July 18, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update 
Date: July 18, 2019


We are four weeks into summer vacation and I hope your family is relaxing and spending time together during these beautiful days. While summer may seem like a time that our schools experience a slower pace, in reality we are as busy as ever! There are multiple summer programs taking place in each school, which keep our buildings humming with activity. Our custodians perform regular maintenance and deep cleaning  as well as special projects throughout the summer. We are also continuing to plan for the 2019/20 school year that will start on Monday, August 26th for staff, on Wednesday, August 28th for 1st-12th grade students and on Tuesday, September 3rd for our kindergarten and preschool students. There is plenty of summer left however, so please enjoy it! But first, please take a moment to read the summer update below. 


Our elementary summer reading program is well underway and MPS librarian Josh Coben has a message for our elementary students. 

Mr. Coben reads a fan favorite.

Hello, summer readers! I hope you’re enjoying these beautiful, lazy July days. I always look forward to having extra reading time during summer break, whether I’m at home, at the beach, or on a family trip. Remember that any kind of reading is great, from curling up with a book in a quiet spot, to listening to audiobooks (a new favorite of mine), to reading with a family member. With so many choices-chapter books, picture books, eBooks, graphic novels, magazines-you’re bound to find something you enjoy. Stop by the library to see what’s new. Don’t forget to log your reading minutes here and have fun! 

Pierce Middle School librarian Jess Royster also wanted to say happy summer to Pierce students and send along the following message: I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing, fun filled summer. While you’re enjoying your summer, don’t forget to pick up a book. Whether you are outside on the beach or inside in the air conditioning, remember that summer reading doesn’t have to be serious! Parents and students can pick up a magazine, listen to an audio book or even reread an old favorite. Read a book that is being turned into a movie, see the movie and then debate which was better. Summer reading is critical for improving students’ reading skills and engagement, but it doesn’t have to be a chore for students (or parents)! 

MHS Librarian JT asks: Are you still looking for that perfect book for your free choice summer reading option? In addition to asking friends, family members, teachers and librarians for recommendations there are many great online resources available. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) will open the polls on August 15th for the 2019 Teen’s Top Ten awards. Check out the nominees for new book ideas or vote for one of your favorites. YALSA also created the Book Finder database that you can use to search through titles that have won awards at their conferences. You can browse by genre or author. Goodreads, a social media site dedicated to books, also offers a variety of recommendations based upon titles you have already read and enjoyed (no need to create an account you can search booklists and recommendations at the bottom of the site).

If you are looking for audio or eBook versions of a specific title don’t forget that MHS subscribes to Sora through the state consortium. The website and app provide access to hundreds of titles. Instructions on how to access Sora through your school Google account can be found on the library webpageEnjoy the days of summer. Happy Reading!

JT’s summer stats: Currently Reading: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and Everything In Its Place by Oliver Sacks. Recently Finished: There, There by Tommy Orange; On the Come Up by Angie Thomas and Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Our students and staff have been doing their summer reading in some interesting places! Send your summer reading photo to sokeefe@miltonps.org and we’ll share it with the MPS community. 

Resources and assignments for grades K-12 can be found here: 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. 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)


On Monday, July  8th, we welcomed over 500 students to MHS for the first day of Milton Summer Enrichment!  We have a dedicated staff of more than fifty instructors engaging students in hands-on classes each hour from 8am-12pm.  Students are enjoying courses ranging from Wildcat Soccer to Chess and Harry Potter Math to Hip Hop! In addition to the course instructors, we have 70 High School student ‘Red Shirts’ assisting students to get from one course to another, accessing course material and ensuring safety and efficiency during arrival and dismissal. You can reach our program directors Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan with any questions or comments at mse@miltonps.org.


We have had a fabulous start to summer in our ESY (Extended School Year) Program! Students have been participating in engaging and inclusive learning opportunities including trips to Cunningham Pond, attending Milton Summer Enrichment courses, visits from Gracie the Golden Retriever, and community outings. The fun and learning continues at both Cunningham and Milton High School until August 2.


On Monday, June 17th, Camp Cunningham welcomed the summer 2019 season. The theme for our first session was Super Heroes. Campers are enjoying a variety of activities such as cooking, science, tap dancing, hip-hop, sports, arts & crafts and of course swimming at Cunningham Pond. Field trips have been so much fun; the first week, campers visited Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon where they picked delicious strawberries after a fun hayride. Week two, a group of campers went to Starland in Hanover where they had a blast with mini-golf, go-cart racing, laser tag and bumper cars!

The theme for session 2 is Pirates and Princesses. Besides enjoying a variety of theme related activities on site, a group of campers went to Plymouth and had a great time being pirates for one hour on a real boat!  Mr. Moonan came and brought SHOWTIME! The campers had so much fun, dancing, singing, and acting on stage. There was music from, the Broadway Show Annie and music from Peter Pan. Once again this year, Grand Master Mike McNamara and Master Instructor Ms. Camille had many campers for Karate Summer Camp.

To see more pictures and what else is happening at Camp CU, please visit our website.


Please join us for the next 3 Summertime Stories for preschoolers and incoming kindergarteners. Our 1st storytime was a great success!  Despite the very humid day we had almost 50 people attend and all the children enjoyed the stories and songs by the Milton Public Library’s Miss Sara.  


The July 10th School Committee meeting can be watched on On Demand at Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, August 21st. 


New Pierce Principal Bill Fish has been busy settling in at Pierce, connecting with staff, parents and others over the past two weeks. Mr. Fish can be reached via email or phone ( 617-696-4568). The Pierce PTO will host two opportunities to meet Mr. Fish during the first full week of school. Please join us in the Pierce lobby on Thursday, September 5th from 6:30-7pm or on Friday, September 6th from 8:15-8:45am. Please see the letter Mr. Fish recently sent to the Pierce community here.


We are pleased to welcome Janice Mazzola to Pierce as the new Assistant Principal who will join Mr. Fish and Dr. Nick Fitzgerald. Please see the  announcement from Mr. Fish regarding Ms. Mazzola’s appointment here. 


School  supplies already? Yes! The Pierce PTO has partnered with Yubbler to bring quality, economical school supplies to Pierce families. All supplies are delivered right to your house! All details, links and coupon codes can be found here.


The Collicot garden is in full bloom this summer! You can see all the growth and perhaps learn something about gardening in this short video


The newest residents of Turner’s Pond are home! Thank you to the Glover School teachers and students who helped us usher out the latest duckling family over the 4th of  July weekend.


The Tucker Garden had a bountiful harvest last weekend! Tucker parents and a rising-fifth grader picked 10 bags of produce and delivered it to the Milton Food Pantry on Saturday morning. Beautiful Swiss chard, tons of kale, salad greens and some of the biggest cucumbers around went from our garden to members of the Milton community all within a few hours. 


Registration for After School Enrichment started July 1 and will close on July 31. Children registered during the month of July will start the first day of school. Grades 1-5 start on August  28th and Kindergarten starts September 3rd. Please see this ASE registration letter with all details. 


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 –  8th 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.

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. 


Save the date for our first event  in the 2019/20 PARENT Speaker Series. Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski will discuss Supporting All Learners on September 24th at Milton High School. 


Our Milton Public Schools Facebook page and Twitter account are great ways to keep up with events and activities throughout the Milton Public Schools. Be sure to follow both!  


Please see the most recent bus transportation update from Dr. Glenn Pavlicek. The letter can be found in this link.


AJ Melanson, Director of Instructional Technology, has information for rising 9th-Graders concerning Chromebook Declaration & Pick-Up Information. 

Thank you to the 219 families who have declared for Milton High School’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) next year.  We still have 90 families who have not declared for BYOD. If you have not declared, please complete this short declaration survey as soon as possible.  

All MHS students are asked to bring their own device, other than a smartphone, to school with them each day.  For students who will not be able to meet this request, a Chromebook will be loaned out to the student by Milton Public Schools for the school year.  For more information regarding the MHS BYOD initiative please visit the FAQs document.  

Rising 9th-grade students who will be loaning an MHS Chromebook will pick-up their device immediately following MHS new student orientation on Monday, August 26th.  Students must bring a signed Chromebook Loan Agreement in order to pick-up their device.

Please see this  flyer for more information regarding, Loan Agreement,  BYOD Student & Family Manual, and Acceptable Use Policy, and Chromebook Care & Use Policy.


There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools. You’ll be serving healthy food to kids and be home when your kids are home due to the school schedule – what’s better than that?! This can be a great opportunity for parents and retirees and food service experience is a plus, but not required. The starting pay for the food service substitute position is $15.05 per hour. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514) for more information. 


The Milton Public Schools is currently undergoing the new Tiered Progress Monitoring System, formally referred to as the Coordinated Program Review(CPR). Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will be on site this fall to conduct site visits.

Unlike with past CPRs, this review does not include extensive review of student records. This self assessment is designed to target our instructional practice, policy and procedures and ensure they are compliant with regulations. This past spring we also participated in two self studies in the area of Civil Rights and Special Education. 

Also this summer, Milton Public Schools will undergo self study for our supports and services that meet the regulations pertaining to a Student’s Right to Educational Stability. This review looks at the students we support who qualify under the McKinney -Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Military Status and Foster Care as well as students who are unaccompanied (enrolling without a guardian or as their own guardian). 

MPS policy and procedures are being reviewed to align with current regulations. This information also includes review of staff training, community outreach and systems in place regarding identification of students in these categories, (as well as special education) via the Student Find Process (often referred to as Child Find). The Department of Education will complete their review this fall. 


Aug 5  School Committee Retreat 
Aug 19–21  Welcome to Middle School Camp
Aug 21  Milton School Committee Meeting
Aug 28  First Day of School for Grades 1-12
Aug 30  No School
Sep 2  No School
Sep 3  First Day for Preschool and K
Sep 4  Milton School Committee
Sep 10  Instrument Registration Night
Sep 11  Pierce Middle School Open House
Sep 12 MHS Open House
Sep 18 Milton School Committee
Sep 19 Cunningham Open House
Sep 24 PARENT Speaker Series Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski
Sep 25 Collicot Open House
Sep 26 Glover Open House
Sep 26 Tucker Open House
Sep 27 No School-Professional Development Day
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.


If you are interested in instrumental lessons for your student grade 4 or higher, you can find all of the details here. Pre-registration for instrumental lessons will close on July 31st. 


Congratulations to the MHS Rugby Team who successfully defended the MIAA Division II State Title with an undefeated, 8-0 season and a final score of 41-12! 

The MPS Athletics Dept is busy preparing for fall. Please see this link for a letter from AD Ryan Madden, with all you need to know about fall athletics. Roll ‘Cats!  

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


The Town of Milton shares the following: A very high heat index has been forecasted for Milton MA. Please use this link for tips to keep cool. Please also check on pets & elderly neighbors to ensure they are safe. And, as always, call 911 for an emergency.

Looking for something to do next week? The Milton Public Library has great programs for families all summer long!

MassDOT will be hosting a public information meeting regarding the Rt 28/ Chickatawbut Road (Milton) intersection improvements on July 23rd at 6:30 at the Milton Council on Aging, 10 Walnut Street, Paul Kelly Community Room, Milton, MA 02186. All details on the meeting can be found here. 

The Milton Historical Society will be hosting an open house on August 11 from 1-3 p.m. at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

The Eustis Estate has two programs this month you may find interesting. Explore and Create Sculpture at the Eustis Estate on Saturday, July 20th from 10am-1pm and a Sunset Concert at the Eustis Estate on Thursday, July 25th from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Both events take place at Eustis Estate, 1424 Canton Avenue, Milton, MA 02186. Details can be found here.

Milton’s Household Hazardous Waste drop-off day will be on September 7th at the DPW Yard.  As this is the first Saturday of September, and the recycling center’s typical first-Saturday opening will be moved to September 14th. 

The Milton Police Department will host a community event at the police station on Thursday evening, August 8th, 2019 from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. It will be modeled after what the department has done in the past the day after National Night Out. This event is free and open to the public. It will include station tours, K9 demonstrations, bounce houses, SWAT exhibit, refreshments & more. Please check the MPD Facebook page as details become available.


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:

Many in the MPS community came to celebrate at Friendly’s with Sophia and her friends.

STUDENTS:  You may remember Cunningham rising 3rd grader Sophia Cassini from her annual sock drive, which has generated thousands of new donated pairs of socks for homeless men and women in Massachusetts. Recently Sophia was honored by Friendly’s and used the event to start a Summer Sock Drive! So far she has collected 112 pairs of new socks during her Summer Sock Drive. If you would like to donate to this summer drive, please drop your socks at 3 Phyllis Lane.

Thank you to Senator Timilty and Sophia’s 2nd grade teacher Tanya Walsh for joining her for some Friendly’s fun! Mr. Redden sent a surprise note and Sophia’s friends and family had a great time while raising awareness for her worthy cause. Senator Timilty invited Sophia to come into the Senate Chamber this summer to talk about her Summer Sock Drive and meet the other Senators. You can follow Sophia’s sock drives on Instagram @sophias.socks and donate by dropping off socks to 3 Phyllis Lane.

STAFF:  While our teachers relax and recharge over the summer, they also learn and grow as educators! Case in point – Pierce science teacher Alison Meleedy at the Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers. (SSEAT) is a week-long summer PD that provides teachers with an opportunity to learn about science concepts and pedagogy, meet professional scientists, visit the behind-the-scenes at Smithsonian museums and other world class research facilities. Ms. Meleedy will bring her enthusiasm and creativity back to PMS in the fall!

STAFF: Pierce guidance counselor, Erin MacCurtain, helped to build a home in Thailand with Habitat for Humanity this past June. The group was able to get most of the house completed and Habitat’s local volunteers finished the project and the family has now moved in. The group  also completed two fish ponds for a local school. Erin and her now husband have done three trips with Habitat. Erin recently got married and as a special treat the villagers gave them a traditional Thai wedding! We are so proud of our staff who continue to learn and give back over the summer months. 

VOLUNTEERS: Thank you to the parents/guardians, MPS staff and community volunteers who served on our Pierce Assistant Principal Search Committee. This committee comprised of Teacher Representatives Deanna Magill,Rachel Clancy and
Sarah Pullia; Parent Representatives Charlie Drane, Becky Padera, I’Man Soloman and Elizabeth Thomas; Assistant Principal Nick Fitzgerald and Principal Bill Fish worked together  in July to identify and screen Assistant Principal candidates. We thank them for their dedication to the Milton Public Schools and for giving up some precious summer days to help us identify some excellent candidates.


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. 

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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