To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: October 21, 2021
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
There are many events in MPS and Milton over the next two weeks that many of our students and families will be participating in. I am happy to see that the weather looks good (colder but clear) for the MHS Homecoming Dance this weekend. The buzz at Milton High School is strong and many of our juniors and seniors are looking forward to this fun event. Thank you to MHS Student Government, Advisor Jennie Beliveau, our many MPS staff and parent volunteers for working to make this weekend possible for our students.
Before they get dressed up and ready to dance, the MHS Senior Class is hosting a Car Wash fundraiser on Saturday, October 23, from 9 am to noon at Cunningham School.
Saturday, October 23 is also National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The Milton Coalition, along with the Milton Police Department, will be hosting a drug collection site at the Milton Police Department at 40 Highland St from 10am – 2pm.
Sunday is a great day to support the Milton High School Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams at their Kids Trail Run at Cunningham Park on Sunday, October 24. There are different races for students in K-8th grades and it is a great opportunity to experience cross country. Registration is $10/person and starts at 10am on race day.
Next weekend The Milton Halloween Stroll is on Saturday, October 30 in East Milton Square, followed the next day by the MFE’s Monster Dash.
Be sure to register for The Monster Dash 5k, Fun Run & community event which falls on Halloween this year! Join us on Sunday, October 31, at Cunningham Hall. Register now!
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!
In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap… until he finds out he’s been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune, and acquittal. This show has it all and is guaranteed to please! Tickets are available now at this link.
The Milton School Committee will be hosting virtual Community Forums next Thursday, October 28 to receive feedback from the community on the findings of the Quality Review report prepared by Cambridge Education. This report was first shared in the Superintendent’s Blog dated September 23, 2021 and is posted on the Milton Public Schools website.
The Community Forums will be held at two different times, 7:30-8:30am and 6:30-7:30pm. (Morning session Zoom link;Meeting ID: 852 5332 7674; Passcode: 126663. Evening session Zoom link; Meeting ID: 869 3301 8294; Passcode: 077175)
Members of the School Committee will be joined by members of the MPS administration, and we encourage all stakeholders in the MPS community to come share your questions, perspectives, and priorities as the district moves forward to address the report’s recommendations. Whether or not you are able to attend, you are welcome to pre-submit questions or share feedback through this google form.
The regular Milton School Committee meeting is on November 3 at 7pm. All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. 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
Test and Stay: Currently 59% of MPS students have completed the Opt In form for Test and Stay and Symptomatic testing. If you have not yet opted in, please consider doing so now. All details can be found here.
Covid Vaccination: Last night at School Committee I discussed our current vaccination rates among students. You can see the current percentages among students at the graphic at right. I am also pleased to share that the School Committee and the Milton Educators Association (MEA) have reached an agreement that all MEA members will be vaccinated or submit a vaccination waiver. We are grateful to the MEA for this important step to keep our community healthy.
The proposal for the Covid vaccine for students aged 5-11 years will be heading to the FDA Advisory Panel on October 26, then it needs to go to the CDC and FDA for EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) approval. This process takes approximately a week for each (a total of two weeks following October 26). As vaccines are a pillar of our national and local Covid strategy, I urge you to discuss vaccination now with your child’s pediatrician, in anticipation of this news. We hope to be able to hold a Covid vaccine clinic in the near future but also expect that the vaccine will be widely available for children.
Manet Community Health Center has offered both vaccine and testing clinics at MPS over the last 18 months. Manet has regular walk in Covid vaccine clinics at their local locations. All details on dates and times of the vaccine clinics can be found here.
For the time period of Thursday, October 14 – Wednesday, October 20, MPS had 15 positive student cases, and 2 positive staff cases. Each of these positive cases impacts close contacts at every school. All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- Oct 23 MHS Homecoming Dance
- Oct 28 School Committee Forums
- Nov 2 No School – Teacher PD Day
- Nov 3 School Committee Meeting
- Nov 4, 6, 7 Chicago at MHS
- Nov 11 No School – Veterans Day
- Nov 17 School Committee Meeting
- Nov 18 Early Release Day K-12 (PT Conf Gr 6-12 only)
- Nov 22 MHS Cabaret
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.
Also, please continue to refer to the MPS website for all information about Covid safety, transportation, School Committee updates, district wide presentations, Special Education information, school handbooks, anti bullying policy and reporting system, food service menus and more.
Come celebrate Taco Tuesday on November 2 from 4-8 pm at Chipotle at 60 Newport Ave, Quincy and support the Class of 2023. Show the flyer at right or order online using code, GVV4ERR, and 33% of the proceeds from your order will be donated to the 2023 student government. The MHS Junior Class thanks you!
Senior Director of Education Equity, Somaly Prak-Martins, shares this week’s Behaving Equitably Newsletter linked here. Ms. Prak-Martins shares information about ongoing equity work, a history of the Salem Witch Trials and more in this week’s newsletter.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
MHS teachers Dan Jarboe and Megan Johnson took their Course 3 students outside to explore math concepts using kinesthetic methods. On day one, students were put into teams and asked to make themselves into points on the graph in order to practice function translations. On day two, students worked in groups to create and plot life size function graphs with sidewalk chalk.
MHS Applied Math seniors recently learned how to calculate speedometer and odometer error based on dimensions imprinted on a car’s rubber tire. A change in tire size from the factory-installed model will cause one’s speed and mileage to be inaccurate. To see this in action, the students calculated tire circumference from their own cars and measured travel distance to see the math in action.
Last weekend, the Milton Wildcat Marching Band traveled to Wakefield Memorial High School to compete in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor Association’s Marching Band (MICCA) Festival. Performing their halftime show “Tonight” which featured the songs “We are Young”, “In the Air Tonight” and “Tonight from West Side Story” the band earned a three-star overall rating with three-star ratings in all categories including Music, Percussion, Visual, Colorguard and General Effect. The Wildcat Marching Band is led by Senior Drum Majors Michael Howard, Max Hollingsworth-Hays and Stella Yuan, and Color Guard Captain Angel Leggett. Congratulations to these outstanding student musicians! You can watch their halftime show live at all remaining home varsity football games and see them in parade at the Veterans Day ceremony.
Students in the MHS Pre-Med Club engaged in the DNA extraction of strawberries as one of their hands-on activities. Students interested in health-related careers are encouraged to join the after school Pre-Med Club which meets biweekly to discuss current events, listen to health professionals as they share their journey, play health trivia games, learn about important medical techniques, and take part in science experiments like this week’s DNA extraction. To learn more about the MHS Pre-Med Club, contact MHS teacher Brenda Redding.
Mr. Manning’s art classes have passed the halfway point of “Inktober”. Prompts are getting challenging but students kept the creative juices flowing as you can see in the photos below.
Pierce 7th grade artists recently put the final touches on their Wayne Thiebaud inspired food drawings. During the duration of this lesson students debated about their favorite and the best fast food restaurants and ice cream stops. Lots of fun and plenty of detail went into their drawings.
Students in Mrs. Lombardo’s math classes created tessellations to end Unit 1: Transformations and Congruence. A tessellation is any repeating pattern that can fill an entire plane without gaps using transformations.
Connection Time is Back at Pierce! We were excited to reestablish “connection time” at Pierce. The purpose of connection time is to provide students with regular opportunities to engage with a small group of students and a staff member to develop and strengthen their sense of connection with one another and their teacher. Through these small connection time communities, students will feel safe and connected to a group of peers, have a connection with their teacher, and feel safe and comfortable with this adult in the building.
We had a special schedule on October 13 to accommodate our connection time kick-off. After that, connection time will occur once every seven day cycle for 29 minutes and will replace flex time on the day in the cycle in which it takes place.
Educators have a variety of options for engaging with their connection time group. These options include themed activities focused on school-wide initiatives; group discussions on topics ranging from current issues to simple “get to know you” activities; student check-ins; games; mindfulness activities; or flex time.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Ms. Perrault’s Collicot Kindergarten students enjoyed an outside science lesson last week, learning about the parts of a tree. Students are observing one tree in the Green Space and will go every two weeks to see how it changes over the season. These young scientists loved exploring and feeling the different textures of each tree and seeing how each is different, despite having the same parts.
Cunningham Kindergarten students loved their ABC Bootcamp and celebrated with an epic fashion show in the cafeteria. Students decorated letter vests and walked the runway like the true superstars they are!
During a recent SEL activity, Cunningham 4th graders read the book Breathing Makes it Better, and actively practiced the mindfulness strategies of visualization and deep breathing. Students are encouraged to use these strategies when they are managing their emotions.
October is National Filipino American History Month and Ms. Elovich’s Glover Kindergarten class was virtually visited by a parent who shared all about their family’s Filipino culture. Students found the Philippines on the globe, learned about the flag, favorite traditional foods, and listened to the story Cora Cooks Pancit. The students thought of questions to further research and are looking forward to learning more during the month of October.
Glover and Tucker 2nd grade students participated in a STEM week challenge by creating their own pumpkin carts and launchers. Students worked in small teams as engineers to design and build a device that could successfully transport or launch “pumpkins” using materials such as paper plates, straws, tape, and cardboard. After some troubleshooting, and with some great teamwork, all engineering teams were successful in the end!
The MHS Boosters are planning a merchandise extravaganza for the last home football game on October 29! There are lots of new items, plenty of old favorites, and stickers and football beads to hand out to kids and fans. Cash, check and credit card all accepted. Go, ‘Cats!
Some of the items are: new Booster sail flags; Nalgene water bottles; new winter beanie pom hats in black, charcoal, beige; new sponge fleece sweatshirts; all sizes for the new flannel lounge PJ pants in red/black/white plaid; Milton dog toys; double insulated 26oz water bottle; ninja loop phone or wristlet bands -once people see them and use them they fall in love with this item! The Boosters are also selling super cozy sweatshirt blankets in 2 colors and the new women’s long-sleeve Milton Athletics shirts in all sizes. There is something for everyone and plenty of youth sizes, too!
Join the SPUB Club! The Super Popular, Unbelievable Book Club for kids in grades 2-6 meets Monday evenings at 7:15 on Zoom. Listen to a few chapters of a book (funny ones are our favorites) while you work on a hands-on activity at home. Register for each week’s session at this link . To learn more and to register for programs, please visit the MPL website.
Spooky Stories Under the Stars at the Forbes House Museum is on Saturday, October 30 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The cost is $5/member, $8/nonmember, adults are free. This is not a drop-off event.
Children in grades K-5 are invited to don a costume, grab a blanket and flashlight, and get ready for scary (and not-so-scary) tales from faraway places. There will be hot cider and treats, and perhaps a few tricks! Dress appropriately for this all-outdoors event.
Plus, bring your best jack-o-lantern for the chance to win a prize! Winners will be chosen in three categories: Scariest, Funniest and Most Creative. Enter your carved pumpkin between 4:00 and 6:00 pm on October 30th. Public voting will run 6-7 pm, with winners announced at the end of the evening. You need not be present to win.
The museum is located at 215 Adams Street in Milton. For more information and to register, visit the Forbes House website.
Milton Cultural Council Grant application deadline has been EXTENDED! The Milton Cultural Council is the local granting arm of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The Milton Cultural Council allocates state funding to Milton artists, organizations, and cultural projects which benefit the community of Milton.
The council is accepting applications for the current grant cycle through November 1, 2021. All are invited to apply and innovative projects are highly encouraged to do so. Funds can be used for a variety of purposes and are awarded on a reimbursement basis. The council invites all Milton residents to share ideas and feedback with the council through the community input survey. This survey will support the drafting of granting priorities for the next fiscal cycle.
MECA (Milton Early Childhood Association) has two upcoming programs.
Handling Your Child’s Big Feelings Parent Workshop: All children have feelings. Sometimes they need help learning how to manage and express these feelings, which are the foundation of your child’s emotional intelligence. Tips for managing behavior due to the pandemic, sibling rivalry, and how temperament plays a role in behavior will be discussed. This workshop will meet virtually, via Zoom, on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM. Registration will be required to receive the Zoom link and passcode. Register here. Many thanks to the Milton Junior Woman’s Club for their generous support of this program!
Literacy Fun Through STEAM with the Easton Children’s Museum: Calling all future scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians! Have loads of fun while enjoying a story and working together as a family on fun experiments. Activities will be age appropriate for children 3 to 7 years old with adult supervision. All supplies and materials will be provided and may be picked up one week prior to the program date at a designated location to be determined. We’ll be holding two sessions, live via Zoom, this fall with the Easton Children’s Museum Registration will be required to receive the Zoom link and passcode. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this program!
Session 1: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Build A Tree! Let’s explore balance and strong foundations by using creativity and imagination with materials supplied to your family. November 13 at 11 am, register here.
Session 2: Where The Wild Things Are: Float My Boat! Let’s explore buoyancy and flotation by being inventive and imaginative with materials supplied to your family. December 11 at 11 am, register here.
It was great to see even more of our MHS freshman out in the community last week for their day of service. Ava and Molly made sensory materials like weighted lap socks and fidgets for our inclusion specialists to use and Orlaith, Abby, Natalie, Amelia, Maggie, Ida, Sadie, Keira and Kevin helped out with landscaping at the Milton Art Center.
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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: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.