September 17th E-Blast

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: E-blast Update
Date: Thursday, September 17th, 2015

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Our Special Education department is undergoing a program review this fall. The district has hired Public Consulting Group (PCG) to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of special education programs, staffing, organizational structure, and procedures. This assessment will review practices throughout the district for students from preschool to age twenty-two. As part of the process, PCG will be conducting focus groups and observations. The focus groups will include the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council), staff, school committee members, as well as other parents/guardians of students with special needs. Focus groups will be held on October 6th, 7th, and 8th during the day with some evening groups. If you a parent/guardian of a student on an IEP and would like to participate in a focus group, please email me at mgormley@miltonps.org by Wednesday, September 30th. Names will be selected randomly from those who express interest.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE

There have been no School Committee meetings since my last E-blast. The next meeting will be held September 30th at 7 pm in the Milton High School library.

CURRICULUM NEWS

In celebration of Constitution Day history classes throughout Milton High were abuzz with talk of one of the greatest documents in world history.  Each year on September 17 – officially Constitution Day in the United States – Milton High dedicates class time to a discussion of some aspect of the Constitution, and the topics vary from class to class.  In Mr. Borde’s Contemporary Issues course students saw the Constitution as a living document when they discussed the rights of a Texas student who was detained by police after showing a teacher a home-made clock he had brought to school.  Modern World Cultures teachers tied the Constitution to the French Revolution, which took place ten years after America’s revolution.  Teachers pointed out how our Constitution was an innovative blueprint for other countries like France.   In other classes students took a sample of the U.S. citizenship test, and were impressed with the amount of information those who want to become citizens need to know.  And in Mr. Midura’s class Randi Guscott impressed her classmates and teacher when she recited the Preamble of the Constitution in its entirety.

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Please note: There will be no school on Wednesday, September 23rd in observance of Yom Kippur.

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Attention, Parents/Guardians of 10th and 11th graders at Milton High School. The PSAT is being administered to all sophomores and juniors during the school day on October 14th. For more information about the PSAT, click below to read a brochure from College Board outlining benefits of students taking the PSAT on October 14th. psatnmsqtbenefitsflyerparents.pdf

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I would like to recognize a very special student who is working on a project close to my heart. Michael Sullivan, a junior at Milton High School, is hoping to educate the community on proper disposal of American flags.

Michael recently asked for permission to place collection bins in the lobby of each school from October 19th to November 9th in order to collect “retired” American flags. As a volunteer tour guide at Fort Independence at Castle Island in South Boston, he participated in the Flag Retirement Ceremony on Flag Day in June and plans to also participate in the next Retirement Ceremony, to be held on Veterans Day.

“My goal is to bring awareness to my generation on how to properly dispose of a flag, said Michael. “The American flag for me stands for more than just an object, it symbolizes over 200 years of history and it is what brings us together as a nation today. Men and women have sacrificed on our lands and overseas for the meaning of this flag.”

Michael plans to work with the members of the American Legion to place more bins around town.  Potential donors or anyone with questions can contact him at: miltonflagretirement@gmail.com

UPCOMING MPS EVENTS

The event date has been set!  Celebrate Milton will be held Sunday, October 4th from noon – 4pm (rain or shine) at Pierce Middle School on Brook Road.  The CelebrateMilton event strives to provide a mix of local talent that reflects the diverse composition of our community.  In the past, the line-up has included gospel music, Japanese drummers, Irish step dancing, a steel drum band, and the Milton High School fall musical cast. For more information, click here:

HEALTH NEWS

The following item was sent to us by MPS Head Nurse Margaret Gibbons:

The start of this school year has been outstanding in every way. Despite the unprecedented heat, our students came to school ready, willing and able to do their job…LEARN. As parents / guardians we get into our routines and it is important to maintain the focus on what contributes to maximum learning. Starting each day with time for breakfast and an unhurried travel to school cannot be overstated. This is the cornerstone of each student’s school day but it needs a little planning for continued success.

In early elementary grades, it is the parent / guardian responsibility but even then youngsters can understand the significance of the daily breakfast plan. Having children help by asking for suggestions and ideas that could be implemented or incorporated with success. Nothing makes a child prouder than seeing an idea materialize!

At middle and high school, the responsibility can be shifted to the student but always with the parent /guardian aware of the breakfast plan to again make sure of success. Conversations and the sharing of morning jobs such as table setting, menu items, even a grocery list for the next week impart a sense of ownership to our children. Eat with your child. This opportunity repeats itself everyday and promotes a time (even just a few minutes) to regularly connect especially because so much happens to prevent this being available again the remainder of the day.

Also plan for the morning when everyone oversleeps! It will happen. Fruits, cut vegetables, whole wheat crackers, hard boiled eggs, cheese (not processed) and yogurt can be quick, nutritious and fun.

Start each school day with food and conversation. You and your child, no matter the age, will be rewarded for the effort!

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

On October 8th, the entire high school science department will be attending a full day professional development workshop at PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation) in Needham. This workshop will focus on STEM curriculum training and software applications for the science classroom. This PD session will be very useful for integrating technology into daily lesson plans.

FOOD SERVICE NEWS

The following item was submitted by MPS Food Service Director Jackie Morgan:

The National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools. They provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free breakfasts and lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. School lunch must meet meal pattern and nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The current meal pattern increases the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the school menu.

Any child at a participating school may purchase a meal through the National School Lunch Program. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced‐price meals, for which students can be charged no more than 40 cents.

We offer breakfast every school day in all of our schools. Breakfast is free for all REDUCED and FREE students and it is a great way to start the day. Breakfast is $1.25 for all paid students. These funds can come right out of your students Nutrikids account. Students who qualify for the reduced program pay $.40 for a complete lunch.

All children come through a computerized Point of Sale system which keeps student information private. All students state their name in elementary school or use a four /five digit PIN number in both middle and high school. Below is the federal income chart to help you understand if your family may qualify for meals assistance.

FEDERAL ELIGIBILITY INCOME CHART   School Year 2015-2016
Household size Yearly Monthly Weekly
1 $21,775 $1,815 $ 419
2 $29,471 $2,456 $ 567
3 $37,167 $3,098 $ 715
4 $44,863 $3,739 $ 863
5 $52,559 $4,380 $1,011
6 $60,255 $5,022 $1,159
7 $67,951 $5,663 $1,307
8 $75,647 $6,304 $1,455
Each additional person: $+7,696 $ +642 $ +148

Nearly 32 million children receive meals throughout the school day. These meals are based on nutrition standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. New nutrition standards for schools increase access to healthy food and encourage kids to make smart choices. Schools are working to make meals more nutritious, keep all students hunger-free, and help children maintain or reach a healthy weight.

Healthier school meals for your children

Your children benefit from healthier meals that include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lower sodium foods, and less saturated fat. Talk to your child about the changes in the meals served at school.

More fruits and vegetables every day

Kids have fruits and vegetables at school every day. A variety of vegetables are served throughout the week including red, orange, and dark-green vegetables.

More whole-grain foods

Half of all grains offered are whole-grain-rich foods such as whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal. Some foods are made by replacing half the refined-grain (white) flour with whole-grain flour.

Both low-fat milk (1%) and fat-free milk varieties are offered

Children get the same calcium and other nutrients, but with fewer calories and less saturated fat by drinking low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk. For children who can’t drink milk due to allergies or lactose intolerance, schools can offer milk substitutes, such as calcium-fortified soy beverages.

Less saturated fat and salt

A variety of foods are offered to reduce the salt and saturated fat in school meals. Main dishes may include beans, peas, nuts, tofu, or seafood as well as lean meats or poultry. Ingredients and foods contain less salt (sodium).

More water

Schools can provide water pitchers and cups on lunch tables, a water fountain, or a faucet that allows students to fill their own bottles or cups with drinking water. Water is available where meals are served.

New portion sizes

School meals meet children’s calorie needs, based on their age. While some portions may be smaller, kids still get the nutrition they need to keep them growing and active.

Stronger local wellness programs

New policies offer opportunities for parents and communities to create wellness programs that address local needs. Talk with your principal, teachers, school board, parent-teacher association, and others to create a strong wellness program in your community.

MyPlate can help kids make better food choices

Show children how to make healthy food choices at school by using MyPlate. Visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov for tips and resources.

Resources for parents

School meal programs can provide much of what children need for health and growth. But for many parents, buying healthy foods at home is a challenge. Learn more about healthy school meals and other nutrition assistance programs at www.fns.usda.gov

PAC/SPECIAL ED NEWS

 Parents and guardians of MPS students who have special needs are welcome to attend the SEPAC Kickoff Meeting on Thursday, September 24th from 7-9pm in the Glover Library.

 PARENT LIAISON NEWS

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

 We are in the home stretch of our first full week back in school after summer recess. For many students, the first two shorter weeks provided an opportunity to create routines that would help to ensure that children came to school well rested, on time and ready to learn. If you haven’t been able to create those routines in your household and getting the family out on time is a struggle, please see the tips below, from an article written by Bill Reynolds of Demand Media. These pointers can be applied to not only families with students in high school but any family trying to make the home to school transition a smooth one:

Enjoy More Time to Prepare

Students arriving to school with time to spare have the luxury of settling in, preparing their class materials and focusing their minds on the lessons to come. They have all the time they need to literally and figuratively wake up. Showing up on time can ameliorate the often-jarring transitioning between sleepy rides on a bus to concentrating on the day’s first lessons. Students showing up to class in the middle of a lesson miss out on this natural transition period and may lose even more of the lesson as they scurry to settle into an academic focus. This ultimately contributes to the lower grades and graduation rates associated with chronic tardiness.

Never Miss Important Information

Arriving to school after classes have begun can cause students to miss more than just the introduction to a new lesson. While waiting for the “tardy bell” to ring, teachers often share important information: reminders of upcoming quizzes, class trips, new classroom rules, essay due dates and other school-related specifics. Students who show up late may miss out on these details and as a result, be unprepared for some future class event. While a teacher will likely reiterate crucial information throughout the day, latecomers may miss out on courtesy reminders about homework assignments and other projects. High school students who show up on time everyday can rest assured they have all the necessary information.

Develop Positive Lifelong Habits

Arriving late to school on a consistent basis can have longer-term academic effects. If showing up late to school becomes a habit, students may develop the notion that tardiness is acceptable behavior. This belief can negatively impact their future work ethic and employment opportunities. Alternatively, showing up on time to school every day can help students develop of the habit of being punctual with important commitments. This habit can serve high school students well through college and into their future careers.

Disciplinary Consequences

Most schools have specific policies concerning student tardiness. Generally, these policies allow for the occasional late arrival; rare instances of excused tardiness throughout the school year are often forgiven. Students sometimes have legitimate reasons for showing up late, such as transportation problems and doctor’s appointments. School administrators often consider such events to be “excused absences.” However, after reaching a predetermined number of unexcused tardy arrivals, students may be put on a structured disciplinary plan to address any further late arrivals. Depending on their continued infractions, students may be issued after-school detention, campus cleanup duty or even suspension.

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, 617-980-7343 or mmckenna@miltonps.org

 MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

 The following item was submitted by Sara Truog, MPL Children’s Librarian

 Fall is here – 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 27 – October 3:

Thursday, October 1st from 4:00 – 4:30 pm
Storytime @ the Farmers’ Market, All Ages

Come find us for storytime at the Milton Farmers’ Market! Miss Sara and Miss Elaine, Children’s Librarians will read stories, sing songs, and engage children at this, the first of three farmers’ market sessions this fall. Rain or shine! Parents/caregivers must remain with and look after their child – these are not drop-off events. No registration is required.

Friday, October 2nd from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Free Play Friday, Ages 0-5

Drop by and enjoy puzzles, games and activities in the Story Hour room. The room will be open for two hours in the morning for you to enjoy with your little ones (ages 0-5). In partnership with the Milton Early Childhood Alliance.

Saturday, October 3rd from 10:00 – 10:30 am
Little Linguists Storytime, Ages 0-5

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, October 3rd from 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Cooks ‘n Books, Grades K-5

Enjoy a story and make a tasty treat with Debbie Alsebai of Kidz Cooking. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milton Public Library.

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:

VISUAL ARTS

Come to the Milton Art Center’s Open House. The MAC will hold an Open House on Sunday, September 20th from 2 to 4pm at 334 Edge Hill Road. Enjoy the Artist/Teacher exhibit; register for fall classes for children and adults; meet MAC teaches and organizer; sing and dance with Moving Melodies; and enjoy the free postcard workshop. All are welcome. Visit here for more info.

ATHLETICS

The following update was submitted by MPS Athletic Director Alex Campea:

Cheerleading: The MHS cheerleaders have been busily working and getting ready for the season to begin. They have been working on cheers, getting their uniforms ready, making signs and warming up their voices! They are excited for the season to finally start! Please come and support the MHS Cheerleaders! They are also selling raffle tickets for this event so see a cheerleader for your chance to win free frozen yogurt for a year!

Girls Cross Country: The team performed well in their first race where they faced off against Weymouth and Wellesley teams. Bridget Mitchell and Colette O’Leary finished first and second respectively beating three of the best distance runners in the state. Elise O’Leary and Clodagh Corcoran had very impressive first races of their high school careers. Elise finished 5th and Clodagh 9th overall out of 44 runners. The critical 5th runner in a XC meet was Mairead Dambruch followed closely behind by Ali Belash, giving our team the depth and insurance we needed in case the race became tight. The team is now 2-0 and the scores were 21-36 against Wellesley and 21-40 against Weymouth. The results can be found here: http://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=111698#19341  Today’s meet will be at home (Houghton’s Pond) beginning at 4pm.

Field Hockey: On Wednesday, the Milton Field Hockey team opened their 2015 season against Norwood High School. Led by our two captains, Kate Driscoll, Meaghan McDougall, and our Goalie Devin Coulter, the Wildcats tied 3-3 in an incredible match! On Saturday, Braintree travelled to Milton. Braintree gained control in the beginning winning 2-0 at half time, but Milton came back and tied the game 3-3. Come out and cheer on the Lady Wildcats Field Hockey team this Friday Night at 7 pm as we play Newton North! This is our year!

Boys Cross Country: The boys cross country team opened the season with two tough losses to Bay State League powers Wellesley and Weymouth. The team did have two fine performances by Tim Lynch and Nick Villard. The boys look to rebound next Thursday in a quad meet at Houghton’s Pond.

Football: The Wildcat Football team opened the 2015 season on September 11th vs Bay State rival Needham.  The first half featured a wild display of offense as the Cats unleashed their new spread offense.  Senior Quarterback Mike Fallon had a strong night completing 15 of 23 passes for 301 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Touchdown passes went to Ludwig Frederique and two each to both David and Derek Perkins. Frederique and Nick Bagley also caught 2 point passes while Koby Osazee rushed for 94 yards on 14 carries. The defense started well and ended better not allowing any points in the second half.  Many players contributed to the 34-24 win.  The JV beat Needham 6-2, while the freshman lost 28-6. This week, the Wildcats head to Veterans Stadium in Quincy on Friday the 18th.  The JV and freshman play at Brooks Field Saturday morning.  The next home game is verse Walpole on September 25th.

Boys Soccer: Boy’s soccer opened the season with a 5-0 win over Norwood. Seniors Stefan Richardson and Alden Rosa each scored twice and Ethan Walko added one. Liam Donelan played well, Josh Madden had two assists and Joe Morfin recorded his first ever shutout.

Girls Volleyball: The Girls Varsity team defeated Norwood earlier this week. Players Maddy Brown, Eva Hiller, Sarah Dragon, Kate McAuliffe and Gillian Handy had outstanding performances. The next game will be Friday at home vs. Newton North.

Varsity Golf:  Milton High School picked up their first victory of the Golf season on Wednesday defeating the Needham Rockets at Wollaston Golf Club 93-89. The team did a great job bouncing back from a difficult start of the season staying positive as they moved their record to 1-3. The team looks to continue their winning ways against Natick on Thursday.

For sports schedules for all MHS teams, please click here:

http://schedules.schedulestar.com/Milton-High-School-Milton-MA/season/08-28-2015/

AMBASSADOR PAGE

Students: I would like to recognize Milton High School senior Fanhao “Harry” Kong, who has been named a semifinalist for the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. Harry is one of 16,000 academically talented semifinalists nationwide, who will have the opportunity to compete for National Merit Scholarships. Congratulations to Harry and his family.

Staff:  I am proud to share the news that Pierce Middle School Instrumental and General Music Teacher Dave Adams will be releasing his first album this fall. Mr. Adams launched a Kickstarter campaign last spring to help raise funding to create his album, entitled Bounce Classic. The album features Mr. Adams’ original songs and he plays alto saxophone and flute on the album. Congratulations to yet another talented staff member from the Milton Public Schools!

Volunteers: I’d like to thank Maggie Oldfield, owner of Thayer Nursery in Milton, who spent part of Labor Day weekend at the Tucker Elementary School beautifying a section of the playground. The project was a collaboration between the Tucker PTO – who raised money for the plantings – and the Thayer Nursery, who matched the donation, as well as donating their time, equipment and labor towards the installation of the new garden beds. Ms. Oldfield, along with Thayer employee Luis Sandoval, planted a mix of evergreens and native shrubs along the back wall of the playground. The end result is a beautiful area of greenery. On behalf of our Tucker staff and families, we are very grateful.

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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