September 12, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: September 12, 2019


In the spring of this year, several Milton parents emailed me with an idea. Would the Milton Public Schools consider “Going Gold” in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness in the month of September? Many planning meetings later, in collaboration with the Town of Milton, the Milton Police Department, the Milton Fire Department, our 6 schools and multiple community members, I am proud to share with you that Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness from September 16th-30th! Our goal is to raise awareness and funds and show support for children who are battling cancer.


Please join us as Milton GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness from September 16-30th! All proceeds will be donated to Wicked Good Cause and the Michael C. McHugh Memorial Foundation.


Sep 12 MHS Open House
Sep 16-30 Milton GOES GOLD
Sep 18 Milton School Committee
Sep 19 Cunningham Open House
Sep 21 Children’s Hospital Blood Drive  –  Cunningham/Collicot Driveway
Sep 24 Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski, PARENT Speaker Series
Sep 25 Collicot Open House
Sep 26 Children’s Hospital Blood Drive at Cunningham Hall
Sep 26 Glover Open House
Sep 26 Tucker Open House
Sep 27 No School-Professional Development Day
Sep 27 MHS Football Game  – Milton GOES GOLD
Oct 2 Milton School Committee
Oct 3 MHS 8th Grade Information Night
Oct 9 No School – Yom Kippur
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.


Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, September 18th at 7pm. At this meeting MPS Social Emotional Learning Facilitator Laurie Stillman, MHS Principal James Jette, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Karen Spaulding, and MPS Director of Health and Physical Education Noel Vigue will present the findings of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey  administered this past March at Milton High School. The survey illuminates the behaviors of our students, particularly around substance use and mental health status.


Milton High School will host its annual “Back to School Night” on Thursday, September 12th at 6:30pm. Back to School Night is a great opportunity for you to get an overview of the high school, receive information from various organizations, familiarize yourself with your child’s schedule, and meet teachers and administrators. The Back to School Night will start promptly at 6:30 p.m with a greeting from Mr. Jette.


L-R: Mrs. Kerry Callender, Crystal Carter, Mrs. Leslie Pouliot, Ella Forgues-Gilbert

8th graders at Pierce have started the school year with a unit on Power, Tolerance, Responsibility, Survival and Courage.  Within the unit, students create a poem or visual representation highlighting and honoring the individual heroes and victims of the September 11th attacks as well as the historical significance and impact of September 11th.

Pierce observed a moment of silence before 8th grade students Crystal Carter and Ella Forgues-Gilbert shared their poems with students and staff as part of Pierce’s 9/11 remembrance on Wednesday.


You’re invited to join the Kindness Friday Movement! For the past three years, we have promoted the wearing of the color red or our Kind is the New Cool t-shirts on Fridays to build community and promote kindness as a school. This isn’t just a movement for our students — teachers, staff, and administrators will wear their Kind is the New Cool shirts and families should feel welcome to join in too!

While it’s not required in order to get involved, if you are interested in purchasing a red Kind is the New Cool t-shirt you can order them by clicking HERE.


Mrs. McClain’s 1st grade students at Cunningham were working this week  with their STEM partners on a “Paper Tower Challenge”. They were  given three pieces of construction paper, a roll of plastic tape, and 15 minutes to design and build the tallest tower they could. Students enjoyed sharing their strategies for building the tallest tower and working together as a team. They especially enjoyed comparing the height of their tower to their own height!


Collicot held its PBIS Assembly , “All are Welcome” , on September 11th with all students from  kindergarten through 5th  grade. During the assembly the Collicot Code as well as school and classroom expectations were reviewed and students were re-introduced to the Collicot Compliment Cards and Cardinal Classroom of the Week. Mrs Caruso read “ All are Welcome”  to students” by Alexandra Penfold.


The dangers of vape/e-cig use made National headlines this summer with several teens suffering from severe lung issues and Congress questioning vape/e-cig manufacturers about targeted marketing to youth.  In our efforts to keep your children safe and to keep you informed, I want to bring to your attention the use of E-Cigarettes, Vape Pens or Juul Pods.

As many of you may know already, the popularity of these devices are creating many challenges for communities  throughout the country as well as compromising the health and safety of our youth.  Milton Public Schools has been diligently addressing the issue and will continue to remain vigilant.  Some of the actions we have taken or plan to take include: offering two parent/guardian training sessions this past spring regarding substance use prevention.  At the same time, Vape detectors were installed in the bathrooms at MHS.   All grade 5 students had lessons in tobacco/vape/e-cig prevention due to a grant from BID-Milton which will continue again this year. Students in grades 6-12 have health education classes that address substance use prevention and the dangers of vaping were included in an updated curriculum last year and the lessons will continue.  Thanks to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition(MSPAC), we had the substance abuse prevention troupe “Drug Story Theater” present to MHS students and they held a community event. We look to work with the MSAPC again to bring in more programs to educate students this year.  We’ll look to bring in a speaker to address “Vaping Prevention” as a part of our PARENT Speaker Series.  We continue to offer numerous clubs and after-school activities to keep students engaged and involved.  We conduct brief screenings (SBIRT) to 7th and 9th grade students regarding health behaviors including substance use.

We will continue to provide resources to assist parents/guardians as you look to continue the conversation with your child about the dangers of vaping.  Don’t hesitate to contact Director for Health and Physical Education, Noel Vigue  or your child’s principal or school nurse with any questions. Please see the following resources:

Vaping: What You Need to Know and How to Talk to Your Kid 

Quit Vaping – from the Truth initiative – texts to help youth quit vaping/juuling. While we’d like to prevent youth from using in the first place, this resource can help users quit. Text Quit to 202-804-9884, Check out this 4 minute video introducing the program on NBC Today.


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.

Coming together with your child’s team each year can be both exciting and stressful, as you reflect upon your child’s progress and plan the new areas of focus. This workshop will offer parents information, insight and tips that will lead to more effective communication and advocacy as you come together with your district team to plan for your child’s educational needs.

FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of ALL AGES.


The Milton Public Schools is proud to have a vibrant staff of instructional assistants who support the ongoing and daily needs of our students across the district.

Beginning in the integrated and specialized preschool programs, our instructional assistants work collaboratively with preschool teachers to support our youngest students. These staff provide a wide range of assistance, from transition support, self-care, and facilitating positive social behavior to communication support, promoting developing play skills and encouraging participation.

At the elementary level, most families are familiar with the kindergarten paraprofessionals who support each classroom as many children begin their first MPS full school day experience. There is one paraprofessional in each of our kindergarten classrooms and these instructional aides work in tandem with the classroom teacher to ensure a smooth, productive and enriching year for our kindergarten students.

Across all grades, K-12,  we have special education instructional assistants who support students who have an Individualized Educational Plan, or IEP.  These staff are trained to provide support in many areas, including  accessing classroom materials, following daily routines, maintaining positive and pro-social relationships and navigating the school environment. As students often work in small groups, these educators may be supporting different learners in a classroom throughout the school year. Additionally, some of our instructional assistants have specialized training in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA. These staff are skilled in providing 1:1 instruction and behavioral support to our students with Autism and related disabilities.

At Milton High School, job coaches and instructional assistants also have the added responsibility of supporting our Achieve and 18-22 year old students who have pre-vocational and community based employment.

We are fortunate to have an incredibly dedicated and strong cadre of support staff in the Milton Public Schools. Their work is vital to the operational success of our schools and the personal achievements of our students.


The Milton Foundation for Education is thrilled to announce the 2019 Monster Dash 5K run/walk and Kid’s Fun Run. Sunday, October 27th at Cunningham Park, 75 Edge Hill Road, Milton.

The Monster Dash, now in its 21st year, benefits the Sam Cichello Memorial Fund. The Cichello family created this fund in memory of their young son, Sam, who died tragically in a 1999 playground accident at Tucker Elementary School. Sam’s Fund supports the science curriculum in all Milton schools. Register now for this fun family event! 


On September 27th, MPS will host an “ed-camp” style conference for all of our MPS educators and colleagues from surrounding communities. Our administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals will participate in a Keynote Address from Dr. Kenneth Wesson (“The Neuroscience of Learning: What Works, What Lasts and Why?”), and then choose from a menu of 85+ hour-long sessions to attend, facilitated by MPS teachers, administrators, community members and other education professionals. In addition to 85+ professional learning opportunities, lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day. Next week, the conference website will be up and running, and all participants will sign up to choose the sessions they would like to participate in throughout the day.

Questions? Please contact: Ben Kelly, Vice Principal, Milton High SchoolAJ Melanson, Educational Technology Director, MPS ; Amy Tom, Science Department Head, Milton High School  


In a few days, our MHS grow racks will look like this!

The Milton School Food Service Program is partnering with EvanLee Farms to provide sustainable gardens to our schools. This past Friday we installed the second indoor “Grow Rack” at Milton High School. Our students in the Achieve Program planted romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, micro mix, kale and basil and lemon basil. Students will harvest the greens in three weeks and they will bring it to our kitchen so we can serve these amazing items at lunch.

These racks will be growing within the school by our students and for our students. Students will learn how to make  informed food choices, how to grow their own food and garden and how to process their food in a  sustainable way.

These racks also serve to educate our students in the science of soils – how soils work to give our plants their nutritional value and understanding the root system of plants. Students will also be learning the history of agriculture and changes due to pesticides, climate change, and what we must do to adapt. The students along with their teachers will plant, maintain and harvest what they grow for consumption in our cafeterias.


The MPS Transportation Department is excited to roll out the FirstView Parent App provided by First Student, our bus company.  FirstView is comprehensive and secure bus tracking and parent communication app.  The FirstView app is easy to download, set up and use to provide estimated bus arrival times, transportation messaging regarding delays or issues and customizable alerts for when your student’s bus is a chosen distance or number of minutes away.    

Please visit or find FirstView in the App Store or Google Play to download to your smartphone.  Additionally a desktop version of FirstView is available at

Next week be on the lookout for emails from the transportation department with specific instructions and school codes to upload your student’s route into your app. 


The Football Team beat Bishop Feehan 17-7 last Friday. Their game this Friday will be at 3:45 at Framingham High School.

Volleyball has started their season 3-0, with wins over Framingham, Notre Dame Academy and Braintree.

The Swim Team made history last night. Andrew Tran, Joe Pezzini, Christian Bartkiewicz and Sebastien Yunger made the state cut in the 200 Medley Relay! They also had Amalia Halpin, Madison Crummy, Adri Halpin and Emily Dobrindt make the state cut in the girls 200 Medley Relay as well. Madison Crummey, Rose Gillooly and Emily Dobrindt all made state cuts in two individual events. Amalia Halpin made a state cut in the 100 butterfly. The girls also made states in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Christian Bartkiewicz made a sectional cut in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, Sebatien Yunger in the 50 freestyle, and Liv DiSandro also in the 50 freestyle. The boys 200 free relay a made a sectional cut as well.

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

Rescheduled to this weekend! The MHS Boys Basketball team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” bottle and can drive on September 14th, 9am-12pm  at Milton High School.


The Girl Power Running Program elementary school aged girls is ongoing! This is a FREE (parent run) program. The purpose of this program is to provide a come when you can, low pressure, confidence and self esteem building activity that encourages girls to work towards a goal, push themselves at a healthy pace and comfort level while supporting one another and participating in an outdoor, good for your body and soul activity. Occasionally we will have a woman that embodies “girl power” join us. We try to have women from a wide range of professions to demonstrate to our girls their limitless options. We will start with a walk/jog, everyone go at their own pace, one mile loop and slowly increase our mileage with the end goal being to participate (if your child wants) in the Monster Dash on Sunday, October 27. The program will meet at the Cunningham Park tennis courts on Mondays and began on Monday, September 9th. We will meet at 3:45 for sign in and warm ups prior to our run. All details can be found here.


The Town of Milton invites you to a Community Housing Forum on Saturday, September 14th at 10am at the Milton Council on Aging, 10 Walnut Street. The town is in the process of preparing a Housing Production Plan that will provide up to date information on local housing issues, identify priority housing needs, and propose short and long-term strategies to address these needs.

Please come to hear what the Town has learned about shifts in demographic and housing trends and needs. Participate in a special program to offer your perspectives on the Town‘s future housing agenda. This is the first of two planned public meetings. A draft summary of the plan can be found on the Town website. Free childcare will be provided. Please call the Select Board Office at 617-898-4843 with any questions.


The Milton Public Library has terrific children’s programs all through September. 


The Forbes House Museum is looking for a Saturday Docent. This is a paid, part-time position, with work hours 10:30 am – 2:30 pm on alternating Saturdays throughout the year. If you enjoy history, art,  ongoing learning, and sharing your passions with others, but are also able to work independently, this is a great opportunity to represent the museum and Milton to visitors of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more about the specific duties and requirements of the position, please visit  the Forbes House website.


Brookwood Community Farm’s 7th Annual Farm Dinner is Sunday, September 15th. Funds raised support the farm’s mission to improve access to fresh food in surrounding communities. We donate to more than 5 food pantries and work in cooperation with Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. In 2018 over $21,000 worth of produce was donated and in 2019 we are well on our way with over $11,000 donated so far. We are thankful for our partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and with The Trustees of Reservations for land use and for our many volunteers and local supportive businesses that help to sustain this farm community. Please join us to enjoy the beautiful setting at Prowse Farm and a dinner filled with Brookwood produce! Tickets can be purchased online at this link.


Milton’s Plastic Bag Ban takes effect on September 14, 2019. Our town’s ordinance was designed to limit the use of single-use plastic checkout bags to protect our streets and public spaces from litter and reduce our environmental impact. We encourage shoppers to remember to bring reusable bags along with them when shopping in Milton. More information can be found here. 


Milton Early Childhood Alliance (A program of Discovery Schoolhouse, Inc.) in partnership with Learning Circle Preschool & Curry College Education Dept.
present BEYOND REMOTE CONTROLLED CHILDHOOD; Creating and Finding Balance in the Media Age, by Diane E. Levin, Professor of Education Wheelock College, Dept. of Early Childhood Education. Join us as Dr. Levin discusses ways in which families can effectively manage media and technology in the lives of their children, describes their effects on learning, play, and development, and explains the value of concrete hands-on play experiences for learning. To learn more about Dr. Levin’s work as an educator, author, and children’s activist, visit her website at


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:

STAFF: As you read above, our paraprofessional staff are a crucial part of our mission at the Milton Public Schools. We would not have the excelling district we do with out these dedicated and professional staff members. Please join me in thanking them for all they do for our students throughout the year.

STUDENTS: I am pleased to announce our student’s Advanced Placement (AP) exam results. In the spring of 2019, Milton High School students took AP exams across almost 20 disciplines. Advanced Placement courses expose students to introductory college level coursework and a score of 3 or above on an AP exam indicates that students would perform well at the college level. Once again, our students have demonstrated excellence in their AP results with 150 Milton High School students recognized by the College Board as AP Scholars with various distinctions. These results are a testament to the hard work, dedication and preparation of both our students and faculty. Please join us in congratulating the following students on their achievement in AP exams and on their recognition from the College Board.

The National AP Scholar designation is granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. We are very proud of Aidan G. Braithwaite, Justin M. Chan, Sarah P. Hancock, Penelope C. Holland, Samuel A. LeLacheur, Hannah J. Mitchell, Julia L. Nerenberg, Eliza C. O’Donnell, Suvan Shukla for achieving this impressive benchmark.

The AP Scholar with Distinction is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. The following students are to be commended for their AP achievements: Lucas B. Alvarez, Grace L. Baker, Alexandra K.Boursican, Aidan G. Braithwaite, Justin M. Chan, Frances M. Collins , Colleen l. Conley, Lilja J. Cormack, Julia C. DeFilippo, Alex Dhima, Emily R. Dobrindt, Michael C. Doyle, Grace M. Dwyer, Edward M. Enyedy, Katherine M. Fahy, Jada M. Farrar, Aemilia A. Ferreira, Mark R. Guerra, Jeremiah J. Hainline, Sarah P. Hancock, Caitlin E. Heelen, Penelope C. Holland, Jackson T. Hoy, Alexandra Kelly, Meghan C. Kelly, Amanda I. Kwong, Jordan H. Lawrence, Samuel A. LeLacheur, Alisa Lorden, Claire V. Mandel, Kara A. Milliken, Hannah J. Mitchell, Julia L. Nerenberg, Philip M. Ng Pack, Thanh Nguyen, Grace C. Noonan, Mary C. O’Connell, Eliza C. O’Donnell, Laura K. O’Hanlon, Nessan F. ODonnell, Madison N. Pellegri, Alexandra C. Rene, Madeline W. Riordan, Sagar Risal, Emily S. Schewe, Suvan Shukla, Isabel C. Smith, Mary Leigh Sullivan, Amanda R. Tam, Clarissa M. Waldmann, Darragh P. Walsh, Dietrich I. Werner, Yatchun Yip and Onn Ye Young.

We also wish to recognize both our AP Scholar with Honor students who received an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams and our AP Scholar students who received scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

Congratulations to AP Scholar with Honor students Molly K. Baker, Neamhain L. Berry , Alex R. Caputo, Joseph S. Charles, Nicola A. Cross, Zachary D. Danner, Raquel C. Gallagher, Paul J.Goodman, Margaret C. Haley, Veronica G. Harris, Patrick J. Hoey, Abdur Hosein, Jeremy A. Killingback, Matthew E. Laine, Francis X. Lalley, Karisa R.Lasoff,Thomas Newell, Margaret M. Pellegri, Abigail A. Rogers, Brandon Seeto, Max Winkler and Shannon M. Young

Congratulations to our AP Scholars Ayla S. Alsebai, Kianna A. Barrett, Samantha Baum, Katherine A. Biagiotti, Annabel V. Botsford, Luke H. Botsford, Aine Buchau, Alannah M. Corcoran, Kyle S.Coull, Brendan D. Cox, Michael R. Daly, Sophia L. Deal, Isabelle B. Driscoll, Ava M. Duggan, Simone L. Elfer, Guinevere A. Ferreira, Matthew M. Finnegan, Daniel P. Flaherty, Mary K. Fox, Julia E. Francesconi, Maya S. Galeano, Madeline L. Gray, Lorna R.Grey, Nicholas J.Griswold, Amalia C.Halpin, Wallace P. Heller, Katherine E. Kates, Bridget M. Kelly, Lauren M. Kelly, Patrick J. Kennedy, Catherine H.Le, Esme A.Link, Vanessa Lorden, Kyle T. Loria, Vincent H. Luong, Jenny Ly, Cooper J. Madigan, Matteo C. Mastandrea, Ryan J. McGroarty, Sarah G. Mitchell, Katherine R. Morrissey, Molly F. Murtagh, Kami H.Nguyen, Minh-Anh Nguyen, Andrew T. Nilsen, Matthew J. Noris, Rebecca C.Noris, Jordan M. Pascal, Cameron Pentland, Audrey R. Pugh, Mohammed A.Rahman, Isabelle L. Richer, Coleman L. Rose, Brendan M. Scott, Caleb J. Smith, Grace K. Stenson, Grace A. Sullivan , Jonathan T. Truong, Kennedi D. Van Allen, Hanganh T. Vo, Taylor A. Vrettas, Douglas B. Walko, Connor P. Withington and Austin C. Wright.

Congratulations to these students on their achievements on the AP exams!

VOLUNTEERS: I want to recognize the parents and guardians who serve on the PTOs (or PTSFO at MHS) at each our six schools. These dedicated volunteers give countless hours to our schools, in the service of enhancing and enriching the Milton Public Schools experience for all students, staff and families. Please join me in thanking our PTO boards and leadership teams. If you have ever considered a role with the PTOs at one of our schools, I encourage you to reach out and see how you can be a part of these vibrant and welcoming organizations.

Cunningham PTO Leadership Team: Suzanne Fitzsimons, Erin Burke, Karin Roethke-Khan, Marybeth Doyle, Stephanie Doyle, Christina Carlin, Laura Phelps, Abigail Callahan, Emily Dwyer, Marianne Kinsella, Sheila Hume, Sammi Yee, Deb Lynch, Jackie Barkowski, Megan Pallai, Megan Dietrich, Brittany Rist and Mandy Susi.

Tucker PTO: Meena Tondravi and Lacy Stoneburner – Co-Presidents; Rebecca Allen – Treasurer; Lateefah Franck – Diversity & Equity; Stacey Soloman and Vanessa Foster – Hospitality; Tanjirene Smith – Communications and Dawn Beckman – Fundraising.

Collicot  PTO: Christine Morrow and Rebecca Stover – Co-Presidents; Stephanie Oldfield – Secretary; Colleen Fogerty and Heidi Naumes – Co-Treasurers.

MHS PTSFO: Annellen Lydon and Trisha Sullivan serve as co-presidents.

Pierce PTO Leadership Team: Colin Delaney, Kristin Dembowski, 
Michelle Cardoza, Stephanie O’Keefe, Lisa Weinstein, Suzanne Moynagh, Sarahkate Feloney and Denise Leonardo.

Glover PTO: Christine Sullivan and Emily Duffy  – Co-Presidents; Erika Doherty- Vice President; Sheila Armstrong  -Treasurer and Suzanne Bridges  – Secretary.


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:  Noel Vigue,  Jon Redden,  Maureen McClain, Zeina Hamada,  Susan Maselli, Ryan Madden, Rachel Schewe, Jackie Morgan, Janice Mazzola, Bill Fish, Cat DesRoche,  Karen Cahill and Dr. Karen Spaulding.

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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