To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Interim Superintendent Janet Sheehan
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 2, 2023
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we welcomed incoming Superintendent Peter Burrows for two days of transition planning. Dr. Burrows was able to informally visit several schools, stop by classrooms, and chat with students and staff. He also attended a Warrant Committee meeting, and was a Community Reader at Collicot’s World Read Aloud Day. His visit to Mme Saidj’s second grade class was a highlight of the day! Dr. Burrows will be in the district periodically throughout the spring in anticipation of his July 1, 2023 official start date.
Assistant Superintendent McKinney and I were also able to attend Collicot’s World Read Aloud Day and thoroughly enjoyed visiting Mrs. Hodgkin’s and Mr. Doyle’s 4th grade classes. For 13 years, World Read Aloud Day has called attention to the importance of sharing stories by challenging participants to grab a book, find an audience, and read-aloud. This global effort is about bringing people together through the shared connection of reading aloud in all of our communities. Seeing our students excited for community visitors and new books made World Read Aloud Day a joy to attend. Thank you to the Collicot PTO volunteers who organized such a successful day for our students and community. Below you can see photos from activities at Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker this week, including book swaps, Reader’s Cafes, reading events, read-a-thons, Book Character Days and more!
As I wrote to staff earlier this week, I know many of us have heavy hearts right now over so many violent, racial and disturbing events that have occurred over the last month–both locally and across the country. Tragic events such as the Tyre Nichols murder, mass shootings in the California Asian community, and unspeakable incidents in our own South Shore communities have brought shock and sadness to all. We know these are difficult times for families and educators.
I wanted to share that our schools have recently completed scheduled Crisis Team Training with Maria Trozzi. School-based Crisis Teams are reporting that they feel better prepared to address a variety of scenarios using protocols in their Crisis Plans and follow-up meetings with each school faculty and staff are being planned. As a district, we are trying our best to ensure that our students meet high academic standards while also supporting their social emotional needs and we appreciate the strong home-school partnership that is vital in the ongoing support of our students.
Tomorrow, Friday, February 3, is my final day as Interim Superintendent. The district will finish the school year under the leadership of Interim Superintendent Dr. Garth McKinney, with support from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Glen Pavlicek, Central Office staff, Principals, the District Leadership Team, faculty and staff. While I leave with bittersweet feelings, it’s made much easier knowing that the district is in such experienced and capable hands. Dr. McKinney has indicated that he will continue to send you the weekly MPS blog post, to keep you informed of happenings across the district.
I would like to thank the Milton School Community for being so supportive over the past months. I am truly grateful to have had another opportunity to serve the students and families of Milton and to work with an incredible team of administrators, faculty and staff. I feel fortunate to have worked alongside a School Committee that advocates for excellence in education. Thank you to all who have reached out with good wishes and I wish you all a happy and successful second half of the school year.
MPS NEED TO KNOW
EXTREMELY COLD TEMPERATURES
The forecast over the next few days indicates exceptionally cold temperatures, especially factoring in the windchill. Please plan for students to dress accordingly tomorrow, and if at all possible, minimize the time they spend outside walking to school or waiting for the bus. Students should enter the building upon arrival, and our elementary students will have indoor recess. Please stay warm and safe over the weekend.
- Feb 2 SEPAC Meeting- DESE Presentation on Tiered Review Process
- Feb 3 MHS Theatre Performance
- Feb 8 School Committee Forum on Budget
- Feb 15 School Committee Meeting
- Feb 20-24 February Recess
- Feb 28 SEPAC Meeting
- Mar 1 School Committee Meeting
- Mar 7 Early Release Day – PD for Staff
- Mar 8 Harlem Wizards at MHS
SEPAC MEETING – TONIGHT
Milton SEPAC shares the following information.
Be a part of the Tiered Focused Monitoring Review! Please join SEPAC on February 2 at 6:30 PM via Zoom at this link to learn more about this review, which monitors compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations, and to find out how you can be a part of this important process. DESE’s Monitor, Joan Brinckerhoff, will provide an overview of the monitoring process, answer parent questions, and, most importantly, let you know how you can be part of the review and have your voice heard through the review’s interview aspect. We hope you can join us at this link for this important session.
MHS THEATRE ONE ACT PERFORMANCE
MHS Theatre invites the community to a free benefit performance (donations welcome!) of four student directed scenes and a performance of their one act submission “Badger” for the METG Competition Festival. Please see the description of “Badger” below and please join us at MHS on Friday, February 3 at 7pm for an evening of theater.
In 1944, four young women take newly available jobs at one of the largest munitions factories in the United States: the Badger Ordinance Works. Facing dangerous work with highly flammable powder as well as insidious sexism, the women form an unlikely friendship through joy and heartbreak. A vibrant ensemble brings the factory to life as each of the women confronts not only the challenges of entering the workforce in the darkest days of World War II, but also who she is and what she truly values. Unforgettable human stories make the era immediate in this captivating ensemble drama.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE BUDGET OPEN HEARING AND FORUM
On Wednesday, February 8, from 7-8:30pm, the School Committee will host the final of four planned public forums for the Milton community. The forum will provide an overview and discussion of the Fiscal Year ’24 MPS Budget. Following the presentation, community members will be invited to ask questions and share comments, and MPS administrators and School Committee members will respond and share their perspectives on the MPS budget.
The public forum will be held at the Council on Aging, at 10 Walnut St, just behind Town Hall. The meeting will be hybrid, with attendees able to participate in person and through Zoom at this link (Passcode:168556).
If you missed the previous forums, Milton Access TV recordings can be found below.
- School Committee Forum on Personalized Learning, November 9, 2022
- School Committee Forum on Safe and Supportive Schools, November 30, 2022
- School Committee Forum on Equity in Learning, January 25, 2023
FRENCH UNIVERSITY PRESENTATION FOR MHS STUDENTS
We are excited to offer our MHS students (and others interested in French Universities) the exciting opportunity to hear directly from and learn more about four French Universities. Students and families are invited to attend (in person or virtually) on Tuesday, February 7 at 6pm in the MHS Library (or via live webinar, register at this link).
This Parcoursup Webinar will have two focuses: The first 30 minutes will be general admission information for all students, and the second 30 minutes will be admission information for students who have the French Baccalaureate (which does not include students from MHS). This Webinar will have valuable information for general admission students and in addition, a follow-up Webinar will be scheduled later this winter with more information for general admission students. More information about admissions pathways for French higher education can be found here. Register for the Webinar here. The link to attend will be emailed by Institut Francais aux USA (please check spam if you don’t receive the link).
ELEMENTARY DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP
While the current age to legally join social media applications is thirteen, this week, United States Surgeon General stated, “13 is ‘too early’ to join social media”. You can read the CNN article on Surgeon General Murthy’s announcement here. Some of the key highlights and resources include:
- Research on the harm social media can cause adolescents.
- New research suggests habitually checking social media can alter the brain chemistry of adolescents.
- Social media releases a “dopamine dump” in the brain.
- Surgeon General Murthy states, “None of this is out of our control. When we had dangerous vehicles on the road, we passed laws to make those vehicles less dangerous.”
Milton Public Schools continues to make digital citizenship a priority! All students in elementary school are taught a robust digital citizenship curriculum developed by Common Sense Media and modified by our incredible Instructional Technology Specialists, Sara Doherty and Jen Van Hill. We continue to find ways to embed digital citizenship topics into the core subjects at the secondary level. In addition, we offer an elementary digital citizenship day in February and 9th grade Digital Citizenship Day each October. If you are interested in volunteering for an upcoming Elementary Digital Citizenship Day, please sign-up here:
- Collicot: February 14 from 8:30-10:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
- Tucker: February 15 from 9:30-11:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
- Cunningham: February 16 from 8:30-10:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
- Glover: February 17 from 9:30-11:30 am. Sign up to volunteer here.
MPS GOOD TO KNOW
PERSONALIZED LEARNING WEBSITE
Thank you to Director of Educational Technology AJ Melanson for building a new MPS Personalized Learning website. This website will house both general and MPS specific information and data about Personalized Learning. It will be updated periodically and we invite you to visit the site at this link.
PIERCE 8TH GRADE IN DC
We are excited to share that the 8th grade class trip to Washington, D.C. is back! There are 265 students signed up to travel to DC with their classmates and Pierce staff. The cost of the trip is $1200 per student, and the Pierce PTO would like to give EVERY student the opportunity to go. We are in need of $21,000 in scholarship funds and hoping you can help. Rather than “Pitch in for Pierce” this year, the PTO is hoping people will consider making a donation to help fund a scholarship for students in need – and no amount is too small! Please see this link to donate in support of a student, or you can make a check out to the Pierce PTO and drop it off in the front office (please put “DC scholarship fund” on the check memo). On behalf of Pierce 8th graders, thank you!
MPS KINDERGARTEN – Welcome to the Class of 2036!
- Welcome to the Class of 2036!
- Please view the Kindergarten Information Night Recording from Thursday, January 26, 2023
- Kindergarten Pre-registration Questionnaire Link – all incoming K students, please complete.
- Online Kindergarten registration will take place March 1 – 15, 2023 (link to follow)
- If you have any questions about next steps please contact Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617 980 7343 or email Mrs. McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MPS NICE TO KNOW
MILTON HIGH SCHOOL MODEL UN
Mme. Liddell shares that our MHS Model UN participants outdid themselves this past weekend at Harvard Model UN. Ten students competed over this 4-day conference and five took awards home! This was the first time that many of our students competed at Harvard, so it was incredibly impressive that they had so much success. On the heels of the impressive accomplishment of the first Harvard Gavel in MHS history, keep your eyes peeled for more big news as the club heads into Boston Model UN in two weeks!
Congratulations to Lawson Beaudoin, Sam Boucher, Kiera Glazer, Rachel McNulty, Moth Trafton, Sydney Burns – Honorable Delegate, Tucker Korman – Best Delegate, Rory Martin – Diplomatic Commendation, Alex McEttrick – Outstanding Delegate, and Ida Zoll – Diplomatic Commendation on their impressive showing!
6TH GRADE SCHOOL COUNSELING LESSONS
Last month, Pierce 6th graders discovered their Holland Career Codes and learned about the kinds of careers best suited to them. These lessons, taught by School Counselors through sixth grade seminar classes, represent a move toward the Massachusetts Model for School Counseling. Counselors teaching lessons in the classroom is a tier 1 intervention and is recommended by the American School Counselor Association. We are working towards Counselor taught lessons focused on Academic Strategies and interventions and Social Emotional learning.
COLLICOT 5TH GRADE SERVICE PROJECT
The Collicot 5th Grade Class gathered last week to assemble birthday boxes to donate to the Southwest Community Food Center in Quincy. Each box was decorated by our 5th graders and contained cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, decorative plates/napkins, and a homemade card. The students decorated and assembled a total of 50 boxes!. That is 50 children in the area who will have a better birthday thanks to the kindness and generosity of the 5th graders and their families. A special thank you to the 5th graders, their families, and the 5th grade staff who helped organize and encourage the students. An extra special thank you to the members of the 5th Grade Service Committee: Heather Bergin, Heidi Naumes, Christina Lang, and Sarah Ahearn who made this all happen! Way to kick off Kindness Month at Collicot!
Please see below from MPS AD Ryan Madden.
The Track Team showed well at the Bay State Conference Championship Meet last night at the Reggie Lewis Center! The Boys had 16 Top-10 finishes while the Girls had 7! Check out our Twitter for full results. They have just a couple invitationals and last chance meets before they go to the States before February Vacation!
The Girl’s Hockey Team beat Braintree last night to earn their 11th win of the season! Barring the COVID season, this is the first time in quite a while that they beat the Wamps! Caelan Leddy and Molly Murphy both scored in the win!
The Dance and Cheer Team will both travel to Weymouth High School next Thursday for the Bay State Conference Championships!
On February 17th and 18th, the Copeland Field House will host the MIAA Division II State Wrestling Championships. Our very own MHS Junior Mason Pellegri, will try to repeat as Division II Champ!
There will be no Cans for Cats collection on Saturday, February 4th, due to predicted extreme temperatures. Please save your cans and bottles for Girls’ Hockey on Saturday, March 4th.
MHS BOOSTERS NEWS
The next Membership Meeting is Tuesday Feb 7th at 7pm. Please enter through field house doors. All are welcome – come learn how you can support our student athletes and be part of this fun and growing parent group!
COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS
Please use the links below or visit the MPS Community News & Events page for information on these terrific community events and opportunities!
Milton Field Hockey is open for registration for the Winter (K-8) and Spring (K-8) 2023 season and summer camp (up to age 18)! All details can be found here.
Milton American Baseball registration is now open for players ages 4-12. With T-ball through the Majors Division, there is an opportunity for everyone to play and develop with friends. Please visit miltonamericanbaseball.org for more information.
MECA offers Stories and Friends Meet Up: Signs of Winter. Meet and connect with other families with young children and enjoy some winter fun! We’ll meet at the Visitor’s Center at Houghton’s Pond, enjoy some stories and songs, look for animal tracks in the snow, and complete a fun, hands-on snowman activity. Children will have the opportunity to meet Ranger Dan, who will read the StoryWalk® posted on the grounds. Registration is not required; however, you will need to sign in upon arrival. Please dress for both indoor and outdoor weather. A free animal tracks activity will be distributed to the first 35 children who sign in that morning. This program will meet on Saturday, February 18th, at 10:30 AM at 860 Hillside Street in Milton. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this program! All details can be found here.
MECA Learning Through Play Preschool Playgroup 8-Week Series. Join us for a free 8-week preschool playgroup series beginning Saturday, March 18th! For children and their parent/guardian. Children must be 3 years old by March 18th, 4 years old, or 5 years old and missed the kindergarten entrance date last fall. This free playgroup series will focus on language, social/emotional, and fine and gross motor skills and be held in-person in a developmentally appropriate classroom with learning centers and fun learning activities throughout the space. This series is provided through a generous grant from Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton, Community Health Grant. Registration link can be found here and more details can be found here.
Milton Girls Softball encourages children in Kindergarten through Grade 8 to register for the 2023 Spring Season. All details can be found at www.miltonsoftball.com.
Milton Youth Lacrosse registration is open! All details at www.miltonlacrosse.org.
Join local board game creator, Thato Mwosa, for Trivia on Saturday, February 11 at 2:30PM! SAWA Trivia is an African Trivia Pop Culture game that celebrates the diversity of the African continent and the contributions of African people. Registrants will start the program learning about African history, geography, Arts, and Culture, and then they will get the chance to test their knowledge in this inspiring and entertaining board game. Register today!
Attention graphic novel fans: Join Ms. Tory in the Story Hour Room for Graphic Novel Book Club (Grades 3-5) on Wednesday, February 15 at 4:30PM! This month we are reading Twins by Varian Johnson. Pick up a reserved copy at the Children’s Desk and sign up today!
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: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources Dr. Garth McKinney, (617) 696- 4808/4809.