May 3, 2018

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Weekly Update
Date: May 3, 2018


I hope you received my email this week about a new service available to Milton residents called Interface Referral Service. Interface is a free and confidential telephone helpline that residents can call when they are in need of professional help for a mental health, substance use or other behavioral health disorder. Thanks to generous donations from a variety of public and private organizations, you and your families can now contact a trained counselor at Interface  who can help you find a therapist to meet your needs and inform you of your insurance options. Interface has created a database of licensed professionals who can address a variety of mental health concerns for both children and adults. Anxiety, depression, substance use, marital problems and eating disorders are just some of the issues they address.

In addition to the public and private organizations that made this opportunity possible, I would like to recognize the Milton Health Department, Milton Police Department, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, the Milton Woman’s Club, the Milton Junior Woman’s Club as well as the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition for their role in making this possible.

To contact the Interface Referral Service, call 888-244-6843 Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, and speak with a trained counselor who can help you navigate a complicated mental health system. All conversations are highly confidential.

We at the Milton Public Schools know how difficult it is to find mental health care. We believe that Interface Referral Service at William James College will be of great benefit to our families and to our faculty who frequently help families when they are in need. If you know of someone who speaks another language, Interface counselors can access translators as well. This 4 minute community video explains the program even further Please do not hesitate to call Interface or visit their website, which contains lots of free information on a variety of mental health topics. 


It’s almost time for our next speaker – Katie Greer, a national expert in Internet/digital safety and technology who will speak to parents/guardians on Wednesday, May 9th at 6:30pm at MHS. Ms. Greer will be speaking with our 3rd and 4th graders during the school day, and to adults in the evening and will be focusing on children’s use of technology in our digital world with topics such as cell phones, apps, social media, group chats, interactive gaming, cyberbullying and sexting. 



Please see the earlier communication from today from Assistant Superintendent Janet Sheehan about the Strategic Plan that was presented at School Committee last night. If you were unable to watch the presentation last night it can be viewed on the Milton Access TV website  or you may view the PowerPoint presentation. You may also review the Draft of the full Strategic Plan or the Draft Overview of Goals and Objectives.  Your participation in the Strategic Planning process is critical to its success! We are inviting you to complete the Strategic Plan  survey by Wednesday, May 9th.


Did you miss the first ever Faculty Student Cabaret?  It’s worth checking out here! So much talent in our student body and faculty!  


2017 Heritage Festival

The MHS Diversity Committee is hosting the 5th Annual Heritage Festival at the Milton Public Library on May 23rd, 5:30-7:30. Families are invited to cook and share foods that represent their heritage and culture as well as share cultural performances and tables that display the many cultures that are represented by Milton’s families. Interested students and families can sign up using Sign-Up Genius or by scanning the link on the attached flyer.  Thank you to MHS Senior Patrick Davoren who has taken the lead on this event and to Larry Jordan and Ginny Kime for advising. We hope to see many of you there as we celebrate our cultural diversity together.



As we enter the season of milestones, celebrations and parties, MPS Director of Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue,  asks that you please consider taking a moment to review this informative life-saving handout with your teen:  Under the Right Influence: Safe and Substance Free/ Educating and Encouraging Teens to Make Life-long Healthy Decisions.


Fifteen  of our Pierce students and Pierce teachers Danielle Huebner, Joe Dolan and Erin Power attended the Anti-Defamation League’s 24th Annual New England Youth Congress on Friday April 13th at the Boston Sheraton Hotel. This one-day conference brought together over 1,300 middle school and high school students, teachers, and community leaders from over 70 schools across New England. The theme of this year’s conference was Courageous Conversations. Educator, writer and national leader in social justice Brittany Packnett was the keynote speaker. Students then attended breakout sessions with peers from other districts and participated in A World of Difference activities similar to those that we are instituting here at Pierce Middle School.


Pierce Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding is pleased to announce that Kyle Alves is the newly appointed Assistant Principal and will join the Pierce Middle School family on July 1st. After a thorough search and interview process, the interview team and Dr.  Spaulding moved Kyle Alves forward to the Superintendent’s office last week, and we enthusiastically approved Mr. Kyle Alves as Assistant Principal at the Pierce. Mr. Alves has several years of teaching and administrative experience at both the middle school and high school levels. The interview team was impressed with his genuine personality, commitment to children, cultural competency, welcoming and approachable style, and clear desire to join the already amazing Pierce team. A special thank you to those who served on the interview team- Pierce faculty: Mrs. Rhodes, Ms. Clancy, Mrs. Pullia, Mrs. Francoeur, Mrs. Veldran, Mr. Bonn, Dr. Fitzgerald and parents/community members: Mrs. Stephanie O’Keefe, Mr. Franklin Ollivierre, and Mr. Chris Navin.


Have you met Vernie, the LEGO® BOOST robot? He’s very pleased to meet you, but you have to build and code him first. This is just what our Glover first and second graders are doing after school each week! Thanks to Glover parent, Neil Bacon, and Glover teachers, Sara Gibeault and Melissa Craven, almost 50 students are beginning to learn how to build and code Vernie the Robot, a talking, dancing, and driving robot. They are learning how to make him talk, move his head, and even shake their hands. He’s a little charmer and Glover students will learn how to make him make funny noises, play music, move around, and more! This would not have been possible without generous donations by the Glover PTO and funding from Milton Public Schools. We are thankful for the many parent volunteers who help us run this program.


L-R Elizabeth Maye, Collicot 4th grade – Chapter 3 winner; Decarla Nelson, Tucker 5th grade – Chapter 4 winner and Reagan Vaughan, Collicot 4th grade – Chapter 2 winner

The 2nd Annual Milton BoomWriter Bee did not disappoint! Over 750 students in 4th and 5th  grade in the Milton Public Schools participated in a four week collaborative story writing contest with Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  3 students were recognized at last night’s School Committee meeting as they rose to the top of the Bee when their chapters were voted as winning chapters by their peers. The result of the Bee was an original story titled; The New Kid .  Not only will our chapter winners be recognized in the book, but so too will all MPS students who participated in the Bee and helped to determine the direction of our story. The book has been sent to the publisher and will debut next week. If you would like to purchase the book, please follow the link below and enter the Milton 2018 Writing Bee Book Purchase Code: QVQAR


Cunningham English Learner Education teacher Alysa Buchanan shared that her students recently finished the science article entitled “Working Together in the Reach ELE curriculum”. Since she is a bee keeper she brought in a small collection of tools that are used to keep the hive healthy. Students got to examine honeycomb up close and see pollen and nectar in the comb. The students made such insightful connections to their reading by having a real world connection to the content.


Treat your children to a fun night out and enjoy some time to yourself with a Wildcat Fun Night to benefit Best Buddies. Tomorrow night, May 4th,  at Glover 6:30 to 8:30. $10 per child and snacks will be available for purchase.  


There is a wonderful opportunity coming soon  for all of us as The Milton Public Library is hosting Amor Towles, author of A Gentleman In Moscow on Wednesday, May 16th in the MHS Auditorium at 6pm. The event is FREE and open to all.  We are thrilled to be able to support this endeavour and look forward to welcoming Mr. Towles.  


Mental health affects so many families across Massachusetts, in the United States, and throughout the world. We celebrate Mental Health Month this May  – and Children’s Mental Health Week next week – to give hope to those who need it, and to break down the stigma and the silence around mental health, especially children’s mental health. MPS Social Emotional Learning Facilitator Laurie Stillman shares some tips on ways you can fight stigma here


Mrs. Zalios is definitely Teddy’s hero- she feeds him breakfast every morning and reminds him to choose a fruit and drink too.

On Friday, May 4th we will be celebrating School Lunch Hero Day at MPS! Between preparing healthy meals for Milton students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes. School Lunch Hero Day is a chance to showcase the difference school nutrition professionals make for every child who comes through the cafeteria and provides us with the perfect opportunity to recognize the hard working professionals in our school cafeterias. We look forward to sharing the celebration with you next week.


Glover principal Karen McDavitt shares this wonderful piece on schools around the country who welcome duck families into their outdoor spaces. Many schools are featured, among them our very own Glover duckling  parade!  


We danced our arts out! The MFE wishes to thank everyone who came out to our Celebration for Education event on Saturday night. Hundreds of people danced the night away and raised money for the fine arts department in all six schools. A very special thank you to our event sponsors – Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton, Curry College, Milton Academy, and the Sarah W. Rollins Trust. We look forward to sharing the details of our smashing success with the community in the next few weeks.


The town of Milton offers lots of great summer programs for kids!

Please consider purchasing tickets or bidding on auction items for the Michael C. McHugh Memorial Fund Shindig! on Saturday, May 5.  This is a family BBQ along with a Cornhole Tournament, kids games and line dancing to support the Michael C. McHugh Fund. Michael was a Tucker Alumni who died in August after a 15 month battle with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer). Michael played soccer, basketball and hockey in Milton and would have been graduating from the 8th grade this year. If you can’t attend but want to lend your support consider bidding at the online auction.

There is a Milton Community Blood Drive on Monday May 14th, 2-7pm sponsored by the Congregation Beth Shalom of the Blue Hills. 

The Milton Public Library has many interesting and fun programs planned for kids and teens over the next few weeks.

On Sunday, May 6th, at 2pm, the Forbes House Museum is offering a program on the History and Cultural Traditions of Tea, presented by the Mark T. Wendell Tea Company. Tea and light snacks will be served, and tea will be available for purchase. $10/person, free for members.


It has been a great week of Milton High School Athletics!

The Softball Team has won 3 straight game to improve to 5-2, while Jenna Conroy reached 100 career hits against Weymouth in their big win!

The Baseball Team is now 5-5 after a league win over Needham, with George Breslin pitching a shutout 7 innings.

The Girls Lacrosse team has won 3 straight games to improve to 5-3, and Julia Scannell may just break another school scoring record -she had 8 goals against Norwood!

The Boys Lacrosse Team earned their 2nd win of the season over Norwood, winning 12-8.

The Rugby Team beat Weymouth to go to 3-1 and they host Hanover for their Senior Night on Friday 5/4 at 7pm.

Boys Tennis is 4-3 after beating the Wildcats of Weymouth last night.  

Girls Tennis started the season 2-0 and have since lost a few matches but will look to respond against Walpole tomorrow.

Boys and Girls Track finally had a few meets, after April showers postponed a few. The Girls beat Walpole while the Boys lost to Walpole and Wellesley, but many students set personal records!

Game alerts and updates as well as instructions on how to set up game alerts to your phone and email are always available.

The Milton High School Girls Tennis Team will be hosting a cans for cats
Fundraiser on Saturday May 5th, 9:00-12:00 at the high school wood shed area.



As part of our E-blast, we highlight students, teachers and members of the community whose hard work deserves recognition.  Please read about some of their accomplishments below:

Students:  It was a busy day for many MPS students and staff as they participated in the Neponset River Clean Up day last Saturday.  Groups cleaned up the small DCR Park behind Baker Chocolate, the Central Avenue kayak launch on the Neponset River, the river bank and bike path between Central Ave and Adams Street, and above and below the pedestrian bridge crossing the river as well as around Cunningham, Collicot, Milton High School and the neighborhoods that surround the schools. I would especially like to recognize the Pierce Student Council and the MHS Earth Club who came out in large numbers  to support this effort. For many of our high school students it was an early morning after prom the night before and we appreciate their dedication!

Staff:  In advance of School Lunch Hero Day tomorrow, I would like to recognize the Food Service staff who serves your children a healthy and delicious breakfast and lunch each day. Director of Nutrition Services Jackie Morgan leads a terrific group of men and women and I am happy to recognize them here. Thank you to her staff Jeanne Mattaliano and Billy Fitzpatrick as well as our Super Lunch Heroes Barbara Doherty, Kevin Dooley, Jayne Fitzgerald, Maureen Ford, Alexandra Giokas, Kimberly Golden, Mercedes Gonzalez, Zenaida Harvell, Carol Hunt, Agatha Jaffier, Sarah Lacombe, Jane Molloy, Elaine Rico-Moore, Patricia Newyano, Mary O’Neil, Sheila Paolucci, Ana Ramos, Lessie Spann, Marika Varnerin, Gladys Volmar, Florence Wallace, Patrick Whelen, Sandy Zalios  Terri Lynn Azar, Denise Devane, Mary Murray, Debbie Abdon, Saquoya Bell, Somjit Bodda, Ellen Brusard, Connie Catinella, Sandy Chung-Ruiz, Maryellen Comer, Kimberly Demarino, Colleen Davoren, Debbie DeVoe, Kimberly DiBona for all they do for our students.  

Volunteers:  The rain didn’t keep almost 100 golfers (and Pierce supporters!) from enjoying a great day in support of expanding athletics at Pierce Middle School. Thank you to all who played golf, donated to the cause and sponsored the tournament. Thank you especially to co-chairs Debra MacNeil and Susan DiSandro who put in countless volunteer hours to make PlayForePierce a big success! We look forward to hearing the future plans for athletics at Pierce.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Karen Spaulding, Karen McDavitt, Holly Concannon, Jon Redden, Dawn Sykes, Will Korman, Laurie Stillman, Larry Jordan, Noel Vigue, Amy Gale, Nancy Warn, Jackie Morgan, Will Korman, Ryan Madden, Jon Redden, Alysa Buchanan.

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 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 & Human Resources, 617-696-4812.

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