May 6, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 6, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week in our schools. Our students, families, and PTOs honored our entire staff – teachers, administrative assistants, school nurses, lunch staff, paraprofessionals, custodians, and administrators  – with treats, small gifts, cards and words of thanks. While our community has endured some difficult times this school year, we can all agree that our children showing gratitude to the professionals who work in our schools  is always a good thing. Please enjoy the pictures and video below and thank you to all who participated to celebrate our hard working and dedicated Milton Public Schools staff this week.

Over the last few weeks, I have visited our schools and stopped in many of our in person classrooms. This week I was able to visit with many of our remote students at all 6 of our schools. I really enjoyed speaking with them and learning about the positives and challenges as a remote student this year. We discussed their thoughts as to how we can improve moving forward. Students had thoughts about connection time, how to build stronger student/teacher relationships, and how to personalize learning to meet students where they are.  I had an interesting discussion about taxes with our K-2 students and I was sorry to say I couldn’t help with taxes but appreciated their questions about it!

As we head into the weekend, I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all parents and guardians for their ongoing support and efforts to make this year as successful as possible for their students. We appreciate you! 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular School Committee meeting will be on May 19 , 2021 at 7pm in the Milton Access Studio, Rm 245 Milton High School. This meeting is also the Open Public Hearing for School Choice. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • May 18 Getting Ready for Kindergarten Cafe (Virtual)
  • May 19 School Committee Meeting/Open Public Hearing for School Choice
  • May 21 Pierce DEI Workshop
  • May 27 Music Awards Night, MHS Auditorium
  • May 31 Memorial Day-No School

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Ready, Set…Kindergarten! We are welcoming the Class of 2034 to the Milton Public Schools in the coming weeks. Our new kindergarten families should have received their school assignment last week. Please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna at mmckenna@miltonps.org if you have not yet received it. 

We hope all K families will join us at your child’s new school to pick up your Kindergarten t-shirt. We have times planned at each school to welcome your child to an outside space to stop by, pick up your coveted yellow  “I’m Going to Kindergarten” t-shirt, meet your Principal and take a Welcome to MPS photo. Our principals plan to join us if school business doesn’t call them away. This is a “stop by” event, families are welcome to drop by any time during the hour. All MPS social distancing and safety rules will be followed. Please wear a mask at all times while on school property. All details on Ready, Set…Kindergarten! can be found at this link. Welcome to the Class of 2034!

Pierce DEI Committee Workshop Invitation: Thank you to all who attended our first Pierce diversity, equity and inclusion committee family workshop last week! Please join us for the second workshop next Wednesday (5/12/21) at 7:00 p.m. Workshop #2 is: Healing Racial Trauma: Self-Care for Mind, Body and Spirit. The workshop description can be found here. Please click here to register for the workshop.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the two week period April 28 – May 5 , MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 3 students positive.

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

PIERCE PAGES 

The Pierce 7th Grade Debate Class is preparing for Pierce Mock Trials and Dr. Elaine Craghead joined the class earlier today to talk to students about the usefulness of the ability to communicate effectively in front of an audience. 

Dr. Craghead is passionate about education having spent over 25 years as an educator, board member for educational associations, and as an in class volunteer. She is a current member of the Milton School Committee and Assistant Dean of Academic Resources at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. She has taught an abundance of assimilating college freshmen and is well versed in what college readiness really means. Dr. Craghead knows how to get things done as part of a team, and our 7th graders are working on that skill. Thank you to Dr. Craghead for taking the time to speak with our students.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Cunningham students are enjoying their new outside sensory area.  This sensory area was painted last weekend by MHS student volunteers, under the direction of Cunningham teacher Marissa Stancato. Thank you to the PTO for purchasing the supplies for this project. Cunningham Physical Therapist Sara Rizzolo demonstrates how to use the sensory path here. Thank you to all who completed this project for our students!

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Ms. Spitz’ Collicot 4th grade students have been studying environments in science. Students created their own terrariums and are currently observing the changes daily.

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Recently several Milton elementary school students participated in the state level Future Problem Solving bowl. We are excited to share that after reviewing the results that three of our Tucker students will go on to the International competition as individuals. Gabriella Robinson won third place, Graison Saba won second place, and Josephine Fundling won first place in the Individual Global Issues Problem Solving competition! These wonderful Tucker Tigers will be representing not only Tucker and Milton but also representing Massachusetts at the International bowl scheduled for June 2021. A special thank you to their coach Ms. Hannah Williams as well as to their families for their hard work and collaboration. Good luck to Gabriella, Graison, and Josephine at the competition in June!

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Many of our students participated in the Green Up Milton clean up last week. A special thanks to the Glover PTO and Ellen Stoddard for coordinating at Glover and to the Cunningham crew of Fiona and Zach Pallai, Micah and Lily Dobin, RJ, Johnny, and Willy Horne, Chris Clough, Charlotte and Tyler Vaughn, Luke Brandi and Scott and Wesley Lovely who helped out around Milton High School. Thank you to all who participated to help green Up Milton! 

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May the 4th be with you! Ms. Aldrich’s Cunningham 2nd graders enjoyed Star Wars themed math centers focusing on measurement this week, while  Ms. Plunket and the Cunningham Strings practiced the Star Wars theme for all to enjoy. 

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For the past few weeks Glover and Cunningham Scientists have been busy experimenting and investigating science topics at home. This week, students posted videos and pictures of their amazing work on our Glover School Virtual Science Fair Padlet and our Cunningham Science Fair Padlet. This gave everyone a chance to participate and show off their scientific thinking.

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Collicot and Cunningham 5th grade students are wrapping up a food truck design project. Students began this project with a guided drawing session to create their vehicles. Students were then given the task to create a food truck with a unique logo. Notice how each truck has a clever name, food symbols that would entice a customer, an itemized menu and a custom service window. These trucks are truly delicious!

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After School Enrichment (ASE) has available spots! Tuition fee for 5 weeks: $250.00.  
Register by Wednesday, May 12 to start Monday, May 17. For more information, please see our ASE handbook and registration link here. 

MPS GIVES BACK 

Pierce 8th grader Reilly Bergin is this year’s Project 351 Ambassador. Reilly has asked us to share the information below, so all in MPS can support the Cradles to Crayons clothing drive starting next week. 

Time to clean out your closets! Milton is hosting a clothing drive in support of Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons is a nonprofit organization that collects every-day essentials for local children who are facing homelessness and/or economic challenges. The donations will become part of KidPacks, which are bags that contain toys, books, clothes, school supplies, and more that are put together based on the child’s interests and needs. If you would like to learn more about Cradles to Crayons’ vision and impact, you can watch the Everyday Essentials video  or visit the Cradles to Crayons website. We are collecting new and like-new clothing, sizes newborn to youth large (10/12). Remember, quality equals dignity. Please make sure the clothing does not have any holes, rips, stains, or looks worn out. (Think: Would I wear this? If the answer is no, please do not donate it.) Please note that pajamas and socks have to be new. The drive will run from Monday, May 10th to Wednesday, May 19th. Collection boxes will be located at Pierce Middle School, Collicot Elementary School, Tucker Elementary School, Cunningham Elementary School, Glover Elementary School, and the Milton Public Library. The simple act of donating can change a child’s life. * Your donation will not only provide a child with the essentials they need, but it will also help that child be confident, restore their dignity, and help them be the best they can be.* If you have any questions, please contact Reilly Bergin at smithbergin@msn.com.

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Dominique Thomas, Project 351 Alumni Leadership Council member,  is also running a mask drive. All masks can be dropped anytime at 106 Blue Hills Parkway. Email Dominique at dtemail00@gmail.com with any questions. Thank you for supporting these important initiatives! 

MHS SPONSOR A SENIOR 

Please see below from the MHS Sponsor a Senior volunteer parents/guardians who are organizing this effort.

If you signed up to Sponsor a Senior, you should have received an email with your Senior assignment. If you have not received an email, please check your spam, promotions, or junk folders. Please let us know ASAP at mhssponsorasenior2021@gmail.com if you haven’t received your senior.

GIFT DROP OFF: Please clearly and securely label your gift bag with your senior’s name. Senior gifts may be dropped off outside the Copeland Field House (at the back of Milton High School) on:

  • Tuesday, May 11, from 3-5
  • Wednesday, May 12, from 3-5

GIFT DELIVERY OPTION: If you know your assigned senior, and their home address, please feel free to drop off your gift to their home on Friday, May 14. We are not able to provide you with the address or other personal information about the senior. Please let us know at mhssponsorasenior2021@gmail.com if you plan on delivering the gift yourself so that we will not expect a drop off from you at Milton High School.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

  • May is National Mental Health Month! Since 1949, Mental Health America and our affiliates across the country have observed May is Mental Health Month by reaching out to millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. We invite other organizations to join us in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.
    In 2021, we will continue with our theme of Tools 2 Thrive, providing practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.
  • Speaker Series Event from the Learning Prep School: The Intersection Between Language-Based Disabilities and Social Emotional Challenges. Wednesday, May 19, 6- 7:15pm. This is a virtual event via Zoom and the link will be emailed the day before the event. In this talk, we will discuss what a language-based learning disability is and the social and emotional components that can often accompany it. We will discuss how to spot when a child is having those difficulties and how educators, professionals, and parents can provide support along with useful interventions. All Speaker Series events are open to the public. Please RSVP here. 

MPS SUMMER

Milton Summer Enrichment: Does Sensational Scientists, Greek Mythology, Fiber Art Explorations, Tennis, Irish Step Dancing or Milton Summer Olympics sound like something your children would enjoy?  Then consider MSE for some summer fun and learning! 

Please see the MSE At a Glance document here to review classes, policies, and more about MSE 2021. Registration for MSE is open at this link. Questions? Email us at  mse@miltonps.org. We hope your child will join the MSE fun this summer!  

An application for high school students serving as a volunteer or paid Red Shirt will be shared by the MHS Guidance Department.

Camp Cunningham: Camp Cunningham is looking forward to a great summer! The CC team is working to implement a series of adjustments that will ensure a safe and fun environment for our campers. We are able to accommodate 72 campers and participants must be currently enrolled as MPS students entering grades 1- 6 in the fall of 2021.

All details on Camp Cunningham can be found here. Registration for Camp Cunningham 2021 is open at this link.

MPS Universal Summer Program:  We are busy planning for our new Universal Summer Program taking place this July at the Glover school.  This district-wide program, open to all current K-4 students will be a two-hour session focused on literacy, math, and social emotional learning skills. Families who have registered for the Universal Summer Program have been contacted over the last week with a confirmation email from usp@miltonps.org. If you have not received a confirmation, would like more information about the program, and/or would like to register your student, please email usp@miltonps.org

Extended School Year: Please see this ESY update from Mark Harrison. The Milton Public Schools’ Extended School Year program will begin on July 6, 2021 and end on August 13, 2021. Program information can be found on the ESY website: MPS Extended School Year 2021. To assist with scheduling and planning, we are hoping to have all eligible students registered by May 7, 2021. You can access the registration form here: ESY Registration Form. If you have questions regarding your student’s eligibility for ESY services please contact your school’s Team Chair.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

As we close out Teacher Appreciation Week, one way you can show your appreciation is through the Milton Foundation for Education’s Teacher of the Year 2021! Remote, Hybrid, and In Person…2021 MPS Educators did it ALL!
Please take a moment to nominate a deserving MPS Educator for TOY. The easy nomination form can be found here and more information is on the MFE website. Please help us in recognizing our excellent teachers and staff by nominating an outstanding staff member for Teacher of the Year 2021. 

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential. All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

FOOD SERVICE 

It was recently announced that students will be offered free meals  – breakfast and lunch – through June 2022. Each of our schools has multiple meal options every day. Please encourage your child to try our school meals!  

Looking for a part time job while your kids are in school? Join our Food Service team – this year or next! Please email Jackie Morgan to explore opportunities to join this terrific team. 

MSAPC

On Thursday, May 27 at 7pm, popular speaker Jon Mattleman joins the Milton community for a special parent and caregiver presentation on how we can manage anxiety, optimize resilience, and keep our families in balance as COVID-19 restrictions relax, kids go back to school, and we resume some level of normalcy. Bringing 35 years of experience as a counselor, Jon uses insight, warmth, and humor to share practical tools, tips, techniques, and resources to help guide us through challenging transitions to new situations. Jon is the Clinical Director of Minding Your Mind and is passionate about mental health education and supporting parents as they support their children. Please register at this link. 

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.

Spring Season spectator guidelines:

  • All outdoor athletic events are open for general admission. There is no entry fee this spring.
  • All spectators must wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Spectators not abiding by the mask policy are subject to removal from the concourse.
  • MPS Policy supersedes Gov Baker’s latest outdoor mask mandate.

The Milton Boosters will be hosting an outdoor Varsity Athletic Celebration on May 22 between 10am-noon at Brooks Field. Invites will be limited to Varsity letter recipients and Senior parents due to COVID restrictions. 

MHS Boosters is pleased to offer our Spring Pop Up store!   All details in this link. 

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We are happy to provide Community News on behalf of local organizations. We recommend checking with the organizations below for any changes to the following events. 

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The Milton Youth Advocates for Change (MYAC) is sponsoring a club called “Milton Minds Matter” (MMM) to promote positive mental health in high school youth led by high school youth.

This is a community-based, youth-led group and their first meeting will be May 15 at 7pm. All 9-12th graders are welcome. To get the zoom link, please email info@milton-coalition.org.

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The Milton Muslim Neighbors have joined with Milton Interfaith Clergy Association and Milton Public Schools for a food drive. If you would like to join, please drop off canned goods at one of the MPS schools between any day through May 10. There will be bins placed at each school location. Please reach out to your principal for the location as it will be different depending on safety protocols for each school. The last day of Ramadan is Wednesday, May 12 followed by the Eid ul Fitr holiday on Thursday, May 13.

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

Please join the Milton Public Library and the Friends of the Library for a virtual visit with author Holly McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaitre on Friday May 14. All details can be found here. They will be sharing their new picture book, What the World Could Make. We’ll have time to hear the story, and then can ask all of our questions about what it’s like to make books. Best of all, Holly speaks English and Pascal speaks French, so this will be a bilingual event.

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The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites the community to join together for the following event. Commemorating our Journey through Covid-19: A Community Gathering of Consolation, Healing and Hope. Presented by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association on Sunday, May 16 from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Milton Town Gazebo.

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance shares the following. 

Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Will your child be attending kindergarten in the fall? Do you wonder if your child is ready academically, socially, emotionally, or developmentally? Would you like to learn what you can do to make the transition easier for your child and your family? Then, this parent workshop is for you and is open to all parents/caregivers; your child will not need to attend Milton Public Schools to participate. We will hold this workshop virtually, via Zoom, on May 18 at 7pm. Registration is required. Please register here to obtain the Zoom link and passcode. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this programming!

Nature Tales – Animal Five Senses: Join us for a STEM and Early Literacy adventure virtually at the Trailside Museum. This event will be held on Zoom on Saturday, May 22nd at 11:00 AM. You’ll enjoy a children’s story, a guided movement activity, meet and hear about two live animals and have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer period! This will be an interactive event, with as many questions answered as possible. For ages 2.9 through 7 years old. We strongly encourage parent participation. Registration is required to obtain the Zoom link and passcode and can be completed here. 

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Saint Rock Haiti Foundation (SRHF) will hold its 13th Annual Building Hope Fèt on Friday, May 21 at 7:30pm. This year’s event is virtual and can be accessed by registering at www.saintrock.org. The event is complimentary to all. SRHF’s origin dates back to a concerned group of Milton and Quincy citizens who joined together to bring hope and dignity to the people of Haiti, the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere. Today, SRHF delivers primary healthcare to 60,000+ registered patients and supports 5 schools in the rural community of Saint Rock. Please join us in our ongoing work and help us to continue to make an impact in Haiti.

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Brookwood Community Farm, 11 Blue Hill River Road, Canton, at DCR’s Brookwood Farm, is hosting the annual Seedling Sale in early May.  For those interested in seedlings there is an online signup for a time to park and shop in person. (Sale FAQ’s) For those looking to offer help at the sale, there are also volunteer signups (earn your HS volunteer hours!) See the signup for all the types of tasks!  Time slots are not onerous but all are very welcome to signup for 2 consecutive slots or days.  To manage COVID restrictions the sale is spread out at least 2x’s the length as a regular year.  The non profit farm depends on volunteers for events like this and for semi regular tasks on the farm along with less laborious duties like delivering food donations to one of our 7 partners or SNAP shares to Dorchester pickup locations.   

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

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Laurel Bernini, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Karen McDavitt, Sara MacNeil, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Susan Maselli, and Martha Sandoval.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on May 6, 2021

April 29, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: April 29, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week across the country and in the Milton Public Schools we will celebrate all of our staff from May 3-7. Our PTOs have planned some surprises for our MPS staff next week and we appreciate all the families who are assisting with these efforts. This year has been trying for many in our community and I hope that this week of appreciation moves our district forward in a positive way.

One way you can show your appreciation is through the Milton Foundation for Education’s Teacher of the Year 2021! Remote, Hybrid, and In Person…2021 MPS Educators did it ALL!
Please take a moment to nominate a deserving MPS Educator for TOY. The easy nomination form can be found here and more information is on the MFE website. Please help us in recognizing our excellent teachers and staff by nominating an outstanding staff member for Teacher of the Year 2021. 

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Ready, Set…Kindergarten! We are welcoming the Class of 2034 to the Milton Public Schools in the coming weeks. Our new kindergarten families should have received their school assignment this week. Please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna at mckenna@miltonps.org if you have not yet received it. 

Now that families have attended Kindergarten Information night, registered their child for kindergarten, and received their school assignment, the next step is to join us at your child’s new school to pick up your Kindergarten  t-shirt. We have times planned at each school to welcome your child to an outside space to stop by, pick up your coveted yellow  “I’m Going to Kindergarten” t-shirt, meet your Principal and take a Welcome to MPS photo. Our principals plan to join us if school business doesn’t call them away. This is a “stop by” event, families are welcome to drop by any time during the hour. All MPS social distancing and safety rules will be followed. Please wear a mask at all times while on school property. All details on Ready, Set…Kindergarten! can be found at this link. Welcome to the Class of 2034! 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular School Committee meeting will be on May 19 , 2021 at 7pm in the Milton Access Studio, Rm 245 Milton High School. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • May 3 Town Meeting Begins
  • May 18 Getting Ready for Kindergarten Cafe (Virtual)
  • May 19 School Committee Meeting

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

TONIGHT: Pierce DEI Committee Workshop extends this invitation to all in the MPS community: Please join us for a series of workshops organized by Pierce’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee for all MPS families. The link here outlines two upcoming offerings – the first is this Thursday (4/29/21) at 7:00 p.m. More information about Thursday’s event is below:

  • Workshop description: The past year has presented challenges to our wellness and well-being. The impact of the pandemic on our lives – school closures, hybrid and remote learning, loss of social connections, illness and loss of loved ones – has weighed on everyone in one way or another. This workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on our experiences and learn strategies for self-care, self-regulation, and stress reduction. Panelists will include Ali Smith, Dahyana Schlosser RN, M.Ed, Marla Murasko, and Jane Spitzer. Information about each panelist can be found here.

  • Please complete this pre-registration link in advance of the workshop. The Zoom link can be found here.  (Passcode: 506475)

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the two week period April 15 – April 28 , MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 5 students positive.

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Congratulations to the top scorers in this year’s American Mathematics Competition (AMC), a 25-question, 75-minute intensive math exam that challenges problem solving, critical thinking, and reasoning skills!

AMC 10: 1st Place -Pictured L-R:  Daniel Steinberg (9th); 2nd Place – Joshua Ricciardi (9th); 3rd Place – Alexander Tran (10th)

AMC 12: Pictured L-R: 1st Place – Alix Benoit (12th); 2nd Place – John Barron Clancy (11th); 3rd Place – Declan O’Connor (11th)

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Principal Cahill sent a recent update about MHS graduation and other senior events. We look forward to celebrating our seniors over the next 6 weeks! You can read the full update here. 

Thank you to our parent volunteers who organized and helped with our recent Ice Cream Day for seniors. Seniors who are remote students received a gift card in the mail to Dairy Freeze. Our seniors enjoyed the treat and are looking forward to the weeks ahead!

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MHS students in the Launch Program are now accepting dog treat orders from the Milton community. To order your Paws Treats, please click here.   Questions? Please email the team at pawsabilitreats@miltonps.org. Thank you for supporting our team!

PIERCE PAGES 

Mr. Manning’s 7th and 8th grade artists created a classroom sneaker war with their final sneaker designs for quarter 3. Students were introduced to the top ten most iconic sneakers and the top ten most expensive sneakers ever sold. Artists from both 7th and 8th grade argued about what sneakers are the best and understood how sneaker collectors make a living from buying, selling, and trading custom sneakers. Sneakers are a huge part of middle school culture and students love to show off their “kicks”.

The goal in the lesson was for students to create their very own pair of custom sneakers that featured their own unique logo and color palette. They could take inspiration from other designers but had to create their own footprint, heel design, logo, and a profile design. Some artists took it upon themselves to create their very own theme around the entire sneaker. Students from both grades loved how each and every student’s design was unique.

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Pierce Gear for Sale: The Pierce PTO will host a “Swag Sale” at dismissal this Friday (4/30/21) and Monday (5/3/21). Pierce t-shirts will be available for $10 and Pierce flannel pajama bottoms will be available for $20. Check out our  t-shirts and flannel bottoms! 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Since November,  Mme Vendette’s remote 3rd graders have been drying 4 Swan neck gourds (donated by the Milton Public Library) and this spring students emptied the gourds of their dried up seeds, and a few students took part in painting them. Each of the 4 elementary schools received one of the gourd birdhouses to put in their garden or green space, just in time for nesting season.

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Students in the Tucker PreK class have been studying the concept of  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with an inspirational focus on artists and environmental activists who believe that earth day is every day. One activist who inspired the class is Isatou Ceesay, subject of the book  One Plastic Bag,  who is often referred to as the Queen of Recycling. Isatou Ceesay is from Gambia. Check out the book by Miranda Paul and Isatou Ceesay’s amazing work! Recyclable materials were collected, plans were discussed to create a piece of art work and through this process, our students became ARTIVISTS!

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We have two highlights from budding 5th grade journalists this week!

Mentored by Ms. Renehan, our 5th grade journalists Trey Kovacs, Sophie Middleton, and Nico Mann, have published the latest edition of the Glover Gazette and I encourage you to take a peek at it here

Trey, Sophie, and Nico share the following: The Glover Gazette is our school newspaper to share what’s happening all around Glover School. We want students to know about what’s going on, and to read things that are written by other kids. Our paper shows that you don’t have to be an adult to share news and information! If you are a student, staff member, or family that has anything newsworthy to share in the Gazette, please send details and photos to brenehan@miltonps.org

Ms. Watrous’s 5th Grade remote class is proud to present their first ever Taipan Times Newspaper! Named after their class mascot, the cunning Taipan, this newspaper features articles developed by students for students covering a wide array of topics. Students worked independently on articles of their choice and also engaged in peer-editing in order to publish this final product. The class enjoyed making this for readers and hope that our weekly issues put a smile on your face!

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Before vacation, Glover hosted a virtual presentation of Ms. Money & the Coins. This program, sponsored by Rockland Trust, is a nationally recognized educational, interactive, musical presentation that teaches elementary-aged students about saving, sharing and spending money. This fun and engaging show uses music, magic and interactive theater games to bring basic personal finance concepts to life on stage and leaves students and teachers cheering about saving money. In the past this presentation has been live and in person, but this year, like other things, we found a way to bring this exciting performance to our students!

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Collicot students in Ms. Perrault’s kindergarten class enjoyed learning outside in the Green Space this week. The class read Bear At Work from Reach for Reading and discussed the different jobs that were described in the story. Next the students were asked to pick a job discussed in the story that they would want to have in the future and give a detail about it and add an illustration. Working outside on a beautiful day made this lesson even better for our young students.

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Glover’s Gotta Have Sole Student Leadership Team is taking action to make a difference in the lives of homeless youth! 5th grade student leaders, Maya Wong, Owen Burnes, Seamus Farley, Riley Kovacs, Peyton Naigles and Lorraine Anesi, are partnering with Gotta Have Sole, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide homeless youth with new shoes to help them feel confident, comfortable and valued.  For homeless youth, walking in worn-out shoes or shoes that don’t fit is all too common. This can injure feet, hurt self-esteem and make kids feel like they don’t fit in at school.  How can you help? All details including collection jars, sock donations , donating online, and making personalized cards can be found here. Watch this Glover Morning Announcement to learn more about this special project.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

  • MPS is proud to offer a new parent resource,  our new Assistive Technology Website. Here you will find a lot of information on instructional tech tools students can use to enhance their learning.  Please email  Inclusion Specialists, Maureen Butler or Caroline Mannion,  with any questions. 
  • ESY update from Mark Harrison: The Milton Public Schools’ Extended School Year program will begin on July 6, 2021 and end on August 13, 2021. Program information can be found on the ESY website: MPS Extended School Year 2021. To assist with scheduling and planning, we are hoping to have all eligible students registered by May 7, 2021. You can access the registration form here: ESY Registration Form. If you have questions regarding your student’s eligibility for ESY services please contact your school’s Team Chair. 
  • If you are a family that currently has a student who is in an Out of District Special Education Placement and have not yet had a chance to respond to our Information Survey, please do so by accessing the survey at this link.

MPS SUMMER

Milton Summer Enrichment: Does Sensational Scientists, Greek Mythology, Fiber Art Explorations, Tennis, Irish Step Dancing or Milton Summer Olympics sound like something your children would enjoy?  Then consider MSE for some summer fun and learning! 

Please see the MSE At a Glance document here to review classes, policies, and more about MSE 2021. Registration for MSE will open on May 3 at noon at this link. Questions? Email us at  mse@miltonps.org. We hope your child will join the MSE fun this summer!  

An application for high school students serving as a volunteer or paid Red Shirt will be shared by the MHS Guidance Department.

Camp Cunningham: Camp Cunningham is looking forward to a great summer! The CC team is working to implement a series of adjustments that will ensure a safe and fun environment for our campers. We are able to accommodate 72 campers and participants must be currently enrolled as MPS students entering grades 1- 6 in the fall of 2021.

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

Extended School Year: Please see this ESY update from Mark Harrison. The Milton Public Schools’ Extended School Year program will begin on July 6, 2021 and end on August 13, 2021. Program information can be found on the ESY website: MPS Extended School Year 2021. To assist with scheduling and planning, we are hoping to have all eligible students registered by May 7, 2021. You can access the registration form here: ESY Registration Form. If you have questions regarding your student’s eligibility for ESY services please contact your school’s Team Chair.

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential. All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Tucker teacher Mary Beth Callahan shares the following and hopes that all will join her for Magnificently Mindful Month of May in Milton. 

May is another beautiful month to practice slowing down, while noticing the beauty that exists right in front of us. Awareness April seemed to fly by, I hope you had a chance to sharpen your mindful awareness skills.  These simple daily practices can be done anytime. The benefits of mindfulness for children and adults starts with being present along with noticing and accepting what’s happening in those moments. Try noting the good as well as the more uncomfortable moments with a kind and curious attitude. Mindfulness is not all about trying to be calm. In fact, when you are feeling stress or anxiety and when you notice this in your body and are able to come into your breath as a practice of calming the senses, that is a moment of mindfulness.  We will finish the year with Joyful June! 

FOOD SERVICE 

It was recently announced that students will be offered free meals  – breakfast and lunch – through June 2022. Each of our schools has multiple meal options every day. Please encourage your child to try our school meals!  

Remote students have the option to pick up meals to go at the school of their choice. Please email Kim Golden if you are not connected to this option.

Looking for a part time job while your kids are in school? Join our Food Service team – this year or next! Please email Jackie Morgan to explore opportunities to join this terrific team. 

MSAPC

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares that prevention starts early and it starts at home. Tip #7 is at right. For lots of tips and resources for parents and guardians about steps to take to help prevent teen use of drugs and alcohol, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.

Spring Tryouts are underway! Please remember that any student with expiring physicals during the season immediately becomes ineligible, so make sure the next appointment is booked. Any physical on or after May 30, 2020 will remain valid through the rest of the school year.

Unified Track will begin on Monday, May 3. Coach Ashley Assarian has been reaching out to families regarding the Unified Track Season. Any questions can be sent to Coach Assarian at  aassarian@miltonps.org.

Unfortunately, Cheer will not have a season this spring. Any questions regarding Cheering opportunities outside of Milton High School can be sent to Ryan Shannon, vfallcheer@miltonps.org.

Wrestling will begin on Monday, May 3.Wrestling has been approved by the EEA and MIAA for level 3 play (wrestling an opponent, not just conditioning or skill work). See below for the statement on April 16th from the EEA/MIAA Joint Guidance on Youth Activities: 

  • Today, the MA Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) amended their March 22, 2021 EEA guidelines to include an update to the high risk sports/level of play section. Effective, April 16, 2021, the sport of Wrestling has reached Level 3 status allowing for competitions. Specifically stated in the EEA guidelines (pages 3-4): If feasible, conduct Level 2 and 3 wrestling activities outdoors, but wrestling may be conducted indoors.

Milton High School Wrestling details are below: 

  • Starting Monday, May 3, the Wrestling Team will practice from 4-5:30pm Monday-Thursday.
  • The season will end Tuesday, June 15.
  • Students will be separated into cohorts and be required to wrestle with the same students for the duration of that week. The Fri/Sat/Sun will be a “buffer” in case there are any positive cases.
  • Wrestling will take place inside, while conditioning may take place outside if the weather permits.
  • Students will be required to wear masks at all times – gaiters are allowed as long as they aren’t a choking hazard.
  • Coaches must be extra cautious as to make sure students are using clean, dry masks and that masks stay on during wrestling.
  • While we await actual sport-specific modifications, we will not be competing against any other schools.
  • Once we receive further guidance on how to safely and effectively conduct a wrestling meet, we may offer 3-4 dual meets with schools in our conference.

Registration for both Unified Track and Wrestling can be found here. Stay tuned for Spectator Guidance, which will be released on Monday, May 3. 

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The MHS Class of 2021 is having a Car Wash Fundraiser on Saturday, May 1 from 9-12 at Cunningham School.

MHS Boosters is excited to offer our Spring Pop Up store! By request, they have shorts, red sweatshirts and much more,  The site closes on May 7 and orders will be delivered to the Boosters and we will hold a pick-up day locally expected late May or early June.

MHS Boosters is pleased to offer our Spring Pop Up store!   All details in this link. 

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We are happy to provide Community News on behalf of local organizations. We recommend checking with the organizations below for any changes to the following events. 

Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills invites the wider Milton community to join us via Livestream as Milton Police Chief John King shares with us his thoughts, perspective and vision on what good policing looks like. April 30, Friday Night Shabbat Services at 7:45pm. Chief King at 8:15ish. Please use this Livestream link to attend:  https://venue.streamspot.com/56d42993. 

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

Please join the Milton Public Library and the Friends of the Library for a virtual visit with author Holly McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaitre. All details can be found here. They will be sharing their new picture book, What the World Could Make. We’ll have time to hear the story, and then can ask all of our questions about what it’s like to make books. Best of all, Holly speaks English and Pascal speaks French, so this will be a bilingual event.

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The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites the community to join together for the following event. Commemorating our Journey through Covid-19: A Community Gathering of Consolation, Healing and Hope. Presented by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association on Sunday, May 16 from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Milton Town Gazebo.

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Milton Art Center: Empower your young artist, ages 4-12 this summer with nine weeks of outdoor art programming starting June 28 to August 26 at the Milton Art Center. Weekly themed programs in clay, painting, fairy camp, mixed media, 3D sculpture and more run Monday-Thursday, AM and PM sessions. Sign up for one session or several on our website. 

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New England Base Camp—An outdoor adventure park located in the Blue Hills of Milton, NE Base camp offers a premier destination for parents who are looking to keep their kids engaged during April break. This hidden jewel offers top notch outdoor education and a fantastic opportunity for kids to get a full outdoor experience, something they may not have had much of a chance to do during the pandemic. The camp offers fun filled activities such as fire-building, outdoor cooking, archery, S.T.E.M programs, pioneering, environmental studies, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, and creative arts such as animation, theatre, music and even ax throwing! The Camp, now open to the public, is owned and operated by the Boy Scouts Spirit of Adventure Council and follows all Covid-19 Protocols. Visit the NE Base Camp visit the website here.

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Brookwood Community Farm, 11 Blue Hill River Road, Canton, at DCR’s Brookwood Farm, is hosting the annual Seedling Sale in early May.  For those interested in seedlings there is an online signup for a time to park and shop in person. (Find sale FAQ’s here.) For those looking to help before or at the sale, there are also volunteer signups.  We need various help, including  “checkers” who count the plants purchased before someone goes to the cashier, and parking lot attendants at either Brookwood or Trinity Church.  To manage COVID restrictions,  the sale is spread out over a longer time.  The non profit farm depends on volunteers for events like this and for semi regular tasks on the farm along with opportunities like delivering food donations to one of our 7 partners or SNAP shares to Dorchester pickup locations.   

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Squantum Yacht Club offers sailing programs for youth. Call or text Jill Kourafas at 508 – 498- 9851 or visit their website for more information. 

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT 

Please join me in recognizing MHS teacher Jeny Gonzalez. Ms. Gonzalez has been nominated for the 2021 Commonwealth Heroine Award for the 6th Bristol District. State Representative Carole Fiola shares that Jeny has been an incredibly valuable resource in assisting the City with outreach and education for the vaccine. Thank you Jeny for your volunteerism!

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Some more good news! Sam Higgins, a graduating MHS senior, has been selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program!

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Sam will be attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia this fall to pursue a career in opera. Congratulations on your achievement, Sam!

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

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Karen McDavitt, Sara MacNeil, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Susan Maselli, Veronique Vendette, Bill Fish, Brian Selig, Karen Cahill, Patrick Manning, Mary Beth Callahan and Martha Sandoval.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 29, 2021

April 15, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: April 15, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week our Pierce and MHS students began full days of school, both in person and in the remote model. Our schools continue to make adjustments day to day as needed. I have visited each of our schools in the past 2 weeks and have seen happy engaged students and our dedicated staff at work in every classroom I have dropped into. After April break, I will visit with our students and staff in the remote model and a link will be sent directly to students after the April break.

We are grateful that Covid metrics allowed for this model change in our schools in a safe and responsible way. However, we must remember that Covid is still very much with us and could disrupt our model at any time. In our schools, Covid precautions are ever present in our daily routines and we ask that it remain so at home. While we all have Covid fatigue, this is not the time to let our guard down. Very few of our students are vaccinated, and many adults in our Milton community are still not fully vaccinated. Covid continues to spread and the illness itself and the resulting quarantines per CDC guidelines continue to impact Milton and the Milton Public Schools. Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, social distancing, hand hygiene, and social gatherings to help us to Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school.

With the upcoming April break, I want to remind all in the MPS community about the MPS travel policy. On Monday, March 22, the Massachusetts Travel Order was replaced with a Travel Advisory. This new travel advisory urges all persons entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more. The Travel Advisory is the minimum requirement that MPS has to follow. Our MPS policy remains as a negative PCR test within 72 hours of returning OR a ten day quarantine for any out of state travel. An exception is made for travelers who are fully vaccinated (who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID 19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 or more days ago) AND who do not have symptoms. MPS does not allow for any other exemptions that the state allows.

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As many of you know, the Town of Milton 2021 Annual Town Election will take place on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, from 7 am until 8 pm. Because three of our schools are used for the election (Cunningham, Tucker, and MHS), we will have to make a slight change in our schedule. 

On Tuesday, April 27, we will pivot from a full day of school to a half day for students.  All faculty and staff will remain for a full school day and utilize the afternoon time for collaboration and planning. The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority and is the reason behind the change to an early release day on April 27. As a result, the location of the election process in each of these three locations (Cunningham, Tucker and MHS) will be off limits for students during that day. We will employ the “Grab & Go” lunch distribution we have used all year long. The early release dismissal schedule will be similar to your school’s normal early release time: Collicot and Cunningham – 12:00pm; Tucker and Glover – 12:30pm; Pierce Middle School – 11:21am; Milton High School – 11:16am

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At last night’s School Committee meeting, we took the time to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions made by Sheila Varela and Dr. Kevin Donahue over the past 6 years as members of the Milton School Committee. Both Mrs. Varela and Dr. Donahue joined the Milton School Committee in April of 2015 and have spent the last 6 years working diligently on behalf of the students and staff of the Milton Public Schools as well as for the taxpayers of Milton.

Mrs. Varela began her involvement in Milton government and the Milton Public Schools even before her tenure with the Milton School Committee. She is an active Town Meeting member, past member of the PTOs at both Collicot and Pierce Middle School, prior member of the Milton Foundation for Education and known around town for her involvement in two successful overrides. 

Mrs. Varela enthusiastically took on her role as a School Committee member. In addition to chairing the School Committee, Sheila has participated on most, if not all, subcommittees of the School Committee which include Finance Subcommittee, Policy Subcommittee, Facilities Advisory Committee, and Health and Wellness Advisory to name a few. Mrs. Varela was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Transportation and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee.

Dr. Donahue has been invaluable to the Milton School Committee over his six-year term. During that time, he has served as chair, vice chair, and a supportive member whose quiet, calm and reassuring manner has helped all of us. If you were to ask his fellow School Committee members, I believe they would agree that we all count on Dr. Donahue’s level-headedness and always value his opinion.

Being a School Committee member is so much more than attending meetings twice a month. Like Ms. Varela, Dr. Donahue has sat on almost all of the Milton School Committee subcommittees. He has worked with his co-members on the Finance Subcommittee, Policy Subcommittee and Facilities Advisory Committee and was an integral member of the Negotiation Subcommittee.

On behalf of the Milton Public Schools, I would like to thank both Sheila Varela and Dr. Donahue, for their time, expertise and dedication to the Milton Public Schools. Although last night was their last meeting serving as School Committee members, their legacy and imprint on the Milton Public Schools will live on!

I wish you and your family a happy and restful April break (April 19-23) and I look forward to seeing all of our students and staff on Monday, April 26. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular School Committee meeting will be on April 28, 2021, at 7pm in the Milton Access Studio, Rm 245 Milton High School. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Apr 19-23 April Break
  • Apr 27 Annual Town Election
  • Apr 27 Early Release Day
  • Apr 28 School Committee Meeting
  • May 3 Town Meeting Begins
  • May 5 School Committee Meeting

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Pierce DEI Committee Invitation: Early in the winter, the Pierce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee held several “family forums” as opportunities to bring parents and guardians together around their children’s experiences with school up to that point in the school year. In response to the ideas and opportunities that emerged from the family forums, we are pleased to invite all MPS parents, guardians and caregivers to attend several virtual workshops on a variety of topics. Each workshop will be facilitated by a panel of professionals with a broad range of experience and expertise in supporting families, children, and educators. Please click here for details about each workshop as well as registration information.

  • Workshop #1 – Parenting During a Pandemic: Where do we go from here? (4/29/21)
  • Workshop #2 – Healing Racial Trauma: Self-Care for Mind, Body and Spirit (5/12/21)

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of April 8 – April 14, MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 3 students positive.

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Since the beginning of April, remote students in Mrs. Walsh’s 2nd grade have written a poem every day. Our 2nd graders have written acrostic, cinquain, bio poem using similes, color poem using senses, fractured nursery rhymes, alliteration, and concrete poems. We are proud of our young poets!

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Collicot students in Mme Kramer’s 2nd grade classroom had a special virtual guest this week.  Mme Muhsin, MPS parent and French Immersion teacher, streamed into the classroom to teach students about Ramadan. Mme Muhsin began by reading the book “It’s Ramadan Curious George” and then allowed students to ask questions about Ramadan. Students learned that some Muslims fast during Ramadan which helps them think of the many people who are hungry everyday. Students also learned that it is customary to perform generous acts during Ramadan. After listening to the story and talking with Mme Muhsin, students drew and wrote about generous acts they could complete this month. Additionally, there have been videos created and resources gathered by Collicot students and families to teach the community more about Ramadan. Please enjoy these videos and links to read alouds about Ramadan if you are interested in learning more: A Ramadan Message from Laya, Grade 3; What is Ramadan video?, Noor Hakim, Grade 1 Student , &  Rayhana & Yaseen Kassim, grade 2; Link to Ramadan read alouds and resources.

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Glover gives “Duck Feet” to students who are following expectations as part of our PBIS initiative and two students from each grade read aloud on our weekly morning announcement video as part of this initiative. As a special thank you to our teachers and staff Glover students made duck feet at home to nominate teachers and others who have made a difference in their lives this year. On Wednesday, students surprised staff during the weekly morning announcement and awarded Glover staff duck feet instead of students to recognize the hard work that they have done to transition to this new model. Thank you Glover teachers and staff for your hard work!

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Mrs. d’Entrement’s Cunningham 5th graders got creative this week with their STEM project Using only paper, tape, and one wire for the handle, students created a pencil case with a lid. Students got creative with their designs and some students are using their creations daily in their classroom to hold items.

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MPS music teacher Emily Plunkett shares that the Elementary String Ensemble musicians, comprised of in-person and remote students, are so happy to be making music together! Students had their first in-person rehearsals last week. Although students have had Google Meets all year, this is the first time we have made music together in the same room. 

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Although it is still a few weeks away Tucker students are getting ready for their annual Unity Night. This past week students reflected on what being a Tucker student means to them and over the April break students will make submissions for a poster contest with an image that represents how Tucker has remained united tied to our Unity Night theme of “Be the Light”.

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The Collicot Grade 5 Community Service Project Results are in from the Iron Giraffe Challenge! With many thanks to our friends at the Bank of Canton, who generously donated the use of their coin-counter machine, grade 5 students were able to count the spare change collected in the water jugs in each Collicot classroom. We raised a grand total of $3,590 for Water for South Sudan.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

Parents and guardians of students with current ESY services will receive an email regarding ESY tomorrow.  We look forward to welcoming our students to ESY this summer! 

BICO Collaborative has sponsored a free professional development opportunity for families. Check out this youtube video on Understanding the Mental Health Implications of COVID for Students Returning to School presented by Dr. Craig Murphy. 

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

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

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

The latest edition of Behaving Equitably by Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, contains some powerful information and resources. It also has an informative piece about Ramadan which I encourage you to read. Please see her full Behaving Equitably newsletter with more information about Black Lives Matter, Ramadan and ongoing equity work in the Milton Public Schools at this link.

MPS SUMMER

Milton Summer Enrichment: We are excited to share that MSE is on for summer 2021! The program will run from July 6-30th from 8:30-12:30, Monday through Friday. As in past years, activities will include Art, music, STEM, athletic skill clinics, STEAM and more. We will also offer recreational activities including sports and board games! With the exception of classes held in the field house or outside, all classes will be capped at 12 students to allow for adequate social distancing. Please keep this in mind, classes will fill quickly. The cost of the program is 2 courses $450, 4 Courses $800, Pre–K $824 and a family max of $1,875.

The MSE 2021 brochure will be available the week of April 25. It will be shared in Superintendent Jette’s blog, principal communications and on the MPS website. Registration will begin the week of May 3. More details on registration will follow.

An application for high school students serving as a volunteer or paid Red Shirt will be shared by MHS Guidance after April break.

Camp Cunningham: Camp Cunningham is looking forward to a great summer! The CC team is working to implement a series of adjustments that will ensure a safe and fun environment for our campers. We are able to accommodate 72 campers and participants must be currently enrolled as MPS students entering grades 1- 6 in the fall of 2021.

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

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

Families wishing to register their child to ride the bus in the full return to school model may do so now until Wednesday, April 21.  Passes will be processed and mailed the week of April 26 for ridership beginning the week of May 3.  The fee to ride for the remainder of the school year is $90 for all students.  There are multiple routes with waiting lists and registration is not a guarantee of a seat on the bus. Seats will be assigned prioritizing students living furthest from their assigned school.  Please use this link to register students for the bus: Bus Registration 2020-2021. Please email bus@miltonps.org with any questions. 

FOOD SERVICE 

With the return to a full in person model throughout MPS, we have ended our weekly drive through pick up.  We have emailed a survey to our fully remote families to schedule weekly pick ups of 5 days of breakfasts and lunches each week. 

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

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

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

PTO UPDATES 

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

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

MSAPC

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares that prevention starts early and it starts at home. Tip #6 is at right. For lots of tips and resources for parents and guardians about steps to take to help prevent teen use of drugs and alcohol, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

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

The pre-season and tryout schedule for Spring Sports  is posted here and you can register your student at this link. Registration for Spring Sports will close on Wednesday, April 21 at noon. 

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

The MHS Baseball Team is hosting a car wash on Saturday, April 17th from 9 am  to noon at Cunningham School.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We are happy to provide Community News on behalf of local organizations. We recommend checking with the organizations below for any changes to the following events. 

The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites the community to join together for the following event. Commemorating our Journey through Covid-19: A Community Gathering of Consolation, Healing and Hope. Presented by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association on Sunday, May 16 from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Milton Town Gazebo

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

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

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

Nature TalesJoin us for a free, fun, literacy and STEM series with animals and staff from the Trailside Museum.  Programs are designed for children ages 2.9 to 7 years old and their parent or guardian and will include a story, movement, 2 live animal encounters, and time for questions and answers.

  • Animal Movements – Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 11:00 AM
    (re-scheduled from March 27th)
  • Sessions will be held live, via Zoom. Please register here to receive the link and password to this Zoom session.

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Milton Art Center: Empower your young artist, ages 4-12 this summer with nine weeks of outdoor art programming starting June 28 to August 26 at the Milton Art Center. Weekly themed programs in clay, painting, fairy camp, mixed media, 3D sculpture and more run Monday-Thursday, AM and PM sessions. Sign up for one session or several on our website. 

New England Base Camp—An outdoor adventure park located in the Blue Hills of Milton, NE Base camp offers a premier destination for parents who are looking to keep their kids engaged during April break. This hidden jewel offers top notch outdoor education and a fantastic opportunity for kids to get a full outdoor experience, something they may not have had much of a chance to do during the pandemic. The camp offers fun filled activities such as fire-building, outdoor cooking, archery, S.T.E.M programs, pioneering, environmental studies, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, and creative arts such as animation, theatre, music and even ax throwing! The Camp, now open to the public, is owned and operated by the Boy Scouts Spirit of Adventure Council and follows all Covid-19 Protocols. Visit the NE Base Camp visit the website here. 

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Brookwood Community Farm is holding their annual Seedling Sale in early May.  To be compliant with state guidelines for outdoor gatherings due to COVID and to manage within our parking limits, everyone must sign up to visit our sale. Start dreaming and planning what you will grow this season and then make it happen. Please read our FAQs before going to our sale signup link here. Thank you in advance for trusting us to provide a great start to your gardening efforts in 2021! Some CSA shares are still available. Please see this link for details. 

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

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden Karen McDavitt, Sara MacNeil, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Somaly Prak-Martins, Ryan Madden, Emily Plunkett, Susan Maselli, Tanya Walsh and Martha Sandoval.

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 15, 2021

April 8, 2021

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

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

The next regular School Committee meeting will be on April 14, 2021, at 7pm in the Milton Access Studio, Rm 245 Milton High School. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

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

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of April 1 – April 7, MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 10 students positive.

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

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

PIERCE PAGES

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

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

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

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Camp Cunningham: Camp Cunningham is looking forward to a great summer! The CC team is working to implement a series of adjustments that will ensure a safe and fun environment for our campers. We are able to accommodate 72 campers and participants must be currently enrolled as MPS students entering grades 1- 6 in the fall of 2021.

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

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

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

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

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

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

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

FOOD SERVICE 

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

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

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

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

PTO UPDATES 

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

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

MSAPC

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

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

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

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

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

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We are happy to provide Community News on behalf of local organizations. We recommend checking with the organizations below for any changes to the following events. 

The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association invites the community to join together for the following event. Commemorating our Journey through Covid-19: A Community Gathering of Consolation, Healing and Hope. Presented by the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association on Sunday, May 16 from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Milton Town Gazebo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 8, 2021

April 1, 2021

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on April 14, 2021, at 7pm. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings is found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

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

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

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

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

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of March 25 – March 31, MPS reported: 2 staff positive and 11 students positive.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

 

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

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

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

PIERCE PAGES

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

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

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

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES 

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

There are four programs available to elementary families this summer:  

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

Camp Cunningham : The CC team is working to implement a series of adjustments that will ensure a safe and fun environment for our campers. We are able to accommodate 72 campers and participants must be currently enrolled as MPS students entering grades 1- 6 in the fall of 2021.

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

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

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

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

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

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

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

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

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

Transportation Guidelines for the 2020-2021 School Year

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

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

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

Please email bus@miltonps.org with any questions. 

FOOD SERVICE 

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

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

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

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

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

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

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

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April 1, 2021

March 25, 2021

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

MODEL CHANGE UPDATES 

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

I want to highlight a few logistical points below. 

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 31, 2021, at 7pm. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings is found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

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

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

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

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

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

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

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of March 18 – March 24, MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 14 students positive.

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

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

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

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

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

CELEBRATING OUR SENIORS

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

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

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

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

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

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

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

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

PIERCE PAGES

Productive Struggle in FUSE

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

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

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

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

 

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

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

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

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

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

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

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

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

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

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES 

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

There are four programs available to elementary families this summer:  

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

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

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

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

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

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

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

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

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

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

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

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

FOOD SERVICE 

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

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

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

MSAPC

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

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

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

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

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

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

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

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

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

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

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

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

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

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

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

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT 

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 25, 2021

March 18, 2021

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CELEBRATING OUR SENIORS

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

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

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

MODEL CHANGE UPDATES 

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

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

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 31, 2021, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), attend via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

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

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

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

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

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

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

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of March 11 – March 17, MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 2 students positive.

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

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

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

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

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

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

PIERCE PAGES

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

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

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES 

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

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

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

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

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

FOOD SERVICE 

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

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

MSAPC

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

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

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

Spring Sports registration is OPEN! Register here. 

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

See here for a PowerPoint on the Spring Sports.

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

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

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

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 18, 2021

March 11, 2021

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

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

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 17, 2021, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), attend via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

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

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

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

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

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of March 4 – March 10, MPS reported: 2 staff positive and 2 students positive.

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

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

SEASONAL ALLERGIES and COVID-19:

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

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

KEY POINTS TO DETERMINE ALLERGIES OR COVID-19 INFECTION

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

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

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

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

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

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

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Please see below from the MHS National Honor Society. 

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

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

PIERCE PAGES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some of our proud Collicot Science Fair participants.

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

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

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

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

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

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

FOOD SERVICE 

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

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

MSAPC

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition shares the following. 

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

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

Please join me in congratulating our Winter All-Stars!

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

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

MHS Floating Season Spectator Policy

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

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

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

Registration for spring sports will open Monday, March 15. 

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 11, 2021

March 4, 2020

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

Will teachers and staff be vaccinated before April 5? 

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

What does this change mean for full remote students? 

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

Can my child switch learning models before April 5? 

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

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

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

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

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

What will the school day hours be? 

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

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

The next regularly scheduled School Committee meeting will be on March 17, 2021, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), attend via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

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

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

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

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

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

HEALTH AND SAFETY

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

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of February 25 – March 3, MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 2 students positive.

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

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

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

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

PIERCE PAGES

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

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

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

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

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

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

FOOD SERVICE 

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

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

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

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

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden

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

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

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

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

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

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

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

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March 4, 2020

February 25, 2021

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

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on March 3, 2021, at 7pm. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15), attend via Zoom (link to attend found on the Town of Milton SC page), or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

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

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

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

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of February 11 – February 24, MPS reported: 1 staff positive and 6 students positive.

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

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

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

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

FOOD SERVICE 

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

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

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

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

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

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

 

 
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Please see below from the MHS Key Club.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PIERCE PAGES

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

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

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

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

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

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

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

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

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

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

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

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

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

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

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

ART AND MUSIC

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

ATHLETICS

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

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COMMUNITY NEWS 

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 25, 2021