Superintendent Gormley releases update for the week of March 14th, 2019
Check out the latest happening in Milton Public Schools
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION
Tickets are now available for the MFE Celebration “Beyond the Books” on April 6th at Lombardos! Celebration is an opportunity for the MFE to fund larger projects for the Milton Public Schools. In just the past few years, the MFE has raised money for and funded the wireless initiative (bringing wireless capability to all 6 schools), the Wildcat Wellness Center, the Starlab and major upgrades to our STEAM and Civics curriculums. In 2019, we are thrilled to partner with AJ Melanson and our librarians to revitalize and transform the libraries in all six schools.
It is the goal of the Milton Public Schools Library Team to transform all of the libraries into dynamic learning environments. MPS libraries support the learning and growth of every student and staff member in the district. The libraries are community spaces that foster curiosity, print and digital literacy, critical thinking skills, creation, and collaboration. In addition, libraries are places where individuals have the opportunity to learn not only about the larger world but themselves. They are places where one can see positive representations of their own identity reflected back through stories and images.
The MFE Celebration will be funding the installation of Makerspaces in all of the MPS schools. Makerspaces are collaborative space focused on innovation in science, technology, engineering, art, and math and foster student-centered inquiry while promoting hands-on activities that teach twenty-first-century skills. Students make, create and express themselves by exploring through their own interests. Makerspaces allow students to learn to use tools and materials, both physical and virtual, and develop creative projects. Students learn how to fail and try again.
The celebration will also transform our libraries by providing movable furniture and flexible, comfortable seating to promote collaboration and support a wide variety of activities. Our libraries will be better able to meet the needs of students, staff, families, and community members who use these spaces throughout the day and evening for whole-class lessons, small-group work, research, enrichment groups, clubs, staff meetings, professional development, committee meetings, and much more. Flexible seating will increase focus and engagement by providing the movement and sensory input many students require, as well as greater choice, comfort, and opportunity for collaboration.
Libraries are dynamic community spaces and funds raised at Celebration will allow us to transform our spaces to create more powerful learning experiences for our community.
Tickets are available online and special early bird pricing ends on March 15th. Join your friends and neighbors for a terrific night out while supporting the Milton Public Schools.
Over the last 6 weeks, the School Committee has held 5 Public Forums on Space with hundreds of Milton residents in attendance. The next School Committee meeting is March 27th at 7:00 p.m. at Pierce Middle School.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
On Wednesday, March 6th, 12 MHS students joined students from Dedham and Holbrook to attend the Schools to Career Field trip to Meditech in Foxboro. MHS student Vincent Luong shares the following. The field trip was very eventful as it included a tour of the facilities and a presentation of Meditech. Meditech is a company that makes software that connects and holds medical data of patients across different hospitals and medical facilities. I learned that because of aging baby boomers, there will be an increase in jobs in the medical field, including in the nursing profession. There was a small competition for the best questions asked, and I am happy to say that, as one of the winners, I went home with a Dunkin Donuts Gift Card.
This week, student Thanh Nguyen shares that MHS Student Leaders held their first annual Winter Wellness Week in order to promote school wide mental and physical health. Events included morning meditation, a wellness playlist, zumba, smoothie bikes, yoga and – to great fanfare – the therapy dogs. Milton resident Jack Foley, and certified therapy dog, Bailey, volunteered their time to meet with students after school on Monday and Tuesday. The response from students and teachers was overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to having Mr. Foley and Bailey visit regularly in the future!
February 28th marked the date of the annual Pierce school wide science fair with a range of student conducted science experiments and design projects on display. Students and families were also treated to a water rocket launch demonstration by 6th graders Edidiong Ebong and Chidudem Unamka, who investigated rockets for their project. Congratulations to our winners:
1st Place- Joe Krueger and Ben Simeone Is a Metal’s Density the Deciding Factor for its Ability to Strengthen?
2nd Place- Kyle Denny How does Hydrogel Affect the Growth of Plants?
3rd Place- Neave Martin How Does Plastic Pollution Affect the Growth of Plants?
7th graders Ella Cantor, Neave Martin, Fiona Zimon, Nora Hegarty and Cora Redmond will represent Pierce at the Regional Science Fair at Regis College on April 6th. 8th graders Jayme Lo and Lok Ye Young will be attending the Massachusetts Middle School Science Fair on May 11th at Worcester Technical High School. Good luck at the upcoming Regional Science Fairs!
Once again, due to the generosity of Rodman for Kids, dozens of our Pierce students were able to attend a performance of The Illusionists at the Colonial Theater. Students and staff chaperones attended this exciting evening performance, at no cost, and we are so grateful to the Rodman family for continuing to offer these experiences to our students.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Standards based report cards will be going home with our elementary students early next week. Almost all states in the U.S. have adopted the Common Core State Standards which are incorporated in our Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. These standards, which focus on what we call “college and career readiness” and 21st century skills, identify what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in each of the content areas. As a result, most school districts have replaced traditional report cards with standards-based report cards that align with these standards.
While some find it difficult to adjust to report cards without letter grades that include new language and ratings, there are many advantages for our elementary students and families. Reports now include important skills and competencies that are more specific and that are intended to give parents/guardians more information about their child’s progress towards uniform standards as well as growth based on each term’s benchmarks.
We recognize the need for continued communication about how we define report card ratings. Principals will be distributing a ratings guide that we hope will provide further clarification as report cards are issued next week. As always, we encourage parents/guardians to contact teachers or administrators with any questions you may have.
Following the success of last year’s pilot of a Spanish Pen Pal Program at Collicot and Cunningham, our four elementary schools are now exchanging letters with two elementary schools in Spain. Señora Jauregui’s 4th and 5th graders at Collicot and Cunningham are partnered with Los Robles School in Aravaca, Madrid. Señora Brown’s Glover 4th graders and Señora Taber’s Tucker 4th graders are partnered with Colegio Dulce Nombre de Jesús in Oviedo, Asturias. The students from Spain sent letters first in English, and our students wrote back in Spanish. This experience provides opportunities for English Innovation Pathway students to use the Spanish language in a meaningful context.
Students were excited to learn about life in Spain from students their own age. Many commented that they were surprised to find out that they shared similar interests in tv shows, songs, games, and hobbies. They also learned that their new Spanish friends like to visit museums, cultural sites, and parks with their families – just like our students do. Discussions were sparked comparing and contrasting both languages and cultures, as students dove into reading the letters. Milton students wrote return letters in Spanish and many students included photos and drawings to share with their new friends. Everyone is now eagerly awaiting the response from Spain and the elementary Spanish teachers plan to have students exchange at least one more set of letters this year.
This experience has not only fostered new friendships, but has also expanded students’ horizons and sparked curiosity about other cultures. Journalist Flora Lewis once said, “Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” Our 4th grade penpals are experiencing this 1st hand!
The winter session of BOKS is winding down in our elementary schools and I am happy to share these pictures of our before school BOKS athletes! BOKS is a free physical activity program, run by volunteers, that improves our children physically, mentally and socially by strengthening their minds and bodies through movement.
At Collicot, they did a balance and core workout to start followed by teamwork and control to get the ball from one side of the line to the other using only feet.
Thank you to Sita, Brendan, Kim, Rich, Gail and Zee – our superstar Tucker BOKS Trainer Team!
As part of the new Kindergarten FOSS Unit “Animals 2 by 2”, all kindergarten classes welcomed goldfish into their classrooms this week! After creating suitable habitats, students observed goldfish living in a simple aquarium. They identified and named different parts of the fish, such as fins, tail, mouth, and gills. They discussed if all the fish are alike, or if there are differences such as color and size and recorded their findings in science notebooks. Next up – students will begin to compare goldfish to guppies!
March is National Literacy Month and Collicot celebrated with the 3rd Annual “Dress Like your Favorite Literary Character Day”. Students and staff were invited to dress like one of their favorite book characters and walked the red carpet to spread awareness around some pretty amazing characters and to show their love for reading.
Collicot 5th graders also invited their families and school community to the Annual 5th Grade Wax Museum. 5th graders provided a summary of their favorite book as well as a slogan created to support the book’s theme and acted a live statues of a favorite character from their chosen book.
Congratulations to Madison and Nathan!
4th and 5th graders across the district are hard at work on Chapter 4 of their collaborative BoomWriter Bee. Congratulations to Cunningham 4th grader Nathan Chan and Glover 5th grader Madison Sison for being named the official authors of chapters 2 and 3 (respectively). Nathan submitted a chapter that grabbed the attention of his peers and garnered the most votes for chapter 2 while in the closest vote in Milton’s BoomWriter history, Madison edged out the competition with her creative chapter 3. This week students are writing the fourth and final chapter of the book. If you are interested in ordering the final published book, please email Amy Gale. Students in grades 4 and 5 will receive order forms for the books at school.
PARENT SPEAKER SERIES
Milton Public Schools and The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition are proud to welcome New York Times best selling author Jessica Lahey, J.D. to speak on “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children Can Succeed”.
Jessica offers practical advice for fostering deep, meaningful learning by offering kids more autonomy at home and in school, helping them feel more competent, and strengthening parent-child and teacher-student relationships. Over her 20 years as a middle and high school teacher, Lahey began to suspect that the way we parent children has a direct impact on their motivation, learning, resilience, and the development of obsessive perfectionism and performance anxiety. A deep dive into research bore this hypothesis out and resulted in the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure. Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and mom. Join us on Tuesday March 26th at 6:30 in the MHS Auditorium for this informative evening.
NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH
Save the Date for Donate Life Information Night on April 2nd at Pierce.
If you are like me, you may not have known that April is National Donate Life Month. The Milton Public Schools is partnering with MPS parent and pediatric nurse practitioner/nursing director specializing in transplant, Laura O’Melia to help spread the word about organ donation. Laura is organizing a Donate Life Information Night at Pierce on April 2nd from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Will you join us for just 60 minutes to hear compelling stories from:
A mom of a Collicot student who received a living donor kidney transplant
A man who lives in Milton who had a heart transplant
A woman who donated her husband’s organs
Please join us on April 2nd in the Pierce Auditorium to learn how you might be able to help save a life someday.
Last year they “Rocked Their Socks” at Pierce!
Join us next Thursday, March 21st as we “Rock Your Socks” for World Down Syndrome Day! Inclusion Specialist Maureen Butler shares that March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. 3-21 represents trisomy 21, the medical term for Down Syndrome, which is the third replication of the 21st chromosome. This day provides the opportunity to celebrate people with Down syndrome and all the wonderful contributions they make to society.
The point of wearing the silly socks is as a conversation starter for people to ask questions and to remind them that while things may be different they are still wonderful. This is meant to bring awareness and acceptance of Down Syndrome. People are encouraged to wear bright, mismatched or printed socks and many of our MPS staff have ordered socks from John’s Crazy Sock company. You can learn about John’s Crazy Sock Company in this short video. We hope to see many at MPS “Rock Your Socks” next Thursday!
WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL
5th grade families – we would like to welcome both you and your child to the Pierce Middle School community. As your 5th grader prepares to transition to Pierce, we have two upcoming events to help smooth the way.
On Thursday March 28th, join Dr Spaulding for 5th Grade Information Night at 6:30 pm at Pierce Middle School. We would like to invite you (students are welcome too!) to come to the Pierce to learn all about the enriching learning opportunities your child will experience as a middle school student next year. Please email Pierce Principal Dr. Karen Spaulding if you have any questions.
Sign up soon for Welcome to Middle School, a 3 day program designed to help acclimate all students to Pierce. Middle school is quite different from the elementary setting, and the transition can sometimes be intimidating (but shouldn’t be)! Our program allows students to experience “a day in the life of a grade six student.” Students will familiarize themselves with the building, administrators, agenda books, lockers and Pierce faculty – as our teachers assume the role of Camp Counselors. Your child’s camp experience will be fun, enriching, and academically motivating! They will meet new friends, begin to build relationships with Pierce faculty, and find comfort as the “unknown” becomes “the known”. We encourage all families to enroll your current 5th grader in our camp. Details can be found here.
The temperature outside may say otherwise but summer will be here soon! The Milton Public Schools and Community schools have options for your student throughout the summer. All Camp Cunningham information can be found here and you can read the opening letter from Milton Summer Enrichment here.
FIRST GRADE INFORMATION
There are two opportunities for parents and guardians of current kindergarteners to learn about 1st grade in the Milton Public Schools.
On March 12th, in the Pierce Auditorium many of you joined us for 1st Grade Information Night.
March 5th-8th was National School Breakfast Week and we shared some exciting mornings with our Milton students. Although we started with a snow day on Monday, Tuesday kicked things off right with “Romaine Calm: Tips to Feed Your Family for Health,” which was followed by a tasting with breakfast options (Chocolate-Banana Oat Bars, Sweet Potato Bread, and Smoothies). Some of our high school students came in to operate the popular smoothie bikes for the event (which are also being used for the student planned Wellness Week at MHS).
We had celebrity chefs serving breakfast daily in all our schools, including teachers and staff, the Police and Fire Chief, the Town Administrator, DPW Director, School Committee Members, State Senators, Select Board Members, and many other exciting additions to our morning crew. We are thrilled to report a 5% increase in breakfast participation across the MPS district during this special week! Our goal is to set students up to learn, and eating a healthy breakfast is proven to increase focus and test scores, improve classroom behavior, and decrease nurse visits and tardiness. We serve a variety of healthy, whole grain, breakfast options every day, so please come and have breakfast with us soon!
The Milton SEPAC invites you to join us, in partnership with the Federation for Children with Special Needs, for our first workshop of the 2018-2019 school year. This Basic Rights Workshop on March 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the library at Glover will help you better participate in the team process, collaborate with the team, and advocate for your child. All are welcome to attend.
UPCOMING MPS DATES
March 19 Grades 5-12 Strings Concert
March 20 After School/Evening PT Conferences
March 21 Grades 5-12 Band Concert at MHS
March 26 PARENT Speaker Series, Jessica Lahey, “The Gift of Failure” at MHS
March 27 Music in the Afternoon at MHS
March 27 Milton School Committee Meeting
April 2 Donate Life Presentation at PMS
April 3 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert at MHS
April 6 MFE Celebration for Education
The MHS Model UN is hosting a fundraiser Wednesday, March 20th at the Quincy Yogurt Bar.
ART AND MUSIC
In honor of Women’s History Month, students in the Cunningham and Collicot ACE program learned about the Ukrainian-born French artist, Sonia Delaunay whose work focused on Orphism, an art movement noted for its use of strong colors and geometric shapes. Students used compasses and rulers to design their geometric composition and acrylics to paint in their design. Each students needed to have the following components in their artwork: a checkerboard, a monochromatic triangle focusing on tints, a section with complementary colors and a sense of balance in the overall painting.
Members of the Milton High School Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble and Cello Ensemble will present “Music In The Afternoon”, a Concert for Senior Citizens on Wednesday, March 27th at 1:30 p.m. in the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium at MHS. The concert is being held in an effort to share the joy of music with members of the Milton community. The performance will be directed by Debra Miller, MPS District Orchestra Director.
Last weekend, the Milton Music Department was busy making music! On Friday and Saturday, seven students from Pierce and MHS attended the MMEA- Eastern District Junior Festival at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Participants included Barron Clancy (Orchestra), Michael Howard (Concert Band), Sadie Carrol (Orchestra), Tim Fay (Concert Band), Isabelle Feloney (Mixed Chorus), Madison Massad (Concert Band), and Fiona McCarthy (Mixed Chorus). The festival concluded with a performance by each ensemble.
In addition, Eastern District hosted a rehearsal for the first General Music Festival Treble Chorus. This new program offers an introductory choral performance opportunity to students in grades 4-6, and Milton sent 13 talented students! Joy Egersheim, Haylie Maile, Aine D’Arcy, Victoria Kirkham , Kyle Tam, Ciara Poff, Lauren Roebuck, Jay Sekhar, Kate Connor, Orlaith Killion, Juliette MacGrath, Bella Murphy and Ava Fay-Loughrey and their teachers will attend a second rehearsal and perform their program at Dedham Middle School on Saturday, March 23 at 3pm. Friends and families are welcome to attend this special concert!
Pierce Grade 6 Chorus
Congratulations to these students, and many thanks to Ms. Julia Hanna, who served as Festival Manager for the Junior Mixed Chorus, and Ms. Colleen Martin, the Assistant Manger to the General Music Treble Chorus.
March is Music In Our Schools Month and among the events this month are concerts and festivals taking place in Milton schools and with affiliated organizations. All are welcome to attend! Please look to the Milton Music Department Calendar for further details.
March 19: MIOSM District Wide Strings Concert, Grades 5-12
March 21: MIOSM Band Concert, Grades 5-12
March 22: Glover K-2 General Music Showcase
March 22-23: SEMSBA Senior Festival
March 22: Eastern District General Music Chorus Festival
March 27: Music in the Afternoon at MHS
March 29: Boston Youth Symphony Field Trip for all Grade Four Students
Thank you to the Wildcat News Team and Sean Lopresti for filming many of our concerts. Please enjoy the 6th-12 grade Chorus Concert and the 7th-12th grade Chorus Concert.
Spring sports start on Monday, March 18th and the deadline to register is this Friday, March 15th. All of this information and more can be found on the Athletics Website
Student athletes all over Milton have these great calendars for sale. Calendars are $10 each with 30 chances to win some great prizes throughout April. Red Sox tickets, Golf, restaurant certificates, cash and the evert popular chance to win a DARE Camp entry. All proceeds go to the Athletic and Scholarship funds. You can buy online this year or purchase from any student athlete. Thank you for your support!
The MHS Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” can/bottle drive on Saturday, March 16th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Milton High School. To arrange pick-up of a can/bottle donation at your home, please send the team an email.
NEWS AROUND TOWN
The Milton Public Library has great programs for children all month long.
The Milton Young Musicians Festival is now accepting applications! The Festival will be held on March 31st, from noon to 5 pm at East Congregational Church, 610 Adams St, Milton. The Gold Medal concert will be held the following Saturday, April 6th.
There are just few spots still available at the 8th Annual Chess-a-Palooza! Please email [email protected] to register ASAP to reserve a spot. On Saturday, March 23rd from 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Milton Public Library, The Friends of the Milton Public Library and Vigorito Chess present the 8th annual Chess-a-Palooza! Open to all Milton residents, Milton school students, and returning Chess-a-Palooza players. Please join us for a fun and friendly chess tournament with International Master David Vigorito. Four round Swiss-style tournament – every player plays all four rounds and players of all abilities are welcome. Limited to first 50 entrants with trophies for top 3 players in each section: K-1, Grades 2-3, and Grades 4-5. Registration information can be found here. Please note: the deadline has passed to receive a personalized medal.
Milton’s annual Sweetheart Dance for girls in grades K-5 and their special adult will be held on Friday, April 5th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Cunningham Hall. The dance is hosted by Girl Scout Troop 76176, who will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help create a Youth Center in Milton. Tickets are $20 per couple (plus $5 for additional siblings) and can be purchased at the door. Get ready for a fun night of dancing, games, and photo ops to support a great cause for our community!
The Forbes House Museum hosts two March events that offer modern perspectives on traditional practices. On Saturday, March 23, at 3:00 p.m., Professor CJ Allen of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will present on holistic medicine and answer your questions about Chinese herbology and acupuncture. The program is $10/person, free for members. On Saturday, March 30, from 10 – 11:30 am, explore your creative side at our Sip & Script Modern Calligraphy Workshop. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.
Milton National Little League is open for registration. New this year is a 13 year old baseball division for children born between 9/1/2005 and 8/31/2006. All details on all divisions of MNLL, including the Challenger Division can be found here.
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