To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Interim Superintendent Janet Sheehan
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: November 17, 2022
- 1 FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
- 2 MPS NEED TO KNOW
- 3 MPS GOOD TO KNOW
- 4 MPS NICE TO KNOW
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
We are a few days removed from the final performance of Beauty and the Beast at Milton High School and the energy is just now leaving the building! I attended with my granddaughter and we were both mesmerized – the show was outstanding, and the cast truly wowed the sold out audiences with amazing songs, dramatic scenes, big dance numbers and wonderful comic moments. Behind every successful show is a hardworking technical crew and each performance of Beauty and the Beast was solely run by MHS students. They were the stage managers, sound and light operators, and backstage crew that worked so hard to keep the show running smoothly. We are proud of our students who made this show come to life, and also give a big thank you to the adult directors and musical directors, the many parent volunteers from the Backstage Boosters and MHS administrators who made this show possible. You can see the full list of cast and crew members here. Next up for MHS Theatre? Mama Mia coming in spring 2023!
MHS Chorus, Marching Band, and Color Guard students were proud to perform as part of the Milton Veteran’s Day Ceremony on Friday, November 11th. After marching from MHS to Town Hall, the Chorus opened the program with the Star Spangled Banner and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before hearing thoughtful and touching speeches from several veterans and community members. Later in the program, Chorus and Marching Band students performed the Armed Forces Medley together, followed by adorable renditions of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by Tucker students. The Marching Band closed out the program with “God Bless America”.
Next week is Thanksgiving, and MPS is closed from November 23-25 for the holiday. I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. Please read below for information about the Superintendent search, an upcoming School Committee Forum on Safe and Supportive Schools, Post Secondary Planning night at MHS, 8th Grade Information Night at MHS, the MPS Holiday Giving Drive, Reading about Diversity in our elementary schools, and more.
MPS NEED TO KNOW
- Nov 23-25 Thanksgiving Break
- Nov 30 School Committee Forum
- Dec 1 Post Secondary Planning Night
- Dec 5, 6, 8 Milton Town Meeting
- Dec 7 School Committee Meeting
- Dec 8 Early Release K-12, P/T Conferences Grades K-5
- Dec 13 Pierce 6th Grade Concert at MHS
- Dec 14 Pierce 7th & 8th Grade Concert at MHS
- Dec 15 SEPAC Meeting
- Dec 15 MHS 8th Grade Information Night
- Dec 20 MHS Cabaret
- Dec 21 School Committee Meeting
- Dec 23 No School Winter Break Begins
- Jan 3 School Resumes
MPS Calendars: 2022-23 One Page School Year Calendar and Link to MPS Monthly Calendar.
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH UPDATE
Thank you to all who attended the staff, student and community Superintendent Search Focus Groups this week. We invite all community members to share their input on the Superintendent search by completing the survey linked here, which will be open through Friday, November 18.
Thank you to all who submitted interest in serving on the Screening Committee. There was substantial interest in serving which speaks well of the commitment of our community. The list of Screening Committee members can be found here.
The Massachusetts Association of School Committees and Executive Director Glenn Koocher is assisting us with the search for the next Superintendent. If you would like to contact Mr. Koocher directly, he can be reached at email@example.com.
For reference, the posting for the Superintendent position can be found here and the application can be accessed here. The deadline for applications is midnight on November 28th.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE FORUM – SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS
On Wednesday, November 30, from 7-8:30pm, the School Committee will host the second of four public forums for the Milton community. The forum will provide a 30 minute presentation on Safe and Supportive Schools, a pillar of the MPS Strategic Plan. Following the presentation by MPS faculty, community members will be invited to ask questions and share comments about Safe and Supportive Schools. MPS administrators, faculty, and School Committee members will respond to questions and comments and share their perspectives on the issues.
Safe and Supportive Schools foster a safe, positive, healthy, and inclusive whole school learning environment. In the Milton Public Schools, we strive to support students holistically in key areas of development through the implementation of practices grounded in the prioritization of SEL competencies and trauma-informed instruction. In accordance with current research, MPS has prioritized fostering safe and supportive schools as a critical foundation for maximizing teaching and learning and academic excellence in safe, positive, healthy, and inclusive school learning environments.
The public forum will be held at the Council on Aging, at 10 Walnut St, just behind Town Hall. The meeting will be hybrid, with attendees able to participate in person and through Zoom at this link (Passcode: 168556). All links to attend are posted on the main page of the MPS website linked here.
POST SECONDARY PLANNING NIGHT
Please join the MHS School Counseling Department for their annual Post Secondary Planning Night on Thursday, December 1, from 6:15-8:30 pm. Over two hours, families will have the opportunity to attend the information sessions that most interest them. Sessions include How to Pay for College, Alternative Paths, Training in the Military, Start Planning for your Child’s Future, Trade Talk, Admissions Advisory: Private Colleges and Public Universities and College Testing: ACT vs SAT. The evening is targeted to parents and guardians of students in Grades 8-11 but all are welcome to attend. We hope you will join us for this valuable evening as you begin to think about your child’s post secondary plans.
DECEMBER VACATION CAMP
The December Vacation Camp flyer can be found here. Registration on Family ID starts next Wednesday, November 16. All information can be found on the MCS website.
MHS INFORMATION NIGHT
Please join us on Thursday, December 15 at 6:30pm in the Milton High School Auditorium (25 Gile Rd) for an opportunity to learn about Milton High School course offerings, academic and extracurricular programs, athletics and activities that prepare students for college and life beyond high school. Current 8th grade students, parents and guardians are invited to attend this informational session and tour of Milton High School.
FREE AT HOME COVID TESTS
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) (in conjunction with Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Public Health) is providing at-home COVID-19 tests at no cost to public school districts. These tests are intended for use by students and staff to support the return to school process after Thanksgiving and Winter breaks. We recommend tests be used no sooner than 24 hours prior to returning to school after these holiday breaks.
MPS is happy to take part in this program, and school nurses will distribute these test kits next week to staff/ students who are interested. If you are interested in free COVID tests, please see below for details.
- Elementary: Test kits will be distributed to students in their classrooms. Please email your school nurse with your student’s name/teacher by Sunday, November 20th to ensure that a test kit is sent home with your student.
- Pierce and MHS: Test kits will be available in the main lobby during Advisory periods. An announcement will be made on Monday and Tuesday that interested students should come to the main lobby and pick up a test. Please speak with your student in advance and ask them to pick up a test if you’d like them to participate.
MPS GOOD TO KNOW
MPS HOLIDAY GIVING DRIVE
The Milton Public Schools is partnering with My Brother’s Keeper, the Milton Residents Fund, and the MPS School Counseling department to ensure all Milton families in need have a wonderful holiday season. There are three ways for MPS families to help support these efforts, and families at any grade level are invited to participate in any of the drives.
Elementary Toy Drive: The Holiday Toy Drive organized by our elementary PTOs will run from December 5-8 in our elementary schools. We need donations of all types of items, and popular gifts include Legos, LOL Surprise dolls, dolls representing a diverse array of skin tones, cultures, and ethnicities, superhero action figures, arts and craft kits, science/STEM kits, board games, video games, books, a football or basketball, outdoor active toys, or anything representing Boston sports teams. We cannot accept food or violent games. $25 Target Gift Cards are always needed as well.
We are once again partnering with two local toy shops and encourage you to check out their great toy selections while supporting the toy drive: The Toy Chest in East Milton or The Toy Box in Hanover (owned by a Milton family). Bring your new, unwrapped item(s) to a collection box in the lobby of the elementary schools between December 5-8.
Pierce Families Helping Families: Each year, our school counselors identify Pierce families in need and collect gift cards to be distributed to them for the holidays. This program, Families Helping Families, provides an opportunity for your family to bring a little bit of holiday spirit to family at Pierce Middle School in the most anonymous and quiet way. If you are interested in supporting this effort, please bring your gift card donation to the main office at Pierce by December 16 and deposit it in the sealed box located in the front office. We recommend gift cards to Star Market, Shaws, Stop & Shop, Target, and Old Navy, but we will, of course, accept gift cards from all stores.
MHS Teen Gift Card Drive: MHS School Counseling supports teens and families in need with gift cards during the holiday season. If you would like to anonymously support an MHS family or student, please consider dropping a $25 gift card from Target or Amazon to the MHS to the MHS front office by December 9.
Our School Counselors and Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna work with the Milton Residents Fund and My Brothers Keeper to ensure MPS families are supported throughout the holiday season. Thank you for helping us make the holiday season a little brighter for our neighbors!
If you are in need of assistance this holiday season (or at any time), please reach out to your building principal or Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617-980-7343 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls and emails are confidential.
MILTON SOCCER EQUIPMENT DRIVE
Milton Soccer Uniform Program: Pass us your soccer uniforms…and we’ll pass them on to children all over the world! Drop off your used soccer uniforms (and equipment) to collection bins located in the lobbies of Collicot/Cunningham, Glover, Tucker and Pierce schools or to 34 Cliff Rd. Milton. Collection dates are November 14- 30. Any donations of CLEAN T-Shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, and deflated balls and pumps will be gratefully accepted. Uniforms from other sports will also be accepted. For more information, call Madame Brown at 617-696-8125. This project is supported by the Milton Public Schools and Milton Soccer.
KATIE GREER AT MPS
On September 29th, Katie Greer came to Milton and spoke to all 3rd-5th grade students on digital citizenship. That evening, Katie delivered a powerful parent/guardian session titled, Keeping Students Safe in a Digital World. On January 5th, Katie will be returning to Milton to speak to all of our secondary students. That evening she will deliver another parent/guardian session at 6pm in the Pierce auditorium. Please complete the short survey linked here to help us determine the topic for Katie’s evening session on January 5th, 2023.
MPS NICE TO KNOW
READING ABOUT DIVERSITY
Reading About Diversity (RAD) is a K-5th grade program run by parent volunteers in our elementary schools. The curriculum, designed by two educators with expertise in diversity and literacy, helps our students to better understand and celebrate our diverse world. At each grade level, five children’s books have been selected with related questions already prepared. Each book also includes writing and/or drawing extensions. Each lesson takes about forty-five minutes to an hour and takes place in your child’s classroom.
Mrs. McKay’s Cunningham 4th grade class kicked off RAD by reading Wings by Christopher Myers. During the class discussion, students talked about differences, acceptance, and bullying. Students talked about standing up for those who are bullied, being friends with kids who are being bullied and talked about our similarities as part of the human race. Students worked hard to write and draw about how to encourage others to accept differences and how to handle issues when others are being bullied. If you are interested in facilitating a RAD lesson, please reach out to your room parent or child’s teacher.
In addition, Cunningham students participated in a variety of anti bullying activities this week, including an excellent assembly earlier today by Vital Dance Crew, who use dance, music and testimonials to relay their message of respect, responsibility and setting goals. You can see here how engaged students were throughout the presentation! Dr. Redden helped out by sharing how to be kind around school, you can watch his day at Cunningham here.
The annual Tucker Raffle Calendar is back and contains 22 chances to win over $4,000 worth of prizes in December! 100% of the proceeds go to the Tucker PTO which provides additional funding for field trip buses, library support, artist in residence, music lesson scholarships, in-school experiences and so much more. Tickets are $10 each and you can win more than once! The more you enter, the more chances to win! Click here to purchase tickets and support Tucker.
MUSIC DEPARTMENT FUNDRAISER
Looking for an easy and healthy holiday gift idea? Support the Milton Music Department by ordering from our online citrus fruit fundraiser anytime between now and December 11th! Gift boxes or crates of fresh fruit are guaranteed to ship directly to the recipient in time for Christmas. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your family, colleagues, neighbors, or friends, these delicious gift boxes are sure to be a hit. Use the QR code below or visit this link to order through our website. The sale closes on December 11th, so don’t delay!
Football is in the Division III State Semifinals tomorrow! The Wildcats finished the regular season 7-0 and then beat Minnechuag and Marblehead to advance to the Final Four. They face Hanover tomorrow, Friday at 7:00pm at Weymouth High School. Make sure to buy your tickets here! The winner advances to the Superbowl at Gillette Stadium!
The Girls Cross Country Team finished in 5th place at the Division IC Meet in Wrentham last Friday, which qualifies them to run in the Division 1 State Championships! The girls will race in the D1 State Championships on Saturday 11/19 at 1:00pm at Fort Devens- 65 Antietam St, Devens.
Good luck to both teams! Be on the lookout for our next Athletics Newsletter next week with Fall All-Stars, Tournament Successes and Winter Sports Registration and Tryout Information.
COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS
Please use the links below or visit the MPS Community News & Events page for information on these terrific community events and opportunities!
The Run to Change Lives is on Saturday, November 19 and starts and ends at Cunningham School. Run, Walk or Roll in support of Cardinal Cushing Centers programs that help individuals with intellectual disabilities! Register online here.
Holiday Market at the Eustis Estate, Saturday, November 19 10 am – 3pm, Eustis Estate, 1424 Canton Avenue, Milton, MA. Join us for the 3rd Annual Eustis Estate Holiday Market. This open-air market features a variety of local craftspeople selling unique holiday gifts including jewelry, fiber art, and foodstuffs. Members: free; nonmembers: $5. Due to limited capacity, we recommend that you purchase your timed tickets in advance. Please call 617-994-5914 for more information.
Milton Soccer: Registration is now open for our spring 2023 soccer programs. Please visit our Milton Soccer website for all details on programs or to register (or use the direct registration link). Please note that the grade 9-12 registration will open in March. The deadline to register is January 7th (on January 8th waitlist and late fees apply).
The Milton Public Library’s calendar of November programs can be found here. Plan ahead and take a look at the December calendar here. To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.
- Need help finding books to read over the Thanksgiving holiday? Try our BookMatch for Kids! This reader’s advisory service helps anyone in grades K-6 find their next favorite read. Fill out our form to tell us a little more about you, and we’ll email you a list of 8-10 books we think you’ll really like. Find the form here.
- Visit the Children’s Room anytime on Saturday, November 26 for a Thanksgiving themed Scavenger Hunt! Search and find all the hidden items in order to take home a prize. This activity is for all ages, and registration is not required – just ask the Librarian at the Children’s Desk for a Scavenger Hunt sheet to participate.
MECA offers “I Can Do It!” Helping Your Child Feel the Power of Independence a virtual educational workshop, for families with children ages 2.5 to 4 years old. Thursday, December 1, at 7p. Registration at this link is required to receive the Zoom link and passcode.
On Saturday, December 11, from 8am-4 pm, Fontbonne welcomes five well-known children’s authors to Fontbonne as part of our Christmas at Fontbonne Book Fair. There will be author presentations and signings, craft activities, face painting, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, food tables and more. $10 per family pre-registration is required. All details are here.
Milton resident Pauline Wells, will perform in “Home For Christmas” on Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 at the Norwood Theater. The 2022 production of Home for Christmas will once again feature a superb lineup of guest artists, dancers and musicians. This concert benefits “Cops for Kids with Cancer” and all details can be found here.
Thank you to the Milton Community Food Pantry for supporting food insecure Milton families, during the holidays and throughout the year. Our elementary schools are participating in the pantry’s Thanksgiving food drive with donations of items to make a traditional Thanksgiving meal. In addition to the Thanksgiving bags assembled at our schools, the pantry will provide families with fresh fruit and produce as well as gift cards to purchase a turkey and pies. Thanks to the many parents and guardians who coordinated the food drive and to all who donated.
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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 Dr. Garth McKinney, (617) 696- 4808/4809.