To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 17, 2022
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
As we look forward to the first day of spring next week, our schools are busy with events and activities. Your child’s principal’s weekly update is a great way to stay informed on school specific events and information so please take just a few minutes each week to read through those Smore newsletters. If you do not receive the weekly Smore newsletter from your principal, please reach out to your school administrative assistant.
Music in Our Schools Month is in full swing! Congratulations to the Milton Strings and Band Programs for two incredible concerts so far. We look forward to our final performance of the month with the Grades 6-12 Chorus concert on Wednesday 3/23 at 6:30 PM in the MHS Auditorium. Check out this sneak peek recorded by the MHS chorus. We hope to see you at the concert!
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Collicot and Cunningham students enjoyed Irish Step Dancing during lunch today. Students from Kindergarten through 5th grade signed up to entertain their classmates in what has become a fun lunchtime tradition.
Congratulations to our Tucker basketball players! Last week was their championship game, won by the Black Team, and the gym was packed with spectators cheering them on. Thank you to the volunteer coaches, families and students for an excellent season!
Thank you to all who attended coffee with me at MHS this week. It was great to connect with a small group of parents and guardians on a variety of topics. I am looking forward to attending a PTO coffee hour at each school this spring, please check your school communications for dates as they are announced. I look forward to seeing you there.
The next School Committee meeting is tonight, Thursday, March 17, 2022 (moved to accommodate Town Meeting on March 16). 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.
The Milton School Committee invites all to participate in the Open Public Hearing to discuss all matters relating to the proposed 2022-2023 Fiscal Budget.
- Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at 6:30pm
- Via Zoom;Passcode: 168556; Webinar ID: 811 8269 8756
If you are unable to participate, please feel free to email comments/questions to the Milton School Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES
- Mar 17 After School Parent/Teacher Conferences
- Mar 18 No School Teacher PD Day
- Mar 21 5th Grade Growth and Development
- Mar 21, 22, 24, 25 Forums on Restorative Justice in MPS
- Mar 23 MIOSM Chorus Concert 6-12
- Apr 5 Spring Jazz Night
- Apr 6 Milton School Committee (Budget Hearing)
- Apr 7 Early Release Grades K-12 PD Day
The 2022-23 One Page School Year Calendar (Draft) linked here has been approved by the School Committee. Please note that this calendar is intended as a guide ONLY. It may be necessary to change this schedule to better serve instructional purposes.
Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details on current events. In addition, the 21-22 one page School Year Calendar can be found here. (Updated to reflect the February 4 snow day)
Save the date for MFE Celebration on May 7, 2022 at Granite Links!
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
5th Grade Families: On Monday, March 21 at 6:30 pm at Milton High School, the Milton Public Schools would like to invite you to our district wide program regarding Grade 5 Growth and Development. This program is offered annually to parents/guardians of current 5th grade students. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents/guardians to preview the videos that will be shown to grade 5 students this spring. All details can be found here.
Schools are required by Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 57 and 105 CMR 200.000) to provide vision, hearing, body mass index (BMI), postural, and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) health screenings to all students. Parents/guardians will be notified if a referral is necessary. Parents/Guardians may opt their student out of any of the screenings. Written notice should be sent to the school nurse if you wish to opt your student out.
- Vision: Annually in grades 1 through 5, once in grades 6 through 8
- Hearing: Kindergarten through grade 3 and once in grades 6 through 8
- Heights and Weights: Heights and weights are measured and body mass index (BMI) is calculated on children in grades 1, 4, 7 and 10.
- Postural Screening: The State of Massachusetts mandates that all students in grades 5 through 9 be screened for scoliosis. Parents will be notified if referral is needed.
- SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment is done in grades 7 and 10. The screening uses the CRAFFT tool as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Substance Abuse. Student screening sessions will be brief and conducted confidentially in a private, one-on-one session.
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 3/10-3/16 and MPS reported 2 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
Milton High School’s Asian Culture Club’s Red Envelope Fundraiser was an incredible success! With the money raised, ACC will be donating over $300 to Stop AAPI Hate to support Asian communities and combat the prevalent racism and xenophobia in our society. We hope to contribute positive change in regard to the increase in Asian hate, especially during these challenging times. The rest of the funds will be used to create an inclusive environment in which anyone can learn and appreciate Asian traditions.
Thank you to the following companies for the donations and for supporting our initiative: Coffee Break, Steel & Rye, Fruit Center, Fuji Group, Starbucks, and Playa Bowls. Special shout out to ACC officers Lok Ye, Chloe, and Caylie, and all club members who have helped make this all possible!
The senior class thanks all who attended Trivia Night! The donations from the Milton Boosters were amazing and so appreciated. 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners gave string performances and beat out some heavy competitors. Fun was had by all!
If your high school student is interested in being a Red Shirt at MSE, all details are here. ALL applications are due by April 12th at 3 pm. Late applications will not be considered.
Please note the following guidelines for qualification and process of acceptance as a Red Shirt Volunteer or Paid staff member. All guidelines and the link to apply are here. You must use your student email address to apply.
- Milton High School students will be given priority for any open positions (both Community Service and paid); upper class students will be placed first.
- Students must volunteer a minimum of one summer of Community Service at MSE before being eligible for paid positions. Having been a volunteer or paid Red Shirt in the past does not guarantee a position in this year’s staff.
- The final year that students can work as paid Red Shirts is the summer following their graduation from high school.
- Positions are offered as openings become available.
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.
Each month, Pierce recognizes students who demonstrate the values of safety, responsibility, respect, and kindness as Positive Community Members. Teachers nominate students and students from each grade are selected by Pierce’s culture and behavior committee. Please join us in congratulating Londyn Gray, Gabrielle Petty, and Sharon Liu who were honored for the month of February!
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Tucker 1st graders are answering the question, “How are Animals Different?” in their current unit of Reach for Reading. The writing project asks students to write an article to teach others about an animal of their choice. In Mrs. Deptula’s class, students were put into pairs and were given links to articles and videos to watch and read to get facts. Students worked together to read, watch, write, and draw about their animals. You can see how engaged and curious these students are in the pictures below!
This past week, Glover began the Celebrating Our Differences units of study with fourth and fifth grade. The Celebrating Our Differences program is a parent-run program that helps students understand what it is like to live with a disability. The program consists of five units which include learning differences, physical differences, vision, hearing, and autism. Across the five units, the program helps build empathy by incorporating hands-on activities with a lecture from a guest speaker.
Ms. McClain’s Cunningham 1st graders used their budding STEM skills to work in small teams to create working Leprechaun traps. Students collaborated on a written plan and then worked together to build their contraptions. It was impressive to see the creativity and excitement as their creations using common household and school items came together.
Our After School Enrichment (ASE) programs have been quite creative lately. Recently, the Glover program made “Hedgie Books” by carefully folding each page of an old library book to create the shape of a hedgehog. Tucker ESAP students kept busy building and counting with tiles. They made it all the way to 700 tiles counting each one. Check out the fun below!
April Vacation Camp will be held April 19-22, 8:30 am-3:30 pm at Collicot/Cunningham schools for MPS students in grades K-5. Registration opens at this link on Wednesday, March 23 at noon. For All Camp Activities and Information, please visit the MCS website.
OFFICE OF STUDENT SERVICES – SPECIAL EDUCATION
Unified Track is back at Milton High School! Coach Ashley offers this valuable information about this year’s team.
Spring season is right around the corner, which means another season of Unified Track and Field. As a refresher, Unified Track is an inclusive sports team that includes both students with and without intellectual disabilities, referred to as athletes and partners. Unified members will be competing alongside one another as teammates. We continue to advocate for inclusive opportunities and are excited to jump into another season here at the high school. Ashley Assarian and Olivia Fitzgerald will be returning as coaches for their 4th and 2nd seasons. The Unified Track season will begin on Monday, March 28 in the Field House at 2:30pm.
Unified Track is offered at the high school level only. If you are interested in having your child participate in Unified Track, please register them through the MHS Athletics page. Registration details are here. Each student-athlete will need an up to date physical in order to participate. If your child has not participated in any sport at MHS, please create a FamilyID account (directions at bottom of registration page). If you’re a returning participant, you do not need to create a new FamilyID account. Please email Coach Ashley at email@example.com with any questions. Choose to include!
Rock Your Socks for Down Syndrome Day! Milton Public Schools will be celebrating World Down Syndrome Day on Monday 3/21/22. 3-21 represents trisomy 21, the medical term for Down Syndrome, which is the third replication of the 21st chromosome. Socks were chosen because the karyotype of Ds chromosomes actually looks like mismatched socks! This day provides the opportunity to celebrate people with Down Syndrome and all the wonderful contributions they make to society. The point of wearing the silly socks is as a conversation starter for people to ask questions and to remind them that while things may be different they are still wonderful. This is meant to bring awareness and acceptance of Down Syndrome. People are encouraged to wear bright, mismatched or printed socks.
In addition, MHS Best Buddies are celebrating all week with Inclusion Day, Blue & Yellow Day, Donation Day and Milton Pride Day.
SEPAC: Please see below for an update from the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee.
- Participate: We are very happy to say that we have a new SEPAC secretary. Meredith McGrory is a teacher at Tucker Elementary and is an MPS parent, with her youngest in preschool. Welcome Meredith!
- Advocate: Change your culture, join SEPAC! Please reach out to your school rep to find out about how being a part of SEPAC is essential for advocacy. Join the ZOOM board meeting on March 23. We welcome new voices and ideas.
- Educate: FREE WEBINAR College Admissions for Complex Students: Monday, March 21, 7-8pm. 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.
ART AND MUSIC
Do you have instruments that are no longer used at your home? Please consider donating them to the Milton Music Department! MHS’s chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society is holding an instrument drive to collect new or used instruments for use within music programs across the district. We are especially interested in guitars, electric basses, hand drums/percussion instruments, and traditional band & orchestral instruments. Please only donate instruments that are in playable condition or reach out to Ms. Hanna (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss special situations. We are unfortunately not able to accept pianos.
If you have an instrument in playable condition that you’d like to donate, you may drop them off at the MHS main entrance at the following times:
- Wednesday 3/23 – 5:30-6:30 PM (Chorus Concert Night)
- Saturday 4/9 – 12:00-4:00 PM (FAME Mattress Fundraiser)
We also encourage you to check out these other exciting music events taking place at the same time! If you have any questions or need to arrange an alternate drop-off time, please reach out to Tri-M Faculty Advisor, Julia Hanna at email@example.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 for a fun 2022 season! CC is open to currently enrolled Milton Public School students entering grades 1-6 in the fall 2022. Registration opened yesterday, you can register here. For all camp information and dates, Please visit the MCS website. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Milton Summer Enrichment (MSE) 2022 will run from July 5-July 29, five mornings a week, M-F. More information will follow with registration in April. We are looking forward to a fun-filled MSE summer! The co-directors for MSE 2022 are Ellen Lohan and Caroline Morton. If you have questions, please email email@example.com.
If your high school student is interested in being a Red Shirt at MSE, all details are here. ALL applications are due by April 12th at 3 pm. Late applications will not be considered.
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 was the first indoor grow rack harvest at Tucker and the students were so excited to eat salads with the lettuce they grew. We have our grow racks in the cafeteria for all students to see the growth, and allow for the gardening students to share the joy with their peers. Ms. Vendette’s third grade French immersion class are this year’s gardeners.
This food grown is used in the Tucker kitchen for green salads, kale chips, caprese salads with more recipes to come! We also have grow racks at the Pierce and High and MHS that the students in REACH and ACHIEVE take pride in maintaining.
Thanks to all who came to breakfast last week and celebrated National School Breakfast Week and World Language Week with us. We were thrilled to see that our breakfast participation increased by 160 students daily! Please continue to encourage your children to come to school and grab breakfast, which has been proven to help their academic performance. Less preparation for you, and a great way to start the day; it’s a win-win! Congratulations to all our raffle and lucky tray winners, we hope you enjoyed your prizes supplied by Milton Boosters.
Remember to sign up for Spring Sports if you have not done so already! Tryouts start this 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.
The Milton Coalition is recruiting for a focus group at the end of the month. All details can be found here.
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.
Stop by the StoryHour Room at any time today, March 17th, for a St. Patrick’s Day DROP-IN craft. Create your very own Leprechaun Trap using miscellaneous materials, STEM skills, and a dash of magic and trickery!
Join Ms. Tory for an Ultimate LEGO Challenge (ages 6-12) on Saturday, March 26 at 2:30pm! Put your building skills to the test by constructing a themed LEGO scene, and then find your finished creations on display in the Children’s Room. Sign up at this link today.
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.
Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Julie Hanna, Joyce White, Cat DesRoche, Aneeka Cheema, Jon Redden, Kim Coughlin, Karen McDavitt, Jacqueline O’Rourke, Natalia Perez, Ellen Lohan, Bill Fish, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Jennie Mulqueen and Susan Maselli.
BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.
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.