August 28th E-blast

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: August 28th, 2015

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

On Wednesday night, as part of the School Committee meeting, we were pleased to honor two individuals and one group, all of whom have been chosen as award recipients by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. Former Milton School Committee members Lynda-Lee Sheridan and Mary Kelly were recognized, as was the Milton Foundation for Education for their outstanding work with the Milton Public Schools.

  • Mary Kelly was awarded the “Friend of Public Education Award,” which is for an individual who has demonstrated commitment to and support of public education. Ms. Kelly served on the school committee from 2003-2015 and was a constant presence on the Finance Subcommittee. She was a strong proponent for special education and a voice for working families in Milton
  • Lynda-Lee Sheridan was awarded the “Community Leader for Public Education Award,” which recognizes an individual community leader who has demonstrated outstanding support for the public schools. Ms. Sheridan exemplifies, both personally and professionally, the role of an advocate for public schools. She attended Milton Public Schools, sent her two sons to our schools, served on and chaired the School Committee, spent her career as a Special Education professional and now serves as an elementary school principal.
  • The Milton Foundation for Education was awarded the “Outstanding School Partner Award,” for being a non-profit organization which supports public education. The MFE, which was established in 1995, provides programs and opportunities for the Milton Public Schools which are beyond the reach of the district’s budget. As the beneficiary of this foundation’s extensive work, the MPS is a vastly different district than it would have been without this assistance. The Monster Dash, the Celebration for Education and the Outstanding Teacher Awards are only three of the many events sponsored by the MFE to recognize and support our district.

I would also like to mention that Monday and Tuesday are Professional Development days for our staff. All staff members will meet in Milton High School’s auditorium on Monday for a very special keynote presentation by Dr. Thomas Hehir. Staff members should be promptly seated by 8:15am for Dr. Hehir’s presentation at 8:30am. Professional Development sessions will take place after this event at each school.

Thomas Hehir, Ed.D., is Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs from 1993 to 1999, Hehir was responsible for federal leadership in implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and played a leading role in developing the Clinton administration’s proposal for the 1997 reauthorization of IDEA. In 1990, Hehir was associate superintendent for the Chicago Public Schools. Hehir served in a variety of positions in the Boston Public Schools from 1978 to 1987, including that of director of special education from 1983 to 1987. An advocate for children with disabilities in the education system, he has written extensively on special education, special education in the reform movement, due process, and least restrictive environment issues.

On Tuesday, September 1st, there will be a “Welcome Back,” presentation to the staff, which will also take place in Milton High School’s Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at 8am. After this presentation, faculty and staff will report to their respective schools for Professional Development sessions.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There has been one School Committee meeting since my last E-blast, held last night, Wednesday, August 26th. That meeting is summarized below.

August 26th: This meeting began with a brief awards ceremony (see above) for the recipients of the MASC awards. This was followed by a STEM Grade Four Program, given by Elementary Science Coordinator Bernadette Moonan. The committee approved all six School Handbooks and discussed the FY16 School Committee Goals, voting to approve several of them. As part of the Finance Subcommittee Report, the committee approved Vendor Warrant #7; and approved the tuition for the new Blue Hills Full Day preschool at Tucker. There was a Transportation and Traffic Safety Subcommittee Report, and the committee approved the minutes of July 29, 2015 before adjourning to executive session.

The next meeting will be held September 9th at 7 pm in the Milton High School library.

PHONE SYSTEM AT PIERCE MIDDLE SCHOOL

The following update was sent to us by Pierce Middle School Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding:

The Pierce phone system’s hard drive was significantly damaged and had to be sent out for repair.  It is estimated that it will take 7-10 days for it to be restored.  In the meantime, our phone menu system that allows you to connect directly to offices and classrooms and our voicemail system do not work.  Please see the following communication plan:

If you call the Pierce Middle School main number 617-696-4568, the phone will ring directly in the main office and either Ms. Wyse or Ms. Higgins will answer it.  They are able to transfer you to other offices in the building, but please keep in mind that voicemail will not pick up if the person is unavailable to answer.  If it is during the school day, callers will not be transferred to a classroom as there is no voicemail to pick up the call and teachers are teaching.

If both Ms. Wyse and Ms. Higgins are on the phone at the same time, which could happen especially at peak time, your call will continue to ring.  Given that, if no one picks up the phone please wait a minute or two and call back again.

In addition, the following numbers are direct lines and will ring in the office of the person listed.  Please keep in mind though, no voicemail will pick up if the person is unavailable.

Nurse Barbara Perry 617-696-4575
Dr. Nick Fitzgerald, Dean of Students, 617-696-7003
Anna McReynolds, Assistant Principal, 617-696-4570
Dr. Karen Spaulding, Principal, 617-696-7004

If your call is of an URGENT nature and the issue, concern, or question is not such that it can wait a couple of minutes until your call goes through, we have set up a hotline at the Superintendent’s Office.  If your call is URGENT and must immediately be addressed, please call one of the following phone numbers:

617-696-4808 or 617-696-4809 or 617-696-4810 or 617-696-4811

Upon receipt of your call, someone will immediately get into contact with me at the Pierce Middle School.

CURRICULUM NEWS

The Milton Public Schools Edge Hill Preschool (at Collicot School) has opened a brand new integrated session.  We currently have seats available for three or four year old students to attend an integrated setting form 12:00-2:30p.m.  The tuitions is $3,125.00.  Students will participate in the Creative Curriculum and attend Collicot school events, when appropriate.  If you are interested, please contact Marti O’Keefe McKenna at 617.696.5040 ext. 5588, or email preschool@miltonps.org.

Also, there are seats available in the Milton High School Pre-K, Gile Road Campus. We currently have three spots available in the morning session (7:50a.m.-11:10a.m.) and seven spots in the afternoon session (11:10am  – 2:10pm)The tuition is $1,200.00 and students participate in the Creative Curriculum as well as work with high school juniors and seniors in the on-site laboratory school setting. If you are interested, please contact Marti O’Keefe McKenna at 617-696-5040 ext.5588 or email to preschool@miltonps.org

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Parents/guardians, please click on the documents below to read the very important information from our district:

Consolidated Facilities Director William F. Ritchie’s Information Concerning Integrated Pest Management

Consolidated Facilities Director William F. Ritchie’s Asbestos Management Plan

Milton School Committee’s Parental Notification Relative to Sex Education Policy IHAMA-R

Athletic Director/K-12 Physical Education/Health & Wellness Director Alex Campea’s Exemption from Sex Ed Instructions for Parents/Guardians

NEW STAFF

Please join me in welcoming our new teachers. We held a New Teachers’ Luncheon earlier this week and are very pleased to introduce our latest staff members. We have hired more than 30 new teachers. Some are replacing staff members who have retired, have resigned or are on leave. Welcome!

 

MHS New Staff

Milton High School: Back row, from left: Guidance Director Karen Cahill, Fine Arts & Family/Consumer Studies Director Dr. Noreen Diamond Burdett, Vice Principal Brian Mackinaw, Principal James Jette, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services Tracy Grandeau, World Language Director Dr. Martine Fisher, Science Department Head Amy Tom,  Humanities Department Head Barbara Wright, Physics Teacher Samuel Tocci, Athletic Director Alex Campea. Second Row, from left: Strings Teacher Debra Thoresen, Special Education Chair Anna Green, Occupational Therapist Irene Egersheim, English Teacher Jaymes Sanchez. Front row: Special Education Teacher Shawn Carrigan, Math Teacher Shirla-Ann Davis, Math Teacher Richard Horan.

Pierce New Staff

 

Pierce Middle School: Standing (L to R): School Psychologist Juanita Reppucci, Special Education Teacher Jeffery Tripp, Science Teacher Kristen Fleury, French/Latin Teacher Margaret Folcarelli, Dean of Students Dr. Nicholas Fitzgerald, Music Teacher Debra Thoresen, Special Education Chair Rhonda Bevis, Occupational Therapist  Irene Egersheim, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services Tracy Grandeau, Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding, Humanities Curriculum Coordinator Nancy Warn, World Language Director Dr. Martine Fisher, Science Teacher Allison Meleedy, Science Curriculum Coordinator Christie Chiappetta, Assistant Principal Anna McReynolds. Seated (L to R): Science Teacher Rachel Clancy, English Teacher Lauren Hoyt, Spanish Teacher Ashley Critchley.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CU/CO: Standing: (L to R): Collicot Special Education Teacher Elise Dabritz, Cunningham Third Grade Teacher Amy McDavitt, Cunningham LEAP Teacher Lindsey McMahon, Collicot Special Education Teacher Molly Ceglarski, Cunningham Principal Jonathan Redden, Music Teacher Debra Thoresen, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services Tracy Grandeau, Curriculum Coordinator Amy Gale, World Language Director Dr. Martine Fisher, Collicot Principal Holly Concannon.  Seated (L to R): Cunningham Adjustment Counselor Mary Bianca Mattocks, Elementary Reading Specialist Katie Keady, Collicot Fifth Grade Teacher Maura Middleton, Science Director Bernadette Moonan.  Not pictured: Collicot Pre-K Teacher Cailin Gallagher.

Glover New Staff

Glover: Standing: (L  to R):  K-12 Math Coordinator Michelle Kreuzer, Data Specialist Vy Vu, Fourth Grade French Immersion Teacher Bradford Hoff, Kindergarten Teacher Nicole Grant, Curriculum Coordinator Meredith Kempf, Fifth Grade Teacher Melissa Ahern, Reading Specialist Katie Keady, Music Teacher Debra Thoresen, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services Tracy Grandeau, Principal Dr. Sheila Kukstis. Seated (L to R): STEP Teacher Meghan Rhodes, School Psychologist Juanita Reppucci, Science Director Bernadette Moonan, World Language Director Dr. Martine Fisher. Not pictured: Grade Three Co-Taught Teacher Kathleen Bakis.

 

Tucker New Staff

Tucker: Standing (L to R): Music Teacher Debra Thoresen, Third Grade French Teacher Lily Glickstein, Occupational Therapist  Irene Egersheim, Special Education Team Chair Rhonda Bevis, World Language Director Martine Fisher, Administrator of Pupil Personnel Services Tracy Grandeau, Principal Elaine McNeil Girmai, Grade Three/Four Teacher Jessica Donovan, Science Director Bernadette Moonan. Seated (L to R): Third Grade Teacher Alexandra Lee, Curriculum Coordinator Stephanie Nephew, School Nurse Kerry Joyce, Pre-K Teacher Cailin Gallagher.

FAMILY LIAISON

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

Summer recess often times brings changes in routines, later bedtimes and for many, it means scrambling to find child-care or fill those unstructured hours. School will be back in session on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 for grades 1-12 and Tuesday, September 8, 2015 for Kindergarteners and preschoolers. (MHS Pre-K begins Wednesday September 9, 2015) Below are some tips from Sign Up Genius to help make the transition from summer to school a little smoother.

Back to School Tips:

Turn off the TV. While the click of a button may seem more exciting than the turning of a page, having your child engage less in TV and video games and more in reading will reap great benefits come late August. As opposed to passive early morning activities, encourage your child to do puzzles, design crafts, or play outdoors. It’ll not only give them a summer to remember, but will ease them back into the routine of mental stimulation that comes with a new school year.

Buy school supplies. Most schools will send out a supply list beforehand. While none of the essentials should be overlooked, there’s no need to splurge on the latest gadgets. Before heading to the store, scrounge around your house to find any pencils, rulers, or backpacks that are in good condition and can be used. When going through the store, make sure you keep a copy of the list close at hand and check off what you already have in the cart. If you have multiple children darting around and tossing in supplies, it’s easy to end up accidentally buying seven packs of colored pens.

Fill out the wardrobe. As far as clothes go, because it’s still summer, focus only on buying hot weather clothes. Let’s face it, kids grow fast and may not fit into the warmer clothes you pick out in a couple of months. Have your child go through her closet and pull out anything that she can no longer wear. Then, make sure she has enough shirts, shorts, under garments and shoes to get her through the season. When shopping, only do so to fill in the gaps, not start a new wardrobe.

Establish the routine. Where will the kids put their backpacks and lunchboxes? What are approved after-school snack choices? Where will they do their homework? Before the year begins, have your kids join you and literally walk through the after-school routine. Show them where to put their backpacks and lunchboxes, and create a space for them to do homework. This could be a desk in their room, a cleared off kitchen table, or an extra office space. Also, make them aware of any additional rules such as TV and video game limits, as well as when they should do their homework.

Check out the school. Even if your child has attended the school in the past, it is vital to kick off the school year with a campus visit beforehand. If possible, attend an open house. This will let your child see his new classroom and interact with the teacher and fellow classmates. This would also be a good time for you to get to know the teacher and build a comfortable relationship with her for the upcoming year. While you’re there, show your child the way. If he has class changes, walk him through his schedule one or two times. Having you there will foster security, so he can avoid the fear of getting lost on the first day of school.

Contact the teacher. A quick note or email to the person who will be with your child every day for the next year can’t hurt. It’s best that he knows about any general challenges or specific needs your child has, and request that he openly approach you about your child’s behavior and progress. Let him know that you are excited about the upcoming year, and perhaps offer to assist with classroom parties or events. Doing so will help foster the relationship between parent, teacher, and child, so everyone can have a relaxed, successful school year.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have about the upcoming school year. My contact information is: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, 617-696-5040 ext. 5588 or mmckenna@miltonps.org .

RESIDENCY

Those of you who have been notified by our Residency Director to re-establish residency, please be aware that there are only three days left to complete the paperwork in order to ensure your child’s education is uninterrupted. If you are the parent/guardian of an incoming 6th or 9th grader (or an out-of-district student) and have not already re-established residency, please contact Residency Coordinator Patty Lesenechal at 617-696-4470 x 5516 or plesenechal@miltonps.org . Please check our main website (www.miltonps.org) for the necessary documents.

FOOD SERVICE

The following item was sent to us by Jackie Morgan, Food Service Director:

Welcome back to another school year. We will be serving breakfast and lunch to all students on opening day, Wednesday Sept. 2, 2015.   Families should deposit money on their children’s account for breakfast, lunch, snack or milk before school begins at our online website www.myschoolbucks.com This website let’s families manage their children’s food service account, view transactions and sign up for low balance alerts. Prepaying allows our serving lines to move faster which allows our students more time to enjoy their meal.

Free and Reduced applications for the 2015-2016 school year will be sent home the first week of school. The High School and Middle School Principal’s included this application in their welcome back letter to families. Our elementary school students will be sent home with it during the first few days of school. Families only need to fill out the application if they feel they may qualify for the free or reduced meal program. The application can also be found online HERE. If your child was receiving these benefits last school year they will automatically be carried over for the first month of school. All families who need this assistance need to reapply each school year. We now offer the family application to make it easier to apply.

Please contact Jacqueline Morgan, Director of Food Services for any assistance or questions at 617-898-1051 or jmorgan@miltonps.org

TRANSPORTATION NEWS

The following item was sent to us by Jake Smith, Director of Transportation:

The response to bus registration this year has been excellent; we have received a large number of registrations for student riders all over the Town of Milton. Due to the large response, the Transportation Department has redesigned some of the previously announced routes for the 2015/2016 school year. Due to the restructure of routes, new bus passes have been mailed to many of the riders that attend Cunningham and Collicot. No passes for Tucker, Glover, Pierce, or Milton High School will be affected by this restructure.

If you are affected, you should have received a new pass. While your child’s bus stop may remain the same, he or she may be riding on a different bus number. Please be aware of this change and use the newly received pass for the upcoming school year. Additionally, some new passes may be exactly the same as old passes; if that is the case you should use the newly received pass as well. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at jsmith@miltonps.org.

NEWS FROM THE COMMISSIONER

I recently received a newsletter from Arne Duncan, the US Secretary of Education. There is an excellent article with advice for families on how to get a good start to the school year, which is applicable to students of all ages. Click here to read the article:

http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/08/start-now-to-start-the-school-year-right/

There is also a month-by-month guide filled with advice, tools, and online resources for parents and guardians. Click here to access the guide.

http://www.ed.gov/parents/countdown-success

NEWS AROUND TOWN

The Milton Commission on Disability reminds all residents that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is currently celebrating its 25th year. This fall the Commission will host a town-wide forum open to all residents, students, teachers, and town employees to bring awareness to the ADA and the civil rights of the disabled.  The forum will be held on Wednesday, September 16th at 7pm in the Milton High School library. Residents with any related questions are encouraged to contact the Commission. The Commissions’ website also provides links to the ADA website:

http://www.townofmilton.org/Public_Documents/MiltonMA_BComm/COD/COD

* * *

On Saturday, September 12th, the Milton Department of Public Works will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Day for Milton residents. Collection hours are from 9 a.m. to noon. The collection takes place at the DPW Yard (629 Randolph Avenue), rain or shine. Materials should be left, where possible, in their original containers. Containers should be put in sturdy boxes and placed in the trunk of a vehicle so that contents will be easy to remove. Residents will remain in their vehicles during the entire collection process.

Car Batteries: Up to 3 for $3.00
Waste Oil, Antifreeze: Up to 3 gallons for $3.00
Propane Tanks: $3.00 each (both large and small tanks)
Fire Extinguishers $3.00 each
Tires: $3 each

Except for the items listed below, the collection is free for Milton residents:

These items will NOT be accepted:

Latex paint (Read label – If clean-up calls for soap and water, it is not hazardous and do not bring it to the event) (for information on how to dispose of latex paint, please call the DPW)
Mercury-containing items and fluorescent bulbs , appliances, electronics, rechargeable batteries. (These items are accepted at the Recycling Center on the first Saturday of every month)
Prescription medicine or syringes
Commercial or industrial waste
Asbestos
Alkaline batteries such as AA, D, etc. (These can be placed in your trash)
The following items can be brought to the collection:

Adhesives and glues
Aerosol cans
Engine degreaser, brake and transmission fluid
Hobby and art supplies
Household cleaners and spot removers
Non-alkaline batteries (these are found in camcorders, cordless power tools, cordless phones and laptop computers).
Oil-based paints
Photo chemicals and chemistry sets
Poisons, insecticides, pesticides, and weed killers Solvents and varnishes
Swimming pool chemicals
Waste fuels (kerosene, gasoline)
Wood preservatives and fiberglass residue

MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

The following item was sent to us by MPL Children’s Librarian Sara Truog:

Fall is coming – and so are fun things for kids to do at the Milton Public Library! In addition to our regular storytimes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of September 6 – 12:

Monday, September 7th
LIBRARY CLOSED

Friday, September 11th from 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Lego Club, Ages 6-12

Come build with the library’s Lego collection!  Each month we’ll build on a different theme.  At the end of the hour, your creations will go on display for all library visitors to enjoy.  Ages 6-12 welcome. Registration is required.

Saturday, September 12th from 10:00 – 10:30 am
NEW PROGRAM: Little Linguists Storytime

Bonjour and Hola! Come enjoy stories, songs and activities with Mary Doherty, local language instructor. Elements of the French and Spanish languages will be introduced each week. For ages 0-5 with parent. No registration required.

Saturday, September 12th from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
Reading Dogs, Grades 1-5

The Reading Dogs are back!  Kids currently in grades 1-5 who need to practice reading aloud are invited to come meet and read to some lovable therapy dogs who are great listeners.  Each child will have the opportunity to read at least one book to one of our canine volunteers.  Bring a favorite book with you, or choose from our shelf.  Registration is required.

Saturday, September 12th from 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Mel O’Drama, Ages 5-9

Kids aged 5-9 are invited to join local drama teacher Melanie Grace Gillespie for a theatrical and creative hour of Mel O’Drama!  Students will enjoy such fun activities as warmups, improv games, voice projection, scene work, and movement.  Registration is required, and will open three weeks before the event.

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:

http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=MILTONPL

ATHLETICS

Please take a moment to check out our new football team’s website. Thanks to Coach Steve Dembowski for adding such a great resource for team parents and the community.

http://www.miltonwildcatfootball.com/

The fall sports schedule for all Milton teams will be updated and ready to go within the next few days. Thank you.

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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