVICE 

Our weekly Food Service drive through is open EVERY    Wednesday, even during school break. Swing by Wednesday, December 23, and Wednesday, December 30 to pick up a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and a fresh box of produce! Come see our friendly Food Service team every Wednesday at MHS!

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

Milton High School students have been busy this first term making their own music, and we are excited to share their work with you. Please enjoy this video of the MHS December Cabaret!

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The National Honor Society is hosting a Virtual Charity Run/Walk to raise money for the Milton Food Pantry. This is an independent, self-paced event, so please feel free to join us in walking or running 2 miles anytime between now and December 23rd to raise money for the cause! Please email NHS President Megan Farley with questions. 

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Our MHS Debate team held its first annual in-house MHS Novice Debate Tournament on Saturday, December 12. Congratulations to Stella Yuan and Nina O’Loughlin and Abigail Taugher, and Mary Mullen. These two teams were undefeated at this weekend’s first annual Novice Debate Tournament. Congrats also go out to Abigail Taugher and Tucker Korman, who won the highest speaker point award! A special thanks to Mrs. Norton’s Debate Class for participating.

Thank you to Debate Captains Ralph Destin, Jonathan Waldmann, and Anderson Korman, who were instrumental in organizing the event. Bravo to all those who competed; job well done.

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MHS Computer Science classes sponsored a Computer Science Education  Week last week. The CS website details the events, contests, virtual visits, and resources that are available to students. 

PIERCE PAGES

Pierce’s Spirit Week is off and running and will continue through next Wednesday. Spirit Week has been a nice chance for our students and staff to have some fun and continue to foster a sense of community. All students and staff are invited to dress up for each day’s theme during in-person and remote classes. Prizes are being awarded for our most spirited students!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Toby Teel (MHS 2001), a Software Engineer at Roblox, recently shared what it’s like to work in the computer sciences with our Cunningham students. Students were able to ask questions about being a software engineer, creating and designing video games, and the engineering process. Toby shared a video game that he had created and is still developing for fun since all games on Roblox are created by their users. Thank you, Mr. Teel, for a great presentation, and thank you to Mrs. McClain for bringing this great speaker to Cunningham.  

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Glover and Tucker students were excited to Zoom with author Elana K. Arnold about her story, A Boy Called Bat, this week. A Boy Called Bat is the first book in a wonderful series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum. The next read will be Meet Yasmin by Saadi Faruqii, a creative and fun new series with a Pakistani American main character, and students will meet with Saadi in the spring. They will also meet Karen Strong, author of Just South of Home, and Christina Soontornvat, author of All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team. If you are interested in having your Glover student participate in our Diverse Reads Book Club, please email Sara Crowe to sign up.

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Mrs. Mcgrory and Mrs. Jones’ Tucker kindergarteners had fun this week with their snowman directed drawing project. This lesson was geared towards 3rd grade but as you can see, these kindergarteners loved it and created some impressive and creative snowpeople!

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Way to go, Basil!

Collicot students and staff are working hard each day but also having some fun! Throughout the week teachers nominate students to be honored as the Collicot Cardinal of the week. One student per grade level is selected each week. Students are nominated by teachers by modeling the collicot code of being respectful, responsible, and hardworking. In this video, Basil Bullis from Mrs. Mcdermott’s room learns she was selected! 

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Need a pick me up? Ms. Perrault’s dancing Collicot kindergarteners will get your spirits up and might even have you up joining their weekly dance party! Please excuse the blurry images – these kindergarteners move FAST! 

AFTER SCHOOL ENRICHMENT 

We’re excited to announce the Winter 2021 ASE session of our virtual program. From Soccer to Fun Science, we have classes for everyone. Registration starts today. Check out our Brochure here. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

  • Mark your calendars: Our anticipated dates for Extended Year Services are 7/6/-8/13/2021- 8/13/2021.
  • The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) announces their first meeting on December17 at 7:30 pm. Email miltonsepac@gmail.com for details.
  • Thank you to all the parents who logged in for our Parent Coffee at Collicot and Glover.  Our next special education parent coffee will be hosted by Milton High School on Jan 6, 2021, at 7pm. If you would like to attend, please use the link found here. 
  • By now, you have heard from your student’s liaison or team chair related to compensatory services for special education for any student who may have experienced a disruption in services due to school closure. If you have questions about how compensatory services are being discussed and determined, here is some information from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education you may find helpful.  You can also reach out to your student’s Team Chairperson with any questions about special education services. 
  • The Inclusion Task Force is still looking for your response. Please take their brief survey here. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The Milton Foundation for Education has been funding initiatives for the Milton Public Schools for decades. This year, the MFE has found themselves unable to fundraise in their traditional way, yet the need for our schools and student communities has never been greater.

The MFE has already answered this call by funding initiatives this school year to help with both in-person and remote learning in this unique year. Most recently, they donated $10,800 for Ed Tech training for our staff to enhance remote teaching and learning. The first round of training was held with Pierce and MHS staff just last week to rave reviews. We are looking forward to the same experience for elementary teachers in the new year. We are so grateful for this funding!

Please consider making a donation to the MFE at this link to continue this critical work this year, as this will likely be our only fundraiser.

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.

ART AND MUSIC 

Please see the update below from Magen Slesinger, MPS Director of Fine and Applied Arts.

Covid may keep us apart, but it can’t keep us silent. Since March, in order to ensure the safety of our community, student and professional musicians alike have been unable to play music together. But as Tracy sings in the beloved musical, Hairspray, “You can’t stop the beat!” Please enjoy the updates below.

The Massachusetts Music Educators Association developed a virtual experience so that our student musicians would still have an opportunity to hone their skills and audition to represent Milton among the eastern district’s top student musicians. We would like to recognize the following student musicians for being accepted to the MMEA Eastern District Senior Festival!

Barron Clancy- Orchestra; Tim Fay- Band; Isabelle Feloney- Chorus; Max Hollingsworth Hays- Band; Max Hollingsworth- Hays- Jazz; Michael Howard- Band; Nesta Ryan Malin- Chorus; Madison Massad- Band; Aislinn Mershon- Band; Claudia O’Neill- Band; Abigail Taugher- Chorus

Five of these students were also awarded an all-state recommendation, which gives them the opportunity to audition for the MMEA All-State Senior Festival. If they are accepted, they will represent Milton among the top student musicians from the state of MA. We would like to congratulate these students for receiving All State Recommendations:

Tim Fay- Band; Isabelle Feloney- Chorus; Max Hollingsworth Hays- Band; Max Hollingsworth- Hays- Jazz; Claudia O’Neill- Band

Music teachers and students have been experimenting with new technology to creatively make music in a virtual setting. Soundtrap is a recording and sequencing program that allows students to record and layer multiple tracks to collaborate. One student records their part, then another student accesses the project and records their part until you’ve got a final project comprised of individual recordings from each student in the ensemble, layered to create the final project. This is a complex process that requires a high level of independence and musicianship. Here is an example of the Pierce 7th grade band, led by Guillermo Ortiz, playing Finlandia

Roisin Queally and Keira Earner are ready to perform Last Christmas!

Tri-M, our high school music honor society advised by chorus director, Julia Hanna, is currently in the process of editing a Virtual Holiday Greeting to send out to the Milton community. The goal is to spread some holiday cheer since students, don’t have the opportunity to perform around town like they typically do during the holiday season. The finished product will be sent out to local retirement communities, Milton businesses and organizations, and to living rooms across town via Milton Cable Access. We don’t have a finished product yet, but here is one of the many wonderful videos which are being edited together. Roisin Queally and Keira Earner performing Last Christmas will surely put a smile on your face!

As you know, singing and playing wind or brass instruments is something we are not doing in groups this year, because excellent singers and wind and brass players necessarily project aerosols in order to perform. However, that hasn’t stopped us from finding ways to create live music together. When the high school band gathers together on their in-school, hybrid days, they have been working on percussion ensemble music together! You can hear the music ringing through the high school hallways and it is wonderful. Here is an example from one of their recent rehearsals.

 

This strange year might have pulled us away from some of our ensemble playing, but it has opened up opportunities for students to work on developing independence and confidence as soloists. Students from ensembles across the grades have been working on various solo video projects. Keep your eye out for a virtual showcase of many of these performances coming in 2021! In the meantime, MPS District Orchestra Director, Debra Miller, would like to share a preview of Senior Project work by Sam Higgins. His project will include performances on violin and voice. Sam is concertmaster of the MHS orchestra as well as an accomplished countertenor. 

We would like to thank the MFE for the generous grant awarded to the Milton Music department to purchase the UpBeat Music app for all of our 6-12 music ensemble students. This app will allow students as close to an ensemble experience as we can get in a virtual setting. Music teachers learned to use the app last week, and ensemble students in band, chorus, and orchestra have already started to dive in and explore this new way of making music together. Here’s one example of some of the high school chamber orchestra students trying it out for the first time. 

We’d also like to thank Celebrate Milton for awarding us a grant to build culturally diverse music and picture book libraries for all four of the elementary school music rooms. These new libraries will be an amazing support to our continued efforts to ensure a rich, culturally responsive educational experience in our music classes!

This is just a tiny glimpse of the good that is going on in Milton Music. We love to contribute to the Superintendent’s weekly blog, so look for more videos, audio recordings, photos, and general updates here!

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

Want a Socially Distanced Outdoor Elf Visit? The Milton Junior Woman’s Club (MJWC) is hosting a fundraiser to support their efforts to provide Milton scholarships and community grants. Please see MJWC’s Milton Elf Visits – Milton Junior Woman’s Club  to learn more. 

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Visit the Eustis Estate during the holiday season and get into the Christmas spirit! Explore the beautiful 1878 Eustis Estate and its lavish decorations during A Victorian Christmas. There are bright lights, an enormous tree, garlands, and mantelpieces adorned with holiday decorations inspired by nature. There are floral arrangements from the Brush Hill Garden Guru, Cedar Grove Gardens, and floral designer Lisa Ahern. From December 4 to January 3, the mansion will be open for visits by reservation only Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Masks, and social distancing are required for all staff and visitors. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information. Historic New England members and Milton residents are free. Milton residents need to call to make a reservation. Non-member adults $20; seniors $17; children/students $10.


Forbes House Museum offers FREE tours to Milton residents in December! We’ve decked the halls and are eager to share the magic of the season. So if you’ve “lived in town forever but never visited,” here’s your chance! We’re offering FREE tours this month to any Milton resident. Simply call the main number at 617-696-1815 to reserve your spot. 48 hours advance notice is recommended. Tours will be available Wednesday-Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm. COVID safety guidelines will be observed; see the website for more details.

All visitors will also receive a coupon from our friends at Lower Mills Tavern, good for 15% off your order. Cheers!


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

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Rebecca Damiani, Kathleen Kelley, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen McDavitt, Meredith Mcgrory, Maureen McClain, Bill Fish, and Magen Slesinger .

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 December 17, 2020

December 10, 2020

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 10, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT


Over the past nine months, guidance from health and medical professionals has evolved as we have learned more about COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recently issued revised guidelines related to quarantine requirements for individuals who have been identified as “close contacts”. There are now shorter quarantine options for those individuals if certain conditions are met.

The Milton Board of Health has confirmed that they are currently using the new CDC guidelines and will adopt the updated Department of Public Health guidance.  The Milton Public Schools will also follow this new guidance. 

Under this new guidance: 

  • If you are identified as a close contact of a positive case, you should begin to quarantine. You can test as soon as day 5 from the date of exposure (counted as day 0), and if you receive a negative test result and don’t have any symptoms, you can resume normal activities and return to school as soon as day 8. You should not return to school or resume normal activities until you actually receive the negative test result and receive clearance from your school nurse. A negative PCR or antigen test are both acceptable.
  • If you are identified as a close contact and do not test and do not have symptoms, you must quarantine for 10 days and return to school on day 11.
  • If you are identified as a close contact and are experiencing symptoms,  the 14 day quarantine remains in place even with a negative test.

All current policies can be found on the COVID-19 page on the MPS website. This will always be the place to find the most up to date information about the Milton Public Schools COVID-19 policies.

Please note these additional details: 

  • If your student or someone in your household tests positive, please notify your school nurse as soon as possible and keep your student home.
  • The Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) is the entity communicating on behalf of the town with positive cases and close contacts. Currently, the CTC is extremely backed up, and calls are not coming promptly. It is imperative that if you are notified by MPS, a sports team, a friend, family member, or someone else that you or your child has been identified as close contact, that you comply with the current guidance for close contacts. Do not wait for the CTC to contact you, follow the guidance as it currently stands. 
  • If your student is a close contact of a positive case (close contact is defined as within 6 feet for a cumulative 15 minutes during the infectious period), please contact your school nurse and keep your student home.  Your student’s siblings may come to school in most instances, but please check with your school nurse before sending siblings to school.
  • All remote stream-in access must be approved by the school nurse or administration 24 hours before stream-in date.  Parents/ Guardians should make this request via email to their school nurse.
  • Continue to use MPS Pre Screening Checklist every day and stay home if sick.

There  are several upcoming local testing options:

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to Protect the Paw and keep our Milton community safe and healthy. We are grateful for your partnership to ensure the safe continuation of our in-person learning. We continue to monitor changing guidance and will update the community as needed.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on December 16, 2020, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Dec 16 School Committee Meeting
  • Dec 24-Jan 3 Winter Recess
  • Jan 4 Classes Resume
  • Jan 7 Preschool Information Night
  • Jan 28 Kindergarten Information Night

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Preschool Information Night is on January 7, 2021, at 6:30 pm.  Preschool staff and administrators will highlight programs offered as well as answer any questions families may have. This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event. To get an idea of the programs MPS has to offer, please visit our Preschool webpage.  Details and specifics about programs for the SY ‘21-’22 will be posted to our website shortly.  Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2021.

Kindergarten Information Night will be held on January 28, 2021, at 6:30 pm. We hope many incoming kindergarten parents and guardians will join us to learn about our programs and have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.  This information session will take place virtually, and a link will be posted on our website before the event.  As we prepare to welcome our newest kindergarteners next September, the first step for families to take is to complete the pre-registration form found here.  Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2021, to start kindergarten in September 2021. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

A reminder that if you are considering traveling this month, 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 14 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.

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Per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines, all students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020, for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided. Elementary and secondary students in districts and schools that are using a remote education model are not exempt.

Please email documentation of your child’s flu vaccination to your child’s school nurse.

FOOD SERVICE 

Our weekly pick up includes a box of fresh produce prepared in our MPS kitchens. Below you can see a couple of produce box creations from last week’s bounty!

Kale, sweet potatoes, eggs, and last week’s peppers were put to good use in this smoked turkey, sweet potatoes and kale hash, and kale with red pepper frittata. Zucchini bread is on the menu this week.

There are two ways to take advantage of the FREE TO ALL to-go breakfasts and lunches this year.

 

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 for your child.

Weekly Pick Up will be available EVERY Wednesday in December. Visit us on December 16, 23, and 30!

Grab and Go: Encourage your student to check out our to-go lunch and breakfast bags. They (and you!) will not be disappointed. 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.

Free student meals have been extended through the school year. All details on pick up options can be found in this link.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

In their Foundations of Art class, students choose six words to represent their life story. In their accordion books, they created a visual accompaniment for the words that highlight all of the elements of art, including color, texture, depth, form, shape, line, and value. Ms. Aloe remarked, “It has been inspiring to me to see how thoughtful the students are. I hope you find it inspiring, too”! Ms. Aloe invited MHS staff and students to leave comments on the student’s work to create a sense of community. You can see a few examples of the work below. 

PIERCE PAGES

6th grade math classes worked on rate conversion using Thanksgiving recipes and created their own cooking shows to demonstrate their skills! You can get a glimpse of their creativity in the picture at right. 

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Mrs. Miller’s Pierce Strings ended their first term with projects that included solos of their choice, dance and special playlists. You can enjoy some of their work here. Richard Lee on the Violin; Fedor Myshkin on the Viola;Elias Caros on the Violin; Rachel McNulty –  Ballet

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Pierce will celebrate spirit week from December 14- 23. All students and staff are invited to dress up for each day’s theme during in-person and remote classes. We are looking forward to having some fun as we get closer to the winter break!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

The future engineers in Ms. Spitz and Ms. Renehan’s 4th grade class were challenged to build the tallest tower possible using only 12 index cards and one roll of masking tape. The first step they completed was to design a plan for what they would build and how they would build their tower. The next step was to create their tower and write about the problems they had while they were building. The last step was to try to work to improve their tower and write about it.  This was a fun and engaging way to get students excited about STEM!

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Mme. Morton’s Cunningham 2nd graders love using Kahoot when working on their math skills.  Using their desk boards, students show their work and then record their answers in Kahoot. As the answers are tallied, students can share their thinking with the class. The class does this lesson in French to stay immersed in the language while strengthening their math skills.

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This winter literacy display will be outside at Tucker to encourage students to continue their great reading habits during December. Special thanks to Tucker faculty member Cathy Mallory for spearheading this project and bringing it to life for our students.

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Last week Collicot hosted their first ever school wide virtual assembly. Mrs. Concannon, Mrs. Caruso, and Ms. Lohan led students through an assembly on the topic of empathy. Students learned ways to read others’ feelings–even wearing masks–and listened to a read aloud of the story of “Stand in My Shoes” by Bob Sornson. As a follow up activity, students drew and decorated a pair of shoes and wrote about ways to share empathy. Students posted pictures of their shoes to this padlet and brought them in to fill a bulletin board at school.

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This week Collicot 5th grade students from Mr. Rosner’s hybrid class and Mr. McMurray’s remote class collaborated to play math games. Each student in the hybrid class was paired with a partner in the remote class,, and the students played Number Top It from the Everyday Math Curriculum. This was an engaging experience for students and teachers in both classes and we look forward to finding more ways for students in both learning models to connect throughout the school year!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

  • Mark your calendars: Our anticipated dates for Extended Year Services are 7/6/-8/13/2021- 8/13/2021. 
  • The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) announces their first meeting, on December17 at 7:30 pm. Email miltonsepac@gmail.com for details.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The Milton Foundation for Education has been funding initiatives for the Milton Public Schools for decades.  This year, we have found ourselves unable to fundraise in our traditional way, yet the need for our schools and student communities has never been greater.  The MFE has already answered this call by funding initiatives this school year to help with both in-person and remote learning in this unique year.  If your student uses Kami or math and STEM manipulatives at home, they were funded by the MFE Covid grants this fall.  Please consider making a donation to the MFE at this link to continue this critical work this year, as this will likely be our only fundraiser.  

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 below from MHS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.

Registration for the winter season is now open. Please visit the Athletics Website for information on how to register for winter sports.  All student-athletes must pass in a hard-copy of a current valid physical (completed within the last 13 months, no exceptions) during the registration period to the Athletic Director. Physicals should be dropped in the Athletic Director’s mailbox in the front office by the student or mailed to the school. 25 Gile Road, Milton, MA 02186. Students that dropped off physicals for fall sports do not need to drop another copy off, as long as the physical has not expired.

  • Tryouts start Monday, December 14
  • Games will start no sooner than Tuesday, January 5
  • The season will end by Saturday, February 13
  • Floating Season starts Monday, February 22

ImPACT Testing must be done at home, prior to the first contest for all freshman, juniors and new students. Students who did this do not have to do this again.

In order for you to do impact testing at home, you will first need to be in a quiet space for at least 30 min to take the test. You can not do this after you have worked out, for at least 2 hours. Also, you can not take this on your phone. You must take this test on a desktop or laptop. Internet explorer works best, but chrome does work.

  • Go to www.impacttestonline.com/testing
  • Choose Milton High school
  • Enter the code: 2RIRKXSHAN
  • Press Launch & take the test
  • Input your demographic when given the choice.

Please email Athletic Trainer Patricia Pauris with any questions. 

Spectators: There are no spectators allowed at any sporting events this winter. MHS is working to livestream games to spectators. Once that information becomes available, it will be communicated to families.
Also, if you were unable to login to the Parent/Guardian Zoom Meeting last night, please view the PowerPoint Presentation here

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

The Milton Parks and Rec Department is excited to announce our first ever Holiday House Decorating Contest. It’s time for a fun, free, socially distant, family activity for all to enjoy in some fashion. A little healthy competition is good for the morale! Let’s end 2020 on a fun and decorative note.


Visit the Eustis Estate during the holiday season and get into the Christmas spirit! Explore the beautiful 1878 Eustis Estate and its lavish decorations during A Victorian Christmas. There are bright lights, an enormous tree, garlands, and mantelpieces adorned with holiday decorations inspired by nature. There are floral arrangements from the Brush Hill Garden Guru, Cedar Grove Gardens, and floral designer Lisa Ahern. From December 4 to January 3, the mansion will be open for visits by reservation only Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Masks, and social distancing are required for all staff and visitors. Please call 617-994-6600 for more information. Historic New England members and Milton residents are free. Milton residents need to call to make a reservation. Non-member adults $20; seniors $17; children/students $10.


Forbes House Museum offers FREE tours to Milton residents in December! We’ve decked the halls and are eager to share the magic of the season. So if you’ve “lived in town forever but never visited,” here’s your chance! We’re offering FREE tours this month to any Milton resident. Simply call the main number at 617-696-1815 to reserve your spot. 48 hours advance notice is recommended. Tours will be available Wednesday-Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm. COVID safety guidelines will be observed; see website for more details.  

All visitors will also receive a coupon from our friends at Lower Mills Tavern, good for 15% off your order. Cheers!

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Brookwood Community Farm would like to thank all 2020 volunteers, members, and customers for making the 2020 farm season a success! 2021 CSA share sales will be announced soon. We will welcome volunteers this Saturday at 10:30 am to plant bulbs to beautify Brookwood. Please bring work gloves, wear a mask and prepare to work in a socially distant manner. A great idea is to work as a group with members of your household – families welcome – but everyone must send an email to volunteer@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org. Please expect an email in response by Friday night. For anyone looking for local produce, winter markets can be found online.


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


Cunningham 4th grader Sophia is back with her Sock Drive! The 6th Annual Sophia’s Socks for the Homeless has kicked into gear. 2020 has been a lot different than years in the past, but that is why we need your help more than ever! Please consider helping the homeless of Boston, by donating NEW socks to the drive. Every pair you donate will help the life of someone in need. We will be collecting socks until Friday, December 18 and will be dropped off at St. Francis on December 19/20. Let’s make this year the best and help brighten someone’s day. Sox Box locations are Cunningham School, 3 Phyllis Lane, and 178 Lyman Road.


SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT 

We are happy to share the announcement that The Washington Post has named Milton High School graduate Siobhán O’Grady as its Cairo bureau chief! We are so proud of Ms. O’Grady and are so proud of her success and contribution around the world. 

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We are excited to share that MHS senior Sam Higgins has been selected as a YoungArts Finalist this year. Sam will be competing for the grand prize at YoungArts week during the week of January 3. 

Congratulations and good luck to Sam! We look forward to sharing good news after his competition in January. 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Debra Miller, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Kassandra Aloe, Ellen Lohan, Bill Fish, Ryan Madden, Caroline Morton and Sara MacNeil.

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 December 10, 2020