To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 2, 2021
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
- 1.1 SCHOOL COMMITTEE
- 1.2 HEALTH AND SAFETY
- 1.3 IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- 1.4 MPS GIVES BACK
- 1.5 HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
- 1.6 PIERCE PAGES
- 1.7 INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
- 1.8 SPECIAL EDUCATION
- 1.9 FOOD SERVICE
- 1.10 FAMILY RESOURCES
- 1.11 SEPAC
- 1.12 ART AND MUSIC
- 1.13 ATHLETICS
- 1.14 COMMUNITY NEWS
- 1.15 SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
As the calendar turns to December, the Pierce and MHS Music Departments are excited to present their first live in person performances in almost two years! Please join them in the MHS auditorium on Tuesday, December 7th (MHS performers) at 6:30 and Tuesday, December 14th(Pierce performers) at 6:30 pm for an evening of music by our school performing ensembles. Our students are excited to be back on stage and you don’t want to miss it!
I hope you received my email on Monday, November 22, 2021, (with a follow up on November 30) about quick check SEL screeners from Intellispark for students in K-12. You can read the full letter here and view the full Intellispark Student Voice Surveys linked here (6-12), here (K-1) and here (2-5). I encourage all parents and guardians to take a look at the screeners linked above. Compiling this information is imperative to help us develop effective interventions and supports for our students. Although we expect all students to participate in the universal SEL screener as part of the SEL curriculum in the district, if any family feels their student(s) would be better served without taking part in it, please contact your child’s principal with your child(ren)’s name, grade, and homeroom teacher if applicable to opt out by Monday, December 6th.
After two in person morning coffee hours this fall, I would like to invite all MPS parents and guardians to a virtual lunch hour with me on December 8 at noon. The link to attend via Zoom is here ( Meeting ID: 994 9115 0711, Passcode: 8dwwnh) or join by phone with the one tap mobile number: +13126266799,,99491150711#,,,,*574563#. Join me on your lunch hour, feel free to bring your lunch, as we meet informally on December 8. I look forward to seeing you then.
The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on December 15, 2021 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
The Milton Health Department is hosting COVID-19 MODERNA Booster Clinics in the Town Hall basement on December 8, 9, 15, 16. Clinics are held from 1-4pm and you must register – no walk ins allowed.
You are eligible for a booster vaccine if you have completed your Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series and are 6 months from the last vaccine administration or are 2 months out from receiving the J&J vaccine. All information and links to register can be found on the Town of Milton website.
The Town of Milton is hosting a free, drive-thru COVID testing day on Sunday, December 19 from 10am-3pm at the DPW yard at 629 Randolph Avenue. All are welcome.
Recently, the federal government gave Pfizer’s pediatric COVID 19 vaccine for ages 5-11 final approval and doses are now available in Massachusetts. The state will be updating the their website as new vaccination sites become available. The Vaxfinder tool can be used along with links to retail pharmacies CVS’s scheduling site or Walgreens’ scheduling site to schedule appointments. Manet Community Health Center is also an option for pediatric patients.
For the (two week) time period of Thursday, November 18 – Wednesday, December 1, MPS had 20 positive student cases, and 6 positive staff cases. Many of the resulting close contacts from these positives were able to remain in school without interruption due to the Test and Stay program. If you have not yet signed your child up, you can opt in at this link. Superintendent Jette’s September 9, 2021 letter about the Test and Stay Program can be found here.
All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- Dec 7 MHS Winter Concert
- Dec 9 MHS Post Secondary Planning Night
- Dec 9 Early Release Date K-12 (PT Conf Gr K-5 only)
- Dec 14 Pierce Winter Concert
- Dec 16 MHS Information Night
- Dec 21 MHS Cabaret
- Dec 24 – Jan 2 Winter Break
- Jan 3 Classes Resume
Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)
Please join the Milton High School Guidance Counselors for their annual Post Secondary Planning night, at Milton High on Thursday, December 9 at 6:15 pm in the MHS Auditorium. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate their post secondary decisions:
- Financial Aid – How to pay for College
- Standardized Testing – Standardized Tests: The SAT vs The ACT
- College Admissions – An Insider View
- College Athletics – From Intramural to Division I Sports
- Overview of the College Application Process – Milton High Procedures
- Naviance 101
Representatives from Emmanuel College Admissions, Bridgewater State University, Summit Educational Group, “Strategies for College” and Milton High School staff will be running these 6 sessions. After a brief introduction in the auditorium, each session will run four times, in 25 minute intervals. Students & Parents/Guardians are invited to attend up to four sessions between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in grades 8 through 12. Masks are required in the building.
While this night is geared towards students exploring college as a post MHS option, if your child is interested in learning a trade or interested in the military after graduation, I encourage you to have them connect with their guidance counselor for additional resources.
Milton High School Grade 8 Information Night: Please join us on Thursday, December 16 at 6:30pm in the Milton High School Auditorium (25 Gile Rd) for an opportunity to learn about Milton High School course offerings, academic and extracurricular programs, athletics and activities that prepare students for college and life beyond high school. Current 8th grade students, parents and guardians are invited to attend this informational session and tour of Milton High School. If unable to attend, the presentation and a virtual tour of the building will be provided.
Please see below for important Preschool and Kindergarten dates.
- Preschool Information Night – Thursday, January 6, 2022
- Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, January 6, 2021 – Thursday, January 27, 2022
- Preschool Lottery if necessary – Friday, January 28, 2022
- Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, January 27, 2022
- Kindergarten Pre-registration – Begins Monday, December 13, 2021
MPS GIVES BACK
The MPS 2021 Holiday Giving Drive organized by our PTOs will run from December 6th-9th in our schools. For the holiday season, the Milton Public Schools has partnered with My Brother’s Keeper and the Milton Residents Fund to ensure all Milton families in need have a wonderful holiday season.
The toy drive needs donations of all types of toys, and high demand items include Legos, LOL Surprise dolls, dolls representing a diverse array of skin tones, cultures and ethnicities, superhero action figures, arts and craft kits, science/STEM kits, board games, video games, books, footballs and basketballs, outdoor active toys, or anything representing Boston sports teams. We cannot accept food or violent games. $25 Target gift Cards are always needed as well.
Support and shop with a local business while supporting the toy drive! Shop in-person, online, or over the phone with The Toy Chest in East Milton Square or The Toy Box (owned by an MPS family) in Hanover.
Bring your new, unwrapped item(s) to one of the collection boxes in the lobby of any of the elementary schools between Monday, December 6 – Thursday, December 9. Thank you for helping us make the Holiday Season a little bright for our neighbors!
Pierce Families Helping Families Holiday Program: Each year our guidance counselors identify Pierce families in need and collect gift cards to be distributed to them for the holidays. This program, Families Helping Families, provides an opportunity for your family to bring a little bit of holiday spirit to another family at Pierce Middle School in an anonymous and quiet way.
If you are interested in supporting this effort, please bring your gift card donation to the main office at Pierce Middle School by December 12th and deposit it in the sealed box. We recommend gift cards to Star Market, Shaws, Stop and Shop, Target and Old Navy but will, of course, accept and pass on gift cards from all stores. Our guidance staff will make sure that these gift cards find their way to Pierce families in need this holiday season.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
MHS Spirit week was a great success! Students (and staff!) enjoyed theme days & class competition events culminating with a school wide Pep Rally on Brooks Field.
You can see the fun of Pajama Day, Celebrity & Character Day, Crazy Hat & Hair Day, Anything but a Backpack Day, Cowboys vs Aliens, Tie Dye Day, the Powder Puff football game, Class volleyball tournament and more in the pictures below. The National Honor Society Food Drive was a success as were the Penny Wars with all proceeds going to the Milton Food Bank. Thank you to our MHS student photographers for the pictures of Spirit Week.
Grade 7 FUSE students engineered pop-up books for STEM week in October. Students worked in small groups to write a story, design the movement, create the book, and record a video of them reading the story on Flipgrid.
Congratulations to the 8 FUSE/Advanced FUSE students who submitted a design into the We Love Veterans Pin Design Challenge. Evan Abramovitz, Maya Sekhar, Madyn Dwyer, Elliot Reid, Charlotte Shue and Avery Squiciarino created their design using Tinkercad and wrote a description of what they designed. The finalists will be announced at the end of January and the winners will be announced at the beginning of February.
Pierce’s Model United Nations club participated in the Middle School Model UN Conference this past Saturday. Delegates eloquently conducted diplomatic conversations addressing two main issues: protecting healthcare for indigenous peoples as well as forced displacement due to climate change. Harry Gimber, Michael Lydon, Evan Hadidi, Siabh Chaplin, Avery Squiciarino, Nate Turner, Dobie Illich, and James Malec participated in the conference and Avery Squiciarino won best position paper. Congrats to all of our delegates for a job well done!
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
We were excited to virtually welcome author Dawn Quigley to all 4 elementary schools this week for our Diverse Reads Book Club. Ms. Quigley read some of her chapter book, Jojo Makoons and the Used to be Best Friend, talked about her experience as a writer, and answered questions. This virtual assembly was for all students in grades PreK-2. As a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe, North Dakota, Ms. Quigley was the perfect author to visit during National Native American Heritage Month.
Our 3-5 Book Club is reading the middle-grade anthology, Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, edited by award-winning and bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith. This collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. Author Dawn Quigley has a wonderful story in it, and interested students in grades 3-5 had the opportunity to meet with Ms. Quigley after school.
Glover and Tucker music students have had a wonderful fall of making music together!
Folk songs and dances are an inclusive and interactive vehicle for students to learn about cultures and traditions that are different from their own while also identifying and celebrating their own experiences. Movement in music expands our understanding of rhythm, beat, form, and patterns in music. Social-Emotional Learning skills are continuously being developed during our music classes and can be demonstrated in lessons such as our movement activities where students are practicing how to work cooperatively, practice group self-reflections and team-building, maintain kindness and respect for all classmates, and how to move safely in our shared space. In this link, Madame Stallions’s 2nd graders demonstrate a folk dance to the song “Chimes of Dunkirk.” Le Carillon de Dunkerque (The Chimes of Dunkirk) is a French dance of the olden times, it was the merriest and noisiest of all the country dances. (The first chime was built in Dunkirk, in 1437). The dance that our students are demonstrating is the French dance adapted into a longways formation and shared in the New England Dancing Masters collection, “Alabama Gal: Dances and Singing games for Children.” Thank you to the 2 MHS students who joined us for this lesson!
5th Graders have also been exploring percussion instruments in the music classroom. These instruments include barred instruments such as xylophones and metallophones, as well as hand-held percussion instruments such as tambourines, maracas, hand drums, claves, castanets,woodblocks, triangles, and more. Students are learning about the timbre of percussion instruments. The timbre is the different sounds that instruments make based on their materials and size.
Jacob Carpenter, from Mrs.Good’s 5th Grade class, shares a melody he created during our instrument exploration unit here. Thank you for sharing, Jacob!
In this video, Madame Brown’s 1st graders are demonstrating how musical instruments can be used to amplify and bring a story ‘to life.’ They are each playing a character in the story, “There was a Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything” and must follow the cues of the conductor (the narrator).
Tucker 5th grader Eleanor McGuire had fun sharing a melody on the Tubulum. Thank you to Max Hollingsworth-Hays for building this incredible instrument for the Tucker School. Tucker 5th graders have been excited to learn all about the Tubulum and how it makes music.
Sign up now for MCS December Vacation Camp! Camp runs December 27-30 from 8:30 am-3:30 pm at Collicot/Cunningham Schools. Tuition is $250.00 4 days (Daily registrations are not accepted). Camp is for students in grades K-5. Registration at this link by December 17.
Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares her December newsletter at this link. This newsletter has information about Speech and Language Therapy, Federation for Children focus group opportunity and information on Assistive Tech Resources for students also shared below.
Assistive Tech Resources for Students: Our Assistive Technology website has a wealth of information and resources for families. If you would like to join our Assistive Tech Team, please email Sue Maselli for more information.
This easy to use site is set up to help give you ideas on using assistive technology for students to access their instruction. Check out these tutorials on using Google Read and Write: Practice Reading and Text to Speech. Use this link – add Google Read & Write to Chrome to learn how to add this extension to Chrome.
Thanks to our Grow Racks and our MHS and Pierce Reach and Achieve classes, we are now making fresh pesto for our Pierce and MHS pizza from Grow Rack basil. The results have been delicious! The December Food Service update can be found at this link. Menus are at this link.
For grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, the Commission on the Status of Grandparents raising Grandchildren has added a new virtual workshop. Wellness and Self-Care for the Caregiver will meet via zoom on 12/13 at 7:30pm and 12/14 at 9:00am. Details on how to join can be found here. The Quincy Family Resource Center has also published their December group calendar. Details can be found here.
In an effort to support and foster a strong home-school connection MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom. In addition to the Milton Public School Resource Guide we will be highlighting local community resources families may find beneficial in our Family Resource Newsletter. If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls and emails are confidential.
The Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Milton SEPAC) shares the following information.
Participate: We installed our new board on November 16 and got right to work. We now have 14 members of our board, with many schools having at least two reps representing all the schools across the district.
Advocate: The next SEPAC board meeting will be held on Thursday, December 16, 6:30 -8:30 Zoom Link at which we will be finalizing vision and goals for 2022. Please reach out to your school reps with issues and concerns you would like to see addressed this year, and, of course, attend the meeting as well to join discussions and have your voice heard.
Educate: Check out the newly-updated Resources page on our SEPAC website. We hope it has a lot of good information, resources, and tools for parents and families. Please reach out to us at email@example.com if you have any feedback.
ART AND MUSIC
Looking for an easy and healthy holiday gift idea? Support the Milton Music Department by ordering from our online fruit fundraiser anytime between now and December 12th! Gift boxes or crates of fresh fruit are guaranteed to ship directly to the recipient in time for Christmas! Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your family, colleagues, neighbors, or friends, these delicious gift boxes are sure to be a hit! Use the QR code below or visit this link to order through our website. The sale closes on December 12th, so don’t delay in ordering.
Winter Sports are underway and we are excited to have a full complement of games this Winter Season!
There are no capacity limits or social distancing requirements but ALL students, coaches and spectators MUST be masked when in the school building. Spectators must follow posted site policies for Ulin Rink or opposing venues, including rinks and gymnasiums.
We would like to congratulate our Bay State Conference All-Stars from the Fall Season!
There will be athletic Parent/Guardian Meetings on Tuesday, December 7 in the Copeland Field House.
- 5:00pm Boys Basketball, Wrestling, Ski
- 5:30pm Boys Ice Hockey, Girls Ice Hockey, Cheer
- 6:00pm Boys Indoor Track, Girls Indoor Track, Girls Basketball
The MHS Ski Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats can and bottle drive on Saturday, December 4th from 9 am to noon at Milton High School.
It’s official, the MAC Holiday Market will be back this year on Saturday, December 4th. Stop by to support locally talented creators. Bring a friend along to share the cheer!
On Saturday, December 11, join the fun for the Milton Holiday Stroll! The MHS Boosters and the Pierce, Tucker and Cunningham PTOs will be at Steel and Rye to help with all of your MPS swag needs!
The Milton Coalition shares the following information.
It takes a community! Thank you to Novara, Mr. Chan’s, Stevie’s, East Milton Wine and Spirits, Abby Park, Playa Bowls, Central Liquor Mart, Milton House of Pizza, who partnered with The Milton Coalition and participated in their Sticker Shock campaign, reminding the community that alcohol use by teens and young adults can lead to changes in the brain and long-term negative impacts, as well as poor decision making. We appreciate their partnership and their dedication to the health and safety of Milton youth.
December is Impaired Driving Prevention Month
- About one in four teen car crashes involves an underage drinking driver.
- Every day about 800 people are injured in a drunk-driving crash.
- Every day in America, another 29 people die as a result of drunk-driving crashes. That’s one person every 50 minutes.
Impaired driving is absolutely preventable. Please see this link for tips on how to keep your young drivers, and passengers, safe, including: tips for conversations; reinforcing expectations; helping to build an exit plan, and showing them that you care. For other resources, see www.milton-coalition.org
The Milton Public Library’s December calendar can be found here.
Please join us on Saturday, December 11 between 10am and 4pm for a holiday favorite: the MPL’s annual Life-Size Candyland game! Kids, see if you can beat your parents to the Candy Castle to rescue King Kandy, while at the same time practicing counting and color recognition. For all ages; children must be accompanied by an adult in order to play. Registration is required and timed entry is available. Sign up at this link today!
To learn more and to register for programs, please visit the MPL website. Please see below for details on two upcoming book sales.
Chess with Mr. Vigorito is back in person at the Milton Library and Milton High School!
International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He has taught at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. Classes begin January 10th! All details and registration info can be found here.
Literacy Fun Through STEAM with the Easton Children’s Museum on December 11th at 11am.
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. 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 this session, 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!
Milton Soccer: Registration is now open for our spring 2022 soccer programs. Please visit our Milton Soccer website for more information or use this link to register. The deadline to register is January 7 (on January 8 waitlist and late fees apply).
Registration is now open for Milton Youth Lacrosse Spring ’22 Travel Programs for boys and girls in grades 3-8. Register now at this link. Winter practices start on January 8th and the season starts in April. All details are at this link.
A huge thank you to Dan Kerrigan, his team at Steel and Rye and all the members of the community who made a donation to Steel and Rye’s Thanksgiving dinner effort. Through the team’s hard work and the community’s generosity, 25 MPS families (and 100 more from the Boys and Girls Club in Dorchester) received a full Thanksgiving dinner, including turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy and a pumpkin pie to complete the feast. All at MPS are grateful for their thoughtfulness at Thanksgiving and throughout the year.
A special thank you to our MPS organizer – Marti O’Keefe McKenna – and MPS Thanksgiving delivery teams – Jackie and Caroline Morgan, Stephanie O’Keefe and Jon Redden. With cars packed to the brim with turkey dinners, they made sure each meal made it safely to its destination. A heartfelt thank you to all who made this effort possible!
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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.