Superintendent Gormley releases updates for week of May 7, 2020

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Superintendent Gormley releases updates for week of May 7, 2020

Updates include student registration, remote learning, business office update and more.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week around the country. In the Milton Public Schools we have always called it Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week because we all know it takes more than amazing teachers to help a school system – and your children – thrive. Our teachers work side by side with paraprofessionals, administrators, support staff, custodians, school nurses and cafeteria staff to bring your children the best possible school day experience, week in and week out.

For years, the MPS staff has done this in person, delivering academic instruction, social-emotional support, nutrition, safety, fun, artistic outlets, family support, and more throughout the school year. Since March 16th, the entire MPS staff has done this remotely from their homes or from empty school offices. Technology support, academic instruction via video and online lessons, Chromebook distribution, paper packet distribution, cleaning every inch of our schools, making and distributing thousands of meals to Milton children, delivering meals to Milton families, facilitating community outreach, keeping the day to day logistics of our schools up and running, planning for next year, and more are all happening every single day in the Milton Public Schools. Today we thank and appreciate all MPS employees for their efforts on behalf of our students.

The six PTOs and the Milton Foundation for Education worked together on a staff appreciation gift this year, a special MPS t-shirt given to all staff to thank them and mark this historic time in our country. Thank you to the PTOs, the MFE, and Frank Susi from Susi Art for this special gift.

In honor of Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, Chad Stokes, lead singer of the band Dispatch, and his beautiful extended family serenaded the teachers of Collicot and Glover (and all MPS teachers) in this video.


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

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

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

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


The next School Committee meeting will be on May 27, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. School Committee meetings can be watched On Demand on Milton Access TV or you can join the meeting remotely. Please see the School Committee agendas posted on the Town of Milton Website for remote access.


The School Committee voted to partially refund bus fees paid for the 2019-2020 school year. Those families who paid $275 or $550 will receive a $90 or $180 refund, respectively. We will be reaching out to families to see whether they wish to have this amount credited towards next year’s fee or whether they would prefer a refund now. Refunds will need to be processed through Town Hall and will take several weeks.

We will be reaching out shortly with bus registration for next year. We do not yet know, however, what form bus service might take. If, for example, social distancing is still in place in the fall, bus ridership will be severely limited. As we get further guidance from the Commonwealth, we will keep families informed.


We thank you for your partnership during the previous and now extended school closure. Your feedback about what is working well for you and your child as well as what might be an opportunity for growth has been invaluable to us. If you have specific questions about your child’s work or progress on work, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher. If you have other questions, please contact your child’s principal. As a reminder, we have many additional supports and resources available to you and your family. Please let us know how we can help you. We look forward to continuing our partnership with you and shifting our work in order to best meet the needs of our students. All supporting documents and information about our remote learning plan can be found on the front of our website.


As a district, we are beginning to plan for what reentry into school will look like for students and staff in September. The Commissioner of Education and others are talking about a wide variety of issues and potential plans. There are questions around safety, social distancing, student achievement, technology, social-emotional learning, foodservice, and dozens of other concerns that arise daily.

To this point, MPS is forming a Reentry Task Force made up of various stakeholders with representatives from different groups including Central Office, School Committee, Principal Representatives, Technology Department, Facilities, Athletics, MEA Unit A, B, C, D and HRS (teachers, administrators, and support staff), AFSCME, Food Service, Parent Representatives, MPS Head Nurse, Board of Health, Town Hall, Milton Police Department, and medical experts.

This committee, chaired by School Committee Member Ada Rosmarin and Glover Principal Karen McDavitt, will meet virtually and later in-person as guidelines permit over the next 6 or more months. If you are an MPS parent/guardian with an interest in serving, please email your school PTO by noon on Friday, May 8th to express your interest in serving and share any areas of expertise you may bring to the committee.

Thank you to the more than 30 parents and guardians, across a spectrum of areas of expertise, who have already volunteered to serve on this committee. We will communicate with all volunteers next week.


Congratulations to Pierce teacher Deanna Magill, who has been selected as a recipient of a Lemelson-MIT Excite Award.

The Excite Award is given annually to up to 25 K-12 educators across the United States in recognition of their exemplary work facilitating project-based programs in their schools. Excite Award recipients will receive free professional development opportunities. Educators will experience invention education, hear from expert educators and MIT faculty about facilitating invention education, and network with a cohort of the country’s top educators. Excite Award recipients will have the opportunity to continue their participation with the Lemelson-MIT Program’s Partners in Invention Education community throughout the school year.

Pierce Science Coordinator Christie Chiappetta writes that “Ms. Magill has done amazing project-based learning that has engaged Pierce students in STEM, both through her work with the FUSE program and the Advanced STEM course she developed to build on that experience for students who are interested in taking their FUSE experience to the next level. Mr. Melanson and I knew she would be the perfect choice for this award, and we are so excited, not only because she is being recognized by such a prestigious organization but also because she will take full advantage of this amazing Professional Development experience. Pierce is incredibly fortunate to have Ms. Magill on our team!”


To support families during school closures, Milton Public Schools is providing children aged 0-21 with free, nutritious breakfast and lunch meals every Wednesday as part of the USDA’s emergency COVID-19 response. MPS recently received two grants to help in these efforts. The Eos Foundation awarded the district a $2,000 grant and Project Bread awarded $4,000 to support the continued distribution of meals to children. We are grateful for these donations!

This week we served 251 students – 3514 meals – during the Wednesday pick-ups at MHS and Tucker. We offered corn on the cob and fresh grapefruit this week. The MPS Food Service staff are keeping our bags fresh and exciting during week 8 of the school closure!

We want everyone to know that these healthy meals are available to every child, 0-21. Parents/caregivers can pick up meals on children’s behalf to help ensure safe social distancing.

  • Every Wednesday families can pick up 7 days of breakfasts and lunches at one time. Pick up times are 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. at the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building).
  • Children do not need to be present for parents/guardians to pick up the meals.
  • Meals are available to all children ages 0-21, preschool-aged children can also receive meals.
  • All children are welcome regardless of the school attended; this is a community-wide meals program.
  • All sites encourage safe social distancing and ask that individuals remain six feet apart.
  • Anyone who cannot make it out of their house to pick up a meal is encouraged to contact Jackie Morgan at 617-898-1051 or [email protected].
  • 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].


Happy Nurses Day! MPS nurses celebrated the beginning of National Nurses Week this Wednesday, May 6th. Your school nurses have been busy helping the Milton Board of Health, making masks for the community, and preparing for our return to school next year. Even though we are not physically together in our school buildings, your school nurse is still available by email and would love to hear from you.

School Medication Pick-Up: All MPS buildings have been closed since Wednesday, March 18th, and will continue to be off-limits for staff, students and visitors during the “Stay at Home” order. Once the “Stay at Home” order is lifted, Superintendent Gormley will work with all MPS Administrators and Custodial Staff to implement a plan that includes the return of daily, as needed, and emergency medications. Please keep an eye out for further communication from your school principal and school nurse regarding specific pick-up dates/ times in the coming weeks.


Over the past several weeks, author, professor, and grief and resilience specialist Maria Trozzi has participated in virtual meetings with the staff from each of our schools. We have heard from many MPS employees about the value of the virtual check-ins.

Pierce Principal Bill Fish writes that Maria Trozzi has been an incredible resource to the Milton Public Schools during some of the most challenging times the district has experienced. Her work with each faculty over the past few weeks has provided educators with comfort and direction as they support students and families through this difficult and unsettled period. By focusing on wellness and self-care, Maria’s guidance and wisdom has reminded all of us that we need to take care of ourselves and one another and to let go of the pressures and expectations that we put on ourselves during otherwise normal circumstances.

Glover Principal Karen McDavitt shares that at the Milton Public Schools, we are exceptionally fortunate to consider Maria Trozzi a member of our extended MPS family. Nationally renowned for her work as a grief counselor and specifically for her work supporting schools in the aftermath of tragedy, our MPS students, families, and staff have benefited greatly from her expertise, her counsel, and her support. Maria continues to help this community in innumerable ways and we are incredibly grateful for the impact she has had on all of our lives.

In her continued work with our district, Ms. Trozzi shares the following advice with the MPS community.

The pandemic has asked a lot from us. Working from home, caring for our family, caring for ourselves in isolation when there is no end day yet. What has prepared us for this required NEW way of going? Nothing that I can name.

Therefore, two things to consider: Spacing and Pacing. Many of you are parents of young children and teens; some of you are MPS staff who live alone. No matter what your living situation, imposed isolation is not our norm. Humans are not built to live in captivity. It’s a lot.

Spacing: Creating your necessary distancing from others. If you are a parent, build into your daily routine at least a couple of time periods when you can be alone with yourself. To do what YOU want. Creating that space will cushion the rest of the time when every family member demands a part of you. It will minimize that scratchy feeling of being out of sorts and help you to be more patient for the days that follow.

If you live alone, create at least a couple of times each day when you will reach out and FaceTime with a friend, a colleague, a loved one who may need a chat. A five or ten minute checking in is restorative- for you both.

Pacing: I worry that we expect too much of ourselves. It’s a lot. Inhibiting the pandemic requires us to give up control of much that has defined our way of going. It’s like learning a new skill. Under pressure.

“Practice, practice, practice …makes better,” is a well-worn phrase that my grandchildren have heard from me when they face learning new skills such as riding a two-wheeler, tying their shoes, batting a Wiffle ball.

With each day and with each week, we are, in effect, practicing a new skill as we adjust to this ‘new way of going’ that is out of our control. In time, we may discover what helps us and what does not. In the process, be kind(er) to yourself. It’s a lot.


Student Awards and Honors – One of the many things we’re missing out on this spring is celebrating the accomplishments of our students during our many annual awards ceremonies. Under normal circumstances, last week would have been Scholastic Honors Night (Century Club, National Honor Society, Junior Book Awards), and we would now be preparing for Student of the Quarter, Tri-M Induction, Senior Scholarships, Boosters Awards, Departmental Book Awards, and others.

While it can’t replace all of these great events, MHS Administrators have put together a tribute to the students to celebrate their hard work. Please view the MHS Awards and Honors page here.


Mr. Jette and the staff of MHS would like to recognize the following students in the MHS Spotlight! Congratulations to Emma Weeber, Jordan Goddard-Brown, Sophie Kosiba, Kevin Harvell, Andrew McDonnell, Michael McCarthy, Rachel Steinberg, Bella Brown on this recognition during this time of remote learning. You can read about their nomination for this spotlight recognition here.


A note from the MHS PTSFO: MHS PTSFO is starting an initiative where community members can “Adopt a Milton 2020 Senior” and send them a letter, card, gift card, snack… you get the idea, anything to let them know just how proud we are of all their accomplishments. You can join the Facebook page here. If you do not have a Facebook account you can ask a friend to post on Facebook for you with your senior’s bio and a picture or as a last resort, you can email Annellen Lydon at [email protected].


MHS would like to promote life-long healthy habits for our students, staff, visitors, and the community by getting into the habit of drinking water instead of sugary drinks. We have started a campaign with the Tap Water Watch Group to solicit funds to replace our current water fountains with new hands-free water filtration systems. This would allow everyone at MHS to stop using so much plastic and keep hydrated with good-tasting, filtered water throughout the day. Moreover, by replacing our old water fountains with new hands-free water filtration systems, we will be reducing the number of high-touch surfaces while at the same time, reducing the spread of germs.

Please help us by contributing and/or sharing this donation campaign to your network of friends and family so we can reach our goal! Every little bit helps us get to our goal. On behalf of the Milton High School community, thank you in advance for your consideration!


Mrs. Magill’s FUSE and Advanced FUSE classes were asked to make paper roller coasters for their last assignment. Some got very creative with their recycled materials! Watch the video which highlights a few amazing creations here.


The Pierce Site Council recently presented at School Committee and shared an overview of remote learning work. You can see the entire video here.


Mandalas are spiritual symbols used in Hindu or Buddist cultures that represent the universe. Often mandalas have radial balance and are used to help reflect and meditate. Elementary students were asked to create mandalas in this week’s art challenge by going outside in their yard and collecting items from nature.


The Forbes House Lincoln Essay & Drawing Contest was established in 1924 by Mary Bowditch Forbes, granddaughter of China trade merchant, Captain Robert Bennet Forbes. Miss Forbes greatly admired President Abraham Lincoln, and in 1909 began collecting Lincoln and Civil War artifacts and memorabilia, which are now part of the Museum’s permanent collection. To promote appreciation for our 16th president, Miss Forbes requested original essays and drawings from students each year, inspired by the life and work of Abraham Lincoln. The tradition continues today. Congratulations to these MPS students who are being recognized by the Forbes House for their contest submissions this year! Congratulations to Andrew Lusa, Maisie Tenforde, Nora Devine, Marin Lusa, Alyssa Zullas, Abby Concannon, Madison Garrett and Violet Kirby .


Talented Glover music teacher, Colleen Martin, has been joining classes during whole group meetings to host virtual music share time. Students have the opportunity to play an instrument, sing a song, or share something musical. This week she joined a fourth-grade class and a student sang a song he composed about the closure. It has been an uplifting activity for students as their peers congratulate them and give positive feedback/comments on their performance. Ms. Martin hopes to join as many classes as possible and help her students share in this powerful activity.


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


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

After the success of Jon Mattelman, Ivy Watts is up next week! Ivy Watts is an inspiring speaker and powerful advocate for erasing the stigma of mental health issues. On Wednesday, May 13, at 7:00 p.m., she will be the guest presenter at the second session of the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition’s Milton Learns Together: Webinar Wednesday series. This webinar is titled, “There is No Health Without Mental Health.”


Brian Selig, MPS K-12 Math Director has a Math Challenge to engage families together in math exploration activities involving patterns and puzzles.

Each week, I will provide a math puzzle for families to engage in that is appropriate for our young learners found in this link. In addition, I will display the first three figures 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 all technology resources about Google Classroom, Plus Portals, Study Island, and Chromebooks in this document.

Are you looking for support with parental controls over your home network? If so, please check out Common Sense Media’s Parents Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls.


Stories out of School: Read-Aloud Programs on Milton TV: Elementary librarian Josh Coben will host storytime programs on Milton Access Television starting in mid-May. “Stories out of School” will air in two half-hour segments, one for lower elementary grades and one for older elementary. Picture books, chapter books, and poetry will be on the menu, served up by Mr. Coben and school staff guest readers. Our first episodes will feature books by the late Rebecca Bond, a gifted children’s author-illustrator, and Cunningham parent.

Watch this space next week for dates and daily time schedules. Episodes will air on Milton TV’s Education channel, Comcast channel 022 or RCN channel 015. If you’re not able to catch the broadcasts, programs will be available on Milton Access Video on Demand website.


Food Resources: MPS Food Service To-Go Program is a valuable resource to assist families in providing nutritious breakfast and lunches to their children. Pick up times are 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at both the Tucker School (behind the school) and Milton High School (on the Canton Ave side of the building). ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up 7 days worth of breakfasts and lunches in a To-Go bag as the goal is to support any food-insecure students.

If you are in need of additional food the Interfaith Social Services Food Pantry, located at 105 Adams St., Quincy is open Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and Wednesdays 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 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.

The Milton Food Pantry has shifted to every other Saturday schedule including May 16th and 30th. Social distancing will be practiced throughout the process. If you are in need of food outside of those hours please call the Food Pantry line at 617-696-0221 and leave your name, address, and how many people are in your family and that you are requesting a donation of food. Volunteers are ready to pick up the food and deliver.

Financial Support: Milton Residents Fund (MRF) Any Milton residents 18 or older facing a financial crisis can reach out to the MRF for help with things like rental or mortgage assistance, utility assistance, winter heating oil, small car repair fees, educational or professional development fees, or medical expenses. To determine if you might qualify, please email Noreen Dolan, LCSW at [email protected], or leave a message at 617-696-1214.

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

Tutoring: Free Tutoring Resource for Military-Connected Students can be found on

MPS Family Liaison: Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure of how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marti O’Keefe McKenna, MPS Family Outreach Liaison at 617-980-7343 or by email at [email protected]. All calls and emails are confidential.


MHS Music students are still hard at work at home. Our first MHS Virtual Cabaret will be shared next week featuring various student performances. The links to access the Virtual Cabaret can be found on Milton FAME’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Here is a sneak preview of a Virtual Cabaret performance featuring seniors Esme Link and Kate Possi performing their song “Another Wednesday Night”.


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

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

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.

Caroline Robinson – Caroline has one of the best personalities of any student-athletes. She was looking forward to her second season on the Unified Track Team. Her compassion shown during last year’s inaugural season was great to see. Caroline is always willing to lend a hand and help other students. She always has a smile on her face and seems to cheer everyone up on and off the field. She also played Field Hockey for four seasons here at MHS.

David Cichello– David plays multiple outfield positions for the Baseball Team. Very well respected by teammates. He always works hard and is very coachable. He also played Football for four years here at Milton High School. Very important role player on both teams. Students like David are what make each of his teams successful.

Kevin Swanton – Co-captain for the Rugby Team, Kevin is a multi-faceted, multi-positional player having played 2nd row, 8 man, fullback, and fly-half the past three years, as well as the team’s kicking duties. Kevin is all rugby, all the time, and has a long career ahead, locally and internationally. Kevin has signed with Kutztwon University in Pennsylvania, a perennial D1 top Ten nationally ranked college program, playing against the likes of Cal Berkeley, Penn State, Army, Dartmouth, and Navy. Best of luck Kevin. A true gentleman.

Anna Cakouros – Anna, Track, brings a special level of toughness to every race she enters. She always finds a way to save an extra “gear” for the final half and passes numerous people. She is a true student of the sport – always reflecting on her races so that she can learn how to run better the next time. Her hard work culminated this year with personal bests in the 5K (19:35), the 2 mile (12:05) and the mile (5:49). It has been a joy to see her develop into a stronger runner over the past few years.

Liam Regan – Pitcher/Utility Player for the Baseball Team. Has been one of the most reliable bullpen arms on the team. He was slated to be the closer and spot starter during his senior year. Competes hard and is a pleasure to coach. One of the best athletes in the school that also made a big impact for the Football Team as a wide receiver and punt returner.


From the Town of Milton: Public Health Emergency Order, effective May 6, 2020

  • Wear a Face Covering When Social Distancing is Not Possible
  • Must cover your nose and mouth
  • Required for any person over the age of 2 and essential business employees when social distancing is not possible.
  • Including but not limited to: Grocery stores, Pharmacies, Other Retail Stores, when using transportation services or mass public transit.


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

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


The U.S. Census Bureau has extended the deadline for the national census to Saturday, October 31. Individuals can respond at this website, over the phone by calling the number in the invitation that was mailed to their home, or by mail.


Chess Club with Mr. Vigorito is on! International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. Classes began Monday (but you can join this week) and all details can be found here.

With in-person school done for the year, let’s make the best of it! Mr. Vigorito will be doing online chess classes in May. All information can be found on the Chess Club website.


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 audiobooks, live programs, virtual storytimes, and more are available every day from ​​ and the Library’s Facebook pages. We have these exciting online programs happening for the young people in your life during May.


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

Central Office is staffed every day (we are practicing safe social distancing) and you can reach the Superintendent’s office any time via phone at 617-686-4808 or via email.

We have compiled a comprehensive and ever-changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here.


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: Thank you to students Cormac, Frannie and Gracie Mills who, along with their grandfather, spent days mixing hand sanitizer into small containers to sell and donate the proceeds to the Milton Food Pantry. With community support, they raised over $850 for the food pantry!


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