To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: November 12, 2020
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Yesterday, we observed Veterans Day in Milton and across the United States. Our schools have a long tradition of Veterans Day events that honor Veterans in our MPS community. This year, we were unable to gather in person, but our schools held virtual assemblies, made artwork, wrote about important Veterans in their lives, and more. Please see below for some of the highlights of this year’s events. We look forward to gathering in person next year to honor our Veterans.
MHS Music students participated in this year’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Milton’s Town Hall on Wednesday, November 11. Senior MHS Chorus member Anna Hoey performed the National Anthem, and a small delegation from the Wildcat Marching Band performed “God Bless America.” MHS Marching Band performers include Senior Drum Major Aislinn Mershon (flute), Brian Fay (trumpet), Junior Drum Major Michael Howard (mellophone), Timothy Fay (trombone), and Junior Drum Major Max Hollingsworth-Hays (baritone sax). You can watch our musicians here.
Glover principal Mrs. McDavitt’s father, Dean Troxell, spoke to Glover students about Veterans Day. Thank you for your service, Mr. Troxell. You can watch Mr. Troxell’s video here.
Cunningham dedicated this Veterans Day to Beirne Lovely, and you can read the tribute to Mr. Lovely here. We received the note below from Mr. Lovely’s family as a piece of MPS Good News.
Thank you to the PTO, administration, and school community at Cunningham for dedicating this year’s Veterans Day event to Beirne Lovely, who passed away in June. Beirne was devoted to the Milton Public Schools in various capacities – as a proud parent and grandparent, School Committee Chair, and super fan, among other things – and he was a fierce advocate for his fellow Veterans. The family is so touched by Cunningham’s recognition of him, and we know that Beirne would have been deeply honored by this gesture.
Thank you to all who have served and continue to serve our country.
During the week of Thanksgiving, we will celebrate MPS Spirit Week. We are asking all in MPS to show their school pride on Monday and Tuesday, November 23/24, by wearing red and white and their school swag. In addition, we’ll be asking students and staff to share what they are thankful for. In this very trying time, it’s important for all of us to focus on the good and what we are thankful for, whenever possible. We received this comment below earlier this week and I share it with you now. It helped me to take a moment and reflect on the many positives in my professional and personal life.
If it hadn’t been for the pandemic, I would never have had the chance to experience my kid’s teachers in action. To preface this statement, I don’t hang over their shoulders during their zoom lessons. But, as I check in on them from time to time (my son sequestered in his room) and my daughter (working off the dining room table), I do also get to experience fleeting moments of teaching. These have all been lovely but I will only mention a few. While I was doing dishes, I became captivated by a Latin mythical tale and could have listened for hours. When I was cleaning up after breakfast, I was soothed by an endlessly patient teacher greeting all her students, some logging on early, some late, and gently suggesting to those who were there by mistake that maybe they would like to log on tomorrow instead. I can’t imagine how my kid’s teachers can keep up with all that they need to do, juggling various technological challenges, yet see and hear every student. I am grateful. The pandemic will eventually pass. 10 or 20 years from now, I will close my eyes and remember these moments and still be grateful.
The Milton Interfaith Clergy Association asked me to share information about their (virtual) Thanks for Giving Service on Sunday, November 22, at 4pm.
Please join us in gratitude for our many blessings, including this year’s Extraordinary Honorees from many of our Communities of Faith and Civic Organizations. Register in advance for this virtual webinar here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine… into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
William Arthur Ward
The next School Committee meeting will be on November 18, 2020, at 7pm, and all School Committee meetings can be watched live and later on-demand on Milton Access TV. In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/login information is available on the Town of Milton website.
MPS GOOD NEWS
Have an MPS Good News story to share? Please do so here and we will share it in an upcoming communication. Today I am pleased to share a few good news stories we have recently received.
Working from home, I get the chance to occasionally pop by the kids as they do their remote learning. Getting to finally hear them use their French in depth is so much fun. I also loved getting to listen to my highschooler debate Medicare for all on a zoom call. I value the opportunity to be a “fly on the wall” and see how much they are learning.
On October 22nd, at the Town Flu Clinic, so many members of our community came together to help provide the flu vaccine in a safe environment. Big shoutout to the school nurses who worked all day and then provided our most vulnerable community members with this important health care. Thank you!
The way every MPS staff member makes this crazy process seem like a walk in the park is amazing! Kudos to all for continued dedication, professionalism, care, and devotion to fostering a love for learning for all the children of Milton.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- Nov 25-27 Thanksgiving Recess
HEALTH AND SAFETY
As Milton residents plan for the Thanksgiving holiday, we offer the following considerations to help keep our friends, families, and community safe during COVID-19.
We are about to embark upon the holiday season, which is typically a social time for many of us. In addition, many of our students’ siblings will be returning home from colleges out of state. Per MA DPH guidelines, these college students will need to quarantine until they receive a negative COVID test. I am also asking each of you to be mindful of your own social gatherings and the need to adhere to the health and safety guidelines set by the CDC and MA DPH. Small gatherings of family and friends have repeatedly been shown to be super spreader events.
If you are traveling, please follow Massachusetts Travel orders linked here and adhere to MPS Policy that all students and staff must provide a negative COVID 19 test taken upon 72 hours of arrival back in Massachusetts or quarantine for 14 days after travel prior to returning to in person learning.
There are two ways to take advantage of the FREE TO ALL to-go breakfasts and lunches this year.
Weekly Pick Up: Weekly pick up is available at two different times on Wednesdays. Come to MHS 9:30-10:30 or 12:30-1:30 (please don’t arrive before 12:15 to allow for MHS pick up) to pick up 7 days of breakfast and lunches for your child.
Weekly Pick Up will be available EVERY Wednesday in November, including the Wednesdays when there is no school at MPS – November 25 (Wednesday before Thanksgiving).
Grab and Go: Encourage your student to check out our to go lunch and breakfast bags. They (and you!) will not be disappointed. Multiple breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are included in each bag. Students can take a grab and go bag with several breakfasts and lunches as they leave school each day.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
3rd grade students worked on a nighttime owl picture focusing on making implied texture in their artwork. Be sure to look at the details in their trees and owl feathers.
3rd grade students also learned about Mattie Lou O’Kelley, a folk artist from Georgia, and created these stunning landscapes. Students created three distinct sections to their landscape; a foreground, middle ground, and background. Look at all the details in each section!
As a supplement to the On the Farm Reach unit of study, Tucker kindergartners in Mrs. Barker’s class were asked to evidence their learning by creating a farm diorama using a shoebox, construction paper, popsicle sticks, and Model Magic.
Milton Public Schools is proud to have a thriving Inclusion Task Force. The purpose of the Inclusion Task Force (ITF) is to foster authentic relationships in schools and the broader community for our students with disabilities. The ITF works to promote awareness of inclusive opportunities throughout the school district and community. The ITF is asking all parents to take a brief survey about inclusion in the Milton Public Schools. You can complete the short survey here.
Join Caroline Mannion, Inclusion Specialist/BCBA for Pierce and MHS, for a session focused on how parents and guardians can support their middle and high school age children as they navigate through their Hybrid/Remote learning schedule. This evening will focus on identifying strategies on how parents can set up their home working environment to support at home learning, how to support your child with planning and organizing their workload, behavioral strategies to increase independence with remote learning, and strategies to monitor your child’s social and emotional well being. Join us online on Tuesday, November 17th, at 6:30 pm for this valuable session. Please click here to receive a link to attend a few days before the event.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls and emails are confidential.
- Download a shopping voucher for your school here. Print as many as you’d like and share them with friends, family, and neighbors.
- Present your voucher when you make purchases at the Fruit Center Marketplace from Monday, November 9, through Sunday, November 15. Shop as often as you’d like during that week.
- The Fruit Center Marketplace will donate 20% of your total purchase back to your school.
- That’s it – you’re done!
The MILTON signs are now SOLD OUT and APPLE signs are GOING FAST! These would make a great addition to teacher’s gifts this year, especially since proceeds from the sale of all signs will go directly towards the needs of the teachers. If you’d like to order one to include with your class gift please fill out the google form and submit your payment via pay pal.
ART AND MUSIC
Shop Fair Trade and support MPS Music Programs! Proceeds go towards instruments and scholarships. With the absence of our music concerts, candy sales, and other fundraising initiatives this year, we appreciate your support. Please consider purchasing any of these wonderful items and unique gifts, responsibly sourced through The Fair Trade Caravan while supporting the Milton Public Schools Music Programs.
Please see below from MHS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.
As we finish our fall season this week, I would like to thank all coaches, student-athletes, and parents/guardians for their help in making this season happen. Without total buy-in and with everyone following social distancing and mask-wearing protocols, we would not have been able to complete this season.
Winter season will start no sooner than Monday, December 7th. Information will be released in the coming weeks, and registration will open as soon as possible. Once information becomes available, it will be communicated to families.
As always, parents/guardians are encouraged to complete the Feedback Survey for Fall Sports found here.
Thank you to everyone who purchased merchandise in our Fall Pop-up and supported our student-athletes. Check out our Winter Pop-up with limited-time only gear. Remember once you place an order you will be contacted mid-December with local pick-up information.,,
- The where and what are up to you!
- Complete your miles from November 18-21, then upload your results.
- Create a personal or team page, then train and ask your friends and family to donate.
- Share photos and videos on our Facebook event page.
- Register here.
Thanks for participating and supporting our very important cause!
Do you like to write stories, comics, poems, and movies? Sign-up for our new Zoom program for ages 8-11, The Young Writers Club! Thursday, November 19th, @ 4:00 PM, sign up at miltonlibrary.org/events/upcoming-events.
There are virtual ukulele meetups once a month at the MPL! Register online. Have a ukulele sitting in the garage? Well, now’s the time to dust it off and join us for our next session on Friday, November 20th, @ 4:00 pm. We will begin by introducing the ukulele, basic chords, and then take turns strumming online. This program is half an hour long, and is for ages 8+. Sign up at miltonlibrary.org/events/upcoming-events.
The library has a limited amount of Ukuleles it can lend out. First-come, first-serve.
Forbes House Museum is seeking volunteers for its new DEI Committee. The Forbes House Museum has formed a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The group will identify and address inequities and gaps across all museum operations. They will work closely with the board on ongoing cultural fluency training. They will also be tasked with cultivating partnerships with other local groups working to advance DEI efforts in our community.
It’s vital that we include voices from outside the institution in this initiative. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining this committee, please send an email to Heidi Vaughan, Executive Director.
Reserve your spot at the Brookwood Community Farm Thanksgiving Sale! Preorder harvest boxes through November 14 and pies by November 19. This sale will be masked and socially distanced, and you have to sign up for a shopping slot online! All options are online, and you will choose one of the following:
- Shopping slot, with no pre-order box
- Pre-order box and shopping slot
- Pre-order box, with box pickup only (no shopping slot)
Both shopping slots and pre-order boxes are limited, so sign up HERE soon. Brookwood Farms is happy to provide local food for the local community!
Milton Early Childhood Alliance invites you to two upcoming programs.
Parent Education Workshop – Join us for the second of four free virtual parent workshops to help families with children ages 2.9 to 10 years old who are at home learning this school year in either the remote or hybrid model. Our second workshop, Creating a Supportive At Home Learning Environment, will be held on (NEW DATE!) Wednesday, November 18th at 7:30 PM. Two additional workshops will be held in January and March. These workshops will be held virtually via Zoom from the comfort or your home. Registration is required to obtain the Zoom link and password. Please register to receive the Zoom link and password. Our program facilitator will be Beth Greenawalt, Parent Coach and founder of www.Parent-Solutions.com. Many thanks to the generous support of the Milton Junior Woman’s Club for their support of this programming.
Nature Tails! Children’s Program – Join us for the first of four free, fun, literacy and STEM Saturday morning programs with Trailside Museum staff. Programs are designed for children ages 2.9 to 7 years old and their parent or guardian and will include a story, guided movement, two live animal encounters, and a Q&A session! This program will be held on Saturday, November 21st at 11:00 AM and the topic will be Owls. These sessions will be held live, via Zoom. Registration is required to obtain the Zoom link and password. Please register here. Mark your calendar for the remaining sessions: January 23, 2021, Animal Habitats; March 27, 2021, Animal Movements; and May 22, 2021, Animal Five Senses. Many thanks to our kindergarten t-shirt sponsors. Their generosity has made this programming possible!
Chess Club with Mr. Vigorito – Winter Session- Begins December 7th!
International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. He also usually teaches at the Milton Summer Enrichment program. For information and to register, please see this link.
Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Kim Coughlin, Susan Maselli, Jackie Morgan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Caroline Mannion, Ryan Madden, Jon Redden, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Rebecca Damiani, Laurel Bernini and Karen McDavitt.
The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as a selection of volunteers, vendors, and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.