To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 2, 2021
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
This week we welcomed back our students in grades 1-12 for two full days of school. There is no school tomorrow, Friday, September 3 and after the Labor Day long weekend, our Kindergarten and Preschool students will join us for their first day on Tuesday.
To say we are happy to be beginning the year in our typical schedule is a gross understatement – we are thrilled! These early days certainly have a few ordinary stressors like mixed up schedules or bus routes and first day of school jitters, but they are also overwhelmingly full of joy, laughter, rekindled friendships and new connections. This is my 24th year working in the Milton Public Schools, and the excitement of a new school year never gets old. I hope this week has been a positive one for your children, but if they need support as they navigate these first weeks back, please reach out to your Principal, Guidance Counselor or Adjustment Counselor. All contact information is found on your school website, linked on the MPS website.
Next week, our country will recognize the 20th anniversary of September 11th. As a school community, we will participate in a special remembrance led by Project 351 – a school-based moment of silence on Friday, September 10th at 8:46 am.
The hope is that this moment of peaceful reflection in honor of those we lost on September 11th, Massachusetts Fallen Military Heroes since 2001, and the 13 American troops last week in Afghanistan, brings comfort to their families and loved ones. And, that this act of unity by school children across our state serves as a reminder of our strength as a community and Commonwealth. Importantly, this can serve as a platform to emphasize heroic service, unity, and compassion as we come together for the beginning of the school year. It is imperative to ensure that our students born after 2001 will remember the lives lost on that terrible day and appreciate the courageous service and sacrifice of our military and first responders.
Our schools will acknowledge this anniversary in age appropriate ways next week. We recognize that our youngest students may never have heard of 9/11, and as we do with all current events, we will be mindful and meet our students where they are.
This week, I heard a personal story with global implications that I want to share with you. MHS graduate Chris Perry, son of Pierce Nurse Barbara Perry, had the opportunity last week to fly a humanitarian flight as he flew 463 Afghan refugees from Bulgaria to Washington, DC. After a 10 hour flight, the passengers and crew spent 9 more hours on the runway sharing stories of the Taliban and entertaining children, with no complaining. Chris shared that it was overwhelming as he talked with many women, children, and men with extraordinary stories as they waited.
His mother, Nurse Perry, wanted to be sure our MPS staff knew of their impact in helping to transform a student to where he is now in his life. She joked that, while in school, Chris’ teachers would likely say he excelled on the playing fields more so than in the classroom. And yet, here he is, playing a pivotal role during a world event.
Your children – our students – also have the ability to impact the world. Thank you for entrusting them to us, we do not take your confidence lightly.
I hope you take the opportunity of the long weekend to relax after the start of school. As you gather with friends and family, please be mindful of the concerns around Covid and the Delta variant as we all work together to keep our students and staff safe in school. We look forward to a wonderful school year and an ongoing, positive partnership with MPS families.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- Sept 3 No School
- Sept 6 No School Labor Day
- Sept 7 1st Day of School Pre-K and K
- Sept 8 School Committee Meeting
- Sept 13 Applied Music Lesson Registration
- Sept 14 MHS Open House
- Sept 16 No School Yom Kippur
- Sept 20 Pierce Open House
- Sept 22 School Committee Meeting
- Sept 23 Tucker Open House
- Sept 23 Collicot Open House
- Sept 30 Glover Open House
- Oct 5 Cunningham Open House
- Oct 6 School Committee Meeting
Rosh Hashanah will begin in the evening (sunset) of Monday, September 6th and ends in the evening of Wednesday, September 8th. While these are school days in the Milton Public Schools, we have students and staff that are out during this time as they observe the holiday. Any student absent for this religious observation will be excused and those students celebrating Rosh Hashanah will be afforded extra time to make up any missing work. It is the policy of the Milton Public Schools not to assign homework, tests, quizzes, major presentations, Google hangouts and/or hold events or athletic practice/games during the Jewish Holidays.
Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 2/24/21) Note: This calendar is intended as a guide ONLY. It may be necessary to change this schedule to better serve instructional purposes.
The next regular School Committee meeting will be on September 8, 2021 at 7pm. All information about attending 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.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
This past Saturday morning, we held a Covid 19 vaccination clinic and 28 people were vaccinated. On Saturday, September 18, when this group is scheduled for their second shot, you can come for your first shot. There are no sign ups, please just come to MHS on Saturday, September 18 from 9am-12pm. One of our MPS students who attended on Saturday came on his 12th birthday to get his first shot and we appreciate his dedication to keeping himself and our MPS community healthy.
Please see this letter from Superintendent James Jette regarding safety protocols at the start of the new school year and read the updated MPS Opening Guide at this link . Please refer to these DESE Covid protocol flowcharts for information about various Covid positive and close contact scenarios. All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website.
In the upcoming school year, ALL children will be eligible to receive one free breakfast and one free lunch each day during the school year. There will also be a la carte items for sale at Pierce and MHS. Students can pay cash or have money on their MySchoolBucks account in order to purchase these additional items.
If you think you qualify, it is important that families fill out the free/reduced lunch applications as this information may be helpful in getting additional benefits. The application can be found here. Please email Jackie Morgan with any questions.
MPS Food Service is hiring for all positions – permanent and substitute, both full and part-time. Pay is $17.28. Email Jackie Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Come join our MPS team!
BACK TO SCHOOL
We’ve had a great opening week with teachers, staff and students! Below are pictures from this week at each of our six schools.
We are excited to be a part of Milton Glows Gold! September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and together with the Michael C. McHugh Foundation, the Milton Police Department, the Milton Fire Department and many local sponsors, we are Glowing Gold at MPS to show support for families impacted by childhood cancer.
You can show your support by joining the Run/Walk/Ride, distributing “Glow Bags” to friends, donating to the school coin collections, and participating in our blood drives. We will share more details as to how our schools will be involved next week, but invite you to explore the Milton Glows Gold website and consider signing up for the Run/Walk/Ride now. Join your school “team” when you sign up – let’s see who can log the most miles in support of Milton Glows Gold and families impacted by childhood cancer!
ART AND MUSIC
Come Be a Part of the Milton Public Schools Instrumental Music Program!
- Applied Instrumental Lesson Registration for Beginners in Grades 4 and above
- Beginner Registration Night- Monday, Sep 13, 2021
- 7-8 pm at Milton High School
MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
ASE and ESAP Updates: At this time, registration to start September 1 has closed for the before and after school programs. It will reopen the second week in September based on availability. You can sign up for the waitlist on Family ID: Waitlist after-school
MCS is hiring. Milton Community Schools is looking to hire energetic, motivated, creative, experienced, and multi-talented people with the ability to lead groups of 10-15 children from Kindergarten up to 5th grade in our before and after school elementary enrichment programs. Compensation starts at $16.33/hr. If you are interested, please reach out to Martha Sandoval at email@example.com. The job description can be found at this link. Learn more about MCS at this link.
The Office of the Family Outreach Liaison is here to support all MPS families. Please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, 617-980-7343 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have about MPS programs, 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.
There are two easy ways to support our athletes next weekend!
The Milton Public Library offers fun and free programs for kids almost every day of the week! Check out their September offerings for ages 0-11 here. To learn more and to register for programs, please visit miltonlibrary.org/events/
The Town of Milton will observe the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States with two events.
Blood Drive: On Thursday, September 9, from noon to 6:30 p.m., the Town will host a Blood Drive to benefit the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center. A blood mobile sponsored by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital will be parked in front of Town Hall. To donate, please sign-up in advance at this link. Walk-ins will be accepted if time allows. All donors will receive a 9/11 remembrance T shirt.
Vigil: Please join the Milton Select Board and the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association on Friday, September 10, at 6:00 p.m. for a vigil observance on the Town Green/Gazebo at Town Hall. Through words of remembrance and song, we will honor all who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Our special guest speaker will be Sgt. Supervisor Brian Coughlan of the New York Police Department. The vigil will be broadcast live on Milton Access TV.
The Milton Road Race is just a few weeks away, on September 14 at 6pm. The Milton Road Race benefits chosen charities with a portion of the fund-raiser contributing to our Scholarship Fund. Some of the recipients of the fundraising efforts include: Student Scholarships, Holiday Gift Card Drive, Milton Food Pantry, SOCK, Milton Parks and Recreation, Milton Art Center, Milton Early Childhood Alliance and many more. Register now at this link and join many in the Milton community at this fun, local event hosted by the Milton Junior Women’s Club.
The Milton Early Childhood Alliance shares the following.
Kindergarten Days! August 29th to September 4th: Visit local businesses in town as they congratulate Milton’s incoming kindergarten children with free gifts and discounts! Children MUST wear their bright yellow kindergarten t-shirt and visit our sponsors to receive their free gifts and discounts. PLEASE support our sponsors – we couldn’t offer this terrific event without them! This year’s sponsors are: Mackie’s Barbershop, Mr. Chan’s, Ichiro Sushi, Starbucks, The Fruit Center Marketplace, The Toy Chest at the Nutshell, Milton Public Library, Elliott Physical Therapy, Dental 1, The Ice Creamsmith, Historic New England Eustis Estate, and Harte Dental. Visit our website at www.miltonearlychildhoodalliance.org for all of the details.
The Town of Milton Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Survey is live. Please click this link and take a few minutes to tell us how you walk, bike, and roll through Milton. These survey results will help the Town and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council as they develop a plan to build a safe, efficient, connected network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
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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.