February 17, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 17, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

At last night’s School Committee meeting, the committee voted to end the MPS Face Covering Policy on Friday, March 4, 2022 and make masks optional going forward. The first day of school that masks will be optional is Monday, March 7, 2022. While this date is five school days beyond the DESE recommendation, we ask for your cooperation and assistance to insure that all students properly wear masks during the week of February 28. MPS faculty, staff and administrators appreciate your support. 

As discussed last night, this news will be well received by some and seen as disappointing news by others in our community. It’s vital that we maintain a civil and open discourse about masks and about all issues within the Milton Public Schools. While many hold strong views, there is never room for personal attacks. Everyone – our volunteer elected School Committee, our MPS staff, parents, guardians and the students themselves – is doing what they feel is their very best on behalf of our students and MPS community.

As we move to mask optional within the Milton Public Schools, all students and staff will be supported in their decision of whether to mask or not. If you feel your child is experiencing difficulty in school around their masking decision, please contact your principal or adjustment counselor for support. 

Per federal regulation, masks remain a mandate on school buses and in the health offices. Positive COVID individuals will need to mask for five days after returning to school from the five day quarantine period. Unvaccinated students are encouraged to mask per DESE and DPH guidance. All updated Covid guidelines and documents can be found on our website linked here.

Over the past two years, our greatest success has come when we have worked together as a community through each of these changes. Thank you as always for your ongoing support and partnership. 

As you will read below, there is much to celebrate this week at MPS, including the 100th day of school!  As they always do, our youngest students found creative ways to celebrate. Students enjoyed art projects and classroom celebrations to mark the 100th day.

We will be on February break from February 21-25. I wish you a happy and restful break and I look forward to seeing our students and staff back in our buildings on Monday, February 28.  

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

Milton School Building Committee Family and Community Forum: Please join members of the Milton School Building Committee, along with Superintendent James Jette, Pierce Middle School Principal Bill Fish, and Collicot School Principal Holly Concannon for a virtual Family and Community Forum on either Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 7:30 pm or Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 4 pm.

The Committee will share current information about the need for a new school building, an overview of our proposed site, consideration of options for grade configuration for a new building, and progress that has been made to date. All details and links to attend can be found here.

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The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. As always, all information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch regular School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Feb 17 Pierce Science Fair 
  • Feb 21-25 February Recess
  • Mar 2 Milton School Committee
  • Mar 2 Milton FAME Meeting 
  • Mar 3 Early Release K-12
  • Mar 3 School Building Community Meeting 
  • Mar 3,4,5 Pierce Players 
  • Mar 8 MHS Program of Studies 
  • Mar 9 1st Grade Info Night 
  • Mar 10 School Building Community Meeting 
  • Mar 16 Coffee with Superintendent Jette 

Pierce Players present The Sound of Music on March 3 at 7pm, March 4 at 7pm  and March 5 at 2pm! Check out some terrific local theater at Pierce just after February break. All details on showtimes and the link to purchase tickets can be found here.  Support our talented students and don’t miss this fantastic production! 

Milton FAME Needs Spirited Volunteers! Milton Friends & Advocates for Music Education is meeting Wednesday, March 2nd at 7pm in the MHS Auditorium. ANYONE interested in supporting music education in the Milton Public Schools, including advocating for our music programs and volunteering for events and fundraisers, is welcome to attend! Please enter through the field house doors at the back of the high school and check in with the security desk as the main front doors will be locked.

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On Wednesday, March 16, I invite all parents and guardians to a coffee hour in the MHS auditorium from 8:45-9:30 am. We’ll use the auditorium space as it’s available for that time, but this is not a presentation. I hope to use the time to connect with MPS parents and guardians on a variety of topics and look forward to seeing you there. Please enter through the main entrance at the front of the building. 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here. (Updated February 4 to reflect the February 4 snow day)

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

Covid Vaccine Information: Vaccine clinics will be held on Saturday, March 5 at Milton High School and Saturday, March 26 at Pierce Middle School. All details and registration information can be found at this link. Other options for vaccine locations can be found here and here.

Covid Testing: Any student can enroll in weekly at home testing. To opt-into or out of this program please email Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin at kacoughlin@miltonps.org. Read about the testing program here. We will also make available test kits on Saturday, February 26th at Milton High School (main entrance) between 9-11am.

Covid Guidelines: February 16, 2022 FAQs are linked here. 

Covid Reporting: For the time period of Thursday, February 10 – Wednesday, February 16, 2022, MPS reported the following information Covid positive numbers to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested. 

  • MHS – 1; PMS – 0; Collicot – 1; Cunningham – 3; Tucker – 0; Glover – 0
  • MPS – Staff – 1; Students – 5

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

In acknowledgment of Black History Month, MHS students are using advisory periods to make artwork to display throughout the school.  Students have also contributed to the “I have a dream” board outside the main office where students complete the statement “My dream is….”.  Our English students and staff have updated the “hallway bookshelf” with student recommendations to celebrate Black History Month. We encourage everyone to take a look and take a book!

While our teachers do have several lessons dedicated to Black History Month, as part of the Social Studies curriculum, we also spend time throughout the year studying the Haitian Revolution; Nelson Mandela and the abolishment of Apartheid in South Africa; methods of resistance and control during the era of American slavery; abolitionists and supporters of abolition such as Elizabeth Freeman, Solomon Northrup, Oney Judge, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, supporters of the underground railroad, John Brown, etc; the Civil War, including the Emancipation Proclamation, the Massachusetts 54th regiment, John Smalls and Juneteenth; Reconstruction era movements and policies such as the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, sharecropping contracts, the Freedmen’s Bureau, Black politicians and businessmen, the establishment of Jim Crow laws and the establishment of HBCUs; migration and change during the expansion of America, including Seneca Village, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street, the Harlem Renaissance, migration to urban cities, and the heroic actions of Black soldiers in World War I as well as the conditions to which they returned and the leaders and actions of those who have brought about change in America, including Thurgood Marshall, Dr. King, Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois, Shirley Chisholm, Ida B. Wells, Barack Obama and countless others.

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Milton High School’s chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society inducted fifteen new members at a formal induction ceremony led by student officers Tracy Le, Michael Howard, Roisin Queally, and Stella Yuan on the morning of Thursday, February 17th. Tri-M® is an international honor society for high school students sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). This program recognizes students for their academic and musical achievements, rewards them for their accomplishments and service activities, and inspires other students to excel at music and leadership.

Congratulations to new members Carle Bleau, Emily Bohlin, Shanti Bosque-Hamilton, Ella Cantor, Alex Files, Bella Fiske, Nora Hegarty, Lucy Hollingsworth-Hays, Lily Lane, Angel Leggett, Julia Mangum, Sam McLaughlin, Ha-Yen Nguyen, Nina Truog, and Adriana Villar! These students were selected for membership based on their musical and academic achievements, music advocacy, and leadership with the MHS Music Department.

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The MHS Debate Team would like to thank the following Milton residents  for their generous donations to the MHS Debate Team! Grand Crossfire Donation: Michael D. Rucciutti Atty.; Impact Donation: Highland Surgical Associates, LLC, Gregory Kechejian, MD; Traverse Insurance Agency, Inc, Michael Traverse; Keating Brokerage, LLC.

PIERCE PAGES 

Mr. Jarrett’s 8th grade Orion students worked with partners to research an unsung Black American hero for Black History Month. The project will culminate with a discussion of why there are only a select few Black people routinely taught in school, and the implications of separating Black History (and Black historical figures) from the rest of American History.

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Each month, Pierce recognizes students who demonstrate the values of safety, responsibility, respect, and kindness. Teachers nominate students and students from each grade are selected by Pierce’s culture and behavior committee. Please join us in congratulating Ava Brown, Talia Cecere, Charles Hellmuth and Emma Sutphin who were honored for the month of January as Positive Community Members!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Cunningham celebrated Black History Month this month and K-5 students discussed what it meant to “Be Like Ruby”.  Students read books, worked on collaborative projects and writing assignments and held discussions around their theme prior to an all school assembly where work was shared with everyone.

Cunningham 5th graders researched famous Black Americans and selected one to complete a mini research project about.  Students read books and watched videos, took notes and then created a Google Slide presentation by adding important facts and images. They present to their peers at the completion of the project.

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Ms. McDermott’s Collicot 3rd graders recently read the book The Doctor With An Eye for Eyes: The Story Of Dr. Patricia Bath. Dr. Bath was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first female doctor to receive a medical patent. She invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.

After reading the book and learning about Dr. Bath and her achievements, our students wrote a text to self connection to this prompt: Think of our world today. Is there anything that you want to change or a problem that you think needs solving? What is the problem? Why is it a problem? What do you think you can do to help solve the problem? They wrote about this problem and their ideas for a possible solution.

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Glover has been celebrating Black History Month all month! Each day, morning announcements have featured Black individuals who have made valuable contributions to this world, to our country, and to our communities. This year, the goal was to learn about people that we didn’t know a lot about and students challenged ourselves to look beyond Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and learn more about important Black individuals they might not know. Each morning, the announcements introduced a new person and told his/her story. Among others, students learned about: 

  • Marcelite Harris: first African-American female general officer of the United States Air Force
  • Garrett Morgan: African-American inventor, businessman, and community leader. His most notable inventions were a three-position traffic signal and a smoke hood notably used in a 1916 tunnel construction disaster rescue
  • Madam CJ Walker: African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist. She is recorded as the first female self-made millionaire in America in the Guinness Book of World Records
  • Claudette Colvin: Before there was Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin: On March 2, 1955, she was arrested at the age of 15 in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded, segregated bus
  • Miles Davis: American trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th-century music

Students have also been enjoying Friday read alouds, we read aloud that highlight moments in Black history. Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry, read by the O’Connell brothers and The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelsonwere two recent selections.

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On Tuesday, February 15, Glover celebrated International Angelman Day in honor of Kindergartner Teddy Robinson. Teddy has Angelman Syndrome which is a rare neurogenetic disorder that affects about 500,000 people worldwide. Teddy’s mom made a video to show his journey, all Glover Kids and staff wore blue, and each student created a special set of wings that will be combined to create one giant set of Angelman wings as a symbol of our unity and our commitment to ensuring that every child at Glover feels seen, valued, heard, and included. Students learned about how Teddy communicates through his augmentative communication device and his classmates all sported Team Teddy t-shirts. Families in Mrs. Brink’s classroom gathered together and made a donation to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation in Teddy’s name. It was a special day in honor of a very special student!

Congratulations, Nadia!

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Congratulations to our Collicot Spelling Bee Champion, Nadia Serpa! Earlier today, grades 3,4, and 5 competitors came together to compete for the title of Collicot School Spelling Bee Champion. All of the Collicot spellers did an amazing job with the Bee lasting over 20 rounds and 90 minutes. All details on the Bee, including participants, can be found here. 

TECHNOLOGY 

This month the Milton Public Schools held their second annual elementary school Digital Citizenship Day.  All Milton Public School elementary students took part in two engaging digital citizenship lessons. The lesson topics included digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying, and creating passwords and lessons were facilitated by family volunteers and staff.  The engaging lessons were developed by Common Sense Media, modified by MPS Elementary Instructional Technology Specialists Jen Van Hill  and Sara Doherty, and are intended to help our students better understand how to interact with digital technology and their peers in a healthy, respectful way. Each lesson takes on real challenges and digital dilemmas that students face today, giving them the skills they need to succeed as learners, leaders, and citizens.  For more specific information about the lessons taught during Digital Citizenship Day please visit our Digital Citizenship Day Volunteer Site.

Each lesson included an at-home exercise to help families continue the conversation and reinforce the guidance provided during Digital Citizenship Day. Please visit your student’s Technology Google Class page or visit the Digital Citizenship Day Volunteer Site for access to the at-home activities.

Thank you to all of the family volunteers for supporting this important initiative. Without their support, this day would not have been possible. Volunteers shared that: “The kids loved it, the lessons were great!”; “I learned just as much as the kids, this was great!” and “The kids were so engaged, this was very well done.” 

MPS GIVES BACK

This week, Collicot 5th graders assembled birthday boxes to donate to the Southwest Community Food Center in Quincy. Each box contained a combination of items such as cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, decorative plates/napkins, etc. The students decorated and assembled 47 boxes –  that’s 47 children in the area that will have a better birthday thanks to the kindness and generosity of the 5th graders and their families. A special thank you to the 5th graders, parent volunteers and the 5th grade staff who helped organize and encourage the students. And an extra special thank you to the members of the 5th Grade Service Committee: Audra Devine, Laura O’Melia, Heather McDonough and Anne Marie Griffin who made this service project possible!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares her  latest newsletter at this link. This newsletter has information about important school contacts, updates from the Restorative Justice Coach Adina Schecter, Early Learning Coach Lauren Vanacore, DESE Feedback on Special Education in Milton and more. 

SEPAC

PARTICIPATE: We currently have an opening for the role of secretary on our SEPAC board. The secretary’s role involves 5 hours a month max, including board meetings. This is a great opportunity to join and participate in a community of parents who share your special education concerns and experiences. If interested, please email miltonsepac@gmail.com

ADVOCATE: Please reach out to your school rep as a first step of advocacy, and consider attending our next ZOOM board meeting TONIGHT, Feb 17. We welcome new voices and ideas. 

EDUCATE: Fifty Best Books On Special Education

 

ATHLETIC

MPS Athletic Director Ryan Madden shares the updates below as the winter season winds down. 

Wrestling: Mason Pellegri won his weight class, finishing first in the 170lb group at the Division II Central Championships this past Saturday. He, along with Alex Paxhia, Jackson Matejka, Ethan Dobrindt, and Conor Walsh have qualified for the Division II State Championships. They start tomorrow in Fitchburg. Good luck ‘Cats!

The Boys Hockey Team has won 3 straight games, scoring 18 goals along the way. With a win over Weymouth tomorrow, they would punch their ticket to the State Tournament!

The Girls Hockey Team has bounced back in great fashion after a slow start. They are now 5-4-1 over their 10 games.

The following students qualified for the Division III Divisional Championships last night at the Reggie Lewis Center; Congratulations to Katie O’Toole, Christina Sullivan, Norah Affanato, and Mia Jiliani for qualifying for the All-State Championships on February 26. The two mile relay quartet placed second at the Divisional Championships on Wednesday night running a season’s best time of 9:57. Christina, Norah, and Katie also placed 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively in the girls mile. Sophomore Mia Jiliani also qualified in an open event by placing third in the 1000 meter run. The girls 4×400 meter relay team of Kai Quinoess, Marilyn Roche, Zoe Panucci, and Gretel Schewe placed 5th, Freshman Gretel Schewe also placed 5th in the 600 meter run. Congratulations to all of our runners and field event athletes who performed well at Wednesday’s championship meet. On to the All-States!

A very special thank you to long-time Baseball Coach, Mike Collins for his years of service to the Milton High School Baseball Program. Coach Collins has coached in the program for over 20 years and has spent countless hours working on and at Cunningham Park. We wish him the best of luck in his retirement.

Spring Registration is open! Make sure you register here. If you have already registered for a Fall or Winter Sport, please just add a Spring Sport to your existing registration. Payment must be made before tryouts start on Monday, March 21. Registration information can be found here.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Forbes House Museum presents John Halpern, M.D., author of Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World on Thursday, March 3, at 7 pm at the Milton Art Center.

In conjunction with its exhibiton “Opium: The Business of Addiction,” the Forbes House Museum is hosting a series of programs beginning with John Halpern, M.D., speaking about his book Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World. Dr. Halpern places opium in an historical context and provides an overview of the root causes of the current opioid epidemic. With opium inextricably linked to our modern trade networks, drug enforcement policies and medical treatments, he presents a need for a compassionate, multifaceted approach to battling the epidemic of opioid overdoses and substance use disorders. In Halpern’s view, there is hope.

Following the presentation, there will be time for Q&A and book signings. Advance ticket purchase encouraged. Tickets: $15/person, or $12/member. To learn more, please visit the Forbes House website. 

Thank you to our exhibition partners the Milton Coalition and the Milton Public Library. This program series was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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

Need help finding books to read over February Vacation? Try our BookMatch for Kids! This reader’s advisory service helps anyone in grades K-6 find their next favorite read. Fill out our form to tell us a little more about you, and we’ll email you a list of 8-10 books we think you’ll really like. Find the form here.

The Milton Public Library Teen Program meets each day after school in the Young Adult Room on the second floor of the library. Join us for weekly Dungeons & Dragons, biweekly Anime Club, drop-in Friday Afternoon Magic: the Gathering games, and more! Our programs are planned and coordinated by the Teen Advisory Board, which is always looking for enthusiastic new members. Check out our website for dates, email teen librarian Tyler Vachon at tvachon@ocln.org, or come by the library after school to jump in! Virtual participation options are available.    

Sign up today for these programs on the library website.  To learn more and to register for all programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Kim Coughlin,  Holly Concannon, Bill Fish, Kirsten Driscoll, Karen Cahill, Shawna Stueterman, Laura McDermott, Sarah Slater, Nicole Grant-Heal and Ryan Madden. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 17, 2022

February 10, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 10, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This week, Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley and Governor Charlie Baker held a joint press conference and announced that “effective Monday, February 28, the DESE mask requirement will be lifted statewide. The Commonwealth’s high vaccination rates and widespread availability of COVID-19 testing for school personnel and students support this decision.” As of February 28, all masking policies will revert to individual districts and their specific school policies. You can read my entire email to the MPS community from February 9 here.

At this time, the Face Covering Policy is a Milton School Committee Policy. In light of this week’s announcement, and the mask waiver granted to MPS by the State on Monday, February 7, any changes to the MPS mask policy, including use of the waiver, will need to be made at a public School Committee meeting. As I have received some emails about announcements  made in other districts, I wanted to share that with the timing of our next School Committee meeting, the first opportunity for public discussion and a vote in Milton is the week of February 14. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, February 16 and the Face Covering Policy is on the agenda.  As always, all information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch regular School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

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This week is National School Counseling Week, and the theme is “School Counseling: Better Together”. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

Our school counselors are actively engaged in helping students examine their abilities, strengths, interests and talents and work in partnership with parents and guardians as they encounter the challenges of raising children in today’s world. They focus on positive ways to enhance students’ academic, career and social/emotional development and work with teachers and other educators to provide an educational system where students can realize their potential and set healthy, realistic and optimistic aspirations for themselves. School counselors are certified, experienced educators with master’s degrees in school counseling. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program in the Milton Public Schools. 

In Milton, school counselors are aided by school adjustment counselors, social workers who are clinically trained to help students manage their social/emotional well being. School counselors serve all students, addressing college & career readiness, academic concerns and social emotional issues, while adjustment counselors serve the mental health needs of a limited population.

Barbara Meyer, MPS Director of School Counseling 6-12 leads strong group of professionals who work hard on behalf of our students every day. Leonice Bernard,
Scott Devlin, Rich Guarino, and Lisa Spinelli make up the team at MHS while Erica Benjamin, Erin Jaquette and Lisa Veldran are the Guidance Counselors at Pierce.

We are also lucky to have a dedicated group of Adjustment Counselors working with our students: Jennie Beliveau, Mary-Bianca Mattocks, Kenny Adelman and Caitlin Hansen at MHS; Kara Sheridan, Myriam Francoeur, Lynne Henry and Olivia Johnson at Pierce and Alyson McGrath, Courtney Henrick, Ramsay Cadet, Brian Powers in our elementary schools.

I also want to recognize Lilah Sorenson, Erin Brennan, Alex Scheman, Mary Downes, Marta Gullickson, Sarina Accommazi, Breanne MacFarland, Nicole Lesenechal and Alexis Umeh who serve as Adjustment and School Counselor interns throughout the district. These interns work with our students under the guidance of our professional staff and we are grateful for their contributions to our school community. 

We are grateful for these School and Adjustment Counselors who are vital components of our school community. Please join me in recognizing them during School Counselors Week. 

This month in the Milton Public Schools we are acknowledging Black History Month. As the month progresses we look forward to continuing to elevate and highlight the positive contributions of Black Americans and sharing classroom based activities with the MPS community.

Please continue reading below for school and classroom highlights, celebrations of our students’ achievements, information about upcoming meetings and programs and more. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

Milton School Building Committee Family and Community Forum: Please join members of the Milton School Building Committee, along with Superintendent James Jette, Pierce Middle School Principal Bill Fish, and Collicot School Principal Holly Concannon for a Family and Community Forum on either Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 7:30 pm or Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 4 pm.

The Committee will share current information about the need for a new school building, an overview of our proposed site, consideration of options for grade configuration for a new building, and progress that has been made to date.

We are scheduling this forum for families and community members to keep you informed, and to hear your thoughts and questions about the proposed site and options for grade configuration. Your perspective is critical to inform our decision making. We hope this will be the first of many opportunities to share updates and hear your feedback as we pursue this important project. These events will be virtual and zoom links to attend will be shared closer to the event. 

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Feb 10 Milton ELPAC Meeting 
  • Feb 16 Milton School Committee
  • Feb 17 Pierce Science Fair 
  • Feb 21-25 February Recess
  • Mar 2 Milton School Committee
  • Mar 3 Early Release K-12
  • Mar 3 School Building Community Meeting 
  • Mar 8 MHS Program of Studies 
  • Mar 9 1st Grade Info Night 
  • Mar 10 School Building Community Meeting 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here. (Updated February 4 to reflect the February 4 snow day)

On Thursday, February 10, at 8 pm, the English Language Education (ELE) Department will host the first in a series of monthly meetings of the English Learners Parent Advisory Council (Milton ELPAC). The Milton ELPAC is open to the parents and guardians of current and former English Learners (ELs & FELs) in Milton Public Schools. The Milton ELPAC is a parent/guardian-driven council whose purpose is to advocate for the educational needs of Milton’s English Learners as well as to publicize and support Milton’s multilingual families as a key asset in our community. Please email Robert Johnson at rjohnson@miltonps.org for more information and a link to attend. 

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During the week of March 7th, MPS will be participating in the DESE Targeted Review. You can read all details in the letter sent to all MPS families and staff on Monday, January 31 and linked here. The DESE review, which MPS was randomly selected for, was also discussed at the School Committee meeting on February 2. All School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

Save the date! Milton Public Schools considers the health and well-being of our students a priority. With that in mind, we are partnering with the Department of Public Health to host school vaccination clinics for your eligible children ages 5 and up. These clinics will offer the Pfizer vaccine as an initial vaccine, second dose or booster. Clinics will be held on Saturday, March 5 at Milton High School and Saturday, March 26 at Pierce Middle School. All details and registration information can be found at this link. 

Along with DESE and DPH, Milton Public Schools Administration strongly urges all eligible individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and booster if eligible. You can check in with your local CVS, Walgreens, your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or your child’s pediatrician. Other options for vaccine locations can be found here and here.

Covid Reporting: For the time period of Thursday, February 3 – Wednesday, February 9, 2022, MPS reported the following information Covid positive numbers to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested. 

  • MHS- 4; PMS- 1; Collicot – 4; Cunningham- 4; Tucker – 1; Glover – 5
  • MPS – Staff – 3; Students – 19

All updated Covid guidelines and documents can be found on our website linked here. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

We are pleased  to share that Jacira King, Evelyn Ruzzo, Kyle Denny, Jaylah White, Jayden Boyer, Skyler DaSilva, Jalyssa Coley and Nkechinyere Onyiriuka  have earned a Calculus Project Semester Award. These students were chosen because of their growth and hard work in math class and the Tutoring Center. Please read more about these students, the awards and The Calculus Project on our website. Congratulations to these hard working and talented students! 

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In January the MHS publication the Elephant in the Room sent several submissions of newspaper articles, art, editorials, infographics, and humor to the New England Scholastic Press Association’s Localizing Contest. This annual contest invites local high school newspapers to send work that qualifies as localizing — that is, anything that takes a global, international, or national story and relates it to the school and local community. I am proud to share that we had three winners from Milton High School. 

Kevin Carberry was chosen for his satirical, Covid related article, “School Buckles-Down On Gym Class Sneaker Mandate”; Abigail Raymond won for her infographic, “Milton High Dress Code” and Mia Gilmore was selected for her Global Warming article, “Could Milton be turning into a beach town?” in which she interviewed sources at the Blue Hills Weather Observatory.

A huge congratulations to these students for raising awareness and boosting Milton High Schools paper’s reputation in the Greater Boston area! 

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L-R Kiera Glazer, Rory Martin, Sydney Burns, Ida Zoll, Lilly Oslin, Williams Cayo, Anderson Korman, Tucker Korman, Will Malc, Alex McEttrick and Jonathan Waldmann

Although one would assume it takes a village when one hears about the international body for peace and security, this past weekend it took a Milton village to secure attendance at the Boston University Model UN for 11 Milton High School students. With school canceled on Friday, inclement weather frustrating participation and lots of logistical challenges – participation was in jeopardy. However, many parents and teachers stepped up to make this opportunity possible for our students and we are very grateful for their kindness and cooperation. The Model UN Team was able to participate thanks to the many volunteer drivers as well as Mrs. Burns and Mrs. Waldmann who volunteer their time as chaperones. An additional shout out goes out to Mr. Stoodt who signed up to support but was not called upon.

Boston University’s Model UN took place at the Copley Marriott where delegates from all over New England had the chance to delve into the world of international affairs, public speaking, and diplomatic skills in various committees focused on policy debate.

Ida Zoll, Sydney Burns and Lilly Oslin represented Tunisia in the general assembly where Williams Cayo represented Greece and Alex McEttrick represented Gabon on various committees. Kiera Glazer, Will Malec and Rory Martin were on the Economic and Social Council, on various committees representing Ecuador, Lithuania, and Greece. Jonathan Waldmann and Anderson Korman were on Specialized committees and Tucker Korman was on a crisis committee.

In five committee sessions over three days, students learned to balance national interests with the needs of the international community, while also learning about the powers and limitations of international negotiation. Delegates strove to preserve their countries’ foreign and domestic policies while also negotiating in the face of other, usually conflicting, international policies.

All student delegates were impressive in their engagement, dedicated to accurate representation of their countries, cooperative in their exchanges with other delegates and diligent in all their efforts. Although all students performed with excellence, some were recognized for their efforts. Rory Martin, Alex McEttrick and Tucker Korman were given verbal commendations. Kiera Glazer and Jonathan Waldmann were awarded honorable mention and Anderson Korman was presented with the Best Delegate award. A huge congratulations goes out to all who participated and a big thank you goes out to all who supported this adventure.

PIERCE PAGES 

Students in Ms. Power’s 7th grade IS English class used Kobe Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” poem as inspiration to write their own ode poems to something they love. Kobe Bryant wrote the poem when he retired from basketball in 2015 and it was turned into a short film in 2017 and won an Academy Award. Students needed to use at least three poetic devices in their poems, and we discussed in class how the poem itself is an example of personification. If you are interested in reading some of our excellent student work, you can read Ben’s poem here and Olivia’s poem here

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Students have been busy in the Tucker art room. In third grade, students are working on a unit on African art, and looking at artists that are influenced by African art such as Lois Mailou Jones (originally from Boston!). In fourth grade, we studied Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting “Pez Dispenser” (dinosaur) to create our own fun version, and fifth grade ACE students are finishing up a unit on sewing!

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Our students loved learning about Afro-Peruvian music and dance

For El Mes de la Historia Negra, Señor Foy shares that elementary Spanish students explored different aspects of Afro-Latinidad. Students watched and discussed an interview about Afro-Latino representation in Encanto, as discussed by Lin Manuel Miranda and other cast members and attended a virtual field trip to Cali, Colombia, which has one of the largest Afro-Latino populations in the world. Students are having an ongoing exploration of contributions by various Afro-Latino intellectuals, artists, musicians, and athletes and learning about Afro-Peruvian music and dance. 

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On the recent Early Release Day, “Atomic Adam” went on a ‘world’ tour to all four elementary schools (Cunningham, Collicot, Glover, and Tucker) to give Milton Community Schools students an immersive and insightful experience about space and the solar system. 

MUSIC NEWS

We have more great music news to share! Music students from Pierce and Milton High School were very successful at recent SEMSBA Auditions! This past Saturday, our music students traveled to Abington High School to audition for the SEMSBA music festival ensembles alongside students from over 30 communities in Southeast region of Massachusetts. In total, forty MPS students were accepted to the two festivals! These students will be performing in the Senior and Junior SEMSBA festival ensembles later this year:

  • Senior SEMSBA– MHS: Band- Lucia Dwyer, Brynne Mershon, Claudia O’Neill, Stella Yuan; Chorus- Carle Bleau, Kiera Earner, Isabelle Feloney, Lucy Hays, Julia Mangum, Roisin Queally; Strings- Camille Donovan, Nora Hegarty, Lucie Lloyd Faber, Isabel Murley, Ha-Yen Ngyuen, Aoife Ruth, Adriana VIllar; Jazz- Emily Bohlin, Tim Fay, Bella Fiske, Max Hollingsworth Hays
  • Junior SEMSBA– MHS: Band- Colin Glazer, Naimh Guilderson, James Goodman, Ronan O’Connor
  • Junior SEMSBA– Pierce: Band- Tess Carroll, Bora Ceranoglu, Jesse Deleo, Madyn Dwyer, Sebastian Gobbi, Gwen Johnston, Eliot Leemen-Weil, James Malec, Jordan Munsey, Sofie Profit, Layla Raymond, Aasya Tahir, Nate Turner; Strings- Luke Gimbrone-Naviloff, Avery Squiciarino

Congratulations to all of these students for their hard work and dedication!

MPS GIVES BACK

Souper Bowl Drive: The Milton Food Pantry is currently experiencing a soup shortage, and we are here to help.  The food pantry is in need specifically of soup donations: Progresso, Dinty Moore, and Campbells are preferred brands. The drive will run from Monday, February 7 to Friday, February 11.

Donation bins are located in the MHS Cafeteria, as well as at Pierce, Tucker and Collicot (Glover and Cunningham have different food drive dates) and students should place donations in the bin that has the team that you think will win the Super Bowl. Thank you to all for coming together to help others in our community!

MPS STAFF UPDATES

We are actively in the search process for two important roles in the Milton Public Schools. The search committee for the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Curriculum has been formed and is linked here. Details on that search timeline can be found here.  The Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion search committee is not yet final but will be shared when formed. The timeline can be found here. Community members come from PTOs, School Site Councils, and community organizations and staff members who serve on these committees are from each of our schools. Thank you to all who volunteer to serve on these important (but time consuming) committees. 

There are ongoing employment opportunities within the Milton Public Schools. All details can always be found on the main page of the MPS website  and on our Employment Page. There are currently positions posted for Substitute Teachers, Food Service Subs, Paraprofessional Educational Assistant, Speech Language Pathologist, Adjustment Counselor Elementary, the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources and more. Please visit our Employment Page for more information. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares her  latest newsletter at this link. This newsletter has information about important school contacts, updates from the Restorative Justice Coach Adina Schecter, Early Learning Coach Lauren Vanacore, DESE Feedback on Special Education in Milton and more. 

SEPAC

PARTICIPATE:  We currently have an opening for the role of secretary on our SEPAC board. The secretary’s role involves 5 hours a month max, including board meetings. This is a great opportunity to join and participate in a community of parents who share your special education concerns and experiences. If interested, please email miltonsepac@gmail.com

ADVOCATE : This year the SEPAC board is focused on building relationships with each school principal as we continue to work towards fulfilling the MPS core values.  As a group, we look at the big picture of our school system and determine strategies of effective advocacy. Please reach out to your school rep with concerns and questions, and consider attending our next ZOOM board meeting on February 17. We welcome new voices and ideas. 

EDUCATE –  If you missed January 26th’s  MPS/SEPAC presentation about Tourette’s, don’t despair! The recording is now available at this link. The talk by Susan Connor, a nationally-recognized expert on Tourette’s Syndrome, was eye-opening, thought-provoking, inspiring and funny, and provided concrete strategies to help students and their families, both inside and outside of the classroom. Thank you again to Susan Maselli for facilitating this important event and to all the MPS staff and families who participated. It was a wonderful turn out!

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Tax season has begun and Noreen Kearney Dolan, Fund Coordinator for the Milton Residents Fund, asked that we share this resource with MPS families. MyFreeTaxes, a product supported by United Way, helps people file their taxes for free while getting the assistance they need. The site will point you to either an in-person VITA site in a local community or will provide you with access to the website to file your taxes for free – with no income limits. Volunteer help is a phone call away.

MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Family Resource Newsletter  please visit  Milton Public School Resource Guide.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

ATHLETICS

Congratulations to MHS Wrestling – the ’21-22 Herget Champions!

It’s Senior Night Season!

  • Wrestling celebrated their Seniors on Saturday, February 5th against Boston Latin School in a great match.
  • The Wrestling Team had their last match last night against Braintree before entering Sectional this weekend at Bellingham High School. They went undefeated in the Herget and finish as Herget Champions!
  • The Ski Team will honor their seniors tonight at 5pm at Blue Hills!
  • Boys Ice Hockey will honor their seniors on Saturday, 2/12 against Newton North. The puck drops at 6:10pm.
  • Girls Basketball will honor their seniors on Tuesday, 2/15 against Weymouth. The game starts at 6:30pm.
  • Girls Ice Hockey will honor their seniors on Wednesday, 2/16 against Weymouth. The puck drops at 7:10pm.
  • Boys Basketball and Cheer will honor their seniors on Thursday, 2/17 against Randolph. The game starts at 6:30pm.
  • Track will honor their seniors at their Banquet as the Spectator Limits at the Reggie don’t allow for a full ceremony.
  • All Senior Ceremonies will begin shortly before the scheduled game time.

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Spring Sports are right around the corner! Tryouts begin March 21st. Be sure to register if you haven’t already.  If you have already registered for a Fall and Winter Sport, all you need to do is add a Spring Sport to the existing registration, or email Ryan Madden, Director of Athletics, rmadden@miltonps.org asking to add a Spring Sport.

COMMUNITY NEWS

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance, a program of Discovery Schoolhouse, is offering a free 4-week toddler and preschool playgroup series for families with children ages 2.5 through 4 years old! Join us virtually, via Zoom, on Thursdays, March 3 to 24, 2022, at 10:30 AM. This program will include songs, movement activities, stories, and art projects. Activity bags, filled with supplies and materials needed for this series, will be provided. Parents or guardians must participate with children. Completion of the Ages & Stages Questionnaire will be requested of you at registration. Registration is required and can be completed online here. Upon completion of this series, you will receive children’s books for you and your child to enjoy together. We ask that you commit to attending all four sessions. Email cpcmecasld@verizon.net with questions.

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Milton Girls Softball Registration: Registration is now open for Milton Girls Softball’s Spring 2022 season. Please register at spring.miltonsoftball.com  We have over 350 girls in our program from K-8, with professional instruction for the kindergarteners and first graders to learn the game without being intimidated or overwhelmed. Financial assistance is also available. Please email wecare@miltonsoftball.com with any questions.

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The Milton Public Library’s calendar of February programs for kids can be found here. Join MPL in two very special events this Saturday, February 12. 

  • At 11 am for ages 6-11, learn all about the art of storytelling with Writer-in-Residence Joan F. Smith. After Joan reads a portion of a short children’s book, attendees will then write and illustrate a new “end” of the story on their own.
  • Then at 2 pm, enjoy an hour of line dancing with Jean Long. Come have lots of laughs and move to a variety of music. Like…. Could I Have This Dance, The Hustle,The Wobble, Cupid Shuffle, and more during this family fun event for ages 10-adult. This is a Milton Moves Program: a year-long initiative of the Milton Public Library for all ages focused on fitness, wellness, and healthy eating.

Sign up today for these programs on the library website.  To learn more and to register for all programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.

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February 11th Hour Calling – Climate Action Standout: Friday, February 11, 6-6:30pm Rain/Snow date: Sat. 2/12 at the  First Parish Church lawn ~ Gather round the spotlight
Show up! We care about the climate emergency, environmental justice, and Milton’s municipal response planning (this process has begun to launch). For safety bring flashlights, headlamps, light-colored or reflective clothing. For impact bring signage, posters and noise makers (pots and pans work well). We welcome all to this energizing community event. Be bold: Bring friends and neighbors…your Valentine date! 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Kim Coughlin, Jess Gillooly, Nancy Warn, Holly Concannon, Seamus Foy, Barbara Meyer, Michael Young, Rebecca Damiani, Bill Fish, Natalia Perez, Jacqueline O’Rourke and Ryan Madden. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 10, 2022

February 3, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: February 3, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The best and most meaningful part of each week for me is when I can step away from emails, phone calls and meetings and interact directly with our students, staff and families. Classroom lessons, assemblies and special events, games, matches, performances and more are all opportunities for connection and I try to visit each of our schools regularly.

This week I checked in with a Pierce Health and Wellness class as they discussed their goals and hopes for the future, both personally and in a more global sense. I was impressed by their thoughtful discussion. Thank you to Mrs. McEvoy and the students for welcoming me into their classroom. 

I also visited Tucker this week, after school on the Wednesday early release day, during their planned visit from therapy dogs. The role these service dogs play in schools and communities is priceless. I saw the excitement from the students and their eagerness to interact with the dogs and I was impressed by each dog’s temperament, especially with so many hands and bodies in front of each dog. Thank you to the MPD Police Officers, Resource and Community Officers from other school districts, colleges, universities, and Milton’s own therapy dog Marley for visiting with our Tucker students and staff.

This week we posted the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion position (renamed from Senior Director of Education Equity). The Director will work collaboratively with the Superintendent as a strategic planner in order to ensure an inclusive, anti-racist, anti-bias, academically rigorous and dynamic school culture across Milton Public Schools. The full position description can be found here and the timeline can be found here. Two weeks ago, we posted the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Curriculum position and all details on that search timeline can be found here. 

Both the Director of DEI and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources positions are key members of MPS leadership and we look forward to filling these positions in the coming months. All information will be shared in my weekly blog, your Principal’s weekly newsletters and at School Committee meetings. 

At last night’s School Committee meeting, I shared that I have applied for a mask waiver for both Milton High School and Pierce, our two schools that have met the 80% vaccination threshold. In addition, the DESE mask mandate is due to be reviewed on February 28. This week we began our new testing program through DESE with 300 staff members and 1400 students participating. This new at-home testing will run through April 22, 2022 and as part of this shift in testing programs, we will be discontinuing the Test and Stay program and will no longer be contact tracing for in-school close contacts. If you would like to opt in to at home testing, all details are here.

In January, due to a significant surge in positive Covid cases, we adhered to a stricter mask policy and attempted to limit time indoors without masks (i.e., when eating and drinking). As we had a large number of students who were back in school on Day 6 of positivity, this was the safest way to prevent transmission. Since then, our community has done a great job of limiting community spread and keeping our numbers down. While our students and staff (per DESE guidelines), still wear masks inside,  much of our school day looks like it normally does, with lunch, recess, specialist classes, small and large group work, sporting events with spectators, art and cultural events, parent volunteers, etc. We all look forward to a time when all Covid protocols are eliminated and we will continue to update you at School Committee meetings, the blog, the MPS website and via email.

Out and about at Collicot after the big weekend storm.

After this weekend’s major storm, I want to thank the Milton DPW, MPS custodial staff and Milton Consolidated Facilities for their incredible work clearing the substantial snow from the schools and the sidewalks and roads around the schools and throughout Milton. Many districts were forced to cancel school on Monday but due to the hard work of many in Milton, we were able to have a safe and productive day of school. Thank you as well to Milton drivers for your continued attention to all traffic safety rules at our schools, never more important than during inclement weather.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on February 16, 2022 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

If you have not yet given feedback on to the Equity Steering Committee on a shared definition of equity, please do so in a short 2 question survey linked here.  

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Feb 16 Milton School Committee
  • Feb 17 Pierce Science Fair 
  • Feb 21-25 February Recess
  • Mar 2 Milton School Committee
  • Mar 3 Early Release K-12
  • Mar 9 1st Grade Info Night 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here. (Updated 1/7/22)

During the week of March 7th, MPS will be participating in the DESE Targeted Review. You can read all details in the letter sent to all MPS families and staff on Monday, January 31 and linked here. The DESE review, which MPS was randomly selected for, was also discussed at the School Committee meeting on February 2. All School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

Save the date! Milton Public Schools considers the health and well-being of our students a priority. With that in mind, we are partnering with the Department of Public Health to host school vaccination clinics for your eligible children ages 5 and up. These clinics will offer the Pfizer vaccine as an initial vaccine, second dose or booster. Clinics will be held on Saturday, March 5 at Milton High School and Saturday, March 26 at Pierce Middle School. More information including links to register will be available next week.

Covid Reporting: For the time period of Thursday, January 26 – Wednesday, February 2, 2022, MPS reported the following information Covid positive numbers to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested. 

  • MHS- 8
  • PMS- 10
  • Collicot-8
  • Cunningham-16
  • Tucker-5
  • Glover- 11
  • MPS – Staff – 9; Students – 58

All updated Covid guidelines and documents can be found on our website linked here. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

This past weekend, Milton High School students joined students from all over the world to debate issues pertinent to past, present, and future crises on a global scale at the Harvard Model UN. Not the COVID-19 pandemic nor a historic blizzard could stop students from problem solving and engaging in diplomacy. Our Milton delegates were impressive – they negotiated, engaged in public speaking, cooperated to think critically about the problems facing various peoples through the world, and worked diligently to solve small- and large-scale issues as student representatives and future leaders.

All Milton students in attendance were recognized in committee for their contributions – so please join me in congratulating all attendees! In addition to more general commendations, eight of our students were recognized for their excellence among thousands of student attendees. Kiera Glazer and Moth Trafton were recognized for their contributions during their sessions. Anderson Korman, Jonathan Waldmann, Rory Martin, Alex McEttrick and Sam Boucher were all recognized as outstanding delegates on their various committees. Will McElroy and Barron Clancy were awarded honorable mention for efforts within the trade and development committee and Tucker Korman was given a diplomatic commendation for his work within the commission on science and technology for development, which focused on artificial intelligence.

A huge shout out to all who participated – as they faced many challenges in order to participate and worked incredibly hard to excel. Go Wildcats!

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Five MHS students have been accepted to the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s All-State Festival. Big congratulations to our students! From Chorus- Isabelle Feloney, Lucy Hays, and Nessa Malin; from Band- Claudia O’Neill,  and from Jazz Band- Timothy Fay. This prestigious honor is bestowed upon students who were recommended to audition based on their high scores from the Eastern District festival back in November. These students prepared audition videos and were judged alongside students from all districts in Massachusetts. They will be performing with the All State Ensembles at Symphony Hall on March 5th. Bravo!

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The MHS Culture Club shares the following. Even a looming snowstorm could not stop the nearly 200 people who came to the Asian Culture Club’s Culture Fair on Friday, January 28. Milton High School’s library was alive with culture and diversity! The community came together to enjoy games and activities such as table tennis, origami and hacky sack. Visitors had the option to enrich their minds with artifacts of the Hispanic Culture Club, or take a dive into French culture through games presented by French Club. Presentations by GSA, as well as individual students, also enriched the Fair. The highlight of the night came at 7 o’clock with an incredible lion dance by performers from Kwong Kow Chinese School. The evening was a huge success and the Asian Culture Club would like to thank everyone who helped out and visited. Thank you, and we hope to see you next year or in the foreseeable future!

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Students in Ms. Lee’s 2D Studio Art class have been learning about the human figure through movement and proportion. They made gesture drawings and added volume around the line of action on different types of paper to create a figurative collage communicating a story, emotion or expression with the human body.

PIERCE PAGES

Congratulations to Pierce student Avery Squiciarino for being named a finalist in the We Veterans Pin Design Challenge!  Mrs. Magill’s FUSE students participated in this national competition in November and Avery’s submission, “Blossom of Appreciation” was chosen as one of 10 finalists. More information about this project can be found here.

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Each month, Pierce recognizes students who demonstrate the values of safety, responsibility, respect, and kindness. Teachers nominate students and one student from each grade is selected by Pierce’s culture and behavior committee. Please join us in congratulating Finn Spaulding, Adam Cheairs, and Harper Zoll who were honored for the month of December!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Collicot students and staff were excited to celebrate the Lunar New Year this week. Students and staff dressed in red and gold to mark the special day and the day kicked off with Kindergarten teacher Mimi Tran leading the school in the morning announcements and teaching the school community about the Lunar New Year. Later in the day, the entire school joined a virtual assembly with students from all classrooms celebrating the New Year. Students showed traditional clothing, shared traditions, and New Year’s greetings in Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese.Click this link to hear and see our Collicot students wish you a Happy Lunar New Year in several languages.   Thanks to the generosity of the PTO, all Collicot students went home with a Red Envelope and lucky gold coins.

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Music students in Mrs. Allegrezza’s Collicot and Cunningham music classes learned about the tradition of the Lunar New Year through a play-along music activity and the Chinese song, “Gong Xi Gong Xi.” The lyrics of the song express how the Lunar Year is a time for celebration, congratulations and best wishes, and students who celebrate shared with their class their family’s traditions for the special holiday. Students also enjoyed reviewing and learning new rhythm patterns and notation while playing rhythm sticks to the song and you can enjoy some of their music at this link.

 

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On February 2nd Tucker students celebrated World Read Aloud Day. Each class in PreK-5 had a visit from at least three authors to read their books aloud virtually. Students learned about the writing process and steps it takes to publish a book. We are looking forward to seeing our aspiring writers’ and readers’ work after this week’s visits!

We will finish World Read Aloud week off with a visit from author Winsome Bingham. Winsome is the author of Soul Food Sunday and recent honoree of the Coretta Scott King award. We are looking forward to her whole school assembly.

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Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders celebrated the Lunar New Year with a ROAR! Students learned about Lunar New Year traditions, made paper lanterns, created dragon puppets, and practiced using chopsticks. Thanks to our wonderful parent volunteer Pamela Azar-Peou for making this special lesson possible.

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Glover is excited for their first Glover Read-A-Thon to support their efforts to host authors in virtual and in-person visits and to bring much-needed new books into classrooms and the school library. Conceived by Glover’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and supported by literary agent and Glover parent, Sara Crowe, the Diverse Reads Book Club aims to bring authors of diverse backgrounds to speak to our students and inspire them. School author visits are a fun, powerful learning opportunity that gets students excited about reading, writing, and the creative process. Glover has been lucky to host some wonderful authors over the last few years. This year, they have been able to offer opportunities for students across all 4 elementary schools to participate in our Diverse Reads Book Club Author Visits. The Read-A-Thon will allow them to continue to bring diverse authors to the students of Milton.

Thanks, Jack and good luck raising money for the read-a-thon!

Students are logging minutes and sponsorships as we speak. One enterprising third grader, Jack Murray, has created a “Bedtime Stories” opportunity to help him raise money. Jack is offering a “read aloud” for younger kids who may not be able to read independently yet. As part of “Jack’s Bedtime Stories,” Jack is hosting 15 minute “Zoom” personalized reading sessions in the evening. For each session, Jack is requesting a $10 donation through his read-a-thon page to the Glover PTO. We are so proud of Jack’s love for reading and his passion for connecting and supporting his community. We look forward to many years of Diverse Reads Book Club to come!

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Congratulations to the January PAWsitivity winners!

Cunningham is happy to share this short video clip of the virtual Cunningham PAWsitivity Award Ceremony held this week.  It was great having the opportunity to recognize students demonstating respect, responsiblity and safety!  They’re looking forawrd to moving the ceremony back outdoors in the warmer months, but thought that this virtual and interactive one was fun. Congratulations to our January PAWsitivity winners (listed in the video)!

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Milton Community Schools: ASE (After School Enrichment) and ESAP (Early School Arrival Program) students have been participating in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities. Students love these hands on and fun activities! Check out the fun below. 

 

MPS GIVES BACK 

MHS Soup Drive: The Milton Food Pantry is currently experiencing a soup shortage, and we are here to help.  The food pantry is in need specifically of soup donations: Progresso, Dinty Moore, and Campbells are preferred brands. The drive will run from Monday, February 7 to Friday, February 11.

Donation bins are located in the MHS Cafeteria and students should place your donations in the bin that has the team that you think will win the Super Bowl. Thanks to MHS Freshman Reilly Bergin for coordinating and thank you to all for coming together to help others in our community!

KINDERGARTEN INFORMATION

We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2035 to the Milton Public Schools!  Thank you to all who attended Kindergarten Information Night. The presentation is linked here.  The link to pre-register for Kindergarten is here and Kindergarten registration for the school year 2022/2023 will begin in the early spring. 

MPS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES 

There are ongoing employment opportunities within the Milton Public Schools. All details can always be found on the main page of the MPS website  and on our Employment Page. There are currently positions posted for Substitute Teachers, Food Service Subs, Paraprofessional Educational Assistant, Speech Language Pathologist, Adjustment Counselor Elementary, the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources and more. Please visit our Employment Page for more information. 

SEPAC 

If you missed last week’s MPS/SEPAC presentation about Tourette’s, don’t despair! The recording is now available at this link. The talk by Susan Connor, a nationally-recognized expert on Tourette’s Syndrome, was eye-opening, thought-provoking, inspiring and funny, and provided concrete strategies to help students and their families, both inside and outside of the classroom.

ATHLETICS

AD Ryan Madden shares the following.

I am happy to announce that the Milton High School Athletics Boosters’ Club has generously donated nearly $9,000 to help fund the cost of the 14-passenger vans. These vans will allow greater flexibility for our Athletic Scheduling and help our student-athletes attend various sporting events and functions throughout the school year.

They have also approved thousands of dollars worth of equipment for our Athletic Teams. These items will be essential in improving our programs. Keep an eye out for the equipment as it comes in. As always, we appreciate any and all support towards funding our Athletics Program!

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Spring Sports are right around the corner! Tryouts begin March 21st. Be sure to register if you haven’t already.  If you have already registered for a Fall and Winter Sport, all you need to do is add a Spring Sport to the existing registration, or email Ryan Madden, Director of Athletics, rmadden@miltonps.org asking to add a Spring Sport.

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Save your cans! The MHS Girls Soccer Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats fundraiser on Saturday, February 5th from 9 am  to noon at Milton High School.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Milton Girls Softball Registration: Registration is now open for Milton Girls Softball’s Spring 2022 season. Please register at spring.miltonsoftball.com  We have over 350 girls in our program from K-8, with professional instruction for the kindergarteners and first graders to learn the game without being intimidated or overwhelmed. Financial assistance is also available. Please email wecare@miltonsoftball.com with any questions.

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The Milton Public Library’s calendar of February programs for kids can be found here.

Register for our Make a Freedom Quilt program on Saturday, February 5th at 2:30pm for ages 6-11. Join Milton residents Terri James-Solomon and I’man Solomon to learn about freedom quilts, which were designed and used during the early to mid-19th century to communicate information to African slaves about how to escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad. We will read stories about these quilts, and then create our own quilt squares – which will then be combined into a larger quilt that will go on display at the Library for all to enjoy. Registration (at this link) is required and space is limited.  

The Milton Public Library Teen Program meets each day after school in the Young Adult Room on the second floor of the library. Join us for weekly Dungeons & Dragons, biweekly Anime Club, drop-in Friday Afternoon Magic: the Gathering games, and more! Our programs are planned and coordinated by the Teen Advisory Board, which is always looking for enthusiastic new members. Check out our website for dates, email teen librarian Tyler Vachon at tvachon@ocln.org, or come by the library after school to jump in! Virtual participation options are available.   

To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Kim Coughlin, April Allegrezza, Kirsten Driscoll, Bernadette Butler, Nancy Warn, Miyoung Lee, Holly Concannon, Ellen Lohan, Rebecca Damiani, Joyce White, Bill Fish, Tanya Walsh, Karen McDavitt, Natalia Perez, Jacqueline O’Rourke and Ryan Madden. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 3, 2022

January 27, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 27, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Tonight is Kindergarten Information Night, the 1st event in what we hope is a thirteen year journey with the class of 2035!  Kindergarten Information Night will be held virtually tonight (January 27) at 6:30 pm, and the  Zoom link to attend can be found here.  Kindergarten pre-registration is open at this link and and details on Kindergarten registration, timeline, school assignment and more will be shared tonight. The presentation will be posted on our website tomorrow. We look forward to seeing our new Kindergarten parents and guardians tonight! 

MHS Senior Tracy Le has asked me to share that tomorrow night, Friday, January 28, the Milton High School Asian Culture Club is hosting a Culture Fair for all in Milton. Come join members of Milton High School’s Asian Culture Club, Hispanic Culture Club, French Club, Genders & Sexualities Alliances, and more on Friday, January 28 from 6:30 – 8 pm in the Milton High School Library located at 25 Gile Road. Please note to enter through the Field House doors in the back of the school. 

We hope to celebrate the diversity in our community through fun games, presentations on different aspects of cultures, and performances. From Hispanic cultural artifacts to chopstick competitions, students will provide an interactive way for visitors to experience a wide range of cultures. Games, presentations, and performances are kid-friendly for community members of all ages.

And for just this one night, Kwong Kow Chinese School brings traditional Lion Dancing to Milton High! With fun tricks, kids of all ages and adults alike can enjoy the entertainment of Lunar New Year all in Milton High’s library. All in Milton are invited to visit the fair and we hope to see you there. 

Last week, we posted the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Curriculum position and all details on the search timeline can be found here.  The Search Committee is being assembled and will consist of MPS staff including Principals, Administrators and Teachers as well as representatives put forward from school and community organizations.  

Next week, we are posting the Senior Director of Educational Equity with the new name, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This new title is consistent with the work outlined by the state and what we are doing in the Milton Public Schools. The search timeline will also be posted next week. 

Finally, I am happy to share the success of our Pierce Middle School Music Students! Four of our Pierce students have been accepted to the MMEA Eastern District Junior Festival. A big congratulations to Sebastian Gobbi and Harper Zoll – Concert Band, Fedor Myshkin – Orchestra, and Jordan Munsey – Jazz Band. These students will be participating in the Eastern District Junior Festival later in March. Bravo! 

 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on February 2, 2022 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

At last week’s School Committee meeting, the Equity Steering Committee gave a short background of the Committee’s work since being formed in July 2021. The presentation focused on the Steering Committee’s definition of Equity, which they are currently sharing with all stakeholders. A major recommendation from the Quality Review was that the district develop a common understanding and definition of Equity. We are seeking the community’s feedback on our definition to ensure the definition resonates for as many people as possible and are asking caregivers and community members to provide us with that feedback in a 2 question survey linked here. I know the initial deadline to complete the survey was articulated as February 4th however; if you have the time, we urge you to complete the two-question survey as soon as possible.  If you have not opened the survey, please know it should not take more than 5 minutes to complete the survey. Your feedback and immediate response is greatly appreciated and needed in order for us to continue with this very important work.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Jan 27 Kindergarten Information Night 6:30pm
  • Jan 28 Asian Culture Club Culture Fair 
  • Feb 2 Early Release K-12 
  • Feb 2 Milton School Committee 
  • Feb 16 Milton School Committee
  • Feb 17 Pierce Science Fair 
  • Feb 21-25 February Recess
  • Mar 2 Milton School Committee
  • Mar 3 Early Release K-12
  • Mar 9 1st Grade Info Night 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here. (Updated 1/7/22)

The Preschool Pre-registration Link can be found here  and the deadline for Lottery is today, Thursday, January 27, 2022. All information on Preschool can be found on our website

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

Covid Testing Program:Information about the new COVID-19 testing program for all participating staff and students was sent out earlier this week and can be read at this link. This is an opt-in program that provides a free, weekly at home antigen test kit that will be sent home with your student.  Students who opt-in will receive a box with 2 test kits every other week in school and are asked to test once a week and report positive results only to their school nurse. 

Over 1/3 of MPS staff have enrolled and they received their first box of test kits yesterday.  Student tests will be distributed next week and upon distribution, contact tracing at school will end per the program guidelines.  Staff and students may opt-in or out at any time.  Currently we have 25% of MPS students who have opted into this program. 

Covid Reporting: For the time period of Thursday, Jan 20 – Wednesday, January 26, 2022, MPS reported the following information Covid positive numbers to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested. 

  • Collicot-21
  • Cunningham-8
  • Glover-20
  • Tucker-4
  • PMS-17
  • MHS-14
  • MPS -Staff – 15; Students – 84

Although the numbers appear to be high, they are trending in the right direction. We are seeing descending numbers in MPS, the Town of Milton and in the State! This trend is certainly good news as we look towards the spring.  All updated Covid guidelines and documents can be found on our website linked here. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS Librarian J Troy shares that Milton High School students and staff are joining together in a community knitting/crocheting project inspired by the folks at Warm Up America. Over 50 individuals have expressed interest in making 7in. x 9in. rectangles from medium weight, machine washable yarn. Once these pieces are collected they will be assembled into blankets and donated. MHS students/staff have the opportunity to meet up for knit/crochet sessions in the library after school, however, there is no in person commitment necessary. Community service hours are available for student efforts.

Are you a friend, family member or community member interested in participating? Are you an experienced knitter or looking to find a new hobby? Feel free to join our cause. Rectangles can be dropped off or mailed to Milton High School until March 1st. Patterns are available on the Warm Up America website and any questions can be sent to J Troy (jtroy@miltonps.org). The goal of this project is to foster creativity, build community and have fun!

PIERCE PAGES

A Lesson on Hate Speech: On Tuesday, grade 7 students participated in a lesson and activities that defined concepts around hate speech, including the history of harmful slurs. Students participated in guided discussions and also spent time creating videos, slideshows and posters that captured their takeaways and reflections. The lesson was based on a similar experience that the 8th graders participated in back in December. The lesson and activities were led and facilitated by team teachers, counselors, and curriculum leaders. Grade 6 students will participate in the lesson on February 2nd.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Art teacher Laurel Bernini shares that 5th grade students from Collicot and Cunningham schools are completing a winter collage project with influence from American pop artist, Keith Haring. Students learned how Keith Haring began as a street artist known for his thick black outlines and cartoon-like stick figures. Students used this style to create a dynamic background and snow person. Afterwards, students made multiple cartoon stick figures in various poses to tell a narrative in their artwork. You can learn more about Keith Harding here. We love the different stories that each picture conveys!

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This week Tucker 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders got to experience a virtual visit from Plimoth Plantation. They met a 17th-century Pilgrim and learned about their new life in a world unknown to them. The Museum teacher portrayed an actual resident of 17th-century Plymouth Colony, speaking with the regional dialect and wearing period-appropriate clothing. Using reproduction artifacts and the narrative through lines of risk, transformation and community, the visitor shared stories about the difficult decision to leave home, Mayflower’s transatlantic journey, the first winter and spring in Plymouth. It was an enjoyable experience for our upper grades who have not had a chance to visit Plimoth Plantation on our typical in person field trip. We are grateful to have the opportunity to bring these presentations to life in a virtual format.

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Our next Early Release Day is on Wednesday, February 2nd and parents/guardians should email Milton Community Schools at mcs@miltonps.org by Friday 1/28 to register for early release day programming. February Vacation Camp has reached capacity and you can register for the waitlist here. Check out some MCS fun below!

FAMILY RESOURCES 

The Milton Community Food Pantry wants families to know that in addition to the regular monthly free vouchers for milk and eggs from the Milton Food Mart, and bags of groceries, they have also recently approved the distribution of $25 grocery gift cards each month to help families to buy additional fresh fruits and vegetables. Please help spread the word to any individual or family that needs assistance stretching their budget. The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway is open every other Saturday from 9:15 – 11:15am. Please visit their website for all details. 

MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Family Resource Newsletter  please visit Milton Public School Resource Guide.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

MPS JOB OPPORTUNITIES 

Substitute Teaching: On call daily substitute teachers are needed for all levels and the rate is $90 per day.We welcome all qualified applicants and encourage you to apply at the Apply for a Job at MPS link found on the front of the MPS website.  Substitute teachers must have experience and enjoy working with children, the minimum requirement is a Bachelors degree for Substitute Teacher and an Associates degree for a Substitute Paraprofessional. Citizenship, residency or work VISA in United States is required. If you have any questions about the requirements, and how they pertain to you, please email MPS Human Resources Specialist Laurie Dunn at ldunn@miltonps.org. In addition, all current posted jobs within MPS are posted on our website. 

Food Service Substitutes: Help us feed our future! MPS is looking for food service substitutes to join our wonderful team at the Milton School Food Service Program.
Why join our team? 🍏NO nights, weekends or holidays!🍉And – it’s fun!

Substitutes are needed in various shifts to work around your schedule with wages beginning at $17.28 per hour. Contact Food Service Director, Jackie Morgan, at jmorgan@miltonps.org for more information.

Our Food Service Facebook and Instagram page is worth the follow if you’re interested in what is being served to you/ your children. We post pictures of our meals, menu items, updates, and all things food related at Milton School Food Services ! Give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram and keep your eyes peeled on Instagram for information on our upcoming raffle of booster swag for our followers.

SEPAC 

PARTICIPATE: The “New Insights on Tourette Syndrome” workshop received an overwhelmingly positive response in interest – over one hundred folks registered.  Thank you to Susan Maselli for her collaboration with SEPAC to bring this important informational workshop to our district. 

ADVOCATE: This year the SEPAC board is focused on building relationships with each school principal as we continue to work towards fulfilling the MPS core values.  As a group, we look at the big picture of our school system and determine strategies of effective advocacy. Please reach out to your school rep with concerns and questions, and consider attending our next board meeting on February 17. We welcome new voices and ideas. 

EDUCATE: Check out the newly-updated Resources page on our SEPAC website.  We hope it has a lot of good information, resources, and tools for parents and families.  Please reach out to us at miltonsepac@gmail.com if you have any feedback.    

 

ATHLETICS

Our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will be taking over the Girls Basketball Game on Friday night. The Girls take on Brookline and the student-run committee will have raffles, prizes, half-time contests and more. Be sure to come support the Wildcats on the 28th! 6:30pm tip.

Boosters Membership Reminder: Join the Boosters at this link today!  All details on the Boosters can be found on their website linked here.

Boosters Meeting: Tues, Feb 1 at 7pm: Join us for our bimonthly open Boosters meeting. All members are welcome. Very exciting this month: we will be voting on HUGE investments for all the teams at the high school. Enter through the Field House doors behind Milton High School.

Save your cans! The MHS Girls Soccer Team will be hosting a Cans for Cats fundraiser on Saturday, February 5th from 9 am  to noon at Milton High School.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Milton Parks and Recreation will be offering Spring Basketball running from March 6 to mid-April for Grades 3-8.  2 games a week are played at Milton High School Copeland Field House.  Games are Sunday mornings and weeknights. Space is limited, the cost is $130.00 and registration is open at this link

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Milton Girls Softball Registration: Registration is now open for Milton Girls Softball’s Spring 2022 season. Please register at spring.miltonsoftball.com  We have over 350 girls in our program from K-8, with professional instruction for the kindergarteners and first graders to learn the game without being intimidated or overwhelmed. Financial assistance is also available. Please email wecare@miltonsoftball.com with any questions.

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Milton Coalition: Marijuana is dangerous for young people. It is addictive. It is not like the marijuana from 20 years ago. It does affect driving. Be a source of trusted information about drugs and alcohol for the children in your life. For more information about marijuana, click here. For information about other drugs and alcohol, click here. And if you or someone you know needs help, resources for support, treatment and recovery can be found on the Milton Coalition’s website here.

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The Milton Public Library’s calendar of February programs for kids can be found here.

Registration is open for our Make a Freedom Quilt program on Saturday, February 5th at 2:30pm for ages 6-11. Join Milton residents Terri James-Solomon and I’man Solomon to learn about freedom quilts, which were designed and used during the early to mid-19th century to communicate information to African slaves about how to escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad. We will read stories about these quilts, and then create our own quilt squares – which will then be combined into a larger quilt that will go on display at the Library for all to enjoy. Registration (linked here) is required and space is limited. To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens and adults, please visit the MPL website.

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Brookwood Community Farm has opened 2022 CSA sales. The farm is located at the base of the Blue Hills. CSA or “Community Supported Agriculture” consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production”. More information can be found at this link: USDA National Agricultural Library.

Brookwood Community Farm aims to support the participation of members from all income levels. If you would like to request a discounted, funded, or SNAP share, please send a message to president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org or call 339-502-0826.  For all the details about the 2022 CSA, go to the Brookwood website. 

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Courageous Conversations towards Racial Justice invites you to their January Conversation: RaceReels Milton- Mattapan, “Memoirs of a Black Girl” by educator, filmmaker and Milton resident Thato Mwosa. This is a HYBRID event on January 27, 6:15-8:30pm

On Thursday, January 27,  a virtual and limited in-person courageous conversation will be held with Milton screenwriter, playwright, and filmmaker Thato Mwosa, as we watch and discuss her film, “Memoirs of a Black Girl”.

This film won the 2021 Best Feature Film at the Roxbury International Film Festival and is a coming of age story of a HS aged, Black student confronting the challenges of race, urban education and social/racial tensions that bring impact. This film does contain some strong contemporary language and slang.

This event is virtual with limited in-person space at the Milton Public Library Keyes Room. Join us at 6:15 for an introduction. The film will start at 6:30, and a panel and Q+A discussion will follow at 7:45 with Thato Mwosa and some of the film’s actors. The link to register for both in person and virtual attendance is here.

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The Bridgewater State University College of Education and Health Sciences would like to invite all MPS families to their kickoff event for the 2022 Family Connections Series. Jamele Adams will present “Love, Inclusion and Trust” on February 3, from 7-8PM. Sign up at this link. 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Kim Coughlin, Laurel Bernini, Kirsten Driscoll, J Troy, Tracy Le, Rebecca Damiani, and Ryan Madden. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 27, 2022

January 20, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 20, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

These are busy days in the Milton Public Schools and I have a lot of information to share with you today. Please take a few minutes to read through this week’s blog for Covid updates, traffic safety considerations, an update from the Equity Steering Committee, information about the hiring timeline and process for the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Curriculum and a valuable elementary presentation about talking with young children about structural racism happening TONIGHT. Beyond that, I am pleased to share STEM opportunities for MHS students, MLK Celebration work from our students, Elementary SEL work, an upcoming SEPAC presentation and much more. 

Covid Updates: As we continue to prioritize in-person learning and maintaining a healthy and safe teaching and learning environment, we will continue with our current mitigating strategies: mask wearing, and encouraging vaccination and testing.

On Tuesday, January 18th Governor Baker, along with Commissioner Riley and MA Department of Public Health announced the State’s new testing option for schools. In this new option, districts will provide students and staff with at-home Rapid Antigen Tests on a weekly basis. Milton Public Schools will participate in this new State Testing opportunity and I want to share some relevant information about the program. More details will come in a separate standalone communication.

  • DESE and DPH recommend that districts and schools select this new option, and if they choose to implement it, they must notify their local boards of health.
  • Districts and schools participating in symptomatic and/or pooled testing must continue those testing strategies and discontinue contact tracing and Test and Stay. Milton will continue with Symptomatic Testing and suspend Test and Stay once the new program is up and running.
  • Under this new Testing Initiative, all contact tracing will be discontinued.  However, school health professionals have permission to use their discretion if specific situations warrant contact tracing.
  • Districts were told that the at-home test for participating students will be shipped out the week of January 31st. MPS will continue Test and Stay until at home testing begins. 
  • This new testing initiative requires an opt-in vs. consent. Considering there is no third party involved and MPS is not sharing personal information, consent is not needed.
  • All staff and students are eligible to participate regardless of vaccination status.
  • The tests will be shipped to the district for internal distribution, and they are packaged in kits containing two tests per kit.
  • Participating staff and students will receive one kit (containing 2 tests) every two weeks so that they can test themselves weekly. The first kit should be distributed the week of 1/31.
  • Districts and schools should maximize the utility of the at-home tests by determining which day of the week they recommend participating staff and students take the tests.
  • When an individual tests positive on an at-home antigen test, they will be asked to inform their school nurse/administration of the positive result.
  • MPS is not required to report the results of at-home tests to DPH, but MPS will continue to include positive at-home tests in their weekly testing reports to DESE.
  • DESE and DPH will soon update their “Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios” guidance to reflect these changes.

As this new initiative was just announced 48 hours ago, we have to work out some of the logistics related to test kit distribution, day of distribution, opt in letters, etc. We will send a standalone communication in the coming day as these details are resolved. 

Covid Reporting: Although we still have a significant number of positive cases, I want to acknowledge that these numbers are greatly reduced from just two weeks ago. We are trending in a very positive direction. For the time period of Thursday, Jan 13 – Wednesday, January 19, 2022, MPS reported the following information to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested. 

  • Collicot: 26 student cases
  • Cunningham: 29 student cases
  • Glover: 23 student cases
  • Tucker: 7 student cases
  • PMS: 18 student cases
  • MHS: 3 staff and 24 student cases
  • MPS Totals: 3 staff and 127 students

All updated Covid guidelines and documents can be found on our website linked here. 

Equity Steering Committee: At last night’s School Committee meeting, the Equity Steering Committee gave a short background of the Committee’s work since being formed in July 2021. The presentation focused on the Steering Committee’s definition of Equity, which they are currently sharing with all stakeholders. A major recommendation from the Quality Review was that the district develop a common understanding and definition of Equity. We are seeking the community’s feedback on our definition to ensure the definition resonates for as many people as possible. We are asking caregivers and community members to provide us with that feedback in a 2 question survey linked here. The link for the survey will be available for response until February 6th.

Traffic Safety: Each day more than 4400 students and 600 staff members travel to and from one of our schools. Add in thousands of daily commuters and potential inclement weather, and you have a typical morning or afternoon commute in Milton. I have asked each of our principals to remind families about traffic safety and rules at their particular school in the coming days. Here I would like to remind you of several specific rules that MUST be universally adhered to to ensure student and staff safety.

  • If a school bus or a school pupil transport vehicle (van) has its red lights flashing and a stop sign extended, you must come to a complete stop as this is warning to motorists that buses are picking up and dropping off children. It does not matter which side the bus/van is on, motorists should come to a complete stop.
  • Please reduce your speed to a minimum once on or near the school campuses and follow all traffic signs.
  • Please stop at all crosswalks on school grounds and within the community to allow for students/pedestrians to cross safely. Please do not stop/park on the crosswalk when waiting to pick up your student. 

Thank you for your renewed attention to traffic safety. 

Assistant Superintendent Hiring Process: We have posted the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Curriculum position. All details on the search timeline can be found here. Information on staff, parent/guardian and community participation will be shared next week.

TONIGHT:  On January 20 at 7 pm, our elementary schools will host a virtual evening with Dr. Kimberly Cauley-Narain. Dr. Cauley-Narain will share her journey talking to her own children about structural racism and talk about what she has learned along the way. Finding no books that fit what she was looking for, she wrote a children’s book that explores structural racism in the United States: Cycle of a Dream – A Kid’s Introduction to Structural Racism. In the process, she integrated the broad evidence that supports talking to our preschool and elementary-aged children early and often about racism and other systems barriers that impede equitable educational, (mental) health and other experiences.

You are invited to submit a question or comment for Dr Cauley-Narain at this link. This evening is conceived and hosted by the Collicot DEI Committee and sponsored by the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover and Tucker PTOs. All details can be found here. 

Milton Public Schools families, staff, teachers and the entire Milton community are all welcome! The link to attend via Zoom can be found here and is posted on our website. This event will be recorded.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on February 2, 2022 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Jan 20 Talking to Young Children About Racism 
  • Jan 27 Kindergarten Information Night; Kindergarten Pre-registration is open at this link.
  • Jan 28 Asian Culture Club Culture Fair 
  • Feb 2 Early Release K-12 
  • Feb 2 Milton School Committee 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here. (Updated 1/7/22)

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Important Kindergarten Dates: Kindergarten Information Night will be held virtually on Thursday, January 27 at 6:30 pm, and Kindergarten pre-registration is open at this link. The Zoom link to attend can be found here.

Kindergarten registration for the school year 2022/2023 will begin in the early spring. All details and information will be shared at Kindergarten Information Night on January 27, 2022. 

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Culture Fair: The MHS Asian Culture Club is hosting a Culture Fair for all in the Milton Public Schools! We hope to respectfully celebrate the diversity in our community. It will be on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Milton High School Library.

The Club welcomes all faculty and MHS students to create a presentation. To sign up to create a presentation, please use this link. All students and families in the Milton Public Schools are invited to visit the fair. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Thanks to MHS student Mia Gilmore for sharing the following opportunity for our MHS students.  Mia serves as the Director of Outreach for the Greater Boston STEM Program gbSTEM. gbSTEM is an enrichment program that has brought free mathematics, computer science, and engineering lessons to over 600 Massachusetts youth.

For the spring 2022 semester, gbSTEM is looking for dedicated student volunteers to teach Computer Science and Math classes. They are looking for passionate high school students to join the gbSTEM community and teach classes remotely through Zoom. Volunteering as an instructor will show initiative, strengthen your resume, and allow you to contribute to the community.

The semester will run from March 14 to June 12, 2022. The deadline for instructor applications is March 6, 2022. The application form and all course descriptions can be found on our website. If you have any questions, please contact gbstemprogram@gmail.com.

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Mme Lidell’s French Immersion students recently looked at a passage of MLK’s speech translated in French and held a discussion on our thoughts on segregation today. Is it taking place? Where? Why? The class concluded with students thinking about how they can be the face of change. Students were then tasked to be inspired by MLK and add their own dream for the world to one of the three murals throughout MHS. 

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Milton Minds Matter is a community-based, youth-led club promoting positive mental health for high school-aged teens. They are hosting a meeting next Tuesday, January 25th from 7-8pm at the Teen Center of the First Congregational Church. The topic of discussion will be seasonal depression and vision boards.  All details can be found here. 

 

PIERCE PAGES

Pierce students recently completed poems in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Literacy Coordinator Cat DesRoche shared that there were dozens of excellent examples of student work and she shares some of them here. Gemma Ansello MLK Poem; Emma Sutphin MLK PoemSage Scheller MLK Poem; Breigha Comeau MLK Poem; Patrick Mulhall MLK Poem; Michaela Oppong MLK Poem

 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Cunningham 3rd graders recently participated in an SEL lesson focusing on self and social awareness. Students were encouraged to feel empowered and to find their voice and use it to make the world a better place. Our thoughts and feelings cannot only impact ourselves but also others when we voice them. Student’s listened to the book Say Something! By Peter Reynolds. Each student was given the opportunity to write and draw something they want to say to the world.

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Elementary students at every school read books, participated in discussions and created written and art work in honor of Dr. King.  You can see a sampling of their work at this link and also in the pictures below.

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Glover 3rd graders studied the artwork of Kenojuak Ashevak and other Inuit artists from Cape Dorset, a remote area of Northern Canada. Students then created their own artwork inspired by the textures, colors, and imaginative arctic animals seen commonly in the ‘Cape Dorset Style’ of printmaking. The results have been lively and beautifully unique!

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As part of this month’s Community Circle, Tucker students were excited to have a special guest speaker in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Circle focused on Dr King’s legacy and the importance of service. In particular, we noted that although it was a day off from school it should be a day on for service in whatever form we are able to offer. With Covid restrictions, Tucker was unable to do their annual service day in honor of Dr. King and they look forward to returning to that tradition next year. 

The special guest speaker was Kaamal Jarrett, owner of Hillside Harvest, which was recently named the official hot sauce of the Boston Red Sox! Mr. Jarrett is a Tucker School alumni and spoke to our Tucker Tigers about his experience moving to Milton from Jamaica, growing up and having big dreams as a Tucker student and turning those dreams into a successful career. Mr. Jarrett also spoke about how the kindness of friends and advocates in his own life allowed him to grow and he related this back to Tucker’s current citizenship focus on Advocacy.

Members of our new 5th grade service club, the Tucker Tiger Cub Club, brainstormed questions and formed the panel to ask Mr. Jarrett those questions. Students were curious about how he formed lasting relationships with Tucker friends, how he overcame racism and even what the special ingredients are in his unique products! We hope that Mr. Jarrett’s story will stay with our students and help them realize the value of their relationships, actions and dreams while here at Tucker. If you would like to learn more about Mr. Jarrett’s company you can visit his website here and if you are interested in purchasing or tasting one of his amazing flavors they are available online or locally at the Milton Fruit Center and Whole Foods.

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Registration for February Vacation Camp 2022 is now open. Camp runs from Feb 22nd to the 25th at Cunningham/Collicot, 8:30am to 3:30pm for grades K to 5. For more information and registration, please visit the Milton Community Schools website at this link. Check out some of our MCS fun below! 

FAMILY RESOURCES 

For families in the district with young children we want to be sure you know of a valuable resource within the community.  The Milton Early Childhood Alliance (MECA) is a community-wide group that seeks to support families and children and to expand access to affordable, high quality early childhood care and education.  MECA offers a variety of programming including preschool and toddler playgroups.  For information on programs and resources see their latest newsletter or visit their home page.

MECA contact Info: Susan L. Dolan, Director – email: cpcmecasld@verizon.net, telephone: 617-696-2262.  They can also be found on Facebook & Instagram at: Milton Early Childhood Alliance.

MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Family Resource Newsletter  please visit Milton Public School Resource Guide.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

MPS JOB OPPORTUNITIES 

Substitute Teaching: On call daily substitute teachers are needed for all levels and the rate is $90 per day.We welcome all qualified applicants and encourage you to apply at the Apply for a Job at MPS link found on the front of the MPS website.  Substitute teachers must have experience and enjoy working with children, the minimum requirement is a Bachelors degree for Substitute Teacher and an Associates degree for a Substitute Paraprofessional. Citizenship, residency or work VISA in United States is required. If you have any questions about the requirements, and how they pertain to you, please email MPS Human Resources Specialist Laurie Dunn at ldunn@miltonps.org. In addition, all current posted jobs within MPS are posted on our website. 

PRESCHOOL INFORMATION

Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2022. For more information, please call Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617 980 7343 or email Mrs. McKenna at preschool@miltonps.org

TECHNOLOGY 

In recognition of Data Privacy Week (January 24-28), Milton Public Schools is reaffirming its commitment to safeguarding student data.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) Data Privacy Week is an “international effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust.”

Data collection is essential for improving academic achievement in today’s modern digital learning environments—effective use of data measures student progress to steer personalized learning decisions to ensure that every child learns. While recognizing the importance of real-time data in guiding student success, school officials also acknowledge their roles as gatekeepers. As a school district, we have a moral and ethical duty to ensure that our students’ information is protected while using any online digital tools for learning. While technology may make accessing student data relatively easy, it needs to be maintained securely and confidentially, and that is a responsibility we take very seriously. Our partnership with TEC’s Student Data Privacy Alliance is vital to our district’s student data privacy efforts.

Please visit this link for more details about further steps MPS is taking to safeguard student data and information about a Cybersecurity Grant MPS received. 

SEPAC 

Save the date! SEPAC presents New Insights into Tourette Syndrome on January 26 at 7:00 pm. 

This informative and interactive workshop is open to any interested families in our community as well as all educators district wide.  As a district, we have worked hard to promote equity and inclusion in our community. Our goal is to change how we all look at kids with Tourette Syndrome and all other neurological disorders. Please join Milton Public Schools and the Milton SEPAC board in welcoming Ms. Susan Conners, M.Ed. Ms. Conners is currently President of the Tourette Association of America’s Greater New York State Chapter and an expert in Tourette Syndrome and other associated neurological disorder 

Many still believe that Tourette is a very rare disorder; however, the latest studies from the CDC indicate that one in 120 children have Tourette or a tic disorder. This workshop will discuss the criteria for diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome and will include an in depth description of all the symptomology. Tourette is now commonly referred to as a “spectrum disorder”. This workshop will also deal with the most common neurological disorders associated with Tourette, in particular, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorder, Auditory Processing and Dysgraphia and the impact of all of these disorders on social emotional well-being, school performance and behavior. Ms. Conners will include specific strategies and techniques for working with children with Tourette and its associated disorders in a variety of settings. 

More details and the link to register can be found here. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

It’s the MFE’s 25th Anniversary! Help us celebrate our anniversary by joining our Annual Appeal Campaign to give $25 for 25 years.

An education from the Milton public schools is the foundation for excellence and the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been helping lay those foundations for 25 years with well over 50,000 students. Help us celebrate the MFE’s 25th year by taking part in the annual giving campaign! Donations from generous supporters like you have helped fund initiatives in all six Milton schools and every dollar donated to the MFE helps spark innovation and energizes the learning experience for students and educators in Milton. Your gift, in any amount, is welcomed and appreciated. All details and the link to donate can be found here.

 

ATHLETICS 

After a slow start to the Winter Season, we have had a great week!

First and foremost, MHS Athletics wants to thank George Holland and his work to help commemorate Francis J. “Buck” Finerty III. Buck was a hockey player and class leader who had a positive impact on the class of 1960, not only when they graduated but in years to come. The class of 1960 very generously funded the purchase of new flooring for the Ulin Rink and we had a wonderful ceremony last week with over 25 members of the class of 1960 and their families in honor of Buck. 

The Boys Hockey Team strung together back-to-back wins to improve to 6-5 on the season. They were down 3-1 to Newburyport on Saturday Night with 8 minutes left in the third period. Goals from Kevin McManus and Eoin Faherty forced overtime, and then James Fallon scored just 13 seconds into the extra period to seal the comeback in style! They carried the momentum through the weekend, beating Norwood 6-1 on Monday.

The Boys Basketball Team held on for a great win over Archies on Sunday. They will host Framingham tomorrow.

Track heads to the Reggie Lewis Center tomorrow for the Division III Relays!

The Ski Team will race at Blue Hills next Thursday. 

Our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will be taking over the Girls Basketball Game next Friday! The Girls take on Brookline and the student-run committee will have raffles, prizes, half-time contests and more. Be sure to come support the Wildcats on the 28th! 6:30pm tip.

Boosters Membership Reminder: Connie Henry is the winner of the first raffle basket of goodies from the Boosters for her family’s membership. Don’t miss out on your chance by joining the Boosters today. Next drawing will be the end of the winter season. Join the Boosters at this link today!  All details on the Boosters can be found on their website linked here.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Milton Parks and Recreation will be offering Spring Basketball running from March 6 to mid-April for Grades 3-8.  2 games a week are played at Milton High School Copeland Field House.  Games are Sunday mornings and weeknights. The cost is $130.00 and registration will be open on January 26 at 12pm. To access the online registrations click here

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Forbes House Museum welcomes the Year of the Tiger on Sunday, January 23, 1-3 pm. Registration: $30/members, $35/nonmembers; Art kits: $8

This interactive program begins with a tour highlighting the Chinese artifacts in the collection and discussing the meanings behind the various Chinese symbols found throughout the house. Then create your own lucky red and gold envelopes for gift-giving in a workshop led by Taiwanese-American artist Rayna Lo. The afternoon will conclude with a sampling of delicious Chinese dumplings!

Appropriate for adults and children ages 10 and up. No art/drawing experience necessary. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. Art kits include red cardstock and gold paint pens. Visit our website to register or learn more.

Participants will be required to wear masks except when eating or drinking. We will continue to monitor developing COVID guidelines and adjust our program as necessary for the safety and wellbeing of everyone. 

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Check out The Milton Public Library’s calendars of January and February programs for kids.

Registration is open for our Author Event celebrating Thato Mwosa happening on Saturday, January 22 from 2:30pm to 3:30pm! Mwosa is a Milton author who will join us, accompanied by 14 elementary school girls, to introduce her children’s book, 14 African Women Who Made History. Registration is required and space is limited. Sign up today at this link. 

To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens and adults, please visit the MPL website.

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Example of our weekly Choice Model for CSA

Brookwood Community Farm has opened 2022 CSA sales. The farm is located at the base of the Blue Hills. CSA or “Community Supported Agriculture” consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production”. More information can be found at this link: USDA National Agricultural Library.

Brookwood Community Farm aims to support the participation of members from all income levels. If you would like to request a discounted, funded, or SNAP share, please send a message to president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org or call 339-502-0826.  For all the details about the 2022 CSA, go to the Brookwood website. 

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Courageous Conversations towards Racial Justice invites you to their January Conversation: RaceReels Milton- Mattapan,  “Memoirs of a Black Girl” by educator, filmmaker and Milton resident Thato Mwosa. This is a HYBRID event on January 27, 6:15-8:30pm

On Thursday, January 27,  a virtual and limited in-person courageous conversation will be held with Milton screenwriter, playwright, and filmmaker Thato Mwosa, as we watch and discuss her film, “Memoirs of a Black Girl”.

This film won the 2021 Best Feature Film at the Roxbury International Film Festival and is a coming of age story of a HS aged, Black student confronting the challenges of race, urban education and social/racial tensions that bring impact. This film does contain some strong contemporary language and slang.

This event is virtual with limited in-person space at the Milton Public Library Keyes Room. Join us at 6:15 for an introduction. The film will start at 6:30, and a panel and Q+A discussion will follow at 7:45 with Thato Mwosa and some of the film’s actors. The link to register for both in person and virtual attendance is here.

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The  Bridgewater State University College of Education and Health Sciences would like to invite all MPS families to their kickoff event for the 2022 Family Connections Series. Jamele Adams will present “Love, Inclusion and Trust” on February 3, from 7-8PM. Sign up at this link. 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Kim Coughlin, Kim Tolleson, Zofia Lodell, Mia Gilmore, Bernadette Butler, Cat DesRoche, Ryan Madden, Karen Cahill and AJ Melanson. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 20, 2022

January 13, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 13, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

This marks our second week back in the new year, and while Covid cases remain high, our faculty, staff and students have had a very good week across all of our schools. Positive numbers in our student population have held steady at 229 positive students over the last 7 days while our staff Covid numbers have been greatly reduced with 13 staff members testing positive in the same time frame. Covid numbers by school and Covid updates and policies can be found below under Health and Safety. 

As discussed at a recent School Committee meeting, the Milton Public Schools has updated our school incident reporting forms so people can specify incidents on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion and more. The Milton High School incident form can be found here and each school has a form linked on the front of their school’s website and linked on the MPS Education Equity page and MPS Anti-Bullying page. 

I want to be sure you saw the letter that went out about the resignation of Senior Director of Education Equity, Somaly Prak-Martins effective Wednesday, January 19. Please see the letter linked here. Please know that MPS remains committed to the ongoing equity work within our district. I know you join me in wishing Ms. Prak-Martin the best in her future endeavors. 

Next Thursday, January 20 at 7 pm, our elementary schools will host a virtual evening with Dr. Kimberly Cauley-Narain. Dr. Cauley-Narain will share her journey talking to her own children about structural racism and talk about what she has learned along the way. Finding no books that fit what she was looking for, she wrote a children’s book that explores structural racism in the United States: Cycle of a Dream – A Kid’s Introduction to Structural Racism. In the process, she integrated the broad evidence that supports talking to our preschool and elementary-aged children early and often about racism and other systems barriers that impede equitable educational, (mental) health and other experiences.

You are invited to submit a question or comment for Dr Cauley-Narain at this link. This evening is conceived and hosted by the Collicot DEI Committee and sponsored by the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover and Tucker PTOs. All details can be found here. 

Milton Public Schools families, staff, teachers and the entire Milton community are all welcome! The link to attend via Zoom can be found here and is posted on our website. This event will be recorded.

On Monday, January 17 at 6:30pm, the entire Milton community is invited to join Milton Interfaith Clergy Association (MICA) virtually at their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. All details can be found at this link.

As a reminder, there is no school on Monday, January 17 in observance of the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Our students have prepared art work and written work to be shared with MICA in honor of the legacy of Dr. King. I look forward to sharing some of our student work in next week’s blog post. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on January 19, 2022 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Jan 17 MLK Jr. Day No School 
  • Jan 19 School Committee
  • Jan 20 Talking to Young Children About Racism 
  • Jan 27 Kindergarten Information Night; Kindergarten Pre-registration is open at this link.
  • Jan 28 Asian Culture Club Culture Fair 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)

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Important Kindergarten Dates: Kindergarten Information Night will be held virtually on Thursday, January 27 at 6:30 pm , and Kindergarten pre-registration is open at this link.

Kindergarten registration for the school year 2022/2023 will begin in the early spring. All details and information will be shared at Kindergarten Information Night on January 27, 2022. 

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Culture Fair: The MHS Asian Culture Club is hosting a Culture Fair for all in the Milton Public Schools! We hope to respectfully celebrate the diversity in our community. It will be on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Milton High School Library.

The Club welcomes all faculty and MHS students to create a presentation. To sign up to create a presentation, please use this link. All students and families in the Milton Public Schools are invited to visit the fair. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Covid Reporting: For the time period of Thursday, Jan 6, 2022 – Wednesday, January 12, 2022, MPS reported the following information to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested. 

  • Cunningham- 2 staff, 30 students
  • Collicot- 5 staff, 27 students
  • Glover- 2 staff, 29 students
  • Tucker- 1 staff, 31 students
  • PMS- 1 staff, 47 students
  • MHS- 2 staff, 65 students
  • MPS Totals: 13 staff and 229 students

Covid Guidelines January 2022

  • MPS Health Prescreening Checklist 
  • DESE/DPH Updated Isolation Guidelines 12/30/21: MPS will follow updated isolation protocols from DESE/DPH effective immediately. If a staff member or student has tested positive, the student may return to school on day 6 after 5 days of isolation if asymptomatic or symptoms are improving. The student will be required to wear a mask at ALL times and may be given lunch accommodations to ensure proper distancing when eating. Details can be found in section two here.
  • DESE/DPH Quarantine Guidelines 12/30/21Details can be found in section two here.
  • Test and Stay: Sign up for Test and Stay at this link. 
  • Mask Mandate Extension: On January 10, DESE Commissioner Riley announced that he is extending the mask requirement in schools through Monday, February 28. The announcement is linked here. 
  • Updated Covid Positive and Close Contact Flowchart: DESE released updated flowcharts (linked here) on Wednesday, January 5.
  • DESE FAQ: DESE released a new FAQ (linked here) on Thursday, January 6 that addresses updated protocols, affirms that people returning from quarantine and isolation can remove their masks to eat meals, and states that “fully vaccinated” in DESE guidance is still defined as two weeks following the completion of the Pfizer or Moderna series or two weeks following a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Congratulations to the Milton High School Debate Team on their Varsity won on January 8 at the MSDL Winter Wonderland Tournament! This is a first for our Milton High School team.

Advisor Kathleen Kelley shares that MHS took first place at the Varsity level and first, second and third at the Novice level. At the Varsity level, Sam Boucher and Jonathan Waldmann took First Place and at the Novice level, Alex McEttrick and Danny Steinberg took First Place, Williams Cayo competed solo and placed Second and Ida Zoll and Sydney Burns won Third Place. In addition, Sydney Burns, Sam Boucher, Williams Cayo and Ida Zoll received Speaker Awards. Bravo MHS Debate and congratulations to all of the competitors!

 

PIERCE PAGES

The Pierce Middle School Wrestling Team scrimmaged with Needham on January 5. The team did great and was very competitive in their 1st scrimmage. We’re excited to see these Wildcats progress this season! 

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At Connection Time last week, Ms. McEvoy asked students to choose their word of the year. The purpose of this exercise is to give students a single word to focus on that embodies their vision of their life for 2022. Pictured below are some of Ms. McEvoy’s students with their word of the year.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

Ms. Hyde and Ms. Green’s Cunningham 4th graders recently read the book/poem  I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C James. Students used what they have been learning about figurative language and poetry, and then wrote their own “I Am Every Good Thing” poem. These poems are beautiful representations of our amazing students. You can see the compilation of all of their poetry here. I hope you enjoy their poetry as much as I did.

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We are thrilled to have welcomed the Meet the Artist program back into our classrooms this year. Thanks to our parent volunteers who teach the lessons and to our PTOs for organizing and sponsoring MTA.

 

FAMILY RESOURCES 

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway, has published their hours of operation for the remainder of the 2021-2022 School Year. The pantry is open from 9:15 – 11:15am with pre-bagged food ready to go on the following dates: January 8, January 22, February 5, February 19, March 5, March 19, April 2, April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18. 

The food pantry is currently not accepting food donations but monetary contributions can be made online at their website or mailed to Milton Community Food Pantry, 158 Blue Hills Parkway, Milton, MA  02186.

MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Family Resource Newsletter  please visit Milton Public School Resource Guide.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

MPS JOB OPPORTUNITIES 

Substitute Teaching: Several members of our community have reached out about being a Substitute teacher during this school year. On call daily substitute teachers are needed for all levels and the rate is $90 per day.We welcome all qualified applicants and encourage you to apply at the Apply for a Job at MPS link found on the front of the MPS website.  Substitute teachers must have experience and enjoy working with children, the minimum requirement is a Bachelors degree for Substitute Teacher and an Associates degree for a Substitute Paraprofessional. Citizenship, residency or work VISA in United States is required. If you have any questions about the requirements, and how they pertain to you, please email MPS Human Resources Specialist Laurie Dunn at ldunn@miltonps.org. In addition, all current posted jobs within MPS are posted on our website. 

PRESCHOOL INFORMATION

Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2022. For more information, please call Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617 980 7343 or email Mrs. McKenna at preschool@miltonps.org

FOOD SERVICE

The USDA allows school lunch to be reimbursable if a student is receiving at least 3 out of the 5 food groups: milk, fruits, vegetables, meat/meat alternative, and grains. Getting school lunch is FREE to all students if they take at least 3 of the 5 food groups, and students can receive a free lunch with all 5 on their plate. We always offer salad, and fresh fruit options such as bananas and apples for students to add to their lunch to complete their healthy meal. 

MHS students – come have a cup of hot chocolate to warm up during the cold winter months along with a FREE breakfast to energize you before classes. We use real skim chocolate milk. Low fat chocolate milk is a great source of carbohydrates and protein making it a perfect post workout drink and improves muscle mass and endurance.

Please see our latest Food Service update here with menu information, employment opportunities, and more. 

 

ATHLETICS 

Wrestling beat Wellesley on Wednesday night, just a few days after finishing 2nd at the Whitman Hanson Tournament over the weekend! Alex Paxhia, Jackson Matejka and Mason Pellegri were all champions at their weight class, with Christopher Toley Pinnock finishing 2nd and a few others finishing in the top 4! They host Excel Academy, Walpole, Norwood, and Oliver Ames this weekend in a Super Quad.

Girls Basketball will host Fontbonne tonight with the Varsity tipping off at 5:15pm. The Ski Team is also home tonight, with races starting tonight at 5:00pm at Blue Hills.

Boosters Membership Reminder: Don’t forget to join the Boosters today by making a tax-deductible donation. We’re looking to make a HUGE impact this year for our student athletes – they deserve it! Special note to parents of senior student athletes – your family must be a member to qualify for our scholarships. All details on the Boosters can be found on their website, linked here.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Forbes House Museum welcomes the Year of the Tiger on Sunday, January 23, 1-3 pm. Registration: $30/members, $35/nonmembers; Art kits: $8

This interactive program begins with a tour highlighting the Chinese artifacts in the collection and discussing the meanings behind the various Chinese symbols found throughout the house. Then create your own lucky red and gold envelopes for gift-giving in a workshop led by Taiwanese-American artist Rayna Lo. The afternoon will conclude with a sampling of delicious Chinese dumplings!

Appropriate for adults and children ages 10 and up. No art/drawing experience necessary. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. Art kits include red cardstock and gold paint pens. Visit our website to register or learn more.

Participants will be required to wear masks except when eating or drinking. We will continue to monitor developing COVID guidelines and adjust our program as necessary for the safety and wellbeing of everyone. 

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The Milton Public Library’s calendar of  January programs for kids can be found here.

The Milton Public Library Teen Program meets each day after school in the Young Adult Room on the second floor of the library. Join us for weekly Dungeons & Dragons, biweekly Anime Club, drop-in Friday Afternoon Magic: the Gathering games, and more! Our programs are planned and coordinated by the Teen Advisory Board, which is always looking for enthusiastic new members. Check out our website for dates, email teen librarian Tyler Vachon at tvachon@ocln.org, or come by the library after school to jump in! Virtual participation options are available.

The Friends of the Milton Public Library are collaborating with The Plate for their latest fundraiser: Valentine Cookie Kits. Order your kit today at this link to bake some yummy holiday-themed treats. Thank you for supporting the Friends of the Milton Public Library, and please find more information here.

To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens, and adults, please visit the MPL website.

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The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter can be found here. The newsletter has information about playgroups and resources for families with young children. 

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Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Emily Hyde, Robyn Green, Stella Yuan, Kim Coughlin, Jon Redden, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Ryan Madden and Holly Concannon. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 13, 2022

January 6, 2022

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: January 6, 2022

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

In spite of the current Covid challenges that school districts and communities are facing, we were excited to welcome our students and staff back on Monday, after what I hope was a happy and healthy winter break.  

I hope you received my earlier message (via text, phone and email) that the Milton Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, January 7, due to the impending snow storm.  As I shared before Winter Break, our approach to snow days is shifting. If there is inclement weather and school is cancelled for the day, it will be a traditional snow day: our buildings will be closed, there will be no remote learning and the day will be made up in June. Depending on the number of snow days we have this year, we may revisit this approach and will keep you updated if that happens. In the meantime, during tomorrow’s snow day, I hope your children take advantage of the day with extra sleep, catching up on school work, helping around the house, enjoying family time and safely having fun outside with friends. 

I am pleased to share that despite record absences of staff and students, winter weather and colder temperatures and anxiety felt by some, we have been able to maintain in person learning.  Our staff has tirelessly worked together to keep students safe and learning, families have partnered with us on health issues and students are adhering to safety guidelines. Below is some updated Covid information as well additional updates from around the district. Thank you for taking the time to read through my weekly update. 

Covid Reporting: Starting this week, in addition to sharing district totals, we will report Covid positive cases by school. For the time period of Thursday, December 23, 2021 – Wednesday, January 5, 2022, MPS reported the following information to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as requested. 

  • Glover- 9 staff, 45 students
  • Tucker- 5 staff, 27 students
  • Collicot- 16 staff, 35 students
  • Cunningham- 9 staff, 10 students
  • Pierce- 7 staff, 67 students
  • MHS- 26 staff, 107 students
  • MPS Totals: 72 staff and 231 students.

Vaccination Information

  • As of January 5th, 90% of our faculty and staff are vaccinated. 
  • The the 90% vaccination rate includes staff from Applied Lessons, Community Schools, Coaches, After School Clubs/Activities, Central Office, Business Office, etc.
  • Grades 7 and 8 student vaccination rate is above 80%
  • Milton High School student vaccination rate is above 80%
  • Grade 6 students and students at the Elementary Level are NOT close to 80%

Updated Covid Guidelines

DESE/DPH Updated Isolation: MPS will follow updated isolation protocols from DESE/DPH effective immediately. If a staff member or student has tested positive, the student may return to school on day 6 after 5 days of isolation if asymptomatic or symptoms are improving. The student will be required to wear a mask at ALL times and may be given lunch accommodations to ensure proper distancing when eating.

DESE/DPH Quarantine Guidelines were updated on 12/30/21. Details can be found here.

How are we keeping staff and students safe? 

  • Mask Wearing
  • Physical distancing maximized to the greatest extent possible
  • Face seats/desks and students in the same direction whenever possible
  • Air purifiers in all classrooms and offices
  • Classroom/Office windows will remain cracked open during the school day to enhance the number of fresh air exchanges
  • Rooftop units will remain open to enhance the number of fresh air exchanges
  • Strongly encourage routine hand washing by students and staff
  • Daily health screening by staff and students
  • Test and Stay Program and Symptomatic testing for students
  • We will encourage students to wear masks outside and have designated mask break areas outside. 
  • We encourage students and staff to speak to their Pediatrician/PCP about getting vaccinated and booster shots
  • We will encourage students to eat first, replace their masks and then resume socializing with their peers during breakfast, lunch and snack breaks.

How can our community prioritize in person learning? 

  • Work Collaboratively (Students, Staff, Families, Community Programs, BOH) to enforce mitigating strategies in and outside of school
  • Consider Getting Vaccinated/Booster Shot – Talk to your Pediatrician or Primary Care Physician (PCP)
  • When in Doubt, Stay Out: If your student has COVID-19 symptoms, do not send them to school and please follow the two steps below:
    a. Call your school before 8:30 a.m. to report your student’s absence
    b. Contact your school nurse for further guidance
  • Masks will continue to be required until further notice for all at Milton Public Schools.
  • Test and Stay Program: This program often allows students to remain in school when COVID-19 exposure in the classroom would otherwise require quarantining at home. I urge you to consider registering for this program if you have not already done so. Simply stated, this program has helped us keep our students in school, rather than at home. Test and Stay Sign up Quick Link

Substitute Teaching: Several members of our community have reached out about being a Substitute teacher during this school year. On call daily substitute teachers are needed for all levels and the rate is $90 per day.We welcome all qualified applicants and encourage you to apply at the Apply for a Job at MPS link found on the front of the MPS website.  Substitute teachers must have experience and enjoy working with children, the minimum requirement is a Bachelors degree for Substitute Teacher and an Associates degree for a Substitute Paraprofessional. Citizenship, residency or work VISA in United States is required. If you have any questions about the requirements, and how they pertain to you, please email MPS Human Resources Specialist Laurie Dunn at ldunn@miltonps.org. 

Covid Testing: The Town of Milton is hosting a free, drive-thru COVID testing day on  Sunday, January 9 from 10am-3pm at the DPW yard at 629 Randolph Avenue. All are welcome.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on January 19, 2022 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Jan 6 Preschool Information Night (Virtual) 
  • Jan 17 MLK Jr. Day No School 
  • Jan 19 School Committee
  • Jan 20 Talking to Young Children About Racism 
  • Jan 27 Kindergarten Information Night 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)

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TONIGHT: Virtual Preschool Information Night, January 6, 2022 at 6:30pm. Join Milton Public Schools administrators and staff to learn about the similarities and differences of the five preschool options offered by the district including curriculum, classroom design, lottery criteria, cost, payment scheduling, tuition assistance and registration process.  If you are unable to attend the session the presentation will be posted to the MPS website following the event.

Children attending an MPS Preschool Program must be three years old on or before August 31, 2022. For more information, please call Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison, at 617 980 7343 or email Mrs. McKenna at preschool@miltonps.org

Please see below for important Preschool and Kindergarten dates

  • Preschool Information Night – Thursday, January 6, 2022 (Virtual)
  • Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, January 6, 2022 – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Preschool Lottery if necessary – Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Kindergarten Pre-registration is open at this link.

______

Join the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover and Tucker Communities for One Parent’s Journey: Talking to Young Children about Structural Racism with Dr. Kimberly Cauley-Narain.

On Thursday, January 20 at 7pm, join us virtually  to hear from Dr. Kimberly Cauley-Narain about her journey talking to her own children about structural racism. Finding no books that fit what she was looking for – she wrote a children’s book that explores structural racism in the United States: Cycle of a Dream – A Kid’s’ Introduction to Structural Racism. In the process, she integrated the broad evidence that supports talking to our preschool and elementary-aged children early and often about racism and other systems barriers that impede equitable educational, (mental) health and other experiences. Dr. Cauley-Narain will share her story and answer questions about what she has learned along the way. All details can be found here. 

This evening is conceived and hosted by the Collicot DEI Committee and sponsored by the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover and Tucker PTOs. 

Milton Public Schools families, staff, teachers and the entire Milton community are all welcome! The link to attend will be shared closer to the event and this event will be recorded.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

For the fourth consecutive year the MHS Key Club organized a holiday card drive for troops and this year was extra special as the cards were sent to MHS graduate Colin McSweeney,  whose platoon is deployed overseas. Thanks to the efforts of many students and staff the Key Club was able to mail over 370 cards and the cards arrived just before Christmas. A special thank you to Mr. Mack and Mrs. White for their help in distributing and encouraging students to participate. The Key Club is very appreciative of the time and effort that was put into this very meaningful project.

 

PIERCE PAGES

Saturnalia is a Roman holiday where social order was inverted and to celebrate it in Magistra Crowley’s 8th grade Latin class, students presented their own lesson to the class. This year there were lessons on military formations, gladiator fights, Roman mythology, Greek mythology, reviewing Latin sentences, and a few games.

TECHNOLOGY 

Four of the main components to becoming a successful digital citizen include understanding digital footprints, what to share and not to share online, knowing copyright laws, and understanding how to identify fake news. This link to a Path to Raising a Digital Citizen will help families better understand what it takes to become a responsible digital citizen.

In addition, we were pleased to host our first ever MPS Digital Citizenship roundtable discussion.  Special thanks go out to: Malachi Buchanan, Kevin Carberry, John Gillooly, Rose Gillooly, Ronan O’Connor, Nkechinyere Onyiriuka, and Stella Yuan for their time and participation in the roundtable discussion. 

MILTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Milton Community Schools hosted its annual vacation camp December 27-30. Students took part in a variety of fun and engaging activities including dance routines, bowling, arts and crafts with igloos, crowns, creating a maze, and much more. Both students and staff enjoyed the special New Years celebration! You can watch some of the Vacation Camp fun here!  Thanks to our terrific Vacation Camp staff for creating such a safe and enjoyable experience for our students.

 

FAMILY RESOURCES 

With the days short, temperatures dropping and the cost of heat rising we want to remind families who may need assistance of a valuable resource.  If you or someone you know is in need of heating assistance this winter the Quincy Community Action Program, serving Milton families, has begun their Winter Fuel Assistance Application process. For applications and more details please visit QCAP Fuel Assistance Program.  

In addition, it’s time to start thinking about filing your 2021 taxes. The United Way and Quincy Community Action Program offers free tax preparation for qualifying families. Details about both  programs and more can be found in our Family Resource Newsletter

MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Family Resource Newsletter  please visit Milton Public School Resource Guide.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org. All calls and emails are confidential.

SEPAC

The next SEPAC board meeting will be held on January 12, 2022, from 7:00 -8:30 p.m.  This is a community forum meeting, and SEPAC welcomes parents, families and interested community members to share stories, questions and advice.  The Zoom Link can be found here.  

SEPAC is looking for a representative for Out of District students and their families!  The Out of District rep serves on the SEPAC board and is a liaison between the out of district coordinator (and other staff) and out of district students and families.  The commitment is approximately 3-4 hours per month and involves attending a monthly board meeting, as well as meeting with the out of district coordinator monthly to review standardized questions. If interested, please email one of our chairs: Jennie Mulqueen or Jenny Sheehan.

FOOD SERVICE 

Please see our latest Food Service update here with menu information, employment opportunities, and more. 

ATHLETICS

MHS Boys Soccer will be hosting Cans for ‘Cats on Saturday, January 8, from 9am to noon at Milton High School.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Forbes House Museum welcomes the Year of the Tiger on Sunday, January 23, 1-3 pm. Registration: $30/members, $35/nonmembers; Art kits: $8

This interactive program begins with a tour highlighting the Chinese artifacts in the collection and discussing the meanings behind the various Chinese symbols found throughout the house. Then create your own lucky red and gold envelopes for gift-giving in a workshop led by Taiwanese-American artist Rayna Lo. The afternoon will conclude with a sampling of delicious Chinese dumplings!

Appropriate for adults and children ages 10 and up. No art/drawing experience necessary. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. Art kits include red cardstock and gold paint pens. Visit our website to register or learn more.

Participants will be required to wear masks except when eating or drinking. We will continue to monitor developing COVID guidelines and adjust our program as necessary for the safety and wellbeing of everyone. 

_____

Milton Parks and Rec  – Intro to Recreational Irish Step!

This is a non-competitive program open to Milton elementary school students in grades K-3. The program will be held on Thursday nights at Cunningham Hall (located at 75 Edge Hill Rd.) There is limited space in the Gr 2-3 session. 
Registration (linked here) is open.  All details can be found here. 

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The Milton Public Library’s calendar of  January programs for kids can be found here.

From January 1 to January 31, Milton Public Library is participating in Beanstack’s Fifth Annual Winter Reading Challenge, sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group. “Read for a Better World” encourages readers of all ages to explore diversity, empathy, and action through literature. We challenge our patrons to read at least 10 books during the month and keep track of their reading on our Beanstack site. All ages are welcome to participate! Pre-register today at miltonlibrary.beanstack.org . Happy reading, Milton!

To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens and adults, please visit the MPL website. 

______

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter can be found here. The newsletter has information about playgroups and resources for families with young children. 

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11th Hour Calling, Monthly Stand Out for Climate Action; Tuesday, January 11, 6-6:30 p.m.
First Parish Church lawn ~ Gather round the spotlight; 535 Canton Avenue (next to Town Hall)

Showing up shows that we care about the climate emergency, environmental justice, elimination of fossil fuels from our lives, and Milton’s municipal response planning. We welcome all — coming together has been energizing and community-building. Bring friends, classmates, and neighbors — and share this information with your activity groups (thank you if you have already done so). This will be the first weeknight 11th Hour event, with greater commuter volume to notice us: HONK FOR CLIMATE ACTION!! [Rain/Snow date Wed. 1/12] 

For safety: flashlights / headlamps / light-colored or reflective clothing
For impact: signage / posters and noise makers (a saucepan and spoon work fine!)

Next month’s 11th Hour event date is Friday, February 11 [rain/snow: Saturday, February 12]

______

Youth Recreational Bowling, January 13th – March 31st

Milton Sports for All, a recreational, inclusive sports program, is offering candle-pin bowling this winter at Cunningham Hall.

The program is open to kids in grades 4 – 8 who reside in Milton. Bowling will happen on Thursdays from January 13 through March 31 from 4:30-5:15 for grades 4 and 5 and from 5:30- 6:15 for grades, 6, 7, and 8. No experience (or bowling shoes!) is necessary.Candle-pin bowling uses smaller balls which are easier for kids to bowl.

The registration fee is $20 and registration will be open until December 31.There will be a maximum of 24 kids in each time slot.Should the program be oversubscribed, participants will be selected by lottery and refunds will be given if not selected.(Please note that bowling is loud! If your child has any sensory issues, you’re welcome to send them with noise-cancelling head-phones or any other resource they might need.)

You can register on-line here for grades 4 and 5 and here for grades 6 – 8. You will be notified the week of Jan. 3 whether your child can participate in the program. Thank you and see you in the lanes!

Milton Sports for All is a volunteer group of parents and community members who believe that sports should be fun and accessible to all kids regardless of background, experience, or ability.We welcome new volunteers!Our goal is for kids across Milton to have fun playing sports together in a supportive environment where they can meet new friends.

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SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

Congratulations to Elaine Moore, Milton High School’s Kitchen Manager, who recently won the MHS Staff Vision Award!

 A Vision Award is given to students and staff who embody one or more of the following criteria:

  • Applies critical thinking
  • Utilizes technology to engage, explore, evaluate the community, nation, and world
  • Be original and innovative individually and collaboratively
  • Good citizenship, personal responsibility, and character individually and collaboratively
  • Demonstrate understanding and respect for themselves and diversity of ideas, cultures, abilities, and lifestyles in school and beyond

Mrs. Moore is more than deserving of this recognition. Many of the students have a connection with her, and she is always there for them when a student comes to talk to her even while managing a kitchen. We are very lucky to have her working in Food Service at the Milton Public Schools. Congratulations to Elaine and thank you for your work on behalf of our students and staff! 

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Leonice Bernard, Kim Coughlin, Marti O’Keefe McKenna and Holly Concannon. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 6, 2022

December 23, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 23, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we prepare to start our winter break tomorrow, I want to thank you for your partnership during the 1st four months of this school year. The year has not been without challenges but I am pleased to say we have overall had a very successful and positive four months! Please read on for some highlights of the last week as well as some important logistical information. 

As you are likely aware, the Covid positivity rate has increased locally, in Massachusetts and throughout the US. We are committed to keeping our buildings open with full in person learning and maintaining all extra curricular activities for our students. To do this we need your support to make sure our students remain masked in school and other public places, as well as follow all Covid safety recommendations. If you and your family have not been vaccinated (or received the booster ) yet, please consider doing so for your own health as well as the safety of our MPS community. We must continue to Protect the Paw to keep our students and staff safely in school. 

Our approach to snow days will be shifting a bit in the coming weeks. At this point, we anticipate that if there is inclement weather and school is cancelled for the day, it will be a traditional snow day: our buildings will be closed, there will be no remote learning and the day will be made up in June. Depending on the number of snow days we have this year, we may revisit this approach and will keep you updated if that happens. In the meantime, if we have a snow day, I hope your children take advantage of the day with extra sleep, catching up on school work, helping around the house, enjoying family time and having fun outside with friends. 

Thank you to all who participated in and attended the Courageous Conversations toward Racial Justice virtual forum last week, Milton Community Conversation: Healing after Racial Incidents. It was a productive and worthwhile ninety minutes for our Milton community. The recording can be found at this link. 

Each day in the week leading up to Winter Break, our MHS musicians and singers entertain us upon arrival with a selection of songs. You can see and hear a bit of the music magic below!

As a reminder, December  24 – January 2 is MPS Winter Break and classes resume on Monday, January 3. There are three major holidays over the next ten days. If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and if your family celebrates Kwanzaa, I wish you a Happy Kwanzaa. To all in our MPS community, I wish a relaxing and safe winter break and a happy and healthy New Year! 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on January 6, 2022 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

The Milton Health Department is hosting more Moderna Booster Clinics. The FDA has approved that individuals can mix and match 1st and 2nd doses series with boosters. If you had Pfizer or the J&J vaccine, you can still receive a Moderna booster vaccine. Clinics are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. 

You are eligible for a booster vaccine if you have completed your Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series and are 6 months from the last vaccine administration or are 2 months out from receiving the J&J vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is for 18+. All information and links to register can be found on the Town of Milton website. 

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The Town of Milton is hosting free, drive-thru COVID testing days on Sunday, December 26, Sunday, January 2 and Sunday, January 9 from 10am-3pm at the DPW yard at 629 Randolph Avenue.  All are welcome.

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For the time period of Thursday, December 16 – Wednesday, December 22, MPS had 29 positive student cases, and 7 positive staff cases. Many of the resulting close contacts from these positives were able to remain in school without interruption due to the Test and Stay program. If you have not yet signed your child up, you can opt in at this link. Superintendent Jette’s September 9, 2021 letter about the Test and Stay Program can be found here.

All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Dec 24 – Jan 2 Winter Break
  • Jan 3 Classes Resume 
  • Jan 5 School Committee
  • Jan 6 Preschool Information Night (Virtual) 
  • Jan 17 MLK Jr. Day No School 
  • Jan 19 School Committee
  • Jan 20 Elementary Community Conversation 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)

_____

Join the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover and Tucker Communities for One Parent’s Journey: Talking to Young Children about Structural Racism with Dr. Kimberly Cauley-Narain.

On Thursday, January 20 at 7pm, join us virtually  to hear from Dr. Kimberly Cauley-Narain about her journey talking to her own children about structural racism. Finding no books that fit what she was looking for – she wrote a children’s book that explores structural racism in the United States: Cycle of a Dream – A Kid’s’ Introduction to Structural Racism. In the process, she integrated the broad evidence that supports talking to our preschool and elementary-aged children early and often about racism and other systems barriers that impede equitable educational, (mental) health and other experiences. Dr. Cauley-Narain will share her story and answer questions about what she has learned along the way. All details can be found here. 

This evening is conceived and hosted by the Collicot DEI Committee and sponsored by the Collicot, Cunningham, Glover and Tucker PTOs. 

Milton Public Schools families, staff, teachers and the entire Milton community are all welcome! The link to attend will be shared in January and this event will be recorded.

Please see below for important Preschool and Kindergarten dates

  • Preschool Information Night – Thursday, January 6, 2022 (Virtual)
  • Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, January 6, 2022 – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Preschool Lottery if necessary – Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Kindergarten Pre-registration is open at this link.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

The MHS Winter Cabaret was a tremendous success! On Tuesday evening, MHS students performed a variety of musical acts to an enthusiastic audience. Performers spent the first months of the school year preparing their acts in student run rehearsals. Students chose their own pieces to perform and many arranged or composed their music to fit their own group or solo act. Bravo to all of our performers pictured below! A big thank you to audience members who donated to our “Sponsor-A-Lesson” Program; the event raised over $700 which will directly benefit students who would like to pursue instrumental lessons. Be on the lookout for announcements regarding our Spring Cabaret! You can watch our talented students here.

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The MHS Key Club would like to thank everyone who donated to their “Coats for Kids and Family” Coat Drive. They collected 90 coats which we donated to the program’s sponsors, Anton’s Cleaners and Jordan’s Furniture. The coats will be cleaned and distributed to social service agencies that work with people in need. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

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Ms. Lee’s MHS students designed “Personal Patterns” in their Design Studio class by creating motifs made up of a combination of drawings representing different parts of their personalities. Students then repeated their motifs to create a personal pattern, and applied subjective colors to symbolically represent different aspects of themselves or their color preferences. You can see their designs below.

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MHS Culinary Students created gingerbread replicas of well known Milton establishments representing East Milton, Milton Lower Mills and all of the MPS buildings. Student recreated Dunkin Donuts, The Nutshell, Playa Bowls, Kumon, Novara, Abby Park, The Fruit Center, the Lower Mills Hardware store, Stevies, The Plate, Bents (Revive), Coffee Break,  Steel  & Rye and all 6 MPS schools. Students sold their creations and the proceeds are being donated to the Milton Residents Fund. Enjoy some of the pictures below!

 

PIERCE PAGES

On December 18th, The Pierce Middle School Debate Team participated in the Lumos December Invitational Tournament. Students debated the effects of social media on democratic values in The United States. Students used the Public Forum Debate format to discuss the benefits and costs of social media. Students Isabella Alba, Tess Carroll, Adam Cheairs, Alex DeGregorio, Nailah Hazelwood, Dobie Illich, John Griffin, Penelope Jain, Sara Khan, Avery Squiciarino, Thinh Tran, and Sadie Wetzner-Crothers competed in this tournament. Nailah Hazelwood, Tess Carroll, and Sadie Wetzner-Crothers received Speaker Awards after earning distinguished scores in debate rounds. Avery Squiciarino and Sara Khan were awarded 2nd place in the tournament for their excellent record after winning multiple successive rounds. The Pierce Debate Team was thrilled to participate in this tournament after several weeks of rigorous practice and preparation, and we look forward to competing again in January.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Check out the fun of Glover Spirit Week with this video made by Glover students Lizzie Crowell, Ava Sullivan and Elle Ryan. Nice work, girls!

Tucker collaborated this month to prepare care packages for their immigration care package drive. The donations went to the Blessing Barn in Quincy and IFSI in Mattapan. 

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Cunningham had their second PAWSitivity Awards to celebrate students who exemplify Cunningham’s core tenets of being Respectful, Responsible and Safe. During the assembly, students from each homeroom were recognized with Cougar Paw certificates in what is a monthly PAWSitivity Awards assembly. Ms. Hunt and Mr Foy were also recognized as the teacher recipients for their ongoing efforts to promote a Respectful, Responsible and Safe environment in her classroom. Congratulations to our winners, who can be found here.

 

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Collicot 5th graders have been busy inventing toys and games for the Annual 5th Grade Toy Fair. Today they showed off their innovation and creativity with displays in the cafeteria and gymnasium. Many of our students in grades K-4 were able to visit the fair and all were impressed with the fun and creative toys our students designed and built.

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For a fun winter STEM Challenge, Mrs. Miles’ Cunningham 3rd graders worked in small groups with the use of just 2 materials: sugar cubes + frosting. The challenge was to use these 2 materials in order to create a sturdy igloo. All groups succeeded and lots of fun was had!

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares her most recent newsletter at this link.  This newsletter has information about staffing updates, PD opportunities, and the new MPS Restorative Justice Coach. 

FAMILY RESOURCES 

In an effort to support and foster a strong home-school connection MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Milton Public School Resource Guide we will be highlighting local community resources families may find beneficial in our Family Resource Newsletter.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org.  All calls and emails are confidential. 

ATHLETICS

The entire Athletic Department is excited for the first Annual “Derrick Snowden Memorial Boys Basketball Tournament”. Derrick Snowden was the voice of Milton Football and Basketball for over 30 years. A 1989 Graduate of Milton High, Derrick tragically and unexpectedly passed away in March of 2020. He was beloved and is truly missed by the entire Milton Community, especially within our Athletic Department.

  • Tuesday, December 28th: 5:15PM – Norwood v Walpole; 7:00PM – Dedham v Milton
  • Wednesday, December 29th: 5:15PM – Consolation Game; 7:00PM – Championship Game

Tickets are $5 for students and adults. All spectators must be masked at all times.

On New Years Day, join the MHS Girls Varsity Hockey Team for Skate with ‘CATS. 

COMMUNITY NEWS

Chess with Mr. Vigorito is back in person at the Milton Library and Milton High School!

International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He has taught at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. Classes begin January 10th! All details and registration info can be found here. 

_____

Milton Parks and Rec  – Intro to Recreational Irish Step!

This is a non-competitive program open to Milton elementary school students in grades K-3. The program will be held on Thursday nights at Cunningham Hall (located at 75 Edge Hill Rd.)
Registration (linked here) is open.  All details can be found here. 

______

The Milton Public Library’s calendar of  January programs for kids can be found here.

From January 1 to January 31, Milton Public Library is participating in Beanstack’s Fifth Annual Winter Reading Challenge, sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group. “Read for a Better World” encourages readers of all ages to explore diversity, empathy, and action through literature. We challenge our patrons to read at least 10 books during the month and keep track of their reading on our Beanstack site. All ages are welcome to participate! Pre-register today at miltonlibrary.beanstack.org . Happy reading, Milton!

To learn more and to register for programs for kids, teens and adults, please visit the MPL website. 

______

Youth Recreational Bowling, January 13th – March 31st

Milton Sports for All, a recreational, inclusive sports program, is offering candle-pin bowling this winter at Cunningham Hall. All detail

Milton Sports for All is a volunteer group of parents and community members who believe that sports should be fun and accessible to all kids regardless of background, experience, or ability.We welcome new volunteers!Our goal is for kids across Milton to have fun playing sports together in a supportive environment where they can meet new friends.

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Milton Soccer: Registration is now open for our spring 2022 soccer programs.  Please visit our Milton Soccer website for more information or use this link to register.  The deadline to register is January 7 (on January 8 waitlist and late fees apply).

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Registration is now open for Milton Youth Lacrosse Spring ’22 Travel Programs for boys and girls in grades 3-8.  Register now at this link.  Winter practices start on January 8th and the season starts in April. All details are at this link. 

SUPERINTENDENT SHOUTOUT

Joelle Auguste

Eleven years ago the Milton Public Schools partnered with Joelle Auguste to create an interpretation resource for MPS. At that time we were just beginning to provide translators for parent/teacher conferences and a great relationship began. Ms. Auguste also ran The Power of Families Program at Tucker School after the earthquake in Haiti when we received many Haitian families to Milton.

Over the years, Ms. Auguste and her team of interpreters have consistently created a bridge in our schools that has allowed us to create inclusive communication for all families to participate in MPS regardless of language background. Currently,  she is continuing her work for JA Interpretation and also serves in the role of Family Engagement and Comprehensive Service Manager of Universal PreK in BPS. She has been a champion of the Milton schools and her two children have attended MPS. I would like to recognize Ms. Auguste as she has been an unwavering, unsung partner of Milton Public Schools since 2010. She is an outstanding individual and community partner.

Thank you to by blog contributors this week: Taylor Miles, Joyce White, Sean Lopresti, Alyssa Buchanan, Holly Concannon, Leonice Bernard, Bernadette Butler, Kim Coughlin and Colin Faherty. 

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: 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 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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 23, 2021

December 16, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 16, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There are some important events taking place in Milton tonight that I want to call your attention to. While there is some time overlap, the hope is that all who would like to can participate in some form. 

Milton High School Grade 8 Information Night starts promptly at 6:30 tonight in the Milton High School Auditorium at 25 Gile Rd. This is an opportunity for current 8th grade students and their families to tour Milton High School and to learn about MHS course offerings, academic and extracurricular programs, athletics and activities that prepare students for college and life beyond high school.  This event will be about an hour (including tour). If you are unable to attend, the presentation and a virtual tour of the building will be provided.

From 7-8:30pm, there is a virtual community forum being sponsored by Courageous Conversations Toward Racial Justice and the Milton Public Schools. Because the challenges we are facing are not isolated to Milton Public Schools, this is a community event and all Milton residents are invited to attend. You can register for the forum here. Courageous Conversations has several expert speakers that are available tonight and with the approaching holidays and busy school calendar, unfortunately, this event overlaps with 8th Grade Info Night by 30 minutes. I have asked to have the forum recorded to be accessible to all MPS families and the speakers and Courageous Conversations have graciously agreed. All details can be found here. 

Another valuable meeting planned for tonight is the monthly SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) meeting. This meeting is abbreviated in order to allow people to attend the community forum above. If you are interested in attending the SEPAC meeting on Thursday, December 16, 6-7pm  , the Zoom link is here.  

Thank you to Cunningham for inviting me to your PAWsitivity Awards earlier today!

As your Superintendent, I am proud of our collective response to the challenges we have faced over the last several weeks. Our district has 4400 students, almost 3000 families and 600 staff members. Meeting the diverse needs of all of these important stakeholders is difficult and important work, and I am beyond appreciative of our teachers and staff, students, families and administrators who continue to work together to meet our challenges head on. 

Next week will be the final week of school this calendar year and it’s a full one! We are in school for four full days next week, and the last day of school is Thursday, December 23. Before the break, join us at MHS on December 21 for the MHS Cabaret at 6:30 PM in the MHS Auditorium – a great night of music from our students and staff! Enjoy a talent packed variety show of musical acts including our Christmas Carolers, Pretty Sharp, A Cappella ensemble, Little Big Band, Flute Choir, solos, duets and small bands all directed by our very own MHS music students. There is a $5 donation requested at the door which will support our “Sponsor-A-Lesson” initiative. You don’t want to miss this show!

The MHS Key Club is holding a Coat Drive this Saturday December 18, 2021 from 9am -12pm 
in front of Milton High School. Students will be collecting rain or shine. All new or gently used coats will be donated to the “Coats for Kids and Families” Program sponsored by Jordan’s Furniture and Anton Cleaners. Thank you for your support. 

As a reminder, December  24 – January  2 is MPS Winter Break and classes resume on Monday, January 3. 

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on January 6, 2022 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

The Milton Health Department is hosting more Moderna Booster Clinics. The FDA has approved that individuals can mix and match 1st and 2nd doses series with boosters. If you had Pfizer or the J&J vaccine, you can still receive a Moderna booster vaccine. Clinics are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. We hope you will join us!

You are eligible for a booster vaccine if you have completed your Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series and are 6 months from the last vaccine administration or are 2 months out from receiving the J&J vaccine. All information and links to register can be found on the Town of Milton website. 

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The Town of Milton is hosting free, drive-thru COVID testing days on Sunday, December 19 and Sunday, December 26 from 10am-3pm at the DPW yard at 629 Randolph Avenue.  All are welcome

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For the time period of Thursday, December 9 – Wednesday, December 15, MPS had 20 positive student cases, and 1 positive staff cases. Many of the resulting close contacts from these positives were able to remain in school without interruption due to the Test and Stay program. If you have not yet signed your child up, you can opt in at this link. Superintendent Jette’s September 9, 2021 letter about the Test and Stay Program can be found here.

All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Dec 16 MHS Information Night 
  • Dec 16 Courageous Conversations Forum
  • Dec 21 MHS Cabaret 
  • Dec 24 – Jan 2 Winter Break
  • Jan 3 Classes Resume 
  • Jan 6 Preschool Information Night (Virtual) 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)

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Please see below for important Preschool and Kindergarten dates

  • Preschool Information Night – Thursday, January 6, 2022 (Virtual)
  • Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, January 6, 2022 – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Preschool Lottery if necessary – Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Kindergarten Pre-registration – Begins Monday, December 13, 2021. This link to pre-register is live. 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Recently, the MHS Debate Team debated in the Princeton University National Tournament. Participants came from all over the United States and Canada to compete. There were over 300 participants in the Novice Tournament and Tucker Korman and Sam Boucher were Octo Finalists at the novice level and placed 11th overall. This was an incredible feat for our small team. Congratulations to Tucker and Sam! 

 

PIERCE PAGES

Recognizing Positive Community Members: Each month at Pierce, we recognize students who demonstrate the values of safety, responsibility, respect, and kindness. Teachers nominate students and one student from each grade is selected by Pierce’s culture and behavior committee. Please join us in congratulating Travis Chen, Avery Squiciarino, and Vivian O’Neil who were honored for the month of November!

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It was wonderful to see our community come together to cheer on our Pierce Middle School Ensembles from 6th, 7th and 8th grade, returning on stage for a long awaited Winter Concert 2021, after a long hiatus.

A big shout out to Dawn Sykes (Chorus Director), Debra Miller(District Orchestra Director) and Guillermo Ortiz (Band Director) for guiding our students to this excellent performance. Special thanks to Gingy Grimes for accompanying on the piano.

The excitement was palpable, our students are so talented and their diligence shined  – we are so proud of them. Well done!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Mrs. Walsh’s Cunningham 2nd graders are giving back this holiday season. As part of Unit 4 Reach for Reading: Lending a Hand, students are doing good deeds and spreading kindness in their neighborhood and community. Students have picked up trash at Turner’s Pond, delivered cookies to the Milton Fire Department, sent treats into the staff at Brigham and Women’s,  delivered surprises to neighbors and more.

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Tucker students in first and second grade looked at artist Ted Harrison for inspiration for these beautiful textured polar bears. Ted Harrison (1925-2015) was born in England, but relocated to Northern Canada in 1967, where he became inspired by his surroundings to paint the landscape of the Yukon. His artwork is easily recognizable for his bright, contrasting color palettes and swirling, whimsical lines. Harrison also was known for illustrating children’s books. Our students did a wonderful job on their versions below.

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Last Call For December Vacation Camp!  Camp is for Kindergarten – 5th grade  and will take place Monday, December 27 to Thursday, December 30  from 8:30am to 3:30 pm at Cunningham/Collicot. Tuition is $250.00 for all 4 days.  The deadline for registration and payment is tomorrow, December 17. For registration and payment, please visit the MCS website. Contact Milton Community Schools at mcs@miltonps.org with any questions.

FOOD SERVICE

On  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, MHS students can visit our made to order deli bar. We use Old Neighborhood low fat and low sodium deli meat to assure your children are eating the healthiest deli meat including a variety of meats such as turkey, roast beef, and buffalo chicken.  Add in our assorted whole grain breads and fresh vegetables for toppings and you’ve got a terrific sandwich! A visit to the deli bar counts as one free lunch, which all students are entitled to every day. 

Do you need flexibility and want to work the same hours your children are in school? Food Service is hiring substitute positions for $17.28 an hour. Please contact Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org if you are interested. 

For more recipes and updates, follow us on Instagram at @miltonfoodservice or on Facebook at Milton School Food Service. All lunch menus can be found here.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

In an effort to support and foster a strong home-school connection MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Milton Public School Resource Guide we will be highlighting local community resources families may find beneficial in our Family Resource Newsletter.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org.  All calls and emails are confidential. 

SEPAC

The Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Milton SEPAC) shares the following information. 

ParticipateYouth Recreational Bowling, January 13th – March 31st

Milton Sports for All, a recreational, inclusive sports program, is offering candle-pin bowling this winter at Cunningham Hall.

The program is open to kids in grades 4 – 8 who reside in Milton. Bowling will happen on Thursdays from January 13 through March 31 from 4:30-5:15 for grades 4 and 5 and from 5:30- 6:15 for grades, 6, 7, and 8. No experience (or bowling shoes!) is necessary.Candle-pin bowling uses smaller balls which are easier for kids to bowl.

The registration fee is $20 and registration will be open until December 31.There will be a maximum of 24 kids in each time slot.Should the program be oversubscribed, participants will be selected by lottery and refunds will be given if not selected.(Please note that bowling is loud! If your child has any sensory issues, you’re welcome to send them with noise-cancelling head-phones or any other resource they might need.)

You can register on-line here for grades 4 and 5 and here for grades 6 – 8. You will be notified the week of Jan. 3 whether your child can participate in the program. Thank you and see you in the lanes!

Milton Sports for All is a volunteer group of parents and community members who believe that sports should be fun and accessible to all kids regardless of background, experience, or ability.We welcome new volunteers!Our goal is for kids across Milton to have fun playing sports together in a supportive environment where they can meet new friends.

Advocate: The next SEPAC Board meeting is TONIGHT.  This meeting is abbreviated in order to allow folks to attend the community forum on race. Thursday, December 16, 6-7pm  Zoom Link  

Educate: Advocating Over the Long Haul: Handling Stress and Staying in the Game 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

It’s the MFE’s 25th Anniversary! Help us celebrate our anniversary by joining our Annual Appeal Campaign to give $25 for 25 years.

An education from the Milton public schools is the foundation for excellence and the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been helping lay those foundations for 25 years with well over 50,000 students. Help us celebrate the MFE’s 25th year by taking part in the annual giving campaign! Donations from generous supporters like you have helped fund initiatives in all six Milton schools and every dollar donated to the MFE helps spark innovation and energizes the learning experience for students and educators in Milton. Your gift, in any amount, is welcomed and appreciated. All details and the link to donate can be found here.

ATHLETICS

Congratulations to our 13 Patriot Ledger All-Scholastics!

  • Chase Vaughan (football)
  • Amari Marsman (football)
  • Isaiah Hassell (football)
  • Ben Catudel (boys golf)
  • Alec Carew (boys cross country)
  • Donovan Murray (boys cross country)
  • Christina Sullivan (girls cross country)
  • Norah Affanato (girls cross country)
  • Christopher Roden (boys soccer)
  • Justin Gomes (boys soccer)
  • Nora Walsh (field hockey)
  • Katie Eckardt (girls volleyball)
  • Molly Shea (girls volleyball)
  • Sophia Manning (girls volleyball)

Our Winter Season is officially underway. Please take a look at schedules posted on our website.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Milton Parks and Rec  – Intro to Recreational Irish Step!

This is a non-competitive program open to Milton elementary school students in grades K-3. The program will be held on Thursday nights at Cunningham Hall (located at 75 Edge Hill Rd.)
Registration (linked here) will be available on December 15th at noon.  All details can be found here. 

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The Milton Public Library’s December calendar can be found here. Plan ahead and take a look at the January calendar here. 

Join the MPL’s Winter Reading Challenge during the month of January!

From January 1 to January 31, Milton Public Library is participating in Beanstack’s Fifth Annual Winter Reading Challenge, sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group. “Read for a Better World” encourages readers of all ages to explore diversity, empathy, and action through literature. We challenge our patrons to read at least 10 books during the month and keep track of their reading on our Beanstack site. All ages are welcome to participate! Pre-register today at miltonlibrary.beanstack.org . Happy reading, Milton!

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High school students are invited to attend the next Milton Minds Matter meeting – Tuesday, December 21st, 7pm at the Wildcat Den.  Join us for fun activities while learning about reducing stress from your peers.  Milton Minds Matter is a community-based, youth led, chapter of Our Minds Matter, a national organization that is working toward a day when no teen dies from suicide through help seeking, social connectedness, self-care and healthy habits, and pro-social skills. 

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Learning Through Play Preschool Playgroup Series: Was your child’s preschool opportunity prevented or interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic? The Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a FREE 8-week Preschool Playgroup Series which may work for you. We will meet on Saturdays, January 8 through February 26, 2022 from 10:00-11:30 am at 101 Blue Hills Pkwy. in Milton. This program is for children who are 3 and 4 years old with their parent/guardian. It will be facilitated by Dotty Alexander, Ed.D., Professor of Education at Curry College and will focus on language, social/emotional, and fine and gross motor skills. Completion of the Ages & Stages questionnaire will be required and the pre-registration link is here. . This program has limited space, so we ask that you commit to attending all 8 sessions. This program is funded through the Beth Israel Deaconess-Milton Community Health Grant. Please email cpcmecasLd@verizon.net with questions.

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Milton Soccer: Registration is now open for our spring 2022 soccer programs.  Please visit our Milton Soccer website for more information or use this link to register.  The deadline to register is January 7 (on January 8 waitlist and late fees apply).

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Registration is now open for Milton Youth Lacrosse Spring ’22 Travel Programs for boys and girls in grades 3-8.  Register now at this link.  Winter practices start on January 8th and the season starts in April. All details are at this link. 

Thank you to by blog contributors this week: Anneka Cheema, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Tanya Walsh, Jess Gillooly, Kathleen Kelley, Kim Coughlin, and Bill Fish. 

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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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 16, 2021

December 9, 2021

To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
From: James F. Jette
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: December 9, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As many of you know, this has been a challenging week in the Milton Public Schools. Yesterday, we implemented a lockdown at Pierce Middle School after it was brought to the attention of the Pierce Administration that a student saw an adult in the building who “may have had a weapon.” Anytime there is suspicion of a weapon in the building, we take it very seriously and must act accordingly. As a result, we initiated a lockdown. Pierce Administration and Milton Police worked quickly to investigate the matter and within approximately 27 minutes the matter was resolved. The student actually saw a staff member, while on break, pull out a cell phone charger which the student thought was a weapon. 

After the tragic events in Oxford, Michigan just 9 days ago, students and staff are understandably on edge. I applaud this student for speaking up when they thought they saw something concerning. The staff member who had the cell phone charger also did nothing wrong and felt terrible that their innocent actions contributed to yesterday’s events. I also am thankful that our students and staff followed the safety procedures that we practice each year and am grateful to the Milton Police Department for their swift and thorough response. 

While we will always work to notify families as quickly as possible in an emergency, our number one priority in that moment is the safety of all students and staff. In the age of cell phones, it is not only possible, but likely probable, that you will hear of events from your children before we can notify you. Going forward, in the case of an emergency, we will also push out a text to all numbers in the MPS system. Because texting has limited capabilities with character limits, this text will alert you to check your email and the MPS website for further details and updates. Not every text will signify an emergency. In the past we have used texts for snow days and occasional important communications and we will continue to use text alerts in that manner. 

On Tuesday night, I was appreciative of the almost 170 Pierce parents and guardians who joined me on a call to discuss two incidents of racially charged graffiti and language, the district’s response, and steps forward for the community as a whole. We had a productive and fruitful conversation. I was also happy to meet with the 6 parents and guardians who joined me for my 3rd informal (1st virtual) coffee this week. While only 30 minutes, it allowed me time to connect one on one with anyone who had a question or concern. Thank you to the parent who suggested that we implement text notifications when we need to send urgent information. That was a good reminder that not everyone checks their email regularly, and as stated above, we will more regularly incorporate texting for time sensitive information. 

Both of these situations sadly represent the times that we are in – in Milton, in Massachusetts and throughout the United States. Hate speech is problematic across the country and school violence is a terrible and unfortunate reality, as we are all aware. As a school district we are constantly and routinely adapting and learning as we work to keep our students and staff safe, learning and hopefully, thriving. Thank you to the entire MPS and Milton community for your ongoing support and partnership on this very important work to benefit of each and every one of our Milton Public Schools students and staff. 

There are other things that represent the times that we are in and I want to be sure to highlight them, as we do each week, in my blog below. This week our students collected gifts for our holiday gift drive, participated in a concert at Milton High School, began practices for the winter athletic season, were inducted into the National Honor Society, visited the Book Fair, created beautiful art and so much more as they enjoyed full and robust days of school in each of our 6 Milton Public Schools. It is too easy to focus only on the difficult and challenging but we must always also acknowledge and celebrate the everyday joy that is present.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next regular Milton School Committee meeting is on December 15, 2021 at 7pm.  All information about attending School Committee meetings can be found on the Town of Milton webpage under School Committee. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

The Milton Health Department is hosting two more COVID-19 MODERNA Booster Clinics in the Town Hall basement on December 15 and 16. Clinics are held from 1-4pm and you must register – no walk ins allowed.

You are eligible for a booster vaccine if you have completed your Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series and are 6 months from the last vaccine administration or are 2 months out from receiving the J&J vaccine. All information and links to register can be found on the Town of Milton website. 

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The Town of Milton is hosting a free, drive-thru COVID testing days on Sunday, December 19 and Sunday, December 26 from 10am-3pm at the DPW yard at 629 Randolph Avenue.  All are welcome.

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Recently, the federal government gave Pfizer’s pediatric COVID 19 vaccine for ages 5-11 final approval and doses are now available in Massachusetts. The state will be updating the their website as new vaccination sites become available.  The Vaxfinder tool can be used along with links to retail pharmacies  CVS’s scheduling site or Walgreens’ scheduling site to schedule appointments. Manet Community Health Center  is also an option for pediatric patients. 

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For the time period of Thursday, December 2 – Wednesday, December 8, MPS had 17  positive student cases, and 2 positive staff cases. Many of the resulting close contacts from these positives were able to remain in school without interruption due to the Test and Stay program. If you have not yet signed your child up, you can opt in at this link. Superintendent Jette’s September 9, 2021 letter about the Test and Stay Program can be found here.

All health and safety information can be found on our Health Services website

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES 

  • Dec 9 MHS Post Secondary Planning Night – TONIGHT
  • Dec 9 Early Release Date K-12 (PT Conf Gr K-5 only)
  • Dec 14 Pierce Winter Concert
  • Dec 16 MHS Information Night 
  • Dec 21 MHS Cabaret 
  • Dec 24 – Jan 2 Winter Break
  • Jan 3 Classes Resume 

Please refer to the District-Wide Calendar of Events for times and details. The 21-22 School Year Calendar can be found here (Revised 10/27/21 to reflect updated last day of school)

Throughout the school year, members of our MPS community celebrate and observe various religious holidays. We adjust homework expectations as needed as you can see in the document linked here. If there is a religious holiday that we have missed, please email Superintendent James Jette or Senior Director of Education Equity Somaly Prak-Martins

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TONIGHT: Please join the Milton High School Guidance Counselors  for their annual Post Secondary Planning night, at Milton High on  Thursday, December 9 at 6:15 pm in the MHS Auditorium. The following topics will be presented in order to help you and your child successfully navigate their post secondary decisions:

  • Financial Aid –  How to pay for College
  • Standardized Testing –  Standardized Tests: The SAT vs The ACT
  • College Admissions – An Insider View
  • College Athletics – From Intramural to Division I Sports
  • Overview of the College Application Process – Milton High Procedures
  • Naviance 101

Representatives from Emmanuel College Admissions, Bridgewater State University, Summit Educational Group, “Strategies for College” and Milton High School staff will be running these 6 sessions. After a brief introduction in the auditorium, each session will run four times, in 25 minute intervals. Students & Parents/Guardians are invited to attend up to four sessions between 6:30 and 8:30 pm. This workshop is open to all parents/guardians & students in grades 8 through 12.  Masks are required in the building.   

While this night is geared towards students exploring college as a post MHS option, if your child is interested in learning a trade or interested in the military after graduation, I encourage you to have them connect with their guidance counselor for additional resources. 

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Milton High School Grade 8 Information Night: Please join us on Thursday, December 16 at 6:30pm in the Milton High School Auditorium (25 Gile Rd) for an opportunity to learn about Milton High School course offerings, academic and extracurricular programs, athletics and activities that prepare students for college and life beyond high school. Current 8th grade students, parents and guardians are invited to attend this informational session and tour of Milton High School. If unable to attend, the presentation and a virtual tour of the building will be provided.

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Please see below for important Preschool and Kindergarten dates. 

  • Preschool Information Night – Thursday, January 6, 2022
  • Preschool Pre-registration – Thursday, January 6, 2022 – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Preschool Lottery if necessary – Friday, January 28, 2022
  • Kindergarten Information Night – Thursday, January 27, 2022
  • Kindergarten Pre-registration – Begins Monday, December 13, 2021. This link to pre-register will be live on December 13. 

MPS GIVES BACK 

The MPS 2021 Holiday Giving Drive organized by our PTOs will run from December 6th-9th in our schools. For the holiday season, the Milton Public Schools has partnered with My Brother’s Keeper and the Milton Residents Fund to ensure all Milton families in need have a wonderful holiday season.

Support and shop with a local business while supporting the toy drive! Shop in-person, online, or over the phone with The Toy Chest in East Milton Square or The Toy Box (owned by an MPS family) in Hanover. 

Bring your new, unwrapped item(s) to one of the collection boxes in the lobby of any of the elementary schools between Monday, December 6 – Thursday, December 9. Thank you for helping us make the Holiday Season a little bright for our neighbors!

Pierce Families Helping Families Holiday Program: Each year our guidance counselors identify Pierce families in need and collect gift cards to be distributed to them for the holidays. This program, Families Helping Families, provides an opportunity for your family to bring a little bit of holiday spirit to another family at Pierce Middle School in an anonymous and quiet way.

If you are interested in supporting this effort, please bring your gift card donation to the main office at Pierce Middle School by December 12th and deposit it in the sealed box. We recommend gift cards to Star Market, Shaws, Stop and Shop, Target and Old Navy but will, of course, accept and pass on gift cards from all stores. Our guidance staff will make sure that these gift cards find their way to Pierce families in need this holiday season.

 

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

Congratulations to our MHS students who were inducted into the National Honor Society this week! NHS students must uphold the four pillars of NHS: leadership, scholarship, service and character. Members of the National Honor Society are expected to act as leaders and role models in the Milton High School community, both academically and through their personal responsibilities. Please join me in congratulating these outstanding students!

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The sheer joy of having our MHS music students on the stage since 2019 was immense yesterday. It was a fantastic performance by our students and some moments truly exceeded practice runs. We applaud our ensembles for their hard work and a big shout out to Rebecca Damiani (Band and Jazz Director), Julia Hanna (Choral Director) and Debra Miller(District Orchestra Director) for guiding our students to this excellent performance. It was great to see our community to be able to come together to celebrate our talented youth. Thanks to Milton Access TV, you can watch a recording of the concert here. We are so proud of our student musicians – well done! Thank you to our student photographers for the pictures below.

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This week, MHS Computer Science students organized events for CS Ed Week.  Students hosted a CS Ed Week day at the library and Pierce students were able to visit 7 different stations and learn about binary, decoding, computer hardware, matrices, and algorithms.  Teams of MHS students visited 5th graders and presented on Computer Science principles, gave them a chance to code and then answered lots of questions about CS. At MHS,  students participated in a scavenger hunt, typing contests, viewed posters around the building and had  presentations on CS in art classes. Check out the CS Ed Week @ Milton website to see more details.

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A Note from MHS Guidance: MassEdCO is hosting several virtual FAFSA Pop-Up Saturdays to help students and families complete their applications. Financial Aid experts will be available to provide one-on-one assistance on any of the dates available, and bilingual assistance will be offered in Spanish, Mandarin, Nepali, and Hindi. Register at this link.  All details can be found here. 

 

PIERCE PAGES

The Milton Historical Society generously hosted students from Ms. Hartgering’s classes recently. Students read a book where the main character uses a Historical Society for research, and the students learned a great deal from our visit to the Suffolk Resolves House. They got an in-depth explanation of Milton’s amazing history and were able to examine objects and archives such as maps and newspapers. We’re so grateful to the Historical Society and to the Milton Police Department for providing transportation.

Come hear us next Tuesday at MHS!

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Pierce Winter Concert: The Pierce Middle School Music Department is excited to present our first live performance since December 2019! Please join us in the MHS auditorium on Tuesday, December 14th at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of music by our school performing ensembles. We are excited to be back on stage and you don’t want to miss it! 

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Mrs. Bernini’s Collicot and Cunningham 5th grade art students are wrapping up a Native American Tunic project inspired by the story Ancient Thunder by Leo Yerxa. Students learned how Native Americans used animal hide to create clothing. Students used brown butcher paper to create their tunics and crumbled the paper to add texture. Using symmetry, students designed their own tunic shape and applied chalk pastel for their initial background colors. They used the book for inspiration and brainstormed a scene for their tunics. Students then drew their design onto the tunic and painted their scene with tempera paints. The final step was cutting yarn to add tassels to the bottom and sleeves of their tunics. Well done!

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Glover kindergarten scientists were busy this week in Mrs. Kates’ class! In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, kindergartners participated in a partner activity with one student taking on the role of computer programmer while the other was the robot. In addition to this “unplugged” activity, students enjoyed games like Code-a pillar on the classroom ipads. CSEdWeek is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field. Visit www.code.org for more information about this annual campaign.

Our kindergarteners were also busy observing and recording the weather. By monitoring local weather, students experience the patterns and variations in weather and come to understand the importance of weather forecasts to prepare for severe weather. Scientists made their own windsocks and then went outside to investigate wind speed and direction. The Full Option Science System™ (FOSS) philosophy is to engage students in science through active learning. Every FOSS investigation involves active investigation, including outdoor experiences and recording in science notebooks to answer focus questions.

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New books for the win!

The Scholastic Book Fair has arrived at Tucker Elementary! Students visited the fair this week, created wish lists and practiced their math skills at the cash register. Students were so excited for the return of the book fair: one 4th grader said, “This is beautiful! I could barely sleep last night!” and a pre-k student said, “I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to get this book.”

A sincere thank you to all the families who supported the fair and to all of the Tucker staff who helped with logistics, including Mrs. Keaney, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Barbosa, Mrs. Mallory, Mr. Coben and Dr. McNeil-Girmai. A very special thank you to the volunteers who made the fair possible: Leslie McCarthy, Dorothy Greene, Sarah Myrie, John Flakes, Rebekah Louis, Meena Tondravi, Kaley Patterson, Lori Goode, Amy McLaughlin, Andrea Robert, Jason Arenburg, Liz Tisei and Kim Carlozzi.

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Sign up now for MCS December Vacation Camp! Camp runs December 27-30 from 8:30 am-3:30 pm at Collicot/Cunningham Schools. Tuition is $250.00 4 days (Daily registrations are not accepted). Camp is for students in grades K-5. Registration at this link by December 17. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares her  latest newsletter at this link. This newsletter has information about preschool music therapy, Literacy Coach updates, the return of Celebrating our Differences and a Milton Youth Bowling program.

FOOD SERVICE

Try at zucchini fry at MHS or Pierce.

Food Service’s Dietetic Intern Michaela created a new menu item and offered samples to students. After rave reviews, coming soon to the MHS  and Pierce lunch menu this December… baked zucchini fries! A twist on the traditional French fry, zucchini fries are zucchini sticks that are baked in a parmesan bread crumb coating. If you want to try this recipe, check it out on our blog linked here. For more recipes and updates, follow us on Instagram at @miltonfoodservice or on Facebook at Milton School Food Service. All lunch menus can be found here.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

For grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, the Commission on the Status of Grandparents raising Grandchildren has added a new virtual workshop.  Wellness and Self-Care for the Caregiver will meet via zoom on 12/13 at 7:30pm and 12/14 at 9:00am. Details on how to join can be found  here.  The Quincy Family Resource Center has also published their December group calendar. Details can be found here.

In an effort to support and foster a strong home-school connection MPS knows that families may sometimes need resources for their children and family beyond the classroom.  In addition to the Milton Public School Resource Guide we will be highlighting local community resources families may find beneficial in our Family Resource Newsletter.  If you need additional assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at mmckenna@miltonps.org.  All calls and emails are confidential. 

SEPAC

The Milton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Milton SEPAC) shares the following information. 

ParticipateWe installed our new board on November 16 and got right to work. We now have 14 members of our board, with many schools having at least two reps representing all the schools across the district. 

Advocate: The next SEPAC board meeting will be held on Thursday, December 16, 6:30 -8:30 Zoom Link at which we will be finalizing vision and goals for 2022. Please reach out to your school reps with issues and concerns you would like to see addressed this year, and, of course, attend the meeting as well to join discussions and have your voice heard. 

Educate: Check out the newly-updated Resources page on our SEPAC website.  We hope it has a lot of good information, resources, and tools for parents and families. Please reach out to us at miltonsepac@gmail.com if you have any feedback.   

ART AND MUSIC

Looking for an easy and healthy holiday gift idea? Support the Milton Music Department by ordering from our online fruit fundraiser anytime between now and December 12th! Gift boxes or crates of fresh fruit are guaranteed to ship directly to the recipient in time for Christmas! Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your family, colleagues, neighbors, or friends, these delicious gift boxes are sure to be a hit! Use the QR code below or visit this link to order through our website. The sale closes on December 12th, so don’t delay in ordering. 

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION

It’s the MFE’s 25th Anniversary! Help us celebrate our anniversary by joining our Annual Appeal Campaign to give $25 for 25 years.

An education from the Milton public schools is the foundation for excellence and the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been helping lay those foundations for 25 years with well over 50, 000 students. Help us celebrate the MFE’s 25th year by taking part in the annual giving campaign. Donations from generous supporters like you have helped fund initiatives in all six Milton schools and every dollar donated to the MFE helps spark innovation and energizes the learning experience for students and educators in Milton. Your gift, in any amount, is welcomed and appreciated! All details and the link to donate can be found here.

 

ATHLETICS

Congratulations to Sophia!

Sophia Manning signed her Division I Letter of Intent  to Temple University for Women’s Rowing on Monday! Congratulations to all four students who signed their Letters of Intent.

  • Norah Affanato, Loyola University Maryland, Cross Country & Track
  • Charlie Walker, Northeastern University, Baseball
  • Brian Foley, UMass Lowell, Baseball
  • Sophia Manning, Temple University, Crew

Winter sports are underway and we are excited to have a full complement of games this Winter Season! There are no capacity limits or social distancing requirements but ALL students, coaches and spectators MUST be masked when in the school building. Spectators must follow posted site policies for Ulin Rink or opposing venues, including rinks and gymnasiums.

COMMUNITY NEWS

On Saturday, December 11, join the fun for the Milton Holiday Stroll! The MHS Boosters and the Pierce, Tucker and Cunningham PTOs will be at Steel and Rye to help with all of your MPS swag needs!

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Milton Access TV will air the Memorial Tree Program live on their public channel (Comcast 9/RCN 13) on local cable in Milton at 7pm on Friday, December 10. The lights on the Memorial Tree will be turned on and the names of all remembered will be read at the gazebo in front of the Town Hall and MPS students will be singing during the ceremony. You  can also access a live stream at this link or watch on the MATV Facebook page.

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Milton Parks and Rec  – Intro to Recreational Irish Step!

This is a non-competitive program open to Milton elementary school students in grades K-3. The program will be held on Thursday nights at Cunningham Hall (located at 75 Edge Hill Rd.)
Registration (linked here) will be available on December 15th at noon.  All details can be found here. 

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The Milton Public Library’s  December calendar can be found here. 

Please join us on Saturday, December 11 between 10am and 4pm for a holiday favorite: the MPL’s annual Life-Size Candyland game! Kids, see if you can beat your parents to the Candy Castle to rescue King Kandy, while at the same time practicing counting and color recognition. For all ages; children must be accompanied by an adult in order to play. Registration is required and timed entry is available. Sign up at this link today!

To learn more and to register for programs, please visit the MPL website. Please see below for details on two upcoming book sales. 

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Youth Recreational Bowling:  January 13th – March 31st

Milton Sports for All, a recreational, inclusive sports program, is offering candle-pin bowling this winter at Cunningham Hall.  

The program is open to kids in grades 4 – 8 who reside in Milton.  Bowling will happen on Thursdays from January 13th through March 31st— from 4:30 – 5:15 for grades 4 and 5 and from 5:30 – 6:15 for grades, 6, 7, and 8.  No experience (or bowling shoes!) is necessary.  Candle-pin bowling uses smaller balls which are easier for kids to bowl. 

The registration fee is $20 and registration will be open from Dec. 13th – Dec. 31st.  There will be a maximum of 24 kids in each time slot.  Should the program be oversubscribed, participants will be selected by lottery and refunds will be given if not selected.  (Please note that bowling is loud!  If your child has any sensory issues, you’re welcome to send them with noise-cancelling head-phones or any other resource they might need.)  

Beginning Dec. 13th, you can register on-line here for grades 4 and 5 and here for grades 6 – 8.  You will be notified the week of Jan. 3rd whether your child can participate in the program.  Thank you and see you in the lanes!

Milton Sports for All is a volunteer group of parents and community members who believe that sports should be fun and accessible to all kids regardless of background, experience, or ability.  We welcome new volunteers!  Our goal is for kids across Milton to have fun playing sports together in a supportive environment where they can meet new friends.

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11th Hour Calling invites all to a  Stand Out & Stand Up for Climate Action, Saturday, December 11, 6-6:30 pm (Rain-date Sunday, December 12, 6-6:30 pm). Meet on the First Parish Church lawn ~ Gather round the spotlight.

Join several local organizations this weekend to demonstrate to our community that we care about the climate emergency, environmental justice, and Milton’s municipal response planning. We will ring bells, beat drums, and wave DIY posters and signs with gusto. For safety, bring flashlights or headlamps and wear light-colored or reflective clothing. For calling the alarm: bring drums, gongs, cymbals, vuvuzelas, pots, pans, 5-gal. buckets, etc. 

Spread the word: bring friends and neighbors. We welcome all ages and organizations because standing up together promotes change and purposefulness. Next stand out: Tuesday, January 11, same time and place.

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Merry Historic Milton FamilyFest: This Saturday, December 11, from 11am -4pm, enjoy a day of festive family fun at three historic estates in Milton, Mass. 🎄

Join us for “Merry Historic Milton FamilyFest,” starting at the Eustis Estate followed by visits to Forbes House Museum and Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum. Each site offers a unique experience with holiday-themed activities and refreshments.For more information and to get your tickets, please visit the website.

 
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Chess with Mr. Vigorito is back in person at the Milton Library and Milton High School!

International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He has taught at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. Classes begin January 10th! All details and registration info can be found here. 

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Milton Soccer: Registration is now open for our spring 2022 soccer programs.  Please visit our Milton Soccer website for more information or use this link to register.  The deadline to register is January 7 (on January 8 waitlist and late fees apply).

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Registration is now open for Milton Youth Lacrosse Spring ’22 Travel Programs for boys and girls in grades 3-8.  Register now at this link.  Winter practices start on January 8th and the season starts in April. All details are at this link. 

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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 Janet Sheehan, (617) 696- 4808/4809.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 9, 2021