May 27, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 27, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I am pleased to announce that at the last Milton School Committee meeting, the Committee voted to name the Pierce Middle School Library in honor of former Superintendent Mary Gormley. No one deserves this recognition more than Mary Gormley who dedicated her career to the students, families, faculty and staff of the Milton Public Schools.

Ms. Gormley began her teaching career at the Glover Elementary School and went on to become the Principal of the Cunningham Elementary School. She was appointed to the position of Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Curriculum where she remained until being appointed as the Superintendent of the Milton Public Schools in 2008. She had an amazing, successful career until her retirement in August, 2020. Literacy remained close to Ms. Gormley’s heart and we are thrilled that her dedication to the Milton Public Schools will be recognized with this honor. We look forward to a dedication ceremony in the future

This week marked the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, which sparked nationwide grief and outrage. On Tuesday night, many from our community attended the March for George & Justice. The issues of equity and racial justice highlighted over the last year continue to reverberate in Milton and across the country and as your Superintendent, I will continue to work on behalf of all students and staff to elevate these important issues.

The last day of school for the Milton Public Schools is June 18, just three weeks from tomorrow. As we approach that date, I will be holding Conversation Hours for parents/guardians and I invite all in the MPS community to attend via Zoom. On June 3 at 6:30, I will hold a session for Pierce and MHS families and on June 7 at 6:30 I will hold a session for elementary families. Links to attend are here (Pierce and MHS Passcode: 087880) and here (elementary Passcode: 544704)

I plan for these conversations to initially focus on: 

  • Current Assessments & 21-22 Teaching and Learning
  • SEL Strategy & Intervention
  • Summer Opportunities for Students
  • Enrollment Update 
  • Expectations for the 21-22 School Year 

I invite you to submit additional questions  at this link and we also plan to leave time for live questions. As we look forward to the 21-22 School Year, my hope is for the entire MPS community to come together around our common goal of excellence within the Milton Public Schools. I look forward to partnering with you in the months and years ahead. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

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.

MPS SUMMER

Summer will be here before we know it! MPS has some terrific options for your student below. 

Milton Summer Enrichment: MSE Co-Directors Caroline Morton and Ellen Lohan share the following. We are excited about Milton Summer Enrichment 2021 and hope that you will consider joining us this year! A few details:

  • MSE runs July 6-July 30 at Milton High School.
  • MSE runs Mon-Fri 8:30 am-12:30 pm.
  • MSE is for PreK- 8th grade students.
  • Kids make their own schedule when they sign up – choose 2-4 classes, you decide what and when! 
  • There are dozens of classes to choose from – fun, sports, arts, academics, etc.
  • No masks during outdoor classes, and we will offer as many outdoor classes as possible. At this time, students and staff will wear masks indoors, and we will continue to follow any updated guidance for Massachusetts schools and camps for indoor programs.

Please see our brochure at this link and register here. Registration closes on Friday, June 4. Please email us at mse@miltonps.org with any questions. 

Check out our short MSE video below – we hope your child will join the MSE fun this summer!

Camp Cunningham:  Camp Cunningham is headquartered at the Cunningham School, with swimming at Cunningham Park. CC runs for seven weeks divided into 4 sessions (three two-week sessions and one-week session). Camp hours are from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. There are currently openings in Sessions 1 and 3. Session 1: June 28-July 9 (no camp on July 5th in observance of Independence Day); Session 3: July 26- Aug 6

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.  

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • 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)

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

PARENT Speaker Series: TONIGHT 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

If your student has medication in the nurse’s office, please make arrangements for pick-up no later than June 18. All medications still found in the nurse’s office after June 18 will be discarded.
We would like to remind parents that up to date Physical Exams are required for initial entrance to MPS (any grade), as well as for all Kindergarten, 4th grade, 7th grade and 11th grade students.  Up to date immunizations are required for entry to MPS and to participate in all after school activities. Please forward this to your student’s school nurse. You can find Immunization requirements for School Entry at this link..

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). I am pleased to announce that we did not have a single positive Covid 19 case for the period May 20 – May 26. Thank you for your vigilance as we continue to Protect the Paw. The COVID page on our website continues to be updated with new FAQs added regularly.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Our Senior Class enjoyed some school spirit this week with Hawaiian Day, Red Out, Dress Like your Teacher and more!

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Congratulations to Stella Yuan, Nkechinyere Onyiriuka, Nina O’Laughlin, Anderson Korman, Kevin Carberry, and Jonathan Waldmann who have been selected to represent MHS in the Boys and Girls State programs at Stonehill College in June. As participants, the students will have the opportunity to live on a college campus for a week with hundreds of other students from Massachusetts and learn how the democratic process works first hand.

Students will act as citizens and will participate at all levels of a mock-government that they must create from scratch through the process of campaigning, speeches, and elections. Every day, the students will also take elective courses that particularly interest them about government, economics, or the law.

The program is sponsored and organized by the American Legion. Congratulations to our students who were chosen based on leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty, and outstanding service to Milton High School.

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The Wildcat Marching Band is back in action! Members of the WMB and Colorguard have been rehearsing in person this past month in preparation for the town’s Memorial Day service. They are excited to perform for the first time as a group since Thanksgiving of 2019. Enjoy this short clip of “God Bless America” conducted by senior drum major Aislinn Mershon.

 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Mme Maliel, Mme Vendette, and Mme Muhsin’s remote students have been meeting on Friday afternoons for Book Buddies/Les copains de la lecture. Students read an assigned French book from Epic, and discuss it with their partner from a different class. We enjoy ending our week with a new friend and teachers enjoy catching up and exchanging ideas! Vive la lecture!

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Mme. Stallion’s Glover 2nd graders have been enjoying the outdoors while doing math explorations using trapezoid shapes.

 

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Ms. McDermott’s Collicot 3rd graders completed a Memorial Day project this week. Students read the poem In Flanders Field and decorated their poems with Poppies. The students also read the book “The Poppy Lady” to learn the history of poppyseeds being used as a symbol to honor and remember soldiers.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

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

ASE and Early School Arrival Program (ESAP) 2021-2022: Information to sign up for before and after school programs for fall 2021 will be sent out the 4th week in June. Stay tuned!

TRANSPORTATION

Bus registration for the 21-22 School Year is expected to open the week of June 7, 2021. Please watch for district wide emails next week and updates in next week’s blog, Thursday June 3. Seat assignments will be made consistent with the procedures used for this current school year. In accordance with MA State Guidelines, MPS guarantees free transportation for students in Kindergarten through sixth grade who live two miles or more from their assigned school using Google Maps. The remaining seats will be filled based on distance from school with priority given to students living farthest from their assigned school on each route. Seats on the bus are limited and we expect MPS will not be able to accommodate all requests. We are asking for parent/guardian support and cooperation as we deal with the challenges of transportation by encouraging families with alternative transportation to utilize these methods to allow MPS to accommodate those families without alternative transportation.

MPS GIVES BACK

Milton High’s chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society is currently fundraising to support the “Sponsor a Lesson” program for current and aspiring musicians throughout Milton. Merchandise is for sale in their online pop-up store from now until Sunday, June 13. There are dozens of options to choose from, including a “Milton Music” design by Tri-M secretary, Aislinn Mershon, as well as non-music specific products with the Milton paw print logo — there really is something for everyone! 

Please visit the online pop-up store or use the QR code at right to see the online store. If you’d like to support Tri-M financially but aren’t interested in purchasing merchandise, Tri-M members will also be collecting donations in the MHS lobby before and after school on June 2,3 and 4. 

Keep an eye out for the final virtual cabaret of the year, which will be released next week. Thank you for your support! 

ART AND MUSIC 

Our Applied Music Lesson Students have been working hard preparing recitals and receiving accolades the past few weeks. Two of Dr. Kim’s violin students, Kevin Gomes and AJ Murphy who received high marks and qualified in their competitions in 2020 will be performing at Carnegie Hall, Weil Recital Hall in 2021-22 year for their performances as well as performing at Baruch Performing Arts Center in NY and Rockport Recital Hall in Mass.

Ms Chu’s grade 4-7 flute students performed in a successful virtual rectial recently. In the photo at left you can see: Top row L-R: Deren Popkin, gr. 4; Ms. Chu; Thea Malcolm, gr. 5; Lacey O’Malley, gr. 5. Second row from top L-R: Garvin Wong, gr.4; May Fundling, gr 7; Max Johnson, gr 6; Caroline Hardiman, gr. 5. Third row from top L-R:Tess Carroll, gr. 6; Katie Donahue, gr. 5; Madyn Dwyer, gr. 6; Daxton Jesser, gr, 6. Bottom Row: Sophie Derwinski, gr.6; Teagan Marbury, gr 5. Not pictured but participating: Gwen Johnston, gr. 7; Evie Leeman-Weil, gr. 7; Jesse Deleo, gr. 6, Mariam Nassar, gr. 5

Information about lesson registration for Fall 2021 will be shared in the upcoming weeks. Please check back for updates!

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 – SUMMER 2021

Food Service will be open every Wednesday, all through the summer, for meal pick up. Our bags will include 7 days of breakfasts and lunches as well as a box of fresh produce (fruit/vegetables) for each family. Stay tuned for details! 

MSAPC

Finding small moments to talk about the health effects of alcohol can help you get and keep your child’s attention. Keeping an open dialogue with your children will help build a trusting relationship and encourage them to ask questions and share concerns with you.

Talking to your child about substance use and underage drinking can be difficult, but even small conversations can make a big difference.

Talk. They hear you. Learn more and find tips about how to start the conversation at www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov #RethinkTheDrinks #TalkTheyHearYou

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.

Our Varisty Athletes enjoyed a sunny and festive celebration on Brooks Field last week. Thank you to the MHS Boosters and all who made last weekend special for our student athletes.

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Unified Track performed well in an away meet against Weymouth this week. “Well done” to all of our student athletes!

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Pollen got you down? Good news! MHS Track & Field will be hosting a car wash on Saturday, May 29th from 9 am to noon at Cunningham School. Swing by to support our student-athletes and drive away with a sparkling clean car. 

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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Forbes House Museum Congratulates Collicot Kindergartener Benny Wilkins!

Benny took the 3rd place award in the Lincoln Drawing Contest for the Kindergarten-3rd grade age group. This year’s drawing prompt took its inspiration from the Museum’s Lincoln log cabin replica, considering the cabin as a form of public art. With that in mind, students were asked to create their own form of public art – specifically, a mural. The prompt was: “In light of events that have occurred over the past year both locally and nationally, create a mural that celebrates diversity and promotes unity as a step toward building a more inclusive community.” Benny created a wonderfully bold and colorful design. His artist statement reads: “A long time ago different people were separated and I think a community is stronger when all different people come together.”

Benny and all of the winners will be recognized during a special awards show on Milton Access TV in early June. Stay tuned for the exact dates and times.

Thank you to B.R. Alexander & Co. and South Shore Bank for generously sponsoring the 2021 Lincoln Essay and Drawing Contest.

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.

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.

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

Congratulations to Avery Liou, MHS Senior Captain for the Milton High Volleyball Team who was selected to the Division 2 All State Team. When I took the picture at right with Avery and Coach Al Mirabile,  I learned that Avery had never played volleyball until her freshman year. I share this to encourage any of our students who are considering trying a new sport or activity for the first time. Well done, Avery! 

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.

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