Superintendent Gormley releases updates for week of June 12, 2020

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Superintendent Gormley releases updates for week of June 12, 2020

Updates include return to school task force, transportation, residency re-establishment, and more.

I would like to address the recently publicized series of events concerning a portion of a remote learning lesson that was recorded and distributed against school rules by a student(s) and/or parent(s). As this potentially involved a personnel matter, you will understand that I have been prohibited from commenting on it publicly. I have reached out to the teacher to apologize. We are engaging with stakeholders in conversations that address both the recent events and the many complex facets of remote learning. Please be assured that the most important part of my job is to provide safe spaces for educators and students in which to learn and grow, especially in this new remote learning environment. These safe spaces are necessary in order to foster critical thinking in our students to build in them the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind to deal with the challenges and complexities of the current world and, in specific, to combat racial injustices in our society.

Our work ahead includes looking inward at our processes and practices, especially as they relate to responding to concerns about academic freedom in the classroom. Further, we must reflect on our curriculum materials, determine the degree to which we provide equitable opportunities for students, and ensure ongoing high-quality cultural proficiency professional development for every member of the Milton Public Schools staff. This work, captured in the Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan, is ongoing and includes working with Dr. Kalise Wornum, a Cultural Proficiency Coach. I firmly believe we can learn from this and I look forward to collaborating with you as we move forward.

Remote Learning Reminder:

We were very distressed this past week to learn that someone associated with a teacher’s class used a cell phone to record a portion of a remote lesson and distributed it. This is unacceptable on many levels. Recording someone without his or her permission is illegal in Massachusetts under most circumstances. Further, it is likely a violation of Intellectual Property Rights as there is no way the recording and dissemination of that portion of the lesson could be considered “fair use”. Finally, this is a direct violation of the remote learning agreement that parents/guardians agreed to by allowing their children to participate in online remote learning. Beyond the violations, both the school and potentially legal ones noted above, this egregious act has compromised the sanctity of the “classroom”. True partnerships are rooted in trust.

We are investigating this incident and following up as appropriate with those involved. We write to remind you that any violation of the remote learning agreement could result in the loss of remote learning privileges as well as additional follow up as appropriate. Although we have only a few days left in this school year, we remind you and ask you to remind your child(ren) that saving, recording, sharing, or posting of any online learning session is absolutely prohibited. Moving forward, we will be working collaboratively with teachers, leadership, the School Committee, and you to review the remote learning agreement as well as any related policies to make the prohibition of recording and consequences of doing so more explicit and emphatic.


As we near the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we want to recognize the resilience, patience, and positivity of our students, families, faculty, and staff. When we began this year, no one ever dreamed it would be ending this way. To say that these past few months have been challenging is an understatement. When we were forced to close school on March 13th, we were thrust into executing a remote learning model. As we look ahead to the 2020-2021 school year, we will be reflecting on learned experiences as we enhance our instructional remote learning model moving forward.

As you know, the district has formed a Return to School Task Force that is hard at work and will continue to work throughout the summer to develop, articulate, and propose a comprehensive plan for the fall. The Core Team, which is comprised of MPS staff and community members, meets each week, and subcommittees have also been formed to address the following priority areas: Teaching and Learning, Health and Wellness, Family Outreach and Communication, Facilities, and Technology. In addition, we have operational working groups addressing the following areas: Athletics, Clubs/Before and After School, Food Services, Finance, and Transportation.

What Will Next Year Look Like?

We are anticipating prescriptive guidance from MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). While we continue to have more questions than answers at this point, what we do know is that school will look different in the fall, as the Commonwealth has a long way to go in its battle with COVID-19. Our understanding is that individual districts will have limited discretion over things like school schedules, health and safety protocols, service delivery models, and more. Most of these decisions will likely be mandated by the state.

We understand that you might have concerns related to pre-existing conditions, medical/health issues, child-care issues, and more. We will be working in partnership with the Milton Educators Association, school administration, and town officials to address the complexities of a return to school as we recognize that each staff member and family is uniquely positioned in this situation. You do not have to wait for a survey to share your questions or concerns.

We have launched a Task Force website at Here, you will find the most up-to-date information, guidance, and a “contact us” form so that you can share thoughts with the Task Force. We strongly suggest you bookmark this page and visit it often as developing information coming out of the work of the Return to School Task Force will be regularly posted. The Return to School website can also always be accessed through

Newly posted on the website are the results of the Community Survey issued by the Return to School Task Force. Please visit to review the Top 12 Concerns from the community regarding a return to school. You can expect additional, more explicit surveys in the coming weeks. Thank you for your continued feedback and partnership as we work towards a safe return to school for all of our MPS students and staff.

Ada Rosmarin and Karen McDavitt, Co-Chairs of the Return to School Task Force


Special Education: As promised, I am sharing information regarding the provision of services during the summer for our students in special education. The current summer school dates of service are still scheduled to be during the weeks of July 6 through August 14.

The information below is based on the guidance provided by the Commissioner of Education on June 6 and the Associate Commissioner on June 9, linked here.

We greatly appreciate those who responded to our parent/guardian survey, attended the coffee and reached out in person. In an effort to support the health of all our staff and students, respond to the current COVID-19 crisis, and ensure all students’ right to FAPE, Milton anticipates being able to offer limited in-person services, and extensive remote services, Please know DESE has provided guidance that the default program model is Remote, and our hybrid model is designed to enhance student access by offering some in-person services.

The Special Education Leadership Team has worked closely with district leadership to develop our ESY program. As we received ongoing DESE guidance during March and April, we are mindful that the way services have been provided during the school closure may look and feel different than the way services are provided when school is open. We appreciate the flexibility and patience families have shown during this time as we refine our programs and services.

More information regarding summer for our students in special education can be found here.

Susan Maselli, MS Ed., BCBA, LABA, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services [email protected]; 617-696-4470 x 5572

Academic Programs: MHS Bridge Program, Calculus Project, and MHS Credit Recovery Courses will be running virtually this year. Information regarding elementary and middle school virtual academic programs will be sent next week.


The last School Committee meeting was on June 10th, 2020 and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV.

The School Committee recently updated the 2020-21 School Year Calendar. This calendar reflects a change to a Professional Development Day in October. The updated calendar can be found here.


Registration to ride the bus for the 2020-2021 school year closed on June 12th at midnight. Please see May 27 Transportation Registration Letter linked here.


Families with students entering grades 6 and 9 must re-establish residency by June 12th. A letter has been sent via email to all families who must re-establish residency and it is linked here. To comply with social distancing, all re-establishments will take place remotely.

The Re-establish Residency Packet can be found here and all information on residency re-establishment can be found here. Please submit your re-establishment packet by June 12th to the following email: [email protected].


Summer is coming and we are happy to announce that our food service weekly to-go bags and produce boxes will be available throughout the summer!

Weekly to-go bags with 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches are available for pick up every Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at MHS and Tucker through August 26th. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.

The Milton Public Schools has been awarded a grant to offer weekly produce boxes to families and families can pick up a produce boxes with their weekly breakfast and lunch bags. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine hearts, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears and cantaloupe.

If you have received a P-EBT card in the mail and are having trouble activating the card, this link will help you correctly set up your P-EBT card.

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 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 via email at or by phone at 617-980-7343.


Thank you to the Milton Community for your support on Sunday, June 7th as we celebrated Milton High School’s Class of 2020!

We continue to post updated awards on our MHS Awards Website for your enjoyment. Congratulations to our Faculty Appreciation Award Winners for 2019-20, nominated and honored by our Student Government.

  • Class of 2020 – Liz Tahaney, English Department
  • Class of 2021 – Maria O’Donnell, Food Services
  • Class of 2022 – Rich Guarino, Guidance Department
  • Class of 2023 – JT Troy, MHS Library

A big thank you to the Student Government and advisors Jennie Beliveau and Kelly Conaty for coordinating all of this! Coming next week…Department Book Awards!


MHS will be offering a virtual driver’s education course that runs from June 15th-25th. It includes 15 modules, 12 driving hours, and 6 observation hours. Information on the course and how to sign up can be found on the Milton High School Driver’s Education website.

Behind the wheel driving hours and observation hours have been approved by the state as part of Phase 2 in the re-opening process. MHS Driver’s Education will take a number of safety precautions. The precautions are listed here and are also listed on the Milton High School Driver’s Education website.


Pierce has developed a website to serve as a centralized location for accessing weekly content and assignments for students. Please click here to access the site.


7th grade ELA teachers Ms. Power and Mr. Faherty recently used the structure of remote learning to engage students in analysis of speech writing and speech delivery. Students did a deep dive into the genre and were then charged with writing a speech to graduating 5th graders from their respective elementary schools. You can read student’s words of wisdom here: Collicot Speeches; Cunningham Speeches; Glover Speeches; Tucker Speeches


Pierce Choral Director Julia Hanna has created a choice board influenced by current events that students will be working on over the next two weeks. Many of the activities are suitable for families to engage in together. All families are welcome to participate in these resources, regardless of whether their child is in the chorus. The choice board activities can be found here. We look forward to sharing student work in the coming weeks.


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.


This year, many end of year activities don’t look the same for our MPS students but remote learning did bring out some very creative ideas. With the help of technology teacher Jen Van Hill, Collicot 5th grader Nate Turner was able to develop an app to replace the Tour of Milton our 5th graders go on every year to visit Milton’s Historical sites. The app will enable our 5th-grade students to visit all historical sites in Milton through a pre-recorded presentation from Milton administrators and teachers. Check out Nate’s app to visit:

  • The Forbes House Museum
  • The Wakefield House
  • The Eustis Estate
  • Churchills Lane
  • The Yellow House
  • The Collicot School
  • The Glover School
  • The Baker Chocolate Factory
  • Milton Academy

When you download the app, you will be able to tour all sites by visiting them in person or by simply clicking and listening to history from the comfort of your own home. Thank you to Nate and Ms. Van Hill for creating this app to allow the Tour of Milton to happen for our 5th graders this year!

Check out this video that explains the app. All are welcome to download the app!


This week in music class, grade five students are reviewing songs from their year-long song unit, “Oh, Freedom, Through Music: Songs that Inspire Change!” Students learned that through the power of music we can express feelings and a common theme, highlight problems, and inspire people to unite their voices for needed change. Some of the songs in the unit include We Shall Overcome, Woke up This Morning, Come and Go With Me to that Land, Peace Like a River and the Battle Hymn of the Republic, along with modern songs of change like One Day by Matisyahu and Be the Light by Keith Urban. Students were asked to describe the commonalities that the songs share. Here are some of their responses:

  • Lauren-”the songs are about Civil Rights and how all people should be treated fairly. The songs are similar because they inspire you to be a good human being.”
  • Lexin-”These songs are all about being nice and making a difference.”
  • Elizabeth-”The songs this year are all about creating peace in the world.”
  • Jack-”The songs all talk about you doing something with someone else and being a good person while making change, whether fighting in a war, if necessary, or working together to overcome segregation.”
  • Ethan-”The songs say that we shall overcome injustice.”
  • Sophie– “Matisyahu’s message is that he hopes one day people will stop harming one another and we should always be optimistic. Matisyahu feels the need to say these words because even today, there are injustices in the world that need to be stopped…. One way we can help these things is to sing. When you sing you open up your soul and let who you really are shine through.”
  • Sam- (about the music) “It makes me feel that someone cares about what’s going on in the world and that people want to fix it. People use music to show their emotions be
  • Chisom- Shared an artistic representation of the verse, “We’ll Walk hand in hand” from We Shall Overcome.
  • Chisom- Shared an artistic representation of the verse, “We’ll Walk hand in hand” from We Shall Overcome. When asked to create another verse to We Shall Overcome she responded with: “We Shall all be brave, we shall all be brave today, deep in my heart, I do believe we shall all be brave today.”
  • Danielle- plays “Peace Like a River” on the Recorder ( you can watch the video here).


Our elementary students continue to share music from home! This is extra impressive, as it involves the extra steps of learning how to upload audios, videos, and other files. We are impressed with the dedication of students wanting to make their music heard! The music padlet has been a special space where students have interacted with other students across the district to provide compliments and appreciations to each other’s performances. It is truly something special to see! Please continue to upload, comment, and explore Milton’s Elementary Music Padlet!

Felix plays and sings “Hello Everybody” on his piano in this video. Summer shares an audio clip of herself performing “If Only” by Dove Cameron in this link.


This week in Social Studies, Mrs. McClain’s 1st graders were asked to listen to the story Sulwe written by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. After listening, they were encouraged to talk to someone at home, or write and draw about the part of the story where Sulwe’s mama tells her that real beauty begins with “How you see yourself, not how others see you.” What do you think this means? What does real beauty mean to you?


This week in elementary art, students learned about the Design Element of Pattern. A pattern is when an artist repeats visual elements, such as color, shape, line, etc. Student artists chose from a Choice Board of projects. Pattern activities included: rainbow patterns, still life stamping, optical illusion drawing, and patterns in architecture.


As is their annual tradition, Glover made way for ducklings again this year! This past Saturday, a small group of staff safely escorted Mama Mallard and her ducklings to the creek in front of Glover where they happily nibbled on grass, floated in the cool water, and were introduced to the big, beautiful world!

Thank you to the staff who helped the ducks safely to their new home and a special thanks to Mary O’Leary, Kate Middleton, and Ida Geering (our Duck Mamas) and Jen Van Hill for putting the video together.


Congratulations to the MPS teachers and staff who have been chosen as the Milton Foundation for Education 2020 Teachers of the Year! You can see how they were surprised in this video!


Click here for this week’s math puzzles from MPS K-12 Math Director Brian Selig.


We want to make you aware that at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain an immunization record for the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for students entering the 7th and 11th grade unless a religious or medical exemption applies. All other immunization requirements for school entry will remain the same. All students must have an update to date physical exam and immunization record prior to the entrance to the school. Per the new requirements, the immunization record will need to demonstrate:

  • 7th-grade entry: 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) for all students.
  • 11th-grade entry: 1 booster dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Men ACWY) received on or after 16 years of age. School Immunization Requirements


Let the summer reading begin! Milton’s elementary schools are once again partnering with the Milton Public Library for our Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story!” To learn more, read this flyer and watch this video featuring MPL Assistant Director Sara Truog and children’s librarian Jen Struzziero, with cameos from our elementary principals.

Registration begins this week for all students entering Grades K-6. Students can sign in to their old summer reading account or create a new one at Register your child for the 2020 Challenge with one click, then submit this short Google Form to let their teacher know they’re registered.

The Challenge will run from June 18-September 2. By logging the minutes they read, students will receive virtual badges, win prizes, and earn virtual tickets that they can put into drawings for a host of other prizes, like gift cards, mystery book boxes, and swag bags. Readers can also earn rewards for writing book reviews, attending virtual library programs, and completing fun activities.

Join us online for the Summer Reading Kickoff Event, featuring Sciencetellers, on Thursday, June 18, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. To register, contact the MPL Children’s Department at 617-698-5757 or [email protected]. Happy reading!


Many young athletes face a serious injury at some point; one that might lead to the need for pain relievers from a doctor. When an opioid is prescribed, given the risk of addiction, should your child take it? Are there alternatives? Is there a way to use them safely? Dr. Daniel Muse is an emergency medicine specialist in Brockton, MA. He is also passionate about reducing the high incidence of drug abuse and addiction. Join us on Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. for a webinar with Dr. Muse to discuss these questions as well how athletes, parents, and coaches can help prevent addiction.

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.

For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.


Each week, one of our MPS Counselors will share information or resources. Last week, Myriam Francoeur, Pierce Adjustment Counselor, wrote to the MPS community. This week, Kenneth Adelmann MHS Adjustment Counselor, checks in below.

As we wrap up our tenth week of remote learning, one aspect of our students that consistently shines is their resiliency. I encourage students to reflect on their experiences, noting their highs and lows, and the myriad of emotions they feel in any given day. For students, the “freedom to feel” is something that isn’t necessarily encouraged in society. Oftentimes, I find students struggling with the idea that they don’t feel happy when others are happy, or feel sad when others are sad. The expectation to feel a certain way can impact them more than the feeling itself. Self-care, self-compassion, and self-love are crucial during times of adversity. These traits seem to be keys to building resilience within all of us.

The murder of George Floyd has stirred up thoughts and emotions within the students I connect with. I was moved by students’ willingness to engage about systemic racism in our country, get involved, and be an ally. I had a student experience her own feelings of anxiety because she wanted to become a stronger ally. It was truly eye-opening and resonated with me beyond my role as an adjustment counselor at Milton High School.

My favorite aspect of the job is watching the students grow and adapt to the challenges they face every day. I am truly in awe of what they are capable of and how resourceful they can be. Resilience is developed and reflected in times of adversity, and students can carry those traits with them for the rest of their lives.

MPS School Adjustment Counselors: Jennie Beliveau, Mary Bianca Mattocks, 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)


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 Wednesday from 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 and a 22lb box of produce every Wednesday through August 26th.

The Milton Community Food Pantry located in the Parkway Methodist Church, 158 Blue Hills Parkway will be OPEN this Saturday, June 13th from 9:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. with pre-bagged food ready to go for anyone that is in need.

Interfaith Social Services Pantry Shelf 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.

Project Bread shares information and links to food assistance programs in Massachusetts here.

Brookwood Community Farm is accepting applications for SNAP farm shares. This produce would be picked up at the farm every other week July through Sept and/or Oct and Nov. The on site pickup not only allows for a visit to the farm but also allows for more choice and some weeks there is pick-your-own (PYO) included. If transportation is not possible, the farm will work out delivery through a farm member. The application can be found here.

Health Insurance: If you do not have health insurance, MassHealth open enrollment has been extended. Visit their website for details on how to apply.

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.

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.


If you are missing hearing our talented students, we have some good news for you! The MHS Virtual Cabaret is online and can be found here. This is the second of two Cabarets and the first one can be found here. Enjoy!


Forbes House Museum will host a Virtual Voyage on June 28th!

The museum’s traditional spring fundraiser has been refashioned as an online event with music, trivia, highlights from the collection, and an auction. The theme connects the event to the Milton Reads book selection “Voyage of Mercy,” by Stephen Puleo, about Captain Forbes’s humanitarian relief mission to Ireland at the height of the Great Famine. In keeping with the purpose of that 1847 voyage, and in recognition of the increased community needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Virtual Voyage is giving 10% of all ticket sales to the Milton Food Pantry. The event will include guest appearances by both Captain Forbes and Father Mathew, the two main heroes in the remarkable true story of America overcoming social, religious and political differences to send 800 tons of provisions to Ireland.

Forbes House Museum has partnered with Lower Mills Tavern, local artists and musicians to create a very special community experience. Tickets and more information can be found on our website. You can also go directly to the online auction site to bid on original artwork, themed baskets, and fund-a-need opportunities. Thank you for your support!


Sign-ups are live for the Milton Art Center’s online summer art classes for children ages 5-12, featuring illustration, clay, painting, fairy camps, mixed media, needle felting, macramé, journaling, and more including a weekly family activity class of identifying the birds and trees of Milton with scavenger hunts! Check out our website for a class that your child would enjoy!


Many Milton elementary students have been taking virtual chess lessons with Mr. Vigorito through his June session and he is also offering a virtual summer session in place of MSE. Summer Chess information is here.

International Chess Master David Vigorito has been teaching chess in Milton for over 10 years. He teaches at all 4 elementary schools as well as Milton Academy and St. Agatha’s.

Mr, Vigorito has made complimentary beginner/instructional videos specifically for Milton students. Call it Chess 101 and ALL students in Milton have the opportunity for free to learn the basics of chess through these videos. Families can tune is as well!

The videos can be found here. Access Password: 4Milton! (with the exclamation point)


MECA is offering week three of our Story and Activity Time Series. This week’s story and activity are provided with help from Mary Beth Callahan, preschool teacher at Tucker School. Story and Activity Time Video Series, Week Four can be found here.


The Milton Public Library has many virtual programs for children all month long. Details can be found here.


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.

VOLUNTEERS: We have once again seen the generosity of our community during this public health crisis. Our friends at The Plate are supplying family-style dinners through the help of a private, local donation to MPS in hopes of providing some relief to Milton families and support our community during this pandemic. We are truly appreciative of both The Plate and this generous family.


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