To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 12, 2022
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
Last week, it was also wonderful to see the return of the traditional trip to Boston’s Symphony Hall for our 4th graders across the district. Thank you to MPS music teacher April Allegrezza for sharing some details about the day with our community.
Conductor Thomas Wilkins made his entrance by jumping onto the podium wearing a sweatshirt with “MAESTRO” on his back. He exclaimed with a big smile, “We are back! It’s okay to keep clapping!” He caught the students’ attention and kept it throughout the program with his sense of humor and guidance and with musical and historical musings before each music selection.
The theme of this year’s concert was “So Now What: A Musical Look at Anticipation, Expectation, and a New Certainty Toward the Fulfillment of Our Promise” and addressed the social and emotional feelings that have been felt throughout the Covid pandemic. Some of the selections included Peter Boyer’s “Silver Fanfare”, Ferde Grofe’s “Sunrise,” from the Grand Canyon Suite, Benjamin Britten’s “Storm,” from Peter Grimes, Schuman’s “Chester,” from New England Triptych and Florence Price’s “Juba Dance” from Symphony No. 1.
Students were accompanied by their classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, parent chaperones and elementary music teachers. All agreed that it was Conductor Wilkins’ approachability and relatability to children and the beautiful music that created a child-centered, memorable and very enjoyable student experience at Symphony Hall. Children enjoyed making close connections with the music and were able to build upon knowledge from music class.
This opportunity to see the world class Boston Symphony Orchestra perform is possible through the generosity of MPACE (Milton Partnership for Arts and Cultural Enrichment), and Milton’s excise tax payers who contribute to the fund. Transportation was provided by the elementary PTOs. Thank you to all who made this trip possible for our 4th graders!
MPS STAFF UPDATES
I am happy to share that two important MPS leadership positions have been officially filled. Please join me in welcoming Clair Galloway-Jones as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Dr. Garth McKinney as the Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources.
Mrs. Galloway-Jones is currently the Metco Director for the Sharon Public Schools and previously spent many years working in the Bedford Public Schools and the Boston Public Schools. It was shared with me that Clair has an inclusive way of collaborating with all parties and a talent for forging positive relationships with students, staff and families. Moreover, Mrs. Galloway-Jones has a strong teaching background, particularly her years as a math coach in the Boston Public. Mrs. Galloway-Jones has a Bachelors of Art in Human Services from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Wheelock College.
Dr. Garth McKinney currently serves as the Interim Superintendent of Nashua Public Schools. He has served as the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education for four years and an Assistant Principal for three years. Through his three interviews, I found Dr. McKinney’s experience with curriculum; supervision and evaluation, team building and collaboration; and the use of data to make informed decisions very impressive. We are excited to benefit from his proven excellent work in supporting faculty and staff in curriculum instruction as well as executing the strategic goals and initiatives of the Milton Public Schools. Dr. McKinney has a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Boston College; a Master’s Degree in Education (Reading) from Fordham University and he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Stonehill College.
We look forward to introducing Ms. Galloway-Jones and Dr. McKinney to the community at an upcoming School Committee meeting and officially welcoming them to the Milton Public Schools on July 1, 2022.
The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday, May 25 , 2022. 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 EVENTS
- May 13 MHS Spring Fling
- May 14 Varsity Banquet
- May 17 MHS Spring Concert
- May 19 MHS Music Awards Dinner
- May 25 School Committee Meeting
- May 26 MFE Teacher of the Year
- May 30 Memorial Day, No School
- May 31 Senior Awards Night
- June 5 MHS Graduation
- 21-22 One Page School Year Calendar
- 2022-23 One Page School Year Calendar (Draft)
- District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details on current events.
Parent/Guardian English Class: The class will meet at MHS from 6-7 pm on Tuesday and Thursday between May 17 and June 23. This class is free for MPS parents/guardians. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton Summer Enrichment: Registration is open and all details on classes and the program can be found at this link. Please email email@example.com
Ready, Set…Kindergarten! Please visit Ready, Set…Kindergarten! to learn about all the Kindergarten events planned that will have you and your child excited and prepared for this new chapter. We are excited to welcome the Class of 2035 to the Milton Public Schools!
Save the date for the Cunningham and Collicot Art Show on Thursday, May 19.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
COVID Updates: MPS has reported 73 new student cases and 12 staff cases to DPH for previous reporting period (May 5- May 11) with the following breakdown per school. Cunningham -12; Collicot -17; Glover- 1; Tucker-24 Pierce-13 and MHS- 6. Local and Norfolk County data can be found here: CDC COVID data tracker and Milton COVID 19 Dashboard.
We have seen our COVID positive numbers climb in recent weeks and a concern we are hearing from parents/ guardians is that it is hard to distinguish symptoms of COVID from other illnesses and it’s difficult to know when to test. Is it COVID, allergies, a cold or the flu? is a great article published in March 2022 from the Mayo Clinic that addresses the differences between COVID 19, the common cold, allergies and the flu in an easy to read chart form.
When your student presents with symptoms, please test to help keep our MPS community safe! You can still opt-in to the state’s at home test kit distribution by filling out this consent form and having your student bring it to the school nurse Student Opt-In Form.
While previous guidance provided a differentiated symptoms list for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, the new symptoms list (updated March 2022) below applies to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Parents/guardians should continue to screen students daily prior to school and keep students with these symptoms home, testing prior to returning to school.
COVID-19 symptom list:
- Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
- Muscle aches or body aches
- Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
- Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms.
- Headache when in combination with other symptoms
- Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
It’s sock monkey mania in the Collicot art room! Thanks to a generous donation from the Collicot PTO, 5th graders have been on a roll stitching these adorable sock monkeys. Students have learned how to transform a pair of socks into a stuffed animal by using a pattern, threading a needle, tying a knot, and using the whipstitch.
Cunningham 5th graders have been learning about radial design and printmaking. Students started by drawing a design on a 6×6 square with an X and Y axis, mapping out their design to make sure lines connected to the adjacent side of their square. Once complete, they traced their drawing onto styrofoam using a wooden dowel, causing the lines to “sink” into the foam, making a perfect printing plate. You can see that they used a brayer to ink their plate and printed their design four times making sure to rotate their styrofoam clockwise to create a radial symmetrical design. The beautiful results are evident in the pictures!
Glover 1st graders are working on their “Days of the Week” project in Spanish class with the help of former Glover Kid Katherine Heavey. Katherine is volunteering her time throughout May at Glover as she completes her senior service project before graduating high school. Senora Brown, who had Katherine in her class when she was a Glover Kid, said it was the week’s highlight for our 1st graders!
This family survey is a brief, but essential part of our community needs assessment of early childhood programs and the needs of families with young children. This effort is supported by a Community Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) grant from the MA Department of Early Education and Care. For more information, please contact Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai or School Committee Chair Ada Rosmarin.
It only takes 2-3 minutes to complete and the deadline to respond to the survey is May 15th, so please don’t delay! All who complete the survey will automatically be entered into a raffle to win one of two $250 gift cards.
ART AND MUSIC
The MHS music department’s final concert is coming up on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:30 PM in the high school auditorium. We hope you’ll join us for the performance to celebrate the accomplishments of our MHS musicians, especially our graduating seniors!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to Tri-M’s musical instrument drive — the event was a huge success. We collected dozens of instruments that will be able to be used throughout the Milton Public Schools, both in classrooms and for independent music practice. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
MHS Tri-M students have also been busy paying visits to the performing ensembles at Pierce to make music together and share information about what it’s like to be a part of the MHS music department. Our hope is that building these relationships early on will encourage continued participation in performing ensembles throughout students’ academic careers. Thanks to all MHS and Pierce students who participated in these before and after school events! Check out this video of Tri-M and Pierce chorus students singing “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” after three short rehearsals!
The students in the MHS Music department along with Milton FAME ran a successful mattress fundraiser in April, raising over $10,000 for the MPS music department. The money from the mattress sale will continue to help FAME with providing excellent opportunities and assistance to all of our MPS music students. Bravo!
Friday, May 6 was the 10th anniversary of School Lunch Hero Day! We are so grateful to have such an amazing and hard-working team to make sure each student is fed and fueled to do their very best each and every day. Post pandemic has not been easy, but our “Lunch Heroes” prove that they can handle anything that comes their way.
Participate: Mark your calendars as Tuesday, June 14 will be our final SEPAC meeting and we will be meeting live with refreshments and a guest speaker, while we connect before the summer and plan for the 2022-23 school year. Location TBD.
Advocate: SEPAC board members welcome new school committee members Celina Miranda and Anna Varghese and look forward to working with them as the budget is passed and plans are made for next year. Further, look for a survey soon to assess needs and goals for next year. Our next ZOOM board meeting is on May 24 6:30pm
Educate: Check out a new resource for parents with neurodiverse kids: ImpactParents
Please see below from MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.
The Varsity Athletic Outdoor Celebration will take place on Saturday, May 14th at 10am at Brooks Field! All student-athletes receiving a Varsity Letter are invited and families should have received an email invitation.
TODAY: Thursday, May 12th, our Unified Track & Field Team will host their last meet of the season! Our athletes and partners have been working hard all year, and can’t wait to showcase their abilities as they get ready for the Sectional Meet. Come support our inclusive sports program this Thursday, May 12th, at Brooks Field. The meet will begin at 3:30 – we hope to see you there! #ChooseToInclude
Boys Lacrosse won back-to-back games, each both by a 1-goal margin. They beat former Herget Division Rival Dedham 9-8 and then followed that up with an 11-10 win over new Herget Division Rival, Braintree. Those two wins move them to 5-7 and puts them in a good position to make the Tournament for the second straight season!
Our Girls Tennis Team responded to three straight losses with three straight wins! They beat Fontbonne, Braintree and Weymouth. With 5 wins on the season, they have already eclipsed their win total from last year! Boys Tennis is 6-5 on the season, with wins over Weymouth and Braintree. They host Oliver Ames on Friday.
Softball and Girls Lacrosse have also won back-to-back games. Alona Lynch is playing at an MVP level for the Softball Team. Girls Lax Captains, Hadley Blasdale and Grace DeBenedictis have played at an elite level with Blasdale scoring 5 goals in the past 2 games.
Rugby beat Hanover 41-26 in a game that was not nearly as close as the score indicated, less than a week after losing to Weymouth. That brings them back to 2-2 and a big finish to the end of the season should put them in a good position heading into the Tournament.
Baseball is now 12-2, earning their sixth straight win over Braintree in the past three seasons. They” travel to St Mary’s in Lynn on Friday before getting back to league play next week against Needham and Walpole.
We have our Susi Athletes of the Month for April! Junior Katie O’Toole and Senior Alona Lynch are very worthy recipients for their achievements in April!
- Katie O’Toole: Despite the cold weather Katie O’Toole has been on fire during the month of April. Katie placed second in the 800m at Wellesley racing against the reigning 1000m state champion from this past indoor season. Katie followed up that strong performance with a first place finish against Braintree in the mile. The next week Katie won the mile at home against Walpole. Katie is currently ranked number nine in the state in the 800m and is top 25 in the mile. Katie has continued her strong running into the month of May with more great racing. As anchor leg she led the team to a victory in the 4×800 meter relay at the Division III State Relay event at Olive Ames. Katie also anchored the 4 x mile team to a strong second place finish.
- Alona Lynch: MHS softball is currently 4-2. Alona Lynch has helped the team get to this point by being a leader on and off the field. She made 3 diving stops for outs against Natick while pitching, where she also hit 3-4 with a grand slam in the same game. She then followed up with another win in extra innings against Braintree on Monday, with 7 strikeouts on the mound and a 2-run double in the 10th to give Milton the lead! She has pitched 4 games so far this season; with 30k and only 6BB on the season and she has a .600 batting average. Her attitude and energy are constantly bringing up the team, always keeping them focused and united.
For those wondering about Fall Sports, see below for information.
- Football tryouts start Friday, August 19th.
- All other Sports tryouts start Monday, August 22nd.
- All students must have a valid physical on file in order to try out. Physicals are valid for 13 months.
- Registration will open in June, with payment due before tryouts start in August.
- Tryout dates and times will be posted on August 1st.
- An email with more information about coaching staff will be sent to families soon.
Katie Crowell was a dedicated member of our Glover community who gave 100% of herself in service to others. She was an advocate, a runner, a volunteer, a fundraiser, a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. Katie’s motto was “Grace + Grit,” qualities she embodied. Katie’s impact surrounds us all—in her beautiful children, in her advocacy, in the lives of other patients who have gained strength from her, in the innovative research that is currently happening thanks in part to the money that she raised.
Together as a community, we are raising money in Katie’s honor for basic level cancer research. Please join us in a very special 5k so we may honor Katie and continue raising funds to support cancer charities. Come show us your Grace + GRIT! Walkers and strollers welcome. NO bikes or scooters, please. Bib and T-shirt pickup will be Friday, May 13th from 5-7 pm at Glover Elementary School (255 Canton Ave). Pickup will also be available from 8:30-9:30 on race day. Friday pickup is strongly encouraged. Bibs and T-shirts may be picked up by other registrants or friends/family.
The race is just two days away! It begins at 10 am on Saturday, May 14th. Please arrive at Glover Elementary School (255 Canton Ave) no later than 9:30 am. Kids of any age are welcome to run/walk the course. There will be no separate kids route. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each category (Men, Women, Kids).
Last Call! Registration closes at midnight TONIGHT. For those who have already registered, thank you! To register, click here.
Save the date for the Milton Pride Car Parade on June 11 from 4-5 pm.
Milton Academy is offering a Summer Camp for students in grades 1-6. All details can be found here.
The Milton Public Library’s calendar of May programs for kids can be found here.
Kids in Grades K-5 are invited to come meet and read to a lovable (and a very good listener!) volunteer dog on Saturday, May 21st at 11:00am. Each child will have the opportunity to read to the dog in a private session for ten minutes to practice their reading aloud skills. Sign up for a timed reservation here. To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.
On Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day and some mothers in our MPS community recently received some national attention on the Kelly Clarkson Show!
Mid pandemic, longtime Milton friends Imge Ceranoglu, Martha Kennedy, Joanna Weiss, Leila Mitchell, and Heather Shaw started a band called The Lazy Susans and played their first gig at Porchfest in September of 2021. This past week, they appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show as part of Rad Moms Week. This article in the Boston Globe tells their story nicely, as does this video from the show. My takeaway? Go for it, whatever your “it” is! Congratulations to Milton’s own “Rad Moms” on their accomplishments!
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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.