Superintendent Gormley releases updates for week of June 23, 2020
Updates include staff news, summer program updates, return to high school happenings, and more.
There must be a profound recognition that parents are the first teachers and that education begins before formal schooling and is deeply rooted in the values, traditions, and norms of family and culture. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
As Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot writes and as I have often said, parents are their children’s first teachers. However, never did we imagine that you would take on such a central role in your children’s schooling. No one could have predicted how COVID-19 would compromise our very lives and sense of well-being. No one could have imagined the challenges for both families and educators in an environment of remote learning. Finally, no one could have envisioned the sense of loss that many have endured. And yet, together we have persevered through uncertainty on behalf of our students. Thank you for partnering with us.
In the midst of a pandemic that kept us physically apart, we have also faced painful truths about institutional racism in our nation and within our own school community. Many of our educators and families felt pain as we faced some difficult truths about ourselves and our school community in the arenas of social justice, equity, and inclusion.
Today marks the close of our school year. To truly move forward, we must reflect on our past, revisit systems in place, and engage in healing and repair. I commit my energy and my leadership to engage with families, educators, and others in our community to prepare a safe place and space for teaching and learning. Further, I commit to look inward and engage with others to address educational inequities and racial injustices. Thank you for your willingness to engage with us as we repair, heal, and grow. We must each play an active role in this work. Our children, our future, depend on it.
RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATE
Within days we anticipate prescriptive guidance from Governor Charlie Baker and Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley about the reopening of schools in the fall. The Return to School Task Force and I will communicate with MPS staff and the MPS community regularly throughout the summer. I will update you as soon as I receive this guidance.
RETURN TO SCHOOL TASK FORCE
Over the next 10 weeks, please look for our updates in this blog space, via email, on social media, and on the Return to School Milton website. We will also provide printed copies at the weekly to-go food pick ups at MHS and Tucker and at the special education in-person services. We will keep you updated on the work of our subcommittees, including Teaching and Learning, Facilities, Health and Wellness, Family Outreach, Technology, as well as our Beyond the School Day groups. Information on the subcommittees and their members can be found here.
We also invite your feedback – at any time – on our website through this contact us link. Please let us know what is on your mind so we can address the concerns of the MPS community.
The Return to School Task Force recently surveyed community members and staff and the results of these valuable check-ins are informing our work in many ways. We are interested in ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in this process and to that end, we are asking for your assistance in helping us get these questions into the hands of your children.
Students in the early elementary grades will likely need support from you to complete the questions. Please feel free to scribe the answers your children give. All other students should be encouraged to answer honestly and independently.
Our goal is to ensure that representative student voices are elevated and heard as we work to craft a comprehensive plan for a safe return to school in the fall. The student check-in can be found at this link.
Please bookmark our Return to School Task Force website at www.returntoschoolmilton.com and visit it often as developing information coming out of the work of the Return to School Task Force will always be posted here. The Return to School website can also always be accessed through www.miltonps.org.
SUMMER PROGRAM UPDATES
Special Education: Please see this communication on Milton‘s ESY Programming for Special Education from Susan Maselli, Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services. The current summer school dates of service continue to be July 6th through August 14th.
The next School Committee will be on July 8, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. and all School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV. In the days leading up to each meeting, call in/log in information is available on the Town of Milton website.
The Milton School Committee would like to share two recent press releases that were issued to media outlets.
Please see the June 17, 2020 press release here.
Please see the June 12, 2020 press release here.
The Milton Public Schools Strategic Plan can be found here.
Summer is here 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. Weekly produce boxes are also available for pick up. Each box contains 22lbs of produce including carrots, onions, potatoes, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pears, and cantaloupe. ANY Milton family is welcome to pick up a weekly to-go bag as the goal is to support any food insecure student.
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.
HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS
Student Spotlights: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and school-building closure, many of our Milton High School students are going above and beyond in their classes and their community. The students below have been nominated by MHS Staff members for their dedication, perseverance, and service. Students are recognized via email by Mr. Jette, and their spotlight narratives can be found here.
Departmental Book Awards: Each spring before Final Exams, Milton High School departments nominate one member from the junior, sophomore and freshman classes to honor their outstanding academic achievement in the curriculum area. In a typical year, these Book Awards are presented in front of the entire class and serve to inspire others to complete the academic year – and their entire high school careers – with great effort and energy in the classroom. Congratulations to our 2020 Departmental Book Award Winners!
MHS wants 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. MHS is fundraising to replace their old water fountains with new hands-free water filtration systems, both to reduce the use of plastic to reduce the number of high-touch surfaces and the spread of germs. This goal is even more important considering our experience with COVID 19.
Help students and staff stay hydrated with good-tasting, filtered water throughout the school day by contributing or sharing this donation campaign to your family, friends, professional colleagues or social media page so we can reach our goal! Every little bit helps us get to our goal! To make a donation, please go to: https://tapwaterwatch.com/campaigns/milton-high-school/. On behalf of the Milton High School community, thank you in advance for your consideration!
Pierce said goodbye to their 8th graders last week with special deliveries of completion certificates, awards, and some special Pierce 8th grade swag! This week, they celebrated with a year end video, including some special shout outs. Pierce also celebrated their award winners last week. You can take a look in this video.
Pierce Summer Reading
The goal of this summer’s all-school read, Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, is to provide a common book for students and staff to read over the summer with the intention of holding small group conversations in the fall of 2020. The conversations will focus on the themes of equity, access, belonging, and community. By ensuring that all students and staff access the text, the focus will be less on accountability and more on rich conversation in relevant topics. Students and staff are all receiving a copy of the book through a partnership with the Milton Public Library and the Milton Public Schools.
INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
The MPS At Home Learning website will continue to be available to students and families all summer long. All weekly plans will be archived and available throughout the summer!
Our elementary schools celebrated some milestone grades over the last week with K and 5th-grade parades and events. Our students and teachers were so happy to see each other, even from a distance!
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 https://miltonlibrary.beanstack.org. 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!
ART AND MUSIC
Caleb Smith’s 24 Hour Bike Ride last weekend raised over $8000 for music in our schools. The ride was captured by 2020 Milton High School grad and photographer extraordinaire, Nikolai Zychowicz. Visit his website to check out his beautiful work.
Please join me in congratulating Christie Chiappetta on her appointment to be the K-8 Science Coordinator for the Milton Public Schools. Christie joined the Milton Public Schools in 2013 as the Secondary Science Coordinator at the Pierce Middle School. In this role, Ms. Chiappetta worked closely with teachers to strengthen and enhance the Middle School science curriculum. Her teaching experience and success in her administrative role combine to qualify her to assume the responsibility of overseeing and leading MPS’ elementary and middle school science curriculum.
Glover School Principal Karen McDavitt states, “we are thrilled to welcome Christie to the elementary level as she embarks on a journey as the K-8 Science Coordinator for the district. We look forward to learning from her and growing our program under her dutiful watch.”
A NOTE FROM THE NURSE
Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school nurses will need to obtain current physical exams for incoming 4th, 7th, and 11th-grade students. This should include up to date immunization records 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 updated physical exam to enter grades 4, 7, and 11. Per the new requirements, the immunization record will need to demonstrate: School Immunization Requirements Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Kim Coughlin, Director of Nursing Milton Public Schools at [email protected]
We have a terrific FREE opportunity for all MPS Pierce and MHS students! Join Ivy Watts to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond.
Has your world been turned upside down because of COVID-19? Are you missing your friends or feeling sad that you are missing out on experiences you would have been having? Are you feeling angry, confused, or even numb? Are some days just too overwhelming? You are not alone.
Several of us may have lost meaning, connection, motivation, or sense of purpose. Several of us are struggling with the uncertainty of what the future will look like for the activities and friendships that we cherish. To help promote self-care during this time, Ivy Watts, Mental Health Empowerment Speaker & former DII athlete & All-American, has created a course called, Mental Health Support For Students During COVID-19 And Beyond. The videos, audio, and written content that fill these modules aim to help you cope with the loss you might be feeling and provide you with tools and tips to practice mental wellness, self-care, and self-love during this tough time, and beyond. Despite what is happening in the world with COVID-19, your mental health and your story still matter!
Want to dive in? Head to this link: bit.ly/milton-mentalhealthmodules to get started! At the bottom of this page, choose “Subscription For One” and create a username and password unique to you, to gain your free, lifetime access to the modules! You can use your login information to access the modules whenever and wherever on your phone or laptop! If you lose the direct link, you can use coupon code “Milton” to access the course for free. If you ever have any issues accessing the course, reach out to Ivy Watts directly at [email protected].
And another opportunity for parents/guardians!
On June 24th at 7:30 p.m., MSAPC presents Kristin Wason, who will lead a discussion on current treatments of alcohol and opioid disorders. The primary message is hope; recovery is possible. Kristin Wason is a Milton resident and an addiction treatment practitioner with years of experience as a clinician and as a consultant to community health centers. She will provide an overview of the risk factors and brain changes that contribute to developing a substance use disorder. She will also share local resources and best practices when it comes to treatment.
This is the final webinar in the series. 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: zoom.us/j/92433263470 and entering your name and email.
For more information, please go to the Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition website.
As a parent/guardian of a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) for the next school year or if you presently have a student entering grade six(6) and/or grade nine(9) who attends an educational program outside of town, you are required to complete the Re-establish Residency Packet found here. A letter was 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.
Please visit our Student Registration page for all details on re-establishing residency.
Re-establishment packets were due by June 12. If you have not yet submitted, please submit your packet to the following email: [email protected].
If you are unable to upload the required documents, please put all necessary documents in a sealed envelope and place it in the lockbox which is located outside the main entrance of Milton High School.
Please email Ms. Sarina Burke, MPS Residency Coordinator at [email protected] with any questions.
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, 27th from 9:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
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 Tutor.com/military.
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.
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 at 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!
The Milton Art Center has added in-person art classes this summer, in addition to the online summer art classes for children ages 5-12. Classes featuring illustration, clay, painting, printmaking, fairy camps, mixed media, needle felting, macramé, identifying and drawing birds and trees, journaling, and an art installation class based on a Ugandan folk tale, How the Crane got its Crown! Check out our website for a class that your child would enjoy!
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:
Staff: We recently highlighted the retirees for the 2019-2020 school year and have since had two more employees who have decided to retire.
Hahn Nguyen: Ms. Nguyen began her career in the MPS in 2001 as a long term substitute. She taught French Immersion at Glover and Cunningham before moving to Collicot in 2007.
We wish Hahn health and happiness as she retires from the Milton Public Schools after a long and successful career.
Ginger DeCristoforo: Ms. DeCristofaro began her career with the Milton Public Schools in 1999 as a paraprofessional. She began her career working with one student as a 1-1 aide and followed that student through to high school.
She was truly dedicated to her position. In addition to working as a paraprofessional, Ginger also worked many years as the After School Enrichment Supervisor at Glover Elementary School and later became an instructor at the Cunningham After School Enrichment Program. We wish Ginger many years of continued happiness.
IMPORTANT MPS CONTACTS
- Mary Gormley, Superintendent of Schools, [email protected]
- Glenn Pavlicek, Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs, [email protected]
- Dr. Karen Spaulding, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Human Resources, [email protected]
- MHS Principal James Jette, [email protected]
- PMS Principal Bill Fish, [email protected]
- Glover Principal Karen McDavitt, [email protected]
- Cunningham Principal Jon Redden, [email protected]
- Tucker Principal Dr. Elaine McNeil-Girmai, [email protected]
- Collicot Principal Holly Concannon, [email protected]
- Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Special Education, Susan Maselli [email protected]
- Director of Food Service Jackie Morgan, [email protected]
- Family Outreach Liaison Marti O’Keefe McKenna, [email protected]
- Milton Health Department Caroline Kinsella, [email protected]
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)
We have compiled a comprehensive and ever-changing list of Frequently Asked Questions linked here.
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