To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 20, 2021
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
On May 13th the CDC released new guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals significantly relaxing the restrictions for masks and social distancing. Following Governor Baker’s announcement this week, Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), along with the Department of Public Health, have updated guidance for schools.
As of May 20, Milton Public Schools policy will now reflect these changes:
- Students will no longer have to wear masks outdoors, even if distance cannot be maintained. This applies to recess, physical education and outdoor learning environments.
- At this time, adults and students must continue to wear masks indoors.
- Adults will continue to wear masks outdoors if distancing cannot be maintained.
- Students will no longer have to avoid sharing objects. Shared objects no longer have to be cleaned or disinfected between use.
- Play structures may be utilized at recess.
- Students/ staff are encouraged to test after out of state travel, however documentation of such testing will not be required for school re-entry.
- Students will still be required to wear a mask when riding on the school bus
- Students will still wear a mask during arrival and dismissal.
- Student-athletes, coaches and spectators are no longer required to wear masks for any outdoor sports, even if distancing cannot be maintained. Student-athletes and coaches must wear masks during wrestling practice and any outdoor sports practicing indoors.
We know that comfort levels around removing masks outside vary and many may feel safer leaving masks on. Our teachers, administrators, and coaches are letting students know that when they go outside during the school day, or for outdoor sports, masks are optional for students.
Once again, I want to thank you for your patience, flexibility and cooperation as our policies continue to evolve as the science dictates these changes.
The next regular School Committee meeting will be on June 2 , 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 22 COVID Vaccine Clinic at MHS
- May 27 Music Awards Night, MHS Auditorium
- May 27 PARENT Speaker Jon Mattelman
- May 31 Memorial Day-No School
- June 1 MHS Senior Picnic
- June 2 Milton School Committee Meeting
- June 6 MHS Graduation (Rain Date June 5)
COVID Vaccine Clinic: The Milton Public Schools has partnered with Manet Community Health Center and Fallon Ambulatory Services to provide the Pfizer Vaccine for individuals 12 years of age and older. This opportunity is not mandatory but made available to all eligible Milton Public Schools students and their families along with our faculty and staff and their families.
The administration of the vaccine will take place in the MHS Copeland Field House in the back of Milton High School.
- Saturday, May 22, 9 am – 12 pm (1st shot)
- Saturday, June 12, 9 am – 12 pm (2nd shot)
Please use this link to book an appointment for your child on May 22. Manet Community Health Center will internally book your student’s second appointment for June 12. By clicking on this link, the system will allow parents/guardians to select their preferred time on Saturday, May 22, and collect all relevant details. Those who received a vaccination of any kind in the 14 days prior to May 22 will not be eligible, nor will anyone who is quarantining on May 22 due to a positive COVID19 test.
We hope many in our community will take advantage of this easy and free opportunity. This is not mandatory but strongly encouraged if you would like to have your student get the Pfizer vaccination.
PARENT Speaker Series: 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. Thank you to the MFE, MSPAC, and BID Milton for bringing this speaker to Milton. Please register at this link.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the period May 13 – May 19, MPS reported: 0 staff positive and 7 students positive.
The COVID page on our website continues to be updated with new FAQs added regularly.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
MPS District Orchestra Director Debra Miller shares that on May 16 Barron Clancy, Co-concertmaster of the MHS orchestra and chamber ensemble, performed solo for the MICA (Milton Interfaith Clergy Association) outdoor service, “Commemorating Our Journey Through Covid-19”. Thank you to Barron for joining our community at this event. Below is one of the five selections he performed.
Pierce 6th graders have been studying cells in science. Students were tasked with building a plant or animal cell to showcase their understanding of the organelles that make up cells and their functions and create labels or a key to designate each organelle. You can see their creative work below.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Ms. Windwer & Ms. Schramm’s Cunningham 3rd graders have exciting news – they have received their crayfish for their last science unit on life structures. Students are very excited to have the chance to create a habitat, feed, and care for these crayfish over the next few weeks!
This week the Scholastic Book Fair has returned to Tucker! Students have had the opportunity to shop for books, journals and new school supplies in the gorgeous spring weather. Many students have earned “Tickets to Read” for exemplifying The Tucker Way through collaboration, respect, and innovation, earning them a free book from the Book Fair. The Tucker outdoor Book Fair will be open to all of Milton on Saturday, May 22 from 9 am to 12 pm. We hope that you will stop by the front parking lot at Tucker to pick up a few new books to get a jump on your summer reading!
Ms. Alvahydo’s Spanish students at Cunningham and Collicot combined learning, fun, and movement in Spanish classes this week. 5th grade Cunningham students reviewed their personal pronouns in Spanish while singing a song and you can hear and see them here. 4th graders from Collicot got to shake off their MCAS jitters with a salsa lesson from Ms. Alvahydo, as you can see here. All of our students enjoyed these fun lessons this week!
It’s been a great few weeks in the Tucker art room. Inspired by the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu, 4th and 5th grade students are imagining their own ancient civilization. Like Machu Picchu, the civilization is located in the mountains on top of a plateau. Students used overlapping and atmospheric perspective to create a sense of space in their landscape. Adding symbols to represent aspects of their civilization not only adds variety but also allows students to use their imaginations to draw an ancient, high altitude home!
Tucker art students in 2nd grade have been doing a unit on bugs and flowers. Pictured here are some students working on creating bugs out of model magic, which was made possible by an MFE COVID grant this year.
Ms. Aldrich’s Cunningham 2nd graders recently read “Eyes that Kiss in the Corners”, by Joanna Ho and did a poetry craft to celebrate our eyes and how they are all unique and beautiful.
After School Enrichment (ASE) has available spots! June 1- 17. Tuition fee for 3 weeks: $150.00 Register by Friday, May 28 at noontime to start Tuesday, June 1. For more information, please see our ASE HANDBOOK. To register: FAMILY ID-ASE SPRING 2021
MPS GIVES BACK
MHS Junior Max Hollingsworth-Hays has asked us to share the following about his Eagle Scout project.
Hello. I am currently a junior at MHS, as well as a Life Scout with Troop 5 Milton. I am working to become an Eagle Scout by the end of the summer, and one of the steps in earning this rank is completing a project that benefits the community. As a longtime member of the Milton Music Department, I plan to create a resource that introduces elementary school students to the basics of playing and reading music. More specifically, I plan to create a tubulum PVC instrument at Tucker Elementary School that students will be able to play during recess and music class. This has the same layout as a keyboard, and will have note names labeled respectively. It would resemble the structure pictured at right very closely.
The main thing I want to accomplish with this project is to provide a basic understanding of music to younger students, hopefully inspiring them to pursue music to some extent as I have. My longtime involvement in music as well as in the Milton Music Department has connected me with many great people, developed my skills as a musician, and most of all shaped my strong work ethic. I hope this instrument encourages many other students to pursue the same incredible path that I have.
In order to acquire the materials needed to build the structure, some funds will be needed. I would greatly appreciate it if some of you contributed financially to this project, knowing that it supports an inspirational cause. Please send any funds through venmo to the account @Max-Hollingsworth-Hays. Thank you very much for your support!
Summer will be here before we know it! MPS has some terrific options for your student below.
Milton Summer Enrichment: 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 email@example.com. We hope your child will join the MSE fun this summer!
Camp Cunningham: Camp Cunningham can 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
It is with tremendous excitement that we share with you that Milton High School will go to a one-to-one Chromebook initiative (1:1) for all ninth-grade students next year. In adopting this model, all ninth-graders will receive a school-issued Chromebook that they will take to and from school on a daily basis. Ninth-grade students will not be allowed to bring their own device to school.
All current eighth-grade students will be asked to return their loaned Chromebook and charger to Pierce Middle School in June. More information with the exact date(s), time(s), and specific instructions for the Chromebook return to Pierce will be shared with students and families in the coming weeks. Students attending Milton High School this fall will pick-up their MHS Chromebook during New Student Orientation in August.
Optional Chromebook insurance will be offered to all ninth-grade students. It is highly encouraged to purchase insurance for their school-issued Chromebook. If insurance is declined, students are held responsible for damage beyond reasonable wear and tear as outlined in the Loan Agreement linked here.
More detailed information about this exciting initiative will be provided in the coming weeks.
Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following.
Join Mark Harrison for an ESY parent coffee check in on Friday at 11. We will meet virtually at this link.
Milton SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is partnering with a volunteer group of parents who are interested in organizing sports activities that are accessible to all children– including those with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges as well as their more typical peers. Please see this link with a brief survey from this group, “Milton Sports for All,” inquiring about your child’s ability to access sports or other activities in Milton and your interest in new, less competitive, and more accessible sports options. The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.
Your feedback will be very helpful in guiding progress toward creating more accessible activities and in providing critical feedback to the town and our schools regarding the accessibility of current offerings. We hope you will take the time to complete this survey. Thank you very much for your time and your interest in this issue. If you have any questions about the survey please email the SEPAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to apply for Fuel Assistance is quickly approaching. Applications must be submitted by May 28, 2021. QCAP (Quincy Community Action Program) serving Milton families oversees this program. For applications and more details please visit QCAP Fuel Assistance Program or call QCAP with Questions: 617-657-5301 or email email@example.com.
For families struggling to afford broadband internet services during the COVID-19 pandemic The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to assist families. The program opened on May 12th and provides eligible households:
- Up to $50/month discount for broadband service;
- Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if the household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. Click here for additional information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
The Pandemic-EBT program has been extended throughout the summer for all families who are eligible for free and reduced lunch. P-EBT is a new federal nutrition program that provides a small grocery benefit for families to purchase food. P-EBT was first available in 2020 for families with school-aged children, and was extended in 2021 to include some families with young children as well. More details can be found at this link from Project Bread and at this link also seen at right.
Talk, They Hear You: Did you know that children are more likely to avoid drinking when they have a strong, trusting relationship with their parents and caregivers? Finding informal times to talk as your child grows can help build this trusting relationship. By having frequent and open conversations about alcohol and substance use, parents and caregivers can impact the decisions their children make.
Learn more and find tips about how to start the conversation at www.rethinkthedrinks.com #rethinkthedrinks #TalkTheyHearYou
Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.
Effective immediately, student-athletes, coaches and spectators are no longer required to wear masks for any outdoor sports, even if distancing cannot be maintained. Student-athletes and coaches must wear masks during wrestling practice and any outdoor sports practicing indoors.
End of the Spring Season information: All Varsity Team Sports (Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Tennis) will compete in a Bay State Conference Tournament. The dates are as follows, subject to slight change pending how the season goes with weather and any COVID shutdowns;
- Baseball – June 7th, 9th, 11th (Championship @ Braintree 6/12)
- Softball – June 7th, 9th, 11th (Championship @ Braintree 6/12)
- Lacrosse – June 8th, 10th, 14th (Championship @ Walpole 6/15)
- Tennis – June 8th, 10th, 14th (Boys Championship @ NN, Girls @ Wellesley 6/14)
Students will qualify scores and times for Track will continue to compete into late June. The MIAA Tournament starts Tue/Wed June 15th & 16th. As mentioned before, only teams warranting a tournament berth will enter the Tournament. All other teams will play up to 3 additional contests, pending availability of opponents.
All JV Teams will be done by June 16th, and most Varsity Teams, including Track, will be done between June 18th-June 24th. Teams that win a few MIAA playoff games may play until as late as June 30th. Look for updates on Twitter @Milton_Wildcats_
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.
Join your Mattapan and Milton neighbors on Tuesday, May 25 for the One Year Anniversary March and Rally Milton to Mattapan. Featuring Representative Brandy Fluker Oakley,
Ron Bell of Dunk the Vote, the Branches Steel Drum Band and more! Questions? Email email@example.com.
- 5:30pm: Gathering & Music: Parkway Methodist Church
158 Blue Hills Parkway
- 6pm: March 1 mile to Walker Park, 550 Norfolk St. Mattapan
- 7pm: Rally for George and Justice!
MPL invites students in grades 7-12 for a yoga & mindfulness session with Joanne of Yoginikids Tuesday, June 8, 6-7pm. Registration is required and additional information, including Zoom links, will be provided by email.
Joanne Lloyd is a clinical social worker and has a psychotherapy practice in Brookline. She is a trauma informed yoga teacher at Boston Youth Sanctuary and with children recovering from severe burns with Shriners Hospital for Children. Her past experience includes working as an Emergency Department Social Worker in Level 1 Trauma Centers in Boston for 12 years. She has been practicing yoga with children and their families for the past 12 years. She has taught yoga classes at Boston Children’s Museum, Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Brookline Mental Health Center, outdoor festivals, and in local family and preschool centers in the Boston and surrounding area. She has spoken nationally at conferences and for professional development in social service organizations about the benefits of therapeutic/trauma informed yoga in clinical settings. Joanne’s 200-hour family yoga teacher training certification is with Shakta Kaur Khalsa through the Radiant Child Yoga program.
Special thanks to the Friends of Milton Public Library for sponsoring this event, a program of Milton Moves: a year-long initiative of the Milton Public Library for all ages focused on fitness, wellness, and healthy eating.
The Forbes House Museum is hosting two virtual programs next week.
The first is a book talk with Ted Widmer, author of Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington. This free program is generously sponsored by Milton Academy and will be held on Tuesday, May 25, 7pm via Zoom.
Mr. Widmer is an historian and former presidential adviser who has written widely on politics, history and their intersection. In his latest book, he follows Lincoln on an impactful and dangerous train ride from Springfield, IL to Washington, D.C. for Lincoln’s inauguration. There will be a Q&A session following the talk. Register here.
The second program is entitled Preservation Tools for Historic Properties, to be held on Wednesday, May 26, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Milton Historical Commission is co-hosting as well as sponsoring this FREE event.
Do you own an historic home? Are you interested in learning what you can do to protect historic properties in your town?
In recognition of National Historic Preservation Month, we’ve invited Dylan Peacock of Historic New England to discuss preservation tools, from National Register listing to Historic Districts to Preservation Restrictions, and how they can work for you. Please register in advance at this link.
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. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this programming!
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.
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, Nicole Lauria, Michaela Duggan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Debra Miller, 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.