A letter from the superintendent for the week of January 17th

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A letter from the superintendent for the week of January 17th

Superintendent Gormley gives updates for this past week


In an ongoing effort to identify potential short and long term solutions on our space and enrollment issue, the School Committee hosted an extended Citizens Speak at their meeting on January 16th. DRA also presented additional information, including cost estimates on various options, to the committee. The presentation was informative and interactive as School Committee members discussed possible solutions. I urge all Milton residents to take the time to watch the recorded version of the meeting, which is available on Milton Access TV, as are all School Committee meetings.

On Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m., there will be an Open Forum on Space and all are invited to attend and participate. The January 23rd School Committee meeting will be held in the Cunningham School Library. Please note that unlike Citizens Speak, the Open Forum will allow the opportunity for an exchange between citizens and Milton School Committee members. All are invited to attend and participate.


Kindergarten Information Night: On January 24th, at 6:30 p.m., we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Milton High School for Kindergarten Information Night. As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Pre-registration is live on our website. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2019 to start kindergarten in September 2019.

The information session will take place in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. Please email Laurie Dunn with questions about kindergarten.

Preschool: Preschool pre-registration is underway. Families who are presently residing in Milton with children age three on or before August 31, 2019 for the half day programs and children who will be four years of age on or before August 31, 2019 for half and full day programs are invited to complete the pre-registration. Please review the program overview, MPS program fact sheet and important preschool dates. If demand exceeds availability, a lottery will be held on January 25th. Any family who has completed the pre-registration by Thursday, January 24th will be included in the lottery. Families pre-registering after January 24th will be awarded a seat based on availability or added to a waitlist.

If you have any questions please email Marti O’Keefe McKenna or call 617-980-7343. For preschool special education and evaluation questions please email Jayme Szymczak.


Each year the Milton Foundation for Education supports teachers’ creativity by offering teacher mini-grants. MFE Teacher Mini-Grants provide valuable funding so that teachers can enhance their work in the classroom. Inspired by a recent workshop, Pierce physical education teachers, Mr. O’Leary and Ms. Queally, submitted an MFE grant to purchase “Hippity Hops” for the PE classes. It has been found that hippity hops can greatly enhance fitness as they require little skill, support many components of fitness, and are just plain fun! A special thank you to the Milton Foundation for Education for supporting our teachers’ creativity.


Mrs. Chen’s Cunningham 5th graders know how to appreciate the small things. The best birthday gift? Kind words. For every student’s birthday, classmates write birthday compliments and share them with each other at the beginning of class. This well loved class tradition has helped to foster a kind and inclusive classroom.

Last Friday, Glover 3rd graders mixed it up at lunch in response to our Positive Behavior Incentives and Supports (PBIS) initiative, as well as our Social Emotional Curriculum. During lunch, students were asked to move to another spot in the cafeteria, away from the typical friends they sit with, while music played. When the music stopped, students sat down. This was repeated three times to ensure students were well mixed! Once their final spot was chosen, Principal McDavitt and Assistant Principal MacNeil facilitated the lunch, helping students to connect, ask each other questions, and find similarities. The multiple opportunities to switch seats and make new friends created fun for all!

Collicot 5th graders are wrapping up a fabric arts project in the art room by making their very own sock monkeys. Thanks to generous funding by the Collicot PTO, students learned and applied the basic steps to hand sewing by threading a needle, tying a knot, using the whipstitch and adding stuffing to make these adorable monkeys.


Do you know what youth addiction looks like? The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Milton Public Schools along with the towns of Milton, Dedham, Quincy, Randolph, Braintree, Stoughton and Canton are bringing back Drug Story Theater for a community presentation of “The Price You Pay: Second Chances” on Tuesday, January 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at Milton High School.

This is a riveting play by youth about their own seduction by, addiction to, and recovery from drugs and alcohol. It will give the audience an inside look, as well as some vital information about why getting hooked at such a young age can be so concerning.

Dr. Joseph Shrand, Child Psychiatrist, nationally recognized expert on adolescent addiction, and founder of Drug Story Theater, will also share his experience treating youth challenged by substance use. This is also an opportunity for parents, caregivers, community leaders and other audience members to ask questions of Dr. Shrand and the cast: What are the signs my child may be using? What can prevent this? What can I do if my child is using? What is spice?

This play was seen in October, 2018 by Milton High 9th and 10th graders, and you could hear a pin drop. Principal James Jette said he was “thrilled with the performance and feedback from our students.” Our showing of “The Price You Pay: Second Chances”, is a unique collaboration between Milton and the surrounding towns. This event is free and there is ample parking available.


Did you know that the Milton Public Schools earns funds for every pound of textiles that is donated in the Bay State Textile bin in the back of each of our schools? Since June of 2014, the six schools have collectively received almost $12,000 to support enrichment activities and supplies in each school. If you are cleaning out your closets and do not know what to do with your bags of tattered clothes and textiles, we encourage you to donate them in the bin at the back of each school. We know many of you donate your gently used clothes to important causes such as Cradles to Crayons. But what do you do with those clothes that your children have “lived in” a bit too much? Please consider placing them in the textile bins. Many items that you can not easily dispose of can be placed in the textile bins – including stuffed animals! It’s the environmentally responsible thing to do and also earns valuable funds for each of our six schools!


For over 20 years the Milton Foundation for Education (MFE) has been funding initiatives that have positively altered the educational landscape of our community. As we look ahead to the next 20 years, we ask ourselves: Where will it take the children of Milton? With your continued help, the possibilities are endless.

Ask Kindergarteners what they want to be when they grow up, and the responses are adorably familiar. Ask students on the cusp of graduation that same question, and the answers get more complex. The career opportunities of the future are changing rapidly. What exciting possibilities await!

We owe it to them to keep pace: to offer opportunities which inspire curiosities and engage minds; to help our children prepare for whatever tomorrow brings; to support Milton’s incredible teachers as they suggest meaningful, forward-thinking programs and initiatives. The MFE supports all 6 of our schools with teacher grants, major initiatives, support of science in all schools and more. I hope you will consider a gift to the MFE today.

The MFE has distributed over 3 million dollars to the Milton Public Schools, impacting 3,400 students every year. Please consider a tax-deductible gift. Every dollar changes lives!


Milton Public Schools Adult Education aims to support lifelong learning by providing courses on a wide range of subjects and skills to adults in Milton and neighboring towns. Whether you want to try something entirely new or nurture an existing passion, we hope that you find what you are looking for in our new and returning courses. Registration for our Spring term ends February 22, 2019 online and by February 15th. by mail. The town-wide mailer features a listing of all 15 courses offered while our website has full course descriptions, dates, and online registration.

New classes this year:

  • Phoenix Rising Body-Mind Yoga
  • Balancing Screen Time in Elementary School
  • Ukulele for the Complete Beginner
  • Guitar for the Busy Adult


Even though it has been mild to date, the winter season is upon us. Please review our Winter Weather/Snow Day communication. Inclement weather is a part of life in the northeast and the better we manage these challenges as partners, the more successful our winter will be.


Our next PARENT Speaker is Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D, on February 12th at 6:30 p.m. in the MHS Auditorium. Dr. Steiner-Adair will speak on The Big Disconnect: Protecting Family Relationships in the Digital Age.

Come hear Dr. Steiner-Adair speak about how to maintain important relationships as a family, in our ever-increasing digital world. Dr. Steiner- Adair address topics such as:

  • Developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life.
  • Insights and advice that help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence as they engage with the tech revolution unfolding in their homes.
  • How to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults.
  • Skills to deconstruct unhealthy messages from online culture and create space for nourishing deep attention, creativity, empathy, and healthy relationships.

As always, the PARENT Speaker Series is FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of all ages.


Jan 22 Drug Story Theatre at MHS
Jan 23 Milton School Committee Meeting at Cunningham
Jan 24 Kindergarten Information Night
Jan 25 Pierce Movie Night
Feb 6 Early Release (Grs K-12) PD Day
Feb 6 Milton School Committee Meeting


Hillary Wong, MPS Dietetic Intern, would like to extend her sincere gratitude to the MHS community for supporting the recent sock drive. Due to the generosity of the students, families and faculty, the Sock It To Me Sock Drive was a huge success. The outpouring of donations from Milton High School provided 505 pairs of socks to the homeless men and women at Father Bill’s & MainSpring Homeless Shelter in Brockton and Quincy. By donating to Father Bill’s, you have enabled them to continue in their mission to support the basic needs of families and individuals, making a difference in their lives. Thank you again for your generous support!


MPS Food Services would like all federal employees affected by the shutdown to know that anyone can apply for school lunch benefits at any time. Please reach out to Jackie Morgan at [email protected] with any questions. Application and details can be found here.


Junior District Audition results are in! Congratulations to Pierce and Milton High School students who auditioned this past weekend and were selected to perform in the Eastern District Junior Festival. These students will participate in the two-day festival sponsored by the MMEA- Eastern District in early March. Well done to all who participated!

On Wednesday this week, MHS Senior Julia Nerenberg performed a recital on lute, marking the completion of an independent study. Over the past semester, Julia researched the history of the lute, taught herself to read French and Italian tablature, and acquired mastery on the instrument. Julia is co-concertmaster in the MHS Orchestra and has performed on lute with the Chamber Ensemble.

Finally, if you did not get a chance to catch the Winter Jazz Night concert this week, please enjoy these clips by the Pierce Middle School and Milton High Jazz Ensembles: Pierce MS Jazz Ensemble: Uptown Funk , MHS Jazz Ensemble: Stormy Weather, Winter Jazz Night Finale.


Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton is an important healthcare resource in our community. Every three years, BID-Milton gathers information from people living, working, and learning in Milton, Quincy and Randolph. The information collected helps to identify strategies and programs that will improve community health. It is important for BID-Milton to gather feedback from as many people as possible to ensure findings reflect the community-at-large. Please take a moment to take the survey online or email Laureane Marquez for a paper version in Spanish, Chinese or Haitian Creole. Responses are completely anonymous and will not impact your existing health services in any way. The survey window closes on January 31.

On January 31st, at 7:00 p.m. at BID Milton in the Nangeroni Conference Room, Professor Margie Skeer will speak on the topic of “Underage Drinking Prevention: Practical Parenting Facts and Tips for ‘The Talk’ and So Much More”. Learn why talking to your kids works, get specific tips on how to talk to your kids and observe practice role-playing. The MSAPC invites all Milton community members to attend this important, free talk and the MSAPC meeting that will follow.

The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long.

Milton community grant applications are now available through the Milton Junior Woman’s Club. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2019.

The Milton Public Library has recently started a Ukulele club. Registration is limited to 8 students each month and you can register for each individual session l month at a time. Registration begins two weeks ahead of the program date.

On Saturday, February 2nd at 7:00 p.m. Milton Community Concerts and First Parish of Milton are proud to present a rare viewing of the silent film classic, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” with live improvised organ accompaniment by virtuoso organist Peter Krasinski. This concert celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Wigglesworth Memorial Pipe Organ at First Parish. Tickets (at door only) are $25/$15 seniors/Free 18 and under.

The Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter is bursting at the seams with many free activities for families to do together this season.

Milton Art Center winter/spring art class registrations are open now, sign up for creative classes in book making, weaving, sewing, storytelling yoga, clay, pastels, STEAM, sewing, watercolor, painting, quilting, photography, screen printing, creative writing and more!

Summer on your brain? We are happy to welcome EMPOW Camps back to Milton this summer. All details can be found here.

A reader shared this video with me, a presentation by David O’Leary, Chair of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention Board.


December Athletes of the Month

Grace Long, Freshman, Ice Hockey: The Girls Ice Hockey Team is off to a slow start in a rebuilding year with Grace Long as one of the brightest on the team. Grace has scored 6 Goals and 5 Assists for a total of 11 points. She has played a part in a 11 of the 14 goals. Grace is a skilled player that makes her teammates better around her. She is a team player and very coachable. She has a great attitude and a leader on the team as a Freshman. Grace has double the points of the second leading scorer on the team.

Austin Wright, Senior, Wrestling; Austin is one of the senior captains. He exemplifies what it takes to be a true leader and captain. He leads by example always one of the first to practice and last to leave. He teaches new wrestlers and encourages the veterans. He has a very solid 7-4 record wrestling in a very tough weight class 138lbs. His pin in the Weymouth match was one of the most dramatic of the season and which helped the Cats of Milton beat the Cats of Weymouth, 42-36.

Please see the Milton Wildcats website for schedules, rosters, and updates!


Student: Cunningham 2nd grader Sophia Casini, who has collected thousands of pairs of socks for homeless men and women through her annual December sock drive, was invited by Governor Baker to do the Pledge of Allegiance at his inauguration. Mrs. Casini shares that it was an amazing day for Sophia and her family and that Sophia plans to continue her annual sock drive for years to come. You can watch Sophia lead the Pledge here. Congratulations to Sophia on a job well done!


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