July 27,2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date July 27, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Below you will find a draft of the Milton Public Schools Initial Return to School plans –  In-person, Hybrid, Remote – at each level. These plans will be submitted to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on Friday, July 31. On Monday, August 10, the MPS detailed plan for the anticipated return to school model will be submitted to DESE and shared with the MPS community.

Returntoschoolmilton.com continues to be the hub for all information about Milton’s safe return to school. Please visit the website and the FAQs often. Questions sent through the “Contact Us” form on the website are often answered in the FAQ section.

Please review the plans and note the opportunities below to hear the plans presented to School Committee, to submit questions, and to attend a Q&A session about a safe return to school for Milton.

MPS INITIAL REOPENING PLANS

Please see the Milton Public Schools Return to School (RTS) Presentation:
Guidance, Process, and Draft Plans at this link. This presentation contains the guiding principles and the Initial Return to School plans –  In-person, Hybrid, Remote – at each level.

IMPORTANT DATES THIS WEEK

Monday, July 27: MPS Initial Return to School Plans shared with all MPS families

Tue-Thur July 27-30: Submit your questions about MPS Initial Return to School plans on this form

Wednesday, July 29: Watch the School Committee meeting at 7pm to hear a full presentation of the plans.

Thursday, July 30: Watch the 2nd MPS Return to School Q&A from 5:45-7pm. There will be a very short presentation of plans followed by the Q&A. If at all possible, we encourage you to read through the plans and/or watch the School Committee presentation before the Q&A.

Friday, July 31: MPS submits Initial Return to School Plans to DESE for review.

Wednesday, August 5:  School Committee vote on Superintendent’s Return to School plans

Monday, August 10: MPS detailed plan for the anticipated return to school model due to MA DESE and MPS community.

MA DESE GUIDANCE

We continually receive guidance from the MA Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) and these guidelines inform all decisions made in Milton about a safe return to school. We encourage you to read through these documents, which can be found at anytime on the DESE website  and are linked at www.returntoschoolmilton.com under additional guidance.

RESOURCES IN OUR COMMUNITY

We are lucky to have a vast pool of expertise in Milton, ranging from medical and mental health professionals to logistics and technology experts and everything in between. Several Milton residents have publicly shared thoughts on reopening schools and we share them with you here.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on July 27,2020

July 21, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: July 21, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The Return to School Task Force and MPS Administrators have been working every day toward a safe return to school. Since we last wrote to you on July 9th, we have shared updates on our Return to School website, via text and at our Q&A session. Please read through this section to remain up to date on our RTS efforts.

As a Task Force, we are working very hard to ensure that our families and students of color are represented. Thank you to the BIPOC who have already reached out and been welcomed onto our subcommittees and Core Team! We continue to prioritize this as we are committed to making the safest and most equitable recommendations possible on behalf of all students in the Milton Public Schools. If you are interested in joining us in this critical work, particularly if you are a volunteer of color, please reach out to your building principal or directly to Ada Rosmarin and Karen McDavitt, Co-chairs of the Return to School Task Force.

Important Upcoming Return to School Dates

  • Monday, July 27th: MPS Initial Return to School plans – In-person, Hybrid, Remote – emailed to all MPS families
  • Monday-Thursday, July 27-30th: Submit your questions about these plans in a link provided on Monday. 
  • Wednesday, July 29th: Presentation of Initial Return to School plans to the School Committee. We will send a link to view the School Committee meeting in the Monday email with MPS Initial RTS Plans. Please watch this meeting to hear a live presentation of the three plans. This meeting will be recorded and available to view later on Milton Access TV. 
  • July 30th: Return to School Q&A 5:45-7pm. Details to join Zoom Webinar or view on another platform will be sent in the Monday email. The Q&A will be a very short presentation of plans followed by the Q&A. If at all possible, we encourage you to read through the plans and/or watch the School Committee presentation on Wednesday night. 
  • July 31st: MPS Initial RTS Plans (In-person, Hybrid, Remote) due to MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
  • August 10: MPS detailed plan for the anticipated return to school model due to MA DESE and MPS community.

Return to School Updates

  • On July 10th, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education(DESE)  issued a list of Frequently Asked Questions about planning a safe return to school. You can read the document here .
  • Thank you to all who attended the July 16th Parent/Guardian Zoom Webinar with MPS administrators and members of the Return to School Task Force. We reached our capacity of 500 attendees, and apologize to those who were unable to log in. We have upgraded our account to accommodate 1000 attendees and will offer additional viewing opportunities prior to our next Return to School Q&A. The Q&A was recorded and can be found here.
  • On July 17th, DESE provided districts and schools with additional information on protocols for responding to specific COVID-19 scenarios this fall, including in school, on the bus, or in community settings. Please note that CDC protocols related to this topic may be released in the coming weeks, and this guidance may be updated accordingly. The full DESE guidelines on protocols can be found here. 
  • We have continued to update our FAQs in response to questions asked on our contact us form as well as at the Q&A. The FAQ is date stamped, please check back often for updates.
  • Last week, on July 15th and 17th, we sent texts through our communication system, with a reminder about the Q&A and RTS info. If you DID NOT receive those texts and would like to receive RTS updates via text when they are sent, please enter your cell phone number here. 

Our Family Survey closed last week and while the qualitative analysis will take some time, we can share some quantitative information here. MPS  currently has 4493 registered students and 2876 families. 2360 families completed the survey. These results are new and will be used by our subcommittees to inform their recommendations for best practices. You can view the quantitative results here.

At any time, please reach out to the Task Force with questions, comments or concerns through this comment form.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on July 29, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

MPS DRAFT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR DISTRICT WIDE EQUITY AUDIT 

We are seeking feedback from the community on this MPS Draft Equity Audit Request for Proposals (RFP) to select an external consultant that will conduct an equity audit of the entire district.

We are seeking an organization with deep experience in anti-racism work to help us assess where we are and chart a course for reform moving forward. We appreciate any feedback you have so we can ensure that the RFP reflects the needs of the district and the community. If you would like to provide feedback, please do so by Friday, July 24 here:  Draft RFP Equity Audit Feedback Form

SUMMER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

All MHS  summer assignments can be found at this link. In addition,  the link for the summer reading challenge that all high school students will complete can be found here.

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Pierce Diverse Book Giveaway:Calling all incoming 6th, 7th and 8th grade students! Stop by Pierce Middle School on Friday, July 24th, from 9am-12pm to pick up free books with a broad range of diverse characters and authors. All books are based on students’ interest with characters that are their age dealing with the same middle school issues they are. Books will be distributed as long as supplies last, so come early. Thank you to the Daley Family for their diverse Little Free Library project highlighted below in our Elementary section for this donation of diverse books to our Pierce students.

Pierce Summer Reading: This year’s approach to summer reading will focus on a school-wide read of Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson. Our goal is to provide a common book for students, staff and faculty to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall.  The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community.  By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Please see this  link to learn more about Harbor Me.

Pierce Summer Math Enrichment: All rising or current Pierce Middle School students, as well as their parents, are encouraged to enroll this summer in the free online self-paced course titled How to Learn Math: For Students offered through the math education department at Stanford University. You can find a description and enrollment link for this course, which will address math myths, growth mindset thinking, the valuable role that mistakes play in mathematical development, and much more, here. Please also see this link for additional resources, enrichment activities, games, and puzzles.

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The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!

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It’s not too late to sign up for summer reading! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” All details can be found here and you won’t want to miss this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration is open for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one here.  Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered. For more help, view this slideshow or contact Sara Truog at struog@ocln.org.

The Challenge will run through September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities. Happy reading!

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

We have received many questions about face coverings and how parents can get students prepared to return to school wearing a mask.  As more people wear cloth face coverings, children will get used to seeing them and not feel strange about wearing them.  We encourage families to start getting kids used to masks now, well in advance of the start of school in a comfortable, safe environment.  Please review some strategies suggested in this  Mask Toolkit  link and reach out to your pediatrician or school nurse with any questions or concerns. More MPS specific information about masks can be found in our Return to School FAQs.

MSAPC

This Behavioral and Mental Health Resource Guide, compiled by the MSPAC, is an easy to use reference, replete with hotlines, mental health resources, support groups, culturally competent care, social services and more.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services,  shares the following update.

This is week three of Extended Year Programming for our students in special education. We appreciate everyone’s patience while we have problem solved.

  • If you are having trouble accessing ESY services, please let us know. We know there have been some technical issues.
  • If your child is attending in person, we ask you to be sure students arrive with masks on.
  • Our next Parent Coffee will be Thursday, July 24 at 9am. Please join us for any questions or concerns related to this summer or fall. If you had a chance to participate in the parent forum on 7/16/20, I was able to provide some updated information from the Department of Education related to fall guidance, and will answer any additional questions during the coffee.
  • Link to join the Parent Coffee: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78455570074?pwd=MUp6MWloS0JKTGduNDlMcFY2WnJoQT09
    Meeting ID: 784 5557 0074
    Passcode: UKE4SD
  • If you have not had a chance to meet Mark Harrison, the new Assistant Director for Pupil Personnel, he will be joining  the coffee and it’s a great time to say hello.

As always, please be in touch with your questions or concerns. You can reach Susan Maselli via email at smaselli@miltonps.org

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

We have openings in our Food Service Department. If you are interested in flexible hours and working at MPS food service this school year, please email Jackie Morgan at jmorgan@miltonps.org.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

MHS Adjustment Counselors will be available this summer to provide additional support to our MHS students as needed. Our goal has been, and continues to be, supporting our students social and emotional health. MHS Adjustment Counselors will have office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Friday, August 21 and will  schedule a phone call or Google meet with students. Please contact counselors via email:  Jennie Beliveau @ jbeliveau@miltonps.org; Mary Bianca Mattocks @ mmattocks@miltonps.org, and Ken Adelman @ kadelman@miltonps.org.

The Interface Helpline is also available all summer Monday-Friday from 9-5. This service provides free referrals for mental health support and can be reached by calling 888-244-6843. Additionally, attached are great mental health resources that are available for all of our students and families.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Principal Jette at jjette@miltonps.org at any time.

PIERCE PAGES 

Pierce Principal Fish recently sent a letter to all Pierce staff and families. You can read the entire letter in the link here or below.

As I reflect on my first year as the principal of Pierce, there is a great deal to be proud of as a school community. From implementing one-to-one computing to revamping our master schedule, we have brought about necessary and important changes for our students’ learning and school experiences in a relatively short period of time. However, when I think about our efforts in a broader context, there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done. Racial injustice is a reality for many of our students, staff, and families, and our school and district have a responsibility to use its platform and resources to equip our educators and students with the tools and support necessary to combat these injustices in our community and society. As a principal, parent, and member of the Milton community, I am committed to leading this work in our school community.

Please continue reading Principal Fish’s letter here.

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Some local (and not so local!) celebrities wanted to congratulate and wish our Pierce 8th graders the very best. Thanks to Pierce’s Ms. McEvoy for putting this together and to all who contributed along the way!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

As part of the Tucker community calendar students are accessing diverse reads during our 4 book swap days. We are utilizing our Little Free Library and highlighting the diverse reads added by the Daley Family, as part of their efforts highlighted below. Diverse reads are available at all of our elementary schools in our Little Free Libraries.

Little Free Library Support: In addition to our regular Little Free Library titles,  we are excited to now have diverse reads that can be swapped and savored by Milton families. Inspired by Sarah Kamya and her Little Free Diverse Libraries project, MPS parents Winston and Nicole Daley have launched “Little Free Diverse Libraries – Milton” in our town. Their goal is to fill the “Take One, Leave One” libraries throughout Milton with books written by diverse authors, to promote anti-racist literature, celebrate a wider spectrum of characters, and support Black-owned bookstores.  They have now purchased almost 700 books and placed them in 17 Little Free Libraries in Milton. There has been tremendous support from individuals and families willing to share resources and donate. There is a  Little Free Library at each elementary school and the Pierce Middle School, at every playground and next to the Milton Public Library. To learn more or to donate,  please follow @littlefreediversemilton on Instagram, Venmo @Winston-Daley or email winston.daley@gmail.com.

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This year, Tucker’s Girl Scout troop 72131 worked on “Be a Leader” painted rocks. The rocks were on display this past Monday for all Tucker students to view and to leave a message or painted rock of their own. The rocks share how they have been or will be a leader in their community.

Are you enjoying your summer reading? Send us your summer reading picture and we will share it with the MPS community! Send all pictures to sokeefe@miltonps.org. 

TECHNOLOGY 

During the week of August 3rd all elementary families who borrowed a Chromebook from Milton Public Schools will be required to return the device(s) to their school.  Please plan to deliver the borrowed Chromebook(s) to your school during one of the following dates and times:

Collicot – Monday, August 3rd, 8-10 am & Wednesday, August 5th, 12:30-2:30 pm at the cafeteria entrance in the back of the school

Cunningham – Monday, August 3rd, 12:30-2:30 pm & Wednesday, August 5th, 8-10 am at the cafeteria entrance in the back of the school

Glover – Tuesday, August 4th, 8-10 am & Thursday, August 6th, 12:30-2:30 pm at the right side door closest to the gymnasium 

Tucker – Tuesday, August 4th, 12:30-2:30 pm & Thursday, August 6th, 8-10 am at the right side door in the faculty parking on the front right of the school

All families are asked to return both the Chromebook and charger.  Please make sure the Chromebook is completely charged when it is returned.  Finally, you will be asked to turn the device on to show that it still works properly, and wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe that will be provided.  Thank you for your help with this process.

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It is with great excitement that the Milton Public Schools shares with you the new Family Technology Support Help Center website.  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides information on PlusPortal, Google: Clever: Guardian Monitoring, and Who to Contact. 

STAFF NEWS

A note from Mark Harrison, Assistant Director for Pupil Personnel Services, follows below.

As you may have read in Superintendent Gormley’s blog post on June 4th, 2020, I recently accepted a new position within the Milton Public Schools. I am excited to now be serving as the district’s Assistant Director for Pupil Personnel Services.

Prior to joining the Milton Public Schools as the Team Chair of Milton High School in November 2018, I taught in Westwood, Wellesley, and Wayland for over ten years. As Milton High School’s Team Chair for the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with the high school’s students, families, staff, and administrators; the elementary and middle school’s Team Chairs; and Ms. Susan Maselli, the district’s Director for Pupil Personnel Services. I look forward to establishing new relationships across the district when school reopens in the fall.

I am pleased to announce that Ms. Gabriella Diller has been hired as the next Team Chair at Milton High School. Ms. Diller has worked at Boston Prep for the past seven years, five years as a special education teacher, and the last two as the Assistant Director for High School Support Services. She is certified in Moderate Disabilities (5-12) and English (8-12)
and is a graduate of Boston University. We are so pleased to welcome her to the team at MHS!  She will assume her new role on August 31, 2020 and can be contacted at gdiller@miltonps.org.

If you need to contact me at anytime, I can be reached at mharrison@miltonps.org.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Emergency Rental Assistance Fund: The Town of Milton has established a $100,000 emergency rental assistance fund to assists tenants who have lost employment or otherwise suffered income losses as a result of the COVID-19 related economic closures.

The Town will partner with Metro Housing Boston to administer the Program. The Program will provide financial assistance to eligible households who owe back rent or don’t have the ability to make their next scheduled rent payment and are at risk of losing their housing. All details can be found here.

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway is open this Saturday, July 25 from 9:15-11:15am.  

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here.

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

Join Courageous Conversations Milton Community Forum on Police and Race Relations with Milton Chief of Police John King and Moderator Mark Conrad. This event will take place on Wednesday, July 29, 7-8:30pm. This is a virtual event on Zoom, please register here.

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a free Parent Café: Getting Ready for Kindergarten.  Will your child be attending Kindergarten in the fall? Then, our free Parent Café is for you! Join us on July 23, 2020, 7:30 PM via Zoom. Email cpcmecasld@verizon.net to receive meeting link and password.

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Milton Soccer Registration is open for children entering grades K-8 through August 1st. Please click on this link: Milton Soccer Website for more information and to register your child. Milton Soccer intends that no child be denied the opportunity to participate in the soccer program due to family financial problems. Portions or all of player registration fees may be waived if situations warrant such action. Requests can be made during registration and questions can be sent to registrar Heather Montgomery at hjmontgomery@me.com.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelman (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on July 21, 2020

July 9, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: July 9, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

At the School Committee meeting last night, the members and I heard incredibly powerful, emotional testimony from numerous parents and others about difficult and sometimes traumatic experiences in the Milton Public Schools. The testimony was painful to hear, and certainly even more painful to deliver. The School Committee and I were moved, outraged, heartbroken, and most importantly, motivated by these personal accounts. No parent, child, or staff member should ever feel unwelcome, stereotyped, mistreated, disrespected, underestimated, or discriminated against in the Milton Public Schools. The stories underscore the urgent need for us to accelerate and deepen our work to become a more welcoming, inclusive, equitable school system.

Above all, it is clear that we must expand our ongoing equity and cultural competency work to include a sharper focus on anti-racism. Our commitment to ensuring safe, welcoming learning environments for all learners – including closing access and achievement gaps – is already embedded as one of the six core goals of our Strategic Plan, and we have a great deal of excellent work on which to build. However, the nationwide call for greater awareness and change to eradicate racism, injustice, discrimination, violence, and oppression, as well as recent events that have occurred here in Milton, serve as powerful reminders that we must be more intentional in our efforts to build an anti-racism school system. Above all, we must equip our students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills to navigate the complex issues of race and racism in our society, and ultimately, to make a positive difference in their communities and in the world.

At the School Committee meeting last night, I announced two immediate steps to advance this work: 

  1. Establish the Milton Public Schools Anti-Racism Action Team, which I will co-chair, comprised of the existing Strategic Plan Subcommittee on Equity & Cultural Competency, as well as additional community and parent members and staff to be named; and
  1. Charge the Action Team with developing an Anti-Racism Action Plan for the Milton Public Schools, to present to the community and the School Committee, which includes immediate and longer-term recommendations across all aspects of the district, from pre-K to 12, including policy, practice, curriculum, resources, and more.

The School Committee expressed its full support for these actions and affirmed its commitment to partnering with the administration and the community in the work of becoming an anti-racism school district. The Committee also voted unanimously in support of a statewide resolution, proposed by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, stating a collective commitment to anti-racism work in school districts throughout the Commonwealth.

We are deeply indebted to the community groups, parents, guardians, and staff who urged, educated, and challenged us to be more proactive and comprehensive in our ongoing work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. In particular, we extend our thanks to the Milton Anti-Racist Coalition (MARC) and to Citizens for a Diverse Milton for their leadership on these critical issues. We fully embrace and share MARC’s vision for an “excellence-with-equity, anti-racist educational system.” The MPS Reform Platform that MARC submitted to me and the School Committee provides valuable findings and recommendations for effecting change, and it will serve as the starting point for the Action Team’s work in developing the Action Plan. 

Last night, I also announced that we already are taking a critical step forward to implement one of the recommendations in the MARC platform. We will be  seeking feedback from the community on a Request for Proposals to select an external consultant that will conduct an “Equity Audit” of the entire district and serve as our lead partner in this work. We are seeking an organization with deep experience in anti-racism work to help us assess where we are and chart a course for reform moving forward. 

I encourage you to read the statement I presented to the School Committee and the community last night for additional details about our plans and my own personal reflections.

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE

Please click on this link and take this important and anonymous survey about MPS Return to School and continue reading for more information.

The Return to School Task Force and MPS Leadership Team are working through the latest guidance from MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as we prepare for September, taking into consideration the health, safety, and well-being of students and staff, equity and student engagement, special education, family partnerships and support, reimagining our classrooms, technology needs, professional development, and staff and student support. To stay up-to-date on all state and district developments, please be sure to visit our website frequently. On this website, you will find a “Contact Us” tab. At any time, you can reach out to the Task Force through this comment form

Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey C. Riley has released the state’s Initial Fall Reopening Guidelines which emphasize the priority of having students physically present in classrooms for the benefit of education and mental health. The state is asking school districts to create a plan that covers three scenarios: fully in-person, hybrid (combination of in-person and remote), and fully-remote. Read the full guidelines, as well as several supporting documents shared by DESE here and on our Return to School Website

We continue to conduct feasibility studies in each building, “pressure testing” each classroom (and other spaces, such as gym, library, cafeteria, outdoor spaces, etc.) to determine how many students and staff members, given current guidance, could safely be present in each available space. 

As we prepare for next school year, your thoughts, questions, and concerns are important to us. We are seeking input from all stakeholders on a variety of topics and the data collected will be critical as we consider and plan for various scenarios. Please take a few minutes to complete this anonymous survey. The purpose of this survey is to gather information about individual family needs and interests with regard to a return to school, to solicit reflections on remote learning to inform future plans, and to remind families of the supports in place to help those in need. Your responses will be used to help formulate plans for a safe return to school. 

Please complete one survey per family. Deadline for survey submission is Wednesday, July 17. 

We will also be holding Return to School Q&A Zoom meetings throughout the summer. Stay tuned for dates and times.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee will be on July 29, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

SUMMER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

Join us for a MPS Virtual Summer Experience! All students K-5 (there are a few options for 6th grade, too!) are invited to join the fun and learning this summer at MPS Virtual Summer Experience! Do you want to:

  • Get moving each day?
  • Make some healthy snacks?
  • Buff up your language skills?
  • Get a jump on your summer reading?
  • Learn American Sign Language?
  • Work on some art projects?
  • Have fun virtually with friends and teachers?

If you answered yes to any of the above, MPS Virtual Summer Experience is for you! Classes start July 13, registration is now open at this link. All details can be found here. Email virtualsummer@miltonps.org with any questions. 

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Diverse Readings and Discussions for ChildrenAs always we recommend previewing texts and videos in advance to ensure they are a fit for your family.

  • Little Free Library Support: In addition to our regular Little Free Library titles,  we are excited to now have diverse reads that can be swapped and savored by Milton families. Inspired by Sarah Kamya and her Little Free Diverse Libraries project, MPS parents Winston and Nicole Daley have launched “Little Free Diverse Libraries – Milton” in our town. Their goal is to fill the “Take One, Leave One” libraries throughout Milton with books written by diverse authors, to promote anti-racist literature, celebrate a wider spectrum of characters, and support Black-owned bookstores.  With the prolonged closures of schools and libraries impacting students’ access to books, they are also hoping to directly distribute books to children for summer reading. In just 2 weeks they’ve received almost $5,000 in donations, purchased almost 300 books and placed them in 17 Little Free Libraries in Milton. They have also secured a donation of 230 books from Houghton Mifflin. There has been tremendous support from individuals and families willing to share resources and donate. There is a  Little Free Library at each elementary school and the Pierce Middle School, at every playground and next to the Milton Public Library. To learn more or to donate,  please follow @littlefreediversemilton on Instagram, Venmo @Winston-Daley or email winston.daley@gmail.com.
  • Build up your child’s personal library virtually and in print: There are many suggested titles and booklists that support diversity and inclusion. Here are a few of note.
  • Watch and Discuss Together:

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All MHS  summer assignments can be found at this link. In addition,  the link for the summer reading challenge that all high school students will complete can be found here.

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Pierce Summer Reading: This year’s approach to summer reading will focus on a school-wide read of Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson. Our goal is to provide a common book for students, staff and faculty to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall.  The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community.  By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Please see this  link to learn more about Harbor Me. If you have not yet picked up your child’s copy of Harbor Me, you can do so on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of this week or any day next week, between 8am and 3pm at Pierce.

Pierce Summer Math Enrichment: All rising or current Pierce Middle School students, as well as their parents, are encouraged to enroll this summer in the free online self-paced course titled How to Learn Math: For Students offered through the math education department at Stanford University. You can find a description and enrollment link for this course, which will address math myths, growth mindset thinking, the valuable role that mistakes play in mathematical development, and much more, here. Please also see this link for additional resources, enrichment activities, games, and puzzles.

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The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!

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It’s not too late to sign up for summer reading! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” All details can be found here and you won’t want to miss this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration is open for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one here.  Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered. For more help, view this slideshow or contact Sara Truog at struog@ocln.org.

The Challenge will run through September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities. Happy reading!

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services Susan Maselli shares that this week  we began summer special education services for students in Milton. 12 groups of students participated in in-person learning and fun and over one hundred students began remote academic services. More than 30 out-of-district students resumed services in person or remotely as well.

Special thanks to staff and families for their patience and exceptional efforts. We appreciate all the work families have done helping students prepare to return to school, and we’re glad to see so many who were able to successfully wear masks and face shields.

We will host a mid summer parent/guardian check-in, and welcome parent/guardian input on their student’s experiences at anytime along the way.

As always, please be in touch with your questions or concerns. You can reach Susan Maselli via email at smaselli@miltonps.org

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

MHS Adjustment Counselors will be available this summer to provide additional support to our MHS students as needed. Our goal has been, and continues to be, supporting our students social and emotional health. MHS Adjustment Counselors will have office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Friday, August 21 and will  schedule a phone call or Google meet with students. Please contact counselors via email:  Jennie Beliveau @ jbeliveau@miltonps.org; Mary Bianca Mattocks @ mmattocks@miltonps.org, and Ken Adelman @ kadelman@miltonps.org.

The Interface Helpline is also available all summer Monday-Friday from 9-5. This service provides free referrals for mental health support and can be reached by calling 888-244-6843. Additionally, attached are great mental health resources that are available for all of our students and families.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Principal Jette at jjette@miltonps.org at any time.

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In early March, MPS students, families and staff enjoyed an evening with the Harlem Wizards! Thank you to Milton Access TV for filming and compiling the  Harlem Wizards event. You can watch the fun here.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Each year Tucker students join together for a special evening to celebrate our diversity and community through song and dance. You can tell each grade apart as they always wear a unique color to show their teamwork. Although we were not able to hold our annual event this year, the spirit of the event lives on in the form of unique summer opportunities hosted by Tucker faculty members and sponsored by the Tucker PTO. The exciting summer calendar kicked off Monday, July 6 with an opportunity to pick up Unity Night t- shirts outside of Tucker to wear and represent the community spirit of Tucker. A special shout out of thanks goes to our student designer, fifth grader Samara Solomon-Sanneh, who created the design following a contest this past winter!

TECHNOLOGY 

It is with great excitement that the Milton Public Schools shares with you the new Family Technology Support Help Center website.  This site was created after hearing the feedback MPS families provided.  The site provides the following information:

PlusPortal: Support instructions; Tutorials; Mobile app information

Google: Information & tutorials on; Google Classroom; Google Calendar; Google Drive; Google Keep & Tasks

Clever: Information & login instructions

Guardian Monitoring: Information on how to monitor online activity at home

Who to Contact: List of MPS staff to contact with help on specific issues

STAFF NEWS

Congratulations and welcome to Allyson McHugh who has been appointed as the English Department Head at Milton High School. Ms. McHugh joins the Milton Public Schools with outstanding accolades from the Waltham Public Schools where she has served as both the Grade 6-12 ELA Director and the ELA Director of the Changemaker Academy, a program within the Waltham Public Schools.  Ms. McHugh was the unanimous choice of the Screening Committee for this position as she comes with a wealth of experience as a coordinator and leader, she is knowledgeable, skilled and extremely gifted. Waltham’s Assistant Superintendent describes Allyson as “a team player and go-getter.” She has a great sense of curriculum development with a strong desire to focus on diversity and equity. We look forward to working with Allyson McHugh in her new role as the English Department Head.”

Congratulations and welcome to Magen Slesinger, our new Director of PreK-12 Fine Arts (Music, Fine Arts and Consumer Studies).  Ms. Slesinger comes to us after five years as Coordinator of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts for the Watertown Public Schools. Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai writes that “We are so excited to have identified Magen for this role. Magen stood out for her commitment to the arts, equity and school culture experience. Her experience in the music field as well as her experience as a Coordinator in Watertown will support the excellent programming for  Arts that has already been established in MPS.” I know you will join us in welcoming Magen Slesinger to the Milton Public Schools.

ART AND MUSIC

We are pleased to share MHS student Sam Higgins’ recent  interview on CS Music. Sam recently won the 2020 Classical Singer Competition, Classical High School Division!

MSAPC 

On July 15 at 8pm, the Improbable Players will perform for the MPS community via Zoom.

“Teens at Milton High School were moved watching the Improbable Players last year and we are thrilled to be bringing them back with their updated virtual performance called ‘The Group Chat’,” said Laurie Stillman, Director of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (MSAPC).  The performance will take place on July 15th, 2020 at 8pm and is sponsored by the Milton Public Library, the Milton Health Department along with MSAPC.  Improbable Players is a theater troupe made up of young people in recovery. Their performances, based on real life, include a talk back session in which audience members can ask questions of the actors about the play and about their struggles with addiction.

“The Group Chat” follows four friends during their first year out of high school.  As one friend begins to use alcohol to deal with stress, the other friends in the group struggle to understand the true nature of addiction and how they can help.  This play explores how addiction can affect relationships, how to talk to someone you love when you feel concerned about their use of drugs and alcohol, and ultimately, the different pathways to recovery.

Ideal for teens and the adults who care about them, the audience will be able to log on to the performance through Zoom to watch and then interact with the members of Improbable Players.  The link and instructions will be widely advertised and also available on the MSAPC website, milton-coalition.org as well as the events page of the Milton Public Library at www.miltonlibrary.org.   This performance is made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

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The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has opened registration for Youth Leadership Trainings to be held later this summer.  Registration is free, space is limited, and registration will close on July 15.  More information and the registration link can be found at www.milton-coalition.org.

The trainings will be focused on creating a healthier Milton by fostering youth skills in such areas as community planning, advocacy, public speaking, and civic and political engagement.  We plan on using dynamic trainers who specialize in youth development.  Trainings will be online unless the public health situation allows for in person trainings.

Our goal is for Milton to develop a group of diverse youth who can effectively use their voices to speak out for themselves and their peers in order to improve their community.  Youth need to be involved in decisions that impact them and we believe they have important contributions to make.

Why is the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition interested in Youth Leadership?  Because youth are the experts on what is needed in Milton to support their well-being and to make healthier choices, including around substance use.

All teens who are interested in making a difference are encouraged to sign up.  All teens welcome; priority given to those entering grades 8 and 10,  IF we need to limit numbers.  Community service hours available to those who complete the series.  Exact dates and times are to be determined but will likely be afternoons or evenings in August.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway is open this Saturday, July 11 from 9:15-11:15am.  

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here.

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

COMMUNITY NEWS 

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Milton Early Childhood Alliance is offering a free Parent Café: Getting Ready for Kindergarten.  Will your child be attending Kindergarten in the fall? Then, our free Parent Café is for you! Join us on July 23, 2020, 7:30 PM via Zoom. Email cpcmecasld@verizon.net to receive meeting link and password.

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Milton Soccer Registration is open for children entering grades K-8 through August 1st. Please click on this link: Milton Soccer Website for more information and to register your child. Milton Soccer intends that no child be denied the opportunity to participate in the soccer program due to family financial problems. Portions or all of player registration fees may be waived if situations warrant such action. Requests can be made during registration and questions can be sent to registrar Heather Montgomery at hjmontgomery@me.com.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelman (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on July 9, 2020

June 23, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: June 23, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

There must be a profound recognition that parents are the first teachers and that education begins before formal schooling and is deeply rooted in the values, traditions, and norms of family and culture.  Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

As Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot writes and as I have often said, parents are their children’s first teachers.  However, never did we imagine that you would take on such a central role in your children’s schooling.  No one could have predicted how COVID-19 would compromise our very lives and sense of well-being.  No one could have imagined the challenges for both families and educators in an environment of remote learning.  Finally, no one could have envisioned the sense of loss that many have endured.  And yet, together we have persevered through uncertainty on behalf of our students.  Thank you for partnering with us.

In the midst of a pandemic that kept us physically apart, we have also faced painful truths about institutional racism in our nation and within our own school community.  Many of our educators and families felt pain as we faced some difficult truths about ourselves and our school community in the arenas of social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Today marks the close of our school year.  To truly move forward, we must reflect on our past, revisit systems in place, and engage in healing and repair.  I commit my energy and my leadership to engage with families, educators, and others in our community to prepare a safe place and space for teaching and learning.  Further, I commit to look inward and engage with others to address educational inequities and racial injustices. Thank you for your willingness to engage with us as we repair, heal, and grow.  We must each play an active role in this work.  Our children, our future, depend on it. 

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATE

Within days we anticipate prescriptive guidance from Governor Charlie Baker and Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley about the reopening of schools in the fall. The Return to School Task Force and I will communicate with MPS staff and the MPS community regularly throughout the summer. I will update you as soon as I receive this guidance.

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE 

Over the next 10 weeks, please look for our updates in this blog space, via email, on social media, and on the Return to School Milton website. We will also provide  printed copies at the weekly to-go food pick ups at MHS and Tucker and at the special education in-person services. We will keep you updated on the work of our subcommittees, including Teaching and Learning, Facilities, Health and Wellness, Family Outreach, Technology, as well as our Beyond the School Day groups. Information on the subcommittees and their members can be found here.

We also invite your feedback – at any time – on our website through this contact us link. Please let us know what is on your mind so we can address the concerns of the MPS community.

The Return to School Task Force recently surveyed community members and staff and the results of these valuable check-ins are informing our work in many ways. We are interested in ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in this process and to that end, we are asking for your assistance in helping us get these questions into the hands of your children.

Students in the early elementary grades will likely need support from you to complete the questions. Please feel free to scribe the answers your children give. All other students should be encouraged to answer honestly and independently.

Our goal is to ensure that representative student voices are elevated and heard as we work to craft a comprehensive plan for a safe return to school in the fall. The student check-in can be found at this link.

Please bookmark our Return to School Task Force website at www.returntoschoolmilton.com and visit it often as developing information coming out of the work of the Return to School Task Force will always be posted here. The Return to School website can also always be accessed through www.miltonps.org.

SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES 

Special Education: Please see this communication on Milton‘s ESY Programming for Special Education from Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services. The current summer school dates of service continue to be July 6th through August 14th.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee will be on July 8, 2020 at 7pm and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.  In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.

The Milton School Committee would like to share two recent press releases that were issued to media outlets.
Please see the June 17, 2020 press release here.
Please see the June 12, 2020 press release here.
The Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan can be found here.

FOOD SERVICE

Summer is here and we are happy to announce that our food service weekly to-go bags and produce boxes will be available throughout the summer! 

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26th. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

The MHS  Departmental Book Awards are now live on the website, as well as one final batch of Student Spotlights. Congratulations to our students on their accomplishments!

Student Spotlights: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and school-building closure, many of our Milton High School students are going above and beyond in their classes and their community. The students below have been nominated by MHS Staff members for their dedication, perseverance and service. Students are recognized via email by Mr. Jette, and their spotlight narratives can be found here.

Departmental Book Awards: Each spring before Final Exams, Milton High School departments nominate one member from the junior, sophomore and freshman classes to honor their outstanding academic achievement in the curriculum area. In a typical year, these Book Awards are presented in front of the entire class and serve to inspire others to complete the academic year – and their entire high school careers – with great effort and energy in the classroom.  Congratulations to our 2020 Departmental Book Award Winners!

All MHS  summer assignments can be found at this link. In addition,  the link for the summer reading challenge that all high school students will complete can be found here.

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MHS wants to promote life-long healthy habits for our students, staff, visitors, and the community by getting into the habit of drinking water instead of sugary drinks. MHS is fundraising to replace their old water fountains with new hands-free water filtration systems, both to reduce the use of plastic to reduce the number of high-touch surfaces and the spread of germs. This goal is even more important considering our experience with COVID 19.

Help students and staff stay hydrated with good-tasting, filtered water throughout the school day by contributing or sharing this donation campaign to your family, friends, professional colleagues or social media page so we can reach our goal! Every little bit helps us get to our goal! To make a donation, please go to: https://tapwaterwatch.com/campaigns/milton-high-school/. On behalf of the Milton High School community, thank you in advance for your consideration!

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce said goodbye to their 8th graders last week with special deliveries of completion certificates, awards, and some special Pierce 8th grade swag! This week, they celebrated with a year end video, including some special shout outs.  Pierce also celebrated their award winners last week. You can take a look in the videos below.

We will miss our 8th graders! Good luck at MHS!

Congrats to our Pierce award winners!

Pierce Summer Reading

The goal of this summer’s all school read, Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, is to provide a common book for students and staff to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall of 2020.  The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community.  By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Students and staff are all receiving a copy of the book through a partnership with the Milton Public Library and the Milton Public Schools.

Click HERE to learn about Jacqueline Woodson.
Click HERE to listen to Jacqueline Woodson talk about Harbor Me.
Click HERE to listen to an excerpt from Harbor Me.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!

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Our elementary schools celebrated some milestone grades over the last week with K and 5th grade parades and events. Our students and teachers were so happy to see each other, even from a distance!

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Let the summer reading begin! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” To learn more, read this flyer and watch this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration begins this week for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one at https://miltonlibrary.beanstack.org. Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered.

The Challenge will run from June 18-September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities.

Join us online for the Summer Reading Kickoff Event, featuring Sciencetellers, on Thursday, June 18, 4:00-5:00 PM. To register, contact the MPL Children’s Department at 617-698-5757 or michild@ocln.org. Happy reading!

ART AND MUSIC

Caleb Smith’s 24 Hour Bike Ride last weekend rasised over $8000 for music in our schools. The ride was captured by 2020 Milton High School grad and photographer extraordinaire, Nikolai Zychowicz. Visit his website to check out his beautiful work.

STAFF NEWS 

Please join me in congratulating Christie Chiappetta on her appointment to be the K-8 Science Coordinator for the Milton Public Schools. Christie joined the Milton Public Schools in 2013 as the Secondary Science Coordinator at the Pierce Middle School. In this role Ms. Chiappetta worked closely with teachers to strengthen and enhance the Middle School science curriculum. Her teaching experience and success in her administrative role combine to qualify her to assume the responsibility of overseeing and leading MPS’ elementary and middle school science curriculum.

Glover School Principal Karen McDavitt states, “we are thrilled to welcome Christie to the elementary level as she embarks on a journey as the K-8 Science Coordinator for the district. We look forward to learning from her and growing our program under her dutiful watch.”

 A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain current physical exams for incoming 4th, 7th and 11th grade students.  This should include up to date immunization records for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade, unless a religious or medical exemption applies.  All other immunization requirements for school entry will remain the same. All students must have an updated physical exam to enter grades 4, 7 and 11. Per the new requirements, the immunization record will need to demonstrate:  School Immunization Requirements  Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Kim Coughlin, Director of Nursing Milton Public Schools at kacoughlin@miltonps.org


MSAPC 

We have a terrific FREE opportunity for all MPS Pierce and MHS students! Join Ivy Watts to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond.

Has your world been turned upside down because of COVID-19? Are you missing your friends or feeling sad that you are missing out on experiences you would have been having? Are you feeling angry, confused, or even numb? Are some days just too overwhelming? You are not alone.

Several of us may have lost meaning, connection, motivation, or sense of purpose. Several of us are struggling with the uncertainty of what the future will look like for the activities and friendships that we cherish. To help promote self-care during this time, Ivy Watts, Mental Health Empowerment Speaker & former DII athlete & All-American, has created a course called, Mental Health Support For Students During COVID-19 And Beyond. The videos, audio, and written content that fill these modules aim to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond. Despite what is happening in the world with COVID-19, your mental health and your story still matter!

Want to dive in? Head to this link: bit.ly/milton-mentalhealthmodules to get started! At the bottom of this page, choose “Subscription For One” and create a username and password unique to you, to gain your free, lifetime access to the modules! You can use your login information to access the modules whenever and wherever on your phone or laptop! If you lose the direct link, you can use coupon code “Milton” to access the course for free. If you ever have any issues accessing the course, reach out to Ivy Watts directly at ivy@beautifullysimplyyou.com

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And another opportunity for parents/guardians!

On June 24th at 7:30 pm, MSAPC presents Kristin Wason, who will lead a discussion on current treatments of alcohol and opioid disorders. The primary message is hope; recovery is possible. Kristin Wason is a Milton resident and an addiction treatment practitioner with years of experience as a clinician and as a consultant to community health centers. She will provide an overview of the risk factors and brain changes that contribute to developing a substance use disorder. She will also share local resources and best practices when it comes to treatment.

This is the final webinar in the series. Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT

As a parent/guardian of a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) for the next school year or if you presently have a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) who attends an educational program outside of town, you are required to complete the  Re-establish Residency Packet found here.  A letter was sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

Please visit our Student Registration page for all details on re-establishing residency.

Re-establishment packets were due by  June 12. If you have not yet submitted, please submit your packet to the following email: residency@miltonps.org.

If you are unable to upload the required documents, please put all necessary documents in a sealed envelope and place in the lockbox which is located outside the main entrance of Milton High School.

Please email Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator at sburke@miltonps.org with any questions.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will be open this Saturday, June, 27th from 9:15-11:15am.  

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here. 

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses.

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Forbes House Museum will host a  Virtual Voyage on June 28th!

The museum’s traditional spring fundraiser has been refashioned as an online event with music, trivia, highlights from the collection, and an auction. The theme connects the event to the Milton Reads book selection “Voyage of Mercy,” by Stephen Puleo, about Captain Forbes’s humanitarian relief mission to Ireland at the height of the Great Famine. In keeping with the purpose of that 1847 voyage, and in recognition of the increased community needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Virtual Voyage is giving 10% of all ticket sales to the Milton Food Pantry. The event will include guest appearances by both Captain Forbes and Father Mathew, the two main heroes in the remarkable true story of America overcoming social, religious and political differences to send 800 tons of provisions to Ireland.

Forbes House Museum has partnered with Lower Mills Tavern, local artists and musicians to create a very special community experience. Tickets and more information can be found at our website. You can also go directly to the online auction site to bid on original artwork, themed baskets and fund-a-need opportunities. Thank you for your support!

***

The Milton Art Center has added  in person art classes this summer, in addition to the online summer art classes for children ages 5-12. Classes featuring illustration, clay, painting, printmaking, fairy camps, mixed media, needle felting, macramé, identifying and drawing birds and trees, journaling, and an art installation class based on a Ugandan folk tale, How the Crane got it’s CrownCheck out our website for a class that your child would enjoy!

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

Staff: We recently highlighted the retirees for the 2019-2020 school year and have since had two more employees who have decided to retire.

Hahn Nguyen: Ms. Nguyen began her career in the MPS in 2001 as a long term substitute. She taught French Immersion at Glover and Cunningham before moving to Collicot in 2007.

We wish Hahn health and happiness as she retires from the Milton Public Schools after a long and successful career.

Ginger DeCristoforo: Ms. DeCristofaro began her career with the Milton Public Schools in 1999 as a paraprofessional. She began her career working with one student as a 1-1 aide and followed that student through to high school.

She was truly dedicated to her position. In addition to working as a paraprofessional, Ginger also worked many years as the After School Enrichment Supervisor at Glover Elementary School and later became an instructor at the Cunningham After School Enrichment Program. We wish Ginger many years of continued happiness.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on June 23, 2020

June 19,2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: June 19, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

The Milton Public Schools Recognizes and Celebrates Juneteenth

Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was effective in 1863, many enslaved people were still not free. Freedom finally came when 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Texas on June 19, 1865 and announced by executive decree that 250,000 enslaved black people were free. From that day forward, June 19 was known by those in Texas and more widely as “Juneteenth” day. As the National Museum of African American History and Culture points out, “Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day. Although it has long been celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans.

The Milton Public Schools recognizes and celebrates Juneteenth day this day and every day moving forward as a reminder of the work ahead to address and abolish educational disparities for Black and Brown children in the Milton Public Schools. We restate our commitment to be reflective in our work and to prioritizing an anti-racist education for every child.

ANNUAL TOWN MEETING 

At Milton’s Annual Town Meeting this week, Town Meeting Members passed the 2020-21 school budget with a 90% yes vote. We thank Town Meeting for their efforts to preserve services in the Town by using some of the Town’s stabilization funds to balance the town 2020-21 budget. As a result, at this time, no layoffs are planned in the Milton Public Schools.

Several Town Meeting Members asked questions about the Milton Public Schools. Thank you to Leroy Walker, Kevin Hardy, Lynda Watson, Matt King, John Keohane, Amanda Serio and Michael Maholchic for both serving as Town Meeting Members and for your thoughtful comments and questions about our public schools.

Town Meeting is recorded and can be accessed here. The MPS portion of Town Meeting can be found during night two, at 1 hour and 47 minutes into the program. I encourage you to watch that section.  Below you will find more details about several questions posed at Town Meeting.

Have we been able to ensure that each student has the necessary broadband access and a device to allow access to remote learning?

  • All MHS students have participated in a Bring Your Own Device program since September 2018 and have continued to use their own device (or school issued device) throughout the closure. As part of a new Pierce One to One device initiative (unrelated to the school closure), every Pierce student was issued a new Chromebook on March 9th.  Every elementary family was offered the opportunity to have a device loaned to them and all requests for devices were met. In addition, we offered weekly work packets for elementary students. In the beginning, packets were available to all preschool students but eventually were available to all students Prek-Grade 5 who needed them. We also worked to help connect families without reliable internet to Comcast Internet Essentials. 

What are the opportunities for students to discuss race and racism?

  • Over the previous 3 years, as part of our Strategic Plan we have worked to enhance curriculum areas K-12 to facilitate both learning and discussion around race and racism in our classrooms. Please refer to our Strategic Plan  for details about work pertaining to our Cultural Competency goals. We are currently working with a group of parents and guardians to begin planning for an equity audit of the Milton Public Schools.

What are the anticipated requirements for return to school and have we been able to model them yet?

  • In early May, we formed a Return to School Task Force, chaired by School Committee Member Ada Rosmarin and Glover Principal Karen McDavitt. As we await prescriptive guidelines from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, I would encourage you to refer to our Return to School Website for regular updates. Please see the core committee and sub committees here.  We are working to source PPE, beginning to configure our schools for social distancing, discussing remote learning and more, while considering equity at every step.

What are the statistics around suspensions/expulsions and staffing in regard to race in the Milton Public Schools?

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE 

We have launched a Return to School Task Force website at www.returntoschoolmilton.com. Here, you will find the most up-to-date information, guidance, and a “contact us” form so that you can share thoughts with the Task Force. We strongly suggest you bookmark this page and visit it often as developing information coming out of the work of the Return to School Task Force will be regularly posted. The Return to School website can also always be accessed through www.miltonps.org.

SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES 

Special Education: Please see this communication on Milton‘s ESY Programming for Special Education from Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services. The current summer school dates of service continue to be July 6th through August 14th.

The information in the letter linked below is based on the guidance provided by the Commissioner on June 6th, and Associative Commissioner on June 9th, and June 18th.  Please note that this information is provided in hopes it will allow families to plan for ESY, but that DESE has been clear that their “final guidance” is still pending.

We greatly appreciate those who responded to our parent/guardian survey, attended the coffee, and reached out in person. In an effort to support the health of all our staff and students, respond to the current COVID-19 crisis, and ensure all students’ right to FAPE, Milton will be offering some in person services, and some remote services.  Please know DESE has provided guidance that the default program model is Remote, and our hybrid model is designed to enhance student access by offering some in-person services. 

We are taking into consideration the DESE guidance related to students who require intensive special education services, have had trouble accessing remote instruction, and have a slower rate of learning, to help find balance between who we can support in person and who we need to support remotely. Please note, we will be monitoring programming to see if we are able to enhance our program model over the summer by offering additional in-person services as the summer progresses. 

Please note that while we have ordered our PPE equipment and reviewed all  provisions for air conditioning and physical building needs, we will revert to remote learning for the hours listed in the ESY update below should we be unable to meet any of revised standards related to these items.

Please continue reading this link for the entire Extended School Year update.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The last School Committee meeting was on June 10th, 2020 and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV. 

The Milton School Committee would like to share two recent press releases that were issued to media outlets.
Please see the June 17, 2020 press release here.
Please see the June 12, 2020 press release here.
The Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan can be found here.

FOOD SERVICE

Summer is coming and we are happy to announce that our food service weekly to-go bags and produce boxes will be available throughout the summer! 

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26th. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

This week we served 298 students, 4172 meals and distributed 151 produce boxes. 17 additional boxes were donated to Unquity House for distribution to their residents.

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

MHS wants to promote life-long healthy habits for our students, staff, visitors, and the community by getting into the habit of drinking water instead of sugary drinks. MHS is fundraising to replace their old water fountains with new hands-free water filtration systems, both to reduce the use of plastic to reduce the number of high-touch surfaces and the spread of germs. This goal is even more important considering our experience with COVID 19.

Help students and staff stay hydrated with good-tasting, filtered water throughout the school day by contributing or sharing this donation campaign to your family, friends, professional colleagues or social media page so we can reach our goal! Every little bit helps us get to our goal! To make a donation, please go to: https://tapwaterwatch.com/campaigns/milton-high-school/. On behalf of the Milton High School community, thank you in advance for your consideration!

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce has developed a website to serve as a centralized location for accessing weekly content and assignments for students. Please click here to access the site.

***

Students in the Pierce Middle School GSA recently worked with advisors Erin Jaquette and Kelli Horton Prodanas to come up with a project to honor Pride Month. The group decided to make a video to celebrate pride, inclusion, and diversity with the help of Pierce teacher Deanna Magill and her impressive technical skills. Students and staff shown in the video are holding anonymous responses that were gathered from a survey sent out to the Pierce Community.

Thank you to all of the Pierce students and staff who contributed to this video by responding to survey questions, volunteering to be in the video, and for being supportive of this exciting project. You can watch the entire video here. Happy Pride!

***

Congratulations to the Pierce Middle School Future Problem Solving Team, Tucker Korman, Jasmine Bethea, and Ella Cantor, who competed at Internationals on the topic of terraforming. You can watch their presentation here. 

***

Pierce staff surprised 8th graders this week with special deliveries of completion certificates, awards, and some special Pierce 8th grade swag! It was wonderful to actually see each other in person from a distance rather than on the screen. We all enjoyed the smiling faces around Milton on delivery day!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available.

***

Let the summer reading begin! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” To learn more, read this flyer and watch this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration begins this week for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one at https://miltonlibrary.beanstack.org. Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered.

The Challenge will run from June 18-September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities.

Join us online for the Summer Reading Kickoff Event, featuring Sciencetellers, on Thursday, June 18, 4:00-5:00 PM. To register, contact the MPL Children’s Department at 617-698-5757 or michild@ocln.org. Happy reading!

***

Mrs. d’Entremont’s Cunningham 5th graders recently completed a year long Autobiography Book project. Students wrote narratives, opinions, informational essays, and poems about themselves or from their point of view. A favorite of many students was the interview of a family member from a past generation to learn about what life was like at that time. During remote learning, students completed their writing, gathered photos and pictures, and decorated their books. This week, students were able to share their books during class meetings.

***

Our elementary field day this week was a big success. Thank you to our Phys Ed teachers and thank you to all who participated!

The Forbes House Museum is pleased to announce that the Lincoln Contest Awards Ceremony will be broadcast on Milton Access TV Mondays at 7:00 pm. It can also be viewed online via this link. 

Our appreciation goes out to Milton Access TV for their help in filming and editing the program, to the Milton Junior Woman’s Club for their generous support, and to the Ice Cream Smith for contributing to the awards this year.

Each year we work closely with the schools to make this effort possible, and of course, this year presented some unique challenges. Thank you to the staff and teachers for your continued support!

 A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain current physical exams for incoming 4th, 7th and 11th grade students.  This should include up to date immunization records for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade, unless a religious or medical exemption applies.  All other immunization requirements for school entry will remain the same. All students must have an updated physical exam to enter grades 4, 7 and 11. Per the new requirements, the immunization record will need to demonstrate:  School Immunization Requirements  Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Kim Coughlin, Director of Nursing Milton Public Schools at kacoughlin@miltonps.org

 
MSAPC 

We have a terrific FREE opportunity for all MPS Pierce and MHS students! Join Ivy Watts to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond.

Has your world been turned upside down because of COVID-19? Are you missing your friends or feeling sad that you are missing out on experiences you would have been having? Are you feeling angry, confused, or even numb? Are some days just too overwhelming? You are not alone.

Several of us may have lost meaning, connection, motivation, or sense of purpose. Several of us are struggling with the uncertainty of what the future will look like for the activities and friendships that we cherish. To help promote self-care during this time, Ivy Watts, Mental Health Empowerment Speaker & former DII athlete & All-American, has created a course called, Mental Health Support For Students During COVID-19 And Beyond. The videos, audio, and written content that fill these modules aim to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond. Despite what is happening in the world with COVID-19, your mental health and your story still matter!

Want to dive in? Head to this link: bit.ly/milton-mentalhealthmodules to get started! At the bottom of this page, choose “Subscription For One” and create a username and password unique to you, to gain your free, lifetime access to the modules! You can use your login information to access the modules whenever and wherever on your phone or laptop! If you lose the direct link, you can use coupon code “Milton” to access the course for free. If you ever have any issues accessing the course, reach out to Ivy Watts directly at ivy@beautifullysimplyyou.com

***

And another opportunity for parents/guardians!

On June 24th at 7:30 pm, MSAPC presents Kristin Wason, who will lead a discussion on current treatments of alcohol and opioid disorders. The primary message is hope; recovery is possible. Kristin Wason is a Milton resident and an addiction treatment practitioner with years of experience as a clinician and as a consultant to community health centers. She will provide an overview of the risk factors and brain changes that contribute to developing a substance use disorder. She will also share local resources and best practices when it comes to treatment.

This is the final webinar in the series. Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will NOT be open this Saturday, June, 20th.  The pantry has shifted to an every other Saturday schedule. 

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here. 

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses.

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

COMMUNITY NEWS

The Milton Educators Association joined with Courageous Conversations Toward Racial Justice and Milton for Social Justice to sponsor a rally being held today, Friday, June 19th, starting at 5pm at Kelly Field. The message of this Rally is to provide a Pro-Justice and Pro- Anti-Racist curriculum for the Milton Public Schools.

The Rally will begin at Kelly Field, go past Pierce Middle School and end at Central Administration at Milton High School. Please wear a mask and maintain social distancing to ensure the safety of all attendees.

***

Forbes House Museum will host a  Virtual Voyage on June 28th!

The museum’s traditional spring fundraiser has been refashioned as an online event with music, trivia, highlights from the collection, and an auction. The theme connects the event to the Milton Reads book selection “Voyage of Mercy,” by Stephen Puleo, about Captain Forbes’s humanitarian relief mission to Ireland at the height of the Great Famine. In keeping with the purpose of that 1847 voyage, and in recognition of the increased community needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Virtual Voyage is giving 10% of all ticket sales to the Milton Food Pantry. The event will include guest appearances by both Captain Forbes and Father Mathew, the two main heroes in the remarkable true story of America overcoming social, religious and political differences to send 800 tons of provisions to Ireland.

Forbes House Museum has partnered with Lower Mills Tavern, local artists and musicians to create a very special community experience. Tickets and more information can be found at our website. You can also go directly to the online auction site to bid on original artwork, themed baskets and fund-a-need opportunities. Thank you for your support!

***

The Milton Art Center has added  in person art classes this summer, in addition to the online summer art classes for children ages 5-12. Classes featuring illustration, clay, painting, printmaking, fairy camps, mixed media, needle felting, macramé, identifying and drawing birds and trees, journaling, and an art installation class based on a Ugandan folk tale, How the Crane got it’s CrownCheck out our website for a class that your child would enjoy!

***

Many Milton elementary students have been taking virtual chess lessons with Mr. Vigorito through his June session and he is also offering a virtual summer session in place of MSE.  Summer Chess information is here.

International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s.

Mr, Vigorito has made complimentary beginner/instructional videos specifically for Milton students. Call it  Chess 101 and ALL students in Milton have the opportunity for free to learn the basics of chess  through these videos. Families can tune is as well!

The videos can be found here.  Access Password: 4Milton! (with the exclamation point)

***

The Milton Public Library has many virtual programs for children all month long. Details can be found here. 

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on June 19,2020

June 12, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: June 12, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

I would like to address the recently publicized series of events concerning a portion of a remote learning lesson that was recorded and distributed against school rules by a student(s) and/or parent(s). As this potentially involved a personnel matter, you will understand that I have been prohibited from commenting on it publicly. I have reached out to the teacher to apologize. We are engaging with stakeholders in conversations that address both the recent events and the many complex facets of remote learning. Please be assured that the most important part of my job is to provide safe spaces for educators and students in which to learn and grow, especially in this new remote learning environment. These safe spaces are necessary in order to foster critical thinking in our students to build in them the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind to deal with the challenges and complexities of the current world and, in specific, to combat racial injustices in our society.

Our work ahead includes looking inward at our processes and practices, especially as they relate to responding to concerns about academic freedom in the classroom. Further, we must reflect on our curriculum materials, determine the degree to which we provide equitable opportunities for students, and ensure ongoing high quality cultural proficiency professional development for every member of the Milton Public Schools staff. This work, captured in the Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan, is ongoing and includes working with Dr. Kalise Wornum, a Cultural Proficiency Coach. I firmly believe we can learn from this and I look forward to collaborating with you as we move forward.

Remote Learning Reminder:

We were very distressed this past week to learn that someone associated with a teacher’s class used a cell phone to record a portion of a remote lesson and distributed it.   This is unacceptable on many levels.  Recording someone without his or her permission is illegal in Massachusetts under most circumstances.  Further, it is likely a violation of Intellectual Property Rights as there is no way the recording and dissemination of that portion of the lesson could be considered “fair use”.  Finally, this is a direct violation of the remote learning agreement that parents/guardians agreed to by allowing their children to participate in online remote learning.  Beyond the violations, both the school and potentially legal ones noted above, this egregious act has compromised the sanctity of the “classroom”.  True partnerships are rooted in trust.

We are investigating this incident and following up as appropriate with those involved.  We write to remind you that any violation of the remote learning agreement could result in the loss of remote learning privileges as well as additional follow up as appropriate.  Although we have only a few days left in this school year, we remind you and ask you to remind your child(ren) that saving, recording, sharing, or posting of any online learning session is absolutely prohibited.  Moving forward, we will be working collaboratively with teachers, leadership, the School Committee, and you to review the remote learning agreement as well as any related policies to make the prohibition of recording and consequences of doing so more explicit and emphatic.

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE 

As we near the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we want to recognize the resilience, patience, and positivity of our students, families, faculty, and staff. When we began this year, no one ever dreamed it would be ending this way. To say that these past few months have been challenging is an understatement. When we were forced to close school on March 13th, we were thrust into executing a remote learning model. As we look ahead to the 2020-2021 school year, we will be reflecting on learned experiences as we enhance our instructional remote learning model moving forward.

As you know, the district has formed a Return to School Task Force that is hard at work and will continue to work throughout the summer to develop, articulate, and propose a comprehensive plan for the fall. The Core Team, which is comprised of MPS staff and community members, meets each week, and subcommittees have also been formed to address the following priority areas: Teaching and Learning, Health and Wellness, Family Outreach and Communication, Facilities, and Technology. In addition, we have operational working groups addressing the following areas: Athletics, Clubs/Before and After School, Food Services, Finance, and Transportation.

What Will Next Year Look Like?

We are anticipating prescriptive guidance from MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). While we continue to have more questions than answers at this point, what we do know is that school will look different in the fall, as the Commonwealth has a long way to go in its battle with COVID-19. Our understanding is that individual districts will have limited discretion over things like school schedules, health and safety protocols, service delivery models, and more. Most of these decisions will likely be mandated by the state.

We understand that you might have concerns related to pre-existing conditions, medical/health issues, child-care issues, and more. We will be working in partnership with the Milton Educators Association, school administration, and town officials to address the complexities of a return to school as we recognize that each staff member and family is uniquely positioned in this situation. You do not have to wait for a survey to share your questions or concerns.

We have launched a Task Force website at www.returntoschoolmilton.com. Here, you will find the most up-to-date information, guidance, and a “contact us” form so that you can share thoughts with the Task Force. We strongly suggest you bookmark this page and visit it often as developing information coming out of the work of the Return to School Task Force will be regularly posted. The Return to School website can also always be accessed through www.miltonps.org.

Newly posted on the website are the results of the Community Survey issued by the Return to School Task Force. Please visit to review the Top 12 Concerns from the community regarding a return to school. You can expect additional, more explicit surveys in the coming weeks. Thank you for your continued feedback and partnership as we work towards a safe return to school for all of our MPS students and staff.

Sincerely,
Ada Rosmarin and Karen McDavitt, Co-Chairs of the Return to School Task Force

SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES 

Special Education: As promised, I am sharing information regarding the provision of services during the summer for our students in special education.  The current summer school dates of service are still scheduled to be during the weeks of July 6 through August 14. 

The information below is based on the guidance provided by the Commissioner of Education on June 6 and the Associate Commissioner on June 9, linked here.

We greatly appreciate those who responded to our parent/guardian survey, attended the coffee, and reached out in person. In an effort to support the health of all our staff and students, respond to the current COVID-19 crisis, and ensure all students’ right to FAPE, Milton anticipates being able to offer limited in person services, and extensive remote services,  Please know DESE has provided guidance that the default program model is Remote, and our hybrid model is designed to enhance student access by offering some in-person services.  

The Special Education Leadership Team has worked closely with district leadership to develop our ESY program.  As we received ongoing DESE guidance during March and April, we are mindful that the way services have been provided during the school closure may look and feel different than the way services are provided when school is open. We appreciate the flexibility and patience families have shown during this time as we refine our programs and services.

More information regarding summer for our students in special education can be found here. 


Susan Maselli, MS Ed., BCBA, LABA, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services smaselli@miltonps.org; 617/696-4470 x 5572

Academic Programs:  MHS Bridge Program, Calculus Project, and MHS Credit Recovery Courses will be running virtually this year. Information regarding elementary and middle school virtual academic programs will be sent next week.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The last School Committee meeting was on June 10th, 2020 and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV. 

The School Committee recently updated the 2020-21 School Year Calendar. This calendar reflects a change to a Professional Development Day in October. The updated calendar can be found here.

TRANSPORTATION 

Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year will close on June 12th at midnight.  Please see May 27 Transportation Registration Letter linked here. 

The link to register for the bus is live through June 12th at Midnight. Bus Registration link 2020-2021 can be found here.  All information can be found on our Transportation page. 

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT 

Families with students entering grades 6 and 9 must re-establish residency by June 12th. A letter has been sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

The Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here and all information on residency re-establishment can be found here. Please submit your re-establishment packet by June 12th to the following email: residency@miltonps.org.

FOOD SERVICE

Summer is coming and we are happy to announce that our food service weekly to-go bags and produce boxes will be available throughout the summer! 

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker through August 26th.  ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

The Milton Public Schools has been awarded a grant to offer weekly produce boxes to families and families can pick up a produce boxes with their weekly breakfast and lunch bags. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine hearts, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe.

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

Thank you to the Milton Community for your support on Sunday, June 7th as we celebrated Milton High School’s Class of 2020! 

While we await the official video that is being put together by Milton AccessTV, we wanted to share a quick look at some terrific images from the day. 

Thank you to MPS parents and professional photographers John Gillooly and Faith Ninivaggi who took many of the pictures below and shared them with us. 

 We continue to post updated awards  on our MHS Awards Website for your enjoyment.  Congratulations to our Faculty Appreciation Award Winners for 2019-20, nominated and honored by our Student Government.

  • Class of 2020 – Liz Tahaney, English Department
  • Class of 2021 – Maria O’Donnell, Food Services
  • Class of 2022 – Rich Guarino, Guidance Department
  • Class of 2023 – JT Troy, MHS Library

A big thank you to the Student Government and advisors Jennie Beliveau and Kelly Conaty for coordinating all of this!  Coming next week…Department Book Awards!

***

MHS will be offering a virtual driver’s education course that runs from June 15th-25th.  It includes 15 modules, 12 driving hours, and 6 observation hours. Information on the course and how to sign up can be found on the Milton High School Driver’s Education website.

Behind the wheel driving hours and observation hours have been approved by the state as part of Phase 2 in the re-opening process.  MHS Driver’s Education will take a number of safety precautions.  The precautions are listed here and are also listed on the Milton High School Driver’s Education website.

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce has developed a website to serve as a centralized location for accessing weekly content and assignments for students. Please click here to access the site.

***

7th grade ELA teachers Ms. Power and Mr. Faherty recently used the structure of remote learning to engage students in analysis of speech writing and speech delivery. Students did a deep dive into the genre and were then charged with writing a speech to graduating 5th graders from their respective elementary schools. You can read student’s words of wisdom here: Collicot Speeches; Cunningham Speeches; Glover Speeches; Tucker Speeches

***

Pierce Choral Director Julia Hanna has created a choice board influenced by current events that students will be working on over the next two weeks. Many of the activities are suitable for families to engage in together. All families are welcome to participate in these resources, regardless of whether their child is in chorus. The choice board activities can be found here. We look forward to sharing student work in the coming weeks.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

***

This year, many end of year activities don’t look the same for our MPS students but remote learning did bring out some very creative ideas. With the help of  technology teacher Jen Van Hill, Collicot 5th grader Nate Turner was able to develop an app (linked here) to replace the Tour of Milton our 5th graders go on every year to visit Milton’s Historical sites. The app will enable our 5th grade students to visit all historical sites in Milton through a pre recorded presentation from Milton administrators and teachers. Check out Nate’s app to visit:

  • The Forbes House Museum
  • The Wakefield House
  • The Eustis Estate
  • Churchills Lane
  • The Yellow House
  • The Collicot School
  • The Glover School
  • The Baker Chocolate Factory
  • Milton Academy

When you download the app, you will be able to tour all sites by visiting them in person or by simply clicking and listening to the history from the comfort of your own home. Thank you to Nate and Ms. Van Hill for creating this app to allow the Tour of Milton to happen for our 5th graders this year!

Check out this  video that explains the app. All are welcome to download the app

***

This week in music class, grade five students are reviewing songs from their year-long song unit, “Oh, Freedom, Through Music: Songs that Inspire Change!” Students learned that through the power of music we can express feelings and a common theme, highlight problems and inspire people to unite their voices for needed change. Some of the songs in the unit include We Shall Overcome, Woke up This Morning, Come and Go With Me to that Land, Peace Like a River and the Battle Hymn of the Republic, along with modern songs of change like One Day by Matisyahu and Be the Light by Keith Urban. Students were asked to describe the commonalities that the songs share. Here are some of their responses:

  • Lauren-”the songs are about Civil Rights and how all people should be treated fairly. The songs are similar because they inspire you to be a good human being.”
  • Lexin-”These songs are all about being nice and making a difference.”
  • Elizabeth-”The songs this year are all about creating peace in the world.”
  • Jack-”The songs all talk about you doing something with someone else and being a good person while making change, whether fighting in a war, if necessary,  or working together to overcome segregation.”
  • Ethan-”The songs say that we shall overcome injustice.”
  • Sophie– “Matisyahu’s message is that he hopes one day people will stop harming one another and we should always be optimistic. Matisyahu feels the need to say these words because even today, there are injustices in the world that need to be stopped…. One way we can help these things is to sing. When you sing you open up your soul and let who you really are shine through.”
  • Sam-  (about the music) “It makes me feel that someone cares about what’s going on in the world and that people want to fix it. People use music to show their emotions be

    Chisom- Shared an artistic representation of the verse, “We’ll Walk hand in hand” from We Shall Overcome.

    cause people sometimes don’t want to read a long story and they would rather listen to it.”

  • Chisom- Shared an artistic representation of the verse, “We’ll Walk hand in hand” from We Shall Overcome. When asked to create another verse to We Shall Overcome she responded with: “We Shall all be brave, we shall all be brave today, deep in my heart, I do believe we shall all be brave today.” 
  • Danielle- plays “Peace Like a River” on the Recorder ( you can watch the video here).

***

Our elementary students continue to share music from home! This is extra impressive, as it involves the extra steps of learning how to upload audios, videos, and other files. We are impressed with the dedication of students wanting to make their music heard! The music padlet has been a special space where students have interacted with other students across the district to provide compliments and appreciations to each other’s performances. It is truly something special to see! Please continue to upload, comment, and explore Milton’s Elementary Music Padlet!

Felix plays and sings “Hello Everybody” on his piano in this video. Summer shares an audio clip of herself performing “If Only” by Dove Cameron in this link. 

***

This week in Social Studies, Mrs. McClain’s 1st graders , were asked to listen to the story Sulwe written by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. After listening, they were encouraged to talk to someone at home, or write and draw about the part of the story where Sulwe’s mama tells her that real beauty begins with “How you see yourself, not how others see you.” What do you think this means? What does real beauty mean to you? Thank you for sharing your responses, 1st graders.

***

This week in elementary art, students learned about the Design Element of Pattern. Pattern is when an artist repeats visual elements, such as color, shape, line , etc. Student artists chose from a Choice Board of projects. Pattern activities included: rainbow patterns, still life stamping, optical illusion drawing and patterns in architecture.

***

As is their annual tradition, Glover made way for ducklings again this year! This past Saturday, a small group of staff safely escorted Mama Mallard and her ducklings to the creek in front of Glover where they happily nibbled on grass, floated in the cool water, and were introduced to the big, beautiful world!

Thank you to the staff who helped the ducks safely to their new home and a special thanks to Mary O’Leary, Kate Middleton, and Ida Geering (our Duck Mamas) and Jen Van Hill for putting the video together.

MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION 

Congratulations to the MPS teachers and staff who have been chosen as the Milton Foundation for Education 2020 Teachers of the Year! You can see how they were surprised in the video below!

CURRICULUM CHALLENGE 

Click here for this week’s math puzzles from MPS K-12 Math Director Brian Selig.

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

We want to make you aware that at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain an immunization record for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade, unless a religious or medical exemption applies.  All other immunization requirements for school entry will remain the same. All students must have an update to date physical exam and immunization record prior to the entrance to school.  Per the new requirements, the immunization record will need to demonstrate:

  • 7th grade entry: 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for all students.
  • 11th grade entry: 1 booster dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Men ACWY) received on or after 16 years of age. School Immunization Requirements

LIBRARY RESOURCES 

Let the summer reading begin! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” To learn more, read this flyer and watch this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration begins this week for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one at https://miltonlibrary.beanstack.org. Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered. 

The Challenge will run from June 18-September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities. 

Join us online for the Summer Reading Kickoff Event, featuring Sciencetellers, on Thursday, June 18, 4:00-5:00 PM. To register, contact the MPL Children’s Department at 617-698-5757 or michild@ocln.orgHappy reading!


MSAPC 

Many young athletes face a serious injury at some point; one that might lead to the need for pain relievers from a doctor.  When an opioid is prescribed, given the risk of addiction, should your child take it? Are there alternatives?  Is there a way to use them safely?  Dr. Daniel Muse is an emergency medicine specialist in Brockton, MA.  He is also passionate about reducing the high incidence of drug abuse and addiction.  Join us on Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30pm for a webinar with Dr. Muse to discuss these questions as well how athletes, parents and coaches can help prevent addiction.  

Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

COUNSELORS CORNER 

Each week, one of our MPS  Counselors will share information or resources. Last week,   Myriam Francoeur, Pierce Adjustment Counselor, wrote to the MPS community. This week, Kenneth Adelman MHS Adjustment Counselor, checks in below.

As we wrap up our tenth week of remote learning, one aspect of our students that consistently shines is their resiliency. I encourage students to reflect on their experiences, noting their highs and lows, and the myriad of emotions they feel in any given day. For students, the “freedom to feel” is something that isn’t necessarily encouraged in society. Oftentimes, I find students struggling with the idea that they don’t feel happy when others are happy, or feel sad when others are sad. The expectation to feel a certain way can impact them more than the feeling itself. Self-care, self-compassion, and self-love are crucial during times of adversity. These traits seem to be keys to building resilience within all of us.

The murder of George Floyd has stirred up thoughts and emotions within the students I connect with. I was moved by students’ willingness to engage about systemic racism in our country, get involved and be an ally. I had a student experience her own feelings of anxiety because she wanted to become a stronger ally. It was truly eye-opening and resonated with me beyond my role as an adjustment counselor at Milton High School.

My favorite aspect of the job is watching the students grow and adapt to the challenges they face everyday. I am truly in awe of what they are capable of and how resourceful they can be. Resilience is developed and reflected in times of adversity, and students can carry those traits with them for the rest of their lives.

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelman (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th. 

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will be OPEN this Saturday, June 13th from 9:15 – 11:15am with pre-bagged food ready to go for anyone that is in need. 

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.  

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares.  This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov.  The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included.  If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out  delivery through a farm member.  The application can be found here. 

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses. 

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

ART AND MUSIC  

If you are missing hearing our talented students, we have some good news for you!  The MHS Virtual Cabaret is online and can be found here. This is the second  of two Cabarets and the first one can be found here. Enjoy!

COMMUNITY NEWS

Forbes House Museum will host a  Virtual Voyage on June 28th!

The museum’s traditional spring fundraiser has been refashioned as an online event with music, trivia, highlights from the collection, and an auction. The theme connects the event to the Milton Reads book selection “Voyage of Mercy,” by Stephen Puleo, about Captain Forbes’s humanitarian relief mission to Ireland at the height of the Great Famine. In keeping with the purpose of that 1847 voyage, and in recognition of the increased community needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Virtual Voyage is giving 10% of all ticket sales to the Milton Food Pantry. The event will include guest appearances by both Captain Forbes and Father Mathew, the two main heroes in the remarkable true story of America overcoming social, religious and political differences to send 800 tons of provisions to Ireland.

Forbes House Museum has partnered with Lower Mills Tavern, local artists and musicians to create a very special community experience. Tickets and more information can be found at our website.  You can also go directly to the online auction site to bid on original artwork, themed baskets and fund-a-need opportunities. Thank you for your support!

***

Sign ups are live for the Milton Art Center’s online summer art classes for children ages 5-12, featuring illustration, clay, painting, fairy camps, mixed media, needle felting, macramé, journaling, and more including a weekly family activity class of identifying the birds and trees of Milton with scavenger hunts! Check out our website for a class that your child would enjoy!

***

Many Milton elementary students have been taking virtual chess lessons with Mr. Vigorito through his June session and he is also offering a virtual summer session in place of MSE.  Summer Chess information is here.

International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s.

Mr, Vigorito has made complimentary beginner/instructional videos specifically for Milton students. Call it  Chess 101 and ALL students in Milton have the opportunity for free to learn the basics of chess  through these videos. Families can tune is as well!

The videos can be found here.  Access Password: 4Milton! (with the exclamation point)

***

MECA is offering week three of our Story and Activity Time Series. This week’s story and activity are provided with help from Mary Beth Callahan, preschool teacher at Tucker School. Story and Activity Time Video Series, Week Four can be found here.

***

The Milton Public Library has many virtual programs for children all month long. Details can be found here. 

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

These meals are headed out to some happy MPS families!

VOLUNTEERS: We have once again seen the generosity of our community during this public health crisis. Our friends at The Plate are supplying family style dinners through the help of a private, local donation to MPS in hopes of providing some relief to Milton families and support our community during this pandemic. We are truly appreciative to both The Plate and this generous family.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on June 12, 2020

June 4, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: June 4, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we approach Milton High School Graduation this Sunday, June 7th, I want to recognize the Milton High School Class of 2020. Many of us have fond memories of the end of our senior year of high school and this year’s seniors have missed many of the traditions we hold dear. As much as we have celebrated them in new ways, we know it is a loss for them.  I also know that there are exciting days ahead for these young adults as they begin the next chapter of their lives. They are engaged, passionate, empathetic young people – and exactly what the world needs right now. Along with the Milton Community, I look forward to celebrating them on Sunday during the MHS Graduation festivities.

Principal James Jette and the MHS administrative team have planned a day of celebration for our seniors, culminating in a MHS Class of 2020 Car Parade. Starting at 5:30pm on June 7th, the Class of 2020 will proceed by car throughout the Town of Milton. Please see the route for the car parade in this link and celebrate with our seniors!

In advance of Graduation, please display Milton colors by decorating your door, fence or mailbox with red and white; display your Milton flag with pride; and wear red and white on Graduation Day  to show your support.

On Sunday at 7:20pm, we are asking that Milton residents stand in front of their homes (practicing social distancing) and cheer for 20 seconds in honor of Milton High School’s Class of 2020.

Thank you to the MHS Boosters, MHS Back Stage Boosters, FAME, and the PTSFO for making the 2020 graduation celebrations so special.

Our Senior Awards and Scholarships have been made public, and are posted on our awards website. We’ve also posted Music Awards and Boosters Athletic Awards on the site. Please see the 2019-2020 Milton High School Award and Honors page here.

Congratulations to the Milton High School Class of 2020! We cannot wait to see where your future takes you. Milton is proud of you!

***

I would also like to call your attention to our important June 1, 2020 communication: A United Message of Commitment from MPS Leaders.

RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE 

Last Call for Community Survey: The Return to School Task Force is hard at work, forming subcommittees to embark on the critical work of preparing to relaunch educational programming and return to school. The structure of the Task Force includes a Core Team, a strong and varied field of MPS and community volunteers, and Sub-Committees. Our mission is to advise the Superintendent of Schools on a comprehensive plan to relaunch programs offered by MPS in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. To that end, we want to make sure that our efforts include the concerns, questions, and issues raised by the Milton Public Schools Community. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to answer this brief survey which will guide the work of the Return to School Task Force. This survey will close tomorrow, Friday, June 5.

If you have any comments or questions about the work of the Return to School Task Force, please contact Karen McDavitt  or Ada Rosmarin.

SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES 

Special Education: Thank you for your patience while we wait for direction from DESE regarding the provision of ESY *summer* special education services. As we continue to address school closure and the provision of services for summer, I wanted to share some updates.

As of today, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has continued to provide limited final guidance on how to “run” summer programs for students in special education. They are advising us to generally plan for remote summer service, but recognize that we will have additional guidance next week which may include other options.

In an effort to integrate parent and family feedback into our planning, as we gain final guidance from DESE, please take a  moment to complete the survey linked here.  If you have trouble accessing this link, send me an email and I will send you direct access.

It is my hope DESE will provide final guidance in the coming days so that we can finalize our programs and efficiently share this guidance with families. Your input on this survey will help with our final plans.  Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Susan Maselli, MS Ed., BCBA, LABA, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services smaselli@miltonps.org; 617/696-4470 x 5572

Academic Programs:  MHS Bridge Program, Calculus Project, and MHS Credit Recovery Courses will be running virtually this year. Information regarding elementary and middle school virtual academic programs will be published next week.

Milton Summer Enrichment: Thank you for your patience as we have navigated the new guidelines and what that means for summer programming here in Milton. With local health department guidance still encouraging social distancing, it is apparent to us that gathering our outstanding group of MSE students will not be possible this summer.  Therefore,  we are canceling Milton Summer Enrichment for summer 2020. We are incredibly sorry to disappoint the students, families, Red Shirts and teachers with this news. MSE is a hallmark of summer in the Milton Community and we cannot wait to have everyone back in 2021!

With gratitude, Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan, MSE Directors

Camp Cunningham: Milton Community Schools would like to thank you for your patience as we all navigate through uncertain times. Due to safety limitations imposed by the government and health officials, we have determined that we can’t provide the same experience we had originally planned for Camp Cunningham. We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel Camp Cunningham this summer. In our decision-making process, we acknowledged that with student and staff safety as the number one priority, MCS is not able to deliver a safe full day camp experience within the capacities and timeframe available to us. We are incredibly sorry to disappoint the students, families, and all the staff with this news. We appreciate how valuable Camp Cunningham is to the Milton Public Schools community and we cannot wait to have everyone back in Summer 2021!

Martha Sandoval
Milton Community Schools Director, Camp Cunningham Director

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on June 10th, 2020 at 7pm. School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access TV or you can join the meeting remotely. Please see the School Committee agendas posted on the Town of Milton Website for remote access.

The School Committee recently updated the 2020-21 School Year Calendar. This calendar reflects a change to a Professional Development Day in October. The updated calendar can be found here.

TRANSPORTATION 

Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year  opened online at 8am on June 1st and will close on June 12th at midnight.  Please see May 27 Transportation Registration Letter linked here. 

The link to register for the bus is live through June 12th at Midnight. Bus Registration link 2020-2021 can be found here.  All information can be found on our Transportation page. 

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT 

Families with students entering grades 6 and 9 must re-establish residency by June 12th. A letter has been sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

The Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here and all information on residency re-establishment can be found here. Please submit your re-establishment packet by June 12th to the following email: residency@miltonps.org.

STAFF NEWS 

The Milton Public Schools is proud to announce the appointment of Mr. Mark Harrison to the position ofAssistant Director for Pupil Personnel Services.  Mr. Harrison has served as the Milton High School Team Chair for the past two years. Prior to his work in Milton, Mr Harrison worked in the Wellesley, Westwood and Wayland Public Schools in several special education roles. Mr. Harrison is currently certified in both English and Math as well as Special Education. We welcome Mark to our Special Education district-wide leadership team.

Families will have an opportunity to meet Mr. Harrison in the fall at parent/guardian coffees. His role will focus on continuing the vision of the Office of Pupil Personnel Services and supporting programs, staff and parents for our students in preschool through 22 years. Our thanks to the members of the Screening Committee. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Harrison to this new position.

FOOD SERVICE

Sheila Paolucci and Nelio Fraga with 1200 donated bags from Whole Foods, Dedham. Thank you for the donation!

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches continue to be available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker.  ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

Yesterday we served 289 students (4046 meals) and we also distributed 148 of the newly available produce boxes! We featured cauliflower as our veggie of the week.

The Milton Public Schools has been awarded a grant to offer weekly produce boxes to families. MPS is handing out produce boxes to all  families who pick up weekly breakfast and lunch bags. Each box will contain 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine hearts, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe.

If you have recieved a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

Our MHS AP Studio Art students had planned on displaying their portfolios in the hallways of Milton High School and having a gallery opening this spring. While we can’t have an in person gallery, teacher Kassandra Aloe wanted to share the art that her students worked so hard on. You can view the entire portfolio here – you will be impressed!

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Congratulations to MHS junior Sam Higgins who last weekend won the 2020 Classical Singer Competition, Classical High School Division!

The Classical Singer Competition is an international event sponsored by Classical Singer Magazine, an initiative of the New York Opera to promote and support vocal artists.  Monetary awards are given for first, second and third place winners in Classical and Musical Theatre Divisions for high school, university and emerging or pre-professional singers.  Earlier this month, Sam Higgins entered the Classical High School Division, and last night received the First Place Award.

At MHS, Sam Higgins is best known for his academic excellence and participation in orchestra.  Sam is leader of numerous chamber groups, and has performed in the Milton community during his three years at Milton High School.  He is currently a member of the Milton High School Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter, and this year he participated in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association All State Orchestra.

MHS Orchestra Director Debra Miller shares that: As leader of the MHS Orchestra, Sam embodies humility, respect and humor along with his exceptional skill and musicality.  As Sam is “beyond his years” with regard to musicianship and technical expertise, and his peers look to him for guidance in navigating difficult orchestral repertoire.  He is always willing to assist in conducting sectionals as well as full rehearsals on occasion.  It is a great pleasure to teach Sam and hear all that he contributes to each orchestra rehearsal. We appreciate and value his dedication and commitment to the Milton High School String Program; Sam is a role model for all!

From MHS Principal James Jette: Not only is Sam a talented singer and valued member of the strings ensemble, he is a very intelligent student as well. Since he’s been at Milton High Sam’s done exceptionally well academically, managing a rigorous course load in addition to traveling, and competitions. When you see Sam, you see an individual with a great smile and positive demeanor. He is the epitome of what we all hope for in a high school student: caring, passionate, motivated, respectful, determined and is constantly challenging himself in and out of the classroom. 

Very recently, Sam was named a 2020 YoungArts Winner by the National YoungArts Foundation, and in September, his performance of Handel’s aria Dove sei, amato bene from ‘Rodelinda’ will be featured on NPR’s “From the Top.” After yesterday’s competition, Sam may add 2020 Classical Singer Competition First Place Winner to his impressive resume. Sam’s award-winning performance of ‘Mandoline’ by French composer, Gabriel Fauré can be viewed at this link. Congratulations to Sam!

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MHS will be offering a virtual driver’s education course that runs from June 15th-25th.  It includes 15 modules, 12 driving hours, and 6 observation hours. Information on the course and how to sign up can be found on the Milton High School Driver’s Education website.

Behind the wheel driving hours and observation hours have been approved by the state as part of Phase 2 in the re-opening process.  MHS Driver’s Education will take a number of safety precautions.  The precautions are listed here and are also listed on the Milton High School Driver’s Education website.

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce has developed a website to serve as a centralized location for accessing weekly content and assignments for students. Please click here to access the site.

Tucker, Ella and Jasmine at an earlier FPS Competition. Good luck this week!

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Three of our Pierce 8th graders will be competing virtually at the Future Problem Solving International Competition this Thursday and Friday. Tucker Korman, Ella Cantor, and Jasmine Bethea were invited to the international competition after placing first at the state level! These talented students have been working remotely to learn about terraforming and will be competing with students from around the globe. Good luck to our Future Problem Solvers!

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Pierce Choral Director Julia Hanna has created a choice board influenced by current events that students will be working on over the next two weeks. Many of the activities are suitable for families to engage in together. All families are welcome to participate in these resources, regardless of whether their child is in chorus. The choice board activities can be found here. We look forward to sharing student work in the coming weeks.

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Ms. Power created an Ode to the Outsiders with pictures submitted by her Yosemite students. You can see the video here.

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All rising 9th grade families who have not already responded, please declare whether or not your student(s) will be able to bring their own device to MHS next year by completing this short declaration survey.  For more information regarding the MHS BYOD initiative please visit the FAQs document.  Please complete the declaration survey by the end of day tomorrow, Friday, May 29th.

For more information please visit the following flyer regarding, Loan Agreement,  BYOD Student & Family Manual, Acceptable Use Policy, and Chromebook Care & Use Policy.

All current eighth-grade students will be asked to return their loaned Chromebook and charger to Pierce Middle School.  More information with the exact date(s), time(s), and specific instructions for the Chromebook return to Pierce will be shared with families in the coming weeks.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

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During this time of remote learning, Mrs. Kempf’s 4th graders have been working hard, taking on new and different roles and responsibilities that add so much to who they are as people and students.

Families recently shared quotes about how their student is contributing at home – to their own health, to the family and to their community. Kudos to these 4th graders!

  • He has tried to stay active doing push-ups, running and biking.
  • He decided he was going to improve his typing skills so has been practicing every day and is aiming for 35 words per minute.
  • We are extremely proud that she has been able to navigate her way around all of the remote schooling in a pretty calm manner.
  • She has independently managed all of her own learning every single day in the midst of a very busy household.
  • Her creativity as a writer has also shone through as she has used this extra time at home to enhance her observation and storytelling.
  • With everyone in the family either virtually working or in virtual school, we all have to contribute in ways we didn’t before.
  • Carrying in groceries, helping to make cookies, practicing piano and saxophone regularly are just a few examples.
  • He has fine-tuned and leveled up his responsibility skills, and we couldn’t be prouder.
  • She also lets us know when she needs a break or needs to just change it up for a little while, so we are also glad that she’s still trusting her instincts about what’s best for her learning style.
  • She has shown great teaching skills, patience and understanding with her younger brother, as she helps with home schooling while her mom is also working online from home

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This week our elementary scientists have been hard at work. In Kindergarten, students studied the impact of leaving water in a sunny location and shady location. Grade 1 students investigated with flashlights to see how light interacts with different objects in their home and learned the vocabulary words transparent, translucent, and opaque. Our Grade 5 students are working on a unit called ‘Mixtures and Solutions” and planned and carried out an investigation to see how water interacts with flour, baking soda, sugar and salt.

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Elementary students learned about the Design Principle of Variety in Art. Variety is when an artist uses different visual elements to make their artwork more interesting. Students had a choice board, and projects include: Gratitude poster, Simple Pleasures During Quarantine book, Pop-Up card, Hearts Window sign, and Illustrated Inspirational quotes.
It’s great to see these creative works of Joy!

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Elementary students have been partcipating in Music class and Music Share all week!

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Glover and Tucker’s Diversity Committees frequently partner with Glover parent/literary agent Sara Crowe to bring amazing authors of color to Glover and Tucker through our Diverse Reads Book Club. Ms Crowe shared about a powerful event taking place tonight. The Brown Bookshelf: United in Story– Around the nation, people are hurting. Award-winning author Kwame Alexander has organized a Kidlit Rally for Black Lives. We’re honored to host it on our FaceBook Live on Thursday, June 4. This is a time to come together and stand up. Our kids need us. Please join us and spread the word. Together, we can make a difference: https://thebrownbookshelf.com/2020/06/02/kidlit-rally-for-black-lives/. From 7:00-7:45, authors will address students directly. From 7:45-8:30, they will address parents/guardians, educators, and librarians. You can join via Facebook Live @thebrownbookshelf.

CURRICULUM CHALLENGE 

Click here for this week’s math puzzles from MPS K-12 Math Director Brian Selig.

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

The American Academy of Pediatrics news release on June 1, 2020  condemns racism and offers advice for families on how to talk to their children.  If you struggle to find the “right” words, consider using books or other resources to share with your child. HealthyChildren.org offers some tips in Talking to Children About Racial Bias.

The Milton Public Schools is fully anticipating students will be wearing face masks when school reopens. Here is a great video from PBS geared toward elementary students about stopping the spread of germs and the importance of wearing a mask.

Reminder to Grade 5 families- The Growth and Development Program is available online at this link

ALL medication left in the Nurse’s office and ASE programs must be picked up by the end of the school year.  Any medication left at school will be discarded unless other arrangements are made- please contact your school nurse for pick up details.

MSAPC 

On June 10th at 7:30pm, Julie B. Cullen, LICSW, Ed.M will share her vast experience working with children and families in clinical and educational settings.  She will share specific techniques caregivers can use to help support elementary school children in the face of Covid-19.  Issues covered will be managing remote learning, parenting while working, supporting family mental wellness and having fun along the way.  This webinar is perfect for anyone with a child in Kindergarten through 5th grade.  

Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

COUNSELORS CORNER 

Each week, one of our MPS  Counselors will share information or resources. Last week,   Judy Bygate, MHS School Psychologist, wrote to the MPS community. This week, Myriam Francoeur, Pierce Adjustment Counselor, checks in below.

My heart is both heavy and restless about what is going on in this world. I know a lot of you are hurting right now and I recognize that this may be especially true for our students, staff and families of color. To all our Milton students, families and staff, you matter and you are important to us.

Our country is experiencing difficult times right now because of the pandemic, the economy and the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, as well as the peaceful protests followed by the riots. We continue to be inundated with news and social media feeds of the anger of many, over another killing of a Black man at the hands of the police.

As parents, we worry and want to protect our children and can find it hard to talk about these complex events and big topics (relating to race, police brutality, and civil disobedience). Experts say that it is important to address the death of George Floyd, race, protests and riots head on because it affirms what children are sensing and experiencing. Children are watching you and they are much more aware of what we give them credit for.

It is important to take care of yourself first, by checking in with yourself and to see how you are doing. Please be cautious about continuously watching tv, social media feeds. This continuous exposure of these complex and traumatic events via our phones and television can increase our level of stress. It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling and be able to manage your own feelings so that you can think and act clearly.

One suggestion might be that you think about what you are going to say to your children. Take into consideration the developmental age of your children, their personality and their temperament. Be clear, direct and factual in your delivery.

Another suggestion is to actively listen to your children. Ask your children how they are feeling about what happened to George Floyd? What are they seeing in social media and the news? Is there anything else that you want to talk about? What are your feelings about what you have read or seen? Please keep in mind that their feelings might be influenced by their friends. Take a moment to validate how your children are feeling. Do not try to fix it or judge it. Just listen.

You can start having regular and ongoing conversations about race. Talking about race can be difficult, sensitive and sometimes messy. It does not have to be perfect and it’s okay that you don’t know everything and you make mistakes. If you don’t know, do your research and use resources before asking questions. Start by talking about racial differences in a positive and relatable way. Acknowledge that racism exists and that people are treated differently and unfairly because of the color of their skin. Be curious and intentional.

I encourage you to create a safe space where you can have open discussions with your children.

Together we will get through this. Our history tells us that we have been through terror and trauma before. As school counselors, we are here to serve and support you, your children and our school community during this difficult time.

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag AND a chock full bag of produce at the same time.

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food, the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.  

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Brookwood Community Farm SNAP CSA shares application Brookwood Community Farm is currently accepting applications for SNAP CSA shares separately for summer and/or for fall.  It will be a half share, collected every 2 weeks, where $40/month is deducted through EBT (while HIP puts $40 back on their account).  Any questions can be directed to president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org or call the farm phone which is 339-502-0826

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will NOT be open this Saturday, June, 6th.  The pantry has shifted to an every other Saturday schedule.  

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended.  Visit their website for details on how to apply.

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton resident 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses. 

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

ART AND MUSIC  

Congratulations to MHS Music Senior Coleman Rose, who is a recipient of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s Eastern District Scholarship. This scholarship is granted to students who have auditioned and are selected for the MMEA Eastern District Festival Ensembles, have made an impact on their school music program and intend to pursue music in college. Coleman was a member of the MMEA Eastern District Concert Band his sophomore and Junior year and the Jazz Ensemble his senior year. He will be attending Oberlin Conservatory in the fall to pursue Jazz Performance.

Our Applied Music Lesson Program is still going strong! Violin teacher Dr. Kathy Kim shared that two of our students, Pierce 7th grader Kevin Gomes and Cunningham 5th grader AJ Murphy, placed in top honors for the Crescendo Competition and will have the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in the fall or winter this coming year.

Clarinet Teacher Ms. Linda Poland held her recital virtually this past week. Enjoy this performance of “Clarinet on the Town” from MHS sophomore Max Hollingsworth-Hays. 

COMMUNITY NEWS

Milton Stands Out Against Racism: TonightThursday, June 4th at 6:00pm, all are invited to stand socially distanced on the sidewalks or median of Blue Hill Parkway (from Canton Ave to Mattapan Square) or stay in your car on either side of the Parkway. Signs and chalk art are encouraged. At 6:00pm, participants will Stand in Solidarity Against Racism. At 6:15pm, participants will Take a Knee as the person next to you kneels (creating a wave) in remembrance. At 6:24pm, there will be a contemplative silence for you to privately state your intentions. At 6:30pm, participants will disperse. This event is organized by Courageous Conversations Towards Racial Justice and the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association.

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The 43rd Annual Milton 10K/5K Road Race – VIRTUAL EDITION – will be held June 8 – 14, 2020!

As marathons and races across the globe are being postponed, cancelled or transformed during the pandemic, we have made the decision to run the 43rd Annual Milton Road Race as a virtual event. Why are we running? This race, through the collective generosity of you, your neighbors and local businesses, has enabled scholarships for Milton high school students and grants for local community service organizations in Milton for 42 years. Please consider signing up at this link  to run soon. All details can be found here.

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Sign ups are live for the Milton Art Center’s online summer art classes for children ages 5-12, featuring illustration, clay, painting, fairy camps, mixed media, needle felting, macramé, journaling, and more including a weekly family activity class of identifying the birds and trees of Milton with scavenger hunts! Check out our website for a class that your child would enjoy!

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Chess Club with Mr. Vigorito continues. Register now for a 3 week June session or the Summer Chess Program.

International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. June Chess information can be found here and Summer Chess information is here. 

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MECA is offering week three of our Story and Activity Time Series. This week’s story and activity is provided with help from Gay O’Hanlon and Karen Hainline, preschool teachers at Village School. Story and Activity Time Video Series, Week Three can be found here.

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The Milton Public Library has many virtual programs for children all month long. Details can be found here. 

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

STAFF: Last night we honored our recent retirees from the Milton Public Schools during the Milton School Committee meeting.  These long time educators have taught and supported  many of your children throughout the years and I hope you will join me in wishing them a well deserved happy retirement.

Thank you and congratulations to Dr. Martine FisherMaureen Flanagan, Debra HayesPamela KeatingJeanne MattalianoPatricia MenardNancy Mikels Katherine Sullivan-MaherDonna Tarpey and Stephen Tart. You can read about each of our retirees and their contributions to the Milton Public Schools by clicking on their names above.

Donna Tarpey (no photo available): According to Principal Karen McDavitt, Donna Tarpey was a welcome presence in our Glover cafeteria and on our playground for a few years and some of our favorite times were spent laughing with her and talking to her! The students absolutely loved their connection with Donna and she, likewise, thrived on these relationships. Donna always had a sunny attitude and a positive outlook on things. She has a huge heart and she is missed at Glover School.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on June 4, 2020

May 28,2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 28, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Last week, the Return to School Task Force began its work with an initial meeting of the Core Team. I am grateful to the many volunteers who have come forward to support the Milton Public Schools at this time and  I have asked Co-chairs Ada Rosmarin and Karen McDavitt to update the MPS community below.

Several weeks ago, Superintendent Mary Gormley convened a Return to School Task Force to advise her on a plan to relaunch programs offered by Milton Public Schools in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Glover School Principal Karen McDavitt and School Committee Member Ada Rosmarin agreed to co-chair the Task Force.  Over 100 talented individuals with diverse backgrounds volunteered to serve on the Task Force, which is made up of a Core Team and Subcommittees.  

  • Core Team:  The Core Team assembled last week for its first weekly meeting.  The members of the Core Team (see link for members of team) represent a strong and varied field of MPS and community volunteers who will work together to develop plans guided by its stated mission below.  Of particular note, we are grateful to have a strong bench of volunteer health experts who are guiding our work with scientific research and guidelines.
  • Mission: The mission of the Return to School Task Force is to advise the Superintendent of Schools on a comprehensive plan to relaunch programs offered by Milton Public Schools in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This plan will be guided by up to date scientific research and guidelines, and will seek to: optimize safety and security for all MPS students, staff and families; reinforce principles of equity throughout the district; and communicate progress to the MPS community and beyond, so that our schools can continue to provide engaging, high quality education and related services for all. 
  • Subcommittees The Subcommittees will also be composed of MPS staff members and community members. Each subcommittee will have at least one liaison to the Core Team. The work of the subcommittees is to review resources, problem solve, and make recommendations specifically related to one of the following areas, all led by the science and medical updates provided by the Health subcommittee. For more information about the work of each subcommittee, please click here. Subcommittees include: Facilities, Health, Wellness, Family outreach, Communication, Finance, Transportation, Technology, Teaching and learning, Early Childhood, Employee rights and Union issues, Food services, Fine Arts, Music, and Physical Education, Athletics and Before and After School Clubs and Activities.
  • Survey We want to make sure that our efforts include the concerns, questions, and issues raised by the Milton Public Schools Community. Please take a moment to answer this brief survey which will guide the work of the Return to School Task Force.

If you have any comments or questions about the work of the Return to School Task Force, please contact Karen McDavitt at kmcdavitt@miltonps.org or Ada Rosmarin at arosmarin@miltonps.org.

SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES 

Milton Summer Enrichment: Thank you for your patience as we have navigated the new guidelines and what that means for summer programming here in Milton. With local health department guidance still encouraging social distancing, it is apparent to us that gathering our outstanding group of MSE students will not be possible this summer and so we are canceling Milton Summer Enrichment for summer 2020. We are incredibly sorry to disappoint the students, families, Red Shirts and teachers with this news. MSE is a hallmark of summer in the Milton Community and we cannot wait to have everyone back in 2021!

With gratitude, Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan, MSE Directors

Camp Cunningham: Milton Community Schools would like to thank you for your patience as we all navigate through uncertain times. Due to safety limitations imposed by the government and health officials, we have determined that we can’t provide the same experience we had originally planned for Camp Cunningham. We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel Camp Cunningham this summer. In our decision-making process, we acknowledged that with student and staff safety as the number one priority, MCS is not able to deliver a safe full day camp experience within the capacities and timeframe available to us. We are incredibly sorry to disappoint the students, families, and all the staff with this news. We appreciate how valuable Camp Cunningham is to the Milton Public Schools community and we cannot wait to have everyone back in Summer 2021!

Martha Sandoval
Milton Community Schools Director, Camp Cunningham Director

Special Education:  I hope this note continues to find you all well and safe during this extended closure. Rest assured I am working diligently on behalf of our children and families to bring you up to the moment information about summer services (ESY) for children in Special Education. As you know, this past Monday, Governor Baker announced the beginning of a multiphase reopening for Massachusetts. I have learned that we can expect to hear from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on how this phased opening will impact summer ESY services. Because we are not fully aware of what this guidance will be, I want to let you know that we are planning for multiple options: Full Remote Summer, Full In Person Summer and a Hybrid Program (where students have a combination of in person and remote services). Our goal, as I have stated, continues to be to begin ESY on July 6.

Anticipating that town wide programs will not be available in the same capacity that they have been in the past, we know how essential it is for our most fragile students to have ESY supports and services, and I am working closely with Bridget Renehan, the summer ESY Program Director, to secure staff and plan multiple options.

On Friday, the Associate Commissioner for Education, Russell Johnston, will host his weekly Special Education Directors Zoom Meeting. It is my hope he will provide essential guidance this week so that Milton can finalize preparations for summer. If your child receives ESY on his or her IEP you will receive detailed information about what summer programming “looks like” when we receive this crucial guidance from DESE.

As always, please be in touch with any questions. Thank you and stay safe!
Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services
617/696-4470 x 5572

Academic Programs: We are currently investigating options for our MHS Bridge Program, Calculus Project, credit recovery, Tucker Scholars and more. We will continue to keep families updated as information is available.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be on June 3rd, 2020 at 7pm. This will be a full meeting,  including a recognition of this year’s MPS retirees. School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access TV or you can join the meeting remotely. Please see the School Committee agendas posted on the Town of Milton Website for remote access.

TRANSPORTATION 

Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year will open online at 8am on June 1st and close on June 12th at midnight.  Please see May 27 Transportation Registration Letter linked here. 

The link to register for the bus will be live on June 1st at 8am. Bus Registration link 2020-2021

Please note that as the Milton Public Schools awaits guidance from Governor Baker and DESE regarding social distancing guidelines in schools and on school buses, bus fees will NOT be collected until actual bus assignments are made over the summer. Bus registration will not require payment of fees at this time. Fees will be assessed and bills emailed over the summer when guidelines and ridership numbers are in place. 

Due to the school closure, as part of the registration process families who paid a bus fee this year will have their refund of $90 per rider or $180 family maximum credited toward their bus fee for the upcoming school year. Families can request credits from students not riding in the upcoming year be credited toward siblings in the registration portal. Families that will NOT be registering to ride in the 2020-2021 school year or those who want their refunds now, will have the opportunity to request their refund in check form in a separate online link beginning June 1st as well.

The current MPS transportation policy states that in accordance with MA State Law, MPS guarantees transportation to and from school for all students in K-6th grade who live two miles or more from their assigned school, and the remaining seats are sold on a first come, first served basis (based on date and time of online bus registration) at a fee of $275 per rider with a family maximum of $550. Please note that registration for these remaining seats by June 12th does NOT guarantee a seat on the bus and that there were waiting lists on many routes during the 2019-2020 school year.

Per MPS policy, any student with an outstanding Food Services bill greater than $20.00 is not allowed to register for any fee-based program (including bus service) until that balance has been paid off. Please contact Director of Nutrition Services Jackie Morgan to settle your food service bill if needed.

Students entering Grades 6 and 9 in the fall will need to complete their residency re-establishment online prior to being issued a bus pass over the summer. You may register for the bus without re-establishing residency but the pass will not be issued until re-establishment is complete. Please direct any transportation questions to Rachel Schewe at bus@miltonps.org.

Refund Information for Families NOT registering for Bus for Fall 2020

Families who are NOT registering for transportation for fall 2020 can request their refund of $90 per rider with a family maximum of $180 beginning at 8 am on Monday, June 1st.  All refunds will be in check form and will be processed through town hall and will take several weeks to process.  Any families registering to ride for the 2020-2021 school year should NOT use this link.  Bus Fee 2019-2020 Refund Form

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT 

In the Spring of 2015, the Milton School Committee passed a Residency Policy that states students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9), and during other times as determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee.  The Residency Policy can be found here. 

As a parent/guardian of a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) for the next school year or if you presently have a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) who attends an educational program outside of town, you are required to complete the  Re-establish Residency Packet found here. This process is one of the safeguards used by the Milton Public Schools to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the Town of Milton. Although the re-registration process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the Town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us with ensuring residency compliance.

The district has designated Tuesday, May 26 to Friday, June 12 for the acceptance of Re-establish of Residency Packets. A letter has been sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

The Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here. Please submit your Re-establishment packet between May 26 and June 12 to the following email: residency@miltonps.org.

If you are unable to upload the required documents, please put all necessary documents in a sealed envelope and place in the lockbox which is located outside the main entrance of Milton High School. Please email Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator at sburke@miltonps.org with any questions.

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches continue to be available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker.  ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

Yesterday we served 291 students (4074 meals) and we also distributed 150 of the newly available produce boxes!

The Milton Public Schools has been awarded a grant to offer weekly produce boxes to families. Starting this week, MPS is handing out  produce boxes to all  families who pick up weekly breakfast and lunch bags!  Each box will contain carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine hearts, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe!

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email at jmorgan@miltonps.org or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna at mmckenna@miltonps.org or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

We continue to celebrate our MHS students virtually. Please see the 2019-2020 Milton High School Award & Honors page here! 

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There are several ways you can support an MHS senior during this graduation season.

Clap Them Out: On Graduation Day, Sunday, June 7th at 7:20pm, we are asking that Milton residents stand in front of their homes (practicing social distancing) and cheer for 20 seconds in honor of Milton High School’s Class of 2020.

Adopt a Milton 2020 Senior:  Send them a letter, card, gift card, snack – you get the idea, anything to let them know just how proud we are of all their accomplishments. You can join the Facebook page here. If you do not have a Facebook account you can ask a friend to post on Facebook for you with your senior’s bio and picture or email Annellen Lydon at  lydonaev@gmail.com to have your student posted.

Paint the Town Red and White:  Starting June 1st, show your support by displaying Milton colors by decorating your door, fence or mailbox red and white. Display your Milton flag with pride. Wear read and white on June 7th, Graduation Day. Use any creative ways to show your support to our MPS seniors!

MHS Class of 2020 Car Parade: Starting at 5:30pm on June 7th , there will be a MHS Class of 2020 car parade throughout the Town of Milton. Please see the tour/path for the car parade in this link. 

20MilesFor2020 Challenge: MHS Athletics would love you to join us in honoring the class of 2020 by participating in our #20MilesFor2020 Challenge. We are challenging members of the MPS Community to stay active and honor the seniors of this year’s graduating class between now and the end of May.

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce has developed a website to serve as a centralized location for accessing weekly content and assignments for students. Please click here to access the site.

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All rising 9th grade families who have not already responded, please declare whether or not your student(s) will be able to bring their own device to MHS next year by completing this short declaration survey.  For more information regarding the MHS BYOD initiative please visit the FAQs document.  Please complete the declaration survey by the end of day tomorrow, Friday, May 29th.

For more information please visit the following flyer regarding, Loan Agreement,  BYOD Student & Family Manual, Acceptable Use Policy, and Chromebook Care & Use Policy.

All current eighth-grade students will be asked to return their loaned Chromebook and charger to Pierce Middle School.  More information with the exact date(s), time(s), and specific instructions for the Chromebook return to Pierce will be shared with families in the coming weeks.

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During Mercury’s remote learning poetry unit, students were given prompts for each line of a bio poem and asked to self reflect about themselves. Kids this age love to write about themselves so they are honest and sincere. They were especially thoughtful with the line about what they “wonder” during this tumultuous time in their lives. Turning it into a team slideshow allowed the students to “see” their friends and classmates through their own words during our time away from school.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

All elementary specialist teachers have live or recorded instructional videos each week on the elementary website. These sessions are being shared by the classroom teacher and being posted on the MPS Elementary At-Home Learning Website.  As well as finding the links to video lessons under your school’s “Weekly Specialists” option, students can continue to access supplemental resource material to enrich at home learning in specific subject areas.

30 Day Song Challenge Tracker! New and Improved! Did you want to keep track of the songs you choose? It’s ok if you don’t do every day or if you go out of order.

  • Make a copy of this google doc or print it: 30 Day Song Challenge Doc
  • Write the song name below the day.  Here is an example of what it could look like:  Song Challenge Example
  • Email a picture of it to your music teacher when you are done OR upload it to the music padlet: aallegrezza@miltonps.org;cmartin@miltonps.org; ggood@miltonps.org
  • Music Padlet: Elementary Music Padlet Click here for instructions on how to upload to the padlet

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Last week our Glover 1st graders  took a trip to Sénégal and learned all about the animals, instruments, dance and food from the country. Students  enjoyed watching Mr. Leite’s video on his travels to Sénégla and  also made flags for Sénégal. In addition they learned a lot about different food groups and prepared big picnic baskets at the end of the week. Next week it’s off to La Réunion!

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Ms. Watrous’ Cunningham 5th graders have been working hard creating a “Some Good News Paper” each week. Thank you to these students for  their thoughtful and inspiring content each week.  You can read Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3 in these links.

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Collicot 4th and 5th graders participated in the Boomwriter Bee this spring and 8 students qualified as finalists for the 2020 Boomwriter Championship!  Congratulations to Francesca Jilani, Eva Winn, Siabh Chaplin and Benjamin Tosi in grade 4 and Peter Mullen, Lauren Connolly, Ted Hsu and John Griffin in Grade 5.

Cunningham 4th graders also participated and Valerie Huang and Maeve Murphy have qualified as finalists. Glover and Tucker did not enter the bee this year. Congratulations to our students for all the hard work and becoming finalists.

Over the next four weeks, students will be writing, reading and voting on BoomWriter while competing to become the 2020 Writing Bee Champion! The Bee will start on June first and the champion will be announced on June 29th. We wish our students luck and also want them to remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.

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Elementary music students have been exploring during music lessons by using “peardeck,” an interactive slide presentation that allows students to respond on the slides. Below are some 4th and 5th grade examples of student brainstorms for creating their own homemade instruments. We look forward to seeing the finished products!

Elementary students participated in virtual music share this week. Matthew practiced at home on his Tuba, Gabby on her ukulele and Brendan practiced his recorder.

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Need a laugh? Here are some music jokes submitted by elementary students on the music google forms surveys attached to their lessons. The final question of the survey asks students to share anything they would like to share with their music teacher, with a special request for a music joke.

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Thank you to Glover 2nd grader Charlie McConville for sharing his writing about how he celebrates the 4th of July. You can read Charlie’s words here.

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CURRICULUM CHALLENGE 

Click here for this week’s math puzzles from MPS K-12 Math Director Brian Selig.

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE

Reminder from MPS nurses that updated physical exams and immunizations are due prior to the start of every school year.  New vaccine requirements have been added for the 2020-2021 school year.  School Nurses will need to obtain an immunization record for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade. The immunization record will need to demonstrate:

  • 7th grade entry: 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for all students.
  • 11th grade entry: 1 booster dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Men ACWY) received on or after 16 years of age.  (One or more doses of MenACWY vaccine are acceptable as long as one dose was received on or after 16 years of age.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging parents/ guardians to call their pediatrician. The #CallYourPediatrician Campaign was launched to remind parents to schedule check-ups and vaccines for children prior to the start of next school year. 

This recent article answers many questions about MD visits during the COVID19 pandemic and has links to helpful resources. Is it OK to see my pediatrician during COVID-19?

If you have any questions related to immunization requirements please contact MPS Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin kacoughlin@miltonps.org.

MSAPC 

Caregivers of teens and tweens: Don’t have a clue how to handle your child’s relationship problems?  Tune in to our webinar on June 3rd, 7:30pm.  Sit on the patio with a cold drink and listen to advice of expert Casey Corcoran.  Join in with questions of your own if you wish!  It is a simple click to join.

Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

COUNSELORS CORNER 

Each week, one of our MPS  Counselors will share information or resources. Last week,   Anya Samuels, School Psychologist PreK-12, wrote to the MPS community. This week, Judy Bygate, MHS School Psychologist, checks in below.

This has been an interesting time for all of us, to say the least! I usually am working with students one-to-one in a testing situation where I get to know the students in a way that perhaps other colleagues don’t. This is a time when the student tells me what they do and don’t like about school, what they wish could change about school, and discussions of that sort.

Now, without that face-to-face interaction, I find it is difficult to have lost those connections. I am thinking, however, of some of the students who I’ve worked with who may be doing “well” in this situation. I’ve read an article from Edtopia, entitled, “Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?” It reported that, through interviews of students, some students are doing well in this time of remote learning.

The article talks about students who are often shy, creative, and hyperactive are doing well for several reasons. The first reason stated is that they are pacing their learning throughout the day, and they are developing independence in completing their work. They are experiencing reduced stress levels as a result of the more flexible time.

Some of these students are not having to deal with peer pressure to “fit in” or to “look good,” so they are relishing in the fact that they can stay in their pajamas while they do math work! Some of the students who are shy are much more relaxed because they do not have to feel extra pressure to talk in front of a group of students, nor do they feel the need to have to raise their hand in class.

It will be interesting to see, going forward, how these students do in the long run without being in school. Perhaps your child is one of these students. So, it is important to remember that, despite the difficulties we’re all having, it is a bright light knowing that some of our kids are doing well!

Judy Bygate, Ed.M., CAGS,
School Psychologist

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure students. 

The Milton Public Schools has been awarded a grant to offer weekly produce boxes to families. MPS will be handing out  produce boxes to all  families who pick up weekly breakfast and lunch bags.  Each box will contain carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine hearts, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe!

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will be OPEN this Saturday, May 30th.  The pantry has shifted to an every other Saturday schedule. 

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.  

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Brookwood Community Farm SNAP CSA shares application Brookwood Community Farm is currently accepting applications for SNAP CSA shares separately for Summer and/or for Fall.  It will be a half share, collected every 2 weeks, where $40/month is deducted through EBT (while HIP puts $40 back on their account).  Any questions can be directed to president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org or call the farm phone which is 339-502-0826

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund Any Milton resident 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses. 

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

ART AND MUSIC  

Last week, MHS student members of the Tri-M National Honor Society hosted a virtual induction ceremony to welcome 14 new members to the Milton High School chapter. The Tri-M Music Honor Society 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. Membership to the Milton High School Chapter of Tri-M is open to all MHS sophomores, juniors and seniors in a music ensemble.

Congratulations to our new members of Tri-M! Maeve Bentley,Lindsey Dunn, Baron Clancy, Sofia Harris, Max Hollingsworth-Hays, Michael Howard, Christopher Le, Tracy Le, Isabel Murley, Franklin Olliviere III, Luke Palmer, Mahinia Panerio-Langer, Aoife Ruth and Stella Yuan were inducted this week and you can watch the ceremony here.

We were unable to hold our annual MHS Music Awards Night so this video was created to recognize festival participants and award recipients. 

Please enjoy this recording of Amazing that the MHS Saxophone Quartet put together virtually. Performers are: Coleman Rose, Caleb Smith, Rowan Leggett and Max Hollingworth-Hays.

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MPS Orchestra Director Debra Miller shares these two pieces for your enjoyment. Shenandoah is from exactly one year ago and can be watched here. This piece from 2017 is an upbeat representation of the orchestra when collaborating with dance.

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Every day is “Celebrate a Musical Senior Day” on the FAME  Facebook page. We sure miss hearing our musicians play together, but we know they are making beautiful music at home. Let’s celebrate them here!

COMMUNITY NEWS

The 43rd Annual Milton 10K/5K Road Race – VIRTUAL EDITION – will be held June 8 – 14, 2020!

As marathons and races across the globe are being postponed, cancelled or transformed during the pandemic, we have made the decision to run the 43rd Annual Milton Road Race as a virtual event. Why are we running? This race, through the collective generosity of you, your neighbors and local businesses, has enabled scholarships for Milton high school students and grants for local community service organizations in Milton for 42 years. All details on this virtual road race can be found here! Please consider signing up at this link  to run soon. All details can be found here.

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Chess Club with Mr. Vigorito continues. Register now for a 3 week June session or the Summer Chess Program.

International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s. June Chess information can be found here and Summer Chess information is here. 

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MECA is offering  week two of our Story and Activity Time Series! This week’s story and activity is provided with help from Karen Hainline, a preschool teacher at Village School. Story and Activity Time Video Series, Week Two can be found here.

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Brookwood Farms plans to open their farm stand next week; Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 – 6:30 and Saturday 9:00 – 1:00.  Proper social distancing will be maintained and mask wearing is required and at this time, only credit card payments are accepted with a minimum of $10 purchase and they are working to also accept EBT.

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The Milton Public Library has many virtual programs for children all month long. Details can be found here. 

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

VOLUNTEERS: Thank you to the MHS, Pierce, Glover, Collicot, Cunningham and Tucker PTOs and the Milton Foundation for Education for recognizing our MPS teachers and staff with a special t-shirt for Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week earlier this month. T-shirts were safely distributed earlier today and we are grateful to our parent groups for this recognition of the hard work and dedication of our staff.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on May 28,2020

May 21, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 21, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Almost every day I receive an email from a Milton Public Schools parent or guardian asking me to remind and help families understand the importance of social distancing and following the directives and guidelines put forth by Governor Baker. This week I have asked Dr. MaryAnn Dakkak, a MPS parent and an Assistant Professor at Boston University who practices at Boston Medical Center to share her thoughts below. I am so grateful to Dr. Dakkak for taking the time  to write to our MPS community.

As a parent of two elementary school children in MPS and a physician working directly with COVID-19, I share many of your fears, concerns, and frustrations. I waffle between two constant worries – worries about contracting and spreading COVID-19 and the effects of isolation on our families and communities. Both have serious risks.

This graph is what I use to help me navigate where I am in my personal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve used it to help navigate tough meetings between colleagues and PTO meetings about how we should be responding. While it may seem linear, it isn’t, we may be in two or three zones a day.

As we start our third month of physically distancing, we are all exhausted. Exhausted of balancing home and work, exhausted of isolation, exhausted of the fear that this pandemic can bring. Some of us have lost jobs, lost family members, lost friends. As a community we depend on socially close-knit environments. We want and miss so many normal things.

Just this week the governor put out a plan for Massachusetts re-opening. We are currently in Phase 1.  These are the current recommendations:

Many of us have similar questions.

  • Given the data, are there ways to see friends and family that are safe?
  • When are things going to go back to normal?
  • What are the true risks of both COVID-19 and physical isolation?

I have a few answers, and a few articles to point you toward.

  • The risk of COVID-19 infection remains high. The risk of ongoing complications remains unknown. We are seeing rare, but severe cases in kids. We are seeing rare and severe cases in young adults without co-existing health conditions. We are seeing significant asymptomatic spread, which means healthy people are spreading the disease without knowing it. We continue to have over 100 deaths a day in Massachusetts.
  • Where do people catch COVID-19? The majority of the spread is indoors, with prolonged close contact, often with meals, and mostly with people we know. Can one theoretically get it at the supermarket? If you are a worker without a protective mask and gloves, perhaps, if you are a shopper, far less likely. And those grocery stores with many positive workers – it is likely due to spread amongst workers, in close proximity, during times that they are not wearing masks (think breakrooms). The data shows it is not from objects, but from actual people that people are catching the virus from. This article from the Atlantic has more information.
  • Hand washing: COVID-19 requires a mucous membrane to enter and infect someone (think eyes, nose, mouth). If your hand has COVID-19 on it, you will not get sick unless you touch your hands to your face. If you wash your hands before you touch your face, voila, you have washed away the virus. Wash for over 20 seconds, and all surfaces of your hands. To protect others, put on your mask, then wash your hands, and your hands will have none of your own germs to share either.
  • Masks: Per the governor, we must wear masks if not able to maintain 6ft distance apart. I would go further and say if you are having a prolonged exposure (sitting 6ft apart talking for over an hour), you should still wear a mask even if you are 6 ft apart. The mask serves two main goals. 1) People with masks have a hard time touching their mouth and nose – so if you’re out and about, wear a mask so that you don’t touch something, and then touch your face, and 2) People who feel fine and have no symptoms won’t be breathing out more COVID-19 virus for others to catch. It’s springtime, so an accidental sneeze will happen, wearing a mask decreases the amount of particles you will launch into the ecosystem around you. Children over 3 should be able to wear a mask. If you, or your child, cannot tolerate wearing a mask please reduce your exposure to high density places, ie; go out early in the morning or in the early evening when it is less crowded. I never leave home without a mask, and have some in the car just in case. It should go without saying, but if you have any symptoms, please stay home. Contact your physician, and track your symptoms on a symptom tracker, such as this one linked here. 
  • Exercise: It is equally (if not even more) important to continue to get exercise. There is growing evidence that going outdoors, in a physically distanced way, is safe. Go for a physically distanced walk, go early in the morning or in the evening when it is less crowded. Running and cycling are safe and healthy. The evidence that someone running by you, or cycling by you is a threat is actually decreasing as it’s studied more. Again, prolonged exposure is the key. If someone walks/runs/bikes by, a good 6ft away, we are okay. This article gives further information. 
  • Infectiousness is the HIGHEST indoors, long exposure, often with shared meals, close contact, etc. I tell my friends and family, if you’re doing anything to repeatedly touch your face, in a group of people, you are increasing your risk of spreading and catching disease. This means that we may be far away from shared meals, and chips and dip companies are going to struggle. However, physically distanced picnics where everyone brings their own stuff, doesn’t share, and really remains physically distanced may be ok in SMALL groups (<10). Sitting next to someone in close proximity (closer than 6 ft) just breathing, for 50 minutes, is enough to spread enough droplets to cause infection. Talking increases droplets. If we are outside, far apart, it is much safer.
  • Outdoor play that involves sports and passing something from hand to hand would NOT be recommended. We often touch our face when we play sports, and then touching a ball or something that gets passed, is not a safe option. Something safer, may be kicking a ball back and forth (remaining distanced), or hoola hoop with marked spots for kids to stand on, etc, can be safe. I would impress upon everyone that supervision is key. We do tend to drift together, and I wouldn’t trust anyone to maintain the distance without some reminders.
  • Risk stratification: We cannot tell by looking at someone who is high risk and who is low risk for COVID-19. This is why distancing, masks and handwashing is important for everyone. Your healthy neighbor who runs marathons? Maybe she has a new heart valve, or maybe he just finished chemotherapy. Wearing a mask and keeping distance makes our neighbors who have high-risk conditions feel safer. We also cannot tell from a post or a glance who really is in danger living in isolation. If someone is reaching out, or asking for advice or help, they may not be safe in isolation. People need support for their mental and physical health. Again, there are risks to both COVID-19 and isolation, and navigating both while making everyone feel safe is the key. I always encourage people to reach out to their doctors. We have both telehealth and in-person visits available.
  • Innovation: we may be a long way off of “normal” but that doesn’t mean we need to stay trapped inside our homes. We can be safe if we use masks, distance and create new ways to socialize.

I am including these links to help you take a deeper look at risk and plan some safer activities.

One of the reasons we chose Milton when we were moving across the country was the sense of community, the diversity, and the academics. We will all be pressed to think in new ways in the next few months. As we continue to figure out how to navigate these new normals for ourselves and our families, it’s important that we realize that we are all on this adventure together, with different life contexts, and to add some grace with how we treat one another.

MaryAnn Dakkak, MD MSPH
Assistant Professor, Boston University
Hospitalist and Laborist at Boston Medical Center
Women’s Health Director at Manet Community Health Centers

SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES 

Milton Summer Enrichment: Thank you for your patience as we have navigated the new guidelines and what that means for summer programming here in Milton. With local health department guidance still encouraging social distancing, it is apparent to us that gathering our outstanding group of MSE students will not be possible this summer and so we are canceling Milton Summer Enrichment for summer 2020. We are incredibly sorry to disappoint the students, families, Red Shirts and teachers with this news. MSE is a hallmark of summer in the Milton Community and we cannot wait to have everyone back in 2021!

With gratitude, Cat DesRoche and Ellen Lohan, MSE Directors

Camp Cunningham: Milton Community Schools would like to thank you for your patience as we all navigate through uncertain times. Due to safety limitations imposed by the government and health officials, we have determined that we can’t provide the same experience we had originally planned for Camp Cunningham. We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel Camp Cunningham this summer. In our decision-making process, we acknowledged that with student and staff safety as the number one priority, MCS is not able to deliver a safe full day camp experience within the capacities and timeframe available to us. We are incredibly sorry to disappoint the students, families, and all the staff with this news. We appreciate how valuable Camp Cunningham is to the Milton Public Schools community and we cannot wait to have everyone back in Summer 2021!

Martha Sandoval
Milton Community Schools Director, Camp Cunningham Director

Special Education:  I hope this note continues to find you all well and safe during this extended closure. Rest assured I am working diligently on behalf of our children and families to bring you up to the moment information about summer services (ESY) for children in Special Education. As you know, this past Monday, Governor Baker announced the beginning of a multiphase reopening for Massachusetts. I have learned that we can expect to hear from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on how this phased opening will impact summer ESY services. Because we are not fully aware of what this guidance will be, I want to let you know that we are planning for multiple options: Full Remote Summer, Full In Person Summer and a Hybrid Program (where students have a combination of in person and remote services). Our goal, as I have stated, continues to be to begin ESY on July 6.

Anticipating that town wide programs will not be available in the same capacity that they have been in the past, we know how essential it is for our most fragile students to have ESY supports and services, and I am working closely with Bridget Rehenan, the summer ESY Program Director, to secure staff and plan multiple options.

On Friday, the Associate Commissioner for Education, Russell Johnston, will host his weekly Special Education Directors Zoom Meeting. It is my hope he will provide essential guidance this week so that Milton can finalize preparations for summer. If your child receives ESY on his or her IEP you will receive detailed information about what summer programming “looks like” when we receive this crucial guidance from DESE.

As always, please be in touch with any questions. Thank you and stay safe!
Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services
617/696-4470 x 5572

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be  on May 27 , 2020 at 7pm.  School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access TV or you can join the meeting remotely. Please see the School Committee agendas posted on the Town of Milton Website for remote access.

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT 

In the Spring of 2015, the Milton School Committee passed a Residency Policy that states students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9), and during other times as determined by the Superintendent or his/her designee.  The Residency Policy can be found here. 

As a parent/guardian of a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) for the next school year or if you presently have a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) who attends an educational program outside of town, you are required to complete the  Re-establish Residency Packet found here. This process is one of the safeguards used by the Milton Public Schools to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the Town of Milton. Although the re-registration process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the Town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us with ensuring residency compliance.

The district has designated Tuesday, May 26 to Friday, June 12 for the acceptance of Re-establish of Residency Packets. A letter has been sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

The Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here. Please submit your Re-establishment packet between May 26 and June 12 to the following email: residency@miltonps.org.

If you are unable to upload the required documents, please put all necessary documents in a sealed envelope and place in the lockbox which is located outside the main entrance of Milton High School.

Please email Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator at sburke@miltonps.org with any questions.

IMPORTANT MPS DATES

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, is a Muslim religious period that includes fasting from dawn until dusk.  The month of Ramadan ends with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.  Students who observe Ramadan will have an excused absence for any work that falls during the Eid al-Fitr celebration. Eid al-Fitr 2020 will begin in the evening of Saturday, May 23rd and ends in the evening of Sunday, May 24th. Further, I wish a generous Ramadan to all our Muslim students and families.

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches continue to be available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker.  ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

Yesterday we served 261 students, 3654 meals. Sweet potatoes, corn and grape tomatoes were the veggies this week.

The Milton Public Schools has been awarded a grant to offer weekly produce boxes to families. Starting next week, MPS will be handing out  produce boxes to all  families who pick up weekly breakfast and lunch bags!  Each box will contain carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine hearts, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe!

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email at jmorgan@miltonps.org or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna at mmckenna@miltonps.org or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

MHS students in Mixed and Treble Chorus tested out some “virtual” performances in preparation for creating a track of the National Anthem for MHS Graduation. Students recorded a small section of the song “Tshotsholoza” (Go Forward), a popular South African freedom song. Each individual track was mixed together to create this virtual choir performance. While singing remotely may be different than singing together, it is so nice to hear our student’s voices! You can hear our students below.

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A crew of more than 20 MHS teachers and staff made stealth deliveries again today, this time with lawn signs specific to each senior. The MHS Boosters, MHS Backstage Boosters, FAME, PTSFO and MHS all collaboarted  on these special lawn signs. We love seeing the smiling faces of our seniors all over town!

There are several ways you can support an MHS senior during this graduation season.

Clap Them Out: On Graduation Day, Sunday, June 7th at 7:20pm, we are asking that Milton residents stand in front of their homes (practicing social distancing) and cheer for 20 seconds in honor of Milton High School’s Class of 2020.

Adopt a Milton 2020 Senior:  Send them a letter, card, gift card, snack – you get the idea, anything to let them know just how proud we are of all their accomplishments. You can join the Facebook page here. If you do not have a Facebook account you can ask a friend to post on Facebook for you with your senior’s bio and picture or email Annellen Lydon at  lydonaev@gmail.com to have your student posted.

Paint the Town Red and White:  Starting June 1st, show your support by displaying Milton colors by decorating your door, fence or mailbox red and white. Display your Milton flag with pride. Wear read and white on June 7th, Graduation Day. Use any creative ways to show your support to our MPS seniors!

20MilesFor2020 Challenge: MHS Athletics would love you to join us in honoring the class of 2020 by participating in our #20MilesFor2020 Challenge. We are challenging members of the MPS Community to stay active and honor the seniors of this year’s graduating class between now and the end of May.

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce has developed a website to serve as a centralized location for accessing weekly content and assignments for students. Please click here to access the site.

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Mr. Fender’s 8th grade French language arts classes recently completed a “Life in Confinement” autobiography, written as a children’s book.

Students were tasked with writing about their new daily life and encouraged to focus on what makes them happy and healthy. They submitted autobiographical e-books containing a title page and at least 4 pages of the activities they do as a family, the work they do as students, and the socially distant/responsible ways they stay connected to each other. As a surprise to students, two classes in Arles, France were given the same task! Their teacher, Mme Karin Lopez, and Mr. Fender uploaded the e-books from all 4 classes to a virtual library for subsequent comparative studies. We’re hoping this will help contribute to a sense of global community! You can see the individual books in the link here.

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This week seven Pierce students participated in a virtual Rising Leaders Model United Nations conference. Students represented various countries including the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda, Uganda, the United States of America, France, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya. Students worked with delegates from other nations to address and solve topics such as promoting education in the DRC and addressing global wildfires. Students Jasmine Bethea, Taylor Xu, Eleanore Hegarty, Loren Johnson, Patrick Kelly, Leo Waldbaum, and William Malec participated in the event and William Malec won an award for best position paper. COVID-19 can’t stop diplomacy! Thank you to Ms. Augustyn for facilitating.

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7th grade artists in Mr. Manning’s class focused on contemporary artist Tara Donovan, who is known for making huge art installations with items like drinking straws and toothpicks. Students’ objectives were to create a sculpture using ordinary items and recycling materials found in their home. They used headbands, pennies and little toys, soda cans, and one student made himself into a knight using cardboard scraps.

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Last week members of Mr. Deschenes’ 8th grade Acting class participated in a live online session entitled “WarmUps for the Actor” with a guest artist from Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company. A second session with another teaching artist from the Huntington is scheduled for this week. Members of the Pierce Players will also be invited to this. The topic of this session was Script and Character Analysis.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

All elementary specialist teachers have live or recorded instructional videos each week on the elementary website. These sessions are being shared by the classroom teacher and being posted on the MPS Elementary At-Home Learning Website.  As well as finding the links to video lessons under your school’s “Weekly Specialists” option, students can continue to access supplemental resource material to enrich at home learning in specific subject areas.

Elementary Music Makers – are you doing the 30 Day Song Challenge?
We hope so! See this Message from your Elementary Music Teachers for details.

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1st grade students in Mme. Brown’s class recently read  a Gafi  story about a trip to Madagascar. Students then packed a  suitcase and learned about animals native to Madagascar. Many students created drawings or collages and learned how to make African masks. Mother’s Day in 1st grade brought memorized French poems and  lemon balms dropped off by Mme. Brown.  Students then planted them in their gardens.

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Our kindergarten students have been very busy developing their literacy skills!
Daily reading, writing, and phonics assignments encourage them to: build words and sentences; read and write sight words; read and respond to a variety of stories.
Keep up the great work kindergarteners! Below you can see Mrs. Kate’s and Mrs. Brandi’s classes in action.

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What’s Going on in String Ensemble? During each week of remote learning,  the Elementary String Ensemble has come together for a Google Meet. Students  share stories about the week, play team-building and content-specific games, perform solos and receive “compliment sandwiches,” and hold “silent rehearsals.” Due to the current technology, musicians at all levels are unable to perform together without encountering lag time between internet speeds. The Elementary String Ensemble has been using the “silent rehearsal” method as an attempt to make music together while being apart. All participants are on mute, except for the instructor, so that the musicians can hear only one musician as opposed to several musicians lagging the internet speed. This makes it easier  to start and end together, but lagging can still occur. Students are not able to perform music in sync, but are able to learn about new techniques for their instruments and ask questions when combined with a pre-recorded lesson. They have recorded a portion of last weeks’ session to share, for those of you who have been wondering how we can still come together as a team. You can watch and listen to the String Ensemble here.

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3rd grade students are concluding their Structures of Life science unit by studying the human skeletal system. Students learned that the human body is one of the most extraordinary systems in the whole world. It is designed for action and movement. Many of our body parts come into action when we perform different movements. To show how all of the bones in the skeletal system are connected and work together, students completed “Mr Bones” puzzles. Some students opted for digital puzzles, while others got creative with paper puzzles. Great job third graders!

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Mrs. Spitz and Mr. Rosner’s 3rd graders are  enjoying their new Bitmojis! Bitmojis are little avatars that look like us. Students are going on adventures with their Bitmojis just like in the book Flat Stanley.Our Bitmojis did crafts by heating up rocks in the oven and writing on them with crayon, made a lego creations, sat among ducklings and went on a visit to Collicot.

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This week, many Tucker and Glover students enjoyed a Q&A session with author Kwame Mbalia as he discussed his book, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, and learned about his process as a writer as well as his vision for his characters and the intriguing plot of the story.

This initiative is a product of the collaboration between Tucker and Glover’s Diversity Committees in an effort to introduce our students to diverse authors and perspectives. Special thanks to Sara Crowe and to many of the Glover and Tucker faculty for joining the meeting.  Also thank you to Sara Truog of the Milton Public Library for joining our discussion.

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Mrs. Gale’s 1st graders have been working on literacy skills during remote learning. Students have worked on 4th of July writing, submitting favorite books to the class slideshow, writing projects  and practicing sight words on Whiteboard Wednesday. You can see their hard work below.

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Calling all 5th graders! There are music opportunities ahead. To further assist with the transition to Pierce and the course offerings, our 3 middle school music teachers will be featured in your child’s Grade Five Remote Learning Music Lesson with Mrs. Allegrezza and Ms. Martin next week. Students will be able to virtually meet and listen as Mrs. Julia Hanna discusses the chorus program, Mrs. Debra Miller describes the strings program and Mr. Guillermo Ortiz talks about the band and general music program. Students are sure to be excited about the music staff and programs that await them next year at Pierce!

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Elementary music students will be making homemade instruments next week. This lesson opens discussion and critical thinking about the elements of how sound is produced, how to amplify a sound, and exploring the different families of instruments (strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion). The homemade music instruments can also assist your student in their weekly music lessons.
Below are some examples of DIY instruments. Some are more extensive than others so please know that it is encouraged to do what works for you and your family. Directions from these examples can be followed, or your student can come up with their own. Most of all – have fun! All details on the lesson can be found here. Thank you to these students for for sharing their examples of a homemade instrument.

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The Glover School has exciting news about their Mama Duck! You can get a sneak peak in the video linked here. 

CURRICULUM CHALLENGE 

Click here for this week’s math puzzles from MPS K-12 Math Director Brian Selig.

TRANSPORTATION 

Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year will open online at 8 am on June 1st and close on June 12th at midnight.

Please note that as the Milton Public Schools awaits guidance from Governor Baker and DESE regarding social distancing guidelines in schools and on school buses, bus fees will NOT be collected until actual bus assignments are made over the summer. Bus registration will not require payment of fees at this time. Fees will be assessed and bills emailed over the summer when guidelines and ridership numbers are in place.

The current MPS transportation policy states that in accordance with MA State Law, MPS guarantees transportation to and from school for all students in K-6th grade who live two miles or more from their assigned school, and the remaining seats are sold on a first come first served basis at a fee of $275 per rider with a family maximum of $550. Please note that registration for these remaining seats by June 12th does NOT guarantee a seat on the bus and that there were waiting lists on many routes during the 2019-2020 school year.

Due to the school closure, as part of the registration process families who paid a bus fee this year will have their refund of $90 per rider or $180 family maximum credited toward their bus fee for the upcoming school year. Families can request credits from students not riding in the upcoming year be credited toward siblings in the registration portal. Families that will NOT be registering to ride in the 2020-2021 school year or those who want their refunds now, will have the opportunity to request their refund in check form in a separate online link beginning June 1st as well.

Per MPS policy, any student with an outstanding Food Services bill greater than $20.00 is not allowed to register for any fee-based program (including bus service) until that balance has been paid off. Please contact Director of Nutrition Services Jackie Morgan to settle your food service bill if needed.

Students entering Grades 6 and 9 in the fall will need to complete their residency re-establishment online prior to being issued a bus pass over the summer. You may register for the bus without re-establishing residency but the pass will not be issued until re-establishment is complete.

A bus registration letter and link will be sent next week. Thank you and please direct any transportation questions to Rachel Schewe at bus@miltonps.org.

STUDENT REGISTRATION

During the School Closure, Registrar Sarina Burke will be registering students online when applicable. Effective immediately, the Milton Public Schools will be accepting online registrations for students enrolling for:

  • The remainder of the 2019-20 school year
  • Kindergarten for the 2020 -21 school year
  • Students enrolled in private Kindergarten and wish to enroll their child in Grade 1 in the Milton Public schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

Please do not delay in registering your student in the above categories. As we plan for the 2020-21 school year, accurate numbers are important for staffing and logistics. All other registrations for the school year 2020-2021 will be conducted in July and August 2020. Please visit our registration page for all details on student registration and to register your student who falls into the above categories.

MSAPC 

The fourth in a series of webinars for the Milton community, titled Addiction: Prevention and Hope for Recovery, is on Wednesday, May 27th at 7pm.  The founder and CEO of Learn to Cope, Joanne Peterson, will share what she has learned through her years of helping families who have loved ones struggling with addiction. Potential risky behaviors and warning signs of substance abuse will be explored, as well as what we all can do to support ourselves, our relatives, and our neighbors when a family member becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

LIBRARY RESOURCES 

MHS Librarian JT Troy shares this information about the Everywhere Book Festival.

As schools across the country closed for the remainder of the year, author and illustrator events were being cancelled as well. In an effort to connect with young readers, Ellen Oh and Christina Soontornvat gathered colleagues together to create the Everywhere Book Festival. The online event was held May 1st-2nd and was promoted as a, “Virtual celebration of authors, books, and readers that brings the book festival experience to everyone”.

If you have a reader in your household and missed the festival live you can catch all the recordings on their website or YouTube Channel. Happy Reading!

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Elementary librarian Josh Coben will host storytime programs on Milton Public Access TV. “Stories out of School” will air in two half-hour segments, “Mr. Coben’s Schoolhouse” (lower elementary) and “Bookquest Milton” (upper elementary). Picture books, chapter books, and poetry will be on the menu, served up by Mr. Coben and school staff guest readers. Our first episodes will feature books by the late Rebecca Bond, a gifted children’s author-illustrator and Cunningham parent.

Episodes will air back-to-back every day from 9:00-10:00 AM and 4:00-5:00 PM on Milton TV’s Education channel, Comcast channel 022 and RCN channel 015. New episodes will air on Mondays and Thursdays, with repeats on the days in between. Check listings for additional airtimes during the day. If you’re not able to catch the broadcasts, most programs will be available on Milton TV’s Video on Demand website.

Click on the links for a sneak peak at the intros for Mr. Coben’s Schoolhouse and Bookquest Milton!

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Glover teachers were “Hungry for a Good Book” this week. You can see how they satisfied their cravings in the video below!

COUNSELORS CORNER 

Each week, one of our MPS  Counselors will share information or resources. Last week,  Collicot and Pierce School Psychologist Lauren Marley wrote to the MPS community. This week, Anya Samuels, School Psychologist PreK-12,  checks in below.

It is nearing the end of May and by now you have heard all the suggestions about keeping structure, outdoor time, practicing gratitude , etc. Everyone is tired of the tips, the reminders to enjoy the special family time, and is feeling the full “quarantine fatigue”. I have heard parents feel like they are supposed to be homeschooling and are failing at it. Or they joke that they just feel like their child’s personal assistant (“Sir, you have a meeting at 9 and a Google Form due by 12. Do you want me to move the 11:00 video conference with Grandma or make it a lunch meeting?”) I have heard from parents that their kids are resisting going outside, overwhelmed by their classmates on the screen, and are pushing back against anything resembling schoolwork. This is all okay. I know parents are reminding their kids (and each other) that they should just be grateful for their health and safe quarantine environment. The easiest and perhaps most successful response (no battles necessary) is simply validating them with empathy. Show your child that you are struggling too and understand. Tell them the things you miss right now…the coworkers you wish you could hug… the restaurants you wish you could go inside. When they say they don’t want to go outside on a beautiful day, tell them about a time you wanted to stay under the covers. You’ll notice their surprise when they see you share this instead of negotiating.

I love the train/tunnel analogy for any overwhelming emotion. Difficult feelings are tunnels and we are the trains. Suppressing emotions, numbing or talking ourselves out of it teaches children that they are not supposed to show negative feelings. Our instinct is to say, “You’re okay!” but we are not teaching resilience or showing empathy. We tell ourselves we shouldn’t complain or cry, or feel our negative emotions. We think our job as parents is to stop the crying as quickly as possible. But the only way to get to that light at the end of the tunnel is to drive our way through.

I try to think of this when my toddler is mid-meltdown, and find that when I just hold him through the screams (much easier now that we are never in public), it ends more quickly than when I try to negotiate or redirect. My eardrums may still ring for the next hour, and I can visualize a new gray hair forming at my scalp, but it is worth seeing him experience both his disappointment and his ability to move on. This process, I am certain, he will need to practice throughout his life.

Dr. Rebecca Branstetter reminds us that connection is the most important, not keeping a structured schedule or comparing against those less fortunate so we can feel more grateful. She writes, “In stressful times, children will be protected if they are connected. When all this is done and our kids go back to their schools, we can have given them the gift of connection and some new social-emotional and problem-solving skills.”

Hang in there, and we will all reach the end of this tunnel, as long and dark as it may seem. Even if our eardrums and (natural) hair color will never be the same.

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure students.

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.  

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Brookwood Community Farm SNAP CSA shares application: Brookwood Community Farm is currently accepting applications for SNAP CSA shares separately for Summer and/or for Fall.  It will be a half share, collected every 2 weeks, where $40/month is deducted through EBT (while HIP puts $40 back on their account).  Any questions can be directed to president@brookwoodcommunityfarm.org or call the farm phone which is 339-502-0826.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will NOT be open this Saturday, May 23rd.  The pantry has shifted to an every other Saturday schedule.  

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses. 

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION/HEALTH 

Noel Vigue, Director of Health and Physical Education, shares the following.

Fostering healthy behaviors, staying active, and eating nutritiously at home are vital for children’s development for many reasons. Practicing health at home:

  • Helps build resilience and the ability to better manage stressors
  • Helps prevent disease and boosts the immune system
  • Reinforces lessons learned at school 

When kids are out of school for any reason, whether it’s the weekend, a holiday break, or a school closure, parents and caregivers can use these activities and resources to keep their kids moving, learning and eating healthy.   

Exercise regularly (see CDC recommendations) and try to get outside every day (while practicing social distancing and following MA and local guidelines) weather permitting.

ART AND MUSIC  

If you are missing hearing our talented students, we have some good news for you!  The MHS Virtual Cabaret is online and can be found here. This is the first of two Cabarets that will be released. Enjoy!

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Every day is “Celebrate a Musical Senior Day” on the FAME  Facebook page. We sure miss hearing our musicians play together, but we know they are making beautiful music at home. Let’s celebrate them here!

The MHS Theatre Boosters and Mr. Black have created a shout out for each graduating senior in the theatre program to take their “final bow”. We applaud them here!

ATHLETICS

Senior Student-Athlete Spotlight
Each day we will spotlight our senior student-athletes from the spring season. Our student-athletes have worked for years towards their senior year. Some are captains, some are playing their last competitive season, others were looking for a 3rd straight State Title. Social Distancing will without a doubt save lives, but for our student-athletes, right now, it still hurts to miss out on their final season. Let’s give them the recognition they deserve! Here are this week’s highlights.

Maggie Haley: As a member of the Crew Team, Maggie has held up the team through fall, winter and spring. A winter/spring rower, Maggie has, nevertheless, popped into a boat in the fall and raced for us as a sub for missing rowers! One call, and Maggie showed up! She’s led not only by example, but also by inclusion, engagement and imagination.

Anna Kennedy: Anna is one of the better athletes in the school. She played Field Hockey, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, and was set to run her second season of Outdoor Track this spring. Her winning attitude is contagious among her teammates, but her sarcasm and sense of humor lightens the mood when necessary. Especially as an Assistant Captain for the Hockey Team, she took each game and practice seriously and made sure her teammates did as well. She would never shy away from a challenge and that attitude will be tough to replicate next season.

Jason Cardoso: Jason’s deceptive speed on the wing leave many a defender tackling air. His gentle spirit goes into beast mode when defending our half of the field. He was a great impact player during the last two season in the team’s back-to-back State Championships! Part of a senior class that could have won three straight titles! Best of luck to Jason next year!

COMMUNITY NEWS 

The neighborhood of Smith Road, Beacon Street, Beacon Street Circle and Carlson Road showed their appreciation to their neighbors,  MGH Nurse Patty Harris and MGH Dr. Trish Guglietta this week. We are all so grateful to our frontline healthcare workers!

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The 43rd Annual Milton 10K/5K Road Race – VIRTUAL EDITION – will be held June 8 – 14, 2020!

As marathons and races across the globe are being postponed, cancelled or transformed during the pandemic, we have made the decision to run the 43rd Annual Milton Road Race as a virtual event. Why are we running? This race, through the collective generosity of you, your neighbors and local businesses, has enabled scholarships for Milton high school students and grants for local community service organizations in Milton for 42 years. All details on this virtual road race can be found here! Please consider signing up at this link  to run soon. All details can be found here.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on May 21, 2020

May 14, 2020

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: May 14, 2020

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

As we look ahead to the next five and a half weeks of remote learning in the Milton Public Schools, I want to take a moment to discuss and reframe some of the expectations we have for our students.

As the school closure has twice been extended, there have been 3 phases of remote learning in MPS with the most recent phase beginning this past week. With this final phase of remote learning, we are shifting the language around student expectations. Our goal is 100% student participation in 100% of the meetings, lessons and activities offered by classroom teachers and specialists every week. As Commissioner Riley wrote in a recent letter, “We understand that some families are experiencing financial strain, job and food insecurity, mental and physical health issues, or other difficulties and academics may not be the primary focus right now.  At the same time, we need to be sure that students are attentive to the critical skills and knowledge they need to move on to the next level.  There is a balance between “holding students harmless” for circumstances beyond their control while still holding them accountable for work and performance.” Simply put, this means that while we know there may be extenuating circumstances in your home and we will accommodate those as we always have, we highly encourage, and the expectation is, full participation in all classroom meetings, lessons and activities. Teachers will be giving timely feedback on all work submitted, just as they would during a regular school week.

As outlined in a recent blog post,  your child should be experiencing more teacher-facing online opportunities, from both their classroom and specialist teachers, as well as  regular office hours or study halls so that your child has live access to their core teacher(s) on a regular basis. This will continue through the last day of school on June 23rd.

Commissioner Riley sent a letter to all parents and guardians on May 8th outlining the phases of remote learning. I encourage you to read it in the link here. As always, I appreciate your continued partnership and invite you to contact your child’s teacher or principal with any comments or concerns about your child’s school experience.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The next School Committee meeting will be  on May 27 , 2020 at 7pm.  School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access TV or you can join the meeting remotely. Please see the School Committee agendas posted on the Town of Milton Website for remote access.

RESIDENCY RE-ESTABLISHMENT 

In the Spring of 2015, the Milton School Committee passed a Residency Policy that states “students who are enrolled in the Milton Public Schools shall be required to re-establish residency prior to entering grades six and nine as well as Milton Public School students who attend school out-of-town.*” The Residency Policy can be found here. 

Families who have students in these categories are required to complete the Re-establish Residency Packet found here and provide all necessary documentation. This process is one of the safeguards used by the Milton Public Schools to ensure that all students enrolled in our schools are residents of the town of Milton. Although the re-establsihment process may be an inconvenience for some families, we hope that residents understand that this is a valuable tool to protect taxpayers in the town of Milton. We work year-round on residency issues and this is simply one more method to assist us with ensuring residency compliance.

The district has designated Monday May 25th to Friday June 12th  2020, for the acceptance of Re-establish of Residency Packets. An email will be sent next week to all families who must re-establish residency. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

The Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here. Please submit your Re-establishment between May 25th and June 12th package to the following email: residency@miltonps.org.

If you are unable to upload the required documents, please put all necessary documents in a sealed envelope and place in the lockbox which is located outside the main entrance of Milton High School.

Please email Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator at sburke@miltonps.org with any questions.

A NOTE FROM THE NURSE 

MPS Director of Nurses, Kim Coughlin, shares the following information.

This week marks two months since we began remote learning and self-isolating to comply with the Governor’s stay-at-home order.

As of next week the Governor has announced gradual re-openings in some areas, but we still could be more than a year away from life returning to normal. Experts agree that we will need to continue with social distancing and wear masks when we may come within 6 feet of others. Here are some links from the CDC in regards to social distancing- the “Tips for Social Distancing” is especially helpful and gives guidance on the how/ why this is important. It also gives a simple, easy explanation of the correct way to wear and clean face coverings and how to make them at home.

IMPORTANT MPS DATES

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, is a Muslim religious period that includes fasting from dawn until dusk.  The month of Ramadan ends with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.  Students who observe Ramadan will have an excused absence for any work that falls during the Eid al-Fitr celebration. Eid al-Fitr 2020 will begin in the evening of Saturday, May 23rd and ends in the evening of Sunday, May 24th. Further, I wish a generous Ramadan to all our Muslim students and families.

FOOD SERVICE

Weekly to-go bags with  7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8-9am and 5-6pm at MHS and Tucker. These FREE 7  day to-go bags contain low sugar cereal, shelf stable milk, sunbutter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and snack bags. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.  As of yesterday, we have served 25,082 meals to students since remote learning began on March 16th!

If you would like to apply for Free and Reduced meals, for once school is back in session please see this link for the application and more information. These weekly to-go bags of breakfasts and lunches are available to ALL Milton students during the school closing.

If you have a hardship and are in need of more convenient hours for pick up, please contact Food Service Director Jackie Morgan via email at jmorgan@miltonps.org or phone at 617-898-1051. MPS families in need of support during this time are also encouraged to email MPS Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna at mmckenna@miltonps.org or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS  

MHS student Edward Enyedy’s process video for one of his AP Art Portfolio pieces based on Hercules 12 Labors is worth the watch. You can see this talented artist in action below!

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The Elephant in the Room has produced it’s first-ever digital issue. Thank you to all who have been involved in keeping the student newspaper alive during the school closure. Contributing to this issue included  Will Scannell , Charlotte Lawrence , Ralph Destin, Brandon Seeto, Matthew Sullivan, Elliot Cargill, Isabel Murley, Claire Walko, Ian Lundeen, Joe Krueger, Katie Wrightington, Molly Strout, Taliah Gabriel  and advisor Mr. Young. You can read the digital edition here! 

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The MHS PTSFO and MHS Athletics have several ways you can support an MHS season during this graduation season.

Adopt a Milton 2020 Senior:  Send them a letter, card, gift card, snack – you get the idea, anything to let them know just how proud we are of all their accomplishments. You can join the Facebook page here. If you do not have a Facebook account you can ask a friend to post on Facebook for you with your senior’s bio and picture or email Annellen Lydon at  lydonaev@gmail.com to have your student posted.

Paint the Town Red and White:  Starting June 1st, show your support by displaying Milton colors by decorating your door, fence or mailbox red and white. Display your Milton flag with pride. Wear read and white on June 7th, Graduation Day. Use any creative ways to show your support to our MPS seniors! 

20MilesFor2020 Challenge: MHS Athletics would love you to join us in honoring the class of 2020 by participating in our #20MilesFor2020 Challenge. We are challenging members of the MPS Community to stay active and honor the seniors of this year’s graduating class between now and the end of May. Here is how you can participate:

  • Choose a day between now and May 31st to complete 20 miles of walking, running, biking, hiking, etc.
  • You can complete all 20 miles on your own or as part of a relay team that works remotely with one another to complete the challenge. Get your friends, sports team, club, music group, or family to join you! Split up the mileage among team members and have some fun!
  • Snap a selfie or picture of the mileage on your watch/phone/bike and tag @MHS_Wildcats_ on Twitter using the hashtag #20MilesFor2020 to show your support!

PIERCE PAGES   

Pierce has developed a website to serve as a centralized location for accessing weekly content and assignments for students. Please click here to access the site.

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Congratulations to this year’s winners of the  Pierce STEM Fair! Please join us in congratulating the following students:

Best Design Engineering Project

  • William Rhee and Dominic Schettino, Grade 6 – Could We Design Hover Cars to Help Stop Global Warming?

Best Experimental Project

  • 1st place: Lilly Oslin, Grade 7- Will planting seeds or plants in soil reduce the amount of soil erosion?
  • 2nd place: Sydney Burns and Isabella Lee, Grade 7 – Does it matter what you say or how you say it? Which makes the biggest impact?
    3rd place: Ryan Denny, Grade 6 – How does the design of a bridge affect the amount of weight it can hold?

Honorable Mention for Scientific Experimentation

  • Chidubem Unamka and Edidiong Ebong, Grade 7 – How do different fuels affect the height of a bottle rocket in flight?
  • Madison Sison, Grade 6 – Which fabric burns quickest?

Honorable Mention for Outstanding Presentation: The judges want to recognize these students who impressed us with their ability to not only speak about their projects but also answer questions with a level of scientific expertise that exceeded expectations.

  • Cora Redmond, Grade 8 – Is there a correlation between musical background and the ability to sing in-tune?
  • Kyle Denny, Grade 8 – What is the most efficient type of battery for storing electrical energy in a power grid?

We had several students who were planning to represent the Pierce at the next level of competition, the Region V Science Fair at Regis College. Unfortunately, the fair was cancelled, but we would like to recognize: William Rhee, Dominic Schettino, Ryan Denny, Ella Cantor, Sydney Burns, Isabella Lee, Chidubem Unamka, Edidiong Ebong and Kyle Denny.

Pierce also had four students who were selected as winners in the Cambridge Science Festival’s Curiosity Challenge. In addition to receiving a certificate of recognition, the student’s entries will be published in a book. We can’t wait to see their wonderings in print! Congratulations to 6th graders Emma Dhima, Charlotte Garrity and  Fiona Tobin and 7th grader Ruby Dolgon!

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

All elementary district wide learning opportunities can be found on the Elementary At-Home Learning Opportunities website, which is linked on each school website as well as the MPS website.

All elementary specialist teachers have live or recorded instructional videos each week on the elementary website. These sessions are being shared by the classroom teacher and being posted on the MPS Elementary At-Home Learning Website.  As well as finding the links to video lessons under your school’s “Weekly Specialists” option, students can continue to access supplemental resource material to enrich at home learning in specific subject areas.

We found this  Etiquitte for Online Learning video to be helfpful in setting expectations and hope you will take a minute to watch with your child.

Elementary Music Makers – are you doing the 30 Day Song Challenge?
We hope so! See this Message from your Elementary Music Teachers for details.

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Glover student’s in Mrs.McCarthy’s 1st grade class recent social studies lesson was about the American Flag and the symbols associated with it. Students were then asked to design their own flag and share what the symbols represent.

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This week’s elementary art lesson is about the art element Value. Value is how light or dark a color is, as well as light and dark on objects, including shadows. Students were asked to design their own ice cream cone and practice using value to color it in using any materials they may have at home.

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Thank you to Cunningham parnet Elena Stoeva who taught an amazing video art class last week  for Cunningham teachers and their families for teacher appreciation week.

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Cunningham 5th graders enjoyed a surprise visit this week as teachers delivered their 5th grade t-shirts. Thank you to Mrs. Chen, Ms. Germano, Mrs. Harkins, Mrs. Hunt, Mrs. Joyce, Ms. Macomber, Mrs. McClain, Mrs. McDonough, Ms. Morton, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Nolan, Ms. Watrous and Mrs. Zoll for making deliveries Happy smiles all around!

CURRICULUM CHALLENGE 

Click here for this week’s math puzzles from MPS K-12 Math Director Brian Selig.

TRANSPORTATION 

Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year will open online at 8 am on June 1st and close on June 12th at midnight.

Please note that as the Milton Public Schools awaits guidance from Governor Baker and DESE regarding social distancing guidelines in schools and on school buses, bus fees will NOT be collected until actual bus assignments are made over the summer. Bus registration will not require payment of fees at this time. Fees will be assessed and bills emailed over the summer when guidelines and ridership numbers are in place.

The current MPS transportation policy states that in accordance with MA State Law, MPS guarantees transportation to and from school for all students in K-6th grade who live two miles or more from their assigned school, and the remaining seats are sold on a first come first served basis at a fee of $275 per rider with a family maximum of $550. Please note that registration for these remaining seats by June 12th does NOT guarantee a seat on the bus and that there were waiting lists on many routes during the 2019-2020 school year.

Due to the school closure, as part of the registration process families who paid a bus fee this year will have their refund of $90 per rider or $180 family maximum credited toward their bus fee for the upcoming school year. Families can request credits from students not riding in the upcoming year be credited toward siblings in the registration portal. Families that will NOT be registering to ride in the 2020-2021 school year or those who want their refunds now, will have the opportunity to request their refund in check form in a separate online link beginning June 1st as well.

Per MPS policy, any student with an outstanding Food Services bill greater than $20.00 is not allowed to register for any fee-based program (including bus service) until that balance has been paid off. Please contact Director of Nutrition Services Jackie Morgan to settle your food service bill if needed.

Students entering Grades 6 and 9 in the fall will need to complete their residency re-establishment online prior to being issued a bus pass over the summer. You may register for the bus without re-establishing residency but the pass will not be issued until re-establishment is complete.

Thank you and please direct any transportation questions to Rachel Schewe at bus@miltonps.org.

STUDENT REGISTRATION

During the School Closure, Registrar Sarina Burke will be registering students online when applicable. Effective immediately, the Milton Public Schools will be accepting online registrations for students enrolling for:

  • The remainder of the 2019-20 school year
  • Kindergarten for the 2020 – 21 school year
  • Students enrolled in private Kindergarten and wish to enroll their child in Grade 1 in the Milton Public schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

Please do not delay in registering your student in the above categories. As we plan for the 2020-21 school year, accurate numbers are important for staffing and logistics.

All other registrations for the school year 2020-2021 will be conducted in July and August 2020.

Please visit our registration page for all details on student registration and to register your student who falls into the above categories.

MSAPC 

The MSAPC is offering Webinar Wednesdays this month. Each webinar in the Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesdays series is approximately 30 minutes long with a question and answer period to follow. They are free and no registration is required. All of the webinars can be accessed by entering this address into your computer’s or phone’s browser: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.

Next Wednesday, May 20th at 7pm, the webinar is titled, “Hidden in Plain Sight”. 

The situation presented to us by COVID-19 comes at a time when tobacco companies are adjusting to the new legal landscape of vaping in Massachusetts.  We are seeing new, emerging products that are targeted at youth.  In part 1 of this webinar, find out about these products, what they do and what they look like, from a presentation by Mary Cole, of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership.  She will also review how vaping has shown to complicate COVID-19 infections as well as discuss free cessation resources for those who want to quit.  

In part 2, Stormy Leung, MSAPC’s Project Coordinator will take you on a virtual tour of a mock teenage bedroom.  Do you know where the drugs and alcohol might be hidden?  Are there clues here that might indicate drug or alcohol use?  Finally, she will share some prevention tips and resources for families.  

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.

TECHNOLOGY 

You can find all technology  resources about Google Classroom, Plus Portals, Study Island and Chromebooks in this document. 

Are you looking for support with parental controls over your home network?  If so, please check out Common Sense Media’s Parents Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls . Also, if you have Xfinity by Comcast here is information they provide.

LIBRARY RESOURCES 

Elementary librarian Josh Coben will host storytime programs on Milton Public Access TV starting on Monday, May 18. “Stories out of School” will air in two half-hour segments, “Mr. Coben’s Schoolhouse” (lower elementary) and “Bookquest Milton” (upper elementary). Picture books, chapter books, and poetry will be on the menu, served up by Mr. Coben and school staff guest readers. Our first episodes will feature books by the late Rebecca Bond, a gifted children’s author-illustrator and Cunningham parent.

Episodes will air back-to-back every day from 9:00-10:00 AM and 4:00-5:00 PM on Milton TV’s Education channel, Comcast channel 022 and RCN channel 015. New episodes will air on Mondays and Thursdays, with repeats on the days in between. Check listings for additional airtimes during the day. If you’re not able to catch the broadcasts, most programs will be available on Milton TV’s Video on Demand website.

Click on the links for a sneak peak at the intros for Mr. Coben’s Schoolhouse and Bookquest Milton!

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Pierce Librarian Jess Royster shares the following. Looking for ways to entertain your students (or yourself)? Do you feel like your life is lacking culture while self isolating? There is a simple solution to that! Check out different museum websites! You can travel far to the Louvre, or stay local at the Museum of Fine Arts or the Boston Museum of Science. All of these websites are offering online gallery tours, articles, music and more.

If you are more into cultural sites, then you can travel the world using Google maps street view and Google Earth. The National Park Service is offering virtual tours of historic sites, monuments and our beautiful national parks.

COUNSELORS CORNER 

Each week, one of our MPS  Counselors will share information or resources. Last week,  Mr. Cadet from Tucker wrote to the MPS community. This week,  Collicot and Pierce School Psychologist Layren Marley checks in below.

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis I have applied several strategies that promote my own self- care, while also supporting my children’s and students’ needs during this pandemic. However, one area that tends to fall lower on my priority list is my relationship with my significant other. Each and every one of us has our own unique situation that looks very different not only from family to family, but even within our family, change occurs day to day. This new normal has added more levels of stress and could possibly contribute to more disagreements that weren’t present prior to coronavirus. For example the breakdown of communication can cause disagreements in some of these areas: home learning/teaching practices, creating new routines, balancing work and virtual meetings among everyone in the household, best ways to communicate with our children about the virus, or how much technology should be allotted each day. This past week it was evident that me and my husband’s stamina had run out and we both were running on empty. The lack of energy and added stress resulted in heightened levels of frustration and being easily annoyed with each other. I realized that self-care is key to successfully getting through the home challenges of this pandemic, but maintaining a healthy relationship and connecting with my significant other is equally important. It was then that we started putting to practice some skills and strategies that I have learned in the past many years working in my field. These strategies helped bring balance back to our relationship with each other which in turn helped us to better support our family. Here are some tips that we found helpful and I hope that you will find them helpful too!

Tips to Nurture Partner Care

  1. Perspective is Everything-Sometimes it can feel that with all of this added stress and disruption your relationship is the crisis, when in reality your relationship is just living through a crisis. Talk about past relationship victories to remind yourselves of how you persevered through prior challenges, which confirms your resiliency as a couple. 
  2. Amp up the Communication– The more stress that is placed on a relationship, the more the communication needs to increase. This needs to be intentional, supportive, and constructive.

Discuss needs with daily check ins. This can be as simple as one word check ins (e.g. tired, energized, frustrated) and can be done with all members of the family.  

Family Gap Plan-Ever since we have been social distancing and remote learning, it seems like we are working harder than we ever have. Some days it seems that we are being asked to give more than what we are physically and/or emotionally able to give. Dr. Brene Brown developed the family gap plan which allows the family to bridge the gap that is caused by these stressful and challenging times. For example my husband may be at a 30% and I may be at a 30%, and we need to come together to see how we will make up the 40% by establishing some family guidelines and supports. For that day it may include: schoolwork/teaching time is going to be reduced by half, no harsh words or critiques, allowing everyone a 15 minute alone downtime, and extra hugs and compliments.  Every family is different and their plans will have different supports. Depending on the day, even plans/supports that have been successful in the past, may need some tweaking. Thus making those daily check ins necessary and meaningful.  

  1. Date Nights. Get Creative!– At least twice a month my husband and I plan a night where we set up a movie for our kids, and we have a home date. Plan a time to watch your favorite show or movie, get dressed up, or play a game. My sister recently found a creative way to hold a home date by working around her toddlers naptime. While parked in the driveway, her daughter slept in the car seat, as she and her husband enjoyed some delivered food in their car.  It is important to reframe date night expectations. We have accepted that our date nights look different from those prior to covid and now include the interruption of our kids asking for snacks every 30 minutes, or a sibling argument that needs to be resolved!  In reframing our expectations, we can still enjoy the time we set aside for each other. 
  2. Gratitude– Simply taking the time to thank your partner or family members can make a huge impact! Studies show that when people practice expressing gratitude, they have higher levels of optimism, increased life satisfaction, and decreased negative feelings. Additionally, people who regularly express gratitude appreciate close relationships and feel better about life and work. Remember that gratitude is not about comparison, but rather looking at your life and finding what you can be appreciative for.

You all are doing an amazing job. Remember to find the positives and take time out of your day to smile and laugh with one another. This pandemic will come to an end, and if we focus on the well-being of ourselves, our relationships, and our community, we will all be stronger because of it!

FAMILY RESOURCES 

Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are 8-9am and 5-6pm at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure students.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will be open this Saturday, May 16th from 9:15 – 11:15am with pre-bagged food ready to go for anyone that is in need. 

Interfaith Social Services Pantry ShelfIf you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10-11:45am and Wednesdays 5-7pm for families in need during this difficult time.  

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here. 

Financial Support:  Milton Residents Fund MRF Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses. 

Support Services: The BRYT (Bridge For Resilient Youth in Transition) Family Engagement Team is offering support to families to help manage these difficult times during the state school suspension.  Parent Support Group ; Parent Support Webinar; COVID-19 ; Community Resources; Facebook – BRYT offers a closed Facebook group for peer to peer support. Come talk with parents who are going through similar situations. Just search “BRYT Family Support” and ask to join.

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military Connected Students can be found on Tutor.com/military.

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies 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.

ART AND MUSIC 

The instrumental Applied Lessons Program has been continuing virtually through this time. Our students have been engaged in video lessons and recitals with their teacher and peers. Recently, one of our flute teachers Ms. Chu held a recital with her elementary flute students!

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Every day is “Celebrate a Musical Senior Day” on the FAME  Facebook page. We sure miss hearing our musicians play together, but we know they are making beautiful music at home. Let’s celebrate them here!

Josh Riggs Chorus- Bass, Ensembles:​ ​Mixed Chorus, Select Chorus, Numerous after school ensembles.

  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? Spending hours after school in the chorus room writing music with my friend and just having fun making songs.
  • What are your future plans?I plan on teaching dance while pursuing a degree in physics.
  • What has music meant to you? It’s given me an outlet through which I could express myself, It gave me a community in which I felt I belonged.
  • What are you listening to now?​ ​Hip hop/Rap

Bjonnce Morris  Band- Alto Saxophone – Ensembles:​ ​Concert Band, Pep Band

  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? My first time volunteering at the Senior District was very memorable.
  • What are your future plans? I’m going to study Business but Music will always be a part of my daily life.
  • What has music meant to you? Music is what I really revolve around.
  • What are you listening to now?​ ​A Classical Strings Playlist

Kathryn McCarthy Band- Clarinet; Ensembles:​ ​Concert Band, Marching Band

  • What are you listening to now? Oldies from the early 2000’s
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? All of the band camps for marching band! from the sweltering heat to pouring rain, we were always able to laugh and make jokes with each other while learning a show that would keep everyone entertained for the fall season.
  • What are your future plans? Suffolk University- Biochemistry
  • What has music meant to you? Music has been a part of my life since I was born and I am grateful for that. It has helped build me into the person I am today. Music also has the ability to brighten my day in any situation and I am proud that I now have the ability to play an instrument and will always have that ability.

Mikey McCarthy Chorus- Tenor Ensembles:​ ​Mixed Chorus

  • What are you listening to now? Michael Buble
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? My favorite memory of the department is always the music banquet. I love that one night all the music students come together to celebrate each other.
  • What are your future plans? I will be attending college next year but I have not decided which one yet, I will be studying stage management and technical theatre.
  • What has music meant to you?Music has always meant a lot for me. I never found myself truly enjoying myself playing on the field or court, but I always enjoyed music. I have been tap dancing for 15 years and it has been the most important part of my life since I started. Music has always been about making friends, doing what you love, and being who you want to be.

Danielle Needham Band- Percussion; Ensembles:​ ​Percussion Ensemble, Concert Band, Pep Band

  • What are you listening to now? Metal
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? My favorite memory is freshman year, during the band photo, the percussion section held up all their instruments, including a bass drum, crash cymbals, bells, etc.
  • What are your future plans? Xavier University
  • What has music meant to you? Music is a way to express yourself and release all the stress and confusion of the world. Music does not always make sense and that’s the fun of it, it doesn’t have to! Music can mean whatever you want it to.

Rowan Leggett Band/Jazz-Alto Saxophone; Ensembles:​ ​Band, Jazz 1 and 2, Marching Band, Mixed After School Chorus, Acapella, Saxophone Quartet

  • What are you listening to now?Jazz and Pop
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? Taking part in the musical for the first time and meeting such an accepting and friendly group of people.
  • What are your future plans? I want to pursue a career in musical theatre and will be attending Temple University.
  • What has music meant to you? Music has been everything to me. It helped me through the more difficult times in my life, and has given me a career that I feel truly passionate about.

Kate Possi Strings- Cello, Jazz- Guitar;  Ensembles:​ ​MHS String Ensemble, MHS Jazz Band, MHS Marching Band, and MHS Percussion Ensemble

  • What are you listening to now? Jazz Guitarist Emily Remler and Singer/Songwriter Julia Jacklin
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? Going to MICCA and being a part of the MHS Marching Band!
  • What are your future plans? I intend on pursuing a career in Music Education at the University of New Hampshire.
  • What has music meant to you? Music has introduced me to an incredible group of people and it has given me an outlet to share my art and what I’m passionate about with the people I care about.

Ava Duggan Band/Jazz- Clarinet; Ensembles:​ ​Jazz, Marching Band, Band

  • What are you listening to now? A lot of alternative/classic rock
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? The music trip to New York, one of the best parts was the bus trip, everyone was packed together for so long but we all got to know each other and entertained each other.
  • What are your future plans? I am attending Northeastern University to major in Public Health Science and will be running cross country and track/field.
  • What has music meant to you? Music has been a way for me to meet amazing people and develop a strong work ethic through doing something I love. I have seen many levels of musicianship throughout high school, and it has been inspiring how music has been able to develop a student’s character, such as my own. In the music department, everyone is willing to be anyone’s friend. Music has given me a new outlook on how one thing can bring so many people together and create relationships that will last forever.

Christina Akut Band- Percussion; Ensembles:​ ​Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, Pep Band

  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? Toronto Trip.
  • What are your future plans? Attend Emmanuel College on a Pre-med track.
  • What has music meant to you? Music has always been a place where I can be creative and not have to worry about having the “right” answer.
  • What are you listening to now? Of Heroes and Demons (of course) and country and pop.

Aidan Guilderson Band- Bassoon Ensembles:​ ​Mixed Chorus (1 year), Concert Band (3 years), Marching Band (3 years), Boys Chorus (1 year), X-mas Carolers (1 year)

  • What are you listening to now? Showtunes
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? First time meeting Mrs Damiani and asking her to play the oboe, then getting a bassoon and trying to play it for the first time. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am now.
  • What are your future plans? I committed to Dean College down in Franklin MA, to pursue a degree in Technical Theatre. And I plan on becoming a professional Light designer. However I’m still going to be involved with music.
  • What has music meant to you? Music has always been the key to understanding my emotions and who I am. Music not only built up walls to protect me, it also tore them down to set me free.

Esme Link Band/Jazz- French Horn Ensembles:​ ​Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz 1, Esme and Kate, Brass Choir.

  • What are you listening to now? Lucy Dacus! ALSO Mahler Symphony no. 3
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? BAND CAMP!!!! I miss band camp SO MUCH. It’s amazing what we accomplish in a week and we never stop smiling!
  • What are your future plans? I’ll be attending Oberlin College and Conservatory for French Horn Performance!
  • What has music meant to you? Music has meant actually everything to me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a day without it. It’s what has really connected me to the people I love and care about today, and I am so grateful for the MHS music department for this.

Coleman Rose Band/Jazz- Saxophone; Ensembles:​ ​Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Little Big Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, and Saxophone Choir.

  • What are you listening to now? Joshua Redman by Joshua Redman
  • What is your favorite memory as a member of the MHS Music Department? It is hard to pinpoint one memory because my favorite moments at Milton High have been the Wednesday night rehearsals and playing music with all my friends from the past four years. Getting to share music with the people who I am closest with has been very special. Some of the most hilarious things and most incredible moments from the past four years have happened in these rehearsals. I will always remember the band room and the auditorium stage with fondness because of the unforgettable moments that have happened there.
  • What are your future plans? I will be majoring in Jazz Studies at Oberlin Conservatory. After that, I look to play music for the rest of my life.
  • What has music meant to you? Music is everything to me. I would not be the man I am today without the dedication of the MHS staff that pushed me to improve my craft and my lifestyle. I would not be the man I am today without my peers and friends who have been with me every step of the day on this journey, and who I have had the honor of making beautiful music with.

ATHLETICS

Senior Student-Athlete Spotlight
Each day we will spotlight our senior student-athletes from the spring season. Our student-athletes have worked for years towards their senior year. Some are captains, some are playing their last competitive season, others were looking for a 3rd straight State Title. Social Distancing will without a doubt save lives, but for our student-athletes, right now, it still hurts to miss out on their final season. Let’s give them the recognition they deserve! Here are this week’s highlights.

Bobby Carew – The improvements Bobby has made over the past few years are remarkable. During the cross country season, he placed first individually at the Bay State Conference meet and he led his team to 2nd place (behind only perennial powerhouse Wellesley). He followed that performance 2 weeks later with team and individual wins at the Eastern Massachusetts Division 3 meet. Since his freshman year, he has improved his mile time by 20 seconds and his 2 mile time by almost a full minute. At every meet and every practice, he always puts his team first. During the track season, distance runners compete in events ranging from the 800 meters to the two mile. He tells us to put him in whichever event will help the team the most. As coaches, we truly appreciate that level of dedication and generosity. He takes his talents to UMass Amherst next fall where we are sure he will continue to succeed as a student-athlete. Also a captain for the XC and Hockey Team!

John Walsh – John is an outfielder and Pitcher for the Baseball Team. He also played Hockey too, as part of the team that took them back to the MIAA Tournament this past winter. John was a crucial piece to the Hockey Team. He had very fine stick skills for a big kid and can throw heat on the mound. John’s laid back personality keeps the bench and dugout light but he is also very competitive.

Owen Leddy – Senior Captain. Lives on the crease at attack, loves sticking g’s. Working on his flow. Majors in lacrosse, minors in hockey and track. Part of the Boys Cross Country Team that won the Eastern MA Championships this past fall and help the Hockey Team return to the tournament with excellent Penalty Kill and the 2nd PowerPlay unit. Visits Trainer Patty’s office everyday. Favorite quote- “Aye Aye middies aye!” – Coach A

Andrew Nilsen – Andrew is one of the most reliable, motivated and kindest athletes I have ever met. “We can assign him any task and he will get it done quickly and efficiently. His work ethic has brought him big improvements. His teammates notice how hard he works as well. Before races, when we meet with kids one on one to discuss their goals, his name comes up the most often. An athlete will say something like “I would like to improve my time in the mile, but I really want to see Andrew have a big PR. He has been working so hard.” He has played a crucial role in his team’s success over the past few years.” – Coach Jordan

COMMUNITY NEWS 

The 43rd Annual Milton 10K/5K Road Race – VIRTUAL EDITION – will be held June 8 – 14, 2020!

As marathons and races across the globe are being postponed, cancelled or transformed during the pandemic, we have made the decision to run the 43rd Annual Milton Road Race as a virtual event. Why are we running? This race, through the collective generosity of you, your neighbors and local businesses, has enabled scholarships for Milton high school students and grants for local community service organizations in Milton for 42 years. All details on this virtual road race can be found here! Please consider signing up at this link  to run soon. All details can be found here.

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Brookwood Community Farm, 11 Blue Hill River Rd, Canton, is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares and also has financial aid available.  Please go to www.brookwoodcommunityfarm.organd look under the Our CSA tab for more information.

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There is much fun to be had virtually this season in the Children’s Room at the Milton Public Library!

Cool family activities including electronic and audio books, live programs, virtual storytimes and more are available every day from ​www.miltonlibrary.org​ and the Library’s Facebook pages. We have these exciting online programs happening for the young people in your life during  May

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara Sheridan, Kelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian Powers, Christine Howley (Glover)

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-696-4808 or via email.

We have compiled a comprehensive and ever changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here. It will be linked on the front of our website and shared in each blog post. Please refer back to it often.

AMBASSADOR PAGE

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

STUDENTS:  

(L-R)MHS students Graham O’Donnell, Chloe McCarthy and Luke Calcagno; from the Milton Department of Public Health Laura DelleChiaie, Caroline Kinsella, DPH Director, and Jean Peterson.

Thank you to MHS juniors Graham O’Donnell, Chloe McCarthy and Luke Calcagno who recently delivered 2,000 masks to the Milton Department of Public Health. Funds were almost entirely raised through their classmates with $7.15 donations to purchase the masks from New Balance, which last month began producing masks to help keep first responders and essential workers safe. The students organizied and  raised enough in just a few days to purchase 3 large boxes and New Balance generously donated a 4th box to their effort. We are proud of and grateful to these students and their efforts on behalf of the Town of Milton!

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on May 14, 2020