To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 10, 2022
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Congratulations to the Pierce Players on a wonderful run of the Sound of Music last weekend! The cast and crew did an outstanding job. A special thanks to Mr. Deschenes, Ms. Okoh, Ms. Royster and Ms. Tobin for all their hard work in bringing this impressive performance to life.
March is Music in Our Schools Month and we are excited for our concerts this month. Please join us at Milton High School for our MIOSM Strings Concert Grades 6-12 TONIGHT March 10, the Band Concert 5-12 on March 15, and the Chorus Concert 6-12 on March 23. All concerts start at 6:30pm.
A reminder that The Milton School Building Committee is holding a second Family and Community Forum later today, Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 4 pm. Please join members of the Milton School Building Committee, along with Superintendent James Jette, Pierce Middle School Principal Bill Fish, and Collicot School Principal Holly Concannon for a virtual Family and Community Forum. A short video talking about the overcrowding in MPS can be found here.
The Committee will share current information about the need for a new school building, an overview of our proposed site, consideration of options for grade configuration for a new building, and progress that has been made to date. All details and links to attend can be found here.
On Wednesday, March 16 I hope parents and guardians will join me for a coffee hour in the MHS auditorium from 8:45-9:30 am. We’ll use the auditorium space as it’s available for that time, but this is not a presentation. I hope to use the time to connect with MPS parents and guardians on a variety of topics and look forward to seeing you there. Please enter through the main entrance at the front of the building.
The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. As always, all information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch regular 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
- Mar 10 School Building Community Meeting
- Mar 10 MIOSM Strings Concert Grades 6-12
- Mar 15 MIOSM Band Concert 5-12
- Mar 16 Coffee with Superintendent Jette
- Mar 17 After School Parent/Teacher Conferences
- Mar 18 No School Teacher PD Day
- Mar 21, 22, 24, 25 Forums on Restorative Justice in MPS
Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here. (Updated to reflect the February 4 snow day)
Thank you to all who attended 1st Grade Information Night. Parents and guardians of current MPS kindergarten students learned about our two first grade programs: The English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We presented information on each program as well as the assignment plan, lottery (if needed), and timeline. The recording of the event can be found here.
Kindergarten registration will take place from March 2 through March 18, 2022. Instructions and the link to register can be found here. Kindergarten registration for the first round of school assignments must be completed by March 18, 2022. Please note that registration is ongoing, but school assignments are based on student enrollment and the date of registration. We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2035 to the Milton Public Schools!
On April 7th at 7pm in the Milton High School auditorium, join us as we hear from NY Times best-selling author, Jessica Lahey. She brings her years of expertise as an educator and personal experience with addiction to the table as she talks about parenting and how to have conversations with children — from preschool to young adulthood – about all sorts of difficult topics including drugs and alcohol. Jessica Lahey will provide concrete skills and examples that parents can put into practice today that will help foster resilience and a trusting parent–child relationship that can keep kids safe.
Local bookseller, Frugal Bookstore, will be selling Jessica Lahey’s books in the lobby before and after the presentation.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
A Covid vaccine clinic will be held on Saturday, March 26 from 11am-2pm at Pierce Middle School. We are partnering with the Department of Public Health to host school vaccination clinics for eligible children ages 5 and up. There are still 2nd dose appointments for both 5-11 year olds and 12+ and boosters available . All details and registration information can be found at this link. At the March 5 clinic, 66 total vaccines were administered.
We will continue to provide a weekly summary of COVID cases affecting our schools as reported to DESE in the Superintendent’s blog. This week’s report was from 3/3-3/10 and MPS reported 1 staff and 6 students as COVID positive. For families or faculty/staff who wish to opt-in for rapid antigen testing kits, please submit this Opt-In Form for each student to your school nurse.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
Congratulations to our MHS students who earned High Honors, Honor Roll and Honorable Mentions for the second marking period!
The Milton High School National Honor Society is currently collecting new and lightly used books to donate to libraries throughout the Milton Public Schools. Please leave any books you would like to donate in the labeled boxes near the front and back entrances of the high school.
Ms. Aloe’s 3D studio students recently created paper sculptures. This project focused on developing their skills with different paper techniques, exploring different ways to approach making (Planning vs Playing) as well as how to photograph their work to best display their techniques and sculpture.
The French Club has been raising money all year and recently used some funds to create a Cheese Tasting experience hosted at The Plate in Milton. Students had the opportunity to taste cheese from Formaggio Kitchen, ranging from goat to cow to sheep, and paired it with different jams and chocolates. Over 30 students attended, and enjoyed a very fun, first maskless gathering!
Pierce social studies teachers spent a portion of their professional development time last week on completing lessons on the recent conflict in Ukraine. Teachers worked to develop thoughtful discussion points that focus on the history between Russia and Ukraine, the importance of diplomacy for nations around the world, and the role of the media in reporting unbiased and objective information. Teachers will be dedicating time in the coming days to these lessons, which will include a chance for students to reflect on their own feelings.
Pierce Track & Field Informational Meeting: Any students interested in joining the Pierce track and field team should attend the meeting after school on March 16 in the cafeteria. Click here to read more detailed information.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Students at the Tucker school recently enjoyed a virtual visit from the South Shore Arts center’s artist in residence program. Jess Hurley Scott, Artist-in-Residence at SSAC, visits schools to teach students about marine science and art, and guide students to create their own multi-layered painted seashore. She talks about the energy of waves, connected ecosystems, and ocean currents. Jess also shares that she has Dyslexia, a self-described “super power” that enables her to comfortably paint backwards on multi-layered plastic panels. All students in grades K-5 created a beautiful painting inspired by this visiting artist!
Mrs Chen’s Cunningham 5th grade class recently participated in a lesson from our Reading About Diversity curriculum with parent volunteers Holly Burns and Katie Murphy. Thank you to our volunteers who make this wonderful program possible. To read more about this program please visit the RAD website.
The Tucker basketball season is winding down tonight with the Championship game, with the Grey and Black Teams facing off! Our teams of 4th and 5th grade students were led by Coaches Winston Daley, Leah Silipo, Ethan Johnson and Erin Brennan. Throughout their time they learned fundamentals of play, teamwork, how to play in real games and most importantly had fun. Good luck to our athletes tonight!
ART AND MUSIC
Milton Public Schools has partnered with Sharon Music Academy to work with our 5th grade Strings Ensemble students to explore the wonderful universe of ensemble music and learn about the world, culture, heritage, and themselves in the process. Mr. Eric Mrugala will teach at Glover and Tucker and Ms. Kavita Shankar will teach at Cunningham and Collicot. You can read about Mr. Mrugala and Ms. Shankar here.
We are excited about this partnership. They offer unique music experiences that enrich students’ lives, build their confidence, unleash their creativity, and collaborate with others. Their students participate and win international music competitions, perform at Carnegie Hall and parks, entertain seniors, lead the local children’s orchestras, have field trips to learn about musical instruments, and travel to music camps in Europe. Many of them have been awarded Official Citations by the Massachusetts State Senate for their achievements and community work. For many years Sharon Music Academy has been Steinway Educational Partner. More information is available on the SMA website www.sharonmusicacademy.com.
The FAME Mattress Fundraiser is back! Save the date – more details to follow.
- WHEN: Saturday, April 9th, 10am-4pm
- WHERE: Milton High School Auditorium
- WHAT: Big savings on brand name mattresses, pillows, weighted blankets, sheets, massage chairs and more! Funds raised go to supporting MPS music department programming, festivals and scholarships.
Camp Cunningham is back again with a variety of fun activities that will keep campers engaged, happy and safe! Registration begins March 16 at noon. All details and links can be found here.
Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2022! MSE will run from July 5-July 29, five mornings a week, M-F. More information will follow in the coming weeks with registration in April. We are looking forward to a fun-filled MSE summer!
Welcome to Middle School is a must for your rising 6th grader! Welcome to Middle School will run in two sessions from June 27-29 and August 22-24 and students can attend either session. More information and registration details will be sent to 5th grade families this spring.
This week we have been celebrating National School Breakfast Week and World Language Week by offering some exciting chances to win prizes provided by the Milton Boosters. Students are having fun with Lucky Tray Day and raffles and enjoying Mexican hot chocolate at MHS, and breakfast burritos and apple churros at all six schools!
Please see below for an update from the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee. Please join us for the next SEPAC ZOOM board meeting on March 23.
Also, on Monday, March 21 from 7-8 pm, SEPAC presents a FREE WEBINAR: College Admissions for Complex Students: The college admissions process can seem like a black box. Especially for neurodiverse students, navigating key elements of this process – from academic performance, to testing, to identifying colleges that meet a student’s needs and preferences, to just how much to disclose and how – can be challenging. Join us to learn more about how applications are evaluated, changes in the admissions landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how an intentional approach to the college process can reduce stress and improve outcomes for the whole family. Please register here.
Congratulations to the MHS Cheerleading Team on placing second in their regionals competition last weekend at Bellingham High School. The team will be advancing to the state championship at Worcester State University Sunday, March 13. Go ‘Cats!
Remember to sign up for Spring Sports if you have not done so already! Tryouts start next week for Rugby and on Monday, March 21st for all other Spring Sports! For registration, click here. Please DO NOT register again. Simply update your existing registration. New registrations will be canceled. For Crew registration, click here. Tryout dates and times can be found here!
Forbes House Museum Hosts an Authors’ Talk with Patrick Radden Keefe and Evan Hughes on Thursday, March 24, 7:00 pm at Pierce Middle School.
Second in a series of programs offered in connection with the museum’s upcoming exhibition Opium: The Business of Addiction. Keefe and Hughes examine stories of greed, deception, excess and legal battles in the pharmaceutical industry. In Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Family Dynasty, Keefe follows the rise and fall of the Sacklers at the helm of Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin. In The Hard Sell: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup, Hughes documents a similar trajectory by entrepreneur John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics and maker of Subsys. The books reveal that OxyContin and Subsys were found to be highly-addictive opioids that were nevertheless aggressively and deceitfully marketed, and which are directly linked to today’s opioid epidemic. The evening promises to be a highly engaging exchange between these two accomplished authors.
Following the discussion, there will be time for Q&A and book signings. Advance ticket purchase encouraged. Tickets: $25/person, or $20/FHM member. To learn more, visit our website.
Thank you to our exhibition partners the Milton Coalition and the Milton Public Library. This program series was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Townwide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan: Public Meeting on April 7: The Town of Milton is working with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to a develop a town-wide plan that will lead to a safe, efficient, connected network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Making sure students and their families can safely walk, ride, and roll to school is an important part of the plan, so we hope you can attend a virtual public meeting on Thursday, April 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please register at this link. Please contact Tim Czerwienski, Director of Planning and Community Development, if you have any questions.
Registration is now open for Grade 9-12 Milton Soccer Travel Spring 2022 season. Games will be played on Sundays. The season will begin on April 24th and will end on June 12th. NO games on Memorial Day weekend (5/29). Please go to www.miltonmasoccer.org for more information and to register. Please contact Heather Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
The Milton Public Library’s calendar of March events can be found here.
Have you heard? We now have Dial-A-Story! Call 617-915-1915 at any time to listen to picture books, a joke, and first chapters of middle grade and teen books. Stories are read to you by MPL librarians and updated every month!
Graphic Novel fans unite! Register for the first meeting of our Graphic Novel Book Club for Grades 3-5 on Wednesday, March 16th at 4:30pm. This month we are reading El Deafo by Cece Bell. Reserved copies are available in the MPL Children’s Room. Sign up today at this link.
Sign up today for these programs on the library website. To learn more and to register for all programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.
Congratulations to the five MHS students who represented Milton at the Massachusetts Music Educators Association All State Festival this past weekend! Tim Fay (Jazz Band), Claudia O’Neill (Concert Band), Isabelle Feloney, Lucy Hollingsworth-Hays, and Nessa Malin (Chorus) had the opportunity to work with renowned conductors and perform with students from across the state on the Symphony Hall Stage. Enjoy this clip of the chorus singing “John the Revelator” during their dress rehearsal. Bravo to all performers, and congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment!
Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Zofia Liddell, Aneeka Cheema, Jon Redden, Kim Coughlin, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Ellen Lohan, Bill Fish, Janice Mazzola, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen Cahill, Jess Gillooly and Ryan Madden.
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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.