Superintendent Gormley releases updates for the week of January 9, 2019
FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT
These are busy days in the Milton Public Schools with grade specific Information Nights, two upcoming PARENT Speakers, concerts, theater productions, activity fairs, budget meetings and more all on the MPS calendar in the coming weeks. There are many options for staying “in the know” at the Milton Public Schools. Please refer to our Milton Public Schools website, district calendar, Facebook page, Twitter account, your Principal and PTO communications and of course this weekly update to stay informed and aware of all that is happening in your child’s school and our district.
UPCOMING MPS DATES
- Jan 9 Preschool Information Night
- Jan 9 Milton Neighbors Event to Benefit MPS Music
- Jan 16 MHS/PMS Jazz Concert
- Jan 20 No School-MLK Jr. HolidayJan 21 PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole-“Vaping and our Youth”
- Jan 22 Milton School Committee
- Jan 23,24,25 Pierce Players
- Jan 23 Kindergarten Information Night
- Jan 30, 31 Feb 1 MHS Winter Production – One Act Plays
- Feb 4 Parent Speaker Series, Jon Mattleman – Secret Lives of Teens & Tweens
- Feb 5 Early Release Day for Students
- Feb 5 Milton School Committee
- Feb 6 Milton Activities Fair – Tucker Gym
The School Committee voted recently on the 2020-21 school year calendar. The approved calendar can be found here.
Save the date for Milton Summer Enrichment 2020! MSE 2020 will run from July 6-31st, 2020. Look for details after the new year. For a peek at last year’s MSE details, check out our MSE webpage.
GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION NIGHTS
On January 23rd, 2020 at 6:30 pm, we hope to see many kindergarten parents and guardians at Kindergarten Information Night in the Charles Winchester Auditorium located at Milton High School, 25 Gile Rd. As we prepare to welcome our new kindergarteners next September, the first step for families is to pre-register your new student. Pre-registration can be found online here. Please note that your child must be five years old on or before August 31, 2020 to start kindergarten in September 2020. All details on registering for Kindergarten can be found here.
On Tuesday, February 25th, in the MHS Auditorium, parents and guardians of current kindergarten students are invited to 1st Grade Information Night to learn about our two first grade programs: the English Innovation Pathway (with STEM & Spanish) and French Immersion. We will also explain the Assignment Plan, Lottery (if needed) and the Timeline. The night will end with a Q&A session. We will also hold a STEM Information Night on March 2nd, in the Collicot/Cunningham library, for current kindergarten families to preview an overview of the STEM Program in the English Innovation Pathway and participate in a hands-on engineering activity.
PARENT SPEAKER SERIES
Up next in our PARENT Speaker Series, Mary Cole, MPH, CHES presents “Vaping and Our Youth: Strategies for Prevention” on Tuesday January 21st at 6:30pm at the MHS auditorium.
Learn more about what e-cigarette and vape products are, why they are harmful, how the tobacco and vaping industry are targeting kids, and how to protect our kids from this latest trend. Mary Cole is the Program Coordinator of the Greater Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Mary has her Masters in Public Health from Boston University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
Just two weeks later, our next PARENT Speaker will be at Milton High School on Tuesday, February 4th at 6:30pm. Jon Mattelman will present “The Secret Lives of Teens/Tweens” as part of our PARENT Series. Jon shares this article in reference to his presentation.
Recent School Committee meetings can always be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on January 8th, 2020 at 7pm. School Committee agendas and documents can be found in the School Committee tab on the front page of our website.
MPS Budget Meetings: Along with members of the Milton School Committee, MPS Administrators recently presented budget requests for Fiscal Year 2021 to the Warrant Committee. As we navigate the process of presenting the school budget to the Warrant Committee and eventually to Town Meeting, we want to keep the MPS community informed as to the process and what potential cuts in the MPS budget will mean in your child’s school and to the district as a whole. To that end, we are holding three School Budget Presentations in the coming weeks. Each of these presentations is open to all Milton residents, please consider attending the meeting that best fits your schedule. Please join us on one of the following dates to discuss the projected MPS budget for the 2020-21 school year.
January 28, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Tucker School Library
January 29, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Collicot/Cunningham Library
February 12, 2020 @ 6:30pm, Milton High School Auditorium
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
MHS Theater invites you to An Evening of One Act Plays: The Women of Lockerbie/These Shining Lives. Tickets are available at the MHS Theater website.
The Women of Lockerbie: A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland, looking for her son’s remains that were lost in the crash of Pan Am 103. She meets the women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the U.S. government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families. THE WOMEN OF LOCKERBIE is loosely inspired by a true story, although the characters and situations in the play are purely fictional. Written in the structure of a Greek tragedy, it is a poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate.
These Shining Lives: In this drama centering around Catherine Donahue and her three coworkers / friends, the new financial independence of women working in the post-war 1920s is both liberating and exciting. The women earn a comfortable living painting watch faces glow-in-the-dark. This new vision of freedom is shattered when one by one the women begin to fall ill to mysterious ailments. THESE SHINING LIVES chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance. Catherine and her friends are dying, its true; but theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spirits or endanger the lives of those who come after them.
Earlier today, 14 students involved in MHS Theatre’s Winter Production above attended a day of workshops organized by The Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild and hosted at Bridgewater State University. Students were able to enroll in a variety workshops including Physical Theatre and Clowning, Acting for the Stage, Oral Interpretation of Poetry, Acting Shakespeare, Introduction to Directing, Introduction to Costume Design, and Scene Shop Construction Techniques. All of the workshops were taught by professors from Bridgewater State, so students were able to experience collegiate level theatre classes, speak with current theatre students at Bridgewater State about their experiences, and build connections with other theatre students at local high schools.
Students in Mrs. Magill’s 7th and 8th grade FUSE classes have been experimenting with a new challenge in the FUSE program called Sculpty Pet. FUSE is an interest-driven STEAM exploration class offered at Pierce. In this challenge, students use a program to “sculpt” a virtual ball of clay into a pet. Students are learning about symmetry, scale, and coordinate planes to create these pets and place them in the worlds they design.
Students were excited to learn that they could 3D print their pets. Students have created an elephant, pigs, dogs, cats, and what could be an angry bird or a platypus! The challenge ends at Level 5, with students creating a virtual world for their pet to live in by importing backgrounds and sculpting other objects to have in that world. As students begin to create their pet’s new worlds, we suspect that soon we will have an elephant flying in a spaceship or a cat and dog floating down a river on a raft. We look forward to seeing where our student’s creativity leads them!
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is coming to Pierce! Pierce Players productions are always a hit and enjoyed by theatergoers of all ages. Come see our Pierce Players in action on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7pm, Friday, Jan. 24 at 7pm and Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2pm in the Pierce Auditorium. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 13th at 12pm. Admission is $10 and all details and ticket link can be found on the Pierce Players website.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Tucker students were wowed by visiting Chinese acrobat, Li Liu last week. Li Liu was born in Bejing, China and began learning acrobatics when she was 6 years old. She has toured with the circus and performs on the Princess Cruise Lines and at NBA halftime shows.
The performance was a blend of acrobatic stunts such as artistic cycling, paired with lessons about Chinese culture and celebrations, including the upcoming Lunar New Year. Students were mesmerized by the ribbon dancing and excited to participate in some of the stunts.
Cunningham 3rd graders have been busy learning about owls in class as part of the FOSS Structures of Life unit. Today, two educators from the Trailside Museum in Milton visited Cunningham and brought two live owls to the classrooms. Students explored the adaptations owls have that make them unique nocturnal birds of prey. Students handled touchable nature artifacts and met two live owls which are native to the Commonwealth. Students were shocked to learn that these big owls were each only between 1 and 1 1/2 pounds as they have hollow bones!
The Trailside Museum will come to Glover later this month and to Collicot and Tucker in the Spring. Thank you to the Milton Foundation for Education for generously funding these visits using Sam’s Fund and Monster Dash proceeds!
The Milton Activities and Athletics Fair is on February 6th, 2020 in the Tucker Gymnasium from 5:30-7pm. Join us to hear about how your student can get involved in the many Milton teams, activities and learning opportunities! Learn more about Milton Youth Lacrosse, Wrestling, Soccer, Hockey, Softball, Girl Power Run Club, STEAMologists, Parks and Recreation, Musical Instrument Lessons, Milton Summer Enrichment and more. Please email Noel Vigue with any questions.
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to become more involved in your child’s school? Getting involved is a great way to show them that you take an interest in their education and sends a positive message that you consider school a worthwhile cause.
Across the district all of Milton Public Schools offer opportunities for families to get involved in whatever capacity they are able. Whether you are looking to join a committee that meets on a regular basis or are only able to help out when your schedule allows – there are opportunities for all. Studies have shown that increased parental involvement can boost achievement levels in students. Below, Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna shares some of the ways families can get involved and make a difference!
Site Council: Each school in the district is required by state law to support the programs and policies of the schools through a shared vision. School site councils are made up of a group of teachers and parents/guardians, community members and students (at the high school level only). Council members meet monthly with building principals. The responsibilities of the council is to adopt educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards, identify the educational needs of students attending the school, review the annual school building budget and formulate a school improvement plan.
Diversity Committee: The Diversity Committee was created to promote high academic achievement by all students, respect for all people and an affirming atmosphere for students and families in the Milton Public Schools. Committee members meet monthly and are made up of teachers, parents, community members and principals.
PTO – Parent – Teacher Organization: The purpose of the PTO is to promote the welfare of students through a united effort between parents/guardians and teachers in order to assure the greatest educational advantage. Through fundraising efforts, the PTO’s goal is to provide additional programs and activities, which enhance the education of the students. The PTO sponsors cultural and social events for students. All monies raised by the PTO are used exclusively for school activities.
PTO membership is non-commercial, non-sectarian and non-partisan. Any parent or guardian of pupils in a particular school may join the PTO. The PTO relies on members’ support, both financial and through volunteer opportunities, to achieve its goal: the enhancement of the student’s education.
Please contact your building principal or administrative assistant to learn more about how to join or to learn about other opportunities that may be available. MHS – James Jette; PMS – Bill Fish ; Collicot – Holly Concannon; Cunningham – Jon Redden; Glover – Karen McDavitt; Tucker – Elaine McNeil Girmai. Please reach out with any questions to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Family Outreach Liaison, via email or by phone at 617-980-7343.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
MPS Head Nurse Kimberly Coughlin shares the following information about the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Vaping Ban.
The Massachusetts Public Health Council approved new regulations that restrict the sale of nicotine vaping and flavored vaping and tobacco products, and ended the Governor’s temporary statewide ban on the sale of vaping products in place since September 24th. This action follows Governor Charlie Baker’s signing into law An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control on November 27, 2019. The new regulations went into effect on December 11th.
Effective January 1, 2020, Massachusetts commercial health insurance plans plus the Group Insurance Commission and MassHealth, must cover smoking cessation counseling and FDA-approved products such as gum, lozenges, or patches without cost-sharing. Beginning on June 1, 2020, the sale of all other tobacco products that have a flavor, such as menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco, will also be restricted to licensed smoking bars where they may be sold only for on-site consumption. Information about this announcement is available here. The site will continue to be updated as new information and resources are available.
An effective math curriculum provides learning opportunities for students to explore mathematical concepts and ideas as a whole class, within collaborative groups, and independently engages them in activities and tasks that encourage multiple approaches, deepen conceptual understanding, and connect to prior learning. I have asked Brian Selig, K-12 Math Director , to share more about our elementary math curriculum below.
All K-5 teachers in the Milton Public Schools presently utilize the fourth edition of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum to address the math learning standards defined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (click here to see). The strengths of this curriculum include its spiral design to allow repeated opportunities to revisit important concepts on an ongoing basis to combat “siloed” learning, its use of visual models to promote deeper understanding and connections, and its well-designed games to engage elementary students in fun and meaningful learning opportunities. No curriculum resource is perfect and as such we as a district are in the planning stages of a review of the Everyday Mathematics 4 curriculum to determine whether it or another program will best meet the needs of our young learners in the Milton Public Schools going forward.
With the significant changes in math education over the last decade, often referred to disparagingly as the “new math”, comes an obligation on the part of every school district not only to adopt and implement high quality curriculum materials but also to provide teachers with the necessary professional training to understand the intention and realize the potential of these changes on the learning experiences within their classroom, which can be characterized by a greater emphasis placed on understanding of the problem-solving process rather than a limited prioritizing of the desired result, answer, or solution.
This shift in how teachers approach math instruction with their students carries particular importance at the elementary level because success with more advanced algebraic concepts in math depends on a strong and flexible number sense established in the early grades and the fact that elementary teachers are responsible for instruction in multiple subject areas, not just math.
In Milton we are very fortunate to have two fantastic K-5 math coaches, Maura Middleton and Mary Shapiro, who are experts in content, effective instructional practices, and varied methods of assessment. By working collaboratively with one of the coaches, elementary teachers deepen their own content knowledge, utilize effective instructional strategies that include the use of concrete manipulatives and visual models, and develop techniques to facilitate rich mathematical discussions in their classrooms to help synthesize students’ learning.
It is with great excitement that we announce the first-ever elementary school Digital Citizenship Day. All Milton Public School elementary students will take part in two to four engaging digital citizenship lessons during this exciting day. The lesson topics will include but are not limited to, digital footprints, internet privacy, copyright, cyberbullying, and creating passwords.
The ready to teach no teaching experience needed lessons will be delivered by family volunteers. Each class will need two to four volunteers. The lessons will be shared with the volunteers on Tuesday, January 14th. If the volunteers need support in preparing for the day an optional training session will be offered to all of the volunteers on Tuesday, January 21st at 6:30 pm in the Collicot/Cunningham cafeteria.
The dates of each school’s Digital Citizenship Day are as follows:
- Collicot – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
- Cunningham – Friday, February 14th at 8:30 – 11:30 am
- Glover – Tuesday, February 11th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm
- Tucker – Thursday, February 13th at 9:20 am – 12:20 pm
If you would like to volunteer please complete the Google Form for your student’s school: Collicot’s Google Form; Cunningham’s Google Form; Glover’s Google Form;Tucker’s Google Form If you have any immediate questions please email AJ Melanson, MPS Educational Technology Director.
MILTON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION CELEBRATION 2020
is coming soon! Save the date for April 4th, 2020 at Granite Links. Details and tickets in the coming weeks. In the meantime…
Are you interested in being among the first to have a 1/500 chance of winning a 2020 Jeep Wrangler or $20,000 cash? 2020 MFE Jeep Raffle tickets are hot off the press! Email [email protected] to purchase a ticket or with any questions. The winner will be drawn 4/4/20 at Celebration. The Milton Foundation for Education’s Celebration and Jeep Raffle raises money in support of all six Milton Public Schools.
The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is conducting a comprehensive program review of the Special Education programs in Milton. A component of this review is input from various community stakeholders. We are seeking interested community members who would like to participate in a 1 hour focus group. The goal of the group is to hear from community members about their experiences in special education. Information gathered will be integrated into our Program Review and will help guide future planning for Special Education.
The focus group for community members is Tuesday, February 4, 2020 from 4-5pm and the group will meet in Milton High School room 209. Please reach out to let us know if you are able to come, so we plan for appropriate space. if you have already RSVPed, you are all set. Please confirm your attendance by emailing Susan Maselli.
FOOD AND NUTRITION
The Milton Public School offers breakfast every morning for twenty minutes before school begins. There is no need to sign up for breakfast and we have breakfast supervisors in our cafeteria’s each day with our students.
When students start the day with a nutritious breakfast, they start the day ready to learn. Some students skip breakfast at home because they are not hungry when they first wakeup. Many families find it difficult for their children to get up, dressed, fed, and off to school. When parents rely on the School Breakfast Program, they can be assured that their child will receive a healthy breakfast every day.
This is an excellent opportunity to ensure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal at the start of each day. We offer breakfast for $1.25 each day as a complete meal. These funds can come out of a student’s prepaid meal account. We offer a variety of whole grain items, egg sandwiches and fast grab and go items for students who may want to eat their meal a little later in the morning. Each meal is accompanied with fresh fruit, 100% juice and white milk. Studies have shown that children who eat a nutritious breakfast have better behavior, better attendance, and improved grades. All students are welcome to attend Monday through Friday. We also offer breakfast on our half days of school.
If you have any questions, please contact Director of Food Services, Jackie Morgan via email or phone at 617-898-1051.
Sophomore Lateef Patrick and Senior Owen Leddy are your Susi Athletes of the Month for December. Lateef averaged 16.5 points per game over the first four games of the season; Scored 31 points in an opening night win over Framingham. Leddy been instrumental in every game. Has made huge strides from start of season to now. Has worked his way from the 4th line center position up to the 2nd line center position. Has become an instrumental player on both our penalty kill and now is on our 2nd power play unit. His stats for the month were; 6 GP – 2G, 3A = 5 Pts.
Girls Hockey earned a tie last night against Plymouth South. Christina Sweeney scored with 40 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 1!
The Wildcats from Weymouth pay a visit on Friday for Boys Basketball, and Saturday for Boys Ice Hockey.
IN THE COMMUNITY
The popular Milton Neighbors Facebook page is holding their annual member social on Thursday, January 9th at Novara. This year, the group has generously offered to donate all profits to the Milton Public Schools pilot music program for children who wish to take a musical instrument, and need financial assistance to participate.
Learning a musical instrument is a gift that can change a life and we so appreciate these neighbors working together to give some of our MPS children the gift of music!
Do you have an instrument collecting dust in your attic? Bring it to the social for a tax-deductible donation! Please contact them ahead of time if you are bringing an instrument by emailing [email protected].
Tickets are available here. Please consider attending and supporting this valuable MPS program.
Milton Early Childhood Alliance Winter Newsletter has information for families about many activities for children in the coming weeks.
There is much fun to be had this season in the Children’s Room at the Milton Public Library! Cool family activities including books, programs, coloring, games, puppets and more are available every day for you to check out. In addition to our regular story times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we have these exciting programs for the young people in your life happening during the week of January 20th-25th.
The Town of Milton is preparing a climate change vulnerability assessment. The assessment’s goal is to identify hazards climate change pose to Milton, our points of vulnerability to these hazards, and our points of strength as we work to mitigate their effects.
To that end, the Town will be hosting a public listening session before our assessment to get a better idea of resident priorities and mine their collective knowledge. All members of the Milton community are invited to the Climate Change Vulnerability Listening Session on Thursday, January 9th 6:30-8:30pm at the Milton Library, Keys Community Room.
The Milton Historical Society is hosting its annual Fireside Chat program on two separate occasions. The first chat is on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at 10 a.m., and second on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at 7 p.m., both at the Suffolk Resolves House, 1370 Canton Ave., Milton, MA. Reservations are required as there is a 20-person limit at each sitting. Coffee and light refreshments will be available. Reservations only to [email protected].
Suffolk Resolves House Curator Diann Strausberg will bring Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson to life using Hutchinson related items in the society’s collection.
The next Milton Community Concert, “Rockin’ With Renaissance Men”, will be on Saturday evening, January 18th at 7pm at First Parish of Milton, 535 Canton Avenue. This is a free benefit concert, with donations of any amount going to support the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
Please consider supporting Brookwood Community Farm or joining as a member. Over the past few years, a variety of elementary school students have visited the farm with their class, walking the fields, learning about how plants grow and more, all at the base of the Blue Hills.
It’s only January but many spring sports registration sites are up and running – or will be soon! If you are considering a town spring sport for your child, now is the time to explore options and register. Milton has many sports options for your child, including: Milton Youth Lacrosse; Milton Girls Softball ; Milton American Baseball ; Milton National Little League.
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: I am pleased to announce the winners of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King writing, poetry and art contest for Milton High School. We had some outstanding work submitted and choosing the top four was a difficult task. The writing submissions can be read here. These four students will attend and present at the Milton Interfaith Clergy Association’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration on Monday, January 20, 2020 6:30-8:00pm at the Concord Baptist Church. 180 Blue Hill Ave, Milton. All are invited to attend this special community evening.
Congratulations to the following students (L-R in photo) who were chosen as this year’s winners.
- Sophomore Caroline Gannon wrote a poem called “Daydreaming.”
- Freshman Lok Ye Young drew a piece of art and an accompanying poem called “The Challenge of Change.”
- Freshman Lydia Geering wrote a poem called “This is not an Angry Poem.”
- Freshman Kiera Glazer wrote an essay titled “Changing the World.”
New Chromebooks in the 4th grade!
VOLUNTEERS: A big thank you to Paul Shiff and his employer, HUB Tech in Easton, MA. Mr. Shiff is not a MPS parent but is friendly with a Cunningham family. When he learned that the 4th grade had requested some new Chromebooks, he offered to donate 15 new Chromebooks to the 4th grade at Cunningham. Last Friday, Mr. Shiff brought the Chromebooks to Cunningham and spent time with Mrs. McKay and Ms. Staker’s class. We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation!
Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Noel Vigue, Caitlin Deptula, Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Bernadette Butler, Amy McKay, AJ Melanson, Karen McDavitt, Ryan Madden, Ellen Lohan, Marti O’Keefe McKenna, Jon Redden, Susan Maselli, Brian Selig, Alyson Zukowski, Jackie Morgan, John Gillooly, Bill Deschenes, Kevin Black and Deanna Magill.
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.