Superintendent Gormley releases updates for the week of April 6

Superintendent's Weekly Update
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Superintendent Gormley releases updates for the week of April 6

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

A member of our Milton Public School community reached out to me with an issue of concern to her, her family and to all of us. She wrote that she knows that the Milton community would never let hate crimes against any group go unchecked. The article linked here heightened her concern. 

The Milton Public Schools has been an active member and supporter of Primary Source for over 30 years.  I reached out to Peter Gilmartin and Susan Zeiger from Primary Source for resources and suggestions for parents/guardians and educators to address “Coronavirus Bias and Racism.”  I am sure that you will join me in thanking and recognizing Primary Source’s program director Susan Zeiger for sharing the valuable suggestions and sites below:

Our local, national and global communities are facing a crisis like no other in our collective lifetimes.  Unfortunately, in moments of extreme social stress, human beings sometimes turn to scapegoating and stigma to deflect their own deepest fears.  “Coronavirus racism” is a new term that’s been added to our vocabulary this spring. In the US, it means acts of hate speech or physical harm against Asian/Pacific Americans, Asian immigrants and other immigrant communities falsely blamed for the pandemic.  

As we think about supporting the sense of safety and well-being for all our young people at home in the upcoming weeks, it falls on parents and teachers to address these forms of intolerance. Primary Source is an education non-profit that has worked in partnership with the Milton Public Schools for many years supporting your initiatives for global education and multicultural curriculum. Primary Source is pleased to share with your community these suggestions, and some readily available tools that might help you implement them—on top of everything else you are juggling! 

  • Start with what young people are thinking and hearing about. We are all living online these days, and children could be aware of or exposed to hate speech and intolerance on social media and elsewhere. This helpful toolkit from the National Association of School Psychologists, Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Teachers and Other Educators, has research-based guidance for addressing stereotyping, bullying and coronavirus racism with children of all stages and ages.   And parents in particular will appreciate this three-minute animated video, How to Talk to Kids About Race from The Atlantic (part of their excellent video series on parenting issues)
  • In virtual lessons, engage young people in a discussion of scapegoating.  Define it for them, and see if they can think of examples in books they have read, films they have watched or history they have studied when a group was blamed for a problem based on social prejudice and fear. Use this excellent briefing from the Anti-Defamation League, The Coronavirus Surfaces Fear, Stereotyping and Scapegoating  for background information, historical parallels from other disease epidemics, and strategies to address the current issue with students. Teach a lesson or make an assignment about the history of anti-Asian racism in our nation. Teachers, parents and students will all find relevant materials from this online Resource Guide for learning about Asians and Asian Americans in the U.S. created by Primary Source.
  • At a family meal, have a related conversation about the ways that a crisis brings out people’s best impulses but also their worst. Share ideas about how misinformation, rumors and prejudice can spread.  Connect these to coronavirus racism and other malicious forms of misinformation. Think with your children about what we can all do to counteract them. Exploring these videos and lesson plans about “fake news” and misinformation from the PBS News Hour will give you some good ideas.
  • While it is vital to address outbreaks of violence and intolerance in real time, we all know the fundamental work of social justice education is long-term, proactive and structural.  While young people are out of school this spring, make multi-cultural reading part of their learning plan. We need many stories from Asian/Pacific communities as “windows and mirrors” that validate diverse perspectives and disrupt stereotypes. Fortunately, these diverse and inspiring stories are being published in ever greater numbers.  

Check out the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award, given each year for best adult, young adult and children’s books that celebrate Asian Americans and their heritage. The Massachusetts public libraries have widely expanded their e-book offerings during the coronavirus epidemic where you’ll be able to access these titles.  Parents/guardians and children can read one or more of these book selections together; then invite friends to read alongside you. Host a virtual “book club” discussion about your favorite titles. 

Deep knowledge of others is our greatest weapon against fear and distrust.  

IMPORTANT MPS DATES

The MPS school calendar remains the same  as if school were in session, with No School/No Remote Learning on Good Friday (April 10th) and April vacation (April 20-24). In addition,  I contacted Rabbi Alfred Benjamin, and he confirmed that Passover Observance is from sundown April 8th – sundown on April 16th. In honor and recognition of the Biblical Festival of Passover, the Jewish holiday that commemorates freedom from slavery in Egypt, Milton Public Schools will consider it an excused absence for those who, in their observance of the holiday, do not log in to on-line classes on April 8, 15 and 16.

IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS

MPS school Adjustment Counselors:  Jennie BeliveauMary Bianca MattocksKenneth Adelmann (Milton High School); Myriam FrancoeurKara SheridanKelly Dearing (Pierce) Jaclyn Germano (Cunningham); Elizabeth Caruso (Collicot) ; Ramsay Cadet (Tucker) Brian PowersChristine 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 617-686-4808 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.

FOOD SERVICE

The MPS Food Service effort continued this week with Wednesday pick up of weekly to-go bags of breakfasts and lunches for any Milton student. Weekly to-go bags with (now) 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.

The weather did not cooperate this Wednesday, so a huge thank you to MHS custodian Jason Scherer who secured two red tents at Home Depot to keep our staff and the to-go bags dry.  Another thank you to  Milton Fire Department Chief Jack Grant who gave us 24 face masks for the food service staff.

This past Wednesday, Jackie Morgan and our Food Service team gave out 211  weekly bags containing 14 meals each for a total of 2954 meals distributed to our students this week. This FREE service will be available throughout the school closure, including during school vacation week on Wednesday April 22nd.

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] or by phone at 617-980-7343.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

When MHS Science Department Head Amy Tom shared information about the  2020 ASPIRE Program in the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at UMass Amherst with students, several of our MHS students jumped at the chance to participate.

ASPIRE (A Student-led Program In Research and Education) provides students with the opportunity to conduct hands-on laboratory experiments in synthesis, characterization, and engineering of polymers. In this free program, graduate students guide high school students through the experience of research in a science and engineering lab.

MHS student Aoife Ruth shares the following below about the program she attended in January and February. She attended along with MHS students  Ava Lynch, Evan Trafton, John McCambell and Arden Carvalho.

The program was a very fun opportunity and I was grateful to have a chance to participate. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of the actual experiments as they encouraged us to keep phones away from the labs for cleanliness.

The program was completely run by second year graduate students. At the start we were assigned groups and kids fro. the same town tended to be split up so you got to know new people. The first week was dedicated to safety training. The following three rotated between multiple physics experiments, engineering experiments and chemistry experiments, all pertaining to polymer science. The last week we were able to use our new knowledge of the three areas to choose an area for a final experiment. We were privileged enough to use many of the school’s resources and see technology we wouldn’t see otherwise. For example, UMass Amherst allowed us to use their SEM, scanning electron microscope, and we were able to see details on the wing of a fly that cannot be seen with the human eye. In physics, we saw the programming aspect of science and using computers to generate how a hypothetical polymer would respond to various situations. Engineering allowed us to test the durability of the different polymers and we watched polymers rapidly crystalize thanks to temperature controls. The program itself was well organized and the grad students were all good teachers who worked in pairs. They had extensive knowledge and were never stumped by a question, and if they were, their partner was sure to know the answer. It was a far drive but I learned a lot and got a look at what it’s like to work in a lab.

I would recommend this program for anyone who wants a closer look at labs and science technology or has an interest in science beyond general education.

PIERCE PAGES 

The sixth grade science classes were given a choice board this week to select assignments for their remote learning. Options included designing a pet rock and completing pet registration forms using their knowledge of Earth History, including shape, color, texture, rock type, the story behind how their pet rock formed, and running an acid test to determine the environment the rock may have formed in; making Chalk Diagrams showing a major concept previously covered in class and Engineering Design Challenge Design to design an inside or outside obstacle course.

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Our 7th graders on Team Yosemite have been busy at home. You can check out their adventures here. 

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.

Elementary students continue to stay busy with science at home! This week third graders looked at how temperature affects the rate of substances dissolving in water. Kindergarteners explored their senses and kept a nature journal. Students across all grade levels enjoyed participating in STEM challenges including cleaning pennies with vinegar and building structures with cardboard and tin foil! Many students also enjoyed tuning in for a live science show with classroom favorite “Mystery Doug.” If you missed it, here is a link to a recording of the entertaining educational program!

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This week in the remote learning art room students experimented with the art element texture. Texture refers to the way an object feels to the touch or looks as it may feel. For this week’s art challenge students went on a hunt in their house or yard for objects with texture to make a sculpture, drawing, collage, etc. To see more student work, visit our virtual art gallery here.

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Adjustment Counselor Ms. Germano and some Cunningham 4th graders enjoyed a costume party during their check in this week! Next week’s theme?  Favorite hat/sunglasses and a scavenger hunt!

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Tucker 4th grader Gaby Robinson took some time this week to share her experience and advice about about the school closure and the health crisis facing our world. You can read these wise words from this 4th grader here. 

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Cunningham students attended a live Q and A with Dr. Redden, Ms. Morton and Ms. Cadigan this week and answered popular questions like:

  • Do you have a dog or cat?
  • Would you want to be 6 inches taller or 6 inches shorter?
  • Will we have our end of year activities?
  • Will we have MCAS this year?

Join your Cunningham friends next Wednesday at 3pm for more Q and A with your principal. All details will be in Dr. Redden’s Sunday email to families.

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We know all of our students and staff are missing each other! The Glover staff put into words and video, just how much they miss their Glover Kids! You can see their beautiful tribute here.

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In addition to their schoolwork this week, Collicot students shared how they are staying active and healthy during the school closure.

CURRICULUM CHALLENGE

Brian Selig, MPS K-12 Math Director has a Math Challenge that is appropriate for students at all grade levels. Read on to find out how that is possible!

With the extension of the school closure period until May 4th, I wanted to start to use this space to provide Milton Public School families with a weekly opportunity to engage together in a math exploration activity involving patterns.
Mathematics is often characterized as the “study of patterns” and understanding patterns is critical in the development of algebraic thinking and the analysis functions. The Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework contains a list of eight standards of “mathematical practice” (SMPs) for all K-12 students to consistently engage in, including two that relate directly to pattern recognition:

  • Looking for and making use of structure (SMP.7)
  • Looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning (SMP.8)

Each week, I will display the first three steps in a pattern and then pose questions related to that pattern that increase in difficulty. My hope is that all students regardless of grade level can find enjoyment and success in investigating these patterns even if they are unable to formally describe how the pattern grows over time. You can find the full challenge at this link. The answers will be posted here next Thursday. Good luck!

PHYSICAL EDUCATION 

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

During this difficult time of isolation and physical distancing, we are going to experience a roller coaster of emotions. It can feel like we are trapped in a bubble and everything can seem magnified.  Taking time to practice the skills to help manage emotions is essential for you and your children. Quite often, our decisions can be related to our emotions. The better we get at managing and recognizing our emotions, the better we will get at making healthier decisions.  The CDC’s recommendations have been at the forefront of the news as of late.  One of the important recommendations is being regularly physically active. Not only is this a wonderful healthy habit for our physical well being, but it helps with our mental and emotional health, too. When we exercise, we can boost our mood almost immediately and exercise helps us have more restful and restorative sleep. If we practice making physical activity a part of our daily routine, it will be easier to make this a habitual part of a healthy lifestyle.  Here are some suggestions:

Figuring out why we do what we do is important so that we can create healthy habits. If we take moments to pause and reflect, we can figure out why we like something (or don’t), why we may have done something, ways to improve going forward, and sometimes it’s even a really good way to vent! It’s healthy to learn about ourselves and be able to do things that are meaningful to us and our families.  Get everyone in the family on board to take the time to keep a reflective journal and examine the choices you’ve made and emotions you’ve experienced each day.  Take 10 minutes to reflect. You may enjoy this Relaxing Meditation Music while you reflect.

TECHNOLOGY 

Google Classroom: Many teachers in the Milton Public Schools use Google Classroom to help manage their class.  This is not a requirement for teachers. It is a common misconception that family members can join a Google Classroom.  Only students and staff in the miltonps.org domain have the right to join a Google Classroom. Teachers can invite family members to receive summaries.  For more information on Guardian Summaries please click here.

Families have asked how to help their students turn in assignments on Google Classroom. Here are instructions on how a student can turn in an assignment on Google Classroom.

Elementary families who need support with their student’s Google username and password, please email your student’s teacher for this information.

You can find more resources about Plus Portals, Study Island and Chromebooks in this document. 

INTERFACE REFERRAL SERVICE 

Interface is  important mental health resource for Milton families.

Positive mental health is critical to children’s healthy development.  Yet one in every five youth will eventually meet criteria for a mental health disorder.  This risk of mental illness is on the increase, and is probably exacerbated by the physical and social challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis.

If you, as a parent or faculty member, are experiencing mental health challenges, or if your children and students could benefit by professional help, please contact Interface Referral Service, a program of William James College.  They are open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. Their contact information is online or call their Helpline:  888-244-6843  

SPECIAL EDUCATION 

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Susan Maselli, shares the following. She can be reached anytime via email.

I hope this note finds you well. Here is a brief update on special education. Many of you have heard from your student’s liaisons or chairs about the development of individual student Remote Learning Plans. If you have not received this document, you can expect to by the end of the week. Remote Learning Plans outline the kinds of supports and resources available to students in special education during school closure. These documents are fluid, and you can expect them to evolve over time. If you have questions about your student’s plan, please reach out directly to your Team Chairperson.

Additionally, if your child has a pending Annual IEP Review, we will be resuming Virtual IEP Meetings in the coming weeks. Your Team Chair will coordinate a time that is agreeable for your schedule. If you would prefer to hold off on an Annual Review Meeting until after school reopens, we will accommodate that request as well.

If your child is facing a transition year: (preschool to kindergarten, grade 5 to 6, or grade 8 to 9), we will also be starting to schedule Transition Meetings. Again, this will be scheduled by your student’s Special Education Team Chairperson. This will be a time to discuss educational services within the IEP that are necessary for a transition, and we hope your schedule will allow for your participation so that supports and services for the fall are developed prior to school reopening.

As always, please be in touch with any questions or concerns. We would like to continue to have virtual Parent Outreach Coffees and if you are interested, please email Patty @ [email protected] to join a  session.

LIBRARY RESOURCES 

The K-8 Spring Reading Challenge is off to a great start! Students are signing up online to log not only their reading minutes, but also fun activities, including:

Magic tricks and jokes; Dance parties and music; Arts and crafts; Science projects; Reading to pets; Fun with world languages on Muzzy Club; Writing poems, emails, book reviews, and chalk messages; Making comics; And much more!

For all these activities, students can earn virtual badges. And once the Milton Public Library reopens, every participant will be eligible to receive a prize!

So far, 165 students have collectively logged 37,290 minutes of reading, written 40 book reviews, and earned 336 badges. Keep up the great work!

Haven’t joined yet? It’s easy. We’re using Beanstack, a free service which you may remember from Summer Reading. If you already have an account, you can use that to log in–and if you don’t remember it, feel free to set up a new one. It’s easy to set up one account for your whole family. There’s also an app for that: search for Beanstack in the App Store.

To get started, visit the Beanstack website.  If you have any questions, contact Sara Truog from the Milton Public Library.

FAMILY OUTREACH LIAISON 

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. The food pantry asks those families arriving by car to please remain in your vehicle and you will be directed by a volunteer. Those who walk to the pantry are also welcome and should enter through the pantry lobby. New clients are welcome.

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 [email protected] All calls and emails are confidential.

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.

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.

COUNSELING CORNER 

Each week, one of our MPS Adjustment Counselors will share information or resources. Last week, Pierce’s Ms. Dearing wrote to the MPS community. This week, Ms. Caruso from Collicot checks in below.

I recently stumbled upon a blog post titled “Parents Are Not Okay”. As I quickly scanned the article which described how many parents are coping (not well) during this pandemic, I quickly realized that I have not been okay. I have found myself beating myself up at the end of each day; overwhelmed by trying to parent three pre-school age children; maintain a household, dial into various conference calls and make sure I am connecting with students and families within my school community. As parents, we are all currently wearing multiple hats, including many that we are not comfortable wearing and doing the best we can do, given the circumstances we have found ourselves in. It is stressful and overwhelming but I am ready to shift my mindset to one of positivity and gratitude.

I was recently inspired by a colleague (Lauren Marley, Collicot’s school psychologist) who shared how she had been inspired by a book she had read (The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod) to start and end her day by expressing gratitude…even on the toughest of days, to find something to be grateful for within that day. She shared that shifting her mindset to one of gratitude was one of the best things she had done for her own mental health so I have decided to do the same. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

So today as I close out another long day, I am extremely thankful and grateful for the current state of my health and that of my family and friends… and that I only had to act as referee to 15 arguments between my children today (down from 20 yesterday, I’ll call that a win!). What are you grateful for today?

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

ART AND MUSIC 

The elementary art specialists have been posting weekly ART challenges on the MPS Elementary At-Home Learning site found here.

When students have completed a challenge or any art project, they may upload photos directly to our Padlet page linked here.

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Milton FAME (Friends and Advocates of Music Education) is currently hosting two fundraisers to support music programs and education in the Milton Public Schools!

MHS Senior and saxophonist extraordinaire, Caleb Smith is raising money for the Applied Music Lesson Program by doing a two day bike ride across the state of Massachusetts, May 30-31.  In Caleb’s words, “The physical challenge will be a testament to the gratefulness I feel towards the music department at Milton High.  I hope the money raised will pave the way for deserving kids, who otherwise could not afford to pursue music, grow as musicians and be a part of this amazing department!”  Read more about Caleb and donate to his go fund me page here.  Any amount is greatly appreciated!  

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We have another fun fundraiser going on till May 7th through Boon Supply (formerly Mixed Bags).  Boon offers eco-friendly, stylish items in the areas of Waste-Free Living, Character Matters, Bags, Kitchen and Organization, Gifting and Accessories, Travel and On-The-Go, and Food.  Order anything from the on-line catalogue and FAME will receive 40% of the sale.  There is something for everyone!  Items you order will be shipped directly to your home address.  Check out their catalogue 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.

Ava Duggan – All-Everything, Senior Ava Duggan once again made the Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic team this indoor season. Ava was Bay State Conference champion in the mile and finished second in the mile at the MIAA Division III championships. Ava’s tenure as captain of the girls team will be punctuated by her hard work, dedication to the sport and her “coachability”. Ava will be taking her talents to Northeastern University where the best is yet to come for her running and racing career. See link here for her signing her National Letter of Intent back in November!

Emily Abbott – Emily played Field Hockey and Lacrosse during her high school career. Emily is a motivated and determined athlete who has always stayed positive. She has shown great dedication and passion in her four years as a student athlete at Milton High School. Not the most vocal, Emily still leads by example, and like Ava, is extremely coachable. “If you can dream it, you can do it. Best wishes for your bright future.” – Coach Smith

Anthony Lorizio – Anthony Lorizio is a Senior Captain for the Lacrosse Team. Plays center in football, center of attention in lacrosse, midfield. Majors in lacrosse, minors in football. Lax bro-Barros’ right hand man. He is such a good kid, with a great personality. He’ll be missed when he graduates. Favorite quote- “Nice side arm shot, how’d that work out for ya!” -Coach A

Andrew Possi – Possi is a 3-year starter for the Varsity Baseball Team. He is a captain this year. He has cemented the shortstop position as his own and has hit in the middle of the lineup his entire career. Also a Football players, Possi is a “smooth” as they come. He makes even the most difficult of plays look effortless. He will be attending UMass Dartmouth next year to study business and play baseball.

Molly Murtagh -Molly is a great athlete and an even better person! She loves the game of softball and she is always working hard. She strives to improve on and off the field everyday. Molly has been an awesome personality and is a great influence on her teammates. Molly was also a member of the Field Hockey and Ice Hockey Teams.

Isaiah Morisset – The “silver tongued, high fashion aficionado has a smile that may melt you, but a burst up speed the middle that will make you cry” as Coach Dolan puts it. Isaiah has an excellent feel for the play developing in front of him from his fullback position. He helps to organize everyone in front of him. When he catches a high ball….he’s gone. Not to mention he is a good student of high character!

Dawson Vo – This season Dawson will be a 4th year starter for the Tennis Team who has developed into a valuable member of the boy’s tennis team because of his versatility to play both singles and doubles. Dawson was one of the few bright spots in last year’s Div. II State tournament vs Hingham. Dawson (paired with Kelly Mackenzie at 2nd doubles) dominated play with his electrifying service returns and brilliant servicing. If he stays healthy, Dawson will be a solid contributor to this year’s team.

Laine Hern – As a Field Hockey and Lacrosse player, Laine is an incredibly hard working athlete who always has a smile on her face. She is always positive and has an amazing energy that is contagious, and the the ability to get the whole team cheering with excitement for every single game. With such an outgoing personality and a great sense of humor, any coach would be lucky to have her on their team.

Jillian Rundlett – Jill is a 4 year Varsity Softball player and had a wonderful impact on all her teammates and coaches. She did whatever the team needed her to do whether it was pitching or playing outfield. She always had a smile on her face and would try her best. Sometimes Jill would break out in dance moves when the music started to get everyone pumped up on the bus. Her energy is contagious and will be missed next year!

Hudson Smith – Hudson is a senior captain for the Boys Lacrosse Team. He is like a Gazelle in the midfield. Majors in lacrosse, minors in hockey and track. Smith was a very important part of getting the hockey team back in the tournament after a year hiatus. Flow for days. One of the smartest student-athletes Milton High has to offer. Favorite quote- ”Hit the net!!” –Coach Lynch

COMMUNITY NEWS

There are only a few more days until the Forbes House Museum’s Lincoln Contest deadline. All submissions are due by Friday, April  17. The contest prompts and guidelines can be found here. 

Students in grades K-5 are encouraged to submit their drawings in one of three ways:

  • Mail to the Forbes House Museum, 215 Adams Street
  • Drop off in the red plastic bin by the side entrance at the museum
  • Take a photo of your artwork and send it to  [email protected] (Note-This is a change from the original  instructions which said drawings could not be submitted electronically; we WILL accept them via email this year.) Use the subject line “Lincoln Drawing Contest.”

Students in grades 6-8 should submit their essays to the same email address: [email protected], with the subject line “Lincoln Essay Contest.” If you have any questions, please send them to that email as well, and someone from the museum will reply shortly.

First, second and third place winners will be selected at each grade level. At this point, the museum is planning to recognize the winners at a virtual awards ceremony on Sunday, May 17th and the annual Lincoln Day Celebration is being postponed until the fall, exact date TBD.

We hope that carrying on this tradition can provide some comfort and continuity, despite the very uncertain and challenging times that we’re all facing. Many thanks to the schools for their support. Good luck!

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They’ve done it in London and New York City, and now this Friday we will do it in greater Boston: a collective round of applause for workers who are on the front lines of the coronavirus battle.

Everyone from Milton to Mount Washington and Beacon Hill to the Berkshires can participate in #ClapBecauseWeCare.

Here’s how: At 7 p.m. on Friday, open up a window, or stand in front of your house, and clap and whoop, ring a bell, or bang some pots and pans together, for five minutes as if J.D. Martinez just hit a home run in Fenway Park.

Organizers are hoping residents will cheer for the doctors, nurses, and first responders; the pharmacists and grocery workers, delivery drivers and postal employees, restaurateurs who have stayed open, and other essential personnel who are risking exposure to COVID-19 so everyone else can stay home and stay healthy.

The plan is to keep this up EVERY Friday at 7:00pm until we emerge on the other side of this pandemic.  Post a video of your celebration on social media with the #ClapBecauseWeCareMilton and make sure that the video is set to ‘public.’

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Even though we are in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still important functions we must attend to which include being counted in the 2020 Census. This mandatory head count happens once every decade and every person in the Commonwealth must be counted in their community.

This count is vital as it determines federal and state funding, which go to services that we rely upon every single day including education, public health, public transportation, and services that will benefit our children for the next 10 years.  As such, having an accurate count is critical for our community and we do not want any of our services to be shortchanged.

We want to stress the importance that every person in your household be counted, including newborns and the very young.  The funding for services will benefit them as they develop and grow and a response is crucial to an accurate count.  The next opportunity to secure more funding for these services will be another decade from now. We also want to note that this information is completely confidential and your information is never shared with any other agency.

Please respond as soon as possible and be counted—it’s quick and easy.  You can respond online at my2020census.gov. If you have additional questions or need  language support to respond over the phone, please visit  2020census.gov.

It only takes a few minutes to complete but will have a great impact on our lives. Thank you for ensuring an accurate count for our community and for your children.

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Brookwood Community Farm is producing garden seedlings for early May sales and will be harvesting their produce from late May through late November for CSA shares, farm stand sales, and the Roslindale Farmers Market along with their regular weekly fresh food donations to multiple local food pantries.  Please consider joining as a member or donating to support the farm, buying CSA shares (full, half, plus eggs and fruit), and later on stopping by the farm stand or Roslindale Farmers Market to purchase their organically grown produce and flowers.  Definitely check out their website, www.brookwoodcommunityfarm.org for updates and like/follow them on Facebook and Instagram for inspiration, education and of course, updates on how the staff are managing to produce seedlings and food for you under the restrictions and limitations due to COVID-19.

Do you have some time to help at Brookwood this spring? Ellen, Audrey and Andrew Mak helped for 2 hours last Saturday to spread compost in the future flower beds at Brookwood Community Farm.  Family or housemates are great volunteers at the farm because they do not need to worry so much about social distancing when working together!   Any group as described or an individual willing to work on a project 1 time or repeatedly, please contact Cathy Smith at [email protected]

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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 the week of April 10 – April 17, 2020.

***

In closing, I want to share a poem with you that was sent to me by School Committee Chairperson Sheila Varela. This poem was written by one of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s educational authors and consultants.

 

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