September 9, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 9, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

We began our week by welcoming our Kindergarten and Preschool students – and their families in many cases – to the Milton Public Schools. It was certainly a bright spot this week to see so many happy faces and yellow “I’m Going to Kindergarten” t-shirts dotting our halls and play areas.

We will close this week with an important and solemn remembrance as 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. Our schools continue to acknowledge this anniversary in age appropriate ways.

The Town of Milton will observe the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States with a vigil on Friday, September 10, at 6 pm. Please join the Milton Select Board and the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association 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. The 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.

As a follow up to the letter I sent last week, I want to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and contributions of Dr. Karen Spaulding in her roles in the Milton Public Schools. As Pierce Assistant Principal, Cunningham Principal, Pierce Principal and finally as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Human Resources Dr. Spaulding developed the reputation of a strong leader and has been instrumental in the success of the Milton Public Schools. Her knowledge and understanding of data, special education, grant writing, professional development, and the evaluation model implemented by DESE are among just a few highlights of her expertise. Under her direction the district has enriched programming for students, supported the social emotional learning for students and staff, and created new opportunities in the areas of STEM and literacy initiatives both at the elementary and middle schools.

I know you join me in wishing Dr. Spaulding much personal happiness and professional success in the years ahead.

My plan is to fill the vacancy created by Dr. Spaulding’s resignation with an interim assistant superintendent and then to begin the search for a permanent assistant superintendent in January 2022 so that the position will be filled before March 2022 with a start date of July 1, 2022. I expect to have a name to present to the School Committee in accordance with General Laws Chapter 71, section 59 at the School Committee’s meeting on September 22nd.

I have spoken to the representatives at the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) and Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) and both have suggested people who might be interested in serving as an interim superintendent. I have also reached out to other Superintendents and called former Assistant Superintendents. They have also provided me with names of people to consider. The process to fill the interim position will not be as detailed as the process to fill the position permanently since I need someone in the office as soon as possible.

Finally, I invite you to join me for coffee and conversation in front of Milton High School on Wednesday, September 15 from 9-9:45 am (Rain date Friday, September 17). I intend for this to be an informal opportunity for me to connect with MPS parents and guardians and I hope to see you there. Parking is limited during the school day but there are always free spots in the lower lots. Coffee will be outside and therefore masks are optional.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Sept 13 Applied Music Lesson Registration
  • Sept 14 MHS Open House
  • Sept 15 Coffee and Conversation with Supt. Jette
  • 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

Instrumental Lesson Registration Night – IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the extremely high number of pre-registrants, only those who pre-registered their child should attend Registration Night on Monday, September 13th. Those who pre-registered will be receiving an email with specific instructions for completing their registration. Anyone who is NOT pre-registered and is still interested in lessons should contact Rebecca Damiani at rdamiani@miltonps.org.

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.

MILTON GLOWS GOLD

Milton Glows Gold kicks off on Monday, September 13! 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.

There are many ways to participate in Milton Glows Gold and the 1st step is to sign up to join the Run/Walk/Ride now. When you sign up, join your school team so you can start amassing miles in support of families impacted by childhood cancer. 

It’s also time to sign up for one of the scheduled blood drives either at Cunningham Hall (details here) on Thursday, September 30 or  at Pierce (details here)on Saturday, October 16. Appointments must be made due to covid restrictions. Make an appointment at this link and please and use sponsor code: PIERCE or CUHALL depending on your preference. 

Thank to you Pierce students Nola and Caroline for assembling some Glow Bags for Milton Glows Gold!

Want to “Glow” a friend or two by dropping off a Glow Bag? All details are here. Our elementary students will be surprising friends with Glow Bags starting this weekend!

Families will be anonymously leaving “Glow Bags” on the doorsteps of their friends and neighbors. Glow Bags will come in all shapes and sizes but each will include a gold ribbon that can be cut out and hung on a door or window as well a candle. Many people will choose to add more goodies for their friends and families and some may even embellish or handcraft the ribbons. The important thing is that families across town will use their ribbon to show support and will “pass it on” to three other families. On September 30 the town will put out their candles and for one night all of Milton will GLOW GOLD.

This will enable the mission of Milton Glows Gold to spread and we will truly raise awareness and support for families that have been impacted by cancer. Want to start your own set of glow bag deliveries? Click here for instructions. You can make a ribbon for your door or download one here. Any candle, any bag, any ribbon – just glow! 

 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular School Committee meeting will be on September 22, 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

As previously mentioned in our MPS Opening Guide 2021-2022, Milton Public Schools has signed up for the state-funded COVID-19 testing program. By offering testing, we expand the potential for students to remain in school even in some cases when they have been identified as a close contact. A letter will be sent to all parents/gaurdians with more details about Test and Stay and will include an online consent form. If you wish to grant consent for your student to participate in the optional testing services, you must complete this online consent form found in the email being sent to all families. The letter will also be posted on the MPS Health Services webpage. 

Official state wide, in school covid reporting starts the week of September 13. MPS has had 5 positive cases with the resulting quarantine protocols. 

Two weeks ago, we held a Covid 19 vaccination clinic and on Saturday, September 18, those people are scheduled for their second shot. If you are in need of a vaccine,  all are welcome to come for their first shot. There are no sign ups, please just come to MHS on Saturday, September 18 from 9am-12pm.

All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS 

Congratulations to the writing staff of our MHS Newspaper, Elephant in the Room, on two recent awards received from the New England Scholastic Press Association.   Abigail Raymond received a Special Achievement Award and the newspaper as a whole received an award for Superior Achievement. Congratulations to our student writers and to advisor Michael Young!

 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

L’SHANA TOVA!  Students in Mrs. Currie’s class learned about the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and ways to celebrate. Some students chose to make cards for their classmates and teachers who are celebrating this month. 

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It’s good to be back in the Tucker Art Room! Mrs. Gillooly shares that her classes are having so much fun in the art room creating paper sculptures and making dot paintings based on the book “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds.

EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

Director of Educational Equity, Somaly Prak-Martins, shares  this week’s Behaving Equitably Newsletter.  You can read about ongoing equity work,  preparing for the first week of school, Learning Loss/Unfinish Learning and reflections on September 11. 

FOOD SERVICE

Our Food Service staff recently participated in a Professional Development session entitled Smart Personal Wellness. Staff reenergized with this wellness session designed to help with tools and strategies for their own personal wellbeing. Staff learned more about the four pillars of health: nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress. This focus on the necessary balance for personal wellness will improve our school wellness success.

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 jmorgan@miltonps.org for details. Come join our MPS team!

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following.

Please see this Family Letter 2021-2022 School Year  from Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to all parents/guardians. This Family Letter FAQ 2021-2022 School Year also contains helpful information. 

The first SEPAC Board (Business) Meeting is TONIGHT, Thursday, September 9, 6:30-8pm via Zoom. The link to attend is here and the Meeting ID is 882 3133 1931.

Our agenda includes district updates, voting on the bylaws, 2021-2022 programming and scheduling. We are also looking for School Reps at Glover, Tucker, and Collicot. This is a vital position for serving SEPAC’s mission of advocacy, education, and participation. If you are interested in joining a vibrant, engaged board, please be in touch with one of SEPAC’s chairs: Jenny Sheehan at jennycsheehan@gmail.com or Jennie Mulqueen at jenniemulqueen@gmail.com. Together we can work for an education that supports every child and family.

TRANSPORTATION 

As discussed in last night’s School Committee meeting, we are actively working on securing funding for an additional bus that would primarily service Pierce and MHS students currently on the transportation waitlist. This funding would come from a variety of sources, including the elimination of the service fee for two language labs at Pierce and MHS (not currently in use as all students have access to a dedicated device); fees from building rentals, bus user fees ($275 per year), etc. This bus would allow for 85% of current students on the waitlist to receive transportation from MPS. We will know within the next week if this funding is secure and will update families at that time. Please watch the September 8, 2021 School Committee meeting  On Demand at MATV for more details. Transportation is the first item discussed. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

The Monster Dash 5k, Fun Run & community event falls on Halloween this year! Join us on Sunday, October 31, at Cunningham Hall. Register here. 

The MFE has been organizing the Monster Dash for over 20 years. It is a beloved community event that memorializes Sam Cichello, a Tucker Student who died in a tragic playground accident. Sam loved science so the Monster Dash funds raised go toward science in all 6 Milton public schools. Save the date and start planning your costumes! 

TECHNOLOGY 

Optional Chromebook Insurance: All students are highly encouraged to obtain insurance for their school-issued Chromebook for the 2021-22 school year.  Students in grades K-9 are not allowed to bring their own personal device (laptop, Chromebook, iPad, etc.) to school.  

If families decline to purchase the insurance for the Chromebook you are responsible for damage beyond reasonable wear and tear as outlined in the Loan Agreement.

The cost of insurance is $30/year and it covers unlimited claims with no deductible. Please click on the following link to purchase insurance for your student. After registering for insurance, you will receive an email that includes an invoice and payment information. If you wish to purchase insurance for another child, you will need to repeat this process.

Thank you for considering the purchase of accidental damage coverage for your student’s Chromebook.

Chromebook Loan Agreement: All students and families of students using an MPS Chromebook are required to sign the Chromebook Loan Agreement.  Here are links to the digital Chromebook Loan Agreements: Elementary; Pierce; MHS

MSAPC

MSAPC is recruiting for the youth coalition, Milton Youth Advocates for Change!  This is a community based, youth led – adult supported group for youth in 6th – 12th grade who live in Milton.  They meet once per week in the evening.  Their mission is “to help teens find their voices and celebrate diversity and differences in Milton.  We will make a more aware, accepting community and improve mental, emotional, social, and physical health by providing opportunities that promote thriving youth so they will be well equipped for future endeavors in life.” So far, they have worked on social and racial justice issues, raised awareness about mental health, hosted game nights for youth and more!  For more information or to join, email info@milton-coalition.org or come to our open house on September 18, 4pm – 6pm at the gazebo in front of Town Hall, 525 Canton Ave.

MSAPC is offering a FREE Youth Mental Health First Aid Training.  This is or anyone who lives or works with youth from ages 12-18 years.  Coaches, educators, clergy, managers, parents and any other caring citizens.  This training teaches a 5 step action plan that includes initial help to young people showing signs of mental illness or crisis and how to connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help careFriday, October 22, 8:30am – 2:30pm, Labouré College of Healthcare, 303 Adams St. Milton.  Consider using your business’s paid time off for volunteer work for this training if available!  Register here:  www.milton-coalition.org.  Lunch and more provided!

ATHLETICS

Fall Sports are underway! Check out all athletic schedules here.

  • Boys and Girls Cross Country will have their first meet, today Thursday, 9/9. They will travel to Framingham this afternoon to open the season under new Head Coaches, Toren Caesar (Boys) and Claire Ritten (Girls).
  • Field Hockey also have their first game today, hosting Weymouth High School. They will then host Dedham at 10:30am on Saturday, 9/11.
  • Boys Soccer hosts Foxboro tomorrow, Friday 9/10 at 6pm. 
  • Football travels to Scituate tomorrow, Friday 9/10, for a 7pm kick-off. 
  • Volleyball will also travel to Scituate on Friday, 9/10 to begin their season.
  • Swim & Dive will host Brookline on Friday, 9/10 at 5:45pm at Blue Hills Pool.
  • Girls Soccer starts next week, hosting Martha’s Vineyard at 4:30pm on Monday 9/13.
  • Golf will also play Framingham on Monday to tee off their season.

Milton Boosters is the parent run organization to support our athletes. Save the date for the first meeting of the Boosters on Tuesday, October 5 at 7pm (Location to be announced). Most pressing needs are volunteers to run outside concessions and membership. If you’re interested in helping please email info@miltonboosters.com.

There are two easy ways to support our athletes this weekend! 

COMMUNITY NEWS

The Milton Road Race is next week on September 14 at 6pm. The Milton Road Race benefits chosen charities with a portion of the fundraiser 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.

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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/upcoming-events/.

Milton Sports for All: Would your child enjoy the opportunity to be on a team in a less competitive, more recreational environment? Milton Sports for All provides a new opportunity for kids to participate in sporting activities in a fun and accessible way for children of all backgrounds, abilities, and experiences. The program is currently open to those in grades 4 – 8 who reside in Milton. Our goal is for kids across Milton to have fun playing sports together in a supportive environment where they can meet new friends. Sports for All will launch on Sat., Sept. 18th with a fall season of kickball. We plan to offer other sporting opportunities in the winter and spring seasons. We hope your child can join us on Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00pm and Saturdays from 9:30-11:00am, from Sept. 18th – Oct. 20th. They are welcome to attend one or both sessions. To register and learn more click here: READY, SET, REGISTER Login

Milton Sports for All is organized by a volunteer group of parents and community members who share the belief that sports should not only be fun, but accessible to all kids regardless of experience or ability.

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Girl Power Running Program – Starts Monday, September 13! This is a FREE (volunteer parent run) program. The purpose of this program is to provide a “come when you can, low pressure, confidence and self esteem building” activity that encourages girls to work towards a goal, push themselves at a healthy pace and comfort level while supporting one another and participating in an outdoor, good for your body and soul activity. Occasionally we will have a woman that embodies “girl power” join us. We try to have women from a wide range of professions to demonstrate to our girls that with hard work and dedication there are limitless options. We will start with a walk/jog, everyone go at their own pace loop and slowly increase our distance with the end goal being to participate in our very own, first ever, Girls Rock 2K Road Race on October 25. This will be held at the regular 3:45 time and the course will be in Cunningham Park, details to follow as the date nears. Girl Power is for elementary aged girls and meets at the Cunningham Park tennis courts on Mondays beginning Monday, September 13. We will meet at 3:45 for sign in and warm ups prior to our run.

This is NOT A DROP OFF program. Each girl is required to be accompanied by an adult, often times one adult will be responsible for more than one girl but it is NOT drop off. The program relies on parent and caregiver volunteers to stand at designated spots along our route for safety purposes. Some adults run with the group but you do not need to be a runner! We will need lots of “non running” volunteer help along the course.

Each girl should bring a filled water bottle with their name written on it. Due to safety and liability reasons there are NO DOGS allowed in the tennis courts and NO DOGS allowed to run with the group. T-shirts will be available for purchase each week, $10 cash only

There is no formal registration however each girl MUST have a waiver filled out and signed including an emergency contact number prior to running (we will have waivers at check in each week). Questions? Email Heather at smithbergin@msn.com. Let’s go girls!

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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.

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