To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Interim Superintendent Garth McKinney
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 2, 2023
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
This week, MPS Leadership met with our partners in the Milton Police Department for our regularly scheduled Safety and Security Advisory Committee meeting. At these meetings, we debrief past events, discuss protocols, and plan for the future. Thank you to all who shared feedback on the recent MHS swatting incident and subsequent response. Each incident or drill identifies what we do well as well as areas for improvement, and our Principals take this information back to their buildings. As is our usual practice, each school will hold an unannounced Lockdown Drill before the end of the school year. Upon hearing the lockdown announcement, students and staff use the knowledge gained during previous training and drills and enter into lockdown. Milton Police personnel are on the scene and quickly assess the building, preparing feedback for each school. The entire drill takes under 3o minutes, and while the drill is unannounced, students and staff are aware the event is a drill shortly after the lockdown announcement.
While we all wish these drills were unnecessary, we have to work within the current reality facing schools today and prepare for these unlikely but potential events. As always, we appreciate our ongoing partnership with Milton Police and Fire and the support and understanding of MPS parents and guardians.
There are a few important “save the dates” that I would like to call your attention to below.
TONIGHT: The MHS Program of Studies Night will be held on Thursday, March 2, at 6:30 pm in the MHS auditorium. All parents/guardians and students who will be in grades 9-12 next year are invited to join us this evening to learn about the MHS Program of Studies for the 23-24 school year.
The Harlem Wizards are coming back to MPS! Join the fun on Wednesday, March 8 at 7pm at Copeland Field house at Milton High School. This evening of family fun is an easy way to support the MHS Senior Class activities while enjoying a local night out with your kids. Come see the MPS Staff ‘Cats take on the Wizards! Tickets are available at this link and watch the MPS Wizards video here.
On Wednesday, March 15 at 6:30pm, we will be hosting First Grade Information Night in person in the Milton High School Auditorium. Parents and guardians of current MPS kindergarten students are invited to learn about our two first grade programs: The English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will present information on each program as well as the assignment plan, lottery (if needed), and timeline.
5th Grade parents and guardians are invited to our district wide 5th Grade Growth and Development Program on Monday, March 20 at 7pm in the MHS Auditorium. This annual presentation is a wonderful opportunity for parents/guardians to preview the videos (The Puberty Workshop and Curriculum, Human Relations Media, Inc.) that will be shown to 5th grade students this spring. After the videos, there will be time for Q&A regarding the program. This is a powerful opportunity to gain knowledge and build skills to help engage your child in conversations about puberty. This program will be presented at your child’s school on March 31.
MPS NEED TO KNOW
- Mar 2 MHS Program of Studies at MHS
- Mar 4 Cans for Cats at MHS
- Mar 7 SEPAC Meeting
- Mar 8 Harlem Wizards at MHS
- Mar 9 MIOSM Strings Concert 6-12
- Mar 14 MIOSM Band Concert 5-12
- Mar 15 1st Grade Info Night
- Mar 16 After School P/T Conferences
- Mar 17 No School – Teacher PD Day
- Mar 20 Grade 5 Growth and Dev. Presentation
MFE CELEBRATION FOR EDUCATION
This year’s Celebration for Education 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!
Please see below from the Milton SEPAC Board. SEPAC sponsored Federation for Children with Special Needs workshops have been scheduled.
- Understanding the 504: Tuesday March 7, 6:30-8:30pm
- Evaluation and Eligibility Monday, March 27 6:30pm
Gather with Milton families for these free workshops chock full of essential information for families navigating special education.
It is not too late to register for an all day FREE Visions of Community conference this Saturday with offerings on topics such as “The Science of Play”, “Building Bridges for the Voices and Experiences of BIPOC families navigating Disability Communities”, “IEP Schoolwide Strategies to Prevent Bullying of Students with Disabilities”, and so much more! Find out More and Register Here. Everyone who registers ($15) has access to session recordings.
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
MPS GOOD TO KNOW
FORBES HOUSE MUSEUM ESSAY CONTEST
The Forbes House Museum 2023 Lincoln Essay and Drawing Contest is open. Mary Bowditch Forbes’s extensive Lincoln Collection is the inspiration behind the museum’s annual essay and drawing contest, which offers students different prompts each year through which to reflect on the life and times of President Lincoln. This year the drawing contest is open to students in grades 5-8 and the essay contest is open to students in grades 6-8.
The deadline is April 14, with the awards ceremony on May 13. Essay winners will be asked to read their entries, and the drawing winners will have their work displayed in the museum. The contest is generously sponsored by BR Alexander & Co. If your child would like to participate, all details can be found here.
DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP DAY
Thank you to all who participated in our recent 4th annual elementary Digital Citizenship Day. All elementary students took part in two engaging lessons, facilitated by family volunteers and staff on topics like digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying, creating passwords and more. The lessons were developed by Common Sense Media, modified by MPS Elementary Instructional Technology Specialists Jen Van Hill & Sara Doherty, and are intended to help our students better understand how to interact with digital technology and their peers in a healthy, respectful way. Each lesson takes on real challenges and digital dilemmas that students face today, giving them the skills they need to succeed as learners, leaders, and citizens.
Each lesson included an at-home exercise to help families continue the conversation and reinforce the guidance provided during Digital Citizenship Day. Please visit your student’s Technology Google Class page or visit the Digital Citizenship Day Volunteer Site for access to the at-home activities and specific information about the lessons. Thank you to the family volunteers for supporting this important initiative. Without your support, this day would not have been possible.
FREE CLASSICAL MUSIC OPPORTUNITY
There is an opportunity for families to attend a FREE classical music performance at Faneuil Hall in March and April. The Bach, Beethoven and Brahms Society Orchestra plays classical music at historic Faneuil Hall, under the direction of internationally acclaimed conductor, Steven Lipsitt. It is their mission to introduce young families to this music in an intimate setting. This offer is first come first served and is only available for a limited time.
Tickets are for unreserved side seating. Please use promo code ‘music’ at checkout for the free tickets. All details on this terrific opportunity can be found here.
MPS NICE TO KNOW
TUCKER UNITY NIGHT
Tucker Unity Night returned in full force on Thursday, February 16! Unity Night took place at MHS and featured the Tucker 4th grade Chorus and performances from every grade. Six Tucker 5th graders read essays reflecting on their time at Tucker, how they found their “Tucker Pride” and what they would take with them as they moved on from Tucker. A special shout out to fifth grade student Penny Peters whose design was selected to be on our t-shirts and program this year. An enormous thank you is owed to:
- Ms. Karen Marsh, choreographer for grades K-5
- Ms. Nicole Davis, choreographer for Preschool
- Brother Dennis Slaughter, Grade 4 Choral Director
- Assistant Principal, Kirsten Driscoll, Unity Night Coordinator
- The Tucker Diversity Committee and PTO for their ongoing support and volunteerism
Thank you to for your immeasurable contributions to our program and our community at large! This was a standing room only event in the MHS auditorium with fabulous grade level performances, beautiful music and meaningful essays all contributing to an amazing night for the Tucker community.
GLOVER DRUM PERFORMANCE
Glover students hit the ground running this week with fabulous and energetic Monday morning assemblies with “Fascinating Rhythms” drum performances by Cornell Coley, M. ED!
PIERCE AMPLIFY ARTS CONTEST
The Pierce Fine Arts Department is pleased to announce the winner of the AMPlify Arts Logo Design Contest! All Pierce students had the opportunity to create and submit a design, and teachers selected 4 finalists based on design criteria being met and the “readability” of the design for print on t-shirts. About half of the student body at Pierce voted on the four final designs and the vote was close but decisive.
Congratulations to Faith Kelley, 7th grade ACE art student, for creating the winning logo design! We would also like to congratulate Zara Tahir, 7th Grade ACE student for creating a winning design for a sticker.
Preschool has been spending lots of time outside this winter. As they were mindfully walking by the Tucker garden beds, they noticed something white. A cotton plant which had been planted in the early summer had opened! The excited students harvested the plant it and admire it in the classroom.
Preschoolers headed outside on Groundhog Day to observe their own groundhog. While the groundhog made a prediction that we will have 6 more weeks of winter, they are now wondering about that prediction!
PIERCE SPIRIT WEEK
Pierce spirits were high during a fun and vibrant Spirit Week!
MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden shares the following recent winter sports highlights. Read his recent full newsletter here, with schedules, coaching news, parent feedback forms, and more.
The MHS Girls Hockey team will be hosting Cans for Cats on Saturday, March 4, 9 am to noon at Milton High School.
Congratulations to Ben Catudal on his performance on the slopes at States this week. Ben placed 86th out of 146 boys in yesterday’s GS race!
Winter Sports families: If you have not done so already, please take a moment and complete the Athletics Parent/Guardian Feedback Survey linked at the bottom of the Athletics newsletter. While you have the option to remain anonymous, it is extremely helpful to leave your name and contact information. You will remain anonymous, but leaving information allows the Athletic Director and Principal to follow up if necessary.
Spring Registration is OPEN! Be sure to register for sports this spring as we are just two weeks from tryouts! If you have already registered for a sport this year, all you need to do is update your registration and add the spring sport. You do not need to register again. Please find instructions and links 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 Sports for All has expanded its popular candle-pin bowling program to offer a high school session! Bowling will take place at Cunningham Hall on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30, starting on March 8 and running through April 5. This program is open to Milton residents in grades 9-12. No experience (or bowling shoes) necessary! Register here.
Milton Sports for All is an inclusive recreational program that provides the opportunity for children of all abilities, experience, and backgrounds to participate in sporting activities in a fun, accessible way.
Neponset Rowing Club Spring 2023 Registration for the Competitive Juniors (HS) program is now open. Registration for the spring high school rowing season is open to MPS and all local high schools. Please sign up here: 2023 Spring – Neponset Rowing Club: Competitive Juniors (HS) Registration.
Summer Art Camp at the Milton Art Center is open for registration. The camps will run for nine weeks from June 26-August 24. Each session has a different theme and children can sign up for half day or full day sessions. Visit the website to find out more and register.
Riverside Theatre Works is performing “Matilda” from March 3-19. Many of our MPS students are involved and there are nine show dates, including matinees on Sundays. The show is appropriate for ages 6+. All details are here.
Milton Field Hockey is open for registration for the Winter (K-8) and Spring (K-8) 2023 season and summer camp (up to age 18)! All details can be found here.
Milton American Baseball registration is now open for players ages 4-12. With T-ball through the Majors Division, there is an opportunity for everyone to play and develop with friends. Please visit miltonamericanbaseball.org for more information.
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.
- Attention graphic novel fans: Join Ms. Tory in the Story Hour Room for Graphic Novel Book Club (Grades 3-5) on Wednesday, March 15 at 4:30PM! This month we are reading Time Shifters by Chris Grine. Pick up a reserved copy at the Children’s Desk and sign up today!
- Check out our monthly Dial-A-Story! Call 617-915-1915 at any time to listen to stories (and a joke!) read to you by MPL Librarians This month, we have a very special guest reader: Titilayo Olusanya, a 3rd Grade Tucker student, reading the picture book biography Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed.
Learn more and register for these programs through the MPL Events Calendar.
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.