July 31st E-blast

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: Friday, July 31st, 2015


I have a “great news story” from the State House. On Wednesday, both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted overwhelmingly to override the Governor’s veto of $17.6 million for Kindergarten Development Grants, thus fully funding the Conference Budget line item total to $18.6 million. Your outpouring of support to restore these funds was effectively heard and we thank you for your active support. Please express your appreciation to the legislators who responded so strongly. (See contact info below.) Milton Public Schools students, teachers, staff, parents/guardians and our town’s citizens owe a huge debt of gratitude to our elected officials, Sen. Brian A. Joyce and Rep. Walter F. Timilty, both of whom continued to work tirelessly to represent the students and the town of Milton.

To view the presentation made to the School Committee by Sen. Brian A. Joyce on Wednesday, July 29th, click here:

According to our School Committee Chair, Mike Zullas, the recent Full Day Kindergarten funding problem raises a larger issue:

“This district and our families with young children waited on tenterhooks for this resolution over the summer and particularly during the last two weeks since the Governor’s veto. Today, families in Milton pay up to $3,700 in tuition for FDK offered by the Milton Public Schools. If the Governor’s veto is had not been overridden by the legislature, that amount will be $4,300.

Anyone who has visited a kindergarten class over the past few years knows full well that kindergarten is much more than what it was in the past. Kindergarten is not just play time. It is not just a place for rhymes and routines. It is not just glorified day-care. Today, kindergarten is the academic starting point. It is where children begin to read, begin to write and begin to learn the basics of math.

Kindergarten today is, effectively and in reality, the new first grade.

Nationally, 75% of kindergartners have access to FDK. In Massachusetts, the number is 88%. These numbers have soared in the past decade.

So what are we to do with this new reality?

In Massachusetts, 262 communities recognize the new reality and offer tuition-free kindergarten. Milton is one of only 65 school districts in Massachusetts that still charge tuition. And Milton’s kindergarten tuition is in the highest range.

As we develop our budget for fiscal 2017, we need to determine whether kindergarten – the new academic starting point – the new first grade – will become part of the program of public education offered by the Milton schools.

That will not come without some additional cost to the taxpayers. The question is whether the benefits – providing a platform for our children to compete nationally and internationally, joining the majority of communities in Massachusetts that offer kindergarten as part of the program of public education, and making our school and our community more attractive to families who may want to stay or move here – whether those benefits outweigh that additional cost.

My hope is that we’ll have that discussion over the next few months and my hope is that Milton will continue to be a leader in education.”

Milton Legislative Delegation

Senator Brian Joyce – brian.joyce@masenate.gov 617-722-1643 Representative Walter Timilty – walter.timilty@mahouse.gov 617-722-2230 Representative Daniel Cullinane – daniel.cullinane@mahouse.gov   617-722-2006

Conference Committee Members

Senator Karen Spilka – karen.spilka@masenate.gov   617-722-1640 Senator Sal DiDomenico – sal.didomenico@masenate.gov   617-722-1650 Senator Patricia Jehlen – patricia.jehlen@masenate.gov   617-722-1578 Senator Bruce Tarr – bruce.tarr@masenate.gov   617-722-1600 Representative Brian Dempsey – brian.dempsey@mahouse.gov   617-722-2990 Representative Stephen Kulik – stephen.kulik@mahouse.gov   617-722-2380 Representative Benjamin Swan – benjamin.swan@mahouse.gov   617-722-2380 Representative Bradley Jones – bradley.jones@mahouse.gov   617-722-2100


There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast, held Wednesday night, July 29th. I will summarize that meeting in my next E-blast. The next meeting will be held on August 26th at 7pm in the Milton High School library.


Please note the following Summer Reading requirements:

Elementary Schools: Great news!!   89% of students entering grades 1-5 have already registered for “Every Hero has a Story”.

The Milton Public Schools approach to summer reading at the elementary level in both French and English is to ask that students READ EVERY DAY in any language.   The elementary schools, in partnership with the Milton Public Library, have registered nearly 1500 students entering grades 1-5 for the “Every Hero has a Story” Summer Reading Challenge. By registering for the Summer Reading Challenge, students log on to their very own home page and keep track of the minutes they have read, writing the book title in the comment box.  Please encourage your child to read every day and log in their minutes. Minutes can be logged in daily, weekly or whatever works best for your family. If you do not have access to the internet please feel free to stop by the library. You can log in minutes, check out some new books and pick up a prize once your child has reached the library’s goal of 300 minutes. The last date to register is August 15 and the last date to log in your minutes is August 31. Every student should be logging in their minutes! Students will be asked to show their summer reading log to their new teacher. Logs can be printed by going to your child’s home page, click add/view log and then click on print. If you do not have access to a printer these logs can also be emailed to your child’s teacher.

If you have any questions about the summer reading program, have forgotten your child’s password or need assistance in logging on or printing the completed log, please do not hesitate to contact Marti O’Keefe McKenna at mmckenna@miltonps.org or at 617 696 5040 ext. 5588. .   If you would like to sign up directly please click here: but remember the last day to do so is August 15th.

Pierce Middle School: For info on summer reading, please visit here: roll down to NEWS and click on Summer Reading

Milton High School: For info on required summer reading, please visit here:

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Although our Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) program is nearly at an end, we were very pleased to have received recognition for one of our innovative classes we offered this year. The “Whimsical Dr. Seuss” course, offered to our elementary-aged students, was visited by a team from the Boston Globe this week. Not only were the staff and students interviewed by the Globe reporter, there was also a short video made of the classroom. This article will be featured on the front page of Saturday’s Living/Arts section. Thank you to former Milton High School student Mariel Sager, who teaches this class.  Click below for link to article:


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More than 200 families have come to Milton High School’s front office during the past several weeks to re-establish residency. The Milton School Committee recently passed a Residency Policy that states “students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grades six and nine as well as those Milton Public School students who attend school out-of-town.”  Families who have students in these categories are required to fill out the form that has been mailed to their homes — or go to the following link — and provide all necessary documentation.

This process is one of the safeguards used by the Milton Public Schools to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the town of Milton. Although the re-registration process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us with ensuring residency compliance.

Our Residency Coordinator will be working morning and evening hours all summer to facilitate parents/guardians work schedules. Ms. Lesenechal will be in the Milton High School main office (25 Gile Road) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7am to noon; and Tuesday evenings from 4-8pm.  Parents/guardians must submit Re-Establish Residency packets by September 2nd, 2015 to ensure their child’s uninterrupted placement in Grades 6 and 9. Ms. Lesenechal can be reached at 617-696-4470 ext 5516 or at plesenechal@miltonps.org

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Parents/guardians of students who took a PARCC exam during the 2014-15 school year should be aware that results will not be released until September or October. We will include updates in upcoming E-blasts on this topic.


Would you send your quarterback into the game without his jersey?  Would you want to see your point guard playing in her blue jeans?  The Milton High School uniform brings our teams together and instills pride in all of us Wildcat fans.

There’s a MHS team playing without proper uniforms and we’re asking for your help to support this group of students who add a vital dimension to Wildcat pride.

The Wildcat Marching Band was revived in 2010 under the direction of our dedicated music teachers, Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good.  Five years later, the MHS marching band is thriving. We think it’s time to make a modest investment in these student musicians. This would be the first time since the 1970s that we have seen uniforms on the MHS marching band.

So far, the band has performed in hand-me-down tracksuits. They are certainly not flashy but they served a purpose. To replace them, Milton Friends and Advocates for Music Education are asking for your support in a fundraising campaign to outfit the Wildcat Marching Band with a previously owned uniform set that will provide performers with pants, jacket, gloves, shako hats and a decorative plume.

A new uniform with accessories costs approximately $400 per uniform.

We think that we’ve found a smart alternative that will save approximately 75% percent, bringing the average cost per uniform to $100. These funds will have to be raised outside of the school budget.

Help us meet our goal of $10,000 with an individual or corporate contribution. New uniforms will put the Wildcat Marching Band on sartorial par with their peers and make them eligible for certain competitions and parade appearances. Their numbers have been growing and last year the Wildcat Marching Band competed in a regional MICCA competition where they received the highest rating in their division for musical performance.

Thank you for your support. Let’s keep MHS musicians marching forward!


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The Milton High School Cheerleading team will be holding a Car Wash and a Bottle & Can Drive on Saturday, August 22nd from 8am to 12pm at the Cunningham/Collicot driveway. A car wash is $10 and cheerleaders will be on hand to take your redeemable bottles and cans.


Open Bus Registration for the 2015-2016 School year is now closed. Bus passes will be mailed out on August 7th to all registered students, so please keep an eye out for your child’s MPS 2015-2016 bus pass. If you missed the open registration period, there are still seats available on SOME routes in town. Please email bus@miltonps.org with your request.


The following item was submitted by Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison


The Highland Street Foundation “Free Fun Fridays” initiative is offering visitors no cost admission to local museums. Below is a list of the remaining summer dates and museums.

August 7

Boston Harbor Island Alliance(Boston)

Worcester Historical Museum(Worcester)

Concord Museum(Concord)

Hancock Shaker Village(Pittsfield)

Rose Kennedy Greenway Carousel(Boston)

Springfield Museums(Springfield)

Old State House(Boston)

August 14

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston)

Cape Cod Children’s Museum (Mashpee)

Historic Deerfield (Deerfield)

Children’s Museum of Fall River (Fall River)

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (Great Barrington)

Clark Art Institute (Williamstown)

USS Constitution Museum (Charlestown)

August 21

Franklin Park Zoo (Dorchester)

Freedom Trail Foundation (Boston)

Emily Dickinson Museum (Amherst)

Buttonwood Park Zoo (New Bedford)

Discovery Museums (Acton)

Museum of African American History (Boston)

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Beckett)

August 28

Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge)

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth)

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (Brewster)

EcoTarium (Worcester)

Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton)

Griffin Photography Museum (Winchester)

MASS MoCA (North Adams)


Bring a blanket or lawn chair, pack a picnic, and watch a movie with family and friends on Friday night for free! Movies begin at sundown, but arrive early to grab your spot on the lawn and enjoy free samples, games, and giveaways with WBZ NewsRadio 1030 – the fun starts at 6pm with WBZ’s Morgan White Jr!

Martini Shell, Truman Pkwy., Hyde Park

August 4: Indiana Jones & Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

August 11: The Wizard of Oz

August 18: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

August 25: Guardians of the Galaxy

Pope John Paul II Park, Gallivan Blvd. Dorchester

August 6: Indiana Jones & Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

August 13: The Wizard of Oz

August 20: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No

Good, Very Bad Day

August 27: Guardians of the Galaxy

For more information on movies at The Hatch Shell, or for cancellation information, call

the WBZ Free Family Flicks hotline at 617-787-7200, DCR at 617-333-7405, or visit their

website at www.boston.cbslocal.com/flicks

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT – On Wednesday, August 5, 2015 from 6:00-9:00pm. The Milton Police Department invites everyone in the community to join them at Milton Police Headquarters, 40 Highland Street for their annual community celebration which includes a Police Vehicle Display, Headquarters Open House, Milton Police Canine Demonstration, Cookout, Ice cream, Children’s Rides and more! Mark your calendars and don’t miss this wonderful community event.

NEW FAMILIES: If you have recently registered your child(ren) in the Milton Public Schools and have questions or concerns regarding the upcoming school year please do not hesitate to contact the Family Outreach Liaison office at 617 696 5040 ext 5588 or via email mmckenna@miltonps.org

Just a reminder of some fun activities that are going on throughout the summer.

STORY WALK, Daily 8:30am-5:00pm. The Milton Early Childhood Alliance is hosting a story walk daily through August 31, 2015 at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1094 Canton Avenue, Milton. “What’s a StoryWalk? Children go for a walk and stop along the way where the pages of a book are posted so they can hear the story read aloud — or read it themselves or to a younger sibling. Susan Dolan, the director of the Milton Early Childhood Alliance, organized this StoryWalk with the Trailside Museum, and she explains that StoryWalks promote early literacy, encourage parents and children to do outdoor activities, and support the crucial idea that parents are their children’s first teachers. In addition, Dolan says, StoryWalks introduce parents and children to new books .”

BROOKWOOD COMMUNITY FARMS: JULY 22, 2015 and on alternating Wednesdays at 9:30 am during the months of July, August, September, and October children (ages 3 through 9) and their caregivers will have the opportunity to listen to a story and then explore the farm. Exploration may include activities like picking seasonal produce to bring home, using farm veggies to make a smoothie, exploring the insects in our learning garden, or creating a craft using flowers from the farm. The cost is $7 per child. The program is limited to 12 children, so reserve your spot early. This is not a drop-off program. You can register for this program at http://brookwood-community-farm.mybigcommerce.com/education/.

MILTON FARMERS MARKET, Thursdays from 1-6pm through the end of October, located at Wharf Park in the Milton Village area. Please visit www.miltonmassfarmersmarket.org for more information and upcoming events including a blueberry festival tentatively scheduled for July 15, 2015 and a 20 year anniversary celebration on July 23, 2015.

The office of the Family Outreach Liaison will be open during the summer months. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have about the upcoming school year or if you are in need of a resource. My contact information is: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, 617-696-5040 ext. 5588 or mmckenna@miltonps.org


The following item was submitted by Milton Public Library’s Children’s Librarian Sara Truog:

Summer is here – and so are fun things for kids to do at the Milton Public Library! Don’t forget: registration for our annual Summer Reading Challenge is open now. To learn more, check out the Children’s page at www.miltonlibrary.org .

In addition to our regular storytimes on Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of August 2 – 8:

Monday, August 3, 2015 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
The Puppetree presents Swimmy/The Swimmer, All Ages

The PuppeTree, a puppet company from Vermont, presents their shadow puppet show Swimmy/The SwimmerSwimmy is based off the book of the same name by Leo Lionni, while The Swimmer is an original play about a little girl trying to clean up her river and cut down on the use of plastics. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Fun en Français, Gr. 2-3

Keep your French language skills up over the summer! Led by beloved Tucker first-grade teacher Mr. Alex Leite, this program is for children entering second and third grades in fall 2015 who are in the French program. Mr. Leite will use poems and games with students to help them maintain their French during vacation and have fun at the same time! Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Crafternoon for Tweens, Ages 10-13

Kids aged 10-13 are invited to join Miss Sara (Children’s Librarian) and Lilly (Teen Librarian) for crafting fun.  Each week we’ll be making something different, using such materials as recycled materials, hardware, jewelry and more!  Registration is required.

Thursday, August 6, 2015 from 10:00-10:30 am
Summertime Stories @ Tucker Elementary School, Ages 0-6 (with caregiver)

The Milton Public Schools, the Milton Public Library, and the Milton Early Childhood Alliance invite you to Summertime Stories: outdoor storytimes at Milton community locations! Miss Sara, the Milton Public Library Children’s Librarian will read stories, sing songs, and engage children at this, the third of four sessions around town this summer. Registration is not required; however, you will need to sign in upon arrival. For families with their children ages birth to six years old. Rain or shine.

Thursday, August 6, 2015 from 2:30-4:00 pm
Readers’ Theatre Club, Grades 2-4

Readers’ Theatre is a type of drama performed by “readers” who read from a script and do not have to memorize lines. Performed with minimal costumes, sets and props, readers’ theatre can be not only a great introduction to theatre for kids, but it’s also a great way to practice one’s oral reading skills, build confidence, and have fun with friends at the same time! This summer, Miss Sara is leading a Readers’ Theatre Club for students entering grades 2-4. Each week participants will play theatre games, tackle different scripts based on well-known children’s books, and make crafts to supplement the stories we’re telling together. The Club will meet six times over the course of the summer, and each meeting will culminate with a performance for family and friends. Students must be fluent readers who have completed first grade. Registration is required.

Friday, August 7, 2015 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Lego Club: SUPER Edition, Ages 6-12

Milton Public Library is pleased to host Ian Coffey, a Legoland Discovery Center Master Model Builder, for this special edition of Lego Club! Come meet Ian, find out how he because a Master Model Builder, and see some of his creations. After that, Ian will stick around to share some tips and expertise while we build creations of our own, which will go on display in the Children’s Room at the end of the event. For ages 6-12; registration is required.

Don’t forget to check the library web calendar for a listing of the many programs we offer year-round. Information about and registration for all of our programs can always be found on our online calendar at www.miltonlibrary.org, or by calling the Children’s Room at 617-898-4957 during business hours. Also, like the Milton Public Library on Facebook and get updates right in your news feed! Please contact the Children’s Room if you have questions about any of our programs or services.

To see a complete listing of library events, please click here:



There will be a Youth Cheerleading Clinic held Tuesday, August 11th to Friday, August 14th at the Copeland Field House at Milton High School. For registration information, please contact Varsity Cheerleading Coach Erica Dunton at edunton@miltonps.org


Students: I would like to recognize a former Milton High School student who has been intricately involved with our Milton Summer Enrichment program. Camille Van Allen, MHS Class of 2013, is now in her 7th summer with our MSE program. She began volunteering as a “Red Shirt,” as a rising MHS freshman and has returned every summer since. Now entering her junior year as a nursing student at the University of Connecticut, Camille is a keeps the MSE office running smoothly and is one of the hardest working employees on the staff. Camille was a varsity volleyball player while here at Milton High School and is now a dean’s list student in the honors program at UConn, where she also volunteers with a Big Brother/Big Sister program and tutors student athletes. Camille is a wonderful role model for our Milton High School students who work at MSE during the summer. We are very proud of this alum. Great job, Camille!

Staff:   We recently learned that one of our long-time lunch aides from the Collicot School, Teresa Cunningham, will be retiring from her position. Mrs. Cunningham has been working in the Milton Public Schools since 1984! I want to thank Teresa for her dedicated service to the students, parents, guardians and staff in the Milton Public Schools. In her 31 years of service, Teresa was conscientious in her duties and made every effort to fulfill her role as lunch and recess supervisor. On behalf of the students, parents/guardians and staff in the Milton Public Schools, we wish her a happy retirement.

Volunteers: I would like to thank Sheila Rogers and Therese Joyce, two Milton Public School parents who helped to secure funding for our Grade Five Science from Scientists program. Both of these women were able to get donations from their workplaces to help this valuable program in our elementary schools. Ms. Rogers is an employee of PTC, Inc. of Needham; and Ms. Joyce is an employee of the Seattle Foundation. We are very grateful, not only for the financial resources that these two volunteers brought to us, but also for the time and effort they gave to the Science from Scientist program. Thank you!   We are partnering with the Milton Foundation for Education, Staples, Raytheon, Blue Hills Bank and our PTOs, and still need to raise $16,000 to cover the cost of this program for every fifth-grade classroom in the Milton Public Schools. If you are interested in donating or initiating a corporate donation, please contact Bernadette Moonan at bmoonan@miltonps.org

The Milton Public School system is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the provision of quality educational programs for all students.  The Milton Public School system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, age or sexual orientation.




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