To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Interim Superintendent Janet Sheehan
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 22, 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
The week before winter break is always a busy one in our schools, and the excitement about winter holidays and the upcoming break is palpable. As MHS Adjustment Counselor Jennie Beliveau wrote to staff, the holiday season can bring on varying emotions for our students as well as for each of us. For some, there are lots of joyful activities, togetherness, and heartfelt moments with family and friends. For others, though, the holidays can be a challenging time of stress and adversity. We know that everyone will experience the build up to winter break differently and that keeping to the routine of the school day is a benefit for all of our students. You’ll see below that this week was full of learning, as well as some fun holiday and winter activities.
After a two year hiatus, we were so happy to welcome our MPS retirees back to Milton High School for a holiday luncheon this week. Thank you to MPS food service for a delicious meal, to the MHS Saxophone ensemble for providing lovely music, and to our administrators who welcomed our retirees. Most of all, thank you to our retirees who attended. It was wonderful to see so many of you!
Thank you to all who came to support the MHS Winter Cabaret this week. The night was full of entertaining, wonderful music from our hard working and talented student run ensembles. Performances included the MHS Christmas Carolers, Flute Choir, Pretty Sharp, Saxophone Quintet, Do-Re-Migoes, Brass Ensemble, Jazz Combos and R&B Ensemble as well as solos and duets. All of the acts are selected and rehearsed by students on their own time before and after school. Don’t miss the next MHS Cabaret which will be held on Tuesday, April 11th at 6:30 PM in the MHS Auditorium! You can view the entire MHS Cabaret here.
Milton High School sends its winter holiday greetings, including clips from Music in the Morning at MHS in this video made by Mr. Lopresti and his students. You can see more Music in the Morning here!
Thank you to our PTOs for the thoughtful holiday gifts, meals, and treats, this week and throughout the year. We appreciate the ongoing support of our MPS families! There was plenty of holiday and winter break cheer today as our school spirit teams organized “deck out days”, winter gear days, comfy days, and more.
On behalf of the MPS community, I want to share my heartfelt gratitude to so many of you who generously shared your time and resources this holiday season. Our MPS holiday giving drive was an unquestionable success, and many families will enjoy a happier holiday this season thanks to your efforts.
Thank you to our elementary school PTO gift drive coordinators who did so much behind the scenes work; to The Toy Chest in Milton and The Toy Box in Hanover, owned by the Ritchie family of Milton, for their endless support; to Noreen Dolan of the Milton Residents Fund for her support of MPS families during the holidays and throughout the year; to My Brother’s Keeper who supports many of our families; to MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna who oversees the MPS effort; and to MPS families, community groups and individuals who made generous donations to support our gift program. We are grateful for the generosity that has been shown to our students and their families this holiday season.
I wish you a restful winter break, and if your family is celebrating a winter holiday, I wish you a joyful time with family and friends. We look forward to being back together in our schools on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.
MPS NEED TO KNOW
SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH UPDATE
Earlier today, the School Committee announced that they have identified three highly qualified finalists for the position of Superintendent of the Milton Public Schools. The finalists are:
- Dr. Peter Cushing – Current Assistant Superintendent for Medford Public Schools
- Dr. Peter Burrows – Current Superintendent for Addison Central School District in Middlebury, VT
- Ms. Nan Murphy – Current Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for Marblehead Public Schools
The first week of 2023 will be a busy week full of opportunities to meet and learn about the finalists. All details about the next steps in the search can be found here.
- Dec 23 No School Winter Break Begins
- Jan 3 School Resumes
- Jan 3 Superintendent Finalists at MPS
- Jan 4 Superintendent Finalist Interviews
- Jan 5 Katie Greer at Pierce
- Jan 12 Pre-School Info Night
Inclement Weather: Last week, all MPS families and staff were sent an email outlining our procedures in case of a weather related two hour delay or full cancellation of school. Please take a moment to review the letter here. If you did not receive the email and need to update or confirm your current contact information, please contact your school’s administrative assistant via email.
Katie Greer at MPS: On January 5, 2023, Internet Safety Expert Katie Greer will be returning to Milton to speak to all of our Pierce and MHS students during the school day. That evening she will speak to adults about Keeping Students Safe in a Digital World at 6pm in the Pierce auditorium.
Katie knows it can be daunting being a parent in this digitally driven time and will update parents on the latest tech trends, safety issues, and tips on how to help our kids have a productive and healthy relationship with technology. This presentation is open to all Milton parents and guardians.
Preschool and Kindergarten – Important Dates
- Preschool Information Night – Thursday, Jan 12, 2023
- Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, Jan 12, 2023 – Thursday, Jan 26, 2023
- Preschool Lottery, if necessary – Friday, Jan 27, 2023
- Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, Jan 26, 2023
- Kindergarten Pre-registration Questionnaire Link – please complete prior to Jan 22, 2023
The Milton SEPAC shares the following updates.
SEPAC recently elected its board for the 2022-2023 school year, and then got right back to work. In addition to our regular meetings with building principals, we put together a program on Alternative Paths as part of the District’s annual Post-Secondary Planning Night at the high school. We are also working with school liaisons to participate in kindergarten and first-grade information nights, and are planning additional programming on topics of interest to all families.
We welcome you to join us at our next meeting (January 25, 2023, from 6:30-8:30, via Zoom) to share your concerns, help advance SEPAC’s work in the District, or just listen as we continue to advocate on behalf of all special needs students and their families. Please email Jenny Sheehan at email@example.com or Jennie Mulqueen at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to receive the link. Please also note that all SEPAC meetings can be found on the District-wide calendar. You can also visit the SEPAC website for updates, information, and links to resources.
Milton Sports for All:If it’s getting cold outside, that means it’s time for BOWLING! Registration for grades 4 through 8 is now open, and the session starts on January 12, 2023. Please see our website for more information or to register.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Happy Holidays from your school nurses! We wish everyone a healthy, restful break. Upon return to school, please remember these guidelines:
- If your student is ill, keep them home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and are feeling well enough to get through the school day. If your student has an intestinal virus or has been vomiting, they should wait 24 hours from the last episode before returning to school.
- Up to date COVID guidance and return to school guidelines can be found on the MPS website under Health Services.
We are still looking for substitute school nurses to assist in the health rooms and attend field trips and field days. Please contact MPS Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin, for more information at email@example.com.
MPS GOOD TO KNOW
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
Please consider supporting the Milton Foundation for Education this holiday season. For more than 25 years, the MFE has donated over $4 million to our schools, students, and educators. These fundraising efforts have brought our community wireless access in all six schools, support for STEM programs, science programs, teacher grants, student scholarships, parent speaker series, Wildcat Wellness Center, greater exposure to the arts, COVID grants, makerspaces, and mental health resources.
Every dollar donated to the MFE helps spark innovation and energizes the learning experience for students and educators in Milton. We now have even more opportunities to make a lasting impact. In this season of giving, for the love of education, our teachers and students, please consider making a gift today at this link.
THE MILTON COALITION
The Milton Coalition invites all to an important event on January 9th at 7pm at Milton Town Hall. Please join us for a discussion entitled “Marijuana, The Unbiased Truth for Families.”
Boston addiction psychiatrist Dr. Kevin Hill will speak to Milton about youth marijuana use. Millions are being spent promoting recreational marijuana; however, little is heard about the dangers today’s potent cannabis poses to children and teens. Parents, guardians, and youth will learn about the risks to young people including accidental use by children, the link between mental health and cannabis use, the signs and modes of use, prevention, and the latest treatment options for a young person who may have trouble stopping their cannabis use. This program is appropriate for caregivers of youth of all ages, as well as tweens and teens. Sign up today for the limited in-person seating. Registration is also required to get the link for the live, virtual viewing. All details to register for either in-person or virtual attendance can be found here.
MPS SUBSTITUTE OPPORTUNITIES
Food Service: Are you looking for part time work that complements your child’s school day? Earn $19.15 an hour for a Food Service substitute on call position! Call Natalia Perez at 617-898-1051 for details.
Nursing: If you are interested in substitute school nursing at MPS, please email Kim Coughlin, Director of Nursing at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. The rate for substitute school nurses is $120 per day.
Classroom: On call daily substitute teachers are needed for all schools and the rate for daily substitutes is $110 per day. This is a great way to work during your child’s school day, when it works for your schedule. Details and the application are at this link.
MPS NICE TO KNOW
PIERCE DEBATE TEAM
Last Saturday, the Pierce Debate Team participated in the December Lumos Invitational Debate Tournament. Students used the Public Forum Debate format to discuss the positive and negative consequences of the Space Force. The Pierce Debate team continues to grow with Tyler Bertrand, Aster Caldwell, Alicia Chan, Adam C., Lia Etheart, Natalie Gallagher, John Griffin, Jonathan Hsu, Teddy Hsu, Sara Khan, Ellis Lim, Ben Neugebauer, Kendra Oppong, Michaela Oppong, Sadie Schweitzer, Avery Squiciarino, Nate Stanesa, Thinh Tran, Alisa Villar, Emily Vogel, and Ace Wetzner-Crothers competing in this tournament.
Congratulations to John Griffin, Sara Khan, Avery Squiciarino, and Ace Wetzner-Crothers who received Speaker Awards for delivering speeches in a clear and eloquent manner. Congratulations also to Ellis Lim, who earned fifth place in the novice division of the tournament, and Adam Griffin won first place in the veteran division of the tournament, beating out nearly one hundred competitors from across the state. The Pierce Debate Team was thrilled to participate in our second tournament of the 2022-2023 school year. We look forward to competing again in February!
The Collicot and Cunningham art room has had a terrific fall. We are looking forward to making more incredible art in the new year!
3RD GRADE STEM
Ms. Kachmer and Mrs. Mile’s Cunningham 3rd graders had a wonderful time designing and building sleds using their STEM skills. They were excited to welcome their families to school for the competition to see whose sled was the fastest.
2ND GRADE COMMUNITY HELPERS
Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders are helping out in the community this holiday season. Using the Reach For Reading Good Deeds Unit as inspiration, students have made baked goods for the Milton Fire Department, taken out recycling for a neighbor, donated food to the food pantry, helped to clean and organize around the house, donated books, and much more. Students enjoy helping others this holiday season.
AFTER SCHOOL ENRICHMENT
Last week, ASE hosted successful family events at each school. At Tucker, students decorated and filled gift bags with treats and essentials to donate to deployed troops. Students and families played Bingo together during Glover ASE’s event, Cunningham ASE hosted a book exchange. Collicot ASE fifth graders wrote their own “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” questions and stumped their families at pick up. In addition, the Ja Shin Do ASE Fall Optional Enrichment classes received medals from Ms. Camille McNamara. We are looking forward to a wonderful winter in ASE!
4th GRADE VIKINGS
Mme. Theobald’s Collicot 4th graders had a great morning becoming scalds and bards this week. Who are scalds and bards, you might ask? Poets and storytellers from the Viking age, who, without paper, relied on the oral tradition of storytelling for entertainment as well as for history. It was amazing to see our students tell stories (without paper, like the Vikings) of the adventures that their Viking boats encountered.
On Monday, 8th grade science students saw a presentation by Robin Bowman from the Harvard Personal Genetics Education Project (PgED). The presentation connected students’ learning in the genetics and evolution unit with their upcoming unit on weather and climate, specifically climate change. Students learned about scientists’ proposal to bring back the woolly mammoth from extinction as a means to help prevent the thawing of the permafrost in Siberia. This project would involve using CRISPR to edit the genome of the Asian Elephant, an endangered species, to inhabit the traits of woolly mammoths.
Students were challenged to think not just about the science, but also the societal ramifications of such an endeavor. At the end of the presentation, students engaged in a four corners activity that allowed them to take a stand either for or against different aspects of this process. Perspectives included whether it is acceptable to use an endangered species for such an experiment, whether they should be allowed to roam free in Siberia or kept within a specific area, and whether we have an obligation to do anything we can to stop the thawing of the permafrost.
5TH GRADE TOY FAIR
The Collicot 5th Grade Toy Fair was a big success today! 5th graders spent time this week inventing toys and games and families and students came to visit during the Toy Fair. You’ll see some very clever new toys in the photos below.
FIRST GRADE CONCERT
Mme. Brown’s Glover 1st graders invited families to a winter concert this week. Students performed three songs in French and recited a poem they created themselves by looking in their French dictionaries for words that rhyme with their first names. One song was particularly long and some of the lyrics of the other two were a little tricky, but students worked hard starting right after Thanksgiving break and gave an outstanding performance. The singing was followed by a craft (a paper star relating to our science unit about day/night, the solstice, and observation of the sky) that families did with their child as they socialized with other 1st grade families.
Mme Moukarzel’s Tucker 5th graders were so happy to showcase their French proficiency for their families, friends, and teachers this week. Students recited the French poem Chanson Pour Les Enfants L’hiver, written by Jacques Prévert. Privert was a famous 20th century author who wrote simple poetry using everyday language, making him very popular in the French school system. French children have to memorize poetry throughout their studies, particularly in elementary school to develop both their memory and their taste for French literature.
Mme. Sacuto’s 4th graders joined in and sang “Vent Frais, Vent du Matin,” followed by Mme. Vendette’s 3rd graders who presented a repeat-after-me song. To wrap up the afternoon, 5th graders sang “Vive le Vent,” the french version of Jingle Bells.
Just like that, Winter Sports are underway and off to a great start!
- Boys Hockey is 2-1, scoring 13 goals over their past two games. Owen McHugh led the way last night with a hat trick against Bridgewater Raynham.
- Girls Hockey is 3-1 after their win over Norwood on Monday. Junior Goaltender Lile Chamoun has been unbelievable in net, only allowing 7 goals through 4 games. Molly Murphy has found herself in the goal column in 3/4 games, including the game winner against Norwood. Kerry Balerna also netted a hat trick against Natick in their first league win on Saturday!
- The Wrestling Team had a good Tournament in Wayland, with some great performances, led by Mason Pellegri. Mason finished in 1st place at the 182 lb weight class! The Team then followed up with a win over Walpole last night, with first Varsity wins for Gabriel Veal and Valentino Kellici!
- Girls Basketball began their season with a win over Dedham, with Captain Stephanie Needham dropping 17 points and Captain Kate Karimbakas with a double double (10 pts, 12 boards)!
- Boys and Girls Track swept Braintree in their first meet of the season! Katie O’Toole, Gretel Schewe, Moses Mann, and AJ Cicerone all had Top 5 finishes. Many even qualified for States in their first meet!
- Our Dance Team is gathering momentum as they work towards their first ever Varsity Competition in February!
You can read AD Madden’s full athletic recap with winter break schedules, athletic budget details and more here.
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!
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 December programs can be found here. Plan ahead and take a look at the January calendar here.
- Check out our brand new StoryWalk, Dear Yeti by James Kwan, on the Canton Ave. patios! Enjoy this outdoor activity at any time this winter with the whole family.
- Cozy up in the Story Hour Room for some family fun on Thursday, December 29 with Board Games & Hot Cocoa! This is an all-day drop-in program for ages 3+; no registration is required.
To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.
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.