Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of April 1, 2021

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Superintendent Jette releases updates for week of April 1, 2021

This week’s highlights include model change update, MHS launch dog treats, collicot book characters, athletics spring season information, transportation updates and more.

FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

On Monday, April 5, Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker students will begin a full in person model with many students attending school every day for a full day of school while some students remain in our full remote model. There will be no hybrid model in elementary after today.

Pierce and MHS students remain in the hybrid/remote choice model for one more week and will begin the full in person model on April 12, with many students attending school every day for a full day of school while some students remain in our full remote model.

We are excited for this next phase in our school year and are focused on the details of welcoming more students into school in the coming days, while maintaining the community and rigor of our full remote model.

All elementary families (full in person and full remote families) will receive detailed information from their principal this week. If you do not receive this, please reach out to your principal or school’s administrative assistant. Pierce and MHS families will receive logistical details on the school day next week. A few general points to note:

  • School hours will revert to previous full day hours at each school. MHS 7:50-2:19; Pierce 7:57-2:26; Collicot and Cunningham 8:20- 2:49; Tucker and Glover 8:50-3:19
  • MPS will continue to offer a full remote model through the end of the school year.
  • We recognize that these next few weeks may bring some stress as well as excitement for students. Teachers are planning welcome activities with a focus on social emotional wellness. Additional support for students who may need it during this transition is always available through your child’s adjustment counselor. All contact information is in principal communications and school websites.
  • Transportation updates are below and on the Transportation page of our website. 
  • We will offer limited After School Enrichment (ASE) later in the spring. Details will be sent to elementary families. There will be no before school care offered this spring.
  • Due to lunch, space constraints and the need to keep all students and staff safe in our full in person model, MPS will be a peanut free district for the duration of this school year. All snacks and lunches that are brought to school must be peanut free. Details on lunch logistics have been or will be shared by your principal.
  • The COVID page on our website continues to be updated with new FAQs added regularly.

I want to thank and recognize our administrative assistants, custodial staff, food service staff, adjustment and guidance counselors, school nurses, Milton Consolidated Facilities staff, the transportation department, support staff and paraprofessionals who along with our teachers and administrators have worked tirelessly this year to implement our hybrid/remote choice model and now to shift to the new full in person/remote model. We have many unsung heroes operating behind the scenes to make the complicated logistics work and we so appreciate their efforts this year on behalf of all of our students.

While positive Covid numbers are down from our winter peak, after a recent plateau, numbers are now climbing in Milton and in Massachusetts. We need Milton Covid numbers to stay low to Protect the Paw and keep our students and staff safe in school. With the Easter holiday on Sunday and the upcoming April break, now is not the time to let our guard down. Please continue to follow all CDC and MA Department of Public Health guidance on mask wearing, social distancing, hand hygiene, and social gatherings.

There is no school on Friday, April 2 in honor of Good Friday. If you celebrate Easter, I wish you and your family a Happy Easter and I wish all in the MPS community a restful long weekend.  We are looking forward to Monday in the Milton Public Schools!

SCHOOL COMMITTEE 

The next School Committee meeting will be on April 14, 2021, at 7pm. All information about upcoming School Committee meetings is found on the Town of Milton webpage. You can watch School Committee meetings live on Milton Access TV online, live on Milton Access cable channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15) or watch on-demand in the days following the meeting.

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES

  • Apr 2 No School – Good Friday
  • Apr 5 K-5 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 12 6-12 Full In Person Model Change
  • Apr 19-23 April Break

The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Support the MHS class of 2022 by going to The Yogurt Bar in Quincy – TODAY – Thursday, April 1. A portion of all sales will benefit the Junior Class.

MHS Science Coordinator Amy Tom shares that the annual Cambridge Science Festival is launching today and running all month long. This is a great opportunity for our students and all information can be found on their website.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID REPORTING: Each week, school districts report the number of positive cases in the Hybrid Model only to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE). For the weeks of March 25 – March 31, MPS reported: 2 staff positive and 11 students positive.

HIGH SCHOOL HAPPENINGS

MHS 2D Studio Art students recently completed a peer lesson. Students chose a paper sculpture from their peers in 3D Studio Art to base their own painting or drawing on. Students focused on value – the lightness and darkness of a surface – throughout the lesson. You can see some of their work below and at this link.

MHS students in the Launch Program are now accepting dog treat orders from the Milton community. To order your Paws Treats, please click here.   Questions? Please email the team at [email protected] You can see a few of their happy customers below!

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MHS announces the April Vacation Driver’s Education course. Get all your Driver’s Education Hours done over April Vacation!

Who? Any Milton High School student who is at least 15 and 9 months on or before 4/19.  Since this is an online course, you must have a miltonps email account to access the course materials. This is why it is open to Milton High School students onlyAll details on Driver’s Education at MHS can be found here.\

PIERCE PAGES

Mr. Manning’s 7th graders wrapped up their custom sneaker design lesson this week. The design process consisted of creating a custom footprint, logo, a rearview, and a profile view of their sneaker. Students had a great time comparing each other’s designs. Mr. Manning finalized the lesson with a video from “Boston Got Sole” which is a sneaker convention held in Boston in the fall each year. Students watched kids their age buy, sell, and trade custom sneakers. Pierce students realized that sneakers play a big part of their culture and that sneakers are a billion dollar industry.

INSIDE OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Ms. Brandi’s Glover 1st graders learned about Amelia Earhart this week as they read the story Little People, BIG Dreams Amelia Earhart by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and watched a short video about Amelia Earhart to learn more about her. While they discussed her life and accomplishments, students did a guided drawing of Amelia Earhart.

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Cunningham 3rd grade students in Mr. Young’s class had a special visitor in their classroom this week, as Dr. Redden joined them to listen to persuasive letters written to him. To kick off this activity last week, students walked around Cunningham and looked for ways to improve the school. They then brainstormed ideas and were tasked with writing a letter to convince Dr. Redden to implement their ideas at Cunningham by sharing their bold opinion and providing reasons and examples to support it. Students also considered Dr. Redden’s responses and reasons why he may not agree with their opinions and included counter-arguments in their letters. Opinions ranged from adding to the playground structures, creating a motor break room, building a ninja warrior course, turning the cafeteria into a movie theater, creating an outdoor classroom, and starting a news and newspaper club. Now that they have shared their ideas, 3rd grade authors now anxiously await Dr. Redden’s feedback on their creative ideas.

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Tucker School has been practicing Mindfulness all March long with the assistance of our Mindfulness calendar and the help of resident expert Ms. Mary Beth Callahan. Ms. Mary Beth and Tucker art teacher Mrs. Gillooly have also been leading a virtual Mindfulness Club since January to help Tucker students use and practice these skills. Club member Seraphim Manson in Grade 3 recorded a special mindful moment this week that was shared with all students. Thank you to Seraphim for helping our students during Mindfulness March.

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In the month of March, Collicot students and staff celebrated literacy. The month started with a Lexia and Lailo usage contest, and other activities included video book recommendations, staff read alouds and more. As a culminating activity, Collicot hosted literary character dress up day. Students and staff were encouraged to dress up as a favorite character from a beloved book. All participants had a great time walking the “red carpet” and showing off their favorite book characters.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Administrator for Pupil Personnel Services, Sue Maselli shares the following.

Learning Prep School invites you to their free Speaker Series event: ADHD In Depth: From Identification to Management on Wednesday, April 14,  6-7:15 PM with Dr. David Stein, Pediatric Psychologist & Director at New England Neurodevelopment, LLC.  This talk will provide an in-depth review of the basics of ADHD—what is it, why does it occur, and how do we identify it? In addition, the talk will provide an in-depth review of evidence-based interventions across medical, home, and school settings. All Speaker Series events are open to the public. This is a Virtual Event via Zoom.  Please register here.

We will welcome Cunningham parents of students in special education to our next coffee. We will meet virtually on April 13 at 7pm. The link to join can be found here or join by phone at 1 336-914-1213 (PIN: 317159998)

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES 

Please see this overview of each of our elementary summer programs. More details will be sent on each program as available.

There are four programs available to elementary families this summer:

Please see this document or enlarge the photos below for details on each program.

Camp Cunningham : The CC team is working to implement a series of adjustments that will ensure a safe and fun environment for our campers. We are able to accommodate 72 campers and participants must be currently enrolled as MPS students entering grades 1- 6 in the fall of 2021.

All details on Camp Cunningham can be found here and please read the Camp Cunningham welcome letter here. Registration for Camp Cunningham 2021 will open at noon on Wednesday, April 7 at this link.

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Community Schools is excited to announce the offering of our April Vacation Camp. This limited capacity program will be in–person at the Collicot/Cunningham schools from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. We will adhere to all Milton Public Schools and CDC COVID-19 guidelines. Registration for April Vacation Camp is open at this link (FAMILY ID- MCS PROGRAMS) and you can also find all this information on the MCS website.

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

All Elementary bus passes have been mailed for full return to school on April 5th.  Please remember that no RED passes will be accepted for ridership, only BLUE passes can be used and students must sit in their assigned seats.

All seat assignments have been redone as the cohorts from hybrid learning were merged. All student(s) have new seats on the bus and students are required to sit in their new assigned seat.

Middle and High School bus assignments have been completed for the full return model beginning on April 12th, new passes will be mailed to all riders Monday April 5th. Current riders in the hybrid model have all been assigned to the bus for full return, new registrations have been processed and students placed on waiting lists have been notified.  Families owing bus fees have been billed and once fees are paid, their passes will be mailed.

As of April 12th, no RED passes will be accepted for ridership on the bus for MHS and Pierce Students, only BLUE passes can be used and as with elementary, students must sit in their NEW assigned seat. All seat assignments have been redone as the cohorts from hybrid learning were merged. All student(s) have new seats on the bus and students are required to sit in their new assigned seat.

New schedules for all bus routes are posted on our website. Please familiarize yourself with these schedules as they are different from the current posted ones. Arrival and drop off times have shifted on all routes due to increased ridership every day.  As we do at the beginning of the school year, we ask that families be 10-15 min earlier than the posted times as buses may arrive earlier or later than posted until the actual schedules are established.  Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Transportation Guidelines for the 2020-2021 School Year

On February 11, 2021 MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education(DESE) updated Transportation (school bus) guidelines as follows:

  • Eliminated capacity limitations and physical distancing requirements for elementary students
  • Eliminated capacity limitations and physical distancing requirements for middle and high school students on buses, except for middle and high schools in districts with high community prevalence.
  • For middle and high schools in districts with high community prevalence, capacity limitations and physical distancing requirements on buses are amended to allow 2 students per bus bench.
  • Windows must be kept open at all times at least two inches
  • Students should be assigned to a single bus and a particular seat.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.

In order to return Milton Public Schools to full in person learning MPS has adopted these changes.  MPS is legally required to transport students in Kindergarten through Grade Six who live two miles or more from school which necessitates full capacity buses on many elementary, middle and high school routes.  There are elementary buses at full capacity with up to three per bench and Pierce and MHS buses at full capacity with two per bench.  We have worked to keep siblings together whenever possible, but are unable to assign seats based on neighborhood or by stop due to the need to keep kindergarten and first grade students as close to the front of the bus as possible.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

FOOD SERVICE 

Our current food service model with Wednesday’s weekly drive through will continue for March 31 and April 7.

With the return to a full in person model throughout MPS, we will be ending our weekly drive through pick up.  Our last weekly drive thru with the Farmers to Families boxes will be April 7. We will be emailing a  survey to our fully remote families to schedule weekly pick ups.

Once we begin the full in person model (April 5 for elementary, April 12 for MHS and Pierce) students who are in school for a full day will have the option to receive a school lunch each school day.

FAMILY RESOURCES

The Milton Public Schools is committed to being a resource for you. Whether you are unsure how to connect with school staff or directly need a referral for services or supplies, please 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.

Are you looking for mental health, substance use disorders and addictions or family support resources?  The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has produced a valuable list of these resources to assist Milton children and youth and their families.  Please click here for a list of Hotlines and Helplines.

All updates on Family Resources – food, heating assistance, health insurance, financial assistance, contacts – can be found at this link.

ART AND MUSIC

As we wrap up Music In Our Schools Month, The MHS Music department highlights the last of outstanding senior musicians. We have featured our seniors to celebrate all of their accomplishments and contributions to the Milton music community.  You can read about this week’s seniors (shown below) in detail here.

Students in our Applied Music Lesson Program have been working hard preparing for virtual recitals. Flute teacher Ms. Chu and her high school flute students recently held their recital. You can see them performing duets together in the photo at right. Pictured: L – R Top: Mahina Panerio-Langer, gr. 12; Karen Chu, flute teacher; Madeleine Miller, gr. 11 Middle: Chloe Zhong, gr. 11; Abigail Raymond, gr. 11; Anna Hamblet, gr. 11 Bottom: Sydney O’Toole, gr.12; Katy Blackburn,gr. 11; Brynne Mershon, gr. 10

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Milton High School Students continue to be hard at work making music his year. Enjoy our second Cabaret which features performances of students collaborating with faculty members as well as work from students in the “Make Music” courses at MHS.

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Our elementary music teachers share that as we begin the transition to more in person learning, it has been very rewarding to look back at our remote journey in the elementary general music classes and recount the many ways our elementary music students were able to make and create music at home. In the fall, students created their own shakers, scrapers and drums to play along with activities that reinforced concepts in rhythm, timbre and expression. Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 completed their units on learning to play the recorder this week with amazing results. Students at every grade level were offered the opportunity to participate in “Music Share,” a designated class where students were able to “shine” by performing for their peers.

While teaching music remotely in our elementary schools has been the first of its kind and an adventurous journey, we feel that it was a rousing success! Attendance and enthusiasm remained high throughout these many months. Please enjoy a few of the many performances given by our elementary students at this link. Mrs. Allegrezza, Mr. Good, and Ms. Martin would like to thank our students’ grown-ups for their assistance and support, as well as our students who continue to inspire us every day!

ATHLETICS

Please see the following from AD Ryan Madden.

The Athletics Presentation for Spring Sports that was scheduled for Thursday, April 1 has been postponed to Monday, April 5th at 6:30pm. I apologize for any inconvenience. Join the Zoom Meeting at this link. Meeting ID: 848 5776 8508; Passcode: te7cdvUXn7.

The PowerPoint with information about the spring season is linked here.

There have been many questions about the start date. Please see below for clarification:

  • Pre-season for the Spring will start on Monday, April 12. We understand that this is two weeks prior to the originally posted MIAA start date. Our Conference has voted to allow our spring athletes two extra weeks to start spring sports to prepare for a very condensed season. Tryouts will still start on Monday, April 26.
  • From April 12 to April 25, all practices will be optional, though strongly encouraged. Students opting not to attend – or unable to attend – will still be afforded a tryout beginning April 26th. From April 26 on, all sessions are mandatory.
  • Participation in the two week pre-season does not guarantee a spot in the program or on a Varsity Team.
  • On Thursday, April 8, a schedule will be released for our two week pre-season. Students still participating in Fall II Sports may not participate until they have finished their season and have taken TWO (2) days off.
  • Once tryouts begin on Monday, April 26, we plan to make cuts by Wednesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 29. For students that may be cut from a sport, they are more than welcome to join one of the following non-cut sports; Rugby, Outdoor Track, Unified Track.

Please be sure to register at this link in the next two weeks!

There are two ways to support our athletes this weekend. We’ve got Cans AND Cars for ‘Cats!

COMMUNITY NEWS 

We recommend checking with the local organizations below for any changes to the following events.

The Milton Public Library has some terrific programs for students of all ages. Check out their upcoming events here. The main MPL website can be found here.

BLOG SUBSCRIPTION: If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week: Jackie Morgan, Ellen Lohan, Jon Redden, Andy Young, MaryBeth Callhan, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Ryan Madden, Carolyn Brandi, Amy Tom, Patrick Manning, Susan Maselli, Martha Sandoval, April Allegrezza and Colleen Martin.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as a selection of volunteers, vendors, and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, Dr. Karen Spaulding, (617) 696-5040 ext. 5582.

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