June 13, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date June 13, 2019


Last week we honored our recent retirees from the Milton Public Schools at a reception at Milton High School. These long time educators have taught many of your children throughout the years and I hope you will join me in wishing them a well deserved happy retirement.

Thank you and congratulations to Debbie AbdonConstance CatinellaGregory ForgeMary Jill MarkarianPatricia Leahy MurtaghAnn McGonagleJanet Sheehan and Dr. Louise Thomson. You can read about each of our retirees and their contributions to the Milton Public Schools by clicking on their names above.


Below you’ll find summer reading and math guidelines for each grade level as well as details on our Summer Reading partnership with the Milton Public Libraries.  Thank you to our librarians and curriculum coordinators for their work on summer requirements and guidelines.

Every year the Milton Public Schools create a summer program to challenge students and foster a love of reading. Research has shown that reading builds empathy and knowledge, reduces stress, improves memory, focus, vocabulary and critical thinking skills. Don’t wait until the end of summer to benefit from a universe of stories!

3..2..1, BLAST OFF  to “A Universe of Stories”,   this year’s summer reading theme.  All four MPS elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for an exciting summer reading challenge. K-5 library classes will be learning how they can have fun, become stronger readers, and beat the “summer slide” by soaring into reading during the summer months. Teachers sent home registration forms as a homework assignment on June 10th  inviting families to create a summer reading account at this link.  From June 17- August 27, students can log their reading minutes along with any library events they attend, winning prizes along the way. We’re looking for 100% participation, so be sure to return the bottom section of the registration form to your child’s classroom teacher. We hope to see many families at the Milton Public Library for the Summer Reading Blastoff Event on June 20th at 4pm, featuring Mike the Bubble Man. Let’s lift off into summer reading!

Summer reading requirements for Pierce can be found here.   All summer requirements for Milton High School can be found here. The high school and middle school summer assignments have been posted to PlusPortals. The summer work recording sheet for elementary can be found here. 

Math is everywhere! These math guidelines and resources will help you support your student this summer. Have fun and keep those math skills sharp! Summer Math Letter, 1-5,  Summer Math Letter, 6-8   Summer Math, 9-12 (scroll down for Mathematics)

Milton Summer Enrichment is one way to keep students engaged in learning, while still allowing for plenty of family time. MSE starts on July 8th and runs for 4 weeks, 5 days per week from 8:00-12:00. Families can also choose to start at 9:00 or leave at 11:00. Students choose the classes that interest them, play to their strengths and challenge them – or just plain sound like fun!  I encourage you to explore if this option for summer engagement is right for your family at the the MSE website.  Any further questions can be directed to Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan.

Summertime Stories for preschoolers and kindergartners will be on July 11 and August 8 at 10 am at Parkway United Methodist Church and July 18 and August 27 at 10am at Cunningham Hall. 

Let’s all avoid the Summer Slide and take advantage of these wonderful resources our educators have prepared for all students. 


It was a terrific evening at MHS last night as the School Committee and MPS administrators honored the many volunteers who contribute their time and talents to the Milton Public Schools. The success of our school system is directly related to the enthusiasm  of our volunteers!

The next School Committee meeting will be on July 10th at 7pm at Milton High School.


The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, whose members include the Milton Public Schools, is conducting a Parent Survey.  If you are a parent or guardian of a child in 6th through 12th grade, we urge you to participate. The information gathered is important for the ongoing work of the whole coalition to positively impact the health and wellness of Milton youth. The link to the survey can be found here. 


I could not be more pleased and proud to announce the appointment of Mr. William Fish to the position of Pierce Middle School Principal. Mr. Fish has served as Principal of Norwell High School for 8 years and prior to that served as the Assistant Principal of Sharon High School. He is a Milton resident whose children attend the Milton Public Schools. Earlier this week we notified the MPS community of Mr. Fish’s appointment and you can read that letter in its entirety here.


Congratulations to the Pierce Players on a sold out run of Mary Poppins, Jr! The lists of cast, crew and staff who entertained us with this production can be viewed here. Thank you to Gordon Grisinger for these terrific photos!


Congratulations to our Future Problem Solvers who attended the International FPS Bowl at UMASS Amherst last weekend. We are proud of your accomplishments!


The end of the school year brings exciting days for our 5th graders at Tucker, Glover, Cunningham and Collicot  as they prepare to step up to middle school. Each school enjoys special traditions including field days, step up days, visits to Pierce and more. We are grateful to the Forbes House Museum, the Wakefield Estates, The Suffolk Resolves and the Old Burial Ground who host our students over many days in June for a Tour of Milton to learn about the historical sites in our more than 350 year old town.

We also appreciate the annual invitation from Senator Timilty and Representative Driscoll to visit the Massachusetts State House. Students dress for the occasion and spend the morning exploring the State House, capped off by the traditional all grade photo with our hosts.


Tucker 5th grade Career Day once again inspired our students to pursue their passions and to educate them about their future opportunities as they met with a diverse group of professionals. To prepare for Career Day, students researched careers that interest them in an interactive web quest. Students were scheduled into three session with our visiting professionals: artist and teacher Lyssa Palu-ay;  lawyer Nicole Daley; BU college professor Regina Jean Charles; actuary Fritz Mozoul, psychotherapist and small business owner Gabrielle Abelard, members of the Milton Fire Department, and Erin Forry, a forensic scientist from the Boston Police Crime Lab. Students were provided with a note-taking guide to assist them with prompts on asking questions including a section for notes. As with past Career Day’s, it was a huge success! Thank you teacher Shannon Brooks for organizing the 5th Annual Career Day and to all the parent volunteers who have inspired our next generation! 


2nd grade students at Tucker have been working on a stop motion animation project with  technology Jen Van Hill. They started with an app learning how to make animations with toys.  Students worked in groups to choose something that interested them about changes in nature. The groups created story maps, props and finally put it all together using the Stop Motion app.  Check out their amazing stop motion animations here:  Ms. Driscoll’s class. Ms. Ignagni’s class. Ms. Frossard’s class.


This week, Collicot celebrated International Day. This yearly celebration, organized by Collicot  teachers and the Diversity committee, shares the history, culture, and traditions of different parts of the world. Students enjoyed activities organized by teachers including making  masks for carnival and Origami from Japan. Kindergarten classes learned about Australia, 1st grade studied countries in Europe, South America was the continent for 2nd grade, Asia was explored in 3rd grade, and Central America and Africa were the focus for 4th and 5th grade. International Day concluded  with a whole school assembly of Indian music and traditional Folk and Bollywood dance by Puja Tiwari. Collicot students participated in the assembly with great end of year enthusiasm! 


Milton community members visited Cunningham last week for the annual Cunningham Community Read day. Members of the community gather at the school and visit classrooms to share a book and a bit about what they do in the Milton community. Thank you to those who took the time to read to our students.


These have been busy days in our elementary schools! You can see some of the fun below.


Help your kids make choices that will support their well being. Participate in the SUPPER Project to learn how!

  • Are you a parent or guardian of a child in (rising) 5 – 7 th grade?
  • Do you live with your child or are you in the same place as your child at least five days a week?
  • If YES, you may be able to participate in a research study
  • Families will be paid for their time
  • The purpose of this research study is to understand how to help young people make choices that will support their wellbeing.

If you are interested in participating but are not available until school is out in June, we will be working with families over summer vacation (for parents/guardians of those entering 5th grade through those who just completed 7th).

Please take a moment to read through the details found here and consider participating in the SUPPER Project. If you are interested, simply email the SUPPER Project team at with the subject line “Interested in the SUPPER Project” and in the body of the email include your name and the name of your child’s school.  A member from the study team will reach out to you with next steps. You can also give them a call at (617) 636 – 3587.


Registration to ride the bus for the 2019-2020 school year will close on June 14th.  Every student who plans to ride the bus must register regardless of distance lived from your assigned school and no students will be rolled over for ridership from the current school year. You must register each student separately (but can pay for them together) and you will receive a confirmation email that registration has been received for each student.  If you are planning for your child to ride the bus in the 2019-20 school year, we strongly encourage you to read through this transportation letter which details the process.  Please refer any questions to Rachel Schewe, Transportation Director.

Bus registrations for students in grades 6 and 9 will not be complete unless residency is re-established during the re-establishment period in June. Please see below for re-establishment details.  Students in grades 6 and 9 will maintain their place in the bus queue until June 14th at which time they will be moved to the bus wait list if residency has NOT been re-established.


A letter has been sent via US mail to all who must re-establish residency. Beginning June 3rd Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator, has been in the Milton High School main lobby (25 Gile Road) with extended hours. The residency packet can be found here. Re-establishment takes place in the Milton High School Lobby. Only families with students in rising grades 6 and 9 and who attend Blue Hills Regional Technical School and Norfolk County Agricultural High School must complete this process. The final scheduled time to reestablish residency is Friday morning, June 14th, from 7am-1pm in the MHS lobby. Please email Ms. Burke with any questions. 


Extended School Year (ESY) services are set to begin soon.  If your child has been recommended for services, please be sure to return your IEP and registration paperwork as soon as possible. As a reminder, your contact for summer services is Bridget Renehan and her email is brenehan@miltonps.org.


After School Enrichment (ASE) ends this Friday June 14. The Early School Arrival Program (ESAP) program will be open on Monday June 17. Registration for both ASE and ESAP will start in July and more information will follow.

Kuddos to the Tucker ASE program for their annual showcase on Friday June 7. A special thank you to Aileen Quinlan, Barbara Roye, George-Marie Jasmin, Eleanor Jones and Liz Macomber for making it possible.


There are jobs available in our Food Service department starting at $15.05 per hour. These school year jobs are during the school day and allow parents/guardians to be home when their children are. If you would like more information, please email Jackie Morgan.


Jun 13  Grades 7 and 8 Spring Concert
June 17 Last Day of School – Half Day
June 22-23 Milton Music Festival and Fireworks
July 10 School Committee Meeting

2019-2020 School Calendar can be found here.


Please join me in congratulating the performing ensembles of Pierce Middle School and their directors Debra Miller, Julia Hanna and Guillermo Ortiz for their impressive performances this spring!

Great East Festival 2019:  This year, 7th and 8th grade students in band, chorus and strings attended a performance and clinic at Burlington High School followed by an afternoon at Canobie Lake Park.  This very special, long-standing Milton tradition allows students to perform for master clinicians and receive a workshop and ratings award. After four impressive performances, the following awards were presented:

Pierce Concert Band: Gold Award; Pierce Cambiata Chorus: Gold Award 
Pierce String Ensemble: Platinum Award; Pierce Treble Chorus: Platinum Award

Congratulations to these students, and thank you to our dedicated Pierce faculty and parents who made the experience possible.

All State Treble Chorus:  After being rescheduled due to inclement weather in March, the All State Treble Chorus presented their concert last weekend, concluding months of preparation.  This state-wide festival for young singers is sponsored by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association and intended to provide the highest quality chorus experience.  This year, the following Milton students were selected to participate: Lillian Heaton, Christopher Mancini, Madison Mercier, Mairead Brien, Ava Butler, Rebecca Raider. Congratulations to these students and their director, Julia Hanna, for this impressive accomplishment.

Pierce Spring Concerts:  This is the final week of performances for the Milton Music Department.  Please see this link for PierceMiddle School’s spring performances or join us TONIGHT starting at 6:30 at Pierce Middle School for the 6th Grade Concert.

Instrumental Music Lessons Information Night:  Thank-you to Applied Lessons Program Directors Rebecca Damiani and Gary Good, and students of the MHS Tri-M Music Honor Society who hosted Milton’s second annual Instrumental Lessons Information Night and Petting Zoo.  Over 100 Milton residents attended to learn about the Applied Lessons Program and discover the instruments offered in the lessons program hosted at Milton High School. Families unable to attend can find information on the Applied Lessons Program Website.  Online, pre-registration for fall lessons is highly encouraged.   Please email Rebecca Damiani or Gary Good  with any questions.

The Art Department recently concluded their annual art exhibit, a series of art shows hosted in each school to feature the works of all K-12 visual art students.  Among this year’s featured exhibits were self portraits, relief printmaking, clay works and digital photography. Thank-you to department members, Karen Hughes, Abigail Young, Stephanie Sherman, Robyn Thompson-Duong, Starleen Baylon, Jessica Gillooly, Laurel Bernini and Anthony Reynolds as well as the many teachers, staff and parents who contributed in making the exhibit a success! 


Baseball had an excellent season, though falling 12-3 at Hopkinton High School. Finn Doherty and Colin T Hoey were named Bay State Conference All-Stars.

Softball had an excellent season as well, also falling to Hopkinton in the MIAA Tournament. Marilyn Carroll and Jillian Vaughn were named Bay State Conference All-Stars.

Rugby plays in the State Semifinal on Friday, June 13th against Hanover with a chance to play in the State Final for the third straight season. Alex Caputo, Micah Allen, Bryce Stovell, Killian Smith, Malik Jean Guillaume, Dean Stein, Tim Cummings were all named Patriot Rugby Conference All-Stars. Alex Caputo was named the forward MVP of the Conference.

Boys Tennis fell to Hanover once again in the MIAA Tournament, with Nate Dickens named Bay State Conference All-Star.

Olivia DiManno was named a Bay State Conference All-Star for Lacrosse this season.

Boys and Girls Track round out the All-Star Awards with the following students named Bay State Conference All-Stars; Jayda Dillon, Elise O’Leary, Ava Duggan, Tiye Williams, Smith Charles, Isaiah Woodley, and Luke Botsford.

Jayda Dillon and Kyle Hipp are your Susi Athlete of the Month Winners.

Kyle was one of the most influential partners who participated in Unified Track and Field this season. His commitment to the athletes and his team were genuine, and he was fully engaged in his role as a partner. Kyle’s outgoing and caring personality quickly became the foundation of the team. He never shied away from lending a helping hand, and took it upon himself to become a leader and mentor for our athletes. Kyle was consistently positive and always had a smile on his face. His work ethic to make others around him better, and his willingness to try new things was authentic. Kyle is an outstanding representative for all aspiring partner, both on and off the field. He truly is a pleasure to have as a student athlete.

Jayda had a busy month of May. She went undefeated in the final 3 dual meets of the season. She competed in multiple invitationals and was one of the top performers in all of them. She won the 100 meter dash and was part of the winning 4×400 relay at the Bay State Conference Championship. Jayda scored over 18 points at the Division 3 State Championship. She finished second in the 100 and 200, while running personal best. She also helped Milton place 1st in 4×400. She also finished 1st in the 100 meter in the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Invitational Meet.

Thank you to Susi Art in Braintree for sponsoring t-shirts!

The MHS Cheer team will host a Car Wash Fundraiser on Saturday, June 22nd, 9am – 12pm at the Cunningham School.  Cost is $10/car.

All game schedules can be found on our  MHS Athletics website.


The Milton Music Fest and Fireworks team are delighted to announce this year’s exciting program of FREE Festivities over the weekend of June 22-23rd at “The Trustees” Gov. Hutchinson Field on Adams Street in Milton across from the Forbes House Museum.  Saturday’s festivities begin at 4 PM with lots of family friendly events , food, music, and fun including Volleyball, Cornhole, Gaga Pit, a Giant Inflatable Slide (“The Log Jammer” ) and Milton’s largest children’s sandbox and culminate at dark with the stunning fireworks. The fun continues on Sunday, June 23rd with Celtic Sunday starting at 1 PM including a full afternoon and evening of family fun and Irish music. All details can be found here.

All weekend you can dance to live music and enjoy great food and beverages ( beer and wine too! ) that will be available for purchase from fabulous vendors. This year’s delicious food options include the Wahlburgers and Ahhh Roma Pizza food trucks!

If you would like to help support this great community event, please consider joining the Milton Music Fest and Fireworks signature sponsor, the Copeland Foundation, in support of this FREE wonderful event. To learn what “thank you opportunities”  are available to donor friends, please email We Are Milton or call We Are Milton at 617-433-7273.

The Forbes House Museum will have special extended hours for one week to display 80 pieces of Longquan celadon by some the finest  artisans working in China today. The exhibit will also be open on the following dates and times found on our website.

The Forbes House Museum and Courageous Conversations Toward Racial Justice are hosting a community reading of Frederick Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” on June 27th at 7pm. After the reading, the 2017 MA History Teacher of the Year, Kevin Dua, will lead a moderated discussion, exploring topics such as how the impacts of slavery are still felt today and the ways in which race plays a role in our current lives. This historical event is sponsored by Celebrate Milton! and Mass Humanities, and is one of several readings that will be taking place around the state. All are welcome! To participate as a reader, please email kdghoran@gmail.com.

The Milton Historical Society will be hosting two more open houses during the summer months on July 14 and August 11 from 1-3 p.m. at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. The event is free and open to the public.

Our Town Moderator recently formed an Electronic Voting Committee to review the feasibility of using electronic voting technology at Milton Town Meeting. There is a a simple web site regarding the issue which you can find here. Please take a moment to have a look and complete a very short poll. The technology can provide better efficiency, accuracy of vote counts, and accountability (e.g. residents can know how their elected town meeting members voted on issues). There is a cost associated with this (ballpark figures are between ~$6,000 – 10,000) per year. It is an interesting technology that approximately 30+ towns in the Commonwealth have adopted. The committee is very interested in your thoughts.

The Town of Milton’s trash collection schedule will be changing, effective July 1, 2019. Beginning on July 1, the Town is returning to a 5-day waste collection schedule. Residents can look for their new collection day here. Yard waste will be collected on the same day as other waste.

Summer at the Eustis Estate; Come to the Eustis Estate for self-guided visits of the air conditioned house or explore the acres of landscape, all free to Milton residents. This summer’s exhibition Changing Landscape: Sculpture at the Eustis Estate will feature pieces in the house and on the grounds. There are many special events and tours including a family sculpture day with tours of the exhibition, hands on activities, and kids yoga on July 20 and our annual Victorian Birthday Party on August 25.

Are you going to the Solstice Garden Party at Brookwood Community Farm next Thursday?  Please see link to tickets for details and tickets.  All proceeds support our fresh food donations to 5 local food pantries (Canton, Milton, Roslindale, Rosie’s Place and Germantown) and the Mattapan youth run farm stand Thursdays in the summer.


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

STUDENTS: MHS senior Annabel Botsford was nominated for a Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Musical Theater Award this past month. METG offers high schools an opportunity to bring experienced adjudicators into their schools to receive professional feedback on their theater productions. Participating students and teachers benefit from the educational expertise, which in turn helps improve theater programming. The MET Musical Awards ceremony in June recognizes student excellence across several performance, design, and production categories. Annabel was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance of Madame Thenardier in MHS’s fall production of Les Miserables. Congratulations to Annabel!

Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai (R) with her sister (L) and mother(C).

STAFF: I would like to recognize Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai for her recent award from the  Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Recipients of this award have played an instrumental role in working with students of color and creating educational opportunities for underserved communities. Dr. McNeil Girmai received her award at the 5th Annual Bow Ties and Pearls Scholarship brunch last weekend. We are lucky to have Dr. McNeil-Girmai as a leader in our district and I know you join me in congratulating her on this well deserved recognition. 


If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Ryan Madden, Sean Lopresti, Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Karen Spaulding, Laurie Stillman, Margaret Carels, Sarina Burke, Jackie Morgan, Cat DesRoche, Ellen Lohan, Zeina Hamada, Bernadette Butler, Marti McKenna, Karen McDavitt, Dawn Sykes, Martha Sandoval, Susan Maselli, John Gillooly, Kevin Black, Jon Redden and Catherine Lee.

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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