March 23, 2023

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: Interim Superintendent Garth McKinney
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: March 23, 2023


During our full Professional Development Day on Friday, March 17, MPS staff across the district were engaged in meaningful professional learning. We know that the time devoted to PD can be challenging for families and we work to make every minute of it valuable for our educators and, by extension, for our students.

Elementary staff from all four schools spent the day at Pierce with sessions on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), time devoted to specific grades, departments, and academic topics (math, world language, ELE, writing) and Equity in Learning.

Pierce and MHS teachers spent the day at Milton High School for additional UDL PD, individual department meetings, a Trauma & Self Care presentation, sessions on Schoology, Calm Classroom, and more.

All of our teachers were treated to a special lunch on Friday! Thank you to Dr. Kimberly Harte from Harte Dental for sponsoring a food truck at MHS and to the elementary and Pierce PTOs for sponsoring a food truck at Pierce. Lunch was a delicious treat in the middle of a long and fruitful day of learning.

On Tuesday of this week, we celebrated World Down Syndrome Day in MPS. Many MPS students and staff wore brightly colored, mismatched socks to “Rock Your Socks” to show support and appreciation for people with Down Syndrome. March 21 (3/21) is symbolic because people with Down syndrome have 3 copies of their 21st chromosome.

Collicot 5th graders created Ramadan lanterns and enjoyed a great presentation from the Al Assad Family earlier today.


We are again sharing a fantastic video by Collicot 1st grader Aline Al Assad. Aline’s video was made last year and in the video she talks about what Ramadan means to her. Ramadan began last night (March 22)  and ends on April  20, 2023 with Eid Al-Fitr festival celebration. During this time, adults and abled ones fast from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is a season of reflection, prayer, charity, and community. Aline’s mother shared that Aline and her older sister Laya eagerly wait for the holy month to share more about their culture and identity with their friends. We encourage families to share about holidays they celebrate with their class, their school or the district. You don’t have to make a video (although you would be welcome to), a short paragraph or links to resources would also be a wonderful way to inform our community. Passover, Easter and Orthodox Easter are all in April and it would be great for our community to learn more about these holidays from community members.


MPS supports the Ramadan Food Drive in partnership with Milton Muslim Neighbors and Milton Interfaith Clergy Association. From Thursday, March 23 to Friday, April 21, bring your donation of dry goods and hygiene items to any of our schools.  Join your Muslim neighbor in this effort, as Ramadan is a very special time of year for Muslims to do good deeds. All details can be found here. 

Over the course of the next few months, before he officially begins on July 1, incoming Superintendent Peter Burrows will be spending periodic days in Milton to learn more about our schools and community. His priorities on these pre-entry visit days will be to spend time inside schools and meet people, support decision making around current and future needs in the district, and lay the groundwork for the start of the 23-24 academic year.  You can learn more about his pre-entry plan and schedule here. I know you join me in warmly welcoming Dr. Burrows to MPS!



  • Mar 27 SEPAC Meeting 
  • Mar 31 Late Start for Students, PD for Staff 
  • April 4 5-12 Band Concert 
  • April 4 SEPAC Meeting 
  • April 6 Early Dismissal, PD for Staff 
  • April 7 No School, Good Friday 
  • April 11 MHS Jazz Night 
  • April 12 Milton School Committee

The MPS Events Calendar can be found here, and the one-page 22-23 SY calendar can be found here. 

The School Committee has approved a draft of the 23-24 SY calendar. This calendar is intended as a guide ONLY. It may be necessary to change this schedule to better serve instructional purposes. 


In the coming weeks, we are administering our spring round of Intellispark screeners. If you opted your child out in the fall, your child will not participate this spring. You can read the fall Intellispark communication here. The  grades 6-12 screener is linked here and the grades K-5 screener is linked here. Elementary students will take the screener with their homeroom teachers. 

We hope all students will participate in the universal SEL screener as part of the SEL curriculum in the district.  If any family feels their student would be better served without taking part in it, please contact your child’s principal with your child’s name, grade, and homeroom teacher to opt out.


It’s the time of year when the Milton Foundation for Education recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by MPS educators! The MFE is asking for nominations for Teacher of the Year in each school. Please take a moment to nominate an exceptional teacher here. All details can be found at this link.


On Monday, April 10, at 6:30 pm, all 5th grade families are invited to an informational session in the Pierce auditorium. During this meeting, you will learn more about our school community, the grade 6 experience, and the structures and activities in place to nurture a smooth transition from elementary school to middle school. Students are welcome to attend this meeting.

All rising sixth graders are invited to Pierce’s Welcome to Middle School (WTMS) camp. This program is a three-day experience in which students have various opportunities to become more familiar with the school, begin to make new friendships and connections and get comfortable with their new surroundings before the school year begins. The camp is led by Pierce staff with the help of some 8th grade student leaders. Information and details regarding registration will be shared with families in the coming weeks. WTMS runs twice  – June 26-28 and August 21-23 – from 8am – 2pm.

In addition to the informational session on April 10 and the Welcome to Middle School camp, all grade 5 students will participate in several other transition activities this spring. Details about these events and activities will be shared with families later this spring. We look forward to welcoming your child and family to the Pierce community!


Will we see YOU at MSE this summer? We hope so!

Summer fun at MSE is just around the corner! MSE is for students in rising grades K-8, takes place at Milton High School and runs from July 5-28, five days a week, 8 am-12 pm. Classes include academic enrichment, arts and crafts, sports and outdoor fun, technology and much more! The MSE Brochure will be available April 12 and registration begins April 25 on Family ID. Save the date for a fantastic July at MSE!


Calling all music fans – save the dates below! 

  • Saturday, April 1 from 10 AM-4 PM – FAME Mattress Fundraiser
  • Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 PM – Make-Up MIOSM Band Concert
  • Tuesday, April 11 at 6:30 PM – MHS & Pierce Jazz Night
  • Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 PM – MHS Extracurricular Groups Concert
  • Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 – MHS Spring Concert
  • Monday, May 22 at 6:00 PM – MHS Music Awards Night
  • Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30 – Pierce Spring Concert
  • Thursday, June 8 at 6:30 – Pierce Spring Concert
  • Friday, June 9 – Pierce Great East Music Festival



Thank you to our elementary communities for their tremendous support of the recent Cereal and Soup Drive as part of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Project. Prior to this initiative, the Milton Community Food Pantry was experiencing a significant shortage of cereal and soup to distribute to the families they served.

Students donated items all month (including at Tucker’s Unity night), our PTOs and 5th grade service teams helped with organization, and Noreen Dolan from the Milton Residents Fund delivered to the food pantry. Through the efforts of Neighbors Helping Neighbors,  over 200 boxes of cereal and over 500 containers of soup were donated and distributed to Food Pantry patrons.  A heartfelt thank you to all who contributed to this successful food drive! 

If you are in need of food assistance, please visit our Family Resource Newsletter.  If you need additional assistance of any kind, please reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at All calls and emails are confidential.


MPS is always looking for energetic people to join our Food Service team as kitchen substitutes. If you want to work a part time schedule that complements your child’s school day, please call Natalia Perez at 617-898-1051. Kitchen subs earn $19.15 an hour and this is an on-call position – work when it makes sense for you. Please consider joining our team! 


Milton Community Schools has immediate openings for Community Service and paid Counselor positions for high school students through the end of the school year. If you enjoy working with children, are ready to make a difference, are reliable and willing to learn, we want to hear from you! All details can be found here.


Please see below from information from Milton SEPAC. 

Participate: We will soon be saying goodbye to the leaders of our Pupil and Personnel Services, Mark Harrison (March 31) and Susan Maselli (June 30)  This is a significant leadership transition for our community, and it is happening in conjunction with central leadership transition. Please stay tuned and engaged – this is an important time for us! 

Advocate: 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 

Educate: Attend the next SEPAC sponsored Federation for Children with Special Needs workshop: Evaluation and Eligibilty Monday, March 27th 6:30pm, followed by Parent Speak. This workshop is on Zoom and will be presented in the Tucker School Library, followed by a Parent Speak meeting from 7:30-8:30pm. 



The Milton FAME Mattress Sale is back! Friends and Advocates of Music Education (FAME) is excited to announce its 8th annual mattress on Saturday, April 1 from 10 am to 4 pm in the Milton High School auditorium. Test out more than 25 styles of brand-name mattresses, priced 30-50% below retail, along with premium pillows, luxury sheets, bean bag chairs, weighted mattresses, and more. Delivery and financing available. Proceeds support the music program in all Milton schools. For more information, contact FAME at


Pierce 6th graders took a trip back in time last week – all the way back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Through the charitable funding of the Milton Partnership for Arts & Cultural Enrichment (MPACE), our students experienced Historia Antiqua, a collection of pottery, statues, mosaics, coins, armor, and illustrations about these classic cultures. Hosted by historian Doug Ryan, students learned about these cultures and then were able to explore this “museum in the classroom” on their own. Each 6th grade class was able to visit the Pierce library for this experience over three days last week. Thank you to MPACE for funding this experience for our students!


Collicot and Cunningham 5th graders are completing a radial paper relief sculpture. Students began this project by identifying and discussing the difference between linear symmetry (1 line of symmetry) and radial symmetry (more than 1 line of symmetry). Students then folded a 12×12 piece of paper into 8 triangular sections. Students then were presented with a variety of 3×3 colored squares and learned how to fold three different origami style folds which they used to create these stunning radial designs.

4th graders are working with plaster making 3-D pencil sculptures. Students began by creating a skeletal shape of a pencil using recycled paper towel tubes, foil, paper, and lots of tape! Students then used plaster to create a mold around the shape and the ability to paint their sculpture. Once dry, and using close observation, the final step was to section off the pencil and paint the sculpture.

Mme Theobald’s 4th graders recently read the book, “Une Girafe va à Paris”. The book is based on a true story about a giraffe, Belle, who was a gift from the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France in 1827. The story is about Belle’s voyage from Alexandria, Egypt to Paris, France and her friendship with Atir, her devoted Sudanese caretaker. Mme. Theobald and art teacher Mrs. Bernini partnered to do an art project using 3-D sculpture as well as poetry, using this book as a springboard. Much like the people of France during these years, these students have immersed in all things giraffe!


In exciting news, our Milton High School chorus students will be collaborating with the Boston Choral Ensemble in their upcoming concert, For the Beauty of the Earth, on Saturday, March 25. Our MHS singers will be featured in this concert, perform a piece of their own, and join BCE in singing “We Can Mend the Sky,” featuring our very own 9th grader Celia Frank-McKnight as a soloist! The chorus also had the honor of working with conductor Dr. Katherine Chan in an in-school workshop on Thursday to prepare for this performance. Visit this link for more info and to buy tickets. Tickets are selling fast, so act quickly if you’re interested in attending!


Congratulations to Pierce Middle School students Alicia Chan, Faith Kelley, Georgie Nobles, Luke Ostermann, Violette Shue, and Jani Thornell whose artwork is featured in the Your Art, Your Voice – Massachusetts Art Education Association’s Virtual Statewide Youth Art Month Exhibit 2023.  Click here to see their artwork featured in Mrs. Aliberti’s Galleries. This is our first gallery participation from MPS. We are so so proud of our student work!


MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden shares the following.  

MHS Boosters is proud to host all Varsity athletes at our year-end Celebration Wednesday, May 31! All Varsity athletes and their immediate family are invited. We will recognize our teams, and athlete leaders and announce our scholarship recipients. Volunteers are needed for planning as well as setting up and break down that night. Please email to assist.

Senior MHS Athletes and Managers are encouraged to apply for a Boosters Athletic Scholarship.  Requirements include: 1) have competed (or managed) at the varsity level while at MHS; 2) be an active Booster member; 3) submit a complete application; 4) obtain a letter of reference if needed (see award instructions).  Applications (including letters of reference) are due April 14. More information and the application can be found here.


Please use the links below or visit the MPS Community News & Events page for information on these terrific community events and opportunities!

Courageous Conversations invites you to a Courageous Conversation on Restorative Justice in Education – What it is, How is it working, a conversation with Adina Schecter and Arianna Simpson – on March 30,  7-8:30pm, via Zoom. Register for this CCTRJ event at this link. 

Join us in the Forbes House Museum library room for an evening of poetry by two lyrical female writers, as they explore the past and examine social issues, memory and motherhood. Anna V.Q. Ross will read from her latest award-winning book entitled “Flutter, Kick.” Martha Collins, an editor, translator and award-winning author out of Cambridge, will read from her book “Casualty Reports.” Anna’s and Martha’s books will be available for sale and signing at the event. Light refreshments will be served. Friday, March 31, 6:30 pm, Suggested donation: $10. Space is limited. Learn more or reserve your spot here. 

Brookwood Community Farm, located at the base of the Blue Hills, on the Milton/Canton line, has CSA (community supported agriculture) shares and a farm stand.

We offer accessible 2023 shares through alternative payment options. Details can be found here.  One option for the CSA is to use SNAP benefits ($40/month) which will be fully reimbursed by HIP.  These shares are available as half-veggie shares (every other week). The form for SNAP CSA can be found here. Pickup is at the farm, but if you do not have transportation, please contact us directly at so we can try to work it out. If you do not have EBT, we can consider a discounted share or offer a payment plan, so please email

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.

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 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

Beantown Boston Youth Flag Football League is open for registration. All details can be found here. The website is here, go to the register tab at the top.

The Milton Public Library’s calendar of March programs for kids can be found here.  Plan ahead and take a look at the April calendar here.

  • There’s still time to listen to our March 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.
  • The Milton Teen Program is always looking for high school volunteers! If you’re interested in helping our Children’s Department out with some awesome programming, and earning service hours along the way, please email Tyler Vachon at

Learn more and register for these programs through the MPL Events Calendar

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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.

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