To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Interim Superintendent Janet Sheehan
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 19, 2023
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
On Monday of this week, three of our MPS students attended the Project 351 Launch Day at Faneuil Hall. Pierce 8th grader and current Project 351 Ambassador Adam wrote to me about his experience and to spread awareness about Project 351 and its mission to empower and inspire young leaders in our state. I’m pleased to share some of Adam’s words below.
Adam writes, “I am writing to you today with the utmost excitement and energy, as I am still buzzing from the incredible experience that was the Project 351 Launch Day! The event, which took place yesterday at Faneuil Hall, was truly one to remember. I was selected for the Project 351 program by my teachers at Pierce, who recognized my leadership potential. I am honored to have been chosen and feel privileged to be a part of such an amazing program. I am also a member of the Martin Richard Service (sub)Team, led by Reilly Bergin, a Milton High School sophomore.
The launch day kicked off with a panel moderated by WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes, featuring Imari Paris Jeffries (Executive Director for Embrace Boston and the mastermind behind the new Embrace statue in the Boston Common), Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and Palak Yadav, a 10th-grade Project 351 alumna from Medway.
But the morning was just the beginning of the action-packed day. After the panel, I had the honor of participating in an afternoon of service alongside my fellow ambassadors from all 351 cities and towns in Mass. We worked tirelessly to make hygiene and mental health kits, tie fleece blankets to keep the unhoused warm, and package food for the Pine Street Inn. It was a truly humbling experience, and I am proud to say that our efforts impacted (a calculated) 6,152 lives on just the first day alone!”
Adam sent me several photos and shared that he particularly loves the group photo of all the Ambassadors. He felt that this powerful image (at right) speaks to the progress we have made in honoring and celebrating diversity. Thank you for your student leadership, Adam, and thank you to Adam, Hoku, and Reilly for representing MPS so well!
This weekend our Pierce Players will perform State Fair! You can see State Fair on Thursday, January 19 and Friday, January 20 at 7pm and Saturday, January 21 at 2pm in the Pierce auditorium. The students in the cast and crew are excited to share their hard work, and they are looking forward to a packed house! Tickets are on sale now at this link.
MPS NEED TO KNOW
At last night’s School Committee meeting, School Committee Chair Ada Rosmarin shared plans for the MPS leadership transition.
The School Committee has reached a tentative agreement with Dr. Peter Burrows to become the next Superintendent of MPS. There is a meeting scheduled on January 23 at 7 am to ratify Dr. Burrows’ contract. Dr. Burrows will begin working in Milton on July 1, 2023. We are working with him on plans to come to Milton for a number of days before July 1 to begin work on his entry plan.
We have also been working with Central Office to plan for the period of time between now and July 1. Interim Superintendent Janet Sheehan leaves on February 3, and we are pleased to share that Assistant Superintendent Garth McKinney has agreed to serve as Interim Superintendent between February 6 and July 1, 2023.
We are very appreciative of Dr. McKinney’s willingness to step up and lead during this period. We are working out additional details, but at our next regular meeting on February 1, we will take a vote on Dr. McKinney’s appointment and give our thanks to Janet Sheehan for all she’s done this year and throughout her career at MPS. Dr. McKinney, along with Assistant Superintendent for Business, Dr. Pavlicek, our Central Office team, and our strong district Leadership Team, will continue to provide stability, leadership, and a smooth transition for the district.
We are excited about the future of MPS under the leadership of our incoming Superintendent, Dr. Peter Burrows. We are very thankful for the hard work and dedication to the success of all our students by our MPS staff. And we are grateful for the continued goodwill of the entire MPS community during this 5 month transition period before Dr. Burrows steps into his new leadership role.
- Jan 19, 20, 21 Pierce Players Presents State Fair
- Jan 21 MMEA All-State Auditions
- Jan 25 SEPAC Meeting
- Jan 25 School Committee Forum on Equity
- Jan 26 Kindergarten Information Night
- Feb 1 Early Release Day
- Feb 2 School Committee Forum on Budget
SCHOOL COMMITTEE FORUM ON EQUITY
On Wednesday, January 25, from 7-8:30pm, the School Committee will host the third of four public forums for the Milton community. The forum will provide an overview of the MPS Strategic Plan and a 30 minute presentation on Equity in Learning, 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 Equity in Learning. MPS administrators, faculty, and School Committee members will respond to questions and comments and share their perspectives on the issues.
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).
MPS KINDERGARTEN – Welcome to the Class of 2036!
Kindergarten Information Night is on Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 pm. This evening is virtual (please note the change from a previous announcement) and the link to attend is here. We ask all Kindergarten families to complete the Kindergarten pre-registration questionnaire at this link prior to January 22. At the presentation on January 26, MPS administrators will share information about school assignment, the kindergarten curriculum, important dates, and more.
OFFICE OF PUPIL PERSONNEL SERVICES
During the week of February 28, 2023, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Milton Public Schools. The office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations.
- Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP), Team Process, and IEP development and implementation.
- Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint and equal access to school programs for all students.
MPS GOOD TO KNOW
SAVE THE DATE – HARLEM WIZARDS
The MHS Senior Class is hosting the Harlem Wizards at MHS on March 8, 2023 at 7pm. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are available now at harlemwizards.com.
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
The Milton Foundation for Education is excited to announce that this year’s Celebration for Education will be held at The Beat on Saturday, May 6, 2023. The Beat is a fun, new event space located just 5 miles from Milton on Morrissey Boulevard, in Boston’s historic former headquarters of the Boston Globe. Save the date to join the fun!
PRESCHOOL INFORMATION 23-24 SCHOOL YEAR
- Information Night Recording from January 12, 2023
- PDF of Preschool Info Night Presentation
- 2023-2024 Preschool Overview
- 2023-2024 Preschool Fact Sheet
- 2023-2024 Important Upcoming Preschool Dates
- 2023-2024 Tuition Assistance Information and Application
- 2023-2024 MPS Preschool Pre-registration Questionnaire (Must pre-reg by Jan 26)
- Preschool Lottery, if necessary – Friday, January 27, 2023
Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2023. For more information, please call Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617 980 7343 or email Mrs. McKenna at email@example.com
The Milton SEPAC shares the following updates.
January 25 Parent Speak Online Meeting: This is our second parent speak meeting with the board of the year. Please email Jenny Sheehan for the zoom link and agenda details!
Did you know you have a SEPAC school rep who meets monthly with your school principal to discuss staffing, programming, and issues of inclusion? Find your school rep here. Please visit the SEPAC website for updates, information, and links to resources.
MPS NICE TO KNOW
MPS preschoolers are currently engaging in a clothing study through the Creative Curriculum. You may be wondering…why study clothes? We believe using children’s interests to guide instruction is developmentally appropriate and effective. Children are naturally interested in clothing from a young age, even as babies and toddlers, we find them tugging at buttons and developing preferences related to colors and fabrics. These early explorations serve as a foundation for the knowledge that develops through the preschool clothing study.
Some questions students are exploring include: How does weather impact the clothing we wear? How are fabrics made? What are the specialized purposes of some garments? Why do some professions have specialized pieces of clothing? How do we take care of our clothes?
Right now, in our classrooms, children are reading books about fabrics and clothing, exploring pieces of fabric and different specialized clothing items, and engaging in whole and small group discussions related to the topic. This clothing study also lends itself well to dramatic play, which lends itself naturally to the development of oral language skills. The preschoolers pictured below are in Ms. Davis’ class at Tucker, but this type of learning is currently happening in all preschool classrooms.
TUCKER DAY OF SERVICE
Tucker students participated in a day of service last Friday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students gathered in the library by grade to hear from speakers about the Milton Animal Shelter, Circle of Hope , Veterans organizations, and the good work of the Milton Fire and Police Departments. In addition, later this week, Tucker will be working with Sustainable Milton on a service project. Back in the classroom, students worked on service projects, including making cards, posters, fleece blankets, assembling Dignity Bags, and more. Thank you to the many PTO volunteers for supporting this event, and thank you, especially to our guest speakers who shared valuable information with our students about the impact they can have when giving back to the community.
CUNNINGHAM METEOROLOGIST VISIT
To complete their FOSS unit on Water and Climate, Ms. Harris and Ms. Staker’s 3rd grade class invited NewsCenter 5’s weekend meteorologist David Williams to visit Cunningham. Mr. Williams gave a presentation about extreme weather conditions, predicting weather patterns, and played a weather BINGO game with the students. The third graders were thrilled to meet a real-life meteorologist!
MHS JOURNALISM AT FORBES HOUSE
The MHS Journalism I class has been examining the opioid epidemic. To support this ongoing study, the class visited the Forbes House to learn about the Forbes Family’s complicity in the opium trade in China in the middle of the nineteenth century. Students toured the entire Forbes home, learned the history of the family, and then looked specifically at the way the family’s wealth and philanthropic contributions directly connected to this lucrative, though harmful, international trade. Thank you to Gwen Labbe at the Forbes Museum and English Department Head H. Hardie for their assistance with the field trip.
TUCKER 4TH GRADE SINGERS
On Monday, the Tucker 4th grade Chorus performed as part of the MICA event at the Concord Baptist Church. Focusing on the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the program included a keynote speaker, student art, student writing, and a Milton High School Choral performance. Brother Dennis Slaughter works with the Tucker Chorus on Wednesdays during lunch and recess to connect over a shared love of music. Students performed a lively rendition of Come Join the Circle. Members included Ethan Jurkevicius, Ryan Yazdi, Leisa Augustin, Samara Duncan, Sophia Callum, Juniper Ochs, Asata Cineus, Kiran Rokni, Coda Gonzalez-Carter, Valentina Veal, and Isabella D’Amato. Thank you to our singers for representing Tucker and MPS so well!
EXTRA EXTRA – THE COUGAR CHRONICLE
Cunningham Student Leaders are proud to share the latest edition of The Cougar Chronicle. Students aim to publish a new issue each month and update the newspaper’s website more frequently. Students write, edit and design the Chronicle, and staff and students from all grades are represented in the articles. You can read the Cougar Chronicle here.
MHS POST SECONDARY VISITS
MHS School Counselor Scott Devlin recently arranged for a visit from Universal Technical Institute, a trade school with campuses all over the country. The UTI representative presented to Mr. Merkle’s Consumer Car Care and Auto Maintenance classes. In addition to sharing information about his program, the presentation included career planning information and the importance of self-discovery between ages 18-24.
MPS MUSIC NEWS
MMEA Eastern Senior District Festival: The MHS Music Department has been busy the past few weeks with workshops, festivals and preparing for auditions! On Friday, January 6 and Saturday, January 7, we had 10 MHS Music Students participate in the MMEA Eastern District Senior Festival at Boston Latin School. Students spent the entire day Friday and the morning on Saturday in rehearsals with renowned conductors preparing music for a concert Saturday afternoon. Students had the opportunity to work with students from over 30 other communities to prepare for this concert. Students selected to represent Milton High School were: Carle Bleau, Owen Creamer, Atticus D’Alessandro, Tim Fay, Isabelle Feloney, Lucy Hollingsworth-Hays, Lily Lane, Angel Leggett, Claudia O’Neill, and Julien Roberson. Congratulations to these students for their tremendous work preparing for this festival! A special shoutout to MHS Choral Director, Ms. Hanna, who served on the Eastern District Senior Festival committee as Chorus Manager!
All State Auditions: Good Luck to our four MHS Music students who will be traveling to Shrewsbury High School this weekend to audition for the MMEA All State Festival Ensembles! MHS Students who have advanced to this round of auditions are: Atticus D’Alessandro, Tim Fay, Lucy Hollingsworth-Hays and Claudia O’Neill.
New England Brass Band Clinic: Before Winter break, the MHS Concert Band was treated to a clinic with members of the New England Brass Band. This workshop included a performance from our very own MHS Brass Quintet where they received valuable feedback from Boston University Trumpet Professor and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra member Terry Everson. Members of the NEBB demonstrated traditional brass instruments for students and held a robust question and answer session. The clinic culminated in a session with Alexis Smith from S.E. Shires, a brass instrument manufacturer that builds custom instruments. Ms. Smith took students through the fascinating process of how instruments are built and tailored to individual players’ needs. Students were then able to test a variety of Shires instruments. This clinic was made possible through our Applied Lesson Program trumpet instructor Dr. Andrew Harms, who through his work with New England Brass Band, was able to secure a grant for this event. We are grateful to him for his work and bringing this outstanding experience to the MHS Band Students.
Please see below from MPS AD Ryan Madden.
The latest issue of the MIAA Power Rankings can be found here. Two of our Winter Teams are currently in position to secure tournament berths, while Boys Hockey is just outside, but looking in.
- #15 Girls Hockey 7-1-1
- #29 Girls Basketball 6-5
- #32 Boys Hockey 4-5-1
The Girls Basketball Team has played well to start the season, and earned their first win on home court since 2019 in dramatic fashion over Fontbonne last Thursday! After trailing 32-12 after the first quarter, the Girls outscored Fontbonne 38-17 over the next three quarters, holding the Ducks to just 6 points in quarters 2 and 3. There was a great article by Eric McHugh in the Patriot Ledger, found here!
Our Wrestling Team fell to Weymouth last night but enjoyed a great weekend at Oliver Ames High School! The Team went 3-0-1 on the day with 5 wrestlers going 4-0! Will Doyle, Kenny Heraldo, Luis Bitencourt, Alex Alexis, and Mason Pellegri all won their matches on the day! In just a month’s time, Milton High School will host the Division II State Tournament. Mason Pellegri will have the chance to win back-to-back State Titles for the first time since Joe Sidoti in 1963-64, and he’ll get the chance in his own gym!
What an exciting night it was last Thursday at the BSC #4 meet where the Track Teams took on the Wildcats of Weymouth. Both teams came up huge against Weymouth at the Reggie!
The Girls were victorious 61-39 while the Boys win came down to both relays, and the Wildcats of Milton had to win both the 4×200 and 4×400 relay in order to secure the victory. We did and the final score was 57-43.
“MHS Coaches credited the depth of our team for these big wins. There were a bunch of strong second and third place finishes that made the biggest difference in the boys and girls wins. We picked up some valuable points in events that we were not expected to score in such as the girls hurdles, where Donna and Elana went one, two. Niamh and Gretel also went one, two in the high jump. Gretel stepped up big, competing in an event for the first time this season. The girls also went one, two in the 600 and 1000 with Mia taking the 600, Captain Zoe finishing second, Gretel won the 1000, with Captain Marilyn coming in second. Other winners on the girls side included Victoria in the 300, Katie in the Mile (qualifying with a SuperMax time for the All-State Championships in February), and the Girls 4×400 relay of Zoe, Gretel, Kai and Katie. Sarah Grace picked up a valuable three points with her second place and new PR of 12:11 in the two mile.
The boys team swept both the 300 and the 600m in dramatic fashion. Fabrice, Aiden and Ferris went one, two, three in the 300. Luka, Joseph and Colin all looked impressive as they went one, two, three in the 600. Also impressive was Karim moving up from his usual short sprints to run an impressive 1:36.32, just four-hundredths of a second behind Colin who placed third. In fact, the Wildcats took the top five spots in the 600! The Wildcat duo of Abdallah and Shane placed first and second in the 55m. Other than the relays, the strength of our Wildcats was all of the second and third place finishes we had. In the boys 1000m Moses and Eliot ran 2:50 and 2:59. That was Moses’ first time running the 1000m. MJ and Haydyn placed second and third in the high jump. Abdullan and MJ also placed second and third in the long jump. Abdallan came back once again, to partner up with Tyler to place second and third in the 55m hurdles. And finally, Malcolm and Emerson placed second and third in the two mile, both running personal bests in the process. Both boys relay teams looked impressive. The 4×200 featured Captain Shane, Freshman Miles Fergus, Farris and Fabrice. They cruised to victory in a season’s best time of 1:37. The 4x400m squad of Luka, Aidan, Colin and Moses had no problem with Weymouth’s squad, winning by over 30 seconds.” – Coach Jordan.
We are excited to announce Kevin Gorham as the new Varsity Girls Soccer Coach. Originally from Ireland, Gorham has lived in Milton for the past 12 years. He has spent the last few years working with the Boston Bolts but has also played an active role in Milton Youth Soccer and local youth soccer development. He holds a USSF D License and an Advanced National Diploma in Coaching. He has coached at all levels of the game and brings a wealth of experience to the position. We are excited for him to take over a very young program looking to get back to the tournament!
We are also excited to announce that Christopher Chin will lead our Boys Volleyball Program in its inaugural season this Spring! Chris played high school volleyball at Brockton High School from 2004-2008, captaining the 2008 team. He went on to play at Newbury College, which was ranked nationally at the time, winning 2 NECC championships along with 2010-11 ECAC championship and serving as a captain his senior season.
After graduating, Chris returned to Newbury College as an Assistant for the Men’s and Women’s Programs. He currently coaches the Girls JV Basketball Team and has experience coaching AAU basketball, as well as working numerous skill camps and club volleyball teams. “I am super excited to start a brand new volleyball program and give back to the game that gave me so much in my life.” – Coach Chin
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 Parks and Rec is offering a February Vacation Baseball Program for children ages 5-11. Join Director Brendan Morrissey (MHS Varsity Boys coach) and the MHS Baseball Team for this terrific clinic. All details and registration info can be found here.
MECA offers Stories and Friends Meet Up: Signs of Winter. Meet and connect with other families with young children and enjoy some winter fun! We’ll meet at the Visitor’s Center at Houghton’s Pond, enjoy some stories and songs, look for animal tracks in the snow, and complete a fun, hands-on snowman activity. Children will have the opportunity to meet Ranger Dan, who will read the StoryWalk® posted on the grounds. Registration is not required; however, you will need to sign in upon arrival. Please dress for both indoor and outdoor weather. A free animal tracks activity will be distributed to the first 35 children who sign in that morning. This program will meet on Saturday, February 18th, at 10:30 AM at 860 Hillside Street in Milton. Many thanks to our Kindergarten T-shirt sponsors for their generous support of this program!
Middle Schoolers – Join the fun at the Wildcat Den this month! Find the schedule here.
Milton Girls Softball encourages children in Kindergarten through Grade 8 to register for the 2023 Spring Season. All details can be found at www.miltonsoftball.com.
Milton Youth Lacrosse registration is open! All details at www.miltonlacrosse.org.
- The Milton Public Library is excited to present its very first Tiny Art Show on Saturday, January 21 at 2:30PM! Friends and family of the young artists who participated in our art-kit program are invited to a reception in the Keys Community Room for the chance to get to know the young artists, admire their work, and ask questions about their artistic process. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. No registration is required, and please feel free to stop by even if you did not create art for our show!
- Attention graphic novel fans: Join Ms. Tory in the Story Hour Room for Graphic Novel Book Club (Grades 3-5) on Wednesday, January 25 at 4:30PM! This month we are reading Catherine’s War by Julia Billet. Pick up a reserved copy at the Children’s Desk and sign up today!
Milton Academy is holding a 2023 summer camp open to students in rising grades 1-6. All details on the camp can be found here.
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.