June 10, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: June 10, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As a former High School Principal and current Superintendent of Schools, I know that there is no bigger day in the school year than High School Graduation. In a typical year, we recognize that our students have worked hard for 13 years – through struggles and adversity, with successes and achievements in academics, the arts, athletics, clubs, and most importantly in their own personal growth.

This year, we have graduated a class that has experienced more collective adversity than any class in our memory. A quarter of their junior year and all of their senior year has been impacted by Covid. Some of them experienced personal and family loss, lost athletic seasons, the ability to perform in plays, concerts, and musicals, missed gathering with classmates for clubs and activities, academic opportunities, and more. This has been a very difficult 15 months for many of these students.

And yet, they remain enthusiastic, positive, and forward looking. A vast majority of our students are moving on to a 4 or 2 year college experience, while several are enlisting in the military or joining the workforce. They have amazing opportunities ahead of them and I know you join me in wishing them all the best. You can check out some of the fun from last Sunday in the video below. Thank you to all who sent in pictures, including our student photographers and photographer and MPS parent John Gillooly. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular School Committee meeting will be on June 16, 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

  • June 15 PARENT Speaker Series
  • June 18 Last Day of School – Early Release

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Thank you to all who attended the two recent conversation hours, your questions and feedback are greatly appreciated. We look forward to continuing the conversation, keeping lines open, and partnering through the next school year and beyond.

PARENT Speaker Series: On Tuesday, June 15 at  7pm, Milton will welcome Julie Cullen for the next PARENT Speaker Series. This presentation is appropriate for parents/caregivers of children in K – 8th grade. Register at this link.

Over the last year, we have been engaged in “survival parenting” as the coronavirus has largely shut down our communities. Social interaction for us and our children has been minimal, and the message has been stay home to stay safe. Children have engaged in hybrid or fully remote learning since March of 2020, as a result. Now, as schools begin to transition back to full in person learning, parents need to be ready to address their children’s fears, questions, and concerns, while still navigating their own! Join us for a discussion of how best to prepare yourself and your children for a “return to normal” both in and out of the school environment.

This online presentation is free and made possible with support from Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Milton Foundation for Education, and Milton Public Schools.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The Class of 2021 would like to sincerely thank the entire Milton Community for the love and support you’ve shown us over the last year! We appreciate all you’ve done to make this year as special as possible. 

A heartfelt special thank you goes to the Milton Women’s Club; Bill Resnick; Jimmy Coyne; Milton Boosters; MHS PTO; BID Milton; Cunningham Park Foundation; Elliott PT; Milton Access TV; Steel and Rye; Roy Chambers and Patty Pauris and the MHS staff. 

PIERCE PAGES

Pierce Players went virtual this year! Their performances of “Super Happy Awesome News” are available for everyone to see. Click on the links below to check out their amazing performances. Click here to see Cast A’s performance and here to see Cast B’s performance.

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8th grade artists in Mr. Manning’s room were “popping off” as they learned about Andy Warhol and Pop Art culture. Students created a small version of 6 pop art items like logo designs and then picked their favorite to make a large scale Pop Art painting. Mr. Manning chose to hang the art work backward on the window to show our neighbors what our amazing kids are doing. 8th grade artists had a blast mixing bright colors and using unrealistic color palettes. Pierce art is finishing up strong this year!

 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Glover 5th graders had the opportunity to sign up for “Gotta Have Sole” Student Leadership Team (SLT) this year. SLTs give students the opportunity to work alongside their peers in leadership roles around a topic that interests them. Six 5th grade students, Lorraine Anesi, Owen Burnes, Seamus Farley, Riley Kovacs, Peyton Naigles, and Maya Wong, joined the Gotta Have Sole leadership team. The group partnered with the Gotta Have Sole Foundation which is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide homeless youth with brand new shoes to help them feel confident, comfortable, and special. Students organized a fundraiser to buy new shoes for children living in shelters. The goal of their work aligns with the widely held belief at Glover that everyone deserves to feel valued, supported, and loved. The group learned that for homeless children, walking in worn-out shoes or simply shoes that don’t fit is all too common. Worn out shoes can injure feet, hurt self-esteem and make kids feel like they don’t fit in at school. The Glover community rallied around this group of students to support their important work. They raised almost two thousand dollars and collected hundreds of pairs of socks. Additionally, all Glover students had the opportunity to make cards with messages of hope that will be delivered with the shoes. Way to go Glover Kids! For more information about the Gotta Have Sole Foundation, please visit their website.

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The Milton Public Library and MPS are once again partnering for a terrific summer reading challenge!  The MPL and MPS staff have created a fun video to kick-off the challenge and explain to students how to participate. Information on registering can be found here and all details are at this link.

READY, SET…KINDERGARTEN! 

Summertime Stories: The Milton Public Schools is once again partnering with the Milton Public Library and Milton Early Childhood Alliance to bring some exciting storytime programs for children age birth to 6 years old along with a parent or caregiver.  Miss Sara, from the Milton Public Library, will read stories, sing songs, and delight children at four sessions held around town.  On July 15th and August 5th the storytime will take place at Cunningham Park, on the lawn within the fenced area behind Cunningham Hall.  On July 29th and August 19­­­­­­­­­­­th, the storytime will take place at the Tucker Elementary School Playground, located in the back of the school.  All sessions will begin at 10:00am.  Please bring a blanket to sit on. Registration is not required, but we invite you to sign in upon arrival. Why not bring your soon-to-be Kindergartener and have them wear their yellow “I’m going to Kindergarten” t-shirt?  It’s a great way for them to meet new friends who might be in their class in September! 

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

The office of Pupil Personnel Services wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to not only the staff of MPS, but the parents and families who have made this year such a great success! We are proud to say we reopened July 6 for our neediest students.  We are proud to have led the way for full day programming and offered students in person learning from day one and  we are equally happy to be welcoming back our students this summer for ESY in person! Please note a few housekeeping items below: 

  • If you are not set on your student’s summer services schedule, please contact Mr. Mark Harrison at mharrison@miltonps.org
  • Check out our Unified Track Student Athletes in the Athletics update below. 
  • Milton GAA has an excellent inclusive activity offering that is detailed in Community News below.
  • Moving towards the fall: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, DESE, continues to give guidance on how best to conduct Team Meetings. This year we appreciate everyone’s flexibility to hold Team Meeting remotely. Next year, we will continue to offer this option to families, but also want to be clear that in person meetings will absolutely be available. 
  • Summer contact: The Office will be open and closed throughout the summer. The best way to reach us will be email: Susan: smaselli@miltonps.orgMark: mharrison@miltonps.orgPatty: plelesenechal@miltonps.org
  • As always, please contact Patty related to van transportation needs. Mr. Harrison will be on site for ESY at Collicot/Cunningham for any questions or concerns.

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Somaly Prak-Martins, Senior Director of Education Equity, shares the following. Please see her full newsletter here.  This newsletter has information about Juneteenth, Equity and the Quality Review. 

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Camp Cunningham has a few openings for session 3, July 26-Aug 6, the cost is $660.00. For more information, please see our CAMP CU website. To register, please visit FAMILY ID-CAMP CU 2021.

ASE and 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. 

TECHNOLOGY

Over the summer many students will take advantage of the virtual learning opportunities Milton Public Schools has provided.  This is a reminder to access the Milton Public Schools Family Technology Support Help Center website to troubleshoot potential issues with a device/platform, or to educate yourself with a platform/application that you are unfamiliar with.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google, Clever, Guardian Monitoring, Who to Contact, and more.

In an effort to help prepare students for the 2021-22 school year, we invite all students to complete the Student Technology Boot Camp.  The modules will help students become more comfortable with the platforms/applications that will be used throughout this school year.   Each module includes important topics your student will potentially be expected to use.  Some modules are grade level specific.  If the topic does not apply to all levels, the level that it applies to will be listed below the topic.   When possible, students will be able to view both video tutorials and text-based tutorials.  In some cases only video or text tutorials are available.  Here is a link to the Student Technology Boot Camp

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Please see this document for all details on the collection and distribution of Chromebooks for our remote and in person students and ALL grade levels. Families who did not purchase the optional Chromebook insurance will be charged for lost Chromebooks, lost chargers, and damage to the Chromebook outside of normal wear and tear. If your child needs a device this summer to access summer learning, please reach out to your principal. 

  • Elementary in-person: All in-person learning students will return their MPS issued Chromebook and charger to their homeroom teacher before they leave on June 18th.
  • Elementary Remote: All remote students will return their MPS issued Chromebook and charger to their home school during the following date and times: Collicot – Monday, 6/21,  8 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm; Cunningham – Tuesday, 6/22,  8 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm; Glover – Monday, 6/21,  8 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm; Tucker – Tuesday, 6/22, 8 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm. Please reach out to your home school if you have a conflict with the drop off date and times provided. 
  • Current 6th & 7th Graders: All current sixth and seventh grade students will keep their MPS issued device for the duration of their time at Pierce. Students who are not returning to Pierce should bring their device to Ms. Royster in the library before they leave Pierce on June 18th.
  • Current 8th Graders: All 8th grade students will return their MPS issued Chromebook and charger to their designated team teacher before they leave Pierce on June 18th. 8th grade remote students should return their MPS issued Chromebook and charger to the Pierce main office on Monday, June 21st from 8 am- 12 pm and 1 – 3 pm.  
  • Current 9th-11th Graders: All current ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade students who have been issued an MPS Chromebook will keep the device over the summer
  • Rising 6th Graders: Rising sixth graders will receive their Chromebook during the first week of school.
  • Rising 9th Graders: All rising 9th graders will receive their MPS Chromebook and charger during new student orientation at Milton High School on Monday, August 30th at 2 pm. If a student is unable to attend new student orientation, the student will be provided their Chromebook the first day of school.

TRANSPORTATION

The Transportation Department reminds all MPS families that registration to ride the bus in the 21-22 school year opened on June 8th and will close on June 18th.  Please read the full informational letter HERE for sign up, payment information, and all links.

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT 

The Milton Public School Residency Policy states that students in the Milton Public Schools and Out of District placements shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grade 6 and grade 9 and for students who attend Blue Hills Regional Technical School or Norfolk Agricultural School every year regardless of grade level. A letter has been sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. The MPS Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here. Residency re-establishment will take place between June 9 and June 23. 

MPS GIVES BACK

Project 351 Ambassador Reilly Bergin shares the Project 351 is celebrating hope and building unity by launching our second annual virtual Hope & Gratitude Walk, June 11–13, to support three nonprofit partners (chosen by our youth community): the Martin Richard Foundation, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program, and Y2Y. You can read about them here. This is not a community wide event this year as only Project 351 Ambassadors are walking BUT you can support our efforts!  

Project 351 Ambassadors and Alumni from across the state of Massachusetts will unite to walk, logging their miles and money raised. I am hoping that you are willing to support me as I walk in the spirit of hope and gratitude during this critical time. Any donation, no matter how big or small, would be greatly appreciated. You can donate by visiting this site and choosing the “Hope & Gratitude” fund from the drop-down menu. If you donate online, please include my name (Reilly Bergin) in the dedication section! Thank you so much in advance!

ART AND MUSIC 

Watch the Virtual Cafe at the link at left.

The Tri-M Music Honor Society is really excited to share the video for our final Virtual Cabaret of the school year.  Huge thanks go to Rebecca Damiani for editing!

The membership of Tri-M took on this endeavor with the hope of fundraising to support the “Sponsor a Lesson” program for current and aspiring musicians throughout Milton because the students understand that a strong musical foundation from a young age is what makes all of our high school level performances possible! 

When you check out the cabaret video, we hope that you’ll also consider purchasing Milton Music merchandise that we have for sale in an online pop-up store – the sale has been EXTENDED until Wednesday, June 16th. There are dozens of options to choose from, including a “Milton Music” design by graduated senior, Aislinn Mershon, as well as non-music specific products with the Milton paw print logo — there really is something for everyone and orders will ship directly to your home address! All proceeds from this sale will benefit the “Sponsor a Lesson” Program.

Please visit the online pop-up store website at this link or use the QR code in the flyer. Remember, this merchandise is only available until next Wednesday 6/16, so don’t delay. We can’t wait to see all the Milton Music gear around the town next year!

Come Be a Part of the Milton Public Schools Instrumental Music Program!

What can my student be a part of if they play an instrument in the Milton Public Schools?

  • After taking one year of lessons, your student can be part of the Grade 5 Band or Strings Program at their respective Elementary Schools. 
  • At Pierce Middle School, your student can be a part of the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade band or strings as well as part of the Pierce Jazz Band. They will also have the opportunity to audition for music festivals. 
  • At Milton High School, your student will have the opportunity to be part of the String Orchestra, one of the two Concert Bands, The Jazz Ensemble, the Wildcat Marching Band as well as a variety of String and Band Chamber Groups and Jazz Combos. They will also continue to have the opportunity to audition for music festivals.

Which instruments are offered? Band Instruments offered are: Flute, Oboe, Bassoon,Clarinet, Saxophone, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone Horn, Tuba and Percussion. String Instruments offered are: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Guitar

Are there different types of lessons offered? When and where do the Private/Semi Private lessons meet?

  • Yes! We offer private lessons, Semi-private lessons where students can take lessons with a partner.
  • Lessons meet for a half hour once per week for the entire school year Monday-Thursday between the hours of 3:30 and 9 pm.  
  • At Milton High School. 

Who teaches the lessons? What is the cost of the lessons?

  • The lessons are taught by professional musicians. The Applied Lesson Program is coordinated with an instrumental curriculum taught by the in-school directors. 
  • The cost for private lessons is $420 for Session 1 (15 lessons at $25.00; registration fee of $45) Semi-private lessons cost $270.00 per student  (15 lessons at $15.00; registration fee of $45)

How do I secure an instrument? Once you secure a lesson time and meet the teacher in September, we will have vendors available for you to rent an instrument. If you would like more information on pricing, you can visit their websites: Needham Music, Johnson Strings, Leonard’s Music. 

How can my student join? Fill out the Pre-Registration Form linked here. A teacher will be in contact with you in late August to set up your lesson time. It is important to select a first and second choice as space for certain instruments is limited. In the beginning of September, a “meet the teacher and instrument distribution” night will be held at MHS for all beginning students to meet their teacher and pick up their instruments. All details on the program can be found here. Please contact ALP program director Rebecca Damiani at rdamiani@miltonps.org with any questions.

 

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. Pick up is at Milton High School, every Wednesday from 11am-12:30pm. Please enter from Blue Hills Parkway. 

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Office of the Family Outreach Liaison is open during the summer months.  Please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, 617-980-7343 or mmckenna@miltonps.org with any questions you might have about MPS/community summer programs, summer reading, the upcoming school year or if you are in need of a resource. 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.

MSAPC

Conversations about substance use don’t have to wait until your child is older. By talking at a young age, children will be equipped to make good decisions when they are faced with hard choices later. Talk, They hear you. Learn more and find tips about how to start the conversation at rethinkthedrinks.com #RethinkTheDrinks #TalkTheyHearYou

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

Please look in your student’s backpack next week for a Mental Health Resource Guide. The MFE has launched an initiative to dedicate support to the mental health of MPS students. We have partnered with MSAPC to publish a guide to go home to each student. 

MFE has also partnered with MSAPC and BID Hospital-Milton to present a PARENT speaker series event, next  Tuesday for parents of grade K-8 students. Please register for “Navigating Return to Normal Parenting” at this link.

ATHLETICS

Unified Track had a short but successful season!

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.

Unified Track enjoyed two meets this year and is very much looking forward to next year when we will host TWO home meets. We hope the community will continue to come out and support our Unified Athletes and with two home meets, it should be a special season!

The Girls and Boys Tennis Team both enjoyed a good season, with many young student-athletes earning their first Varsity letters after missing their freshman season.

The Girls Lacrosse Team has a lot of young talent, adding a freshman level for the first time in nearly 12 years.

The Boys Lacrosse Team beat Brookline again to improve to 5-8 on the season. They will play Braintree and Weymouth the next two games as they prepare for the MIAA Tournament.

The Softball Team started off hot, and while they cooled down a little bit, they are still gearing up for a good MIAA Tournament run. They’ll await seeding next Wednesday in hopes of a home game.

The Boys and Girls Outdoor Track Team had to stop their Championship Meet on Tuesday so they will resume today at Braintree High School. Good luck to all those competing in the invitationals over the next two weekends as well!

Rugby finished yet another regular season undefeated and will await seeding next week to find out who they play in the Division I Tournament, after being moved up. Guess it costs to win the Division II Tournament so many times!

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.

Trinity Milton Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club is sponsoring an inclusive GAA games and activities program. The Trinity Club is collaborating with the Milton Public Schools and the Special Education Program to coordinate this program. We are hoping to pilot a 2 hour program this summer with the goal of eventually running several mini sessions throughout the year. Please sign up at this link.  Please email MPS Inclusion Specialist Caroline Mannion or parent contact Tom Griffin with any questions. We hope you’ll join the fun for this amazing inclusive opportunity for all students!

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We Are Milton is thrilled to share that Music and Fireworks is planned for Saturday, June 26 at Hutchinson Field with Celtic Sunday on Sunday, June 27.  Join them for great music, food and fun! Details are on their website at www.WeAreMilton.org.

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Calling All Gardeners! If you have any extra veggies from your garden over the summer please contact the Riley Family at Miltongardenangels.com or text 617-291-9970. Your donation will be picked up at your home and distributed to local families in need. If you need food assistance,  please contact us at the email above so we can help. Thank you for your support and have a healthy summer!

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Power of Murals: A virtual panel discussion hosted by the Forbes House Museum on Tuesday, June 15, 7pm. This event is free and sponsored by the Milton Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Join us for an uplifting discussion about the Power of Murals with three artists who have made significant contributions to the public art scene in and around Boston and beyond: Silvia López Chavez, Franklin Marval and Nora Valdez. The discussion will be moderated by Sarah Rodrigo, Public Art Project Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture, City of Boston.

The program complements this year’s Lincoln Drawing Contest, which asked students in grades K-8 to create a mural that celebrates diversity and promotes unity as a step toward building a stronger and more inclusive community. Learn more and register at this link. 

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The Milton Art Center is offering 9 weeks of summer art camps starting starting June 28 to August 26 for ages up to 12, new this summer a separate program for ages 4-5. Sign up for one session or more. Each week something new to learn in drawing, painting, mixed media, clay, sculpture and more! For more information please visit our website. 

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Milton Soccer Fall ’21 registration is now open for our fall 2021 soccer season! Please visit our website for information on our PreK program, Travel League and K-2+ League. Please register at this link. More info can be found here. 

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Patick Manning, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, AJ Melanson, Julia Hanna, Rachel Schewe, Somaly Prak-Martins, Stacia Kates, Rebecca Damiani 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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