To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 13, 2022
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
This marks our second week back in the new year, and while Covid cases remain high, our faculty, staff and students have had a very good week across all of our schools. Positive numbers in our student population have held steady at 229 positive students over the last 7 days while our staff Covid numbers have been greatly reduced with 13 staff members testing positive in the same time frame. Covid numbers by school and Covid updates and policies can be found below under Health and Safety.
As discussed at a recent School Committee meeting, the Milton Public Schools has updated our school incident reporting forms so people can specify incidents on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion and more. The Milton High School incident form can be found here and each school has a form linked on the front of their school’s website and linked on the MPS Education Equity page and MPS Anti-Bullying page.
I want to be sure you saw the letter that went out about the resignation of Senior Director of Education Equity, Somaly Prak-Martins effective Wednesday, January 19. Please see the letter linked here. Please know that MPS remains committed to the ongoing equity work within our district. I know you join me in wishing Ms. Prak-Martin the best in her future endeavors.
Next Thursday, January 20 at 7 pm, our elementary schools will host a virtual evening with Dr. Kimberly Cauley-Narain. Dr. Cauley-Narain will share her journey talking to her own children about structural racism and talk about what she has learned along the way. Finding no books that fit what she was looking for, she wrote a children’s book that explores structural racism in the United States: Cycle of a Dream – A Kid’s Introduction to Structural Racism. In the process, she integrated the broad evidence that supports talking to our preschool and elementary-aged children early and often about racism and other systems barriers that impede equitable educational, (mental) health and other experiences.
You are invited to submit a question or comment for Dr Cauley-Narain at this link. This evening is conceived and hosted by the Collicot DEI Committee and sponsored by the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover and Tucker PTOs. All details can be found here.
Milton Public Schools families, staff, teachers and the entire Milton community are all welcome! The link to attend via Zoom can be found here and is posted on our website. This event will be recorded.
On Monday, January 17 at 6:30pm, the entire Milton community is invited to join Milton Interfaith Clergy Association (MICA) virtually at their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. All details can be found at this link.
As a reminder, there is no school on Monday, January 17 in observance of the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Our students have prepared art work and written work to be shared with MICA in honor of the legacy of Dr. King. I look forward to sharing some of our student work in next week’s blog post.
The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on January 19, 2022 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.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- Jan 17 MLK Jr. Day No School
- Jan 19 School Committee
- Jan 20 Talking to Young Children About Racism
- Jan 27 Kindergarten Information Night; Kindergarten Pre-registration is open at this link.
- Jan 28 Asian Culture Club Culture Fair
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)
Important Kindergarten Dates: Kindergarten Information Night will be held virtually on Thursday, January 27 at 6:30 pm , and Kindergarten pre-registration is open at this link.
Kindergarten registration for the school year 2022/2023 will begin in the early spring. All details and information will be shared at Kindergarten Information Night on January 27, 2022.
Culture Fair: The MHS Asian Culture Club is hosting a Culture Fair for all in the Milton Public Schools! We hope to respectfully celebrate the diversity in our community. It will be on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Milton High School Library.
The Club welcomes all faculty and MHS students to create a presentation. To sign up to create a presentation, please use this link. All students and families in the Milton Public Schools are invited to visit the fair.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Covid Reporting: For the time period of Thursday, Jan 6, 2022 – Wednesday, January 12, 2022, MPS reported the following information to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested.
- Cunningham- 2 staff, 30 students
- Collicot- 5 staff, 27 students
- Glover- 2 staff, 29 students
- Tucker- 1 staff, 31 students
- PMS- 1 staff, 47 students
- MHS- 2 staff, 65 students
- MPS Totals: 13 staff and 229 students
Covid Guidelines January 2022
- MPS Health Prescreening Checklist
- DESE/DPH Updated Isolation Guidelines 12/30/21: MPS will follow updated isolation protocols from DESE/DPH effective immediately. If a staff member or student has tested positive, the student may return to school on day 6 after 5 days of isolation if asymptomatic or symptoms are improving. The student will be required to wear a mask at ALL times and may be given lunch accommodations to ensure proper distancing when eating. Details can be found in section two here.
- DESE/DPH Quarantine Guidelines 12/30/21. Details can be found in section two here.
- Test and Stay: Sign up for Test and Stay at this link.
- Mask Mandate Extension: On January 10, DESE Commissioner Riley announced that he is extending the mask requirement in schools through Monday, February 28. The announcement is linked here.
- Updated Covid Positive and Close Contact Flowchart: DESE released updated flowcharts (linked here) on Wednesday, January 5.
- DESE FAQ: DESE released a new FAQ (linked here) on Thursday, January 6 that addresses updated protocols, affirms that people returning from quarantine and isolation can remove their masks to eat meals, and states that “fully vaccinated” in DESE guidance is still defined as two weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two weeks following a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
Congratulations to the Milton High School Debate Team on their Varsity won on January 8 at the MSDL Winter Wonderland Tournament! This is a first for our Milton High School team.
Advisor Kathleen Kelley shares that MHS took first place at the Varsity level and first, second and third at the Novice level. At the Varsity level, Sam Boucher and Jonathan Waldmann took First Place and at the Novice level, Alex McEttrick and Danny Steinberg took First Place, Williams Cayo competed solo and placed Second and Ida Zoll and Sydney Burns won Third Place. In addition, Sydney Burns, Sam Boucher, Williams Cayo and Ida Zoll received Speaker Awards. Bravo MHS Debate and congratulations to all of the competitors!
The Pierce Middle School Wrestling Team scrimmaged with Needham on January 5. The team did great and was very competitive in their 1st scrimmage. We’re excited to see these Wildcats progress this season!
At Connection Time last week, Ms. McEvoy asked students to choose their word of the year. The purpose of this exercise is to give students a single word to focus on that embodies their vision of their life for 2022. Pictured below are some of Ms. McEvoy’s students with their word of the year.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Ms. Hyde and Ms. Green’s Cunningham 4th graders recently read the book/poem I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C James. Students used what they have been learning about figurative language and poetry, and then wrote their own “I Am Every Good Thing” poem. These poems are beautiful representations of our amazing students. You can see the compilation of all of their poetry here. I hope you enjoy their poetry as much as I did.
We are thrilled to have welcomed the Meet the Artist program back into our classrooms this year. Thanks to our parent volunteers who teach the lessons and to our PTOs for organizing and sponsoring MTA.
The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway, has published their hours of operation for the remainder of the 2021-2022 School Year. The pantry is open from 9:15 – 11:15am with pre-bagged food ready to go on the following dates: January 8, January 22, February 5, February 19, March 5, March 19, April 2, April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18.
The food pantry is currently not accepting food donations but monetary contributions can be made online at their website or mailed to Milton Community Food Pantry, 158 Blue Hills Parkway, Milton, MA 02186.
MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom. In addition to the Family Resource Newsletter please visit Milton Public School Resource Guide. 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 email@example.com. All calls and emails are confidential.
MPS JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Substitute Teaching: Several members of our community have reached out about being a Substitute teacher during this school year. On call daily substitute teachers are needed for all levels and the rate is $90 per day.We welcome all qualified applicants and encourage you to apply at the Apply for a Job at MPS link found on the front of the MPS website. Substitute teachers must have experience and enjoy working with children, the minimum requirement is a Bachelors degree for Substitute Teacher and an Associates degree for a Substitute Paraprofessional. Citizenship, residency or work VISA in United States is required. If you have any questions about the requirements, and how they pertain to you, please email MPS Human Resources Specialist Laurie Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, all current posted jobs within MPS are posted on our website.
- Preschool Information Night Presentation
- Preschool Overview 2022-2023
- Preschool Fact Sheet 2022-2023
- Important Preschool Dates 2022-2023
- Tuition Assistance Information
- Preschool Pre-registration Link – Deadline for Lottery, Thursday, January 27, 2022
Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2022. For more information, please call Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617 980 7343 or email Mrs. McKenna at email@example.com
The USDA allows school lunch to be reimbursable if a student is receiving at least 3 out of the 5 food groups: milk, fruits, vegetables, meat/meat alternative, and grains. Getting school lunch is FREE to all students if they take at least 3 of the 5 food groups, and students can receive a free lunch with all 5 on their plate. We always offer salad, and fresh fruit options such as bananas and apples for students to add to their lunch to complete their healthy meal.
MHS students – come have a cup of hot chocolate to warm up during the cold winter months along with a FREE breakfast to energize you before classes. We use real skim chocolate milk. Low fat chocolate milk is a great source of carbohydrates and protein making it a perfect post workout drink and improves muscle mass and endurance.
Please see our latest Food Service update here with menu information, employment opportunities, and more.
Wrestling beat Wellesley on Wednesday night, just a few days after finishing 2nd at the Whitman Hanson Tournament over the weekend! Alex Paxhia, Jackson Matejka and Mason Pellegri were all champions at their weight class, with Christopher Toley Pinnock finishing 2nd and a few others finishing in the top 4! They host Excel Academy, Walpole, Norwood, and Oliver Ames this weekend in a Super Quad.
Girls Basketball will host Fontbonne tonight with the Varsity tipping off at 5:15pm. The Ski Team is also home tonight, with races starting tonight at 5:00pm at Blue Hills.
Boosters Membership Reminder: Don’t forget to join the Boosters today by making a tax-deductible donation. We’re looking to make a HUGE impact this year for our student athletes – they deserve it! Special note to parents of senior student athletes – your family must be a member to qualify for our scholarships. All details on the Boosters can be found on their website, linked here.
Forbes House Museum welcomes the Year of the Tiger on Sunday, January 23, 1-3 pm. Registration: $30/members, $35/nonmembers; Art kits: $8
This interactive program begins with a tour highlighting the Chinese artifacts in the collection and discussing the meanings behind the various Chinese symbols found throughout the house. Then create your own lucky red and gold envelopes for gift-giving in a workshop led by Taiwanese-American artist Rayna Lo. The afternoon will conclude with a sampling of delicious Chinese dumplings!
Appropriate for adults and children ages 10 and up. No art/drawing experience necessary. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. Art kits include red cardstock and gold paint pens. Visit our website to register or learn more.
Participants will be required to wear masks except when eating or drinking. We will continue to monitor developing COVID guidelines and adjust our program as necessary for the safety and wellbeing of everyone.
The Milton Public Library’s calendar of January programs for kids can be found here.
The Milton Public Library Teen Program meets each day after school in the Young Adult Room on the second floor of the library. Join us for weekly Dungeons & Dragons, biweekly Anime Club, drop-in Friday Afternoon Magic: the Gathering games, and more! Our programs are planned and coordinated by the Teen Advisory Board, which is always looking for enthusiastic new members. Check out our website for dates, email teen librarian Tyler Vachon at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come by the library after school to jump in! Virtual participation options are available.
The Friends of the Milton Public Library are collaborating with The Plate for their latest fundraiser: Valentine Cookie Kits. Order your kit today at this link to bake some yummy holiday-themed treats. Thank you for supporting the Friends of the Milton Public Library, and please find more information here.
To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.
The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter can be found here. The newsletter has information about playgroups and resources for families with young children.
Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Emily Hyde, Robyn Green, Stella Yuan, Kim Coughlin, Jon Redden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Ryan Madden and Holly Concannon.
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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.