May 19, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 19, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The hate filled acts of violence that took place last weekend at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY (killing ten people and wounding three others) and in a Taiwanese congregation in Laguna Woods, CA., (killing one person and injuring five others ), have left many of our students confused, angry and looking for answers to rationalize such extreme behavior. Without a doubt, these horrific acts were motivated by hate and racism and these violent incidents continue to be perpetrated against people based on race, religion, gender and sexuality. Unfortunately, these incidents represent just the latest episodes in a series of hate filled violence plaguing our country. As a nation, we need to put an end to this. 

As you can imagine, these increasingly common acts of violence only solidify the need for us as a district to continue with our work of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and to make all who are a part of the MPS community feel safe, seen, heard and valued. This week our Principals, School Adjustment Counselors and staff ensured there was support available to students and staff as needed. 

Facing History and Ourselves provides many valuable resources to educators that parents and guardians also may find helpful.  As I wrote to staff earlier this week, please remember, we don’t fight hate with hate; on the contrary, we fight hate with love, education and understanding. As we process recent events, I would like to make you aware of an upcoming opportunity to come together.

The two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd will be marked by a vigil on Wednesday, May 25th from 6- 6:30pm outside at the Parkway Methodist Church on Blue Hills Parkway in Milton. The event is intended to keep the commitment to justice  alive as we reflect on this tragic anniversary. The vigil is being organized by Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice and community partners. This is the 3rd year the group has organized similar events including the ‘March for George and Justice’ in 2021 from Milton to Mattapan that was attended by hundreds and three standouts in 2020 bringing 3000 people to the parkway. All are invited to attend and interested volunteers should email courageousconversationsmilton@gmail.com.  

 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

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. Meeting minutes, presentations and other documents related to School Committee can always be found on our website under the School Committee tab

IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS

  • May 19 MHS Music Awards Dinner 
  • May 25 School Committee Meeting 
  • May 30 Memorial Day, No School 
  • May 31 Senior Awards Night 
  • June 2, 4 Pierce Players 
  • June 5 MHS Graduation 

MPS Calendars

Celebrate the artists of Milton High School by coming to the Art Show from May 23 – 27 in the school library! While there you can: Color the Doodle Mural created by AP Art Students; Write a note of appreciation in the AP artists comment books and Enter the Art Wordle raffle for a chance to win a Bob Ross themed prize. If you are unable to view the artwork in person, we invite you to experience the digital version of the art show here.

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The Department of Fine Arts is pleased to bring a unique Arts and Culture opportunity to our staff and students, in collaboration with M-PACE.

Venerable Tenzin Yignyen is visiting Milton High School, as Artist in Residence, in the MHS Library from May 31 – June 3 2022. This brings the rare opportunity to witness a sand mandala creation from initiation to completion. 

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Milton Summer Enrichment: Registration is open, and all details on classes and the program can be found at this link. MSE runs Monday-Friday, July 5-29, from 8 am-12 pm at Milton High School. Classes are creative and varied – academic, sports, art, games, and more. So many options to choose from!  Please email mse@miltonps.org with any questions. MSE is a great way to start your summer day – join us for a fun and enriching summer!

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SEPAC: Our next ZOOM board meeting is on May 24 6:30pm and Tuesday, June 14 will be our final SEPAC meeting. 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.

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

COVID Updates: MPS has reported 88 new student cases and 14 staff cases to DPH for previous reporting period (May 12- May 18)  with the following breakdown per school. Cunningham -17; Collicot -19; Glover- 11; Tucker-8 Pierce-15 and MHS- 18. Local and Norfolk County data can be found here: CDC COVID data tracker  and Milton COVID 19 Dashboard.

Per current CDC guidelines, after testing positive for COVID, students and staff are returning to school on Day 6. (Day 0 is the date of positive COVID test or start of symptoms). As a reminder, returning students and staff must continue to wear a well-fitting mask at school through day 10.

We continue to practice mitigating strategies including promoting ventilation, with open windows and doors and running rooftop units to increase the number of fresh air exchanges.  With the upcoming spring weather, we will also take advantage of outdoor space when possible. 

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.

For those looking for COVID Testing and Vaccines, we have found the Randolph, MA site linked here to be a reliable provider. 

COMMUNICATIONS SURVEY 

At the Milton Public Schools, we understand the importance of communication, transparency, and ease of access to information. Please help us learn about our strengths and areas which need improvement by taking this short survey.

These questions target communications at the district and school level only. Please take just a few minutes to give us feedback on our communication practices. Thank you for your responses. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS Music Department finished up the season with their Spring Concert on Tuesday. Performing in the concert were Chamber Ensemble, Orchestra, Concert Band, two Choruses and Jazz Band. If you were unable to attend this fantastic concert, you can view the concert here. 

Thank you to MPS parent John Gillooly for  the photos below and access to many more downloadable images at this link from our most recent concert.

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The Milton Parks and Recreation Department is holding community service sign ups for grades 9-11 in the MHS cafe on Wednesday, June 1 st from 2:20 – 3pm for all  2022 summer programs. If your child is unable to attend this meeting, please email  bdevore@townofmilton.org after June 1 to see if there are any available weeks left for community service. Space is limited so please make every attempt to attend this meeting.

PIERCE PAGES 

On May 14th, the Pierce Middle School Debate Team participated in the Lumos May Invitational Debate Tournament. Students debated whether or not the United States should eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels companies and used the Public Forum Debate format to discuss the positive and negative consequences of eliminating subsidies. Isabella Alba, Tess Carroll, Adam Cheairs, John Griffin, Dobie Illich, Ben Neugebauer, Avery Squiciarino, Thinh Tran, and Sadie Wetzner-Crothers competed in this tournament and Isabella, Ben, Adam, and John received Speaker Awards for earning distinguished scores in debate rounds. The Pierce Debate Team was thrilled to participate in this fifth and final tournament for the 2021-2022 academic school year and we look forward to competing next year! 

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Mr. Manning’s art classes are having a wonderful term and working hard right up to the end of the school year. 

7th and 8th grade students asked “What’s Poppin?” Students were asked to choose their favorite junk candy and create a pop art style piece influenced by Andy Warhol. Salty, sugary, sweet, sour, and everything in between, students used unrealistic color schemes to create one of a kind paintings. 7th and 8th grade artists started with six small drawings and then picked one of their favorites for their painting. Students learned what the Screen Printing process looks like and that one of Warhol’s prints just sold for $195 million dollars. See if you can find your favorite candy below.

8th grade ACE students officially opened Caine’s Arcade and the place was buzzing. Students were invited from other classes to come in and play all of the games. Visitors had a blast as they got to visit each game and win an assortment of prizes. Games were fun and challenging and a good time was had by all.

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INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

It’s Art Show time! Cunningham students have been enjoying the art in the hallways and hope you soon will be, too! Check out our Art Show info for each school below. 

ART AND MUSIC 

Check out our MHS Senior Music Spotlights below. Each week we will spotlight several of our graduating seniors. Click the photos below to enlarge the information. 

TRANSPORTATION

Bus registration for the 2022-23 school year is now open. Please visit our Transportation Page for all details and links. 

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Milton Community Schools hopes everyone has been enjoying the nice weather lately. Our After School Enrichment students certainly have! Students have been enjoying a variety of outdoor activities as you can see below.

TECHNOLOGY 

We are excited to share with you that Milton High School will continue with our one-to-one Chromebook initiative (1:1) for all ninth and tenth grade students next year.  In adopting this model, all ninth and tenth grade students will receive a school-issued Chromebook that they will take to and from school on a daily basis. Ninth and tenth grade students will not be allowed to bring their own device to school.

All current eighth-grade students will be asked to return their loaned Chromebook and charger to Pierce Middle School the last week of school.  Students attending MHS this fall will receive their Chromebook in advisory on the first day of school.  All 9th grade students will keep their school issued Chromebook throughout the summer and 10th grade year.

Optional Chromebook insurance will be offered to all students loaning a Chromebook.  It is highly encouraged to purchase insurance for their school-issued Chromebook. If insurance is declined, students are held responsible for damage beyond reasonable wear and tear as outlined in the Loan Agreement.  Information on how to purchase Chromebook Insurance and 1:1 Chromebook initiative for the 2022-23 school year will be shared in the coming weeks.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

The Milton Foundation for Education kicked off their annual Celebration for Education on Saturday, May 7th, at Granite Links, with a Kentucky Derby theme. MFE would like to thank all of our dedicated donors, attendees, sponsors, teachers and administrators for making it a night to remember. Funds raised will help us continue to support our mental health initiative at MPS starting with funding the program Calm Classroom, a program that teaches mindfulness and self care training.

ATHLETICS

Please see below from MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden.

Congrats to all of our Varsity Letter recipients on Saturday. A special congrats to our Award Winners

  • Most Outstanding Athlete Award: John Carew, Norah Affanato, Ethan Dobrindt, Hadley Blasdale, Shea Donovan, Olivia Duggan, Jack Vaughan, Mackenzie Mullaney
  • Athletic Achievement Award: Christina Sullivan, Sophia Manning, Anna Rowley, Matthew Paquette, Joseph Pender, Ryan Dexter
  • Impact Award: Christopher Burns, Caroline Gannon, Gregory Domineau, Emily Karimbakas, Isaiah Hassell, Anna Radley 
  • Roy Chambers Award: Thomas Lesser, Lila Glenn
  • Unified Track Awards: Molly Bauer, Sa’nya Roache, Emily Walsh

Thank you to the Boosters for another great event – Patti Dobrindt, Sheri Paquette, Calece Johnson, Katie Manning, Julie Ritchie, Michelle Donovan, Chuck Karimbikas and all the other volunteers. Carolyn Cahill was great as the guest speaker!

Congrats again to our Susi Athletes of the Month for April. Find the write up and pictures here!

With just over a week left in regular season play, our teams are gearing up for the tournament.

Many of the students on the Track Team recorded personal bests at the Bay State Conference Championship Meet last night in Braintree! Liam Faherty won the Triple Jump, while Katie O’Toole placed second overall in the 2-mile, with a time of 11:47!

Our Girls Tennis Team has ripped off six straight wins. Yes, SIX straight wins! That means they have officially qualified for the State Tournament for the first time in nearly 10 years. A big congratulations to Coach Radley and her squad for a great season thus far. The Boys Tennis Team needs one more win in their last three matches to secure their Tournament berth.

Baseball beat Walpole 9-1 last night to earn back-to-back Bay State Conference Herget Titles and improve to 15-2 on the season! Brian Foley moved to 6-0 on the season throwing 9ks through 6 innings.

Rugby stamped their ticket to the postseason last night with a resounding win over Braintree to improve to 4-2 on the season.

Unified Track had a great day on Monday at Walpole High School in the Sectional Championships!

The MHS Girls Softball team will be hosting a car wash on Saturday, May 21st, 9 a.m. to noon at the Cunningham School. Price is $10/car.

Thank you to Roy Chambers for these pictures of some of our Varsity Teams at the Boosters event this past weekend! Additional photos from the Boosters can be found here. 

COMMUNITY NEWS

The Milton Public Library’s calendar of May programs for kids can be found here. Plan ahead and take a look at the June calendar 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 today through this link!

Take part in this month’s Graphic Novel Book Club for Grades 3-5 on Wednesday, May 25th at 4:30pm. This month we are reading: Mr. Wolf’s Class by Aron Nels Steinke. Pick up a reserved copy in the MPL Children’s Room. Register today!

To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults,please visit the MPL website.

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You’re invited to “Blow Ye Winds!” with David Coffin, An evening of sea shanties and sailors’ tales of adventure to benefit the Forbes House Museum.  June 11, 2022, 6:30-9:30 pm on the museum lawn, 215 Adams Street. Tickets: $110/$90 members

Includes performance, one free drink ticket and hearty bites. Also enjoy raffles, a door prize and trivia game. Learn more on the Forbes House event page.  (And if you search on TikTok or YouTube, you can find plenty of examples of sea shanties. We’ve requested that David play the popular “Wellerman.” He also knows a song about our very own Captain Forbes!)

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

The Department of Fine Arts would like to give a shout out to Mr Merkle and his students in the Wood Workshop class at MHS! 

Thank you to Gavin Connor, Gorjaun Tarawallie, Owen Faherty and Michael Higgins who worked under Mr Merkle’s guidance to construct a custom table for our upcoming Artist in Residence, Venerable Tenzin YignYen. The table was built to specifications and painted a custom blue. It will be used for a Tibetan Sand Painting at Tucker Elementary and Milton High School.

We are grateful for the weeks of work that went into building the table and for Mr. Merkle’s collaboration and support on this project. We hope all will visit MHS to see our Artist in Residence, Venerable Tenzin YignYen next week.

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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.

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